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Old 05-21-2024, 11:19 PM   #1
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Battery questions

Our new Surveyor Legend came with one battery. Is it difficult to add a second one? We've only put a few miles on the one we have (AGM)
Also, besides the battery shutoff, my husband disconnects the battery wire. I thought the solar would keep the battery charged to prevent it going dead from the propane monitor etc.
TIA
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:24 AM   #2
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I would use the battery for a little while see how well your camping style matches your battery

If you need more battery capacity
Get a lithium lifepoe4…they are safe and the useable charge overnight lasts about 2 times a AGM

You can buy 100ah battery from Amazon
Got mine 2 x 100ah elfhub with Bluetooth for under 200 each

Each night I use about 20-25% of the battery
I got Solar upgrade to 700w
Never have to plug-in a charger….
Running a 12v fridge and sometimes the furnace up in Ohio last month ……….worked great
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Old 05-22-2024, 05:59 AM   #3
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Added a 2nd AGM

Our camper came with a single lead acid battery and I wanted more capacity. We purchased two larger AGM batteries and had to install a larger battery box. We love the capacity. It works well with our set-up. We do winter camp quite a bit so lithium is not really an option.

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Old 05-22-2024, 06:08 AM   #4
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I would use the battery for a little while see how well your camping style matches your battery

If you need more battery capacity
Get a lithium lifepoe4…they are safe and the useable charge overnight lasts about 2 times a AGM

You can buy 100ah battery from Amazon
Got mine 2 x 100ah elfhub with Bluetooth for under 200 each

Each night I use about 20-25% of the battery
I got Solar upgrade to 700w
Never have to plug-in a charger….
Running a 12v fridge and sometimes the furnace up in Ohio last month ……….worked great
This is good advice. Wait and see if you need another battery. If all, or most, of your camping is at places with electrical hookups, then you probably won't need another battery.
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:08 AM   #5
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I'm sort of in the same boat here. Our TT has a single 64 AH deep cycle battery that the dealer provided (Interstate, HD24-DP, 100 min. RC). I intended to see how this works for us with our 200W solar system that also came with the camper. We don't plan on much boondocking, but would like to give that a try some times.


If I decide to add a second battery it will probably just be another flooded battery, for the cost. Two questions on this: (1) do I have to stay with another 64 AH rated battery, or can I go higher? (2) could I use an AGM type of battery with the original flooded battery if I wanted to?

Thanks.
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:27 AM   #6
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Typically the cutoff switch kills most of the power but leaves the solar connected. Lifting the battery wire will break that solar charging connection.
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:52 AM   #7
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Many rv’s come with a standard little car battery to comply with dot emergency brakes on the trailer. Not for camping.

These batteries Today will generally not make it thru one night.

To fool you they add a little soar panel. Solar panels produce about 25 amp hours to the battery per day per 100 watt on their best day in North America. Virtually nothing sometimes.

Your battery can deliver 35-50 amp hours. Your usage is likely closer to 100 amp hours per day with a compressor fridge.

Batteries should be matched. I.e. same size and age. Or there can be conflicts.

So. Decide your camp style, boondocker, going from plug in to plug in, Or a combination.

Answers are very different.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Poodlecamper View Post
Our new Surveyor Legend came with one battery. Is it difficult to add a second one? We've only put a few miles on the one we have (AGM)
Also, besides the battery shutoff, my husband disconnects the battery wire. I thought the solar would keep the battery charged to prevent it going dead from the propane monitor etc.
TIA
On our Surveyor, the solar was directly connected to the battery via the solar controller, unaffected by the battery disconnect. The jack got it's power from the positive side of the battery disconnect. In other words, the solar kept the batt charged and the disconnect cut off all parasite loads. No need to disconnect the batt wire.

I agree that you should get your camping style nailed down before changing much but if you will be doing almost any dry camping, you'll probably want to upsize your battery bank. Adding one, wired in parallel, is very easy but they should be matched in age, style and size.

You didn't mention what yr. or model. Surveyor has been using an 80 watt solar panel for yrs but in the 2024 model yr. upgraded that to 200 and quite a number with 400 watts as a promotion

That isn't a cure all but definitely makes a difference on extending your stay.

I think around 2022 (?) they switched to 12v fridges. They perform very well but are an additional electrical load.

If you have a 12v fridge and need other power for furnace or fans, your current set up will likely disappoint. Barely making it through the night. If that.

Prices of LiFePO4 batteries have plunged in the last yr. while simultaneously adding capacity and features.

I'd strongly urge learning about them. There are lots of myths, repeated nearly daily, right here on this forum.

They are safe and properly equipped, can be used below freezing. In fact, below 0F.

They were always price competitive with other forms in the long term, because they last so long and have near enough to dbl capacity. They are now price competitive, even in the short term, with quality AGMs, or golf cart batteries.

They don't offgas and don't need venting, so you can move them inside, further protecting them from the cold.

We made major changes, adding 600 amp hours and a 2400 watt inverter charger but we know we will spend most of our time unplugged and wanted full capacity.

If you'll be plugged in most of the time, you don't really need to do anything but you might want to switch to one size or another of LiFePO4.

We chose these but there are lots of other sizes.

https://www.epochbatteries.com/produ...och-essentials
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:47 AM   #9
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I'd strongly urge learning about them. There are lots of myths, repeated nearly daily, right here on this forum.
X2, all counts.

