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Old 09-11-2012, 09:27 PM   #11
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Thanks again for all the comments. It sounds like two group 24s should be adequate. Two group 29s would weigh 123 lb, versus around 90 lb for the 24s. The trailer is already pretty tongue-heavy, right at 15% of dry weight according to mfr specs. Not to mention the fact that I can barely carry the 29 and I'll take it out for charging between trips (the trailer is going to a storage facility).
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:01 PM   #12
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I couldn't make it through a whole night with my single 12V battery either, you'll be much happier with a pair of good batteries. I think I ended up with 2 Group 27s.

Your fridge should have been running on propane the whole time, but there is that safety shutoff valve in the regulator. Mine always kicks off when two things try to run at the same time, like the fridge and heater, or fridge and water heater. Could also be if the trailer hasn't been used for a while, there was a big air bubble in the propane line.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:14 PM   #13
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...to be replaced with a PAIR of 225AH batteries (total capacity 450AH) for serious boondocking. FYI
Noooow....that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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A group 24 12 volt battery lasts 2+ days for me. If you are going to dry camp for longer periods of time, then add the same battery to extend your time. I use two matched group 24 6 volt golf cart batteries in series & they are good for 8+ days.
Can you tell me a little more about the golf-cart batteries? 8+ days sounds attractive! What brand, size, and where to buy? How does the weight compare to a couple of marine batteries? Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:57 AM   #15
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OldRock, because of differences with trailers and your needs, you are best to do an energy audit of your actual usage; not someone else's. That inventory is critical because it will be personalized to you. The goal is to understand how much electrical energy you'll need for your situation

Make a list of your 12-volt items and their listed needs in amps or watts. You can actually measure the current draw, or you can use the rated current on the appliance label. Convert watts to amps with this formula: amps = watts/volts. So, if you know the watts divide by 12 and you've got amps.

Estimate how much time you’ll use each device in 24 hours. Obviously most items don't run continuously, but some do. Do your best to be accurate with your usage.

Multiply each item's DC amps by its hours of use for the day and you'll get the amp hours (Ah). Total the list.

Remember that batteries should never be drained lower than 50% of full charge because that greatly shortens their life. So, if your total is 50Ah per day, for example, you'll need a minimum of a 100Ah battery bank to last one day. 200Ah for two days. 400Ah for four days. You get the picture.

Personally, my two Trojan 6-volt batteries (T-145s) wired in series provide 260Ah (20-hour rate). This lasts us about 4-5 days when we are judicious in our power consumption, which doesn't always happen with our three kids. 3-4 days is more like it. But, again, that's us.

YMMV.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:42 PM   #16
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Once again Triguy has the best answer.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:06 PM   #17
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Can you tell me a little more about the golf-cart batteries? 8+ days sounds attractive! What brand, size, and where to buy? How does the weight compare to a couple of marine batteries? Thanks.
I must differ to Triguy & Herk, they both know more about this than I do. I bought 2 6 volt golf cart batteries from Sam's Club in 2001. I was able to get 8+ days with them. One started to fail this Spring so I replaced it with one from Advanced Auto (I was leaving the next day & they had one in stock). Since then, Herk was nice enough to explain that they needed to be replaced in pairs so now I have two from Advanced Auto parts, 216 AH. They are not nearly as good as Triguy's Trogan T-145's but they were only $85 (use the $35 online coupon). I am hoping that I can get 10+ years out of these batteries too.

I forgot, they are 64 lbs. each.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:44 PM   #18
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Correction: The lowest light for the battery level is "L" for low. The "E" is for the holding tanks, but you probably got the idea.

I am using two group 31s in parallel. Trojan SCS225s.
These batteries are awesome. BTW, they fit in a Group 27 box. Love mine.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #19
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On the subject of the battery "idiot" lights.

The "LOW" (bottom) light will stay on until the battery hits 6 volts. A this point your battery is pretty much shot and will most likely not ever again accept a full charge.

When the "FAIR" light goes out, the battery volatge just dropped below 11.60 - 11.65 volts. This is an almost totally dead battery with less than 20% capacity remaining. Permanent reduction of total capacity has occurred.

When the "GOOD" light JUST goes out, the battery voltage just dropped below 12.10 - 12.15 volts. This means you are at the 50% depleted state where every source that deals with deep cycle batteries say you should recharge in order to avoid PERMANENT battery capacity reduction.

The top light is "CHARGING" it is on REGARDLESS of battery charge condition as long as there is charging voltage (above 12.70 VOLTS) on the buss. Your battery can be disconnected and as long as your converter is working all 4 lights will be on.

Once you go OFF shore power, the battery voltage will drop even with minimal use to the "GOOD" state. When the GOOD light goes out, you must recharge to prevent permanent battery impairment.

Discharging below "GOOD" will result in early battery replacement.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #20
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Once again, thanks to all for the very helpful information. A lot to think about and some homework to do. Much appreciated!
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