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Old 07-28-2015, 09:32 PM   #1
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Battery question

Going dry camping for 3 nights and might need to run the furnace a bit, the water pump and some lights. I do have a 20 watt solar panel but was told that it probably won't enough. Someone told me to wire 2 batteries in parallel and that I should be fine. Would these 2 work together or could there be a problem?

Thanks


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Old 07-28-2015, 09:50 PM   #2
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Unless they are equally matched batteries you will not get ideal operation. I understand they will interact with each other and might drain faster. To be safe you might want to charge them both up real good and then use just one until you run it down and then switch. (putting in an A/B switch will make this easier) Then take the one you ran down and bring it up to your tow vehicle and using jumper cables hook it to your car battery and start the car. Run it for a couple hours and you should be able to bring it back up to full charge.

By the way, the furnace is a huge draw and will run the battery down real quick. Be sure you have jumper cables.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:57 PM   #3
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Evereddie is correct, unmatched batteries will not deliver optimal discharge or recharge rates. Hate to be a "nudge," but those batteries are very poor candidates for your use. Let me temper this with a couple of facts; #1- Interstate sells as good a battery as anybody. Unfortunately, like every other battery company they are sometimes "creative" with their merchandising. #2- I was a battery distributor for 20 years. The batteries in the pics are low end cranking batteries-not intended for deep cycle use. CCA=Cold Cranking Amps, MCA=Marine Cranking Amps. Deep cycle are rated in amp/hours. My Vibe came with the same green battery you have and where a true deep cycle Group 24 (that is the size spec) is good for 70-85 Ah depending on brand I am seeing about 20 Ah before my voltage monitor starts to alarm. In other words, running LED lights, a 12V car fan, and (biggest power user) the water pump we were running out of power in one evening. I had a concern but decided to see how things would go and did not replace the battery before our first trip. It will be replaced before the next trip-guaranteed. Do some research, Google something like "battery information" so you can make an informed decision. Basically, you should only discharge a deep cycle battery to 50% to prevent damage and to arrive at a time factor divide your Ah rating usage by Ah usage. Here is what I have found/tested with our rig, YMMV. My furnace pulls ~8 amps while operating so with the low buck battery FR provided it will only run about two hours (similar to leaving your cars headlight on-typically after 1-2 hours it will not crank). I am planning to buy a 105 Ah deep cycle which will power the furnace for (105/2=~50 Ah, 50/8= 6.25 hours). The solar panel is a good idea but 20 watts/14v= 1.4 amps, that is a trickle charge, great for slow charging but will not get you recharged for the next night. Power back in to the battery is the same as out; Ex. Replacement charge needed in Ah charge rate in amps= hours to recharge. I use a 100 watt panel. With 6 hours of good sun I have 6-7 amps per hr, or 6amps x 7hr = 42Ah back into the battery.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys! I won't wire the batteries together and see how it goes. I might bring a generator just in case.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:10 AM   #5
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I'm going through the same dillemas. I tried going for 2 days dry camping and half way through my first night my battery is nearly dead and doesn't have enough to ignite my fridge when it kicks back in (it's DSI).

Would 2 6V batteries in series be a better option?

Another question: what are the constant draws if I have no lights on, not running water (other than to wash hands after using bathroom and to flush), and unplugged the fuse to my stereo? In my mind at the moment I'm only running my fridge on propane and the CO2/LPG detectors, yet I seem to only get 24 hours at best on my battery came with the trailer and is only 2 years old. Could it just be my battery is bad? I checked the fluid levels and they're all way above the plates.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:28 AM   #6
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Ok, lets assume you have one 12v deep cycle bat. Also, it will remain a mystery, unless you read up on batteries. Start here The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1).

Come back in a bit and ask more. It's what I did in the beginning and you will be amazed on what you pick up from this wonderful site.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:33 AM   #7
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So my camper is new this summer. If I duplicate the same battery, to have 2 batteries, will they not work together correctly? My camping season is going to slow down now, that summer is almost over. Should I plan differently for 2016, to have 2 batteries?


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Old 08-21-2015, 11:37 AM   #8
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Also , I unplugged in the driveway, and left one fan on to keep the air moving. What a hit the battery took! I was surprised that it used much battery power at all. I think the frig was off, but am wondering if something else draws off the battery without me knowing.


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Old 08-21-2015, 07:54 PM   #9
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The fan IS a big draw. Another draw but not nearly so big is the Carbon Monoxide / LP gas detector. Even if you don't run the fan the gas detector will drain your battery in a week or less. You should leave plugged in or unhook battery completely.
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:50 PM   #10
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Summer, if you don't keep the trailer plugged in, the fan and the parasitic power drains can empty a battery overnight.
If you want to continue running the fan without being plugged in to shore power, then go to a matching two battery setup.
Also a battery disconnect switch is a good idea.
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