battery ah? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2016, 07:41 PM   #1
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battery ah?

I think it may be time to replace our Scamp battery.
We picked up our Scamp in Backus October 2014.
Since then we have lived in it full-time each winter for 3-4 months.
Several short 2-3 week trips sandwiched in as well.

Most of the time we are plugged into shore power. However, we have camped at many off the grid in places like Death Valley, Everglades etc. for many weeks at a time so the battery was used a lot. We also now have one of the small Honda 2000 whisper quiet generators to top up battery when off the grid.

I have replaced all lights with LEDs.

Recently it more or less discharged while traveling and seems to no longer hold a charge for long. Prior to our short week long trip, I checked it and the positive connection had corroded and separated.

Cleaned the terminals, added water as cells were down about 1/4 and charged overnight.

The factory installed battery is not a super large AH battery so was thinking about a marine deep cycle 1000 AH replacement. I see many on-line listed as 450, 600, 700, 850 up to 1200 AH. Some are sealed service free.

Any suggestions out there?

Having read the recent post about a battery not charging while towing and having our fridge in 12v mode during 5-6 hour travel days may have been an issue.

I do need to keep the fridge on and cold as an insulin dependent diabetic that is critical. Yes, a $600+ Yeti cooler might do, but simpler is better and we do not have space in TOV to even put one.

Clearly running the propane while on the road seems not a good idea.

Bruce
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:49 PM   #2
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Lot's of people run their refrigerators on propane when in the road.


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Old 08-09-2016, 07:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BatDude View Post
...
Clearly running the propane while on the road seems not a good idea.

Bruce
Actually it is.. if you have critical medicine in there. There is some risk in having the propane tank on and the little flame for the fridge lit.. but it is not as dangerous as some people would have you believe, esp, if the fridge is of recent vintage and the tank is up to date.

When traveling, I avoid running the fridge on propane when I can, and run it on propane when I have to. Always turn it off and close the tank valve when fueling the tug or any other time it is required or seems prudent.

Some people will see this issue differently - I will not enter into yet another debate on this topic.

Upgrading your tug and wiring to supply a good amount of power is another option, as is ice or dry ice. You should be able to get more than two years out of a battery however its life can be shortened by some of the things you suspect.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BatDude View Post
I think it may be time to replace our Scamp battery.
We picked up our Scamp in Backus October 2014.
Since then we have lived in it full-time each winter for 3-4 months.
Several short 2-3 week trips sandwiched in as well.

Most of the time we are plugged into shore power. However, we have camped at many off the grid in places like Death Valley, Everglades etc. for many weeks at a time so the battery was used a lot. We also now have one of the small Honda 2000 whisper quiet generators to top up battery when off the grid.

I have replaced all lights with LEDs.

Recently it more or less discharged while traveling and seems to no longer hold a charge for long. Prior to our short week long trip, I checked it and the positive connection had corroded and separated.

Cleaned the terminals, added water as cells were down about 1/4 and charged overnight.

The factory installed battery is not a super large AH battery so was thinking about a marine deep cycle 1000 AH replacement. I see many on-line listed as 450, 600, 700, 850 up to 1200 AH. Some are sealed service free.

Any suggestions out there?

Having read the recent post about a battery not charging while towing and having our fridge in 12v mode during 5-6 hour travel days may have been an issue.

I do need to keep the fridge on and cold as an insulin dependent diabetic that is critical. Yes, a $600+ Yeti cooler might do, but simpler is better and we do not have space in TOV to even put one.

Clearly running the propane while on the road seems not a good idea.

Bruce
As I've said before small cars with small alternators can't keep up with 2 batteries charging, run the vehicle, and run the fridge.

I would take the battery to a dedicated automobile battery store and have it tested. If it check out ok I get ice when moving from one place to another the keep insulin in. If I needed to replace the battery, you can do what I did, I bought a Trojan True Deepcycle battery with amphour rating of 100 ah.
If you remember when we were in Death Valley I kept the battery charged with a 65 Watt solar panel.

