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Old 08-20-2011, 05:25 PM   #15
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:30 PM   #16
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We had the converter checked about 4 years ago and it was fine. We put new batteries in at that time. Ours is a 1994 and we needed new batteries then because they were old so we just did it to get up and running. I would say 99% of our camping is in farm fields in the fall, winter and early spring. We are hard on our batteries so we weren't concerned when they said 2 years on our marine batteries were about all we would get. I'm still not going to run out and get the converter checked unless we are in for another reason. We just don't have time.

The fact that the 2005 Airstream is not holding a charge is not unusual. We don't know how old his batteries are but assuming they are original, 6 years is pretty good. We would need more information to make any kind of educated guess.

I feel these forums are good, both experienced answers, a little bs, and some just funny. When I ask a question, I expect a bit of all three. Airstream owners are some of the most diverse and interesting people on the planet and they all make me think outside the box.

Oh and sometimes, those that ask questions are looking for an entirely different answer than they know. How about this: If you have time to test your batteries all the time, you need to get out and use your Airstream more! Enjoy the travels...
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:06 PM   #17
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LEDs help a lot

If you are going to boondock, the most important single thing you can do is replace your 12 V incandescent bulbs with LEDs. 'Tain't cheap, but they cut your lighting power consumption by about 90% without decreasing the amount of light.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post
If you are going to boondock, the most important single thing you can do is replace your 12 V incandescent bulbs with LEDs. 'Tain't cheap, but they cut your lighting power consumption by about 90% without decreasing the amount of light.
.
You say the LED replacement isn't cheap, but I'd point out that with a reasonable amount of bargain hunting you can probably upgrade every light in the trailer for no more than the cost of a couple of decent deep-cycle batteries. It seems like a pretty good trade-off, since the LEDs will likely last many times as long as the batteries AND extend the life of the batteries you already have.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:21 PM   #19
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Just ordered three 1156 led's for the outside storage compartments, (there the ones that stay on at random if anything moves around in there)... 11 bucks ea. on sale
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:41 PM   #20
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I have fitted all lights in our 65 Safari with LED's and even installed 8 under cabinet LEDs. Also up graded the converter to a good 3 stage model. We have installed 3 Lifeline AGM's and can boondock 4.5 days during the summer before a charge. Our biggest draw is the Sat. & TV.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:00 PM   #21
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I vote for the AGMs. I neglected mine over the winter and returned them and was talked into the standard deep cycle marine batteries. These last barely through the night and don't hold a charge near as well as the AGMs. Spend the extra money.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:14 PM   #22
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Lots of discussion about Amp Hours, system loads, etc...

The fact remains that Optima Blue Top Deep Cycle batteries DO NOT have the capacity of rectangular, 'flat plate' batteries!

The 10 inch Optima's are rated at only 55 Amp Hrs - a Group 24 flooded cell battery of the same size can be rated up to 80 Amp Hrs - that 45% MORE capacity...!

If you can fit the 12 inch Group 27's into your battery box, you can get up to 105 Amp Hours per battery...

The additional Amp Hour rating can be a big deal when boon-docking! Also, charging each day with your generator goes a long way to avoid an undercharged condition...
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:45 AM   #23
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Nobody has mentioned that keeping them charged without discharge can affect performance too. What about that? I'm just saying'....
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:26 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Just ordered three 1156 led's for the outside storage compartments, (there the ones that stay on at random if anything moves around in there)... 11 bucks ea. on sale
Simple DIY and you can get the cost down to under $3.50

1.2w 12V Warm Led for $2.87
G4 1.2W 108-Lumen 3500K 24-SMD LED Car Warm White Light Bulb (DC 12V) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

1156 Base - $.50 (Search for BA15S-EB: BA15S Empty BA15 base)
LED Accessories & Motion Sensor Lights - Super Bright LEDs

Solder 2 small pieces of wire to connect..
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:32 AM   #25
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How did you know which ones to buy?
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:10 AM   #26
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Tried a warm white square cluster for the stove light, not bright enough,
changed it out for the bright white.

Used the "puck" style warm white for the for all the interior overheads.... don't think the round cluster would fit the fixture for the outside compartments.

The bright white 20 cluster tower seemed like a better fit for them.

Bob

Past lesson learned...if your changing your outside bulbs, they will be much brighter and look better if you match bulb color to lens color.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:17 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
Lots of discussion about Amp Hours, system loads, etc...

The fact remains that Optima Blue Top Deep Cycle batteries DO NOT have the capacity of rectangular, 'flat plate' batteries!

The 10 inch Optima's are rated at only 55 Amp Hrs - a Group 24 flooded cell battery of the same size can be rated up to 80 Amp Hrs - that 45% MORE capacity...!

If you can fit the 12 inch Group 27's into your battery box, you can get up to 105 Amp Hours per battery...

The additional Amp Hour rating can be a big deal when boon-docking! Also, charging each day with your generator goes a long way to avoid an undercharged condition...
Thank you Mexray, I was wondering when someone was going to point that out.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:22 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
Lots of discussion about Amp Hours, system loads, etc...

The fact remains that Optima Blue Top Deep Cycle batteries DO NOT have the capacity of rectangular, 'flat plate' batteries!

The 10 inch Optima's are rated at only 55 Amp Hrs - a Group 24 flooded cell battery of the same size can be rated up to 80 Amp Hrs - that 45% MORE capacity...!

If you can fit the 12 inch Group 27's into your battery box, you can get up to 105 Amp Hours per battery...

The additional Amp Hour rating can be a big deal when boon-docking! Also, charging each day with your generator goes a long way to avoid an undercharged condition...
That is all true.
Assuming perfect maintenance, agms and flooded cells last about the same time but I always forget to add water, or use tap water instead of distilled and shorten the life of my flooded cells. However, they are about half the cost of agm's
I am going to upgrade my stock converter to a phased converter charger. The stock converter always dumps a full charge into the batteries and will kill them in a hurry if your trailer is always plugged in. In the meantime, the only time my trailer is plugged into shore power is when I am recharging the batteries or the few times I am in a campground hooked up to shore power.
Two 6 volt golf cart batteries will supply more amp hours than two twelve volts of the same dimensions.
If you rebuild the battery box, there is space for even bigger batteries--a thought if you are going to boondock long term.
I am going to experiment with a wind charger. I believe it will plug in to the 12 volt power recepticle. Between it and my solar panel, I should have enough juice to eliminate or greatly reduce my generator run time.
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