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Old 05-25-2020, 09:18 PM   #1
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battery questions

First time poster and have searched through the FAQ's and quite a few threads... We have had our 2019 Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte 22RBHL camper for a little over a year. We have had all kinds of electrical gremlins or so I think. We can't get the batteries to last overnight with the furnace set to 60. We have the Sterling batteries, 2 of them, P/N 24RV-90 ... I'm thinking these are just the dual purpose batteries and not true deep cycle. I'm looking at replacing these with a Group 31 series just to ensure the wife is comfortable at night.... We all know how important that is....


Any recommendations on brand? And are these the same size so they will fit into the battery boxes already there or would I have to get new ones? I'm also thinking on getting a solar panel since my camper is prewired for solar....

I do have a pair of Costco, IPower by Yahama, generators that are rated at 1600 watts running. I use these to recharge the batteries but I'm fairly certain they are pretty much done. We get about maybe 4-4.5 hours of furnace use overnight if we are lucky... I think I need a battery charge meter but I'm not sure what is drawing so much that it kills the batteries that fast.


Any pointers on what I should be looking at? I know the Dometic Fridge is running off gas, or so I hope, and it is set to auto, so should i take it off auto? The furnace is the only thing going at night as far as i can tell.

So my question is this... would Group 31 batteries improve the longevity of the heating situation or should I go a different route?
Also, I keep my trailer plugged in when we are not camping. I had it wired for a 30 amp circuit that goes into the main power box at the meter on it's own fuse, if that makes sense. I can run my A/C without any issues in the house so I guess it works. I had a licensed electrician upgrade my fuse panel in the house and wire that 30 amp plug all by itself.
Sorry for all the questions but this battery issue has got me all sorts of in the doghouse with wife....


Thanks all...
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomos View Post
First time poster and have searched through the FAQ's and quite a few threads... We have had our 2019 Salem Hemisphere Hyper-Lyte 22RBHL camper for a little over a year. We have had all kinds of electrical gremlins or so I think. We can't get the batteries to last overnight with the furnace set to 60. We have the Sterling batteries, 2 of them, P/N 24RV-90 ... I'm thinking these are just the dual purpose batteries and not true deep cycle. I'm looking at replacing these with a Group 31 series just to ensure the wife is comfortable at night.... We all know how important that is....


Any recommendations on brand? And are these the same size so they will fit into the battery boxes already there or would I have to get new ones? I'm also thinking on getting a solar panel since my camper is prewired for solar....

I do have a pair of Costco, IPower by Yahama, generators that are rated at 1600 watts running. I use these to recharge the batteries but I'm fairly certain they are pretty much done. We get about maybe 4-4.5 hours of furnace use overnight if we are lucky... I think I need a battery charge meter but I'm not sure what is drawing so much that it kills the batteries that fast.


Any pointers on what I should be looking at? I know the Dometic Fridge is running off gas, or so I hope, and it is set to auto, so should i take it off auto? The furnace is the only thing going at night as far as i can tell.

So my question is this... would Group 31 batteries improve the longevity of the heating situation or should I go a different route?
Also, I keep my trailer plugged in when we are not camping. I had it wired for a 30 amp circuit that goes into the main power box at the meter on it's own fuse, if that makes sense. I can run my A/C without any issues in the house so I guess it works. I had a licensed electrician upgrade my fuse panel in the house and wire that 30 amp plug all by itself.
Sorry for all the questions but this battery issue has got me all sorts of in the doghouse with wife....


Thanks all...
Hi Ven, you've got a lot packed into that question. Let me start with the easy one first: group 31. You’ll have to look at your battery boxes to see if they're big enough for a 31. Try googling "battery group 31 dimensions. But I doubt you need 31s. I'm guessing you have group 24 marine batteries when what you really need are true deep cycle batteries. I can't be certain, but it sounds like you're boondocking, living off the batteries, and using a generator or two to recharge your batteries. If that's true, I suggest you buy two group 27, 100 amp hour, batteries. Interstate is a good brand, but there are many others too. Remember, you should only draw down your batteries no lower than 50%. So two 100ah batteries would give you 100ah to get you through the night assuming you fully charge them before night.

Make sure you're refrigerator is NOT running on 12v. Otherwise you definitely need a bigger battery pack.

Are your batteries fully charged by evening? Are you boondocking? What is your battery charging routine, especially if you're using a generator? How cold is it outside that your furnace is running so much (ours wouldn't run at all here in Arizona)? Just to be clear, you're using the propane furnace not electric heat of some kind?

Mike
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:11 PM   #3
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Hi there...


