RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #1
daydreaming about camping
 
jeeplj8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: KC area
Posts: 1,402
how many people run 2 house batteries?

I am going to install a battery cut-off, and the thought occurred to me that now is the time to add a second battery, but cannot decide if I want/need it.

Just curious how many people have installed the second battery, and what real world benefits you saw. Really only use the battery for the tongue jacks and possibly stab jacks, always plugged in by the time I do the slides etc.
__________________

2013 Coachmen Freedom Express 320BHDS pulled by a 2005 F250 King Ranch CC

A rainy day camping is better than a sunny day at work.
jeeplj8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 10:43 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 553
If you don't dry camp, then you don't really need another battery. Essentially, you are doubling your run time while unplugged to shore power. So for jacks, I wouldn't worry about it. If you want extra run time on refrigerator, or furnace, then I'd get the extra battery.
crasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 10:57 AM   #3
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,865
We could run a poll and it might even be informative.

In reality as Wincrasher said, it only matters if you camp in places without AC power. If you "dry camp" - "Boondock" (no hookups), you will need bigger, better, and more batteries than a person who only uses their OEM battery when they open their slides or hooking up and disconnecting.
__________________
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 10-29-2012, 11:32 AM   #4
daydreaming about camping
 
jeeplj8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: KC area
Posts: 1,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
We could run a poll and it might even be informative.

In reality as Wincrasher said, it only matters if you camp in places without AC power. If you "dry camp" - "Boondock" (no hookups), you will need bigger, better, and more batteries than a person who only uses their OEM battery when they open their slides or hooking up and disconnecting.
But then it would devolve into a 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton discussion...

Sounds like no real advantage for me personally. I can't imagine boondocking this beast. Just need a battery disconect for storage.
__________________

2013 Coachmen Freedom Express 320BHDS pulled by a 2005 F250 King Ranch CC

A rainy day camping is better than a sunny day at work.
jeeplj8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
Anacortesians
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Anacortes, WA
Posts: 1,166
When we bought our rig (used) it had one very weak house battery. It was the original and had made it through 8 years. Since the battery tray was big enough for two that size, I went with a pair of Costco deep-cycle 12V RV/Marine batteries.

We didn't plan on much in the way of dry camping, but the batteries were cheap enough that I decided to fill the tray. We sometimes leave the MH unplugged at home, but we've never had the battery power run down.

If you do decide to double up, I'd recommend two new ones if the one you now have is more than about 5 years old.
__________________
Frank and Eileen
No longer RVers or FR owners
F and E Damp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 212
When installing multiple batteries it is a best practice to make sure that all batteries are the same size/model and are approximately the same age.

My Solera, that I am waiting 3 more weeks for, will replace our Trailmanor TT. With the Trailmanor and a pair of 12 volt group 24 Interstate RV/Marine batteries I can go 3 days without charging batteries.

Since April 2005 I have had hookups 3 times.

Some people go camping. Some go RVing, Some go boon docking.

I try to boon dock and I try to avoid RVing.

Each style has its own unique requirements.
__________________
Wayne in Coarsegold near Yosemite
2013 Forest River Solera 24R
2014 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
ATV trailer for the following toys
2008 Yamaha WR250R,2009 Honda CRF150F
2008 Polaris Scrambler 500
PopBeavers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
Member
 
Lynkage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southeast Utah
Posts: 1,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeplj8 View Post
But then it would devolve into a 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton discussion...

Sounds like no real advantage for me personally. I can't imagine boondocking this beast. Just need a battery disconect for storage.



When your battery goes dead on your trailer, you should get a 3/4 ton truck. That's funny!! Thanks for the laugh!

Back on topic.. I did just replace the factory battery with 2 6 volt 235 AH golf cart batteries as I do end up in places that do not have shore power but great campsites that are not full.
__________________
Shane & Antoinette
2012 Ford F-450 SuperDuty
2013 Crusader 355BHQ
Lynkage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 23,804
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeplj8 View Post
Sounds like no real advantage for me personally. I can't imagine boondocking this beast. Just need a battery disconect for storage.
there's a difference between boondocking and dry camping. actually, you'd probably have an easier time boondocking with it, than dry camping with it.

since California state parks rarely have hookups of any kind, you have to be willing to dry camp, if you want to stay in their campgrounds.
so, we have two batteries and a Honda 2000.

though we've never boondocked yet, it still may be something we'll try next year.

but if you always have electric hookups, there's absolutely no reason to have two, unless you need the insurance in case one fails.
__________________
Dan-Retired California Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
bikendan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 08:26 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 553
When I had my boat set up, they rigged a 3-way switch - either battery 1, or battery 2 or both batteries or all off. When I asked my dealer to set up my TT that way, he looked at me like I was crazy and refused to do it!
crasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #10
daydreaming about camping
 
jeeplj8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: KC area
Posts: 1,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
When I had my boat set up, they rigged a 3-way switch - either battery 1, or battery 2 or both batteries or all off. When I asked my dealer to set up my TT that way, he looked at me like I was crazy and refused to do it!
Same here, my boat has a three way switch and two batteries. We often need the second battery in the boat. I am going with the same style switch which made me wonder if I should do the second battery at the same time.
__________________

2013 Coachmen Freedom Express 320BHDS pulled by a 2005 F250 King Ranch CC

A rainy day camping is better than a sunny day at work.
jeeplj8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 08:34 PM   #11
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,865
Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
When I had my boat set up, they rigged a 3-way switch - either battery 1, or battery 2 or both batteries or all off. When I asked my dealer to set up my TT that way, he looked at me like I was crazy and refused to do it!
Mine is set up that way now but I will be changing it to the more correct wiring setup (shown). I will be keeping the 1-2-both-off switch and connect my solar (one day) output to the "1" setting. That way my desulphator will work with both batteries (on "2") and I can isolate or charge with the solar panels by selecting "both".
Attached Images
 
__________________
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 10-29-2012, 08:34 PM   #12
Site Team
 
Terier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 10,069
Say yes to the disconnect switch.

