What is the battery for? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
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Question What is the battery for?

Would someone explain what the battery is for? I know it is for running the 12v systems, but I don't know what they are. I want an AC, but not refrigerator or furnace. From reading many posts I realize my option selection could start a debate. However, I only list them to give an idea of what I want to run.

I want to own a fgrv someday and I am trying to learn as much as possible before I make any final decisions.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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You will need a battery to run the lights and water pump if you are not plugged into electrical.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:23 PM   #3
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When you are plugged in it (the converter)will still run your 12 volt system of lights and water pump but now you will also have outlets to run a microwave, air conditioner and television if you want and anything else ac electrical and it will also charge up your battery for when you are somewhere that you can not plug in then you will be able to run your lights and water pump like Carol H stated.
Joe

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All the dotted underlined words bring you to posts of interest pertaining to that word (maybe they where there and i never noticed).....Neat Update.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:50 PM   #4
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Probably the most important need of the battery is to stop the trailer should it separate from the TV. There are redundant systems to prevent but the electric electric brake regency cable is the last line of defense.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:36 AM   #5
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Battery Purpose

The primary purpose of the battery is to run anything that requires 12 volts to operate including the 12 volt lights, water pump,and in an emergency the trailer brakes thru the breakaway switch and possibly the fridge if you have a 3 way fridge.

The 12 volt tail and brake lights operate from the tow vehicles 12 volt system.

The battery will charge from a converter that if you're plugged in. As well it can be charged from your tow vehicle's battery/generator or a solar panel.

As well the output of the battery can be connected to an Inverter to create AC from the battery. A converter takes 110 volts AC and makes 12 volts DC. An Inverter takes 12 volts DC and makes 110 volts AC.

Converters come in different sizes as do Inverters.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:15 AM   #6
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The most important thing our battery does is run the heater! It also runs the lights and the water pump as mentioned.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill K Jr View Post
Would someone explain what the battery is for? I know it is for running the 12v systems, but I don't know what they are. I want an AC, but not refrigerator or furnace.
Most travel trailer manufacturers assume that it will be used in a remote area far from services, so the very basic systems that require electricity are operated on 12 volt DC. These are in order of importance:
  • interior lighting
  • water pump
  • furnace blower motor
Additionally, modern gas appliances seldom operate from standing pilot lights any more. They use the 12 volts DC to ignite or control the flame.
  • water heaters
  • refrigerator control circuit boards
  • range ovens
Being plugged into 110 volts AC is considered the alternate power source, hence the converter in addition to regular 15 amp outlets. Thus, appliances with high energy demands that cannot be operated on propane gas need to be plugged in.
  • air conditioners

You say you don't want a refrigerator or furnace, but do want Air Conditioning. In the overall scheme, that's the least important to have. Granted, in your particular location it may climb higher on your requirement list.

Do you want a toilet? A hot shower? Then a battery would be needed.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:21 AM   #8
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Hmm. Homer. Is that Homer, IL; Homer, GA; or Homer, LA?

Your location probably will affect the brand of trailer you buy, if buying new. $1.50 per mile shipping does add up!

Good luck in your quest.

NOTICE TO ALL: Not all stoves light from the 12 volts. Some use a 9 volt battery hidden up under and behind the stove.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
NOTICE TO ALL: Not all stoves light from the 12 volts. Some use a 9 volt battery hidden up under and behind the stove.

I appreciate being corrected when I put out inaccurate information.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:12 AM   #10
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Actually, i am toying with the idea of my own portable Man cave for getting away from the family for a couple days a month AND for traveling with wife and child to some cool areas with electric e.g. Lake Powell. Given my most likely travel times an AC would be essential in the Midwest and cube heater would suffice for fall and spring. I'd love to believe I am the rugged boondocking type, but 20 years of life in academia makes me a little soft around the edges.

What I think I truly want (and I am still deliberating) is this: Remove sink and stove. Make that area flat counter-top. Then convert that entire area (top cupboards and lower counter space) into an entertainment center for a flatscreen, dvd player and x box. A place where I can get some work done in the morning on my laptop, take a walk in the afternoon, and at night kick back and enjoy some guy films or games.

I am choosing the 13' because I have no problems using camp facilities - so I have little use for the sink, watertank, and pump. Given my travel windows, I will (most likely) not need a built in propane heater. I like cooking and know what splashing, smoke, garlic etc. does to my big house kitchen. I'll be cooking outside. I would therefore not have a propane system.

