Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-16-2015, 06:08 PM   #1
Family Vacation Member
 
dlwilliams48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 202
Dry camping battery question

Forgive me if this has been answered in another string, but I didn't find exactly what I was looking for when I searched.

Anyway... We camped for 2 days in Grand Canyon NP and the battery did not last anytime before it was down to "1 led" on the indicator. I had to connect the camper to the truck several times over the course of the two days to put some life back into the battery. We were careful with lights and using the water pump. The only thing I know I did wrong was to open the slide after disconnecting from the truck, which had to be a big drain.

I thought the battery might be bad (it is about 2.5 years old), so I took it to an auto parts place and they tested it. Tested out to be fine. We have another 2 days of dry camping coming up at Mesa Verde in 3 days, and I don't want to go through what we went through at GC.

I have removed the fuse from the radio to eliminate that drain, and turned off the boost at the TV (don't know if it is on when only on battery or not) and the TV itself is unplugged. My options as I see them are (1) Buy another battery so I will have 2 (about $110 at the local auto parts place). (2) Use the existing battery and hope for the best.

Any recommendations? We are still on the road, currently in Moab, Utah, so not a lot of choices otherwise. I thought surely the battery would last 2 days with careful use of water pump and lights.
__________________
Don & Mary (Don - retired Navy)
2016 Forest River 243RBS (traded '13 CR ST220RB)
2013 Ford F150 Ruby Red Super Crew Eco-boost
2017 - 500 miles, 9 nights
2016 - 3005 miles, 34 nights
2014, 14, 15 - 11,614 miles, 125 nights
dlwilliams48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 07:05 PM   #2
Full Time Camper
 
Tim D's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: So IL
Posts: 1,811
I think I would add a battery or carry a second battery already charged.
__________________

Tim
13 ST25RB
08 F-250 SC 6.8L XLT 4x4
Tim D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 07:48 PM   #3
Full Time Camper
 
Stan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,994
Did you happen to use the heater? That will drain the battery quickly.
__________________
Stan and Terri
Oak Harbor, WA
2008 Chevy 2500HD D/A
2007 Cruiser CF30SK
Glide Ride Pin Box
Reese 16K Slider
Stan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 08:24 PM   #4
Family Vacation Member
 
dlwilliams48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 202
No heater or anything that would really drain the battery other than the slide out as mentioned. Hate to buy a second battery but it would probably be worth it to not have the hassle we had at Grand Canyon. Really just want to keep the fridge going and use the water pump every once in a while.
__________________
Don & Mary (Don - retired Navy)
2016 Forest River 243RBS (traded '13 CR ST220RB)
2013 Ford F150 Ruby Red Super Crew Eco-boost
2017 - 500 miles, 9 nights
2016 - 3005 miles, 34 nights
2014, 14, 15 - 11,614 miles, 125 nights
dlwilliams48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 08:25 PM   #5
Full Time Camper
 
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Belle River , Ontario
Posts: 1,655
I got 4 1/2 days out of a 3 year old battery . but only after the fridge started blinking and the propane sniffer beeped. (2 signs that you are getting low. ) If you have a battery charger with you or can find one , find a place,like a campground bathroom , that you can fully charge your battery. A battery will take quite a long time to charge from the truck alternator,if properly at all.
__________________


It was a rainy few days at Algonquin Prov park...tarps kept us dry.
Wayne --Belle River (Windsor), Ontario
2013 Sunset Trail Reserve 25RB..
2015 White Chev Silverado 2500HD 4x4 (6.0 l gasser)
2003 Mountain Star 890SBRX Truck Camper
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 08:34 PM   #6
Site Team
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: WI.
Posts: 7,681
It's a tough call to tell you to purchase a second battery now. With the first one being 2 1/2 years old, if it was me I would want to replace them both at the same time. But--you will have to limp by some how if you go it on just the one for this trip.

With that being said, I can go for a long time if we camp in warm weather and don't need the furnace. I have all LED lights, and two 6V T105 Trojans.
If you do decide you are going to be doing enough dry camping to warrant the purchase, I would recommend them. They are expensive, but what isn't now days.
__________________
2008 Cruiser CF26RK
2013 Ford Eco-Boost
Heavy duty payload - Max tow
Lloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 08:45 PM   #7
Family Vacation Member
 
dlwilliams48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 202
Quote:
If you do decide you are going to be doing enough dry camping to warrant the purchase, I would recommend them.
Yeah, that's the kicker. We don't normally dry camp, but staying in the national parks we have to. I can't see doing that again in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, I would be willing to pay the $118 or so just to avoid the stress of having to try to keep the battery going for the fridge. We only have the one battery now.
__________________
Don & Mary (Don - retired Navy)
2016 Forest River 243RBS (traded '13 CR ST220RB)
2013 Ford F150 Ruby Red Super Crew Eco-boost
2017 - 500 miles, 9 nights
2016 - 3005 miles, 34 nights
2014, 14, 15 - 11,614 miles, 125 nights
dlwilliams48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 08:47 PM   #8
Family Vacation Member
 
