Bigfoot battery needed for boondocking - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-20-2016, 12:15 PM   #29
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Name: Patrick
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Roger H, Note that the EverStart Marine battery is not a true deep cycle battery. THese batteries are designed for CCA (engine starting) and therefore have thin lead plates that cannot endure the repeated charge/discharge cycles that RV batteries must be able to cycle through in regular use.

The lack of availability of real true deep cycle batteries in retail outlets is why I ended up exploring Amazon and I am glad I did. Ended up with a real deep cycle AGM battery with 100AH rating able to withstand hundreds more deep cycle recharges than any marine battery. Amazon delivery service was prompt and the final cost of $159.95 net delivered was an amazing value. (Model UB121000
12 volt, 100AH, AGM true deep cycle by Universal Power Group...shipped via FedEx from Texas)

I checked RV dealers, NAPA Autoparts stores, Advanced Auto stores, CarQuest Auto parts stores, Sears and Walmart....NO TRUE DEEP Cycle batteries only dual purpose thin plated combo Marine/RV batteries labeled as deep cycle.

Read the 12 volt side of life ....and.....amsolar.com.....for a detailed discussion on what constitutes a true deep cycle battery. Consensus favors AGM Deep Cycle batteries over all others...safe...spill proof...zero maintenance. From Amazon
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:22 AM   #30
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Roger H, Note that the EverStart Marine battery is not a true deep cycle battery. THese batteries are designed for CCA (engine starting) and therefore have thin lead plates that cannot endure the repeated charge/discharge cycles that RV batteries must be able to cycle through in regular use.
Yes, I'm fully aware of their construction and what those cheap batteries can and can't do. And they'll still last 3-4 seasons under normal RV use. Most folks with trailers only use them to complete the charging circuit in the 12v system anyway, and seldom use them for anything more than keeping the refrigerator circuit board alive in between unhooking and plugging in, and a few minutes' lighting at night. If I were outfitting an expedition rig heading for the outback for weeks at a time I'd have different considerations. But I'm not, nor are most users of trailers or mohos with these batteries in them. For most folks, they're easy to get on short notice and they're relatively inexpensive. They do the job most of us require of them. Most folks who use these trailer wouldn't recognize any difference in performance between a cheap wet-cell battery and an AGM battery. If they have an application where they need the performance of an AGM battery, they'll likely have already researched the issue.

Yes, inexpensive lead-acid wet-cell batteries will sulfate out eventually in RV use, but four seasons' use equates to $20/season. An AGM with a five-year life equates to $30/season. If you get a couple of more seasons out of them, that's great, but it still only brings them down to about the same as an inexpensive lead-acid wet plate battery.

Uplander, I understand your position. I really do. And I consider those things when I buy as well. I'm a very pragmatic shopper and I often don't buy the cheapest thing out there; especially when longevity is important. In RV batteries, it just isn't that important for most of us who use them occasionally, and tend to kill them eventually anyway from lack of care.

Having options are good. Having "almost as good" options that are cheaper are even better, and not everyone wants to spend big bucks on something that isn't "mission-critical" and that is easily replaced when the need arises.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:56 AM   #31
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Understand that if you boondock for several days the AH rating on a true deep cycle battery becomes the real focus of concern and not how many years of service a "cost effective" Walmart marine deep cycle wanna-be battery will last.
When your water pump can't get enough power to flush your RV's toilet you soon forget the few dollars you saved by taking that lower cost road.
However if you almost never camp in a natural boondock setting and only opt for hookup commercial campgrounds the battery subject doesn't enter into your equipment priorities.
"normal RV use" differs from camper to camper...some never boondock while many do mostly boondock camping. Each require different equipment. Those new to the RV camping life will decide if the quiet natural settings found in off the grid boondocking locations has the most appeal...while others will gravitate towards the commercial resort type of camping experience.
For us it is the natural isolated lake side quiet that epitomizes "camping". That means serious boondocking equipment.

AH = amp hours of service without recharging.

"Cost effective" = cheap.

You will not find "AH" listed on a Walmart battery.
Real deep cycle batteries always list "AH" rating.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:19 AM   #32
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All true, but other ways to enable serious boondocking include supporting your battery system with solar, and/or generator, and including a second battery. And all those apply regardless of the battery type.

