Bigfoot battery needed for boondocking - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-16-2016, 11:49 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: '84 Bigfoot b17
British Columbia
Posts: 116
Bigfoot battery needed for boondocking

The new to us Bigfoot came with one clapped out standard 12v auto battery in the holder in front of the dual propane tanks. It needs to be replaced, but with what size and config of a battery or batteries? The battery tray is only 7 3/4 wide and about a foot long, so what type and size battery would have come with a Bigfoot b17 ('84) originally?

Is it just assumed that one will plug into a generator or shore power, so no need for deep cycle 6volts batts? Do I just buy another 12v standard auto batt as the cheap n easy way out? Do I try to at least find a 12v deep cycle...is there even such a thing? Get really fancy and get a surette?

We boondock camp 100% so I do intend to carry a decent sized solar panel and charge controller etc but I wonder would a standard 12 batt run led cabin lights and the furnace fan for example for 5 days at a time...nighttime use? This is all really new to me so your advice is really appreciated. The trailer did not come with any manuals so I read all 22 pages of Bigfoot specific info - great help there on general stuff. Cheers!
__________________

__________________
Tyhee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 12:32 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
I have used a Group 27 Deep cell on my Scamp for the past 7 years and it gets by just fine. Can go for a couple of days without having to attach the small solar panel to it when the battery hits 50%. Can camp off the grid for weeks with that simple set up.

Not sure what size your current battery box takes but its pretty easy and cheap to change the box out to a large one to fit a group 27 assuming you have a few inches of spare space.

How much battery power you need will depend on your camping style. What appliances do you want/need to run. I run the water pump, Ceiling fans, furnace as needed, charge up phones and cameras. the biggest power saver is changing all the interior lights over to LED. The hot water tank and fridge run on propane so little to no power consumption taking place with them.

Few folks have the power to run AC for example or watch TV unless they have the roof of the trailer plastered with Solar.

Two 6 volt batteries are for sure better than one deep cell battery but you may want to just replace the battery with a group 27 as they are fairly cheap ( can buy them pretty well anywhere including Costco) for now until you figure out what your power needs really will be.

A good read on the topic of power consumption is The 12 Volt Side of Life
__________________

Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 06:19 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
Posts: 1,226
You can also get a bigger group 29 or 31 deep cycle battery if you feel you need more reserve power. They are harder to find. A business that specializes in batteries will have them while most big box retailers will only have 27's and 24's. I would like 2 golf cart 6 volt batteries but do not have the space.
__________________
Jack L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 10:16 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
Posts: 592
I just finished a long and extensive search for the best battery for my travel trailer.
I located the best at Amazon....to make a long story short here is my final selection...best type: AGM 12 volt true deep cycle WARNING: Do Not Buy any battery marked RV/ Marine deep cycle...these are not real deep cycle batteries.
Final selection with best type and price that should last a long time in RV application......source...Amazon....delivered to your door...cost $149.99 plus $10 shipping.

All AGM batteries require no maintenance...they are sealed units...cannot leak acid....never need additional fluid...not your grandfather's battery...acid is absorbed in fiberglass Matts between the very thick and heavy plates (RV/Marine deep cycle style batteries have thin plates and liquid acid that can leak...they are designed to start engines and show "CCA rating" for starting power.)..they are not designed for constant charge/discharge cycles like a Travel trailer's battery. AGM batteries are designed for deep cycle use not starting power.

From Universal Power ...AGM...sealed true deep cycle 12 volt...100AH..battery. This is a group 27 sized battery with the Amp Hours (AH) you need for boondocking.
Just search "AGM Deep Cycle batteries...12 volt". On Amazon to locate this unit.

The reviews for this product are all excellent. Many sold for use in solar systems.
RV buyers report many years of excellent service from this AGM (stands for Asorbed Glass Matt type which has the longest life use cycle of the deep cycle type batteries @ 5-10 years) group 27 (size) 12 volt battery.