Sounds like you are not ready to make this decision yet. You can always upgrade to two batteries later if you opt for dry camping.

I debated adding a second battery and just couldn't make a decision either. Finally when the time was right it was much easier to decide.
__________________
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

2011 Salem Cruise Lite 20RBXL & 2011 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab
Camping History: 45 Trips / 133 Nights / 3736 Miles
FRF Social Group: Campers of the West
Terier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 12:42 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
moondog2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Beaumont
Posts: 159
I spent a week drycamping at the Grand Canyon In a new forest river and I hooked up a second battery out of my pop up thats 4 yrs old and did not experiance any problems. Back when I took a lot of kids camping at the beach all summer I could not afford to replace both at the same time. The other battery in my pop up is 5 yrs old and also still going strong. I have always heard you're susposed to change them together but am I missing something and doing damage I don't Know about. Sure don't want to do anything bad to my trailer electrical system.
moondog2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 06:52 AM   #14
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,865
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog2000 View Post
I spent a week drycamping at the Grand Canyon In a new forest river and I hooked up a second battery out of my pop up thats 4 yrs old and did not experiance any problems. Back when I took a lot of kids camping at the beach all summer I could not afford to replace both at the same time. The other battery in my pop up is 5 yrs old and also still going strong. I have always heard you're susposed to change them together but am I missing something and doing damage I don't Know about. Sure don't want to do anything bad to my trailer electrical system.
I think you are confusing a battery "bank" with swapping one for another when the first is dead.

In a bank, the paralleled batteries "act as one" so they need to be as identical as possible (connecting wire length; cycle life; plate design; electrolyte density; brand and age) for one not to be overworked and the other to loaf.

If you swap the batteries completely so only one is in at a time, this is not a problem.
Attached Images
 
__________________
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 11-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
sail2liv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 295
How we do it

Have orig house battery in sealed compartment.....next to it have trailer battery in regular box with jumper cables from an emergency starting battery attached to it....that way if need more amps just raise sealed lid and hook cable to orig house battery. In basement under laundry shute have large marine battery with 1000w inverter hooked to it. If need 110 for DW sleep machine can just plug into that inverter....if need more 110 I move batt with jump cables from front bin to basement....that way can watch tv and run other items.....with truck electrical cable hooked to trailer you get benefit from its battery so that supplements the now single house battery....the 2500HD has a place for a second battery under the hood/which I have not yet added....so far no need.....but be careful as your truck battery will run down when hooked up....Have champion generator if need more....and if it wont start just take battery with jumper cables and hook to truck and if the batteries are good, they will build up enough charge by sitting to turn the truck over.....I vent with fan that I use for summer under the awning sitting on small table with both basement doors open/it on one side and batts on other.....if charge the batteries in the basement....so far no boom..good luck
__________________

2011 Silverado 2500HD 6.0 Gas 3.73
2013 Flagstaff 8524 RLWS
1978 Cape Dory Ketch
sail2liv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 09:24 AM   #16
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,865
Quote:
Originally Posted by sail2liv View Post
Have orig house battery in sealed compartment.....next to it have trailer battery in regular box with jumper cables from an emergency starting battery attached to it....that way if need more amps just raise sealed lid and hook cable to orig house battery.
While your arrangements sound good, the one thing you might want to consider is a 2 way battery switch instead of the jumper cables to the low battery.

If you do jumper to the used battery terminals, the higher voltage battery will discharge into the low battery as they try to equalize. You will quickly find your self with two low batteries.

Better to use a "1 -2 - both" selector (and never use "both" with two different types, or charge state, of batteries).

Note: My batteries were both purchased at the same time and are identical Deka DC-24's - my switch always is Both or Off.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Blue%20Seas%20PN%206007200.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	40.6 KB
ID:	21514   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3826.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	59.2 KB
ID:	21516  
Attached Images
 
__________________
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 11-11-2012, 03:27 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
moondog2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Beaumont
Posts: 159
My batteries are hooked up as a bank. I run them in parallel so to only put out 12v. It makes sense that one is going to work and the other is going to loaf. The wiring from the trailer is 6 ga so I took a pair of 6ga jumper cables and cut to size and put ends on to hook up. Right now I am leaving my trailer plugged in to 120 and the house battery hooked up. If I buy a matching battery but don't hook it up as it would be setting in my driveway just waiting to be stolen my house batt would be getting used up. Is it ok to disconect the house batt while the trailer is plugged in to 120v ? or should I disconect the batt and unplug the trailer and only plug it in when I need it ?
moondog2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 06:09 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
sail2liv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 295
plugged in

I leave my trailer pluged in all the time......just check you water level in the battery.....I add h20 about once a month or longer.....just have to be careful tho keep plates covered with fluid if you have lead acid....I leave my second battery with the jumper cable unhooked and keep it at full charge.....along with marine battery in basement.....all batteries are always at full charge unless no 110 for boondocking....I decide where electric useage will be most to determine which battery I hook the extra one ...... that way it can be used either at the 12 v house battery or the marine battery using the inverter to make 110....plus leave TV hooked up too.....especially if it is cold and furnace runs alot.....keep fluid in battery and have it fully charged is best way to have it last....I have battery switch similiar to lous.....on sailboat....I always leave it on both and I get ten years out of those batteries....I do switch to one battery at times when at anchor so I have full battery to start engine.....
__________________

2011 Silverado 2500HD 6.0 Gas 3.73
2013 Flagstaff 8524 RLWS
1978 Cape Dory Ketch
sail2liv 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 03:48 PM.