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 > Battery questions for boondocking

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time2roll

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Posted: 10/28/20 09:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only thing better than 2x GC2 is 4x GC2 [emoticon] Costco and Sams Club is a good value buy.

Forget Optima or even AGM if you are looking for low initial cost. However do not overlook your charging system. You really need to be putting 14.4 to 14.8 volts on these batteries to get a good charge in reasonable time. Post your converter model number for best suggestions.


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Ed_Gee

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Posted: 10/28/20 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of good recommendations here.....but I want to emphasize one comment....do NOT waste your money on Optima batteries. They are costly and do not have the capacity you need.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 10/28/20 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“...we started getting heavier into boondocking this year.”

All you need is a dump and fresh water once a week or so. Water is the limiting factor.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


agesilaus

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Posted: 10/28/20 12:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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Bang for the buck, you can NOT beat TWO 6V golf cart batteries. If you don't have a Sam's Club or Costco membership, get one, find a friend who has one, or simply ask at the service desk if you can have a "one day, free trial" membership !

Two 6V golf carts batteries should be under $200. Two marine/RV would definitely cost more, maybe even >$250 and probably has abiut the same or LESS storage capacity.


Ditto on that. People drone on about how Lithium batteries last 10 or 15 years but you can buy multiple sets of golf cart batteries for the price of a lithium bank. And golf cart batteries will last 1000 cycles if properly cared for. I interpret one cycle as one day. How long will it take you to boondock for 1000 days? I don't run my batteries down that low in the first place.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 10/28/20 12:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Add some solar. Twin 6 volt flooded golf cart are the cheapest. They won't run a large capacity inverter, but are fine with a tiny one.

The biggest problem may be sulphation of the battery bank from failure to recharge to 100% full. Evey 7 cycles to 100% is the bare minimum.

I prefer SiO2 because then recharging to 100% is every 30 days.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

opnspaces

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Posted: 10/28/20 02:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I weekend boondock almost exclusively. Hands down the best deal for your buck is two 6v batteries from Costco or Samsclub. They are the same size length and width as your current batteries. They are about an inch taller.

You can put them in your current battery boxes and leave the lids off. Or get a pair of these $15 boxes. Boxes

You will have to add one additional wire to hook the batteries together which you can buy at Walmart or any automotive parts store.


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richclover

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Posted: 10/28/20 04:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kfp673 wrote:

Hello all,
Per my other posts, we started getting heavier into boondocking this year. As such, I quickly noticed the importance of good batteries. We always bring a portable inverter set but when we are deep in the woods we really prefer to use it as little as possible. This past weekend the nights got down to upper 30's and apparently the furnace fan eats a lot of battery because it was dead by morning. Currently we have the battery that came on our camper 2 years ago which is a single deep cycle. I have read many threads about batteries including 6v vs 12v, Optima / high end battery, etc etc. My question, specific to boondocking is bang for the buck. I'm not interested in spending $700 on batteries at this point. So would I be better off buying 2 12V batteries from Wal mart (or wherever)to replace my single, or a single "high end" battery such as Optima or similar? Or, is the 6v difference so big that it makes it worth it? My guess for next year is we will boondocks 5 or 6 weekends total (2 or 3 nights each time). With that said, what would you do keeping cost in mind? Not trying to find the literal cheapest way, rather I'm looking for "bang for the buck".
Thanks!


You’ll need a pair of batteries. Marine/RV deep cycle. Mine are 12V. And a way to charge, too.


A battery status indicator will help. Solar panels help, too, but you’ll need to run your generator every day. Up to 4 hours total based on experience. A couple of hours in the morning and another hour and a half in the evening got me through a 6-day camp 10 days ago with nighttime lows ranging from 20’s down to 10. I have a pair of deep cycle Interstate batteries and a 15 watt solar panel. Champion remote start generator took care of the morning coffee and burned through most of a 5gl jug of gasoline. I emptied a full 7gl, 30 lb, propane tank and went through most of the second setting the furnace thermostat at 58 degrees overnight. I was surprised and happy that nothing froze up in my 5’er.

Good luck, safe travels and have fun!


Rich
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kfp673

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Posted: 10/28/20 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

When you say "portable inverter set" are you talking about a "portable inverter generator" that burns gasoline to generate 120vAC power or an inverter that takes 12v battery power and converts it to 120vAC power. Results in a totally different answer to your question but it sounds like you are talking about a generator.

If it's a generator, a couple 6v deep cycle batteries and then run the generator in the afternoon for an hour or two to recharge them, should allow you near unlimited time away from shore power and should be plenty to run the furnace overnight. Just plug in the normal shore power cord and your onboard charger will take care of charging the batteries (don't use the 12v outlet on the generator, it's very low amperage (7-10amps vs 40-60amps) and it's unregulated). For 5-6 weekends per year, I wouldn't mess around with a solar system.

If it's an inverter, you really need to consider what you are using it for. 120vAC items tend to use a lot of power and a battery bank to support it will be pretty big if you are using a lot of power.

PS: Inverter Generators are a generator type that generates DC power and using a built in Inverter converts it to AC power. A traditional generator develops AC power as it's native output but requires the engine to run at a speed that corresponds to 60hz AC power. A couple of big advantages to inverter generators, they typically use high quality inverters that generate much cleaner AC power compared to old style generators and second, unlike old style generators, they can throttle back when loads are light to reduce fuel consumption and noise. The old style try to maintain an exact engine RPM that corresponds to 60hz...typically either 1800 or 3600rpm. Even with little demand, it takes more fuel to keep the RPM up, it makes a lot of noise running so fast and when you add a heavy load, the RPM sags resulting in poor quality power which can damage sensitive electronics.


Yes I meant inverter generator. I use 2x 2000 w Champions with a parallel kit and a 50amp plug. Works great and is relatively quiet, but even still we dont like to run it for more than a few hours per day, and do not want to run it over night. When traveling long distances and stopping at walmart just to sleep I dont mind running them at all, but when we are in the woods we prefer the natural quiet. Thanks for the suggestions!

kfp673

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Posted: 10/28/20 05:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like Costco 6V batteries are the most popular. We are Costco regulars but my local store does not stock these, however they can order them. Costcos website does have mixed reviews on those batteries however but I suspect most is taking care of them. Not exactly sure what that means but that seems to be the reviews. Thanks again all. I think 2 6V batteries are in my future!

agesilaus

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Posted: 10/28/20 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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I suspect most is taking care of them. Not exactly sure what that means but that seems to be the reviews. Thanks again all. I think 2 6V batteries are in my future!


It means watering them as needed, I check monthly and I installed a watering system

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