AmericalVette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Missouri
Posts: 136
I have a solar charger ("SunForce") that I got from Cabella's and use it on my bass boat to keep my trolling motor battery charged up. It works similar to a trickle charger... and they are cheap enough that you could use two. Just a thought.
__________________
"Times fun when you're having flies"
2015 Zinger 27RL (TT #5)
Ford F150 FX4 w/max tow pkg
My toy = 2004 Corvette Coupe
AmericalVette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 09:56 PM   #9
Full Time Camper
 
MartyinSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SC
Posts: 643
Lots of options, but choices are limited when you're on the road, and have 3 days. Get an "ok" battery from WalMart. $118 is in the middle of the range. Consider some sort of charging arrangement. I'm thinking about a 7-pin RV plug, carrying 12VDC + and - to the battery, carried in the back of your truck while driving around. Other than that, the charger plugged into the bathroom might work, if it doesn't walk away. When needed, just swap them. Fastest, easiest, and possibly the cheapest fix while in the desert.
__________________
Marty and Martha
2015 Z-1 211RD
2012 Nissan Titan
Dalzell SC
MartyinSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 10:47 PM   #10
Family Vacation Member
 
Donjamin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: CA - California
Posts: 142
Send a message via Skype™ to Donjamin
In addition to our trailer battery, I also added to Walmart deep cell marine batteries. I also added a battery switch that allows me to switch between the singe trailer battery, the marine batteries or run all three together. We can usually get 4-5 days of dry camping out charge provided you turn off the TV antenna booster other electronic componets. I have also switched over all my lights to LED's. Since we dry camp in the Sequoias and Kings Canyon parks and there are no electrical hooks up. I always carry my 4800 watt generator and fire it up and run it for a couple of hours in the morning to recharge the battery bank on the 4th and 5th day of camping.
__________________
Donjamin
Fullerton, CA
2015 Ford F-250 SD 4X4
2013 Sunset Trail 32RL 5th Wheel (no longer own)
Donjamin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2015, 11:00 PM   #11
Family Vacation Member
 
dlwilliams48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 202
Thanks for all the input guys. I think what I am going to do is try it with the one battery for now. I have the CD player "off" (pulled the fuse) and turned off the TV booster. TV is unplugged. I have a battery powered lantern for light. Plan to use the water pump sparingly and make sure the power is still connected to the truck when I put out the slide. If it looks like I am running out of power the afternoon of the second day I'll just go into the nearby town and buy another battery. Hope I don't have to do that.
__________________
Don & Mary (Don - retired Navy)
2016 Forest River 243RBS (traded '13 CR ST220RB)
2013 Ford F150 Ruby Red Super Crew Eco-boost
2017 - 500 miles, 9 nights
2016 - 3005 miles, 34 nights
2014, 14, 15 - 11,614 miles, 125 nights
dlwilliams48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2015, 12:08 PM   #12
Weekend Camper
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: BC
Posts: 34
Did I hear you say the FRIDGE was running from the battery? I know it needs 12v to operate the electronics but make sure the fridge main cooling is running on propane. Just throwing that out there because on 12v the fridge will kill almost any battery in less than a day!
__________________
2015 Crossroads Z1 252TD
TV: 2004 Chevy Tahoe 4WD
RONSTAR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2015, 05:09 PM   #13
Family Vacation Member
 
dlwilliams48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 202
Thanks Ronstar. My fridge is 110 or Propane. It was running on propane, just the control circuit was using the battery.
__________________
Don & Mary (Don - retired Navy)
2016 Forest River 243RBS (traded '13 CR ST220RB)
2013 Ford F150 Ruby Red Super Crew Eco-boost
2017 - 500 miles, 9 nights
2016 - 3005 miles, 34 nights
2014, 14, 15 - 11,614 miles, 125 nights
dlwilliams48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2015, 07:02 PM   #14
Full Time Camper
 
NorskeNY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 874
I have added a second battery on all of my travel trailers and fifth wheels - that would get me through a weekend of camping - with the use of the furnace. Batteries are fully charged before I leave for the trip.

