group 31 battery - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2011, 03:09 PM   #15
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Yes, the battery will be able to charge off the tug and when we have shore power, but I want to figure out how long I have when dry camping. Solar maybe something in the future, but for now I have put way too much money in this trailer to spend any more. thanks for your suggestions.

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Batteries are nice but need support systems to be truly useful. For me that amounts to a small but reasonable solar panel or direct charging from the tow vehicle while driving.

We have used both approaches sometimes in the same day. We had two 60 watt panels. In addition we had the ability to charge directly from our tow vehicle. We installed a switch on our dash that allows to charge the trailers battery when we're moving. This allowed us to have a traditional AC Fridge run off an inverter and never worry about it discharging our battery.

An appropriate solar panel is a lot less than most generators and direct charging from your car while the engine is running is virtually free.

Before we leave for our loop of the USA we hope to add a Solar Panel.

Norm
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:48 PM   #16
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Reasonable Test

We did the following test when we added a dorm fridge to see how long we could run off the battery. It should provide you with a good first order answer.

Plug your rig in and fully charge your battery (about 12.65 volts). You need to run the converter to charge it. To find out if it's fully charged you need to shutoff the converter (un-plug the rig) and wait a few minutes to let the battery normalize and then measure it.)

To run the test unplug the trailer and turn the number of LEDs you would typically use and what ever else you use. To test for the water pump load, run the water for the number of minutes you might in a day. (Actually the number of minutes a pump runs in a day is not many) and check the battery voltage every now and than.

When the battery voltage drops to 11.6 it is considered discharged. (I am not sure that it's 11.6 but it's certainly at a state that you would no longer want to discharge it.)

Doing this for a couple of days will tell you how long you have. You should be able to test for two days in one by leaving the lights on for 24 hours.

Norm
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:58 PM   #17
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We did the following test when we added a dorm fridge to see how long we could run off the battery. It should provide you with a good first order answer.

Plug your rig in and fully charge your battery (about 12.65 volts). You need to run the converter to charge it. To find out if it's fully charged you need to shutoff the converter (un-plug the rig) and wait a few minutes to let the battery normalize and then measure it.)

To run the test unplug the trailer and turn the number of LEDs you would typically use and what ever else you use. To test for the water pump load, run the water for the number of minutes you might in a day. (Actually the number of minutes a pump runs in a day is not many) and check the battery voltage every now and than.

When the battery voltage drops to 11.6 it is considered discharged. (I am not sure that it's 11.6 but it's certainly at a state that you would no longer want to discharge it.)

Doing this for a couple of days will tell you how long you have. You should be able to test for two days in one by leaving the lights on for 24 hours.

Norm
Thanks Norm, I guess I should had been more clear. The battery is brand new, if I don't use it I can exchange it for 6volts (or what ever I choose). I was trying to get feedback from those who have used group 31's with similar set up (LED's) for 5+ days before I hack my trailers frame and plug in the new battery making it un-returnable if it wasn't enough power. I am really thinking of going the two 6 volt route though, if I can make it fit on my frame more power would be better then not enough.

Funny though, guy at the RV store swore up and down a bottom line group 24 would get me at least 5 days since I switched to all LED's I really don't think the stronger group 31 will make it 5 days and so 6v I will likely go.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:03 PM   #18
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here is a spreadsheet if you want to do it on paper first
RV Electrical Power for Dry Camping
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:07 PM   #19
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here is a spreadsheet if you want to do it on paper first
RV Electrical Power for Dry Camping
Thank you, this is really helpful. I had no idea you multiply AC items by 10 when running on DC, this may change things up a bit. Now I will build a spreadsheet of my trip.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:29 PM   #20
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Hi Rox, We have a group 24 AGM battery rated at 80 AHr. I bought it to do exactly what you want to do, stay somewhere without hook ups for a few days. We run LED's, a water pump, and a small fan modified to use between 200 and 500 mA. of current. With a small solar panel (42 watt) we can stay forever. The longest we have stayed without the panel is 3 days with plenty of battery life left. I'm sure we could go at least 4 and most likely longer. I figure we use less than 5 AHr per day. If it runs out we can live with flashlights for a night. As funds are an issue, I would buy the group 24 and see how you do. Realize that you will be buying a new one in about 3 years, maybe less. When I was at that point I went with the AGM. Raz
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #21
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Thank you, this is really helpful. I had no idea you multiply AC items by 10 when running on DC, this may change things up a bit. Now I will build a spreadsheet of my trip.
That factor of 10 took me a minute. It assumes an inverter running at 100% efficiency. Since power in equals power out if the efficiency is 100%

12V.x 60A.= 120 V. X 6 A.

If you plan on using an inverter you might want to consider a generator.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:56 PM   #22
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Notice that the tv operating off 120v uses more than the 12v television. This probably due to the inefficient use of the inverter. Most tv's are 12v and use an adapter to plug into 120v. If you bypass the conversion of 12v to 120v back to 12 you use less energy.
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