Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-11-2020, 11:12 AM   #1
swj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 158
Staying warm in National Parks

Reconsidering: Need battery upgrade to run furnace at night , and a few lights, etc... in limited generator hours National Parks. 2017 FRiver Surveyor travel trailer.
Option 1: Add another Napa DUAL battery #24, 8240, 62 ah per, total 124 ah, weight 88 lbs, run parallel, cost $100 plus battery box.
Option 2: Take off existing battery and replace with one Napa DEEP CYCLE #31, 8231, 105 ah, weight 60 lbs. Cost $180, plus battery box.
Option 3: Take off... replace with Optima Bluetop DEEP CYCLE AMG 31M, 75 ah, weight 60 lbs. Cost $300, plus battery box. And change out the trailers inverter/charger to a AMG spec charger/inverter and buy a AMG spec home charger. All in cost $1000? Changing out trailers charger/inverter is to take advantage of the faster recharge rate for Bluetop 31m, per Optima.
Option 4: Buy 2 Duracell DEEP CYCLE 6 volt golf cart batteries and install. Still researching this option. Pros and cons of golf cart batteries?? Weigh 120 lbs, 215 ah at 20 hours each???? Hookup batteries in series. Combine ah 215 ah 12 volts? Cost $250, plus battery box. Comments? Killed 2 batteries last summer... ran them all the way down, would not recharged and the battery died each night, got cold!
swj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 11:27 AM   #2
Trailer Park Supervisor
 
NJKris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 3,283
After all the reading on this forum, I opted for a pair of golf cart batts. I think my Dekas were 128 lbs for the pair, 259 bucks, plus battery box and series connection cables. Don't forget you still want to keep discharge at no more than 50% if you want long life, so whatever the amp hours rating is, cut in half for actual amp hours. When running in series like golf cart batts, voltage doubles, amp hours stays the same.
__________________
2019 Rockwood Geo Pro G19FD w/off road package
2015 Ford F150 XLT Super Cab 4x4 V8
NJKris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 11:38 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ozark, MO
Posts: 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by swj View Post
Reconsidering: Need battery upgrade to run furnace at night , and a few lights, etc... in limited generator hours National Parks. 2017 FRiver Surveyor travel trailer.
Option 1: Add another Napa DUAL battery #24, 8240, 62 ah per, total 124 ah, weight 88 lbs, run parallel, cost $100 plus battery box.
Option 2: Take off existing battery and replace with one Napa DEEP CYCLE #31, 8231, 105 ah, weight 60 lbs. Cost $180, plus battery box.
Option 3: Take off... replace with Optima Bluetop DEEP CYCLE AMG 31M, 75 ah, weight 60 lbs. Cost $300, plus battery box. And change out the trailers inverter/charger to a AMG spec charger/inverter and buy a AMG spec home charger. All in cost $1000? Changing out trailers charger/inverter is to take advantage of the faster recharge rate for Bluetop 31m, per Optima.
Option 4: Buy 2 Duracell DEEP CYCLE 6 volt golf cart batteries and install. Still researching this option. Pros and cons of golf cart batteries?? Weigh 120 lbs, 215 ah at 20 hours each???? Hookup batteries in series. Combine ah 215 ah 12 volts? Cost $250, plus battery box. Comments? Killed 2 batteries last summer... ran them all the way down, would not recharged and the battery died each night, got cold!
I had the exact same questions you have. Lots of choices, no really good answers found. So last weekend I went to the local battery store, which is a regional chain. I had purchased deep cycle batteries from them before and had been very happy with the performance. The two group 27's that I had purchased went with my prior rig when I sold it, and I am considering my options for the new trailer I plan on purchasing.
Not only is the gentleman at the store a battery expert, but he is also a fellow RVer and also a prior RV service tech. In short, his advice is to stick with the traditional deep cycle battery. He was familiar with the trailer I plan on purchasing. Two group 24's will fit on the tongue mount but two 27's will not. However, he suggested using 2 group 27's rotated 90 degrees using an adapter plate on the tongue, which I can make myself.
Without going into detail, there were too many pitfalls for the other battery types. He could have made a bigger sale by steering me to the AGM's or 6 volt batteries, but he gave me his best advice instead. I hope that helps.
Happy Camping!
__________________
Mark & Susan
Former MBS 24R and 2401W Owners
Just recalibrating our camping set-up for now!
barnbnb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 11:39 AM   #4
swj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 158
Two concerns: 1) Additional weight of 2 golf cart batteries weight on the Surveyors 251RKS tongue is a concern. Tow vehicle is a half ton with 1730 PAYLOAD. Hitch is a 200 lbs Propride P3. Tongue weight is 900 lbs now. 2) Battery RECHARGE RATE charge rate of the diff options needs to be addressed. Gen hours are limited during stay and charge rate of trailers inverter/charger is unknowned.
swj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 12:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
007matman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 2,098
I had installed a battery on the back bumper of my pop-up back in the day.. takes some extra wire but it would work.

