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Old 05-05-2013, 03:26 AM   #1
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Battery

Do I need to use an "RV" battery? Or can I just put a car battery on there?
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:44 AM   #2
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you need to provide more info.

are you talking about a motorhome, a trailer or what?
are you going to have hookups or not?
does your RV have electric brakes?
will you be boondocking or dry camping?

i could go on but that'll do for now.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:44 AM   #3
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There are 3 different battery designs commonly used in RV applications.

Starting (car) batteries - Able to deliver LOTS of amps in a very short time because if thin plated and waffled design. Used to start your car and the alternator provides the power to run the car's accessories. Terrible choice to use when the car is not running. The RC (Reserve Capacity) rating will tell you how many minutes the battery will last while providing 25 amps with the motor off (or belt broken).

Dual Purpose (DP or Marine) - Able to start your truck or boat and STILL last longer than a starting battery. Thicker plates and minimal waffling. Good choice for RV storage battery provided MOST of the time you are in full hookups. These batteries typically use RC as a rating of storage capacity and are about double the time of a starting battery.

Deep Discharge (sometimes erroneously called "Golf Cart" if the 6 volt type) - They come in 6 volt and 12 volt types. 6 Volt types require two identical batteries to work in an RV. THICK FLAT plates store LOTS of electrons but release them slowly allowing very long life at low power draws. Capacity is typically rated in AH (Amp Hours) but can also be rated in RC.

To compare batteries, you can convert RC to AH by multiplying the Reserve Capacity in minutes by 0.417 to get Amp Hours.

Using a starting battery in an RV as storage is a bad idea.
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:47 AM   #4
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Sorry for lack of info. Gota learn to slow down. Trailer has electric brakes. We pretty much always have power sites. I ran without a battery at all for our first 2 years till I found out the electric brakes won't work that way. Now I'm going to get a battery and box to be safe. Sounds like I'll be best getting the RV battery.

Thanks
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:37 AM   #5
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As for an RV battery, any group 24 marine battery will do the trick if you are on hook ups all the time. Consider a group 27 or larger if you spend any time camping dry.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spidey82 View Post
Trailer has electric brakes. I ran without a battery at all for our first 2 years till I found out the electric brakes won't work that way.
Are you sure about that? Trailers plug into the tow vehicle for the brake lights, turn signals etc. to work. Your tow vehicle has to be wired along with a brake controller so when you step on the brakes your electric brakes will engage.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:30 AM   #7
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Most trailers with electric brakes also have an emergency un-hitched/
lost trailer brake switch. This is activated if your trailer comes off the ball
or the hitch fails in some way. The normal trailer brake/turn signal
cable might be pulled at this time. If you have a battery in the trailer
the emergency tether is pulled and this applies full battery power to the
electric brakes in the trailer. It -might- save your trailer/tow vehicle
from too much
damage, assuming the safety chains hold.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:35 PM   #8
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Most of the breakaway brake controllers actually have their own small battery that is kept charged by the tow vehicle's wiring. They are not connected to the trailer's voltage supply batteries.

The system on my 228, splices off power from the battery lead, to the small battery (inside a small black box mounted to the frame) and from that small battery, a wire goes to the breakaway switch (which is attached to the tow vehicle vehicle a cable). If the trailer becomes separated, the cable to the tow vehicle will pull out a pin on the breakaway switch, completing a circuit that is spliced into the electric brake feed wire and it will apply and hold the brakes until the battery goes dead. Battery is small, but has sufficient juice to stop and hold a trailer long enough.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f5moab View Post
Most of the breakaway brake controllers actually have their own small battery that is kept charged by the tow vehicle's wiring. They are not connected to the trailer's voltage supply batteries.

The system on my 228, splices off power from the battery lead, to the small battery (inside a small black box mounted to the frame) and from that small battery, a wire goes to the breakaway switch (which is attached to the tow vehicle vehicle a cable). If the trailer becomes separated, the cable to the tow vehicle will pull out a pin on the breakaway switch, completing a circuit that is spliced into the electric brake feed wire and it will apply and hold the brakes until the battery goes dead. Battery is small, but has sufficient juice to stop and hold a trailer long enough.
Very few campers have a separate battery for the break-away anymore.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f5moab View Post
Most of the breakaway brake controllers actually have their own small battery that is kept charged by the tow vehicle's wiring. They are not connected to the trailer's voltage supply batteries.

Your tent trailer is way different than the travel trailers. They all get emergency brake power from the "house" battery. Charging power for the house battery "MAY" come from the towing vehicle provided the 12 volt accessory pin is connected.

Normal brake power for the electric brakes comes from the tow vehicle when connected. The camper's battery is only needed to power the brakes in the event the camper becomes disconnected from the tow vehicle.


Remember also that the power ONLY energizes a magnet. The magnet grabs the rotating wheel and that activates a lever that puts on the brake. The amount of "GRAB" depends on the voltage. More volts; more grab.

The emergency break-away provides FULL VOLTAGE to the magnet.

If the camper's wheels are not turning, the magnet grabs the non-rotating wheel so the lever does not move to apply the brake.
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