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Old 02-04-2014, 09:03 AM   #15
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Watch the tongue weight. Some of the early 34s had a problem with poor stability due to a light tongue. Yours is later but, still, something to check.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:17 AM   #16
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Watch the tongue weight. Some of the early 34s had a problem with poor stability due to a light tongue. Yours is later but, still, something to check.
I have weighed the tongue with a Sherline.....1150. I would think that's enough even if you reduced it by 50lbs or so.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:43 AM   #17
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I ruined our batteries last year and only replaced one since we don't boondock. I also didn't want to replace both until I replaced the stock converter (which I just ordered). I left one of the old batteries in the AS, not connected, because I couldn't figure a way to properly secure just one battery and I was concerned about having the battery just sit in the box without using using the hold down that comes in the newer AS's.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #18
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I ruined our batteries last year and only replaced one since we don't boondock. I also didn't want to replace both until I replaced the stock converter (which I just ordered). I left one of the old batteries in the AS, not connected, because I couldn't figure a way to properly secure just one battery and I was concerned about having the battery just sit in the box without using using the hold down that comes in the newer AS's.
Yes, a battery failure, one at a time, is one of my concerns because I've had one explode before, and it was with a smart, four stage charger. The thing was, one battery shorted a cell, and then the charger seeing that as a low voltage condition, started cranking out the power and actually exploded the good battery.

I think if there had only been one battery, I might have caught it before the explosion, but maybe not.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:19 AM   #19
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Reduce the truck bed load, not the battery capacity, IMO. It's like travelling without fresh water: There's a day it'll matter.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:05 AM   #20
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Here is a real life example of why for us, sufficient battery capacity is more than simply a nice luxury.
Yesterday we began our vacation. We are heading to Florida with our 16’ Bambi and as a result of weather systems we decided to leave 24 hours early. The thinking was to drive as far south as we could get in order to minimize the impact of the first of three storm systems heading toward New England. We drove 500 miles and hit the first signs of precipitation at about 8:00 pm. The nearest Walmart beckoned and 11 hours later here we are waiting for the temperature to rise enough to melt the ice that formed overnight. We should be here for about 14 hours total.
It is about 30 degrees outside now with temperatures hovering in the high 20’s last night. We have no place to plug in, solar panels will not help much at night and the generator is safely stowed in the bed of the truck. We are watching TV, cooking, charging computers with the inverter, running the propane heater at 72 degrees and simply having a very nice little private stay in the Walmart parking lot. The heater is running way more than 50% of the time by the way….
I just checked our battery monitor and we have used only 21% of our capacity (it is not wise to go lower than 50% if you want your batteries to last) the battery voltage under an 8 amp load is 12.62 volts and if necessary we could sit tight for another 24 hours with no battery worries.
With a single group 24 or 27 we would have to be charging battery now!
You never know….
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:30 AM   #21
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Yes, there's no doubt different people have different needs with electrical power, and I'm really not concerned with the weight, it's the complexity and difficulty of troubleshooting. Batteries are very easy to monitor and troubleshoot when they are used in series, in parallel, not so much.

Back in my technician days part of my job was maintaining the battery plants at about twenty remote microwave sites. They were up to 250 AH 24 volt systems, all in series.

But back to our trailers, with batteries in parallel, short of taking them out (not really an easy task for an old fat man with a bad back) and testing each cell with a hydrometer, really all you can do is monitor the voltage when charging, or not charging, assuming you haven't installed some super elaborate and expensive monitoring system.

I have a friend in our club that has run only one battery for several years with no problems, but he never boondocks. The first time he had trouble was last year when his converter (stock and original) went belly up. His solution was to install in place of the converter, a 15 amp Auto Zone automotive battery charger, and he reports it works just fine. I'll just say my friend is frugal.

