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Old 06-26-2018, 03:55 PM   #1
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Battery Help

Hi fellow RVers. I'm new to this whole journey and certainly no genius when it comes to electrical things. I've tried to do some googling but I really don't understand so I'm hoping someone here can explain.

We have a Wildwood Xlite 271BHXL. The dealer gave us one 12V battery an Interstate HD-24DP. Our first dry trip to the beach we drained the battery in about 36 hours just using the water pump when needed, one LED light inside just briefly, etc. The fridge was on the propane setting. We are considering either adding another 12V for around $100 or trading the one we have and getting two 6V to the tune of about $300 with the credit for trading our 12V.

Anyone have experience with one or another of these options? We won't be dry camping for more than 3-4 days max. We do have the setup for the GoPower system which is $680 so we may get that in the near future or considering one of the Honda portable generators for $1k but those are costly and I'm gathering we would still probably want the two 6V battery system if we go with solar.

The guy at Interstate batteries thinks the two 6V system might run the AC which is a single 13,500BTU but I find that hard to believe.

Help me understand what works for you!
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:09 PM   #2
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Wow salesmen are all alike. You can not practically run an AC on two 6V batteries. An AC with a 12A load will draw over 120A DC. Most 6V golf cart batteries are 220AHr and you want to try to keep from drawing them below 40-50% so 110Ahr. But two 6V golf cart batteries is the way to go. The group 24 battery is a dual purpose starting / deep cycle?? battery and will support exactly what you saw it support. They are inexpensive and they meet the min requirement to operate the breakaway system and provide some power when not connected. I would go with the two 6V gold cart batteries. They will work well for you and will be good when you add solar. You may also want to check your fridge. The control board and in some models a heater run on 12V even on propane. The heater is a resistance heater that heats the area between the fridge and freezer door to prevent condensation. It is a battery killer. You can remove the wire from the control board to disable it.
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:11 PM   #3
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Oh yea....it will run the Ac....with a big inverter.....for maybe 10 minutes....totally frying the batteries. Do not do that. Look into the solar option. There are many options that may cost less.
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:16 PM   #4
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OH, by the way, I bought 2 six volt cart type batteries (Trojan clones) for 94.00 each at Costco. If going this route, you will need an additional jumper between the 2 batteries. Remember, these are 6 volt batteries, and must be connected in SERIES.
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:20 PM   #5
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Thank you both!
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:34 PM   #6
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Just remember that two 6V batteries are much heavier as a rule than a single 12v.
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:35 PM   #7
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Thanks Mike. They'll be sitting on the metal brace on the travel trailer so I think it should be ok. Any reason to think it won't be?
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mrscloonan View Post

The guy at Interstate batteries thinks the two 6V system might run the AC which is a single 13,500BTU but I find that hard to believe.
What an idiot! Next time you see him, tell him he's got a lot to learn.
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:51 PM   #9
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Thanks Mike. They'll be sitting on the metal brace on the travel trailer so I think it should be ok. Any reason to think it won't be?
Just mentioning it as it seems like tongue weight grows rather rapidly. If you don't add a bunch of other weight to the front of your trailer you should be golden. The 6 V's weigh 65-75 lbs versus 40-45 for a grp 24. That could be an extra 100# or more on the tongue. How that works for you will depend on overall weight distribution of your "cargo".
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:54 PM   #10
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Wow, you got 36 hours out of a group 24? That is pretty good. Although, you really weren't using much. If you dry camp for 3-4 days, a pair of 6 volt "golf cart" batteries is a good start. Even better if you get a nice little solar system to top them off during the day.

The way I look at it, you have a nice homey trailer to camp in, you shouldn't have to feel like settlers crossing the country in the 1850's, living in the dark doing everything by lantern light.

We have 2 golf cart batteries, spent 4 days, had one person with their computer plugged into a 300 watt inverter for a few hours 2 days, many small electronics charging every day, fridge on propane, water pump running, heat at night to keep the cold off (set at like 55), turned on whatever lights we wanted, and had the awning lights running several hours every night. I do have portable 200 watt solar panels to top off the batteries every day which worked great until the cloudy day, but, we still made it through that day and into the next.

I bought this trailer to be more comfortable than the primitive tent camping. Paid money for the conveniences, and darn it, I am going to use them. That said, I am in the planning phase of 4 golf cart batteries, or maybe 3-4 12 volt batteries and step up my capacity. Then, get a 2000 watt inverter in the picture so that I can run the microwave here and there. Why? Why not? I didn't pay this much money for a trailer so I can stumble around in the dark.

Oh, if you are going to do a lot of dry camping, get a real battery monitor so you can keep track of the battery level. The LED light thing in the camper won't cut it. Or to get you started, get a cheap volt meter and periodically check the battery voltage against the 12 volt battery level chart that can be found all over the internet. 12 volt life is a hobby all into itself.
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:00 PM   #11
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What an idiot! Next time you see him, tell him he's got a lot to learn.
If connected to the properly sized inverter the AC will probably run. How long it will run is the real issue. Maybe an hour if the batteries are fully charged and the inverter can deliver the surge current necessary to start the A/C.

One hour on a hot day isn't going to be very useful. Get a generator for the A/C and use the inverter for the microwave. The microwave may draw as much current as the A/C unit but only for a fraction of the amount of time. 3-4 minutes of run time, once or twice per day versus hours and hours of running the A/C?

FWIW, not all RV sales people are ignorant. It's just that the smart ones are so grossly outnumbered.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:03 PM   #12
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You already damaged the group 24 battery by running it nearly flat. Don't do the same to your new ones...it gets expensive. You boondocks so you need to install a real battery monitor ..see victron or trimetric. It will tell you everything you need to know about your batteries and charging systems. In the meantime
Don't go below half full on your batteries.
Don't leave batteries stored at less than 100 percent full between trips.

Charging your batteries FULLY will take at least 6 hours. If you get a pair of 6 volts your charger should be able to deliver 45 amps and be a modern 3 or 4 stage charger.GOOD LUCK with it all.
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:12 AM   #13
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So do we need to change out the RV charging system to a 4 stage? If so where is it and can a person access it??
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:42 AM   #14
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...You may also want to check your fridge. The control board and in some models a heater run on 12V even on propane. The heater is a resistance heater that heats the area between the fridge and freezer door to prevent condensation. It is a battery killer. You can remove the wire from the control board to disable it.
To the OP, please make sure you didn't miss this advice from Bob. We have a sticky thread in our electrical section specifically about this issue:

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...art-26676.html

That heater pulls something like 2+ Amps, over 36 hours, it alone would have pulled 72 amp-hours out of your batteries. Very important to disable it if you have one in your fridge and you plan to camp without power.
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:47 AM   #15
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So do we need to change out the RV charging system to a 4 stage? If so where is it and can a person access it??
You don't need to use a 4 stage charger but it is the preferred charger if you're buying a new one. A three-stage is sufficient if that's what came with your coach. The converter is usually found near the electrical outlet on your coach from the pedestal and also near the AC circuit breakers but I don't know your coach so I will defer 2 others with actual hands-on experience.


What you need though if you are upgrading your batteries is enough amps in your converter to quickly charge them you want your converter to be at least 20 to 25% of your battery amp hours. So in the case of a pair of 6 volt batteries you will want to have around 50 to 55 amps at least in your converter to charge in the least amount of time. Hope this helps.
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