I went to a welder/fabricator and had him fashion a tray that went from the bottom of the frame to the bumper under the license plate and put the batteries in a marine box.

Just a thought.
007matman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 12:09 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
SeaDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Idaho
Posts: 7,407
Lots of options I have 2 interstate deep cycles on my rig however for over night warmth I run a olympic wave 6 uses very little propane and no electrical power and no blower noise.
__________________
Retired Navy
Jake my sidekick (yellow Lab) 10/04 - 05/20
2017 RAM 2500 CC 4X4 Cummins Diesel
2016 Flagstaff 26 FKWS
AF&AM & El Korah Shrine of Idaho
SeaDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 12:33 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 548
We swapped in a group 31 deep cycle. I Run the heat at 50 when sleeping and have a thick down comforter with a fleece blanket over it on the bed.
Run your generator in the morning and then at night. Charge the battery to 100% when you can but trying to get it over 90% means running it a lot. Splitting the charge into two or three separate times will keep you converter in the sweet spot charging in bulk mode longer.
If you need excessive run time to charge maybe upgrade the cable size to your battery or just add another set of cables parallel to reduce the resistance. Your battery will charge more efficiently.
A 2000w generator puts out about 15 amps. You should be able to charge your battery to 90% or so in 3-4 hours (1.5 hours twice a day) if you are getting to a 50% discharge of available amp in a group 31.
MtBiker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 12:37 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,451
Stay away from Optima batteries. Their quality went downhill once they moved production to Mexico.

If you want an AGM, buy a Deka, Lifeline or Vmax tank.

I switched to 2 Battleborn Lithiums. They will take as much charge as your converter can supply. With a lithium battery, that means if you have a 60A converter and you use 30AH during the night running your heater, your battery will be charged in 30 minutes of generator run time. Battleborn batteries weigh 30# and can take the place of two GC batteries(almost) since you can discharge them close to 100%.
__________________
2017 Coachmen 233RBS
2018 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5 Eco
"Common sense is not very common"
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 12:38 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,451
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtBiker View Post
WA 2000w generator puts out about 15 amps. You should be able to charge your battery to 90% or so in 3-4 hours (1.5 hours twice a day) if you are getting to a 50% discharge of available amp in a group 31.
It runs the converter so it's whatever your converter will supply the battery. Typically, max current during bulk charge will be 20% of the battery capacity for a flooded lead acid battery. AGMs will accept more and lithium will accept 100%.
__________________
2017 Coachmen 233RBS
2018 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5 Eco
"Common sense is not very common"
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 12:51 PM   #10
Site Team
 
bikendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 22,537
As avid dry campers, we've never had issues with a dual battery setup, along with a Honda 2000i inverter generator.
No generator hours problems at Yoesemite, Glacier, Yellowstone or Grand Tetons. Run for couple hours in the morning and a couple of hours before dark.
BUT will move to a pair of 6v golf cart batteries in the near future. My F150 has 1828lbs of payload capacity and my 4pt Equal-i-zer weighs much less than your PP.
swj, sounds like you aren't taking care of your batteries properly. You must be running them down below 50% too often.
__________________
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
Equalizer WDH
bikendan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 12:51 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by babock View Post
It runs the converter so it's whatever your converter will supply the battery. Typically, max current during bulk charge will be 20% of the battery capacity for a flooded lead acid battery. AGMs will accept more and lithium will accept 100%.
The converter can only output as much as the generator provides. An AGM or lithium will charge the just about the same as an FLA only given 15 amps to charge with. Given more available charging amps a lithium will gobble them up.
MtBiker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 01:20 PM   #12
Trailer Park Supervisor
 