Mine arrived on time (typical for Amazon). It arrived fully charged to 12.8 volts on my digital volt meter. It was well packaged in a double carton with protective padding. Note: this is the only acid battery that can be shipped via FedEx or UPS because it is a sealed unit. It also comes with all connectors you will need to put it into service.....and....YES!! I would order it again....it is the most cost effective deep cycle RV battery you can buy in the AGM group....why deal with liquid acid batteries when the new AGM sealed batteries are far superior??

Amazon: Universal Power Group 45978 100AH AGM sealed lead acid battery.
Group 27 size (12" long X 6 1/2" wide X 9 1/4" high). UB121000.

Amazon lists this battery several times for both solar power use and RV use but all listings carry the "UB121000" identifier...all list price as &149.95 +$10 shipping...and are the same battery.

Good luck and Happy Camping.
__________________
Uplander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 10:41 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
A group 27 Deep Cycle marine/RV battery will last you about three or four years under routine abuse and will give you two or three nights' worth of lighting and usually a couple of nights furnace fan use. They're about $80 at Walmart or Sam's club. You can get the at most auto supply stores as well.

And yes, you need one in your circuit for your charging system to work properly when you're plugged into shore power (at least for most chargers).

The AGM batteries are nice if you're going to do a lot of boondocking and you're going to use the battery a lot. If you're only using it occasionally... the lead-acid batteries will work for you.
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 10:57 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
Posts: 592
Roger H., The reason I did my study of deep cycle batteries was because after buying a Walmart RV/Marine so called deep cycle battery in the spring of last year and had it fail not once but twice before the fall of the year I had to educate myself....I vowed "never again". Note also the actual cost of a group 27 Marine/RV deep cycle type 12 volt battery at Walmart is $99.99 not $80.
It comes with a one year replacement warranty and if you return it and are not a happy camper they will give you a complete refund...I was an Unhappy Camper and took the refund last fall.

My motto is...."Always buy the best". But sometimes I forget...best for the travel trailer is an AGM deep cycle...buy it and forget it...never needs maintenance!!

Happy Camping!
__________________
Uplander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 11:29 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
Uplander, i'm not disagreeing with you. My Prius uses an AGM batter for the starting battery, and they are, in fact, the best. But not everyone has the cash to throw at "the best." Sometimes it's good to have options that work. The Type 27 Deep Cycle batteries do in fact work for most folks. As I said, I typically get three to four seasons out of them.

And the $80 +/- I came up with just came from the Walmart website. Prices vary quite a lot locally.
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 01:33 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger H View Post
Uplander, i'm not disagreeing with you. My Prius uses an AGM batter for the starting battery, and they are, in fact, the best. But not everyone has the cash to throw at "the best." Sometimes it's good to have options that work. The Type 27 Deep Cycle batteries do in fact work for most folks. As I said, I typically get three to four seasons out of them.

And the $80 +/- I came up with just came from the Walmart website. Prices vary quite a lot locally.
Good points - especially if someone is just starting out and not overly familiar with the ins and outs of 12V power consumption and the need to watch the battery levels. I would personally rather learn the lessons of 12V maintenance on a relatively inexpensive battery that is very capable of doing the job rather than make a big mistaken on a more expensive system due to my not being overly familiar with what good battery practises are.

I have never really had any issues/problems with the deep cell battery's from Walmart of Costco for less than $100 - if I do not dropped them to low to often I get at least 4 years if not more of very usable life out of them. The last one I replaced (purchased on sale at Walmart) was still very capable of providing 2 days of dry camping (without solar attached) when it was replaced at just over 4 years of age.

Those new to RV's and 12V systems purchasing new to them trailers may find there are lots of other items on the trailer that are in more serious need of attention/upgrade that they should consider spending their $$'s on. Things like rolls and rolls of butyl tape to reseal vents and windows etc or a battery monitor
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 02:15 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 971
Registry
ain't that the truth...