I should have clarified... We were boondocking or dry camping as we call it. I am going by the the little meter on the wall inside the door. It reads 'F' while on generator power and usually at '2/3' when we shut down the generators. We normally ran them for about 4 hours to ensure the batteries would get at least a decent charge.



I would hope that 2x 1600 watt running in parallel would charge the batteries a bit. But you never know...


As far as temps go, we were in the low 30's outside and when I woke up it was 44 inside.... Brrrrr..... The wife was not happy at all...


As far as the furnace goes, I think the temp controller is electric but it runs on propane as far as I can remember. The fridge runs on either but I know I can set it to whatever, gas or electric. It's set to auto most of the time so I might have to check it when we go to sleep.


The battery size we have currently is the group 24 dual purpose. group 27 might be better than what we have now......


I just looked at some Duracell AGM Deep Cycle batteries and I'm not really concerned with price, not going lithium though.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:11 PM   #4
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You are sort if flying while blind without a battery monitor. Mine was $30. Fancy voltmeter. Mine sends alarms to the phone.

You have likely 80 amps of battery available. Not a lot. Should get you thru the night thou. One only. Something goofy? Bad cell?

I was surprised how long it can take to fully recharge batteries. 80% is fast. The last 20% takes a long time.

If you have room 2 six volt golf cart batteries are a good bang for the buck. I have Interstate. These are true deep cycle. More durable. Tall. Got to measure.

I assume you run the fridge on gas. Three way? Or two.

Ours is set to automatic unless boondocking.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:21 PM   #5
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Mikec557 has you pointed the right direction Venomos. I tried google to find your sterling 24rv-90 batteries and couldn't find them. Looks like sterling's website has broken links also as I couldn't drill down in their batteries to see if it was there either. Never heard of them but with branding and so many batteries made by a few manufactures, not surprising I haven't heard of them.

I'll add is IF you're going to continue to boondock and run on batteries a significant amount of time, I would suggest getting a decent battery monitoring solution as the ones that come in RV's are generally junk that measure only voltage to indicate how full they are which can be duped by having power being drawn from them or being plugged in.

Here is a link to a install video on youtube of the one I put in a few weeks ago. Won't break the bank, easy enough to install and will give you a true measurement of your battery bank.



Lastly, I would make sure you can identify what is running on 12v in your camper from the batteries because unless the batteries are really damaged or you have significant drains on them, your not getting nearly enough time with your furnace. I used to be able to run a couple days on a single group 27 battery if I just used lights, stereo for a few hours and the furnace at night. Me thinks there is something else going on.

Do you have an inverter that is running 120v appliances or plugs running off your batteries? Also seems weird the camper came with 2 batteries if you don't as most RV dealerships only put a cheap group 24 on the camper unless it has an inverter or you request or pay extra for the additional battery.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:22 PM   #6
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Since you mentioned Costco, I am sure that two of the group 27 Interstate Marine/RV batteries they sell for about $90 would be a better fit then jumping up to group 31 right away.

I suspect that in some time in the past your batteries have discharged beyond where they should have and are probably permanently damaged and will no longer supply the rated power long enough to keep the furnace going. A battery place like Batteries Plus can measure the batteries for you and give you an indication if this might be the case. Also, pop the caps and just make sure that you have enough distilled water in the battery case to fill the holes up to the bottom of the split ring. The batteries may be almost dry also. A meter like shown below is a cheap investment in testing the capacity of your own batteries... from Harbor Freight. It is not perfect but at $20 it will give you some answers without pulling the batteries from the trailer.

I also googled the battery make and they seem to be a specialty provider.

Many have opted for two 6 volt golf cart batteries placed in series to give you 12 volts or even 4 in a series/parrallel configuration for even more power. There have also been recent discussions of cost/benefit of buying $1000 Battleborn Lithium batteries.

Do a search on here and find many discussions about battery sizing with and without solar panel options.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:23 PM   #7
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Ok two things here I know for sure. Yes your furnace is propane but the fan runs on 12 volt. It will run a single battery down over night with ease. I've done it. Bought a generator just because of that. 2. If your fridge is on auto you are 100% running on power. It always searches for power first then switches to propane if it doesn't have power. Ok. Scratch that. That's only true if your fridge runs off of 12 volt as well as 120 or just propane. A three way fridge. But I assure you, running the heater alone will drain that single battery in just a few hours especially with all the parasitic draws that require you to disconnect the battery to stop. Then what huh? Are you using a inverter generator? It will do a much better job at powering your needs and charging up your batteries. I recommend the 3500 watt predator. Search the hundreds of threads here for tons of reviews and info on that subject.
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Hi there...


