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Old 12-14-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
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<h6 ="uiStreamMessage" -ft="&quot;&quot;:1">I

am full timing in a Crossroads Seville 35RL, I need the right batteries

for it to winter camp (dry camp) for 1-2 days at a time. I do not have a

generator. It appears the best solution is 2 - 6 volt "golf cart" style

batteries in series...is this correct? I also had someone suggest a 12v

GEL battery. What say you? I'm in the NORTH and plan to head into the

MOUNTAINS for part of Jan and Feb. (Yeah, I know I'm nuts!)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and ideas, Al
</span></h6>



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Old 12-14-2011, 03:38 AM   #2
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AL:
I don't think two 6 volt golf cart batteries will be enough to get you thru 2 nights of winter camping. The fan on your furnace draws to many amps for the batteries to hold up. You should have some means of rejuvenating the batteries every day. Without solar panels or some other way of charging, I believe a generator is a must for that situation.




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Old 12-14-2011, 05:10 AM   #3
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I agree with Old Farmer. I use the 2-6 volt setup for hunting and the furnace fan drains the batteries pretty quick (and I'm only in upper 20s for lows). I use the generator to recharge them in the evening before going to bed each night. They might make it the two nights, but they would be pretty much wiped out. I have the heat shut off during the day to conserve as much energy as possible. Even if it is a small generator, it would help recharge them.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
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I agree with the two previous opinions. However, a few hours running a generator to charge batteries via a converter is probably equal to 15 minutes running your vehicle engine if you are hooked up to charge the camper batteries from the truck alternator. If that's your case, you might get away with it by idling the truck for a short time.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:42 AM   #5
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My furnace fan uses 6.70 amps while running. You should be able to calc how long it can run to drain your batteries down to 50%. Will also need to calc all other battery drains.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:37 AM   #6
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I have a suburban furnace. According to their chart, it draws 8.5 amps. (20,000--30,000 BTUH Input)
When you get to the 35,000 BTU it raises to 9.4 amps
The 40,000 BTU unit takes 11.5 amps

It has always been my understanding, when your battery/batteries reach 50% they are pretty well discharged. I never let mine get that low. Those Trojans cost to much money.




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Old 12-15-2011, 05:47 AM   #7
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Thanks, i'm still searching for the info I need. Even 1 night would be good... since if I do dry-camp, i'm likely "on the move" and would be driving the next day...and then the system would charge. So, effectively making it 1 night is ok. The problem is the series 24 battery they gave me is obviously not sufficient... so, of all the solutions proposed, i'm leaning towards 2 AGM 6v batteries and I'm not ruling out a solar panel system.

Keep the ideas coming...




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Old 12-15-2011, 06:07 AM   #8
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I can understand what you are going thru with this. BUT____
The old saying keeps running thru my mind--there ain't no free lunch.





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Old 12-15-2011, 07:05 AM   #9
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I'm not looking for a free lunch; i'm looking for the best solution - my needs are to have heat for at least 1 night on the road running the batteries. Its a Seville 35RL... all i'll run is the furnace... can i make it with 2 golf cart batteries? I'm prepared to get Trojan or Odyssey if necessary. I'm not prepared to add more "stuff" just at the moment - will the batteries do the job?

Al




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Old 12-15-2011, 09:09 AM   #10
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Nobody said you were looking for a free lunch.



Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peukert%27s_Law and down at the bottom click on the link to Gibsons Excel spreadsheet for calculating usage.



A 200AH battery (20 hour rating) when discharged at a 15A rate will last 11.81 hours. 10A will go 20 hours. It doesn't say if that's fully discharged or half.



Now how much current do you want to draw and for how long? From that you can calculate the battery size needed. I would suggest putting an ammeter in line and measure the actual draw with normal operation as you plan it.



I would guess and say based on the heater drawing 6.7A max but not on all the time plus the current for the fridge (even on propane it needs current to light the gas) plus a couple of lights you could go at least one night (12 hours) on a 200AH battery setup. If you drive your vehicle every day and it's setup to charge the batteries you should be OK. All of that is a guess.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #11
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If you can, switch a few of your inside lights to LED, every little bit helps when dry camping...



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Old 12-15-2011, 12:36 PM   #12
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Ok, the ideas are appreciated, but here is the spirit of my question - I'm NOT going to add a converter, solar system, or generator at the moment. I am prepared to run ONLY the refrig (on gas - but it will still draw something) AND the furnace...for a night or two.

