Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-08-2011, 06:17 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
Minimal Battery/Electrical setup for a night or two...

Over the next 9 months we are planning a total of 5-7 nights without shore power (in National Parks). Outside of these two trips, I seriously doubt we'll spend anymore than a single night a year without power. I doubt we will spend more than 2 consecutive nights without electrical hook-ups.

I'm trying to determine what sort of minimal setup I can get away with that meets these requirements for my family of 5...
  • Assume 5p-9a power usage as I expect we will not be at the campsite during the day or during lunch.
  • Handle parasitic loads (detectors, radio standby [though I guess I could add a hard on/off switch])
  • Water pump usage (several flushes, brush teeth, wash hands, some drinking water and a small load of dishes)
  • Minimal camper lighting usage as I plan to purchase a few hockey-puck LEDs and/or LED lanterns to handle general lighting as that approach appears to be much cheaper than replacing the camper's lights with LEDs.
  • Possible furnace usage. <-- This is my biggest variable. I suspect it will be needed some, but I'm hopeful it won't be needed all night. "Put on a hat!"
  • What else am I forgetting?

Right now I have the stock battery/electrical setup on our new 2012 Roo 233S (single 12v battery, don't know type). And I plan to bring along our Honda EX700c genny primarily for recharging.

I realize there are quite a few variables, but what else do you think I'll need?

I'm thinking I'll need to add some more battery capacity (tell me if you think otherwise) and come-up with a charging strategy.
  • Would another 12v do? Should I hook it up or do the "swap-n-charge" game?
  • How long would you expect the genny will need to run to top off the batteries each morning?
  • I'm thinking I'd just connect the genny to the camper and let the camper's system do the charging. Unless you think a standalone charger (~$80?) and the "swap-n-charge" routine makes more sense.

Thanks for your suggestions...
__________________

__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
your ex700c is only 700 watts.
only 6 amps ...........
hmmmmmm
__________________

TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
MtnGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 9,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
your ex700c is only 700 watts.
only 6 amps ...........
hmmmmmm
That generator should be plenty good to just charge the battery, with no other electrical load. A stand alone charger hooked directly to the battery will charge the batteries a little faster. But as a precaution, I unhook the battery from the camper if I use a stand alone charger. Where the built in converter charger has about 13.6 volts maximum, the stand alone charger may go over 14 volts, which may be too much from some of the camper electronics that might be online. For instance, even though the fridge is on gas, the circuit board runs on 12 volts, as well as the water heater, propane detector, etc.
__________________

Chap , DW Joy, and Fur Baby Sango
2017 F350 Lariat CCSB, SRW, 4x4, 6.7 PS
2017 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS
MtnGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
your ex700c is only 700 watts.
only 6 amps
That's what I have, so it'll have to make do.

It keeps my 17yo home refrig working during power failures. That's all I've ever really asked of it.
__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
That generator should be plenty good to just charge the battery, with no other electrical load. A stand alone charger hooked directly to the battery will charge the batteries a little faster. But as a precaution, I unhook the battery from the camper if I use a stand alone charger.
Thanks. Any recommendations on a charger. The only one I have now is a ~$45 I bought from wal-mart a few years ago, I doubt it is one of fancy 3-step things (Here's the link). Will that do, or should I invest in something else?

Should I pick-up another battery and just swap them in/out? Or maybe put two 12v in parallel (seems like an inexpensive option)?
__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 06:42 PM   #6
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
Quote:
Originally Posted by BackInAction View Post
That's what I have, so I'll have to make do.

It keeps my 17yo home refrig working during power failures. That's all I've ever really asked of it.
Wasn't bashing what you have .... just was thinking ... It could be tough on one battery . someone on here will have a perfect or close to perfect solution to your concerns !

like previous poster I would use the gennie to charge battery only after being un hooked . I believe you should put a master switch on there and that would help .
If you have to run the heat it might be ok to get it real warm and then shut down .
the toilet we all ways turn the pump on to build pressure then shut it off and normally you can get 2 or 3 before water trickles .
battery operated lanterns are a good idea to conserve .
If heat is not required at night hit the master switch if you install one .

I dont know I am rambling . You'll get plenty of answers on here .
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 06:48 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Koodog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 181
I added a 2 battery bank on my recent camper as my last unit had only 1 battery and it would go dead by morning if the weather was cold and the furnace ran quite a bit during the night. I'm able to last about 3-4 days on this battery bank if furnace does not run much. (once or twice per night)I keep lighting to a minimum and do not use TV. Radio on for about 3 hours per day.
__________________
Walt-N-Terry Sanford
03 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel
08 Rockwood 8317
Koodog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
You'll get plenty of answers on here .
That's what I've noticed. Plenty of friendly informative responses.

