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Old 03-19-2015, 08:01 AM   #1
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Location: Florida
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pup battery question

I need to replace the pup battery which is used primarily to raise the roof. Two batteries for sale, both 24 size (can't fit the 27 type), one is rated at 500 CCA, the other at 800 CCA, both the same price. Logic says get the higher cranking amps, but will this mean it will discharge faster? Sorry, electrically ignorant, though I have replaced the factory lights with LED's, so I have some savvy. Please advise, pup gurus!

2012 Rockwood 1940ltd

2004 GMC Sierra 4x4
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
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Do you always camp with electric hookups, or do you dry camp, or is it a mixture?

CCA is an abbreviation for Cold Cranking Amps, which is a rating for starting batteries. Starting batteries are designed to start your car, and then be immediately recharged. A starting battery's life is pretty short when it is asked to supply a small load (PUP heater, lights, parasitic loads) over several days. 4 or 5 such cycles will destroy most starting batteries - how many times can you leave the inside lights on in your car, or hours of using the stereo system while parked before the battery won't recharge and start your car in winter anymore?

A deep cycle battery is designed to do hundreds of cycles down to 50% charge, and many more if you keep the discharge smaller. Deep cycle batteries do not do a good job of providing a large current to the starting motor - they excel at smaller currents over long periods of time. Deep cycle batteries are rated in amp-hours, not CCA. Golf cart batteries are an example of deep cycle batteries. Deep cycle batteries cost more than starting batteries and weigh more, too. They are usually installed in banks of more than one battery.

The batteries that are labeled Marine/RV are usually a cross between the 2 types, and don't cost much more than a starting battery. Most that I have seen will do maybe 200 cycles to 50% charge.

So your battery usage matters. A dual deep cycle (or at least Marine/RV) battery install is usually needed to dry camp and run a PUP or A-frame heater and LED lights for 4-7 days - and have the batteries last a few years. If you always have hookups, a single starting battery will probably be sufficient as long as you plug the PUP in fairly soon after arriving at the site. Yes, the bigger CCA is better if the reserve capacity is the same.

just my experiences
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 (dual size 24 Marine/RV for 3 night max dry camping 3 seasons in Colorado Rockies)
2008 Hyundai Entourage (minivan)

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Old 03-19-2015, 01:49 PM   #3
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Thank you! I will be primitive camping for 7 days, the battery will be only used a bit for lights at night and the infrequent use of the sink pump, don't use a heater and no A/C. I will use the lp gas for the refrigerator. Wish I had capacity for two in tandem batts but not enough space on tlr tongue. I will get the 800 CCA battery.
2012 Rockwood 1940ltd

2004 GMC Sierra 4x4
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:16 PM   #4
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Location: Camano Island, Washington
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focusing on the CCA rating, is useless for RV purposes, unless it's for starting a motorhome.
you want Reserve Capacity rating. that's what you should focus on.

Google "the 12v side of life"
lots of info there to educate you about RV battery usage.
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