Adding a 12V Battery to 74' Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-10-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
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Trailer: 74' Boler 13 ft
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Last year we paid to have an old frodge removed and a new furnace installed in our 74' Boler. When the work was completed our next step was to install a battery to run the furnace and a few lights and possibly a stereo. Currently all power is drawn through the wiring from the tow vehicle. We will not be using much power at all but would like to be able to use the lights and furnace without connecting directly to the tow vehicle. I am just looking for an idea of what equipment would be required aside from the battery itself. I am looking at getting a 12V deep cycle marine battery, I am sure this has been covered elsewhere but unable to find a similar description through the search feature. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:27 AM   #2
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A good three stage charger would help keep your battery maintained properly.



You may already have the original converter that may look like this.


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This converter will run all your 12V lights if you are plugged into AC power and will probably supply an inefficient charge to your battery. If you don't keep an eye on your battery acid levels this converter will boil your battery dry over time.

Otherwise, if your goal is to keep costs down and have some form of battery charging, then leave the original converter in and constantly monitor your battery.

If you are in Calgary Matt, you are welcome to stop by to have a look to get some ideas.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for those videos, that helps me alot. This trailer had no furnace, just a stove and fridge which both ran on propane. The fridge didn't work so we had it removed and the stove replaced. The one light was powered through the 110v hookup that runs from under the sink so I don't think there was any power without a hookup?. When the furnace was installed it was wired to the trailer pin. There was no converter in the trailer. The charger I would imagine would be available from an RV supplier? and the inverter you have, is that doing the job of the converter you have the picture of in your post?
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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You don't NEED a converter -- As discussed elsewhere, you can just use a good multistage battery charger and your tow vehicle to keep your battery charged for a lot less money (A converter with multistage charging starts at $250 at Camping World, and likely at least $200 elsewhere).

For that kind of money, you can go to WalMart, get a super charger, a float charger, a battery box and a deep cycle (trolling) marine battery and still have money left over.

You can also hardwire a small two-stage float charger into your 120VAC so it is putting a small charge into the battery whenever you are plugged into shore power. You could also hardwire a full charger but it wouldn't be automatic; you would have to push a button.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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All we really need enough power to run a few lights, the furnace and possibly a cd player later. I would like to have the option to add a solar charger later but not a major concern now. I have a deep cycle marine battery which I will find a way to mount near the propane tank. I don't think a converter is necessary as the trailer will be used for shorter trips to sites without hook ups. If charging the battery before leaving will be sufficient I should be alright, I would also like to have the feature of the tow vehicle suppling some power to the battery though. I guess my question is what would be the hardware used between the battery and the accesories (lights,furnace etc.) when you take shore power out of the equation? and where would it be available?
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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A float charger would be a charger with a float setting? also I am unfamiliar with what a "super charger" is? I guess I just don't know to much when it comes to electricity....
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:49 PM   #7
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Matt,

Not exactly what you're asking, but I would suggest checking the draw of your furnace before calculating what you will need for battery/system capacity for dry camping (no hookups). All of the new furnaces I know of have a built in fan, and that fan is not an energy sipper, but a bit of a gulper. So you may be using more juice than you think (depending on how much the furnace runs, of course).

Raya

PS: To get an overall view of how 12v systems work, and the various parts and pieces, I would suggest either a book or some web surfing. Here is one site wherein the writers describe hwo they woked out their set up (granted it's a few years old), and there are links within to other more basic sites. Also, "The 12volt Bible" used to be a good book, but you might check Google or Amazon for more current recommendations. Keep in mind that rvs and boats both use this type of system.

http://www.macandchris.com/12vdcElectricSystem.htm
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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As in SuperDooper! High end charger with multi-stage charging, lots of amps, plus engine start for short bursts of high amperage for jump-starting.

http://www.battery-rechargeable-charger.co...ry-charger.html

A float or maintenance charger (sometimes erroneously called a trickle charger -- True, old-fashion trickle never turns off, just like the older converters), that keeps an eye on the battery and delivers one or two Amps of float charge (The last stage of multi-charge converters or chargers), then turns itself off when the battery is charged.

http://www.amazon.com/tag/float%20charger
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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Thank you very much, this will help alot.
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