Oh, and the only place you will find me in icing conditions, is setting in my own driveway, and the last time we had a bad case of that was in 1985.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:38 AM   #22
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We are watching TV, cooking, charging computers with the inverter, running the propane heater at 72 degrees and simply having a very nice little private stay in the Walmart parking lot. The heater is running way more than 50% of the time by the way….
You know, a laptop computer runs off a battery. Seems silly— not to mention inefficient— to draw power from a battery, invert it to make 120vAC, and then convert it back to DC through the computer's "brick" to make DC power again. You may want to invest in a car charger for your laptops, so you can go straight from 12vDC to 15.4vDC (or whatever the computer voltage is) without having to go through 120vAC in the process. Plus, being able to charge your laptops in the tow vehicle while you're driving means that they're already fully charged when you stop for the night.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:45 AM   #23
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If you don't use much battery power you could use an automotive battery and get a 3yr free replacement warranty. The deep cycle battery's typically have a 1yr warranty. These are Champion battery's at sam's club I'm referring to.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:05 PM   #24
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If you don't use much battery power you could use an automotive battery and get a 3yr free replacement warranty. The deep cycle battery's typically have a 1yr warranty. These are Champion battery's at sam's club I'm referring to.

Automotive batteries are made for starting, not deep cycle use. They provide a huge burst of energy for a very short time to crank an engine and are not suited AT ALL for deep cycle use.

Regardless of warranties, you should use the proper battery for the intended use, And, BTW, Lifeline batteries have a 5 year pro-rated warranty.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:07 PM   #25
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Automotive batteries are made for starting, not deep cycle use. They provide a huge burst of energy for a very short time to crank an engine and are not suited AT ALL for deep cycle use.

Regardless of warranties, you should use the proper battery for the intended use, And, BTW, Lifeline batteries have a 5 year pro-rated warranty.
But if your not deep discharging your battery you can get 3rys warranty battery for $78 +tax.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:04 PM   #26
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I'm really not concerned with the weight, it's the complexity and difficulty of troubleshooting.

This makes more sense. I've some of the same thoughts. On my SS the propane tanks are recessed into the front trailer fascia, and the battery box is in the "usual" propane tank location in a box between the A-frame rails. Starting to rust out in the floor. I've looked at a really big floor machine battery on the TROJAN site that would have some higher Ah numbers and with some weight penalty. The box, needing to be rebuilt, could be adapted. Haven't gone any farther than this initial exploration (will be working with solar system requirements when that takes a better shape), but my attraction is quite similar to yours.

I am not at all willing to lose capacity, however. Water and propane are systems No. 1 & 2, respectively, but there is, due to difficulty (weight and complexity) only a limited amount of electricity we can carry. But our reliance on it gets our attention out of proportion to it's importance.

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Old 02-06-2014, 05:58 AM   #27
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I've looked at a really big floor machine battery on the TROJAN site that would have some higher Ah numbers and with some weight penalty.
The weight penalty would not just be heavier batteries that may take two people to lift. It might also unacceptably increase your trailer tongue weight. Before going with more and/or bigger batteries, see how much trailer tongue weight capacity you still have in reserve on your tow vehicle, and plan accordingly. If your tow vehicle has a 750-pound tongue weight capacity and your tongue weight is only 500 pounds, you've got room to expand. If your tongue weight capacity is 750 pounds and your present tongue weight is 745 pounds, then not so much. Just plucking numbers out of the air for illustration purposes; I have no idea what capacity and tongue weight you're dealing with.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:36 AM   #28
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The weight penalty would not just be heavier batteries that may take two people to lift. It might also unacceptably increase your trailer tongue weight. Before going with more and/or bigger batteries, see how much trailer tongue weight capacity you still have in reserve on your tow vehicle, and plan accordingly. If your tow vehicle has a 750-pound tongue weight capacity and your tongue weight is only 500 pounds, you've got room to expand. If your tongue weight capacity is 750 pounds and your present tongue weight is 745 pounds, then not so much. Just plucking numbers out of the air for illustration purposes; I have no idea what capacity and tongue weight you're dealing with.
All good points. I should have stated that I'd have to see the effect on TW (my truck has a fair amount of "spare capacity") and that no changes will be done without some careful weighing to try to get accurate TW numbers, first.

Yes, a small crane might have to be used to install/remove a big battery. I anticipated this, but forgot to mention it. Heck, I practically want one to change the current batteries (bad angle and injured back).

I may also change from 30# to 40# propane bottles. As I need a welding shop (and have found one specializing in fabrication) I have looked across TT to try to see any/all potential applications. TV, too. But, first, a plan is needed and that plan needs realistic numbers to work from.

Thanks.

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