Another don't. DON'T use the generator 12volt outlet to charge your battery. I will overcharge and boil out the liquid. Plug the generator into 120 volt cable.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
... If it check out ok I get ice when moving from one place to another the keep insulin in. I..
I believe that insulin needs to be kept at "fridge temp" and not frozen and if ice were to freeze it, it becomes trash.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:25 PM   #6
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I believe that insulin needs to be kept at "fridge temp" and not frozen and if ice were to freeze it, it becomes trash.
From what I understand that used to be true. However newer insulins are more tolerant. Besides that there's tricks you can do with and water bottles to keep small items at the right temperature. Attempting to rely on standard 3 or 2 way refrigerators to keep a constant 38░ or any other number is wishful thinking.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:49 PM   #7
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...I do need to keep the fridge on and cold as an insulin dependent diabetic that is critical...
As a retired Pharmacist with 42 years of service, perhaps I can alleviate some of your concerns about your insulin storage. Rather than give you the same speech I gave to thousands of my patients thru the years, I'll quote the ADA:

Although manufacturers recommend storing your insulin in the refrigerator, injecting cold insulin can sometimes make the injection more painful. To avoid this, many providers suggest storing the bottle of insulin you are using at room temperature. Insulin kept at room temperature will last approximately 1 month.

Remember though, if you buy more than one bottle at a time to save money, store the extra bottles in the refrigerator. Then, take out the bottle ahead of time so it is ready for your next injection.

Here are some other tips for storing insulin:

Do not store your insulin near extreme heat or extreme cold.
Never store insulin in the freezer, direct sunlight, or in the glove compartment of a car.

Although this, in no way, helps solve your battery dilemma, I do hope it helps...

- See more at: Insulin Storage and Syringe Safety: American Diabetes Association«
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:18 PM   #8
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You should have a PD9130 converter. Did you install a PD Charge Wizard. It makes your converter a smart charger and should extend your battery life. The Wizard cost's about $30.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BatDude View Post
The factory installed battery is not a super large AH battery so was thinking about a marine deep cycle 1000 AH replacement. I see many on-line listed as 450, 600, 700, 850 up to 1200 AH. Some are sealed service free.
Begging your pardon, but my first suggestion is to check your data on battery amp hours. It looks like you are quoting cranking amps or reserve capacity or some such. Finding a 12 volt battery with amp hours in excess of 120 or so is highly unlikely.

Educate yourself a bit on battery terms and specs and you may resolve the question on your own. Go here and read all 3 articles:

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

Also, you may want to Google 'Battery University'.
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:48 AM   #10
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:41 PM   #11
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Posted to hastily

Thanks all!

Yes, I did "cite" incorrectly AH figures.

Yes freezing insulin essentially "Kills it"
When on the road for many months it is important that my insulin lasts.

One does not need to toss it after 28-30 days as many advocate, if keep refrigerated. So both my long acting and rapid acting vials will last 3 months if cared for. Short term a vial can be "cool" and I have used a small evaporative cooling pouch when I was doing field work in the jungels of Belize for weeks at a time.

I had to bring a years supply with me every year when we had our 30 day home leave to buy peanut butter (now off my menu as a diabetic), socks and have our annual medical tune ups.

I did do more reading last night and have a better understanding of "Marine" vs true deep cycle batteries.

Hi Byron, I do recall set up in Death Valley from a few winters back, but failed to remember the AH of your battery. Yes, the Honda is only used as a Shore Power supply.

The challenge will be to find a place to purchase one within a week or so.
There are many boat shops here in quasi-rural Michigan. Wallyworld lists a number of what appear to be deep cycle batteries but not for store pick up.

I imagine shipping on a 45-60 lb battery will be a fair amount.

Cheers all.
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:03 PM   #12
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Batteries I've seen at WallyWorld were not true deep cycle. Make sure you get what you think you're getting.
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:11 PM   #13
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Shipping a lead acid battery is very expensive because of the acid being a hazardous material. The only way to ship a lead acid battery that is cost effective is to ship it dry. Hard to find a battery that does not already have the acid in it. Motorcycle batteries are shipped dry so they can go common carrier, but I've never seen a dry group 24 or 27 available dry. Go to a battery store. They will have a better selection. Google Trojan Batteries and find the closest dealer. You may not find one close to home, but on your next adventure you will probably find one in a larger city. Changing the battery should not take more than a few minutes.
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
As I've said before small cars with small alternators can't keep up with 2 batteries charging, run the vehicle, and run the fridge.

I would take the battery to a dedicated automobile battery store and have it tested. If it check out ok I get ice when moving from one place to another the keep insulin in. If I needed to replace the battery, you can do what I did, I bought a Trojan True Deepcycle battery with amphour rating of 100 ah.
If you remember when we were in Death Valley I kept the battery charged with a 65 Watt solar panel.

Another don't. DON'T use the generator 12volt outlet to charge your battery. I will overcharge and boil out the liquid. Plug the generator into 120 volt cable.
I'm checking out the Trojan Deep Cycle Battery. There seem to be a lot of choices there. This one is 100ah and looks good for RV, solar, and other uses. Am I on the right track?

12V 100AH SLA AGM Deep Cycle AGM Battery Group 27 Solar RV Charger Off Grid | eBay
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