It's EASY to add a battery. For your husband, a complete battery disconnect can be wired in that is designed to be opened and closed on the regular (as opposed to taking the cable off, which isn't a great long term solution).

Figure out what kind of camper you are and what kind of camping you'll be doing. Do your research, suggestions and solutions will vary.

Lastly - in case it needs to be said - don't mix battery chemistries. If you add LiFePo, don't wire it up with your existing FLA.

You're in good shape, doing your homework.
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the responses.
We have 200 of solar-+
Leaving soon on a trip from NC to Yellowstone. I've booked sites w/electric for 1/2 of the trip, except for the Grand Tetons Gros Ventre campground, but we have a generator for that (which I hate using)
With our old camper we had a propane fridge so could boondocks at Cracker Barrel etc if necessary.
Now with the 12v fridge and one battery, will have to stay only at places with hookups or where we can use the generator (��).
Thanks for all the help. Looks like I'll have to make some changes eventually.
We've only taken the TT out for 3 days so this trip will be the big shakedown trip-- 5-6 weeks.
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Old 05-22-2024, 02:45 PM   #11
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Poodlecamper, if you're going to boondock, you're gunna need more battery. STRONGLY suggest dumping your FLA and picking up (1) additional 200w solar for the roof, and (at least) 200ah of LiFePo. That'll let you get by.

Barring that, get ready to potentially shut the fridge off overnight (it's okay, preload it with chilled stuff, keep it cold, and let it sit overnight w/o opening it. the 12v's are energy hogs, but not unmanageable, just not a good match for the bare-bones, dealer-grade FLA batteries that come with these things.

I put my solar and battery system in as soon as I had the trailer, and left for 2 weeks of boondocking in the Rockies the day after I zipped it up, have never looked back.

Lots of learning to do, but you're in a great place for it.
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:21 PM   #12
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I first added 2 x 100ah lithium batteries
They will last me about 2 days running fridge and all standard 12v stuff

I worked out the maximum solar my roof could carry
Turned out to be 2 strings of panels
Installed ONLY the first string and it’s controller

Since then have been able to boondocks indefinitely
Never turning on my battery charger

If I decide to get an inverter will add the second string ….. if I need it
String 1 is 740w
String 2 can be 600 or 800w

I am Camped right now under 2 big trees for 4 days
Solar is still charging my battery each day to 100%

Lifepo4 and a some decent solar can be game changer for boondocking
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:23 PM   #13
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Converter to far from battery bank to work with Lithium?

I am wanting to install two 100ah lithium batteries in my Rockwood 2911BS, 35' overall length. The converter installed is a WF-9855-AD. The distance between the converter and the batteries is approximately 20 feet.

I was told by a tech at WFCO that I might have a problem changing over to lithium batteries because of to big of a voltage drop in the converter charge circuit.

Has anyone encountered such a problem with similar equipment and can give any actual outcomes.
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:34 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the responses.
We have 200 of solar-+
Leaving soon on a trip from NC to Yellowstone. I've booked sites w/electric for 1/2 of the trip, except for the Grand Tetons Gros Ventre campground, but we have a generator for that (which I hate using)
With our old camper we had a propane fridge so could boondocks at Cracker Barrel etc if necessary.
Now with the 12v fridge and one battery, will have to stay only at places with hookups or where we can use the generator (��).
With the cost of RV parks, you could probably save money by purchasing a LiPO4 battery and boondocking occasionally.
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Old 05-23-2024, 05:51 AM   #15
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I am wanting to install two 100ah lithium batteries in my Rockwood 2911BS, 35' overall length. The converter installed is a WF-9855-AD. The distance between the converter and the batteries is approximately 20 feet.

I was told by a tech at WFCO that I might have a problem changing over to lithium batteries because of to big of a voltage drop in the converter charge circuit.

Has anyone encountered such a problem with similar equipment and can give any actual outcomes.
Before you buy anything
Measure your voltage at the converter output
And at the battery cable lugs

If it has voltage drop of less than 5% then you should be ok
Voltage drop will occur no matter the battery type

If it drops too much
You can rewire it or move closer to battery

I have about 20 foot cable to battery
Auto detect converter worked
It has to charge your battery once to work out what you got
Then on the second charge cycle it will switch over to lithium mode
Take the cover off the fuse panel and you can just see the glow from the led lights blue = lithium mode

Even if your converter won’t go into lithium mode
It should still charge the battery as long as it is getting about 13.6v
It will just take longer to fully charge

Faster charging…. Make sure you check the negative connection from battery to frame AND from frame to converter
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:01 AM   #16
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I installed (5) 100aH lithium batteries complete with solar and tow vehicle charging plus a hefty inverter. I can run my entire camper including AC with no shore power or generator connected.
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:11 AM   #17
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This thread is helpful to demonstrate what is working in practice for some folks versus what might might work in theory. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:37 AM   #18
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I installed (5) 100aH lithium batteries complete with solar and tow vehicle charging plus a hefty inverter. I can run my entire camper including AC with no shore power or generator connected.
What size inverter and what model AC do you have?
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Old 05-23-2024, 08:19 AM   #19
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Add another battery and use 2 cables to link them in parallel.
Solar is a game changer. So is lithium.
In the West, you can always find public land. Forget about parking lots in restaurants and Wal-Marts.
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Old 05-23-2024, 09:36 AM   #20
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Camping with solar looks like this
20amps going into battery
740w of panels 50amp mppt
Almost 90% SOC at 10:30 am
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