FWIW, I do plan to install a on/off switch on the battery if for no other reason than to keep it from discharging while in storage.
__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 06:52 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koodog View Post
I added a 2 battery bank on my recent camper as my last unit had only 1 battery and it would go dead by morning if the weather was cold and the furnace ran quite a bit during the night. I'm able to last about 3-4 days on this battery bank if furnace does not run much.
Sounds promsing. I assume you just added an additional 12v battery in parallel with the original, correct? What do you charge it with? Or do you just wait 'till you get home and connect it to shore power?
__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 07:00 PM   #10
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
FYI I personally would not use the convertor to charge a dead or near dead battery .
I would use a small amp hour charger to slowly trickle it up if you have time.
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 07:28 PM   #11
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 21,585
"What else am I forgetting?"
since you own a 233S, i'm assuming you have kids, otherwise why would you get 3 bunk ends?

kids can find ways to use up battery power, more than your furnace will.
you'll have to factor them into your scenario.
i agree about a second battery. we have 2 on our Roo 23SS and we can go 4-5 days, even with the furnace, without recharging.
but there's just the DW and i and we were former popup owners and know how to conserve battery power.
bikendan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 09:06 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Koodog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 181
Yep, just a 2nd battery and I use the trailers converter to charge. I've never been lower than 1/3 battery power on the meter before hooking up to a genny or shore power. No issues. I usually run genny for about 3 hours and it charges batteries back up to full.
__________________
Walt-N-Terry Sanford
03 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel
08 Rockwood 8317
Koodog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 06:24 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
I finally got around to looking at the battery that came with the camper (I removed it and brought it home). I can't find the make/model online so I can locate the product sheet.

Here's what is on the battery.

Small white circular sticker on the top marked "H11"
Manufacture Date: July 2011

"WorldWide Battery"

"24DC-5 655 CA 140 MIN CCA"

Located on the front face, partically covered by the sticker is...

"SO6G1K2 0467" <-- 2nd letter could be Zero or maybe a poorly formed G
"24D140X2W ST1"

That's it. I'm just trying to figure out the capacity, etc.
__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 07:01 PM   #14
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by BackInAction View Post
I finally got around to looking at the battery that came with the camper (I removed it and brought it home). I can't find the make/model online so I can locate the product sheet.

Here's what is on the battery.

Small white circular sticker on the top marked "H11"
Manufacture Date: July 2011

"WorldWide Battery"

"24DC-5 655 CA 140 MIN CA"

That's it. I'm just trying to figure out the capacity, etc.
I can see why you had problems. I spent a couple of hours looking for this battery and can't put my finger on it.

Please post a photo of all the markings and of the battery itself.

Are you sure it says 140 MIN CA and not MIN RC?

The 24 I am guessing is a group 24 battery and the 665 is Cold Cranking Amps. 140 minimum cranking amps does not make a lot of sense right now as a battery that can put out 655 CCA should be able to put out more than 140 cranking amps.

Worldwide battery of Indiana exists, but they only list Trojans on their web site.
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 07:28 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
Thanks for looking.

I updated my above post with more info (no pics yet). The "140 CA" actually reads "140 CCA". And I added two lines of characters that are located on the front of the battery partially covered by the logo/sticker.

Looking at other battery sites, CA and CCA have different meanings...

C.C.A. (Cold Cranking Amps) - the discharge load in amperes which a new, fully charged battery can maintain for 30 seconds at 0F at a voltage above 1.2 V/cell.
C.A. (Cranking Amps) - the discharge load in amperes which a new, fully charged battery can maintain for 30 seconds at 32F at a voltage above 1.2 V/cell. This is sometimes referred to
as marine cranking amps @ 32F or M. C. A. @ 32F.

Here's what the logo looks like...
__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 08:04 PM   #16
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,603
That totally makes more sense. the CA number is always higher than the CCA number. There are less amps available in cold weather.

Having said that, the battery is a really cheap Dual Purpose battery and most likely has a low AH capacity when fully charged.

DEKA 12V Marine Master DP24 Dual Purpose Battery

This is the crappy battery (I have two of) in my camper now. It took a phone call to the manufacturer to discover it has a 75AH capacity.
It has a CCA of 550 amps vs your 140 CCA for comparison.
The Marine CA (the 32 degree one) is 685 amps vs your 665 amps.

Could your CCA actually be 540 CCA? If so your battery could have an AH rating of 70AH (right in the mid OEM range).
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
Thanks again for all your efforts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Having said that, the battery is a really cheap Dual Purpose battery and most likely has a low AH capacity when fully charged.
That's what I would have assumed.
Quote:
Could your CCA actually be 540 CCA? If so your battery could have an AH rating of 70AH (right in the mid OEM range).
It is clear "655 CA 140MIN CCA"

So, let's assume it is a cheap Group 24 70 AH battery.

I wonder what I should do? Add another battery of the same type? Replace it with a "good" 24, 27 or 31? Or will it be good enough for my needs?

What if I use a Wave 6 (or 8) or a Mr. Heater Buddy for heat rather than camper's heater? Would the cheapo battery be good enough for the rest of the work? I'm guessing it would be. And running my gennie (connected to the trailer) for a couple of hours in the morning would allow it to charge a bit. Allowing me to go 48+ hours without shore power.

Thoughts?
__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 10:04 PM   #18
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,603
The Deka batteries I am using are only 90 bucks each. The Trojans I want to replace them with are 300 each. You get what you pay for.

However, if you normally camp with full hookups, it most likely is not worth the effort to upgrade your DC system. What you have will last the night using the heater, but will need to be fully charged during the day for the second night.
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 10:44 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
RANGERBOB's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Posts: 101
Some National Park Service campgrounds do have electrical hookups. You can usually find out on line and then make advance reservations.
RANGERBOB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2011, 06:44 AM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by RANGERBOB View Post
Some National Park Service campgrounds do have electrical hookups. You can usually find out on line and then make advance reservations.
The handful of parks we are looking at visiting do not.
__________________

__________________
TV: 2008 Ford Expy
Camper: 2012 Rockwood Roo 233S
12V: 2 x Group 27 plus Honda Ex 700c Genset
BackInAction is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:42 AM.


×