"Those new to RV's and 12V systems purchasing new to them trailers may find there are lots of other items on the trailer that are in more serious need of attention/upgrade that they should consider spending their $$'s on."

you will not know how much reserve power you need until you go out there and use your trailer...

the best defense against battery destruction/replacement is a permanent panel meter (cheap) or battery monitor (more $$)....when either one gets to read below 12.2V... recharge or shut everything down (below that voltage you are causing damage/shortening the life of the battery)

I have never heard or read the term "true deep cycle" before...I have used a sealed/glass mat battery before in a boat (because the place it had to be located was very difficult to access) and it certainly lasted a long time (good thing too because it cost a "fortune" comparatively speaking)...I also used a deep cycle flooded cell battery in another boat for some years with no complaints.

as a side note...if this BF is new to you be aware that it is most probably overweight on the left side (that's the way they came out of the factory)...when adding/placing weight in it try for the right side as much as possible

have fun
Attached Thumbnails
battbox3.jpg   battbox4.jpg  

__________________
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 02:29 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
Posts: 592
The goal of my post was to share my research and suggest that perhaps buying a standard RV/Marine battery could be "penny wise and pound foolish". Everything in life seems to boil down to "Pay me now or pay me more later" ergo my philosophy of "Always buy the best". After 69 years on this earth and having owned many travel trailers since 1983 I have learned much and sharing the latest in battery advancements was my goal. I learn something new every day through reading and asking questions. I'm a do it myself kind of guy and always seeking knowledge and how-to tips.

I came to this site over a year ago and noticed everyone shared their knowledge. My original goal was to learn about molded fiberglass trailers after seeing a slide in molded fiberglass unit at a campground. It was a very expensive high end slide in unit with awesome quality. That sparked my interest so here I am learning and sharing.

As far as batteries go I would spend an extra $50 now to save even more in the long run and avoid the problems associated with the old liquid acid lead batteries. My research made me realize that the storage batteries we use today are very much the same as those Henry Ford used in his first automobiles!!!
The AGM battery and it's higher "AH" ratings seems to be the result of the solar power advocates needing someplace to store electric for cloudy days while eliminating the need of adding distilled water on a regular basis.
My current trailer has the battery stored in a very tight space in an inconvenient location making adding water a real PIA.

Since cost is always a concern I did note that Amazon sells AGM batteries at very low prices....brick and mortar retail stores charge $350-$400+++ for the same or similar AGM batteries that Amazon sells for $149.95 + $10 shipping with a full warranty and excellent reviews. Not one AGM battery to be found at Walmart...auto part stores do not seem to stock any AGM batteries with high "AH" ratings needed for travel trailers when boondocking...as a matter of fact AGM batteries are hard to find anywhere with "AH" ratings much above 75..thank goodness for Amazon!

Whenever you need anything for your travel trailer check with Amazon before you spend your money...they seem to stock just about everything at fantastic prices and fast professional service And delivery.

Happy Camping!!!
__________________
Uplander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 02:41 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Everything in life seems to boil down to "Pay me now or pay me more later" ergo my philosophy of "Always buy the best". After 69 years on this earth and having owned many travel trailers since 1983 I have learned much and sharing the latest in battery advancements was my goal.

As far as batteries go I would spend an extra $50 now to save even more in the long run and avoid the problems associated with the old liquid acid lead batteries.
Again, your counsel is wise, but isn't necessarily one-size fits all. Sometimes I choose to get the best with the best longevity, and sometimes that's money spent foolishly. It all depends on what the end-game plan is, what resources you have to work with, and what you're trying to accomplish.

And FWIW, the AGM starter battery in our Prius died after about five years. Of course we replaced it with another, but nothing lasts forever...
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 02:43 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: John
Trailer: '84 Bigfoot b17
British Columbia
Posts: 116
Wow! I feel richer already! Up lander thanks for sharing your indepth battery research. I find sourcing any items of quality anymore really takes more time and research, which is fine.

