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Old 01-22-2015, 09:43 PM   #1
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Batteries

Does anyone augment existing batteries? We have a new FB 25 ft. We usually pick sites without hookup, because they tend to be larger and more scenic. We do have a small generator to help out as needed as well as a solar collector. Wondering if anyone buys extra batteries to augment existing ones?


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Old 01-22-2015, 11:32 PM   #2
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We haven't bought additional batteries, but we do talk about it. Lately we've been traveling with a battery-tester, and a battery recharger for sites with electrical plug-ins and when we haven't driven a long distance.

There are several threads on solar panels.

We like to boondock also, and our strategy has been to keep the batteries topped up as best we can; then to be incredibly sparing of them. Now that we have LED lights, the big battery users seem to be the furnace and fridge fans. We often keep the fridge cold, picnic cooler style, with blue gel pacs that we freeze when the fridge is on, and place amongst the food when it's turned off. The Dometic fridge is really well insulated. If we're out and about, we shut off the main battery, and let the gel pacs keep the beer chilled. Then we run the fridge at night when it's cooler, so oftentimes the fan shuts itself off, but we do have a manual control for it.

If you can camp in some shade in the hot summer, or put up the awning on the west side, so much the better.

We travel with almost no appliances-- everything is "manual," like an insulated metal coffee pot and the plastic cone/filter paper drip coffee system. We heat up water in a stove-top tea kettle for it. We recharge the cell phone, kindle, and sometimes the laptop using a plug-in for the truck while we're driving.

We do travel with a small generator, but find ourselves using it less and less. It's actually gotten to be kind of a game, to see how stingy we can be with the battery.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:37 PM   #3
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Some do use extra batteries but they are hard to charge properly and somewhat difficult to find a good location for them.

You may want to go to a different type of battery. Many (including me) have gone to two 6 volt golf cart type batteries in series. They will fit in the existing battery box if you raise the top 1.5 inches with some aluminum C channel.

The standard group 24 batteries that come with an Airstream have a capacity of about 75 amp hours each, or 150 amp hours total. Two 6 volt golf cart type batteries in series will have a capacity of about 225 amp hours, a considerable increase of 33%. In general they are better built, and last longer too. Cost is about the same as the group 24's at a place like Costco or Sam's Club.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:47 PM   #4
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yea... search for and contact 'Lewster' on this forum. He's the guy to set you up. We will be adding additional, when we do we will use Lewster's recommendations.

Remember... the batteries MOST important function is to be the power for your 'emergency braking' in event the trailer and TV part ways...
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Old 01-31-2015, 04:48 PM   #5
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I've done that. I put a Lifeline 110AH battery (about 135 pounds) in the bed of the TV giving me a total of 220AH. My system charges right off the alternator using 4 gauge welding cables all the way with a quick disconnect (available at NAPA) at the TV bumper. My isolation switching/combiner system comes from yandina.com (Combiner 150) and is totally sealed and made for marine use. I still carry my genset but I don't know why. I can just let the TV idle for 30 minutes and, because I get full alternator output, I'm good to go. I've had this setup for about 7 years and on two different Airstreams and, knock on wood, I'm still using the original 110AH battery. It gives me real piece of mind knowing that I can watch several hours of sat. TV, charge the phones/iPads and still be able to run the furnace at night if needbe.
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:45 PM   #6
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Had added two group 27 batteries to the two I had and kept them charged with 300 watts of solar. Then we realized that we never ran out of power when boondocking with two batteries, so why did we need four. So when our 34 footer was totaled by straight line hail at NTAC in Texas, we went back to just two batteries. Have since upgraded to two Lifeline AGMs and still have the solar. We're currently in Vermont, temperature today in our stored Airstream got up to seven degrees and I keep solar panels cleared of snow and they keep the AGMs fully charged without being hooked up to electric.

Incidentally, we also carry a Honda 2000 watt generator and would use that sometimes when boondocking especially when using our two computers. IMHO, four batteries is not worth the problems and the weight.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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We went from a Gr24 to a Gr29 and all LED's/
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:13 AM   #8
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idroba,

Quote:
You may want to go to a different type of battery. Many (including me) have gone to two 6 volt golf cart type batteries in series. They will fit in the existing battery box if you raise the top 1.5 inches with some aluminum C channel.
I'm interested in knowing how you went about enlarging the doorway to the battery boxes to accommodate your 6v batteries. Have you posted details anywhere and, if not, could you do so?

Thanks.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:49 AM   #9
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See this thread and my post #18 on it.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...-124829-2.html
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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photos

Go to my member photos, you can see how I made the battery box big enough for the 6v AGMS. There is also a picture of the extra battery box/inverter I can put in the truck bed for some extra 110v without using my generator.
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