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Old 08-09-2013, 10:26 PM   #1
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Wrong Battery?

I purchased a new TT a few months back and just had it out for a couple of days of dry camping. While trouble shooting some issues, I looked up the battery Insterstate 24M-RD on the Interstate site. They have it listed in the Starting battery category. Could this be a problem?
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:16 PM   #2
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Certainly not the best choice and won't last very long if you use it dry camping, but what the heck you gotta dance with what brung you. When it gives out, replace with a GOOD 12 Deep cycle or better yet 2 6 volters and you will be better off.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:17 PM   #3
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Yes it will be a problem if you camp w/o hookups.
It only has 75Ah of Reserve Capacity - of which 1/2 is safe to use b4 damage might occur.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:06 AM   #4
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As mentioned, your trailer came with a group 24 battery made mostly for marine dual purpose use where it acts as both a starting battery and to provide some capacity to the boat's systems. Its not a good choice for an RVer looking to dry camp for more than one night. It won't last two nights for most people without being discharged too much and over discharging greatly reduced their lifespan, which is not much to begin with.

As mentioned, a bigger true deep-cycle is much better for RVers. Deep cycle batteries are designed to be discharged and recharged many times. These batteries will not typically list ratings such as CCA but instead use Amp hours. The 20hr rate is what you want to use in comparing these batteries. Basically, get the one with the most capacity in the 20hr rate. They are substantially more expensive and heavier than your current group 24 battery.

You can buy two or more 12-volt deep-cycle batteries of the same kind, type and age battery and wire them in parallel for even greater capacity.

Many opt for creating a bank of two 6-volt batteries wired in series, which can have some benefits over the 12-volt banks; See 12-Volt Side of Life. Again, these need to be of the same type and age. Never pair different batteries together or pair two of the same that are different ages.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:35 AM   #5
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Thanks. That was my fear and the reason the batteries died so soon. Does Forrest River decide on the batteries or is that something the dealer installed?
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #6
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Thanks. That was my fear and the reason the batteries died so soon. Does Forrest River decide on the batteries or is that something the dealer installed?
From my experience the trailers are shipped without a box or battery. The dealer installs both and are his choice. When I ordered my camper , I supplied the box and battery of my choice and got a discount from the sales price.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:05 AM   #7
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Good question, they have to have a battery for delivery for the emergency brake, so maybe they have a cheapy for that purpose. These dual purpose batteries will not last in dry camping, they are not designed to take ANY discharge other than starting a car,
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:14 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for the quick input. I will send a note to Wildcat Steve-West Coast Rep and my dealer asking if this was a mistake or a conscious decision and let you know what the response is At least I found the main problem and not just hating the trailer. If I have to swap batteries out, is there a disadvantage to going with 6 volt?
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #9
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These dual purpose batteries will not last in dry camping, they are not designed to take ANY discharge other than starting a car,
I have a dual purpose "Marine" battery that has done fairly well.....even though I completely discharged it a couple of weeks ago.....my bad !!

The battery is an Interstate SRM-24 bought in March 2010. It got a little sluggish a couple of years ago, and a defulfator perked it right back up. Because of the recent discharge, I might have to replace it soon, but will see how it does in the meantime.

When the original Interstate HD24-DP (bought 2008) starting getting a little sluggish and needed replacing with the new battery, that went to my Jeep. Still working !!

Yes, a true deep cycle battery may work a little better, but don't rule out the dual purpose marine batteries.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MtnGuy View Post

I have a dual purpose "Marine" battery that has done fairly well.....even though I completely discharged it a couple of weeks ago.....my bad !!

The battery is an Interstate SRM-24 bought in March 2010. It got a little sluggish a couple of years ago, and a defulfator perked it right back up. Because of the recent discharge, I might have to replace it soon, but will see how it does in the meantime.

When the original Interstate HD24-DP (bought 2008) starting getting a little sluggish and needed replacing with the new battery, that went to my Jeep. Still working !!

Yes, a true deep cycle battery may work a little better, but don't rule out the dual purpose marine batteries.
I guess that I and basic battery phisics are wrong then. To each his own. To reiterate my point. If the OP is planning on routine dry camping and going to use 50% of the battery capacity between charges, then a dual purpose battery will not last long, probably not more than one season.