I'm leaning towards the AGM battery in part because of driving down gravel roads I think would not be the best treatment for a flooded acid / plate battery. I cannot just drive down to Walmart for a replacement as the nearest one is 400 Klms away but can see why they would be attractive a la cost/benefit.

Carol, I never thought of the fan, charger load, water pump and other power use so that is a good reminder to take stock. I really noticed the current draw of incandescent bulbs when I had the stove hood fan on just fiddling around, and turned on and off some of the interior lights! Wow what a difference.
Where is a good place to order a bunch of LEDs? eBay? Amazon? Rv dealership? Napa?

Point taken on rolls and rolls of butyl and investing in basics first. I'm an old hand with that skill from the old (and sold) trillium!! I had to do every window and replace some wood...worth it though. This Bigfoot has already had all window resealed and 3500 lb axle with elec brakes....something I was very attracted to since I would have had to do both right off the bat, thus saving me valuable time and $ ...paid a bit more up front but worth it it think. Franswa thanks for the loading tips on the right hand side.
__________________
Tyhee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 02:55 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyhee View Post

Carol, I never thought of the fan, charger load, water pump and other power use so that is a good reminder to take stock. I really noticed the current draw of incandescent bulbs when I had the stove hood fan on just fiddling around, and turned on and off some of the interior lights! Wow what a difference.
Where is a good place to order a bunch of LEDs? eBay? Amazon? Rv dealership? Napa?
.
If you use the drop down search function at the top of the forum - use the bottom Google search box you will find lots of threads on the topic of LED's as far as where to buy and what to look for in the specs. Looking carefully at the specs is important as far as your long term happens with the purchase goes ;-)

Can tell you they do make a real big difference in power consumption though and are worth the added cost.

I recently purchased a new to me trailer that has lots of lots of lights and I had a good chuckle when I noted that the previous owner had replaced on the lights that were two sided and they allow only one side to be turned on at a time had replace LED's on only one side to keep the conversion cost down. Had it switched on the wall for dry camping that only turned on the LED side of the lights. One way to keep the cost of converting down! LOL But he purchased the Bright white LED's so if both sides of the light fixture are on at the same time you can really see the difference in light colour
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2016, 03:03 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
Posts: 592
Replaced all my bulbs with LEDs about a year ago...Amazon had the best deals..BUT BE SURE to only order those in stock from Amazon and not shipped from CHINA as they take forever to arrive. Just about all LED bulbs are made in China...most are stocked in U.S. Locations.

Here is a little known fact I discovered the hard way....some LED bulbs interfere with your television reception off you RV roof antenna!!! I discovered this by trial and error and later confirmed what I had suspected. My solution was simple turn off lights when watching TV in the trailer. The LEDs did not disrupt television when connected to cable.

LEDs are expensive...replacing makes sense if you boondock a lot...replacing does reduce heat in trailer in summer months...incandescent bulbs do produce a lot of heat! LEDs burn cool.

Discovered my wife does not like the light the LEDs supply...they lack the warm glow of incandescent bulbs. LEDs come in different light types...read the labels.
Do not toss out the old incandescent bulbs...you might want a few for reading or TV time!

If you have a voltmeter installed in your camper you can see the reduced draw when boondocking over time.
Nothing is simple!
__________________

__________________
Uplander is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, bigfoot, boondocking


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ultimate Urban Boondocking JOHN PAUL EVANS General Chat 19 04-05-2012 03:49 PM
2005 25' BigFoot Trailer many options for boondocking Nancy H Classified Archives 0 07-20-2007 03:23 PM
Boondocking without suffering Gina D. Modifications, Alterations and Updates 31 11-12-2006 11:53 PM
4th Moose River, Boondocking In Northern NY Al V Rallies, Get-togethers, Molded Meets (Archive) 14 10-10-2006 08:44 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.