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Old 04-21-2014, 05:02 PM   #1
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Non-electric campsite, battery question

I have 2008 Flagstaff 206 LTD, set up with a single deep cycle battery. We are going to take the camper out next weekend and the campsite may not have electric. The temp is supposed to be in the 40's at night so we will probably use the furnace, which also means the electric blower for the furnace. I have a spare deep cycle battery that I use for my trolling motor and was wondering if I could just hook it up to the existing camper battery with jumper cables to extend the overall battery life.
Also, if the battery on the camper does go dead will hooking up to my tow vehicle allow me to still use the electric power lift at the end of the weekend?

Thanks,

John
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:01 PM   #2
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You likely would do better to keep an eye on the battery charge level and swap batteries when the first gets to 11.8v or so (I'd go no lower than about 11.5v at most if it a true deep cycle and not a dual purpose 'deep cycle' marine battery.) To connect them at the same time requires heavy gauge wiring and it sounds like this is a one time thing.

As for a dead battery condition, hook up the 7-pin to the trailer and then you can pull off the tow vehicle battery to run the jack. That little draw should not be a problem (but if you are concerned, just start the tow vehicle before running the jack.)

If you regularly use up the capacity of your existing deep cycle you might consider getting a second of the same battery and then wiring them 'permanently' together. To do this you need to read up on the difference between 'in series' and 'in parallel' wiring of batteries.

By the way, you'll want to keep from pulling even a deep cycle down really far as it will slowly but surely reduce the capacity and lifespan of any battery to be too deeply discharged. Consult the battery manufacturer on that model of battery for their usage chart - you'll see that you can get more cycles the less discharged each cycle is.

- Randy
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:51 PM   #3
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If you mean automotive jumper cables, I would see no problem, even the cheapest should be at least 10 gauge and my batteries, as installed by the dealer are wired with 12 gauge wire. But without a inline 30 amp fuse, not sure if I would trust it connected while I was asleep.

However, I agree with swapping out the batteries, I have been told it is not recommended to connect two different type so batteries in parallel.

If it was me and to save the battery due to excessive drop of voltage (as explained above) I would swap the fresh battery at bedtime. You don't want to run one down all the way while sleeping and possibly destroy the battery.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:28 PM   #4
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You most definitely do not want to let either battery go below 12.0V. Unless you want to buy new ones sooner rather than later.
You should NOT hook them up together...hot swap them when one gets to 12.0
So add my ditto to the others... And if you plan to do this often...get TRUE deep cycle batts and hook em up together!
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by WrongWayRandall View Post
You likely would do better to keep an eye on the battery charge level and swap batteries when the first gets to 11.8v or so (I'd go no lower than about 11.5v at most if it a true deep cycle and not a dual purpose 'deep cycle' marine battery.) To connect them at the same time requires heavy gauge wiring and it sounds like this is a one time thing.

As for a dead battery condition, hook up the 7-pin to the trailer and then you can pull off the tow vehicle battery to run the jack. That little draw should not be a problem (but if you are concerned, just start the tow vehicle before running the jack.)

If you regularly use up the capacity of your existing deep cycle you might consider getting a second of the same battery and then wiring them 'permanently' together. To do this you need to read up on the difference between 'in series' and 'in parallel' wiring of batteries.

By the way, you'll want to keep from pulling even a deep cycle down really far as it will slowly but surely reduce the capacity and lifespan of any battery to be too deeply discharged. Consult the battery manufacturer on that model of battery for their usage chart - you'll see that you can get more cycles the less discharged each cycle is.

- Randy
At 11.5 V, your battery is pretty much done. Repeated discharges to that level will destroy your deep cycle battery in short order. Here are two things that will help you navigate your battery useage, and status concerns.

1. Chart indicating state of charge of the battery (s) 12 Volt battery state of charge chart and info (PDF))
2. Battery status tester for cigarette socket. car cigarette lighter voltmeter Reviews - Online Shopping Reviews on car cigarette lighter voltmeter for | Aliexpress.com
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:04 PM   #6
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we are going to camp this friday and saturday night so if all I have running on the battery is the fan for the furnace will a single size 24 deep cycle last both nights? one night? or die sometime the first night?
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:27 PM   #7
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we are going to camp this friday and saturday night so if all I have running on the battery is the fan for the furnace will a single size 24 deep cycle last both nights? one night? or die sometime the first night?
Obviously, how cold it is will determine how long a battery will last without recharging. The furnace is the biggest DC draw in the camper.

While the water pump (as an appliance) is number two, in reality the lights come next. EACH incandescent bulb draws 1.2 amps. So a 2 bulb light draws 2.4 amps.

The state of the battery(s) at sundown and how often the furnace runs will determine if they last through the night.

Best to have a small generator and a dedicated battery charger along. Stop at Harbor freight and buy a 12 volt battery charger and a 900 watt gas generator. Plug the charger into that loud beast and charge up your battery for an hour or two. Do not use the on board converter as it will take way too long.

900 Peak/800 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) Gas Generator

2/6 Amp, 6/12V Manual Charger
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:27 PM   #8
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Get one of these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I have 2 of them. We are camping for 4 days over Memorial Day weekend. We booked late so we had to settle for a non-electric site. zI used one of these last year when we camped in Assateaque State Park with our pop up. We did not run the heater. Just lights. I used this every day to make sure the battery stayed charged. I took the battery & battery box from the pop up and I will use these on the new camper. Since I have 2 batteries I decided to have to solar chargers. They do not have charge contollers so you need to keep an eye on them. I had no problems last year.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Still Kickin View Post
At 11.5 V, your battery is pretty much done. Repeated discharges to that level will destroy your deep cycle battery in short order. Here are two things that will help you navigate your battery useage, and status concerns.
The lowest discharge varies depending on the individual battery - some of mine came with a chart from the manufacturer stating that 11.5 is the lowest acceptable discharge level (true deep cycle, and damned expensive at the time.) Personally, I will never go below 12.0v on any battery, but that's just me and I have not done extensive testing to verify that the manufacturer is correct.

As I stated in my original post, I agree with you that the more deeply any battery is discharged the poorer it will perform and the shorter it's lifespan will be.

- Randy
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WrongWayRandall View Post
The lowest discharge varies depending on the individual battery - some of mine came with a chart from the manufacturer stating that 11.5 is the lowest acceptable discharge level (true deep cycle, and damned expensive at the time.) Personally, I will never go below 12.0v on any battery, but that's just me and I have not done extensive testing to verify that the manufacturer is correct.

As I stated in my original post, I agree with you that the more deeply any battery is discharged the poorer it will perform and the shorter it's lifespan will be.

- Randy
11.5% is 80% discharge. This will cut your cycles IN HALF from a 50% discharge regardless of mfr. of wet cell batteries.
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