The emergency brakes is an excellent point and because of that I will have a Battery.

Once again, I realize this is not the self-sufficient model many crave and would not work well in Canadian national parks, or anywhere without electricity. However, it is becoming more and more my dream. I have read many of the forums on these topics and I also realize these things will affect resale value, and that is a good point. However, I am taking my time precisely because I have no intention to resell, and by the time I do I will have gotten the full depreciation value out of my trailer.

Anyway, I thought I would share this with you. I welcome constructive feedback on any of this.

Bill
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
Hmm. Homer. Is that Homer, IL; Homer, GA; or Homer, LA?

Your location probably will affect the brand of trailer you buy, if buying new. $1.50 per mile shipping does add up!

Good luck in your quest.

NOTICE TO ALL: Not all stoves light from the 12 volts. Some use a 9 volt battery hidden up under and behind the stove.
Actually, it is close enough to Homer IL. I'm not exactly disclosing my city of residence, but it is close enough. I do not do this to deceive anyone (why would I admit it if I were?) This is a public forum, so I am erring on the side of caution. I would drive to pick up the camper. Following things I have seen in other threads I would set aside a full week and actually use the camper near Backus for a few days before driving back. Hopefully catching anything that needed an obvious adjustment early.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill K Jr View Post
Given my most likely travel times an AC would be essential in the Midwest and cube heater would suffice for fall and spring.

The emergency brakes is an excellent point and because of that I will have a Battery.

I welcome constructive feedback on any of this.
I have been to Kansas and Missouri in the summer, and I suspect Illinois would be similar. I understand the need for AC.

What you are describing is very similar to how my old Compact Jr. was set up. I did have a hand pump and water tank (no electric required) and had a dishpan on the counter for a sink. We never used it. We did use a porta-potty, but infrequently.

To this day I regret selling it; I miss it's elegant simplicity.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:27 AM   #13
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Bill, for me the battery on the trailer and having all my lighting, pumps and fans etc able to work off it is a hugh need. Yes it is needed in most Canadian national and provincal parks but I actually camp more south of the border. I can think of at least 5 different campgrounds in the US that I stayed at in the past 2 months that I would not have been able to stay at if I did not have the option of running everything off of a battery or propane when needed. Can also think of a number of trips I have been invited to join friends on that I would not have been able to go on if I had been limited as to what will run on a battery or propane. Some of the no power places have become my fav places to camp.

Yes most US parks have power but they are often fully booked up in the summer months making it hard to get into on a last minute trip. Most though will have tent sites still open for use and due to having a small trailer and no need for power they will let you use them. IMHO they are often located in a nicer section of the park than the full hook up sites. More often than not I have found that most sites located very close to water (lake, river or ocean) do not have services. Can also think of a number of occasions when I have arrived at a park only to be told everything is full but the Ranger will say he has an overflow spot I can take for the night with no services and he will slip me in to a spot that opens up the next day. Actually have landed in some pretty nice so called overflow spots in the past 5 years that I was happy to stay in rather than move. :-)

I appreciate that you will be camping in warm weather areas more than I so you have a far greater need for AC but I think you may find there are many times you could get away with just a Fantasitc Fan. I recently spent 2 weeks camping in temps in the very high 90's and only had a Fantastic fan running off the battery and it worked really well when needed at night to cool down the trailer. I do also have a small portable solar panel for topping up the battery during the day so I dont need to worry about the battery usage of the fan at night.

Can think of a couple of occasions this summer where if I did not have the flexablitly of going with out power I would have also have had to keep driving into the night in search of another place to stop.

I personally place a very *high* value on the fact the trailer is very flexable in so far as where I can or can not camp. In my opinion its the greatest thing about having a small trailer. I know that I would not be nearly as happy with it if I was limited to where I could camp.

PS I should also point out that I am a little soft around the edges as well (have the 19" flat screen and DVD) thus the reason I want to a trailer from a tent and I want everything to work (even my computer & phone that need recharging) to make the camping experence as soft as possible - power or no power at the site. :-)
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:39 PM   #14
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Frederick - Thanks for letting me know I am not alone in my design desires.

Carol - thank you for sharing all that with me. You have convinced me about the need for the Battery. From what I've read I think I could also get an inverter to charge my laptop on those occasions when I do not have a hookup. I must admit, I love thinking about all this stuff.

Thanks for taking the time to tell me your experiences everyone. Continued feedback is, of course, welcome.

Bill
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