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SteveH 02-03-2014 06:14 PM

Anyone Consider ONLY One Battery
We are not big "boondockers" and the last time we stayed anywhere in the Airstream without full hookups was a year ago October at the Balloon Fiesta Rally, and we had a generator with us then. So I was thinking about reducing the weight at the front of the trailer by removing one of the batteries, and only using one.

Anyone ever consider, or do this? Other than the obvious reduced battery capacity, anyone see anything wrong with this? Really all we need is power to run the lights and water pump when we stop for lunch, and even then the trailer is hooked to the truck.

I remember when most Airstreams only had one battery.

idroba 02-03-2014 06:19 PM

It will remove about 40 # and save the replacement cost of one battery.

n2916s 02-03-2014 06:40 PM

My Sovereign has only one battery and that is how it came out of the factory. Granted it is a 27 series but it does limit us. If we are in a campground with a generator curfew, the battery is only good for one night if we need the furnace and then we need about 4 hours on the genset the next day to get back to about 90% of capacity. Means we have to be around for those 4 hours as I am too chicken to leave the genset running when we are not there.

Solar would be nice but the cost/benefit formula doesn't work for us as the genset is paid for and gas is relatively cheap and energy intense.

The current battery is a basic NAPA lead/acid and is about 3 years old so sooner rather than later, we will be replacing it.

Works for us...


Bruce B 02-03-2014 06:56 PM

We went the opposite way. Our Bambi came with a group 27 AGM that did not have enough capacity for our intended use so we upgraded it to a 4d AGM.
The additional weight is no big deal and we can easily go two days before we hit the 50% mark. Works for us....

truckasaurus 02-03-2014 06:57 PM

I'll probably go with just one next time, I have two 6V adding up to 220 Ah of 12V right now and it seems overkill. Just seems wasteful.

TG Twinkie 02-03-2014 07:13 PM

I have one Group 24. So far it has worked for us. We don't boondock much.

RangerJay 02-03-2014 07:21 PM

Our 02 Bambi has only a single battery - it is supplemented with a 1000W generator for the times when we are without electricity - probably about 1/3 of our annual camping nights. In cool weather we do try to minimize furnace time by keeping the thermostat down - but when it does get frosty and needs to run several times during the night the morning voltage on the battery will read in the neighbourhood of 12.2.

The generator gets run between 1 and 2 hours in the morning and the same at night - generator times also coincide with the times we carry out all the other routine activities that might require electricity.

This has been our routine for 10 years now and we've never felt the need for a second battery.

As a bit of an aside - we've also reduced additional weight on the tongue by swapping out the 30lb propane tanks for 20lbs. Also has never been an issue.


Belbein 02-03-2014 07:21 PM

"4d AGM"?

Originally Posted by Bruce B (Post 1411374)
We went the opposite way. Our Bambi came with a group 27 AGM that did not have enough capacity for our intended use so we upgraded it to a 4d AGM.
The additional weight is no big deal and we can easily go two days before we hit the 50% mark. Works for us....

"Fourth degree Anti Gravity Master"?

Could you share a little explanation with a battery neophyte?

lewster 02-03-2014 07:32 PM


Originally Posted by Belbein (Post 1411400)
"Fourth degree Anti Gravity Master"?

Could you share a little explanation with a battery neophyte?

Here are the specifications for a Lifeline 4D Absorbed Glass Mat deep cycle battery: GPL-4DA 12 V 20.76 527.40 8.70 221.00 8.64 219.50 124.00 56.20 1595 1360 1100 210 AH 390 680 1375

Translated…….. they are 20.76" long, 8.7" wide and 6.64 inches high. Weighs 124 lbs and has a 210 amp/hour capacity at the 20 amp/hour rate.

Big, heavy battery. IMHO, there are better alternatives. :D

garry 02-03-2014 08:10 PM

Since you have hook ups the majority of time one battery should do just fine.

Group 24 is less expensive and weights less than a group 27.

I use 1 group 24 and use a battery minder 24/7 when in storage, I think it is 5+ years old and still in good shape.

Bruce B 02-04-2014 04:38 AM


Big, heavy battery. IMHO, there are better alternatives. :D[/QUOTE]

I was educated by the man who wrote some of the early multi step charge algorithms we use to charge batteries today, a man named David Smead. When I asked him about this subject of 2 small vs 1 large battery he said that in terms of reliability, amp life and cost the larger plates of the bigger battery put it in a league above and beyond anything like a group 24 or 27.

I have used 4D and 8D batteries for more than 20 or so years of living long periods at a time on 12 volts.

I have had very good service of my batteries. Voltage produced for amps used has simply been superb.

By the way two group 27's weigh the same as 1 4D, increase the number of cables, battery boxes, connections, have less output and they will not last as long under heavy use.

Of course if you have no need of the battery capacity.....Don't even consider it.


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Skater 02-04-2014 05:29 AM

Ours has three batteries; a PO used it for a lot of boondocking apparently. When we replaced the batteries, we considered disconnecting the third one since we knew we wouldn't be camping without hookups much. I was concerned about whether I could make the connections safe from shorting out at some indeterminate point in the future, so we decided in the end to just put in the third battery. Since then, we've done some camping without hookups and were glad to have it. But aside from that, just make sure the wires won't short together after a couple thousand miles of banging around. (In our case, the way the third battery was wired made it hard to simply remove the wires.)

Lots of campers only came with one - our B190 had only one coach battery, for example. We never camped without hookups in that, so it was fine for us.

Joe Palmieri 02-04-2014 06:49 AM

I'm sure you can survive on one battery as long as you are conservative with your 12 volt usage if and when you are not hooked to AC. We boondock more than we go to campgrounds so it wouldn't work for us.

Ahab 02-04-2014 07:59 AM

Our 22' SS came with a GR24 that lasted 2 years. Replaced with a GR27 which died after 4 years and replaced with a GR29 recently. I see no need for 2 batteries even though we boondock a lot. Yes, we also have a genny but didn't for the first battery and probably ran it down too far to many times leading to its early demise. The only reason we got the 29 was it was the same price as the 27, weighed 12#'s more, fit in the same battery box but a bit higher and has more amp hours.:D

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