Walt
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:31 AM   #33
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I have a generator but the idea of drilling holes in my trailer's roof is holding back my desire to add a 100watt solar charging system to my list of boondocking gear.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:33 AM   #34
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Yes, I'm fully aware of their construction and what those cheap batteries can and can't do. ... If I were outfitting an expedition rig heading for the outback for weeks at a time I'd have different considerations. But I'm not, nor are most users of trailers or mohos with these batteries in them.
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Understand that if you boondock for several days the AH rating on a true deep cycle battery becomes the real focus of concern
Patrick I understand you advocating the AGM batteries for heavy off-grid use, and if someone needs to do that, they already understand what they need. That was NOT the question asked at the beginning of this thread. He just wanted to know if he needed a battery in the charging circuit.

For the majority of trailer owners here who mostly just need a battery in the circuit because the charging system demands it, and who seldom use the 12v system for anything (in other words, apparently the OP,) the cheapies do just fine.

How long are you going to continue to beat this dead horse?
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:41 AM   #35
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Roger
If I were a moderator here I'd caution you on your open hostility here.
The original question has been adequately answered and if others want to continue a broader battery discussion there's no harm done.
True these issues/discussions have been repeated on this and many other forums, but there are always new subscribers that benefit.

Walt
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:07 PM   #36
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Just responding to the original post/question...."battery needed for BOONDOCKING !"

Most topics tend to wander off the original information request which was....

"Bigfoot battery needed for Boondocking"
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:36 PM   #37
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We have the same trailer and are going through this situation right now. I'm cutting the old battery tray out and welding in 2 channels of angle iron on the top of the frame. I've purchased two 6 volt golf cart batteries and a quick cable dual battery box. My batteries will sit in front of the propane tanks just like it came from the factory. Id take pics, but I haven't started the work yet.


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Old 03-21-2016, 02:48 PM   #38
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I have a portable solar panel. Two 45W panels that fold together into a briefcase for storage and can be set up on the ground and angled toward the sun.

My dual purpose marine/rv battery, regular old flooded lead acid, definitely stated an AH rating. $100 battery, 90AH. I do nothing except boondock. I'll let you know if it lets me down.
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:08 PM   #39
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Thanks Zach. Let us know either way. It'll provide a very valuable data point.

Walt
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:19 PM   #40
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With a 90AH rating you should due just fine as long as you monitor fluid level of battery.
Your battery selection seems better than most as the selection in most big box stores do not include AH ratings and concentrate on CCA ratings.

Do you have a regulator for your solar charging system to avoid overcharging your battery ?

In my application access to the battery is very tight (tiny door on side of trailer) making checking and adding distilled water extremely difficult. That is the reason I opted for the sealed AGM 100AH rated type battery. I also added a digital voltmeter with an on/off toggle switch to monitor charging by my on board electric system as provided by the manufacturer. The meter confirms that the converter is charging the battery through the 3 phase charger...from bulk charging dropping down to a standard maintenance charge when the battery nears full charge. Digital voltmeters cost less than $20.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:25 PM   #41
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Yep, mine came as a kit. Aluminum carrying case, two 45W panels connected by a hinge, with telescoping legs, 3-stage charge controller and I think 3 different ways to connect to the battery.

Luckily my battery is right on the tongue. I just googled deep cycle rv battery. I found a Duracell online at Batteries Plus with a $10 coupon if I bought online but picked it up in the store.

I plan to monitor the battery level with a separate voltmeter, but it would be really nice to have something connected in line that I could monitor things with more closely.

The panels are a compromise, like everything. You don't have to mount them to the roof, and you can park in the shade and set the panels out facing directly at the sun, and move them as the sun moves if you feel like the effort. But you have to find a place inside the camper or tow vehicle to store a 30-40lb 2'x2' case, and worry about someone walking off with them when they're set up, if you leave them out and go somewhere.

With my last camper, I just connected the panels and called it good. I didn't monitor anything. But all I had in that camper were LED lights, a 12V fan, and I charged some batteries through an inverter. No water pump, and it was a motorhome, so the battery was charged well by the alternator when I drove, and I usually didn't sit in one place for more than 5 days. So I just never worried about it. I'm sure I'll use more power with the Bigfoot.
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:52 PM   #42
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Update, bought an expensive AGM

Well, time for an update. Thanks for the great conversation, meandering yes, but then I always wonder about starting another thread vs carrying on with the story.

I bought the 100 amp /hr group 31 battery locally. $ here it is, it weighs 70 lbs!
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