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Old 07-28-2021, 03:08 PM   #1
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Best batteries and converter to support off shore life.

Hi everyone - we are looking to live in our 2012 AS for a bit while we transition to a new home. Before we do that I have to solve this battery problem. I think my 3rd set of batts are toast.

I probably let them get too low for too long and I think I am still fighting my original converter.

Can someone recommend best battery/converter duo?

Also - I am not very handy, could I handle swapping that thing out or should I hire someone? Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2021, 04:44 PM   #2
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If you are living in it you will be on shore power the whole time, right?

I have no idea what converter is "best". I have installed 2 of the Boondocker converters from Best converter and they both work well. For your use I think a new converter and a new set of lead acid deep cells from wherever. Just be sure they are deep cycle batteries.
If you just do not want to try the converter swap yourself you might fine a mobile technician that will come and do it.

My trailers are much older than yours and might be simpler to work on. For my trailer is was take off the old converter and attach the wires to the new converter. And plug it in. But I work with electricity a lot and know about disconnecting everything including both batteries at the start.

If your are going to be living off the grid without power then that is a whole different equation for batteries.
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:40 PM   #3
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Just a possible tech connection in Joyce WA. He does mobile work but might be out of range so look at having work done at his location?

Darren at https://myrvworks.com/
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:48 PM   #4
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Hi

If indeed you are on shore power the whole time, the answer for batteries is " whatever Costco has on sale in the deep cycle / RV aisle this month".

A *lot* depends on just what your useage looks like !!!!

Bob
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:03 AM   #5
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At least your asking , but with basically no info , details , numbers in your post .
You have to hire someone to do what you want .
And if whoever find does not " 1st " do a survey of what you have / and what you want - then keep looking for someone that will not do any work w without a survey = gather info / numbers on what you have and use those numbers / measurements for what you want .

So some guessing with what I can guess from little info you provide ,
2012 AS , 3 sets of batteries , at least $150 ea. x 2 = $300 , then 8 1/2 yrs. , that is $900+ with FLA - Flooded Lead Acid .
AGM - Absorbed Glass Mat , or GEL Typical double + $1,800++

" best " is bad thinking , too many issues with thinking " best " .
But highly rated lithium batteries are $600 generally a little less in my shopping for 100AH battery --- only 1 needed to equal a lead based battery of any type above .
And generally should last over 10 yrs. Compare $600 against $1,800 for same amp hours & yrs. running ?

As for coverter = 1st off this is intended to supply 12dc for off-shore-power , then also for charging lead [ not all lead / AGM , GEL ] just FLA .
I woudl suggest to not ever use batteries when shore power is available .

Then with lithium , using an inverter , with the ability to supply charging to LITHIUM batteries .
And some type of design , switching to avoid feeding AC current back to shore-power !!!!
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:11 AM   #6
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For converter, call Randy at bestconverters.com. He owns an AS and has lots of data along with installation instructions...we replaced ours few years back. (not that difficult; I did it myself!) Remember, the pre-2018 modelAS's all had single stage converters, and were/are notorious for "boiling your batteries to death!" We also switched to Trojan T106 6V batteries 3 years back...excellent batteries compared to the 12V Interstate or other options in 12V arena. We have not made the move to Li batteries yet; no need with our Boondocker converter and Trojan 6v's....maybe next AS we will go that route! Other nice thing about the Boondocker converter is you can disconnect the battery with a manual kill switch, and still run all the electronics in winter...
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:35 AM   #7
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Hi

Alternately, if you are running off grid a lot, a set of 4 Battle Born 100AH Lithium's and a Victron Multi Plus 3000 is a very nice combo. It lets you do a lot of things beyond what the stock setup will do. If you already have 400 to 600W of solar, they would be a good match.

Just a bit over $5K for the Multi and batteries.

..... lots of possible cases ....