I'm NOT penny-wise and pound-foolish. A decent battery will probably cost me $200, a great one $300...and I know I'll need 2... the extra $100 - $200 is NOT an issue for me - I'll pay it and NOT count amp-hours to figure out the "minimum" I need. My question is simply this: Since I'm told 2 - 6v batterys in series are the (apparently) best solution and the AGM is the preferred design... I simply would like to know if *anyone* here as used this arrangement with success for 1-2 nights of dry camping and if so, WHICH Brand of battery and model they used and where they bought it. Make sense? Al




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Old 12-16-2011, 01:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansills

My question is simply this: Since I'm told 2 - 6v batterys in series are the (apparently) best solution and the AGM is the preferred design... I simply would like to know if *anyone* here as used this arrangement with success for 1-2 nights of dry camping and if so, WHICH Brand of battery and model they used and where they bought it. Make sense? Al


IMO you have been told correctly that 2 6v in series is the best solution. I have two Trojan 125s and they are a vast improvement over the 2 Interstate deep cycle 12v that they replaced. I dry camp alot, but not in winter however. I guess the biggest test I've put them through was a 3 night hunting trip last spring (early April). The weather was cold and snow, highsaround40during the day andovernight lows in the mid to upper twenties and I made the 3 nights just fine. I had my generators just in case I might need them, but never had to use them. Keep in mind that I had the thermostat set at 55 overnight. I would turn it up to 65 or soin the evenings and when we got up in the morning, but the rest of the time it was turned all the way down.

Also, I'm not sure that AGM is a better design than the wet cell. It does have advantages but if I remember correctly they don't have the amp hour capacity of the 6 volt wet cells. You can find detailed specs on the battery mfg web sites for comparisons between brands/types and make your decision form there. Hope this helps....
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:23 AM   #14
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A hundred dollar Harbor Freight 900w generator would be very cheap insurance.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:41 AM   #15
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I was able to make it through the night on two 12 V batteries, but they wouldn't make it through the second night while dry camping. I switched to two 6V golf batteries (Sam's Club special. Eveready or maybe Energizer brand I think, not the better quality Trojans). They have no problem going through the first night. And if they are fully charged at the beginning of the first night, they can make it through the second. Granted, my dry camping is not in extreme temps (lows in the upper 20's), but they will make it. I run the fridge on propane and I have switched out most of the lights I use to LED's. I have done this for a couple of seasons now, but I have the generator to recharge and act as a backup just in case. What I don't know is how quickly your battery will charge while driving. If I understand the concept of the charge process, it will absorb a larger quantity quickly when it is fully discharged, but as it it gets closer to a full charge, it absorbs that more slowly. In other words, it takes longer to get that last 5-10% of a charge than it does to take you from say 60% to 90%. That is based on using a battery charger. Maybe someone here can confirm what it would pull from the tow vehicle. Hope this helps.

Edited by: Monty
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:33 AM   #16
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Here is an example: Two trojan 105 will total about 220 amps. I will try not to discharge them to below 50%. So I have 110 amps to use. If my furnace uses 6.7 amps, frig on propane uses 0.30 amps, and a light uses 2.6 amps, thats about 10 amps total. 110 amps storage divided by 10 amps drain equals 11 hours continuous usage. BTW, if your furnace is on all the time, it's too cold to be campin'. Edited by: Korbe & Diana
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:51 AM   #17
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Thanks! Your responses are helpful. I understand the physics of battery charging and know it will take a full day of driving to charge the battery. I think I have settled in on two - 6 volt Fullriver batteries (model dc224-6). Any one have any experience with fullriver? They're about $223 each. I didn't passout when I heard the price. I have a business anyway that I run from the RV...so, i'll just write it off! Al



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Old 12-16-2011, 07:33 AM   #18
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I've never heard the Fullriver name before you mentioned it. The specs on that model are comparable to the Trojan T-105, the price is way more though.(probably because they are an AGM battery) You should be able to get the Trojans for around $130 each. But hey, if money's no object....Edited by: rock1424
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:44 AM   #19
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well, don't wanna come across like 'money bags' here; but business is good and if an extra $93 per battery (thats what it amounts to) - and i'm getting 2...if this helps me to sleep better at night, it will quickly be worth the extra $186.; see where i'm coming from? al
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:39 AM   #20
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I have seen posts where people have put "4" batteries inline for usage...have you considered figuring out a way to use 4 instead of 2? Just a thought but that is what I would do...and I know it can be done...I've seen posts on here where people have modified and used such. Just a thought. Hope it helps some

Jim
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