I should have clarified... We were boondocking or dry camping as we call it. I am going by the the little meter on the wall inside the door. It reads 'F' while on generator power and usually at '2/3' when we shut down the generators. We normally ran them for about 4 hours to ensure the batteries would get at least a decent charge.



I would hope that 2x 1600 watt running in parallel would charge the batteries a bit. But you never know...


As far as temps go, we were in the low 30's outside and when I woke up it was 44 inside.... Brrrrr..... The wife was not happy at all...


As far as the furnace goes, I think the temp controller is electric but it runs on propane as far as I can remember. The fridge runs on either but I know I can set it to whatever, gas or electric. It's set to auto most of the time so I might have to check it when we go to sleep.


The battery size we have currently is the group 24 dual purpose. group 27 might be better than what we have now......


I just looked at some Duracell AGM Deep Cycle batteries and I'm not really concerned with price, not going lithium though.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:37 PM   #8
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On a side note...

I recall reading somewhere that someone was using the 12v battery charger port on their generator to charge the rv batteries. It was pointed out that that is usually a small 10amp-ish charger. Plugging the rv into the generator would utilize the rv's converter/charger which would put out far more amps to charge the batteries. Say 25-60 amps depending on the charger/converter.

Just a thought...
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:39 PM   #9
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Well.....


This was a floor model and the only one they had at the time. And it is prewired for solar so not too sure why it came with 2 batteries but they are identical. They are also sealed, no caps to pop to check the water level. The green light/indicator doesn't mean too much though. I'm pretty sure the batteries have been dropped below the norms soooooo... i know they are definitely not enough to keep the furnace going.


Well, as far as my generators go, they do a good job on recharging the batteries but if they are already on the brink, they can only go so far.


I'll start testing stuff but there aren't things plugged in that draw that I know of... I mean the whole trailer is great but the furnace thing has really been bothering the wife. So, I'm thinking if we go dry camping or boondocking, we will be switching the fridge to gas by the switch provided. That was more than likely my error by thinking if it wasn't hooked to shore/house power that it would swap.


I'll be looking into that monitoring system video in the morning. It looks spot on and this will benefit us in the long run.


Thanks for all the replies. I now have a lot to look at. Replacing the batteries will be a good move for starters. And the monitoring system should be a good addition. I'll see what else is suggested in the morning...


Thanks again!!!!
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:39 PM   #10
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A couple thoughts from someone who has been where you are now:

I burned thru 2 sets of group 24 batteries in 3 years from constant discharge below 50% and recharging to what I thought was full.

My first step to gather correct information was to get a volt meter. It was just a inexpensive one to plug into 12v socket but it gave me a better idea of where my batteries were at in state of charge. I used the following chart so that I understood what the batteries had to offer:
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After I understood how far down I was draining the batteries, I could make changes in temp setting or running generator to keep charging batteries before bed. My wife would set t-stat at 72 degrees when it was 30 outside and yep burned right thru those batteries until I could teach what we could and couldn’t do.

The second thing that the volt meter taught was that my converter was never going into bulk charging mode and was always running at 13.6v. I was having to run generator for 5-6 hours in the morning and another 2 before bed because it was charging slowly. My solution was to switch to a progressive dynamics converter. It immediately changed my charging times by bulk charging at 14.4v. Now I recharge my 2 6v batteries (switched to them after the second set of group 24’s and they have proved to be way more durable) in about 2-3 hours to 90% and maybe 1 hour during dinner. Big difference not hearing the generator all the time.

Btw- you only need to run 1 generator when charging. The max a 55amp converter needs is 950 watts and that’s only for a few minutes before it starts cycling down.

Feel free to message me if you have any other questions
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:14 PM   #11
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So was wondering on these batteries...


https://www.samsclub.com/p/duracell-...lp_product_1_6


I wonder if these will help out my situation a bit.... I also did a bit more research on my power center with the converter as well.... It is the WFCO WF 8955 that seems to be the standard one throughout the trailer world....


Should I try to upgrade the converter? Or get new batteries to see if that selps me out? I'm also looking at voltage monitors but if I go with the AiLi monitoring system, it will need a seriously long extension cable to go to the batteries on the tongue of the trailer... So that will take some tinkering ...


Thoughts on that Duracell battery? It's not the dual purpose one that Sams sells either.


