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Old 03-04-2019, 11:17 AM   #1
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Battery enough to move slide?

I recently purchased a used 2011 Wildwood 26TBSS. I bought a new size 27 12-volt marine battery and plastic case, charged it up and put it on the trailer. I also bought and installed is disconnect switch. The trailer is park in my slot at the storage and we've been out there twice since, cleaning the interior, and doing some small things to get it ready for our first trip.

Here's the thing. We have no power at the storage area. We've worked on the camper a couple times, maybe 4-5 hours or so but we weren't using much power. When we worked on it, we pushed the slide out, and then pulled the slide back in before leaving. When we did, it sounded like the battery barely had enough Amps to move the slide.

Note that part of the work we were doing on the trailer was replacing all the incandescent bulbs with LEDs, but I wouldn't think that would have run my battery that low. I probably should have brought my battery home to top off the charge, but you know what they say about hindsight.

So here's the advice I'm looking for. My plan is to use campsites with electric hookups 90% of the time. Would it be worth it for me to get a second battery to run in parallel?
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:31 AM   #2
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My plan is to use campsites with electric hookups 90% of the time. Would it be worth it for me to get a second battery to run in parallel?
I probably wouldn't. What does the other 10% of your camping look like?
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:36 AM   #3
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Thinking out loud, if you plug your TV into your TT with the trailer connection, it may charge your battery while you are there and TV is running, perhaps at least enough to run your slide. Also, do you have a hand crank connection to move your slide if needed?
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:40 AM   #4
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It depends also on what was the state of charge (SOC) of your battery when you started....
Batteries will self deplete with time even w/o use.
I have 3 slides and when we overnight at Walmart, we put all 3 out, spend the night and pull all 3 in in the morning all using the group 27 battery that I have and when we leave the battery is at 70% SOC (I have a Victron battery monitor).
I would recommend to install a 20W solar panel (with little charge controller) to keep the battery full when you are in storage and also install a battery monitoring system so you can have an idea how your use affect the state of charge of the battery you have.
After those two updates, you will be in a better position to decide if another battery makes sense for you or not and they will also help you with the other 10% of time you will not have electric...
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
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I probably wouldn't. What does the other 10% of your camping look like?
This is our first camper and still getting it ready for our first time out with it in about 10 days. So, the 90% is just an estimate at this point. I figure if we are going to boondock more than a handful of times, I'll shell out some cash for a generator.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:50 AM   #6
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This is our first camper and still getting it ready for our first time out with it in about 10 days. So, the 90% is just an estimate at this point. I figure if we are going to boondock more than a handful of times, I'll shell out some cash for a generator.
If it were me, I'd stick with a single battery until I needed more than just 1. That would be when boondocking trips start. And I'd likely pickup a battery, inverter, and generator.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:53 AM   #7
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Thinking out loud, if you plug your TV into your TT with the trailer connection, it may charge your battery while you are there and TV is running, perhaps at least enough to run your slide. Also, do you have a hand crank connection to move your slide if needed?
I'm not sure I understand how the TV running in the trailer charges the battery. You mean that by putting a draw on the battery, it would pull a charge from my truck if I was hooked up?

As far as a hand crank, that is a good question. How would I research that? I will look for that in the paperwork I got.

Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:00 PM   #8
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I'm not sure I understand how the TV running in the trailer charges the battery. You mean that by putting a draw on the battery, it would pull a charge from my truck if I was hooked up?

As far as a hand crank, that is a good question. How would I research that? I will look for that in the paperwork I got.

