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Lets talk about Travel Trailer Batteries

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Danimal86, May 14, 2021.

  1. May 8, 2022 at 5:38 AM
    #31
    Retroboy1989

    Retroboy1989 'Course it's 4x4!

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    12 months. I'm rolling the dice with these, but at $200, should be a safe bet. Hopefully the mppt controller takes good care of them. Plan to garage them with my 6/12v battery tender to through the winter. I've shut the converter off at the AC breaker.
     
  2. May 8, 2022 at 5:57 AM
    #32
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    Yours is better than mine....I have 8ga from the factory....thick strand stuff too.

    Probably people with crazy thick stuff are running dc fridges or maybe DC air conditioning.
     
  3. May 8, 2022 at 6:01 AM
    #33
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    We have a battery shutoff right at the control panel. Was pretty stoked about that. Now I should be able to just leave the batteries alone and not mess with them...no more lugging them around.

    What do you have the voltage set to for charging. I read someone say 13.6 was a sweet spot.
    I topped mine off on a NOCO smart charger and believe it was right at 12.5v.
     
  4. May 8, 2022 at 6:38 AM
    #34
    Retroboy1989

    Retroboy1989 'Course it's 4x4!

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    My trailer had no shutoff and no protection on the main battery line from the battery all the way to the converter. It was a straight shot passing through the frame and who knows how many other chafe points. I added this as soon as I realized my trailer was a rolling fire hazard. Jayco had a recall from this era (2017) for not having current protection on the battery line. I enjoy tinkering and it would have cost me far more in gas, time and effort to have the dealer do some recall. Plus, I got to do it the way I wanted it.


    For charging, I haven't found a data sheet for my batteries, but this is for the Trojan T105:
    Screenshot_20220508-071849.png
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2022
  5. May 8, 2022 at 7:42 AM
    #35
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    i have that same marine breaker on my truck stereo, love them!
    Thanks for finding that data sheet, looks like I'll set my solar trickle charger to 13.5v

    Edit: I looked at interstates site and it showed the same.
    Screenshot_20220508-074455.jpg
     
    Retroboy1989[QUOTED] likes this.
  6. May 8, 2022 at 6:33 PM
    #36
    Retroboy1989

    Retroboy1989 'Course it's 4x4!

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    This battery should be identical to the Sam's Duracell, same specs and also made by Easy Penn. My reading has led me to think that the Duracell GC2 DGC is the same battery as the Deka GC10.

    https://www.toboaenergy.com/2331-GC10-6_17_17_ToboaEnergyResourcesLLC.pdf

    I think the solar branding may just be marketing.

    Screenshot 2022-05-08 193203.jpg

    Absorption - 14.6v
    Float - 14.0v
    Equalize - 15.2v

    I think I am going to roll with these settings. I think we are talking about marginal benefits in life and performance. I'm sure most people just use the default settings.

    Here is the Renogy default:
    Screenshot 2022-05-08 213943.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2022
  7. May 16, 2022 at 8:19 PM
    #37
    Retroboy1989

    Retroboy1989 'Course it's 4x4!

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    Just got back from three days of camping without electricity. 300w of solar and my 6v Duracells did awesome. My batteries were topped easily each morning after running the furnace much of the night. I felt like I had more power than I needed. I guess it's on to an inverter for the TV.
     
  8. May 17, 2022 at 7:03 AM
    #38
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    thats awesome!
    I got the dual batteries setup on the trailer over the weekend, i setup my little 10w solar panel and charger on the batteries and set it to 13.5v, i'll be interested to see what voltage its at after a week.

    I'm now starting to look into adding a solar panel or two to the trailer. The trailer came with a pre-installed SAE connector on the front side that charges only the battery.

    I need to figure out what i actually need, we dont dry camp all that often, but we do once or twice a season. The trailer pulls about 9amps with the fans, tv and stereo on, the batteries having 220ah @20hrs means i should be able to have those on for 20hrs, that about right? That would be 2days on the worst case scenario. Our trips are usually 4 days, so that miiiigggghhhtttt become an issue. I have two 2kw generators, so really just need to make sure that we can get through the night, and can run the generator during the day if needed.....but thats a bit of a pain.

    I really like the idea of the backpack style chargers since they are easier to handle, but dang, they are like 3x as expensive as a single 100w renogy panel.
     
  9. May 22, 2022 at 7:19 PM
    #39
    Windsor

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    On the prewired plugs, make sure you check polarity. If I remember right, Zamp is/was wired backwards from standard polarity.
     
  10. May 22, 2022 at 7:36 PM
    #40
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    That plug would go through a charge controller right?
     
  11. May 23, 2022 at 7:48 AM
    #41
    Retroboy1989

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    You don't want to draw flooded cells down more than 50%. Two 6v 220ah batteries means 220ah @12v. Therefore, you (we) have 110ah of usable 12v power. Kind of a crappy deal unless you want to spring for lithium, which doesn't make sense unless you are serious about dry camping long term.

    My point is, you will want to plan your power usage/solar against 110ah. 300w is overkill for me on sunny days, but I've debated going to 400w of solar for partially cloudy days or if I end up in a shady camp spot.
     
  12. May 23, 2022 at 7:55 AM
    #42
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    Thanks for pointing this out. I'll have to keep an eye on it this weekend on our first dry adventure in the new trailer.
    Im trying to figure out how i will keep an eye on it to know when my batteries need some juice, is it just a voltage measurement? I've got them float charging to 13.5v on a solar charger when its being stored, per the spec sheet
     
  13. May 23, 2022 at 8:09 AM
    #43
    NWPirate

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    Do you guys have a link to that 50A breaker? Just bought a new trailer and need to add a battery disconnect.
    I'm running 6V Trojans, love em.
     