Bob
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Old 07-29-2021, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellerzal View Post
Hi everyone - we are looking to live in our 2012 AS for a bit while we transition to a new home. Before we do that I have to solve this battery problem. I think my 3rd set of batts are toast.

I probably let them get too low for too long and I think I am still fighting my original converter.

Can someone recommend best battery/converter duo?

Also - I am not very handy, could I handle swapping that thing out or should I hire someone? Thanks!
If you're running off shore power you don't really need batteries. The converter will run all your DC needs. Even if you have old crappy batteries the converter should keep up. But it sounds like you don't have shore power? Either way get a good charger for your batteries. Get rid of the factory stuff. There are much better products out there. If you are off grid get yourself a good solar charger and some panels. They don't need to be on the roof if you're not moving around. If you are working off the batteries get a good battery monitor as well. This will help you manage your battery power.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:00 AM   #9
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Assuming you will be plugged in all of the time and your are in a budget, I’d go with boondocker and cheapest marine deep cell.

IMHO you’ll want fresh batteries. They are active in the 12 volt circuit even when on shore power. If they’ve gone way too long, chances are that you are close to a shorted cell in the battery and that will wreak havoc. And you definitely want a 3 or 4 stage power converter.

In my case (‘88 Excella), changing the batteries was easy. It’s almost like changing a car battery. On the converter, I found it best to remove the gaucho (my converter is forward under the gaucho). I have no idea where your converter is located, but I suspect it’s “buried”.

A bit of trailer knowledge, a bit of electrical knowledge combined with common sense and handy with tools and you’re there.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:54 AM   #10
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For the OP... what is "off shore life"? Do you really mean no electricity?
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:43 AM   #11
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What my favorite uncle said.

I have 400 watts on the roof, four Battle Born batteries, and a VictronConnect Multiplus 3000.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:51 AM   #12
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2012 25' International
Olympia , Washington
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Thanks everyone! Appreciate the REís.

Last question: I canít afford the solar yet. I think my option for now is new converter and two new batteries. I could be without shore power for a bit, living on my property with no electricity.

After draining the batteries can I charge them with my generator?

In the past I plugged airstream into generator but it didnít charge the batteries very well. Again, might be because the batteries were already over cooked or the factory converter just isnít getting it done.

So I think my list of items to purchase is:

-2 new deep cycle marine batts
-New converter
-Battery monitor (the status monitor in the airstream now doesnít seem reliable)
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:06 AM   #13
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2012 25' International
Olympia , Washington
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[QUOTE=Kellerzal;2522720]Thanks everyone! Appreciate the REís.

Last question: I canít afford the solar yet. I think my option for now is new converter and two new batteries. I could be without shore power for a bit, living on my property with no electricity.

After draining the batteries can I charge them with my generator?

In the past I plugged airstream into generator but it didnít charge the batteries very well. Again, might be because the batteries were already over cooked or the factory converter just isnít getting it done.

So I think my list of items to purchase is:

-2 new deep cycle marine batts, 12v
-New converter
-Battery monitor (the status monitor in the airstream now doesnít seem reliable)



I am going to try to pull the current converter out and post pic here if someone can suggest appropriate replacement. Thanks
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:05 AM   #14
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Hi

You can indeed charge batteries off of a generator. To fully charge a flat battery, you probably should count on running for > 8 hours. If you are on shore power the normal recommendation is to charge overnight ( so > 12 hours ). The "really sure" number is 24 hours.

If you have a big battery bank ( = use < 20%) and a fancy charger (> 150A), you can get to a routine where you run the generator for <2 hours in the morning and <2 hours in the afternoon. There obviously is some planing (and cost) involved in a setup like that.

If this is full time living in the AS, battery capacity drops a *lot* when it's cold. Whatever you normally get away with in the summer, figure 2X that in the winter (for the *same* usage). If you run the furnace in the winter, you likely have way more usage (maybe 3X more).