Thanks!
Tow Vehicle (TV) running and plugged in to your camper while you are there should help keep your battery up. It's not a substitute for a full charge, but it would give you a boost while you are there.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:00 PM   #9
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Yes by starting your tow vehicle and being connected to your trailer it will send power to your RV battery.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:02 PM   #10
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Tow Vehicle (TV) running and plugged in to your camper while you are there should help keep your battery up. It's not a substitute for a full charge, but it would give you a boost while you are there.
D'oh! So the TV is the thing that pulls my TT. I think I'm getting this now!
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:06 PM   #11
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Yes by starting your tow vehicle and being connected to your trailer it will send power to your RV battery.
Thanks! I'm having a good laugh at myself right now.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:11 PM   #12
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I would recommend to install a 20W solar panel (with little charge controller) to keep the battery full when you are in storage and also install a battery monitoring system so you can have an idea how your use affect the state of charge of the battery you have.
That sounds like a great idea. I might be able to set that up for less than $100 bucks at Harbor Freight.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:23 PM   #13
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D'oh! So the TV is the thing that pulls my TT. I think I'm getting this now!
Hand hits forehead, we all have it! (it's always tougher when your wife tells you) Hope it works out for you. Buy the way, my camper's port for a hand crank to the slide is on the opposite side of the camper.

You also could get a battery tender and keep your RV battery at home while in storage.

Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:05 PM   #14
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If you are the battery isn't enough to move the slide hook up your truck to the battery using heavy jumper cables. The wire in the trailer plug isn't large enough to provide the needed power. It only provides a trickle charge.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:48 PM   #15
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Or you can bring a generator to the storage and connect the camper while working on it (if you have one...)
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:04 PM   #16
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I think I would take the battery home and charge it and bring it back every time I went out to the trailer (TT) for now and seriously consider the solar charging unit for when it gets warm enough to install it. It isn't that difficult to take the battery out and put it into your trunk or back of your TV. By the way, I am in TV (Director) and even after being on this forum for 6 years, still think of TV as something you watch! I have to stop and translate for myself that it is Tow Vehicle. Some things are just hard to shake:-). As far as the extra battery goes, we have never needed it in the over 40 years of camping. Most of the time there is electric (at least 20 amps). I don't think we have dry camped more than a few times, probably not more than 3 or 4 days at a time in all the time we have been camping. Even back in the 60's most of the places we camped had at least A/C. As the other posters said, wait until you are sure you need it (especially if you are going to install solar).
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:16 PM   #17
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Or you can bring a generator to the storage and connect the camper while working on it (if you have one...)
I thought of doing this, and maybe would do this if I had a small, light weight one. The one I have at the house is a full size 6000 watt (heavy sucker).
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:22 PM   #18
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Yes, we have one of those, too. Needed something to run the house when the power went out. That's why it may be easier to just pick up the battery and bring it home. There are some interesting ones at Harbor Freight, but, the small ones don't usually do 220V, but, if you don't have a 50 amp system it wouldn't matter.
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:23 PM   #19
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I think I would take the battery home and charge it and bring it back every time I went out to the trailer (TT) for now...

As far as the extra battery goes, we have never needed it in the over 40 years of camping. Most of the time there is electric (at least 20 amps). I don't think we have dry camped more than a few times, probably not more than 3 or 4 days at a time in all the time we have been camping. Even back in the 60's most of the places we camped had at least A/C. As the other posters said, wait until you are sure you need it (especially if you are going to install solar).
Yes, I'll bring it home with me for charging. Not sure I will invest in a solar setup for this used TT, but maybe if/when we upgrade, but that's down the road a few years. Although, I'm tempted to put up one panel to keep the battery charged in storage. I do like hear from someone that has camped 40 years and had A/C most of the time. I've been watching too much Youtube with everyone drydocking.
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:29 PM   #20
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Yes, we have one of those, too. Needed something to run the house when the power went out. That's why it may be easier to just pick up the battery and bring it home. There are some interesting ones at Harbor Freight, but, the small ones don't usually do 220V, but, if you don't have a 50 amp system it wouldn't matter.
Exactly. I used the heck out of mine when we lost power at the house for 5 days after Tropical Storm Isaac. My TT is a 30 AMP set up and I've been eyeballing the Harbor Freight 3500 Watt inverter generator. On sale right now for $699. But like I said, I am going to hold up on any of those things for a while. I've already dropped a bunch of $$ into this used TT over the past month. Right now I'd rather have the new tires I just ordered.
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