Disclaimer: Your experiance may be different, depending on local conditions etc. If you do not dry camp much then you can put anything in there it doesn't matter...
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:52 AM   #11
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MtnGuy - After some more research, I understand the problem a little better. Your battery SRM24 is listed as Dual Purpose and has a reserve of 140. Mine 24M-rd is listed only as a Marine Starting Battery and has a reserve of 72, quite a difference and not created to last. I think that if Interstate thought it was Dual Purpose, they would have listed it in that category on their sit.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:59 AM   #12
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MtnGuy - After some more research, I understand the problem a little better. Your battery SRM24 is listed as Dual Purpose and has a reserve of 140. Mine 24M-rd is listed only as a Marine Starting Battery and has a reserve of 72, quite a difference and not created to last. I think that if Interstate thought it was Dual Purpose, they would have listed it in that category on their sit.
AND that battery, as you probably know by now will not perform well, or last long. Once you gauge your usage pattern (number of AH needed per day and days between charges) then buy a battery or battery bank that has at least twice the capacity and make sure they are first rate deep cycle batts. IMO of course.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:22 AM   #13
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If I have to swap batteries out, is there a disadvantage to going with 6 volt?
No real disadvantages. The one that crops up every now and then is the case where a battery dies. In the case of a two 6-volt in series bank, the one dead 6-volt renders the bank useless for your 12-volt systems. To me, the chances of this happening are remote. And, happening suddenly, with no warning, while on a trip is more so.

Generally speaking, I believe you typically can get a better bang for your buck in the cost per amp-hour with a pair of 6v in series.

Also, with 6v batteries, you are more assured of getting true deep-cycle batteries, intended for what you're using them for. I say this because the term "deep-cycle" is thrown around loosely and you need to be careful. Stay with name brands and look around at some of the really good battery manufacturers like Trojan to make your decision about 12v vs 6v. Trojan makes good deep cycle batteries as do a few others.

To be really clear, though (and as a caveat), true deep cycle 12 volts and 6-volt banks can be very similar and the 6-volt option is not extraordinarily better.

I note that the Trojan T-145s are currently $190 each while the relatively bigger T-1275 plus are $210 each. Two T-1275s in parallel will provide 40 additional Ah than two T-145s in series at a cost of $40 and 20 more lbs on the trailer. That makes the 12 volt setup enticing to me right now. But this can change. I got my T-145s for $150 each when the equivalent 12-volts were $240 each so you need to stay up on it.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:59 AM   #14
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So much to learn. Thanks for all of your help

I just received a response from the salesman stating that they do install the batteries after delivery and that they should be Deep Cycle capable of powering the trailer for the weekend if fully charged. I have sent links from Interstates site as to what I found with my battery being labeled a Starting Battery.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:08 PM   #15
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No real disadvantages. The one that crops up every now and then is the case where a battery dies. In the case of a two 6-volt in series bank, the one dead 6-volt renders the bank useless for your 12-volt systems. To me, the chances of this happening are remote. And, happening suddenly, with no warning, while on a trip is more so.

Generally speaking, I believe you typically can get a better bang for your buck in the cost per amp-hour with a pair of 6v in series.

Also, with 6v batteries, you are more assured of getting true deep-cycle batteries, intended for what you're using them for. I say this because the term "deep-cycle" is thrown around loosely and you need to be careful. Stay with name brands and look around at some of the really good battery manufacturers like Trojan to make your decision about 12v vs 6v. Trojan makes good deep cycle batteries as do a few others.

To be really clear, though (and as a caveat), true deep cycle 12 volts and 6-volt banks can be very similar and the 6-volt option is not extraordinarily better.

I note that the Trojan T-145s are currently $190 each while the relatively bigger T-1275 plus are $210 each. Two T-1275s in parallel will provide 40 additional Ah than two T-145s in series at a cost of $40 and 20 more lbs on the trailer. That makes the 12 volt setup enticing to me right now. But this can change. I got my T-145s for $150 each when the equivalent 12-volts were $240 each so you need to stay up on it.
X2 times 10. Especially about the apparent claims for deep cycle batts that really aren't. Some good sources of information are the marine and solar applications, which are much more mature than the RV industries. Look around and you can make the best decisions.

I have 2 -210 AH Deka 6V Deep cycles in my RV and 2 - 12V - Gel cell's in my boat (ventilation restricted) and have been happy with them in both situations dry camped or at anchor. It's really all about internal construction of the batts themselves and that is hard to get real information on.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:19 AM   #16
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yep, dealers install the batteries, NOT the manufacturer.

most dealers install the cheapest one they can get away with, unless you negotiate a different one in the deal.
all they care about is getting you off the lot, with the trailer.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:12 PM   #17
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I've had no problems running with the dual purpose batteries. I dry camp about half the time for usually 2 - 3 nights. I use a pair of group 24's with about 70 - 80 Ah each. A couple of things I'm anal about....constantly charged and filled, never taken below 55 -60%. My last set were going on three years without a problem before I let them go with my trade in. Sure, I had to be conservative with them, but that was well more than enough for a few nights. I actually never saw them go below 70% now that I think about it. So...if you were only going to dry camp around 3 days and take care of them, it's probably more cost effective to skip the true deep cycles.
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