NJKris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 3,283
Good point MtBiker, now I'm thinking.....I have a 2k watt champion generator (2000 surge, about 1700 W continuous). At 120v AC, that's just over 14 amps provided. I have not tried generator yet. My WFCO converter is 35 amp output, which is probably irrelevant (does that mean all that current is directed to converter for charging when no other DC circuits are sharing it?). Guessing with my dual GC FLA batts, I could parallel my gens and produce over 28 amps continuous, which would cut my bulk charge time in half, which might be helpful in situations with restrictions on generator run times....right? I would think doing that in the morning, and then using solar for absorption phase would be most efficient solution.
__________________
2019 Rockwood Geo Pro G19FD w/off road package
2015 Ford F150 XLT Super Cab 4x4 V8
NJKris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 01:30 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by swj View Post
Reconsidering: Need battery upgrade to run furnace at night , and a few lights, etc... in limited generator hours National Parks. 2017 FRiver Surveyor travel trailer.
Option 1: Add another Napa DUAL battery #24, 8240, 62 ah per, total 124 ah, weight 88 lbs, run parallel, cost $100 plus battery box.
Option 2: Take off existing battery and replace with one Napa DEEP CYCLE #31, 8231, 105 ah, weight 60 lbs. Cost $180, plus battery box.
Option 3: Take off... replace with Optima Bluetop DEEP CYCLE AMG 31M, 75 ah, weight 60 lbs. Cost $300, plus battery box. And change out the trailers inverter/charger to a AMG spec charger/inverter and buy a AMG spec home charger. All in cost $1000? Changing out trailers charger/inverter is to take advantage of the faster recharge rate for Bluetop 31m, per Optima.
Option 4: Buy 2 Duracell DEEP CYCLE 6 volt golf cart batteries and install. Still researching this option. Pros and cons of golf cart batteries?? Weigh 120 lbs, 215 ah at 20 hours each???? Hookup batteries in series. Combine ah 215 ah 12 volts? Cost $250, plus battery box. Comments? Killed 2 batteries last summer... ran them all the way down, would not recharged and the battery died each night, got cold!

You must really like it hot inside . i have never run down even one battery using the furnace at night at below freezing temps . 2 batteries is good for a few days and 3 well never ran out of juice . i would go with true deep cycle batteries either 12 or 6 v both will serve you well and see no reason why you can't get one night out of one battery
MR.M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 01:35 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
B and B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 10,684
Send a message via AIM to B and B
Great solution. Two Group 27 will work just fine in this application and cost wise are not too bad.
B and B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 02:05 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 8,999
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtBiker View Post
The converter can only output as much as the generator provides. An AGM or lithium will charge the just about the same as an FLA only given 15 amps to charge with. Given more available charging amps a lithium will gobble them up.
If a generator is putting out 15 amps it's doing so at an output voltage of 120 volts (give or take).

Battery charging is done at 13-14 volts which means the output potential for charging is more like 130+ amps, providing the converter is that large.

In reality most converters are in the 40-60 amp range and will charge a lithium battery with as much current as is left over from the converter after running other 12 volt accessories.

Lead acid batteries charge on a tapered curve. As voltage rises the current drops. Lithium's charge on more of a straight line curve, with current dropping off only after the battery has reached the last stage of it's charging curve.

My two Battleborn batteries will draw 58-60 amps while charging on the generator (60 amp converter) until the SOC reaches approximately 95% and drop to nothing in the next 30 minutes or so.

From fully 20-30% SOC to 100% SOC averages 3-1/2 hours total when running generator.

