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Old 09-05-2011, 01:17 AM   #1
Road Geezer
 
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Extra Amp Hour Capacity

I've checked, and I'm surprised that can't find as thread that deals with this. If there is such a thread, pls just point me to it.

My question: We dry camp a lot and I want to increase battery amp-hour capacity. I'm thinking about buying two additional, identical batteries to the two that came with my 2011 FC. I would connect the additional batteries in parallel and wire the appropriate pins of a female 7 pin connector to the extra batteries. I would plug in the TT's umbilical to the connector on the extra batteries when camping.

I believe I could charge the four battery setup using my Yamaha 2kw plugged into the shore power connector just as I do now. I just wouldn't need to run the gen set as often.

Is this lunacy/dangerous? Will it cause hair loss??? Has anyone tried it?

Seems pretty straight forward to me, but then I'm electrically challenged ...

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:33 AM   #2
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You can sure add more batteries provided you have a place for them but I'm a little confused on the 7 pin connector and why you want to do that. If your current 7 pin plug is connected to the current batteries (charging from the tow vehicle alternator) and you parallel two more, you don't need another connection. Same with the converter.
I assume you mean parallel with the existing two batteries you already have but if you are talking about a separate bank, independant of your existing batteries then you will need something to select which bank is being charged. I still don't see the need for the 7 pin connection but maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:25 AM   #3
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I think most people consider adding extra batteries when they have solar, or they don't have a generator (because a couple of extra batteries are cheaper than a generator). However, if you already have a generator, I would use it more often or longer before buying more batteries. Also, converting some of your lights to LEDs and looking at conserving energy would better utilize the storage you now have.

A good analogy might be your home air conditioner. Before buying a bigger unit, wouldn't it make sense to try keeping your curtains closed during the day, fixing the doggie door that sticks open and reminding the kids to turn off the exhaust fan in the bathroom when their done taking showers? What you have now might suffice.

Also, extra batteries would be heavy and take up room in the bed of your truck (or wherever you store them). You might even consider replacing your existing batteries with larger ones, when they fail.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:48 AM   #4
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more battery power

i replaced my original batteries...2, 27 series with maybe 100 amp hours combined...with two 8 D AGM batteries...these are 250 amp hours each....and i wish i had three of them...i have 190 watts of solar as well...but the batteries, with 2000 watt inverter allow for about 8 hours of off grid activity...heavy tv, computer use before i have to restrict usage, or start the generator,,,in a restricted generator use area lots of battery power is a good thing
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:26 AM   #5
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RG,

I did almost the same thing with our 63 Safari. Carried a second, (63 only had one), 12v marine battery, when dock'n it sat on the tongue in a plastic B/box connected thru the umbilical cord. Worked fine for extra 12v. Had a 1000w Yamaha that I used to keep 'em charged up.

But you already have two batts and should be able to keep them juiced with your genset thru the converter, typically around an hr/day or less.

The OEM batts usually last about three years, go with a battery upgrade at that time to gain your Ah rating.

OR if 'yer like most of us......DO IT NOW!!!

Bob
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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re: "2, 27 series with maybe 100 amp hours combined" -- a group 27 battery has about 100 AH @ 12v so 2 would have 200 AH@12v

The energy density of lead acid batteries is about 45 watt hours per kilogram. At the 50% cost effective discharge versus life point, that comes out to about 12 watt hours per pound of usable energy in an RV battery bank.

Two things to note: it's the total weight of battery that counts, not the voltage or type, when it comes to energy storage. Second, there just isn't that much energy you can store in batteries - a gallon of propane has 25 times the energy storage as a typical RV battery and typical daily household use is nearly 50 battery's worth.

Generally, if you feel you don't have sufficient electrical energy storage, your first priority should be on your charging and battery maintenance equipment. After that, your usage habits need consideration. Adding batteries just doesn't do much, a trailer can't handle much battery weight, and there are proper compartment considerations that should not be ignored. One reason some folks prefer 24 ton MoHo's is because those things can carry a lot more battery than a trailer can.

no magic bullets, watch out for anecdotes, beware of any labels not supported by objective and pertinent measure, and watch out for the bull. (there is a lot of it when it comes to this topic!)
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:42 AM   #7
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Take a look at what Dan did: Mali Mish - An Airstream Travel Blog. » Blog Archive » Our Portable Battery Bank.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:50 AM   #8
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Bryan ive been reading through the relevant threads on batteries/boondocking and have seen the advice you gave repeated alot. Obviously proper charger/maintnance is a must. And conservation makes sense. But doubling your bank to 400ah from 200ah by bringing another set of 27s in a battery box in truck bed (my plan) would seem to give you twice as much battery time right?