Thanks again!
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:51 PM   #12
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I wouldn't upgrade the converter without first buying a voltage meter to know what it's actually doing. (You need one, anyway.) Many people never change the converter and do just fine, even when dry-camping occasionally.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:48 AM   #13
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I just ordered this for my upcoming Ali installation

Custom Cable for Battery Monitor 26 AWG With Connector Stranded ... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082ZPGYHZ..._fh7ZEbB2ZNCYJ
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:25 AM   #14
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That link is just what i was looking for. Plenty of length for how I need it to go. I'm also looking into rewiring the battery set-up. I have 2 battery boxes up front and no looming, just the wires dangling to the power block... which has no cover on it so the connections are exposed. I suppose I'll have to take a picture for you to see what i mean. I used to do car stereo installs in my younger days and looming the wiring assembly at least helps to protect the wires a little from chafing against frame rails and rodents to a small degree at least.


As far as boondocking, or dry camping, I'd say that is about 1/3 of our trips. That's why I was asking about the Duracell batteries being an upgrade or not. I'm not looking to go 6V just yet.



And of course, I now know that the voltage meter in the trailer is not even a guide at this point, ..... I will be installing the AiLi system to better monitor usage and remaining Ah. Seems pretty simple enough to install and with that long extension, should go in fairly easily.


Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:39 AM   #15
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Your SAMS club battery link still shows a group 24 battery... this is the same size you have. A group 27 is larger and about $10 more at Costco. 2 of those group 27 and you are probably getting to where you want to be. Neither of these are true DEEP CYCLE but they will work for you with 2 of them and they are charged adequately every day. TRUE Deep Cycle will cost you another $50 each and give you a little longer lasting power.

Quote:
Typically, a deep cycle battery will have two or three times the RC of a car battery, but will deliver one-half or three-quarters the CCAs. In addition, a deep cycle battery can withstand several hundred total discharge/recharge cycles, while a car battery is not designed to be totally discharged.
The RV/Mariine battery you referenced is a hybrid between a car-starting and a deep cycle... a little bit of both built into one battery case.

Running your gen for 4 hours is not enough to charge through trailer converter especially if you have 2 batteries... you are effectively charging one battery in a 2 bank system for 2 hours which is nothing.

One thing you could do is buy a separate dedicated battery charger. I would look at this 20 AMP model. I would use the genny you have and hook this charger directly to the battery to the genny and NOT plug in the trailer at all to shore (genny) power while doing this charging. Run the generator for a full tank of gas or 8-9 hours for a 2 battery bank .
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:36 AM   #16
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Group 24 and 27 car car batteries.

Golf cart batteries that might fit have about double the cycle life of car batteries. I have the $100 Interstate batteries from Costco.

Also more tolerant of abuse.

So that battery is essentially what you have. One should note there are only a few battery manufacturers in the world. There are lots of decals made in all colors.

You need a battery monitor first. Then properly charge your existing batteries. Will take 2 days with the converter.

No more flying while blind. discharging batteries too far damages the battery a little each time. like ET said, driving nails in my coffin.

It is possible you are ok.
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:44 AM   #17
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Correct... I was looking to reuse the same battery boxes that I have already on the trailer tongue. Those battery boxes fit the group 24 sized battery. The group 27's are just a tad bigger. I suppose I could look for new boxes on Amazon.


I was looking for deep cycle batteries not the car style ones.


On my generators, I plug my trailer cable into the 3 prong adapter that goes directly into the 30 amp side of the generator. These are the exact ones I have, I have a pair


https://a-ipower.com/product/sc2000i...ter-generator/


As far as the 6V golf cart batteries go, I can look into those as well. Do you happen to have any P/N's for those? I have both Costco and Sams memberships so that isn't a big deal...
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:52 AM   #18
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Venomos, Wal-Mart also has group 27 boxes.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:19 PM   #19
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LxWxH

24 11x6.88x9.5

27 12.75x6.75X8,5

gc2 10.37x7.125x10.8

Generally the battery size. Suggest you measure.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:20 PM   #20
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So Tomkatb.... The golf cart batteries are a bit taller then right? what box/boxes will fit those? I'm still going to try out the AiLi monitoring system... just got to get a few items together.


I think my next trip is going to have hookups... We normally go to Idaho and Utah for spots as we are in North Utah, Brigham City to be exact....



We have a lot of places we go but the battery thing has the wife a little worried because of how fast they drained. I figure I can replace them to start, with either the new 24, 27 or the golf cart batteries. Then install the monitoring system to keep an eye on usage. I'm just trying to alleviate some of the problems we have had. I sincerely think I've damaged the batteries to the point of no return.... I also think I need to invest in a battery tender for the winter as it does get to freezing up here as I'm at the foot of the mountains.... lol...


So I'll do some more searching on P/N's for golf cart batteries


But in the mean time, how are those Duracell batteries? The deep cycle ones? in either 24 or 27 for the short term .... or should I just go golf cart in series... the prices are comparable so that's not a big deal...


What is everyone using for the golf cart battery enclosure?
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