Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-01-2008, 07:42 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
steveqvs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: St Louis, Mo
Posts: 294
Extra Battery

I am thinking about putting an extra battery on my camper. Currently I have a year old one that is a Marine Battery. I only dry camp. I use a generator and during the week I am not there I use a solar panel. 5 watt. I really don't like to run the generator alot so I figure if I have 2 batteries I would have enough light time at night for the wife and kids. Also is there a way to rig charging the batteries. I have read that generators plugged in though the camper don't charge the batteries as efficiantly... is that correct?

thanks
steve
__________________

__________________
Seasonal site camping
steveqvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 10:14 PM   #2
Cyber Phrenologist
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 1,699
I don't think your camper knows the difference between a generator and the grid provided the generator has sufficient output.

If you do go with two batteries be sure the batteries are identical, same rating, brand and batch numbers. Otherwise one may "load" the other and rob you of some of the capacity you should have in a two battery system
__________________

__________________
KU4OJ
Admin at www.openroadsradio.net, part of the Social Knowledge network.
"RVing and Amateur Radio served up on the same plate"
2008 (or is it 2009?) Rockwood 8280SS - 2007 F-150
Lot's of mostly Kenwood radios

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 10:37 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
steveqvs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: St Louis, Mo
Posts: 294
Thanks Radio,
But grid or generator they still go through my inverter in the camper to charge the battery right? The generator seems to charge my battery pretty quick but is that the best or most efficient way? So you are thinking I can't just add a battery to my year old setup? darn.
__________________
Seasonal site camping
steveqvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2008, 07:42 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 104
Extra Battery

If you dry camp, the best setup are two six volt golf cart batteries. They will give you more amp hours than two 12 volt and last longer. Nevertheless, the above post is correct; you should use batteries of the same age; brand etc or you'll chance having one ruin the other. A 12 volt battery will draw power from the other (if you use two) whereas 2 six volts act as one and will not riunthe other battery. Your 5 watt solar panel isn't sufficient to recharge your battery; and , unless you have a two stage charger (one that equalizes your battery) you are not fully charging your battery and you will shorten it's lifespan. You need enough solar panel power and a good charge controller in order to bring the battery up to full charge. The cost will be around $500 to $1200 depending on how many batteries you want to charge and how much power you use during the day. Check on AM Solar's website. They have a very good explanation of how 12 volt batteries and solar chargers work as well as giving a table to figure your usage.
__________________
Crossfire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2008, 07:47 AM   #5
Head Rambler
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 4,322
You don't say which unit you have but most newer units have 3 stage chargers built into the converter (not inverter ) so they do a really good job of charging your battery(s).

My personal opinion is that adding a battery to your already existing battery is fine. Then in a couple of years you can replace both of them with a larger size if you need to. If you added a battery to an old and failing battery that's where you'd have problems.
__________________
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a GMC Sierra 2500HD!
Gotta go campin!
Bama Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2008, 09:58 AM   #6
Cyber Phrenologist
 
Radio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 1,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveqvs View Post
Thanks Radio,
But grid or generator they still go through my inverter in the camper to charge the battery right? The generator seems to charge my battery pretty quick but is that the best or most efficient way? So you are thinking I can't just add a battery to my year old setup? darn.
Yes, either the generator or the grid will charge your battery just fine. And it's likely pretty efficent.

Yes, you can add a battery, same type and group number, etc, but having two matched batteries works better. There will be some loss in efficency, but not much. Get a cheap battery for now, to go witht the one you have, and when they finally crap out get two really nice identical batteries.

There is "good" and then there is "best" if you follow me...
__________________
KU4OJ
Admin at www.openroadsradio.net, part of the Social Knowledge network.
"RVing and Amateur Radio served up on the same plate"
2008 (or is it 2009?) Rockwood 8280SS - 2007 F-150
Lot's of mostly Kenwood radios

Radio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2008, 01:05 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
steveqvs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: St Louis, Mo
Posts: 294
Okay those are all good informative posts. I think my converter is called a wifco.. something like that. it does seem to charge the battery fast and good. I was out reading last night and I read about the 2 6 volts in series. That does sound good. But I do think my plan will be to get as near as possible to the current battery untill those go bad and then replace some point down the road to the 6 volt batteries.

The solar panel comment surprised me some. I go to my camper about every weekend sometimes it 2 weeks apart but the battery indicator always shows full charge. I figured this as a trickle charger to get the battery charged during the week. Sounds like I better look into that somemore. thanks to everyone for the help... its all pretty new to me. We used to do a lot of tent camping... this is much different...
__________________
Seasonal site camping
steveqvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2008, 11:18 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Dave_Monica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,329
As far as charging directly off the generator, the battery charging will be unregulated and you may potentially overcharge. The best method is to charge the batteries through the convertor (charging is regulated) or by using an automotive battery charger...10 amp is sufficient. In an emergency, the automotive battery charger will also keep your 12v system going if your convertor were to crap out.
__________________


Nights camped in 2013 - 55, 2014 - 105, 2015 - 63
Dave_Monica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2008, 05:29 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
steveqvs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: St Louis, Mo
Posts: 294
okay thanks
__________________
Seasonal site camping
steveqvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2008, 01:22 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
NWJeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Enumclaw, WA
Posts: 2,617
Check out this site. It is my "Bible" for everything 12 volt related.

http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm

Simply put, 2 6volt golf cart batteries are much better that 2 12volt batteries.
Converters in most all but the really expensive RVs only put out 12volts so charging is not at all efficient or complete through the on-board coverter no matter if you use generator or shore power. I will sometimes use a standard automatic type of automotive car charger which actually adjusts voltage to the charge state of the battery bank.

Check out the site above, it's a godsend to the dry-camper....
__________________

__________________
NWJeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:16 AM.