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Old 12-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #15
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Question

"Thus it has become acceptable to use AGM batteries in places where flooded ones cannot be used safely - e.g., in the inside of an RV. This is an acceptable practice and I have seen it done in other Airstream trailers."


Thus.....If they are in a sealed vented enclosure...... I'll follow Lifeline's recommendation thank you very much.

"You can do this, however, it is not good practice. All chargers can overcharge. The problem with this is they will produce hydrogen if over charged. These batteries are sealed but if they are overcharged they can and will still produce hydrogen. It is best if they are going to be inside that they are placed in a box that has a vent to the outside. It has been done many times."

Justin Godber
Lifeline Batteries
955 N. Todd Avenue
Azusa, CA 91702
Phone - 1-626-969-6886
Fax - 1-626-969-8566
web - Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle AGM Batteries

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Old 12-12-2012, 06:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clicker187 View Post
What about adding batteries to the tow vehicle??

I was thinking about adding several 12 volt batteries or one large 12 volt batteries...on the bed of my tow vehicle (truck). I want to wire this so it will charge when the truck is running, add the ability to charge at a campsite with 110volt power, and provide a plug and mains switch on my AS.

I'm hoping this will be a solution to add some boon-docking power to my rig without adapting the AS or loosing storage in the trailer...

Any suggestions, schematics, turn-key solutions?

Thanks, John T.
If you're going to put several 12V batteries in the back of the truck and expect the truck's alternator to charge them, you'll need an HD alternator at a minimum... it might be a good idea to add a second one if you're going to be charging with the truck very often. If you're generally going to charge with external power (generator, mains, solar) then it may not cut the life of your alternator too much.

If you're going to have lots of 12V in the truck that you want to use from the trailer (without swapping batteries in and out of the battery box(es) on the trailer) you'll need some serious cable to connect the truck-bad array to the trailer.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #17
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I have camped off the grid for as much as 10 days and not had a problem with a battery going dead. I have one group 24 in the 26' Argosy and carry an additional group 27 in the back of the truck. Never had to use the group 27.
Even camping in the high mountains of Colorado where temps get down to 19 at night. The one battery has served us well. It's nothing fancy, bought it at Wal Mart.
I do have an 85 watt solar panel (portable) that I use religiously. We even watch movies on the TV with the latest improvement of installing an 1100 watt inverter.
Of course we don't run any 12 volt equipment such as the powered vents, but we do use the furnace, water pump and lights. With the use of the inverter we can also charge all of our portable devices and even run the vacuum cleaner over the carpet once a day.
A solar panel is much lighter than batteries and not near as messy.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clicker187 View Post
What about adding batteries to the tow vehicle??

I was thinking about adding several 12 volt batteries or one large 12 volt batteries...on the bed of my tow vehicle (truck). I want to wire this so it will charge when the truck is running, add the ability to charge at a campsite with 110volt power, and provide a plug and mains switch on my AS.

I'm hoping this will be a solution to add some boon-docking power to my rig without adapting the AS or loosing storage in the trailer...

Any suggestions, schematics, turn-key solutions?

Thanks, John T.
Our thoughts as well. A 12vdc QD plug / receptacle (aircraft or 12v winch style) near the front of the AS with a marine / aircraft style battery select switch inside to change from the AS battery bank to the TV bank (bank 1, bank2, or off). Power to the AS from a short run of HD (battery jumper cable guage) cable as used to supply power to 12v electric winches.

That would open the door to a rack mounted solar expansion on the roof of the TV or -in our case - the roof of the pickup topper / rack. The TV batts would be charged from 110 via their own charger and not involve the TV 12vdc system. That way we have redundancy (too much time in the air). That way, one bank can be utilized while the other is being charged.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:45 AM   #19
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I just installed the LED's on my 4 reading lights, two overheads over the table and kitchen and the scare light and step light. THEN I brought in the wife for her approval (she goes more for looks than practicality) and she approved. Kind of freaky touching the reading spots after 3 hours of usage and NOT being burned. These are the lights we use the most and will give us the most extension of our battery life. I still might add two more AGM's later but I feel better knowing I will at least have light for extended periods.

As for adding batteries to the back of my truck, I want something that i don't have to think about every time I go out. Lugging batteries in and out seems onerous.

I am going for more is better and LED's seem like a good start. I'll replace the ceiling lights (13 of them) when I win the lottery.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:27 AM   #20
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I have camped as long as 5 consecutive weeks off the grid in the Sonora Desert. However, I do have a requirement to power a CPAP machine, which means that I need more than one battery to last all night. Thus, I have the 4 AGM's which had been installed by the PO. Others I know have the same setup, and notwithstanding the dire predictions preceding, I know of no incident that would make me change my approach. I do "hang out" with the Boondockers' BOF of the Escapees, and some of the setups they have for solar charging are amazing, but could not be used with a typical AS trailer, as there is insufficient real estate to mount this gear.

Many of the Escapee Boondockers in large Class A motorhomes have racks with lifts to raise and point the solar panels into the sun at 90-degrees. I have seen some that raise 2 large racks each with 8 120-watt panels feeding into a bank of 16 AGM batteries in their "basement".

Here is a photo of one of the rigs:
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:45 PM   #21
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I am going for more is better and LED's seem like a good start. I'll replace the ceiling lights (13 of them) when I win the lottery.
Check out this thread for those ceiling lights.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f447...der-97498.html
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:08 PM   #22
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Thanks for your analysis. We do most of our camping 'off grid', using four solar panels up top. I've been using two Group 27s in our 25FB and they worked great for our first two seasons. Unfortunately, my trailer's winter caretaker (dad) helped the batteries run down to zero when he decided to check the voltage for me a week before my arrival for our first spring trip. He disconnected shore power, measured the voltage. Was happy with the charge and left it disconnected. He didn't hear that one of the fans had been left on. We discovered the 'dead as door nails' batteries a few days later.
Even after using a professional automotive charger, they don't don't last very long anymore.
I ordered two replacement AGMs, but now that I've read your email, I'm going to add at least one or maybe two more under the bed.
I'm thinking 300 amp hours (150 usable) would be good.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:13 PM   #23
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Also considering adding one or two more AGM batteries; a convenient place is under the bed at the front of the unit. This brings up the hotly debated topic of whether venting is needed.

I did some research, and found some models on exactly how much H2 is emitted from both conventional lead-acid batteries such as the Interstates, and sealed batteries such as AGMs.

For sealed lead-acid - Batteries H2 Vent - Free Hydrogen Vent Calculator
For conventional lead-acid - Hydrogen Concentration Calculator - Cisco Inc.

You can run the models and draw your conclusions; these have helped me come to a decision.

Steve
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