Adding second battery - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-22-2009, 10:57 PM   #15
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Trailer: 2000 Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17CB)
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Fancy controllers do the multi-stage charge thing, but have battery temperature sensors that help them better optimize the battery's charging cycles. Some have de-sulphation cycling that can extend a battery's lifetime. For the most part I'd rather spend my money on more LEDs or battery capacity than on these extra controller features.
Yes, I agree, but some of us don't have room on the tongue for multiple batteries and don't want to give up the already limited storage space inside the trailer to extra batteries. There may be not enough viable extra roof area for any more solar panels -


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Maximizing the charge available from existing solar panels using more sophisticated (and more expensive) MPPT controllers now becomes more attractive.

Steve.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:41 AM   #16
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Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft Center Bath
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Thanks Dean for your imput. I did some more measuring of the tongue last night and is seems that your trailer has a indentation at the tanks that mine does not which seem to be the difference in making 2 batteris work or not. So it looks like only one battery for me. I will probably go with the Trojan T1275 as Steve has recommended which has 150 AH.

Dean, when you say that your solar barely keeps up with your usage in winter is it your battery storage capacity being reduced by the cold or is it the inabiltiy of the solar panels to provide enough juice back to the battery.

Dean may I ask how big of solar panel you use?

Thanks

Bill
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:58 AM   #17
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Trailer: 2006 (25B21RB) 21 ft Bigfoot / Dodge 2500 Diesel
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Bill,
I have two 80 watt panels for a total of 160 watts of solar. It is connected thru a Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E MPPT controller. The Blue Sky is a 4 stage controller with battery temperature monitoring.

I am not familiar with the frame on the 17 foot Bigfoot trailers. I thought since the 21’ & 17’ Bigfoot trailers were the same width that the tongue was probably the same. The tongue on my trailer does not have an indentation. It is a straight V shape.

If you choose just one battery, I think the Trojan T1275 12 volt battery that Steve mentioned would be a very good choice.

My solar system during the winter returns my batteries to 85% or more. This is not really a problem and should be expected, since the last 10 to 15% takes longer to accomplish. The wording “barely keeps up” might have been misleading, but after a summer of camping when our batteries are back to 100% by midday, the winter months are different and we are almost never back to 100% by end of daylight. This is mostly because of fewer daylight hours for charging and our usage is higher.

On another note, I agree with Steve about maximizing the charge available from existing solar panels using more sophisticated (and more expensive) MPPT controllers. The MPPT controllers will increase output up to 20% and for me it was like adding 32 watts of solar (20% x 160watts), which would cost approximately $160.00. It made economic sense and helps with the limited real estate for panels.

Camping life is good with solar, Dean
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:59 AM   #18
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Thanks Dean... the indentation I am talking about in in the fiberglass on the trailer itself. It apears that your trailer is "set back" at the tank location (ie. not a smooth surface from left to right). I hope I am explaining it better.

Bill

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Old 07-23-2009, 08:06 PM   #19
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Trailer: 2000 Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17CB)
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. I will probably go with the Trojan T1275 as Steve has recommended which has 150 AH.
Bill, Be sure to shop around for the best price on the T1275, I found that golf cart dealers had better pricing than battery or autopart dealers in my area. Quotes I received varied by more than $100 in one instance, which was a substantial amount to me.

One thing to consider also is that golf cart batteries often have a shorter warranty than generic deep cycle batteries due to the severe service they usually see. I think the J150 will have a longer warranty if this is a consideration for you. These two batteries are electrically identical, the main difference being that the T1275 has stud terminals while the J150 has combination stud/post terminals and lifting straps.

There is little to choose between the two, it came down to price and availability for me as the J150 was, at the time, out of stock everywhere in B.C. and it luckily turned out that T1275 was slightly less expensive.



Steve.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:09 AM   #20
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Trailer: 2006 (25B21RB) 21 ft Bigfoot / Dodge 2500 Diesel
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Thanks Dean... the indentation I am talking about in in the fiberglass on the trailer itself. It apears that your trailer is "set back" at the tank location (ie. not a smooth surface from left to right). I hope I am explaining it better.

Bill
Yes, there is an indentation in the front of the fiberglass and it is set back at the tank location.
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