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Old 06-30-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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1975 Argosy 24
Graham , Washington
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Electrical, Battery, etc.

I hope someone out there can help me! I have a couple of problems. Just bought a Inteli-Power 9200 70 amp converter to update electrical power source in my trailer. I'm going to add flat screen tv, radio and microwave in the future. As far as batteries, do I go with two 6 volt or one 12 volt? Should I install maintenance free or non maintenance free battery and what brand is best? Need to replace power cord that is in trailer hitch which plugs into vehicle. Can someone tell me where to look in my trailer where the splice would be, so I can disconnect old power cord and put new one in? Last question for now...Should I replace breaker box in trailer also since I'm updating? My trailer is 24ft. long. Any help would be very appreciated, Thank you!
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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If your Argosy is like mine, there is space for 1 group 24 battery. Depending on what your plans are for the trailer. Meaning how much traveling you are going to be doing. How much camping off of the grid etc. should be the determining factor when choosing how many and what type of battery to use.
We travel for about 6 weeks every year. When at home the trailer is stored under roof and plugged in to shore power. We live on a farm and I have other uses for the battery in the trailer when it is parked. I remove the battery and install it in one of my machines. Where it gets used on a regular basis. It is a RV/Marine type. About 100 ampere hours as I recall.
We just returned from a 10 day camping trip, off of the grid. The group 24 battery in the trailer worked for everything we needed.
I do have an 85 watt solar panel (portable) that I plug in to recharge the battery during the day. Also have an 1100 watt power inverter. We charge all the stuff like cell phones etc and are able to watch TV and run the DVD player. The original intent of the inverter was to be able to plug in an electric blanket. But the blanket we have apparently doesn't like the PWM output of the inverter. Everything else works. Heating pads, portable device chargers etc. but the electric blanket controller just blinks.
We have not camped off the grid when there is a need for a heavy use of the furnace. We did use it for a short period during the last trip when camping off grid above 9300 feet. While there was no need for another battery on this occasion. I do carry a group 27 RV/Marine type battery in the back of the TV. I charge it before leaving on a trip and on the occasions where we are not towing, I can charge it from the TV while driving. I can also charge it with the solar panel.
I have a 7 pin connector mounted in the side of the trailer and wired to the group 24 battery. Only the 2 pins are connected for the 12 volts. This is where I plug in the solar panel to charge the house battery. Plus I have both a male and female plug and receptacle wired to the group 27 battery. If I need more capacity, I set the group 27 battery in a box along side the trailer and plug it in. With this setup I can still plug in the solar panel to charge both batteries.
Since I have other uses for the battery, it doesn't make sense for me to purchase the expensive AGM type. The current battery is on it's 3rd year and I paid about $65.00 for it at Wal Mart.
With the current Progressive Dynamics 9245 converter, there is no need for a house battery while plugged into shore power. You do need a house battery when under way to power the breakaway switch.
As far as the 120 volt AC panel is concerned. I replaced the original in my trailer. We do have air conditioning and I just felt that a new panel and new breakers would be a good upgrade. It is a larger panel, with more space for breakers.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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As for the Umbilical Cord to the TV. Some trailers have a junction box below the floor on the street side front. Under the Gaucho. Look for a removable cover in that area. I had no such box in this trailer. I spliced into the original UCord at the tongue, just ahead of the point where it enters the frame. I was careful to stagger the splices on each wire to where there was not a big bulge and used Scotch brand electrical tape. To cover the splice. Scotch #88 is an excellent tape for this application.
A microwave consumes a huge amount of power. I installed a microwave in our trailer, but we only use it when on shore power. At a thousand watts plus, even if you had an inverter large enough to handle it. Between the power required for the microwave and the loss thru the inverter, you would drain the battery in short order if not on the grid.
When I installed the 1100 watt inverter I wired it to a separate 120 volt outlet. Clearly labelled as "inverter power"
Are you planning to upgrade the DC fuse panel as well? I am assuming the original Univolt is what you are replacing.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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The battery situation very much depends on your power use in the trailer, and if you are going to boondock camp without hookps. If you are, the loads you indicate you will be using would best be satisfied with a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries in series. The problem will be where to put them. The Argosy's only had one small battery box for a type 24 battery. Regular good old flooded cell batteries give you the best bang for your buck, but remember they need to be vented. You might consider putting them outside, like on the trailer tongue.

The Argosy generally had it's tow vehicle power cord hooked to the coach's wires at a spot near the road side frame rail, at the front. If you look, you probably will see a riveted plate in the belly pan a few inches back from the front. Drill out the rivets and look up in there, i think that will be where the splice will be made. However, Argosy's were built a lot of strange ways, and there is no guarantee that this is where your connections will be.

After 35 years or so, any electrical panel could be replaced, if you see any evidence of a problem, or need more circuits. Mine are fine as original, but no corrosion issues or need for extra power, so I did not upgrade when I rebuilt most everything else.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argosy75 View Post
I hope someone out there can help me! I have a couple of problems. Just bought a Inteli-Power 9200 70 amp converter to update electrical power source in my trailer. I'm going to add flat screen tv, radio and microwave in the future.
Hi Argosy75. Welcome to the community.


Quote:
As far as batteries, do I go with two 6 volt or one 12 volt?

You can use whatever batteries will fit. If there are room for two, either install two six volt batteries in series or two twelve volt batteries in parallel. I suppose you could just install one twelve volt battery to save on costs if you don't think you'll use it much.

Quote:
Should I install maintenance free or non maintenance free battery and what brand is best?
You should get batteries that are actual deep cycle batteries that have an amp-hour rating. These will not be maintenance free. There is little difference between brands since most are manufactured in one of a handful of facilities to similar standards. In 12v, get a group 27 or group 31 battery depending on what will fit. In 6v, get GC2 batteries, but be sure they will fit first. Trojan arguably makes the best batteries but they are expensive and, in my opinion, not worth it.

Quote:
Last question for now...Should I replace breaker box in trailer also since I'm updating? My trailer is 24ft. long. Any help would be very appreciated, Thank you!
If you're replacing the shore power cord, it's probably a good idea to replace the breaker box while you're in there fiddling around. Not a high priority. There have been very few camping trips ruined by a failure of the breaker box. ::shrug::
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