  14. May 23, 2022 at 9:51 AM
    #44
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    NWPirate[QUOTED] likes this.
  15. May 23, 2022 at 11:01 AM
    #45
    NWPirate

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  16. May 23, 2022 at 11:05 PM
    #46
    Retroboy1989

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    Yes, it comes down to voltage. There are varying degrees of accuracy for measuring it, but the general idea is it should be measured with everything turned off.
    [​IMG]

    It's really easy to remember that it must stay above 12v.

    I have read that a shunt style monitor give the most accurate measurement. I'm not really that concerned about it.

    After dark, I rely on my solar controller to tell me system voltage. During the day, I figure the batteries are charged once the system goes into float mode.
     
  17. May 24, 2022 at 5:29 AM
    #47
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    Thanks for that! Keeping it above 12v shoudl be easy to remember. lol

    The trailer has a battery monitor, but it just shows 25% incriments of charge, and i have no idea what 25% charge is. I keep a multimeter in the trailers so it i'll take a couple measuremnts. to try to figure out the monitor.
     
  18. May 24, 2022 at 8:46 PM
    #48
    Windsor

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    If it is equipped with one. I know some manufacturers were "prewiring" the solar for use with suitcase setups which had the controller mounted to the panels. So, you had battery power at the plug. One of the reasons I opted for the Renogy over the Zamp was the polarity of the wiring.
     
  19. May 25, 2022 at 9:05 AM
    #49
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    I'm going to pickup the trailer today and bring it home before our maiden voyage this weekend. I'll check to see if it has voltage at that plug.

    Edit:
    I believe the sticker next to the port said "Solar On The Side"
    https://gpelectric.com/solar-side/
    Looks like the plug just goes directly to the batteries. Guess a controller will be needed.
     
  20. May 25, 2022 at 10:50 AM
    #50
    Windsor

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    Something else to consider if you install solar, don't use the OE plug. Add your own entry glands with proper sized wiring and use the OE plug as an outdoor 12v source (add fuse between plug and battery).
     
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  21. May 25, 2022 at 2:03 PM
    #51
    Retired...finally

    Retired...finally Utilizing that doctorate of procrastinatory arts

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    Mine is like this. A controller is required between the panel and trailer.
     
  22. May 25, 2022 at 4:53 PM
    #52
    Retroboy1989

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    As I understand it, the oe plugs are directly to the batts. Suitcase panels often have thier own controller.

    True solar prep includes low gauge wires behind a specific wall that lead from an entry gland on the roof to the batteries.

    Mine had zero solar prep, so I installed my own entry glad and mounted the controller on the side of a kitchen cabinet.
     
  23. May 25, 2022 at 4:54 PM
    #53
    Retroboy1989

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    Solar on the side probably means no roof gland.
     
  24. Jun 1, 2022 at 9:58 AM
    #54
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    Battery report after our first outing (dry) with the new trailer:
    I was happy to see that the onboard charger had the batteries topped up to exactly 13.5v when plugged in.
    After we got setup at the site i noticed that the trailer batteries seemed to like to go below 12 volts fairly quickly, was actually surprised, i figured that there would be a little more gas in the tank with the dual golf cart batteries than what we got.
    I'm not sure if i was just being over cautious about watching the battery gauge, but at 3/4 charge (on the control panel meter) it was right at or just below 12v, so i would fire up the generator and run it for a bit. There were some people with large open frame generators a few campsites away so we couldn't really even hear my 2kw inverter generator over the hum of the loud ones.

    I have a feeling the water pump may pull a lot of juice, the led lights would dim/flicker when we ran the sink or shower, not sure if that was the culprit or not.
     
  25. Jun 1, 2022 at 10:19 AM
    #55
    Retroboy1989

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    Hmm, below 12v seems odd. How accurate is your volt meter? Is just look at the one on my solar controller. At night, it should reflect battery voltage. I've never seen below 12v on my golf cart bats.

    My lights flicker brighter when the water pump cycles off. The current draw increases as pressure builds. Startup current doesn't make a perceptible difference.

    My power slide room makes the lights flicker.
     
  26. Jun 1, 2022 at 10:26 AM
    #56
    Windsor

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    I'm thinking you have something going on that shouldn't be. I can top my batteries up with a 2 hr run on my gen at 7pm then have my furnace, tv, fridge, a 7" light bar on the front and 6 led marker/area lights on the sides on until 6am and my batteries will be above 12.3v. Living full time in my trailer for 1 year today and my batteries have never dropped below 12.2v
     
  27. Jun 1, 2022 at 10:54 AM
    #57
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    I brought a multimeter and checked it when the battery level showed 3/4 and it was right at 12v.

    when we were bringing the slideout in before leaving, when it fully rested my lights actually went fully out and an inverter (for the tv, but tv wasn't on) started to beep probably because the voltage dip when it locked.
     
  28. Jun 1, 2022 at 10:57 AM
    #58
    Danimal86

    Danimal86 [OP] Looks clean even when its dirty!

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    Hmm, i'm not quite sure what it could be, we did have the tv on in the morning for an hour or two, furnace wasn't used but we did have a 12v fan running for a bit in the afternoon to cycle some air, definitely had some lights on an cell phones plugged in a few times.

    I think i'll have to bring my clamp meter and see how many amps its pulling. I did measure it before with the lights, tv and 2 exhaust fans going and it drew about 9amps. This was when we first got it....the difference now would have been using the fridge (on propane) and cooking (on propane), not sure where the draw would be coming from.
     
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