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Old 09-11-2012, 06:07 PM   #1
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Newbie: Dry camping battery issues

Hi - my first post after buying a new Flagstaff MicroLite 23FB last week. There are some questions at the end but first some background.

We picked up the new TT and took it to the nearest state park, 20 minutes from the dealer, last weekend. The dealer had installed a 100 RC battery and claimed it was fully charged. We were careful about minimal use of lights, pump, etc. - used a Coleman lamp and flashlights. In the middle of the second night the fridge started flashing a check light and activating a solenoid - trying to restart it? I switched it from Auto to Gas and it seemed to run for about 30 seconds, then went into flashing check light again. Turned it off and went back to sleep. Then the CO alarm started an intermittent beep, until it ran out. I then pulled the battery disconnect. With the disconnect pulled the battery level showed 2 lights out of 4. With the disconnect off the whole test panel went dark when I pushed the test button.

Next morning I hooked the cable up to the car and ran the motor for 2 hours. Tried the power tongue jack and it ran for about 3 seconds before dying.

Questions: 1. The dealer says it was all just the result of the battery running flat. Any reason to question that?

2. I just bought a 220 RC group 29M battery to add to the dealer-supplied 100 RC battery. Any issues with connecting two unequal batteries in parallel without an isolator?

Thanks.

PS - I love the trailer. Looking forward to a full hookup on my next trip, but I also plan to do more dry camping from time to time.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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whats the model of battery you have now ?

dont hook two dislike batteries together as they discharge at different rates .

you always want 2 of the same group size.

your co alarm going off was actually its low battery alert .

your fridge would have only been running on gas anyway since no shore power.

but if your fridge has a defrost switch and it was on that will kill a battery fast .






btw welcome to the forum!
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!

Like f1100turbo said, you will have problems with two mis-matched batteries in parallel. They will try to equalize and the larger capacity battery will not fully charge and it will want to over charge the smaller.

As far as the battery level indicator, the top light with the "C" next to it is to indicate when the battery is being charged. To check the battery condition only three lights are used, the top "F" light indicates the battery is fully charged. The center "G" light indicates the battery is in good condition and the lowest level "E" for empty means you are done.

If you were showing two lights, you should have still been able to power everything. Hooking up to the tow vehicle while it is running will supply some power, but at a trickle rate. It would take days to recharge a battery with the tow vehicle.

You need to have the battery checked. It may show the proper voltage, which is what the indicator checks, but fail under load. Every one of my trailers had to have the original battery replaced shortly after purchase. If they install them in the trailer before purchase, the parasitic power demands will drain them and if they are allowed to go completely dead, in my experience they are on borrowed time.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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to add to glenn's post charge the battery away from the camper with a low amp trickle charger for at least 12 hrs then have it load tested .
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the quick response. I don't know the model of the original battery (the trailer is still at the dealer's, 90 minutes away, so I can't check), but it only has a Reserve Capacity rating of 100.

So my choices are to match the original 100 RC battery, or replace it with two that match each other. I'm not sure I want to add the weight of two of the Group 29s so I might downgrade a little to two Group 24s or 27s (still 40% or 80% more capacity each than the original), if I can exchange the one I bought. I'll also see if the dealer will give me a credit to take back the one he supplied.

I'm glad I asked!
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldRock
Thanks everyone for the quick response. I don't know the model of the original battery (the trailer is still at the dealer's, 90 minutes away, so I can't check), but it only has a Reserve Capacity rating of 100.

So my choices are to match the original 100 RC battery, or replace it with two that match each other. I'm not sure I want to add the weight of two of the Group 29s so I might downgrade a little to two Group 26s, if I can exchange the one I bought. I'll also see if the dealer will give me a credit to take back the one he supplied.

I'm glad I asked!
Yes 100 rc is not much battery.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lswartz
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.
I also use two group 24 batteries.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:33 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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To convert RC to AH How can I convert 25 amp Reserve Capacity to Amp Hours at a 25 amp discharge rate? | Discover Energy you multiply the RC by 0.4167.

So, a 100RC battery is a 41.67AH battery.
There are motorcycle batteries with this capacity.

It is, uh, not a great battery. Free is sometimes worth every penny.

The OEM battery I got was 75AH and needs to be replaced with a PAIR of 225AH batteries (total capacity 450AH) for serious boondocking.

FYI
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