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Old 08-31-2012, 07:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by windrider View Post
Now I get it. Just so you will know, the front of the trailer is the tongue, or the pin on a 5th wheel, not the hitch. The hitch would be on the back, like the one on your tow vehicle. Some campers do have them. Glad I'm not confused anymore, forget what I mentioned above.

As to your comment on post #9, "I'm using two 24s--smaller box size--which will be enough amps for my purposes." Parallel batteries don't give more amperage. You are still limited by the max amp hour per battery. The amps won't add, but the time will double, assuming two matched batteries.
In other words, 50 amp hours will still be 50 amp hours, it will just double the time to 2 hours, and then you will have two dead batteries.

Hope this makes sense.
I think you need another beer my friend.

12 volt batteries in parallel doubles amp hours but not volts.
Two 6 volt batteries in series doubles voltage but not amp hours.

Two 50AH 12 volt batteries will provide 100 amp hours of capacity at 12 volts.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:16 PM   #12
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I think you need another beer my friend.
If it is cold, I'd like one too.

I am having a heck of a time finding a container for my 2 6 volt golf cart batteries (& yes, you get 12 volts with the amp hours of the weakest battery). The Walmart battery boxes are not high enough for golf cart batteries. the same for their tool boxes. I am going to try a Rubber Maid box tomorrow & then visit Lowes and/or Home Depot. Maybe Sears as well. I may just have to find someone to weld some new angle iron on top of the hitch to give me some more space.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:19 PM   #13
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If it is cold, I'd like one too.

I am having a heck of a time finding a container for my 2 6 volt golf cart batteries (& yes, you get 12 volts with the amp hours of the weakest battery). The Walmart battery boxes are not high enough for golf cart batteries. the same for their tool boxes. I am going to try a Rubber Maid box tomorrow & then visit Lowes and/or Home Depot. Maybe Sears as well. I may just have to find someone to weld some new angle iron on top of the hitch to give me some more space.
I made my battery box out of two restaurant "bus" trays.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:27 PM   #14
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That is a nice clean setup. I don't have that kind of space but it would be nice to have them inside vs. on the hitch behind the propane tanks. It might be the trade off of a smaller trailer.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:47 PM   #15
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It is the front compartment of my 5th wheel.
It was all open when I bought it.
I built the power compartment out of plywood.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:45 PM   #16
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Interesting comment Windrider, and thanks for the education on terms. All I'm interested in is doubling the time, so from what you indicate above using two batteries will achieve that end. Just curious though as to how it actually works: Do the batteries drain simultaneously and equally when wired parallel...correct assumption?
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:22 PM   #17
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Interesting comment Windrider, and thanks for the education on terms. All I'm interested in is doubling the time, so from what you indicate above using two batteries will achieve that end. Just curious though as to how it actually works: Do the batteries drain simultaneously and equally when wired parallel...correct assumption?
It actually depends on the batteries and how you wire them.

In order for them to work properly (charge and discharge together evenly) they must have equal resistance (including internal resistance) from the charge point to the ground point (called a "CELL".

In order for the internal resistance to be equal:
1) The batteries must be from the same manufacturer
2) The batteries must be the same type and size
3) The batteries must be the same AGE (the same number and depth of charge/discharge cycles)
So, buy them as a set and change them out as a set.

In order for the external resistance to be equal:
1) The red wire from the camper must go from the positive of the first battery in the cell and the ground wire must go to the last battery in the cell.
2) The inter connecting wires inside the cell MUST be identical in resistance. That is the SAME length, gauge, and termination (lugs).

This is so the charging and discharging current flows evenly through the stack of batteries. If the resistance in one battery is lower than the other (due to any violation of the above rules), the current into and out of that battery will be higher than the one with the higher resistance.

This will result in the lower resistance battery being discharged deeper than the other and be charged up faster that the one with higher resistance. As a result, the weaker battery will work harder; lose electrolyte every charge; and fail earlier. This effect will be worse the wider the resistance difference between the batteries.

Adding batteries to the cell beyond two must follow the same rules as above as shown in the top photo.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:13 PM   #18
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Thanks Lou for taking the time to make such a detailed explanation--very clear.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #19
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So that's what I'm doing wrong. I have them hooked up wrong...again! I have both trailer leads coming off of one battery and the parallel cables hooked to the second. So I have one nearly dead unit and one fully charged at the end of dry camping. Thanks for the info!
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:46 PM   #20
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if everyone visited the "12 volt Side of Life" website, where a lot of Herk's pics come from, there would be a lot less questions like this.
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