As is with reasonable usage im seeing 2-3days to empty so probably 1.5-2days to 50%. My most common trip is leaving work early on a thursday getting 100mi,es down the road and overnight at walmart or rest stop and on to a campground for fri-sat-sun. So by saturday morning my batteries are dead. I really dont want to run my generator all weekend. With the extra bank i could go all 3nights without having to run the generator at all and recharge batteries once i get home.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:54 AM   #9
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Have you considered running one or two solar panels? I have two 100 watt solar panels and one 65 watt panel mounted on the roof with 3M tape. I run one Trojan grp. 27 batter that has 115 amp hrs. and run fans over 90 % of the day during warm weather. The battery is almost 6 yrs. old and I rarely use my Yamaha 3000iSEB generator.

Do you currently have grp. 24 or grp. 27 batteries?
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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Randy, sorry for the 7 pin connector confusion. My idea is to use a duplicate of the female connector on my TV as a way to easily connect the TT to the extra batteries when we're camping and disconnected from the TV.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:22 PM   #11
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Batteries are somewhat of a "black art" especially when it comes to parallel hookups and charging at the same time. As I understand it, you want to have two more batteries in your TV and plug them into the AS via the original cord that connects the AS and the TV, using the existing 12 volt charge line in the cord.

The problem is that the wires in the cord are relatively small, and the added resistance of the plug combination will give the new batteries not only a lower chance to deliver the power to the AS, but will make them very difficult to charge. Paralleled 12 volt batteries must not only be very close in age, and size to charge properly, but also must have virtually no resistance in the wires between them to charge equally. What you are proposing to do is to have four 12 volt batteries in parallel, two in the TV and two in the AS. I can almost guarantee that they will not all charge/discharge equally, and will not be happy campers, nor will you be.

If you have not considered it, and you have the space available, I would recommend you swap out your existing two 12 volt batteries in parallel for two "golf cart" type 6 volt batteries in series. Two standard golf cart type batteries (I like Trojan T105's but due to cost have been using Costco equals) will almost always give you more capacity than two 12 volt batteries in parallel. A Honda ei 1000 generator, quiet and efficient, will keep them well charged when you need it, and only weighs 30 pounds or so.

Then, look at your lighting load. If your AS has incandescent lights get rid of them and use only fluorescent or LED units. BTW, there is a lot of hype about LED being more efficient and using almost no power. The best of them are only slightly more efficient in terms of light output per watt of consumed power than existing fluorescent lighting, and are much more costly. Yes, low light output LED's will use less power, but produce far less light than you may desire. For now, fluorescent lights give you the most light for the lowest cost, and lowest current use from your batteries.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:46 PM   #12
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RG,

Your plan is very doable, like I mentioned above when I did basically the same thing with our 63 Safari it worked fine for 18 Seasons. Basically doubling our staying power, with two deep cycle marine batts we had power for 2+ daze, with no other conservation measures.

With our Classic I get 3 1/2 to 4.
2 Grp 27 100a Lifeline's
IOTA IQ4 converter.
The conservation methods are passive in nature, interior LED's and awareness of what your goals are.

We boondock almost exclusively in forest CG's and the 2000i is an integral part of our plan and we use it accordingly, I don't understand the reluctance of some who have them to use them. Much more cost effective than most other options.
It's rare that we would run the genset JUST to charge the batts, half hour of housecleaning and meal prep once in awhile is usually enough.

Bob
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:19 PM   #13
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I wasnt talking about 4 12v in parallel. Wanted 2 2x12v parallel banks and use one to 50% then switch to the other. Thinking about a nice plastic truck toolbox to hold them and hook them up on arrival use to 50% then go back to the trailer batteries. For longer stays charge the bank not being used off the generator with a nice charger.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:22 PM   #14
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Road Geezer,
I contemplated moving my single Trojan battery out of the battery box on the front left side of the trailer and on to the tongue when it eventually needs replacement. I have a compartment between the frame rails now and will have a local machine shop cut it out and build a deeper box to hold the two grp. 27 batteries. This will make it much easier to check rather than pulling them out of the current battery box. I considered what you are thinking about and do not see a problem since you are just adding to the battery bank and can charge seperately from the other batteries if needed.
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