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Old 10-18-2005, 10:41 PM   #1
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A twelve or two sixes ?

Hey all. - I've been reading up on battery options for my 75' Tradewind and the jury is still out. I've got 2 Trojan T109's that I took off my SOB before selling it and they don't have much use on them so I would like to utilize them on my Airstream. The obvious problem is that my battery compartment only accepts one battery and the T109's (6volt) must be wired in series. I've read a few posts that suggest that the frame of my trailer was not designed to carry the weight of 2 batteries either in the factory location OR on the tounge... I've considered using a single 12 volt battery but I really would like to have the significantly better amp hours that the 2 six volts provide.

Anyone have any real world experience with installing 2 large batteries on the tounge of a 25' Tradewind? (or elsewhere...)
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:53 PM   #2
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Do you mean the t-105 battery by Trojan? I have not been able to find any info on a t-109 but I do have extensive experience working with the t-105.
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:55 PM   #3
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Sorry for the mix up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Do you mean the t-105 battery by Trojan? I have not been able to find any info on a t-109 but I do have extensive experience working with the t-105.
Oops... yeah thats what I meant

Trojan T-105's
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:07 PM   #4
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I am not sure where the battery compt is on a Tradewind but these batteries weigh about 60 pounds each. You will have some nice capacity with them for sure. But not any more than if you were to put 2 comparatively sized 12 volt batteries (weight wise). Overall, with 1 12 volt battery you will have roughly 1/2 the capacity of 2 t-105's in series.
I find it a little hard to imagine that a trailer couldn't handle 60 extra pounds somehow - perhaps locating the 2nd battery somewhere nearer to the centerline or some other place to distribute the weight...
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Old 10-19-2005, 06:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup
I am not sure where the battery compt is on a Tradewind but these batteries weigh about 60 pounds each. You will have some nice capacity with them for sure. But not any more than if you were to put 2 comparatively sized 12 volt batteries (weight wise). Overall, with 1 12 volt battery you will have roughly 1/2 the capacity of 2 t-105's in series.
I find it a little hard to imagine that a trailer couldn't handle 60 extra pounds somehow - perhaps locating the 2nd battery somewhere nearer to the centerline or some other place to distribute the weight...
If they are run either in series or in parallel then shouldn't they be located in the same spot?

I noticed that on the new airstreams the batteries are on the A Frame up front. That would be a good solution provided I didn't go over my weight limits - I just wonder if the frame itself can take the extra weight...

-T
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:37 PM   #6
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My guess is that they could be located away from each other if needed provided the cables that connect them are beefy enough.
Our trailer has the batteries right up front inside the trailer - stock. Weight added to the front of the trailer can to some extent be compensated by adding weight to the back. But that is kind of a waste.
I would wonder if you have weighed the trailer and weighed the tongue to see what you are dealing with. You may find that adding batteries to the front don't push your tongue weight over the limits of your TV and hitch.
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Old 10-19-2005, 10:19 PM   #7
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I am pretty happy with the one battery in my 75 Trade Wind. I can go 3 days and still have some left. I have thought about solar for extended stays, but I am leaning towards a small honda generator (eu2000) as an option.
If you are going to go with the 2 6's, here is my thoughts.
I would not mount them on the tongue. 120 lbs would bring the tongue weight to around 750 lbs. You would also have to run a battery cable over 20 feet to the bathroom closet where the univolt is located.
The best place I could think of would be under the curb side bed. You would have to box them in and also vent the box someway. You would have to give up one draw, the run to the univolt would be 5 or 6 feet and the weight would be over the axels. By removing the original battery from the rear of the trailer you would increase the tongue weight slightly.

Which ever way you go, let us know and post pictures!
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Old 10-20-2005, 12:02 AM   #8
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My thoughts on this...

2 6V batteries, although great for capacity, do not give you the same safety margin as 2 12V batteries. You can run on a single 12V battery, but you can't run on a single 6V battery. Your breakaway runs off the coach batteries, so this could be an issue. Your tongue jack won't move at 6V.
Running a battery cable to the existing battery location might be a bit of a hassle, but you can go inside the belly pan and up through the floor, without much problems.
The added tongue weight might be a benefit, with proper weight distribution. Better to have a bit more tongue weight, then having too much behind the axles. Tradewinds are somewhat heavy on the tongue, however. At least mine was....
Batteries in battery boxes outside the trailer won't need complicated venting, but are prone to theft.
I had similar experience as azflycaster, my Interstate 12V sealed RV battery lasted an easy 3 days when boondocking in Mexico, and still had plenty of power to lift the tongue for hooking up.
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Old 10-20-2005, 01:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe

I had similar experience as azflycaster, my Interstate 12V sealed RV battery lasted an easy 3 days when boondocking in Mexico, and still had plenty of power to lift the tongue for hooking up.
Interesting... Maybe I just need to buy a better single 12 volt battery. That does appeal to me as a 'easy' solution - especially if I can get three days use out of it. Curious though... are you guys using your forced air furnace and getting three days or just basic lighting/water pump type stuff ?

Thanks for all the good info!

-T
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Old 10-20-2005, 01:44 AM   #10
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O.K. Here's a teaser. We ran for 6 days solid (lights, stereo, pumps and on occation - fan) on our 2 el cheapo batteries with no appreciable loss in power. Battery voltage showed that they were still in great shape by the time we did get power.
Now we may be a little frugal when it comes to power usage and all but 6 days is a long time and I am sure we could have gone the whole 2 weeks no problem the way we did.
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Old 10-20-2005, 02:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Man
Interesting... Maybe I just need to buy a better single 12 volt battery. That does appeal to me as a 'easy' solution - especially if I can get three days use out of it. Curious though... are you guys using your forced air furnace and getting three days or just basic lighting/water pump type stuff ?

Thanks for all the good info!

-T
No furnace or other very heavy users in my case.
Lights for reading, kitchen exhaust fan while cooking, some vent fan use, water pump, etc. 3 Days and frugal nights, no noticeable drop in battery power.
One thing though, we did use a Humphrey gas lamp in this trailer, which might have saved a few amp hours.
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Old 10-20-2005, 07:08 AM   #12
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No furnace useage either. Basic lights and H2O pump. We do have a catalytic heater installed by a PO. I'll fire that up if it ever gets cold.
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:28 AM   #13
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What you are getting with the 6-volt batteries is longevity of life. They are essentially golf cart batteries which are designed to be run completely dead and re-charged repeatedly for years. Most DP motorhomes have gone to such a set-up for the chassis side. They use 4 6volt batteries. Two sets of two 6volt in series, then those two two-battery banks connected in parallel. It's like having two (dare I say) "super-duper" 12volt batteries.

It shouldn't make any functional difference at all except the batteries should last longer on each charge and live longer. During use they should discharge equally, and it's still 12 volt so it's compatible with all your 12 volt components. The only forseeable problem is if one goes before the other one and then you should have a 6 volt output.

This is because when a battery "dies" enough of it's electrolytes have fallen from the cells to the bottom to create a dead short across the bottom of the battery. That bad battery has essentially become just a big wire going to the other battery and you would show 6 Volts.

That's just my 6 volts of input.
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Old 01-14-2006, 07:32 PM   #14
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hmmm does the fridge have an electric ignition?

Uwe and Buttercup,


I was wondering if your coaches friges have electric ignitions addding to the drain
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