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Old 04-29-2015, 11:49 PM   #1
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Adding another 12v battery

My stealth WA2812 is brand new and before the battery gets any real use I would like to add another 12v. If I bought an identical battery can I mount it next to the battery compartment and run the neg. to one battery the pos. to the other and parallel the other terminals without a problem? and will it make a big enough difference to make it worth it?
A friend of mine (who doesn't own a trailer but understands electrical) tells me I need a switch and this and blah blah blah...
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:06 AM   #2
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There's pro's and con's to both with, and without a switch. Personally, I would want it parallel and no switch.
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:19 AM   #3
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I only think of the pro's what are the con's?
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:58 AM   #4
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Yes you can... and yes.. it is worth it. It will double the amount of available amp hours. I would check the production date on your existing battery. If it's within the past 6 months, then you should have no problem adding an identical type and size to double your capacity.

Ideally, my first option would be to go back to the dealer and ask to switch your single with 2 new of the same age.

Switch wise.. I DO prefer a battery cutoff switch installed. That makes it possible to cut all power to your rig (even with everything off.. there is still a parasitic draw) between trips. Then again.. it's almost as easy to simply disconnect the negative cable from the battery bank. It's all the same difference.

I am also unaware of any "cons" to having a battery disconnect switch.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:46 AM   #5
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I was led to believe by the content of the first paragraph, that the friend mentioned in the second paragraph was referring to an A/B switch vs wiring the batteries directly in parallel. Not whether or not a battery disconnect switch should be used. If the friend was referring to a disconnect switch, then yes, I agree it is best to have...although I don't ever use mine since I'm plugged in to shore power about 360 days a year.

So the question is...which switch was your friend referring to? Do you already have a battery disconnect switch?
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doitdaily View Post
My stealth WA2812 is brand new and before the battery gets any real use I would like to add another 12v. If I bought an identical battery can I mount it next to the battery compartment and run the neg. to one battery the pos. to the other and parallel the other terminals without a problem? and will it make a big enough difference to make it worth it?
A friend of mine (who doesn't own a trailer but understands electrical) tells me I need a switch and this and blah blah blah...
That is the first thing I did. I put the new battery on the opposite side of the front basement to equal out the weight. Had the wires made up at Napa. My disconnect will disconnect them both. Make sure you get right gage made up including the ground... PS: did not add a selector switch for batt #1 or #2 or all.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doitdaily View Post
My stealth WA2812 is brand new and before the battery gets any real use I would like to add another 12v. If I bought an identical battery can I mount it next to the battery compartment and run the neg. to one battery the pos. to the other and parallel the other terminals without a problem? and will it make a big enough difference to make it worth it?
A friend of mine (who doesn't own a trailer but understands electrical) tells me I need a switch and this and blah blah blah...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gljurczyk View Post
That is the first thing I did. I put the new battery on the opposite side of the front basement to equal out the weight. Had the wires made up at Napa. My disconnect will disconnect them both. Make sure you get right gage made up including the ground... PS: did not add a selector switch for batt #1 or #2 or all.
I also added a second battery to my new TT. I don't have a selector switch on the battery bank but I did install switch at the fuse box. This allows me to disconnect DC power supply to the system so that I could stop the parasitic drain of the batteries during storage and I made sure to isolate the charging system so that it was effected by the switch's position. This way whenever I get a whim to take off I know my batteries are full and ready to go! Also I get peace of mind knowing that nothing is powered up in my trailer while it's in storage.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:45 PM   #8
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On my previous TT, I installed a battery selector switch for several reasons. You can shutdown all power (note, the emergency brake switch was still wired directly to the primary battery). You can draw from one battery without having the surprise of depleting all battery power (happens a lot when the batteries get older). When one goes low, switch to the other and recharge the first. Think of it as a propane switch-over valve. My previous TT had a horrible battery charging system, so I would electrically remove it from the circuit and recharge with a "battery tender". If you stay connected to shore power for an extended period, you could overcharge the batteries, or at least, boil off the water.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:10 PM   #9
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Does your Stealth have an on-board generator? If so, I wouldn't bother with a second battery. If not, then yes, a second 12v battery connected in parallel is worth adding. The reason for paralleling the batteries is to prevent drawing them down by more than about 25% in a single day. Although deep-cycle batteries can be drawn down 50% or more, you should be able to extend the battery life by limiting the draw-down.

I did exactly that in my travel trailer and also converted the light fixtures to LED bulbs. That way we could dry camp/boondock for several days on our Alaska trip without being concerned about running out of power (we did not carry a generator and never needed one on that 3-month trip). On my new 5th wheel, I am currently replacing the 12v battery with two 6v golf cart batteries connected in series to provide even more AH capacity than similar-sized 12v batteries will supply (this trailer came with all LED light fixtures). I am also adding solar panels on the roof and a MPPT controller to keep the batteries charged when we are dry camping.

Both trailers came with a factory-installed cut-off switch. The one in the 5th wheel is right behind the battery case in the front basement.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:35 PM   #10
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@doit...
You CAN add a second identical battery with no problem AND there is no need for a selector switch. IMO...a better choice would be a true battery monitor so you know exactly where you stand at all time rather than running down one battery till it fails before switching over! And yes...Positive to positives and negatives to negatives is what you want to do. Suggest current COACH positive cable stay right where it is on battery #1...and that the COACH negative wire get moved to the negative on battery #2 to provide more balanced charging.

NOW...while you can do this...and it may be all you NEED to do...it might be better to get two REAL deep cycle batteries if you boondock a lot and want the best cycle life which could end up saving you money in the long run. If you typically plug in somewhere, the dual purpose battery usually provided from a dealer is fine...as is adding another one.
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