Depending on how low the temp's go below freezing I can go 2-3 days without recharging if necessary. Overnight is never an issue and recharge times are a mere fraction of the time needed to charge a Lead/Acid battery bank.

Not the cheapest solution but a far better one. As for charging in cold, no issues for me as the batteries are mounted inside in the heated area.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the tree"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 02:08 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
Good point MtBiker, now I'm thinking.....I have a 2k watt champion generator (2000 surge, about 1700 W continuous). At 120v AC, that's just over 14 amps provided. I have not tried generator yet. My WFCO converter is 35 amp output, which is probably irrelevant (does that mean all that current is directed to converter for charging when no other DC circuits are sharing it?). Guessing with my dual GC FLA batts, I could parallel my gens and produce over 28 amps continuous, which would cut my bulk charge time in half, which might be helpful in situations with restrictions on generator run times....right? I would think doing that in the morning, and then using solar for absorption phase would be most efficient solution.
Ha, you get it!
While most of the numbers are nominal and not exact calculations that's the way it all works.
Final top off in the evening if your batteries are still down of course.
I kind of run my generator if everyone else is. Trying not to be that first guy in the morning unless absolutely needed.
MtBiker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 02:12 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,451
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtBiker View Post
The converter can only output as much as the generator provides. An AGM or lithium will charge the just about the same as an FLA only given 15 amps to charge with. Given more available charging amps a lithium will gobble them up.
A converter putting out 20A at 14VDC is only 280W. If the converter is 80% efficient, that's only 350W that the generator is supplying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtBiker View Post
Ha, you get it!
While most of the numbers are nominal and not exact calculations that's the way it all works.
Final top off in the evening if your batteries are still down of course.
I kind of run my generator if everyone else is. Trying not to be that first guy in the morning unless absolutely needed.
Actually, you both don't get it. My 2000W generator will allow my 60A charge into my lithium batteries with power to spare!
__________________
2017 Coachmen 233RBS
2018 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5 Eco
"Common sense is not very common"
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 02:14 PM   #18
Trailer Park Supervisor
 
NJKris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 3,283
Quote:
If a generator is putting out 15 amps it's doing so at an output voltage of 120 volts (give or take).

Battery charging is done at 13-14 volts which means the output potential for charging is more like 130+ amps, providing the converter is that large.
This is where I need clarification. If generator is putting out 15 amps at 120v AC, how do you calculate how many charging amps are available at let's say 14v dc? With your example my 1700W continuous generator (over 14 amp output) will take full advantage of my 35 amp converter?
__________________
2019 Rockwood Geo Pro G19FD w/off road package
2015 Ford F150 XLT Super Cab 4x4 V8
NJKris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 02:20 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,056
Home charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swj View Post
Option 3: Take off... replace with Optima Bluetop DEEP CYCLE AMG 31M, 75 ah, weight 60 lbs. Cost $300, plus battery box. And change out the trailers inverter/charger to a AMG spec charger/inverter and buy a AMG spec home charger. All in cost $1000? Changing out trailers charger/inverter is to take advantage of the faster recharge rate for Bluetop 31m, per Optima.
Umm, it's AGM, not AMG. Absorbed Glass Mat. (Instead of free liquid between the lead plates, there's a glass mat--woven fiberglass strands--between the lead plates which wicks/absorbs the liquid.

But my real question is why you inserted a cost for the home charger. Just plug the trailer in at home and let the (new) converter do its job.
__________________
Larry

Sticks and Bricks: Raleigh, NC
2008 Cherokee 38P: at Ivor, VA permanently
Larry-NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2020, 02:20 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,451
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
This is where I need clarification. If generator is putting out 15 amps at 120v AC, how do you calculate how many charging amps are available at let's say 14v dc? With your example my 1700W continuous generator (over 14 amp output) will take full advantage of my 35 amp converter?
Correct! That's why power companies boost the voltage to thousands of volts so the conductors carry less current. Once the voltage is dropped through transformers, the current can be larger. You look at the total power to make your calculations.
__________________
2017 Coachmen 233RBS
2018 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5 Eco
"Common sense is not very common"
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 12:03 PM.