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Post Info TOPIC: Do I need to change batteries?


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Do I need to change batteries?


Howard, I wish I would have asked you this at the Rally, last week, but I did not have all the facts yet.  We have the residential fridge, which I have heard uses 15 amps to run.  Also I read in another thread it takes 150 Amp-Hours to run ( I am assuming per day).  My manufacturer installed Deka DP27 Marine Deep Cycle batteries, I think this is the Hybrid you speak of since it has starting 650 CCA ratings.  I read on the Deka website it is only 80 Amp-Hour battery at 20 Hr Rating, 23 amp average - 175 minutes.  We have two of these batteries installed in our RV.  Seems like not enough battery for our RV.  When we drove to the Rally, about 5-6 hours per day, we were getting a code and our battery monitor was beeping at about 4 hours into trip.  I have not learned the codes yet, but I assume it was telling me my batteries were getting low, maybe 50%.  The fridge was cold and seemed to be fine, but when I tried to put down my jacks, they would not go down.  I assume there was not enough power left in the battery to deploy the jacks.  After I hooked up to shore power, then I could deploy the jacks and level the RV.  I read on this forum, the recommended battery with a residential fridge is 200 amp-hour.  We will probably never drive more than 5-6 hours per day, and we almost always have shore power when we "camp".  After seeing your pics of some of your favorite boon docking sites, I do see us charging things up to capacity at a base campground, and then maybe going out to one of those scenic sites to sit for a day or two or three, IF we can manage the power.  At this point, I do not think I am a candidate for solar.  We did not get the generator either, so at this point, I am relying on campground shore power to recharge my batteries.  I did buy an emergency only gas portable 3600 watt generator with a 30amp RV plug, but this was not really bought or designed to recharge batteries for boon docking.  So, with all that said, my RV Manufacturers answer to my situation is I should only travel about 3-4 hours a day and then plug back in to recharge my batteries.  IF my goal is to not overtax my batteries, and be able to maintain a 5-6 hour travel day (maybe an 7-8 hour travel day once or twice) Do I need more battery capacity and what would you recommend.  I see my existing batteries appear to be about $80 each.  I am sure what I might need far exceed that amount?  The front compartment is designed now for just two batteries (vented), as they sit in plastic battery holders lower than the floor of the compartment.  Thanks in advance for your input.  Milt.



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Milton


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Hey Milt & Debbie,

Yes, your batteries are the hybrids that we talked about at the Rally.  

My short answer is that "yes" I would replace those batteries with true, deep cycle batteries.  If you go with the flooded cell batteries, they won't be much more expensive than what you currently have.

Now for the question as to whether or not you will need additional capacity.  If you want to boondock two or three days at a time, you will not get very far on two batteries with your residential fridge without a way to charge the batteries back to full charge.  So, if you don't want to get solar, and you don't want to run your generator, you will most certainly need more batteries and battery capacity - a lot more.  The question then becomes where can you put them as I'm guessing there isn't enough room in your current battery compartment.  And if you go with the flooded cell batteries, they do need to be vented.  AGMs are expensive but don't need to be vented, so you have more options if you need to put them in a non-vented location to fit them.  

I'm not sure what you mean when you say your "emergency generator" isn't "designed" to recharge batteries.  If you use your generator to run the fridge and charge batteries, you may be able to get by on two deep cycle batteries for two or three days (maybe turning the fridge off at night), but if you don't use the generator while boondocking, you won't make it beyond a day or two at the most without discharging the batteries way down due to the power consumed by the fridge and the fridge inverter.

Decisions, decisions.  Just depends on how much you want to boondock and how much you want to invest to do it.  

 



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RV-Dreams Community Member

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Howard,

Thanks for the response.

I will likely be buying larger capacity, wet cell batteries, what would you suggest given my described status?

I do not know much about batteries, but I think I am about to learn more.
My current batteries (x2), are 80 amp-hour (I think). I googled my batteries, and that is what was on the Deka website.
Should I be looking for 120, 200, or more wet cell - and as you suggest true deep cycle batteries?
I am also going to learn tomorrow if my charger is 3 stage.

I guess, I could run my small gas generator a few hours a day (if boon-docking for 1-3 days), as allowed to charge batteries. As long as it is supplying power to the RV, it is charging the batteries.

I might just be limited on how long we can sit without shore power until I decide to make major changes. 2 new batteries of larger capacity is where I think I am headed now.

Do you have advise on size batteries to look for if I am just trying to upgrade my current deep cycle batteries, given we have the residential fridge?

I could manage the power and turn off the fridge, going down the road as well during travel days, and during the night while boon docking . Thanks for planting that idea on power management.

Milt

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Milton


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"I could run my small gas generator a few hours a day"

Milt, set up generator, fill with gas, check oil, hook up to RV, start, wait 1-2 hours, turn off, let cool, put away. And the noise! Solar on the roof just charges. All day. No noise. No set up. No take down.

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2015 Winnebago TT 2101DS & Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts of WindyNation solar - parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for USC & historical flags. 14 year Army vet. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state & county campgrounds



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Larry, I get it...I need to do more research. I have read, unless you boondock 1/2 the time your full timing, you will not recover the cost of solar upgrade. We do not intend to boondock much at all, just maybe occasionally for a day or so. Anyway, I appreciate your input. Right now, battery capacity seems to be my first upgrade.

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Milton


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We will be in the same shoes as you Milton, not planning on a lot of boondocking and residential fridge. For the times we will be a couple nights, during travel or finding a boondocking site we can't resist, we just figured we would use an ice chest temporarily, or place ice blocks in the fridge, or use bottom freezer as an ice chest, trying to use up most real perishables before we unplug.
Like the old adage, if there's a will there's a way! 😉

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Rex & Bonnie

Ford F-450 diesel DRW 6.7 King Ranch

KZ Durango Gold 370RL



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Milt,

I haven't done a lot of research on the current flooded cell, deep cycle batteries, so I can't really offer advice on brands.  Just get batteries with the most amp hours of capacity you can get that will fit in your current battery compartment.

As "Let's Get Moving" said, there are ways to get creative to do what you are trying to do and "where there is a will there is a way".



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