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Old 07-28-2009, 11:28 PM   #1
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Battery life in storage.

Currently we park and enjoy our 2008 Rockwood 8313SS on a seasonal lot, and when the urge strikes, we load up and head out with the kids (5&2) for a few days and always end up back at our seasonal site. Lately the kids have been enjoying travelling more and we're considering not renewing our seasonal site.

So... if we move the trailer to an un-serviced local storage facility (aka a field), how long can I expect the battery to last? What I'd like to do is be able to keep food in the fridge like we do now at our seasonal site, but not connected to shore power. We'll run the fridge on LP while it's parked. The only current draw that I can figure is the CO detector and the fridge.

Would it be wise to add another battery? Solar panel? Which one is recommended? Should we take everything out of the fridge and turn it off when we're done for the week / weekend? What's the expected battery recharge from the TV per hour? Is there a rule of thumb on that? 1 hour plugged into the tow vehicle = 20% battery charge? Is that even possible?

Thanks!

- Al
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:35 AM   #2
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A week or so is all you can expect and that's pushing it. A fairly large solar charger is the best way to go and add a second battery. Your comfort level will decide if you should shut the fridge down. I don't know that there's a rule of thumb about charging rate from the TV but I know it takes a long time (hours) to charge the RV battery from the TV.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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Purchase a second battery, that way you can carry the discharged one home after the weekend camping, charge it up, then swap it out when you return. And keep an eye on the distilled water levels in the battery. PS If you happen to use the heater, which will work on battery power, it is a HUGE power drainer on battery life! The water pump is a light consumer, and if you change your interior bulbs to flourescent, you'll save even more- or at least remove one bulb from each light fixture! (half the draw). We do a lot of "field" camping in the Florida winter months, Civil War reenacting, and use battery power frequently. Randy
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:40 AM   #4
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a few things you might consider
Running the fridge on battery and propane while your away, may keep you up at night
if for some reason your battery drops to 10 volts the fridge will cut off and there goes your food in short order depending on outside temps
the fastest way to run the batteries down while running on propane is if the flame goes out, the ignition uses a ton of juice and if the relight goes awry, most will lock out or shut down after three - five attempts, then the fridge will be OFF. a good strong wind storm or heavy rain could cause this condition very easily, just recently ours went into lock out while we were sitting in a parking area eating lunch, no rain, just weird wind
if you want to still run it, i would suggest two deep cycle gel or agm batteries, they are sealed and will take about 1000 deep discharges and recharges, they also will need a Good battery charger once you re-establish 120 power, your tv wont cut it, in short order

for sanity if it was me
i would kill all power and disconnect the batteries after i was sure they were charged up
turn off the propane, prop the fridge doors open for ventilation,
and take all my food with me, a big igloo cooler for toting food back and forth is cheap insurance, if you bring FROZEN foods and pack em tight in the fridge it will cool back down fairly quick running on propane, if you have a drive to get to your spot, it should be cooled down.
hope it helps
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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we unload the food and disconnect the batterys every time. I just dont want to worry about the fridge going out and food rotting. or the propane just leaking out while we are gone. it doesnt take long with a small generator to charge the batterys or take them home and charge them while off season. the fridge will cool soon enough once you have hooked up and turned it on by the time you get to the campsite hopefully depending on the drive. i would never try to charge the batterys off the tv just a waste of gas..
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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Thanks everybody. powerboatr, you're right about the peace-of-mind. I hadn't considered that aspect (yet). With that in mind, the food's coming with us at the end of each trip.

Jon Breen, why disconnect the battery? If we turned the fridge off, the only draw would be the CO detector. I can't imagine it would draw that much? Am I forgetting something?

Thank you!
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algilson View Post
Thanks everybody. powerboatr, you're right about the peace-of-mind. I hadn't considered that aspect (yet). With that in mind, the food's coming with us at the end of each trip.

Jon Breen, why disconnect the battery? If we turned the fridge off, the only draw would be the CO detector. I can't imagine it would draw that much? Am I forgetting something?

Thank you!

In my experience, the CO detector will empty the battery in about 40 days.

We always disconnect... indeed, we are adding a battery disconnect switch to make it easier.
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