With all of the "DC" stuff - one will not be enough for me. I even used an inverter to power the TV and DVD player on our last fifth wheel.
__________________
Bob and Pat

2012 Cruiser Patriot CF335SS.

2011 Silverado 3500HD LTZ CCLB Duramax SRW 4X4

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...ailerKeuka.jpg
NorskeNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2015, 03:32 PM   #15
Family Vacation Member
 
dlwilliams48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 202
Update

Well, we got into Mesa Verde with the battery fully charged and the only drain on the battery that I knew of was the fridge control circuit and the LP sniffer. We never turned on a light or used the water pump. After the first night the battery was still showing fully charged so I figured we would make it through the next night. However, coming back to camp after viewing the ruins, the batter showed almost completely discharged! I had to connect to the truck and give it a little "boost" to make it through the second night.

Camper next to me had installed 2 golf cart batteries, a complete monitoring system and a nice solar panel. The control panel had led displays that showed the per-cent of battery charge, current draw, voltage and other information selectable from a switch. Very nice system, but probably more than I would need for the amount of "dry camping" I plan to do. I will likely buy another battery and a solar charging panel, but that will be about it. For now, we are in a state park in Oklahoma with water and electricity and the A/C going full blast.
__________________
Don & Mary (Don - retired Navy)
2016 Forest River 243RBS (traded '13 CR ST220RB)
2013 Ford F150 Ruby Red Super Crew Eco-boost
2017 - 500 miles, 9 nights
2016 - 3005 miles, 34 nights
2014, 14, 15 - 11,614 miles, 125 nights
dlwilliams48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2015, 04:10 PM   #16
Family Vacation Member
 
AmericalVette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Missouri
Posts: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlwilliams48 View Post
For now, we are in a state park in Oklahoma with water and electricity and the A/C going full blast.
..... and being a good Sailor, I just know that there is a "cold-one" within reach! ... Happy Trails
__________________
"Times fun when you're having flies"
2015 Zinger 27RL (TT #5)
Ford F150 FX4 w/max tow pkg
My toy = 2004 Corvette Coupe
AmericalVette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2015, 04:25 PM   #17
Family Vacation Member
 
dlwilliams48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 202
Quote:
and being a good Sailor, I just know that there is a "cold-one" within reach! ... Happy Trails
But of course...
__________________
Don & Mary (Don - retired Navy)
2016 Forest River 243RBS (traded '13 CR ST220RB)
2013 Ford F150 Ruby Red Super Crew Eco-boost
2017 - 500 miles, 9 nights
2016 - 3005 miles, 34 nights
2014, 14, 15 - 11,614 miles, 125 nights
dlwilliams48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2015, 04:51 PM   #18
Full Time Camper
 
MartyinSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SC
Posts: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlwilliams48 View Post
...After the first night the battery was still showing fully charged so I figured we would make it through the next night. However, coming back to camp after viewing the ruins, the batter showed almost completely discharged! .....
This is strange, and should warrant some troubleshooting. If the battery was fully charged when you left in the morning, but was almost dead when you came back, I'm guessing late in the day, then that is not normal!
If you only ran the LP sniffer and the fridge control circuit, then you should have been still almost fully charged. Those two devices together use about the energy of a transistor radio. So you either have some unknown draw on the circuit, or the battery itself cannot hold a charge. Or, running on "trickle" from the converter for so long, the battery has no "deep cycle" available, it's all just surface charge.
Since you are in the market for a second battery, buy one, and use it to replace the first. Try doing the same thing. If it runs down, you have a circuit drawing power. If it holds up, then take your old battery back for a core return on the one you just bought. Then you're back to one, but new and good, battery. Then you can buy a second battery when you are ready, perhaps when you buy that solar charger! Good luck!
__________________
Marty and Martha
2015 Z-1 211RD
2012 Nissan Titan
Dalzell SC
MartyinSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2015, 06:34 PM   #19
Family Vacation Member
 
dlwilliams48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 202
Quote:
Or, running on "trickle" from the converter for so long, the battery has no "deep cycle" available, it's all just surface charge.
That may well be the case. I have been keeping the rig on "shore power" when at home. I did have the battery tested, but I don't think the test is able to tell if the battery has a deep cycle available.
__________________
Don & Mary (Don - retired Navy)
2016 Forest River 243RBS (traded '13 CR ST220RB)
2013 Ford F150 Ruby Red Super Crew Eco-boost
2017 - 500 miles, 9 nights
2016 - 3005 miles, 34 nights
2014, 14, 15 - 11,614 miles, 125 nights
dlwilliams48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2015, 11:10 PM   #20
New Camper
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: WA
Posts: 1
How many AH is your battery?

I installed a battery monitor as its great to see how much draw various electronics, lights, etc. draw. If you haven't moved to LED lights, it's a great way to lower the drain for when you are in the trailer.
kenvanhyning is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Crossroads RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×