In a stationary setup, there is no need to keep the batteries in this or that part of the trailer. They will be just as happy in a box out by the propane tank. When you add things all up, you may well be talking about a *lot* of batteries.

Lots of options, lots of zigs and zags, a whole bunch of guesses.

Bob
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:09 AM   #15
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Again not enough info , what do you want to run off of batteries ?
This all boils down to numbers , then there is no guessing - watts in watts out , go to watt hours .
Next is your choosing batteries , the wrong ones on at least a couple levels ,
1st marine / RV is almost the worst choice - these are not true deep-cycle , they are a compromise of either type of battery - starting / deep-cycle = and that gives a less performance of either style , and shorter life .
Letting batteries sit for any length of time - with any lower SOC State Of Charge below full speeds sulfation of batteries = kills batteries .
So back to my other statement of the cost over time - lithium is cheaper
Lithiums do not have as bad of issue with discharge , generally they can be left in almost any SOC , there are ideals - long term storage , just shy of fully charged .
Remember your not looking for just a converter - you are looking for a converter / charger - the charging part needs to have about a three stage charging .
Then with generators , again you do not state what generator , so have to go by general info .
Most generators [ if they have a 12vdc outlet ] max out at 10 amps , way below almost any deep-cycle battery manufactures C-rate = the rate at which the manufacturer recommends charging their battery .
Again it all about NUMBERS / spec.s gather those to really know .
https://batteryuniversity.com/
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Old 08-06-2021, 07:40 AM   #16
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Hi

Charging anything off of the "12V" outlet on a generator is a really bad idea for a number of reasons. Fire the beast up and run 120V into your converter / charger. Charge the batteries that way when you do it "from the generator". This is how pretty much everybody does it.

Bob
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Old 08-08-2021, 12:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
For converter, call Randy at bestconverters.com. ...
https://www.bestconverter.com/

Not bestconverterS.com
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Old 08-08-2021, 08:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellerzal View Post
Hi everyone - we are looking to live in our 2012 AS for a bit while we transition to a new home. Before we do that I have to solve this battery problem. I think my 3rd set of batts are toast.

I probably let them get too low for too long and I think I am still fighting my original converter.

Can someone recommend best battery/converter duo?

Also - I am not very handy, could I handle swapping that thing out or should I hire someone? Thanks!
Hi,

We use 2 200AH AmperTime LI batteries and love them. Have been off grid for over a week with that configuration. Also the charge converter we use is the PowerDynamics 4260 which rocks (tiny house version). And if you want to invert power throughout the trailer, I recommend the Krieger 3K watt, which literally delivers 120V to every outlet we have in our vintage 1973 Safari 23'. It was a fresh brew coffee requirement!
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:46 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by 73Safari View Post
Hi,

We use 2 200AH AmperTime LI batteries and love them. Have been off grid for over a week with that configuration. Also the charge converter we use is the PowerDynamics 4260 which rocks (tiny house version). And if you want to invert power throughout the trailer, I recommend the Krieger 3K watt, which literally delivers 120V to every outlet we have in our vintage 1973 Safari 23'. It was a fresh brew coffee requirement!
Do you have any trouble with the Krieger? It puts out a modified sine wave @ 110V. Lots of gear wonít last long on a modified sine wave. Whereas the Victron 3K puts out a true sine wave. Prices are comparable.

The reason I ask is that I am working on a plan for a migration to lithium and solar for when the existing gear gives out and donít want to assume that Victron is the best way to go.
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:11 PM   #20
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Cost of AGM Higher Than Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTF View Post
ÖÖ
But highly rated lithium batteries are $600 generally a little less in my shopping for 100AH battery --- only 1 needed to equal a lead based battery of any type above .
And generally should last over 10 yrs. Compare $600 against $1,800 for same amp hours & yrs. running ?
Youíre saying that AGM Batteries are MORE expensive than Lithium? This is the first time Iíve heard that.
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