Why do I need an extra battery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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Name: Cornelius
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Why do I need an extra battery

I am planning on buying a new scamp with a heater and ac. No fridge or other electrical appliances. The only thing I could imagine using 12 volts would be interior lighting and I plan to convert those to LED. I usually just plug into 110 volts at the campground. Do I really need an extra battery sitting on my tongue? Does the scamp feed off of the tow vehicle while plugged in? I can't imagine using the heater without being plugged into 110v. Would that extra tongue battery power the heater fan all night anyway?
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:21 AM   #2
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I believe the only time you need or want two batteries is if you're boondocking and running solar. If you're always plugged in... save your money. The battery will recharge from your tow if it's properly wired and the alternator in the tug is up to the task (heavy duty). THAT usually comes if a tug is "tow ready." If you're not getting a refrigerator... how do you plan to keep your food properly cold? Just so you know... not having a refrigerator will severly curtail resale value. No one likes to think of that when looking to buy new, but that's reality.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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Ask for an upgrade to a Group 27 battery from the smaller Group 24. That will give you about 50% more reserve and "Might" keep your furnace going on a cool night. Unfortunately the furnace fan is a power hog. We use a small Coleman "Cat" heater when boon docking and a small electric heater when (rarely) plugged in.
And YES, get the 2/3 way refrigerator. It will run fine on very little LP and, in 2012 is essential to happy camping (although those using an ice box will quickly disagree) And no matter when you want to sell, not having one can knock $500-1000 off your resale value.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:44 AM   #4
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I would add that some folks want more creature comforts when boon docking than others. Two batteries become important when you want to add an inverter and run a microwave or an electric coffee pot or toaster. Just curious, what size scamp? Raz
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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With our popup we used the Coleman 12v cooler for about 3 years (until this year) and then it died. What a waste of milk and sausage. We are going back to the ice box which I understand is pretty decent in the scamp. We have always been happy with ice. As for the resale value, I'll leave that up to the kids. we are planning on the 13' Scamp with bunks instead of a bath.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
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Name: Bob Ruggles
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We camped for years in a pickup camper with only one battery. The furnace fan never depleted the battery even in quite cold weather. My cpap on an inverter DID run the battery right down. My other cpap designed to run on 12 v did not run the battery down. We mostly now go where there's 120 volt juice but just added a second battery for those times when off the grid. Our fridge is a compressor model so draws less juice than a conventional one running on 12 v. FWIW
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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I have two group 27 deep cycles hooked in parallel,with solar.I boondock 95% of the time.The only thing I have that can eat up power is a two meter ham radio.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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as donna said, (why are we always saying that?...why is she so darn smart?) if your boondocking you might need it.
i dry camped for a week and wasn't till the last night mines was really weak,,, but that was probably because i used it some for my fridge,,,before it dawned on me to turn on the gas.(duh)

with carefull use of lights and stuff it could last a week easily.
i carry a good set of jumpers cables and if it got down i would just hook up to my truck and charge her up for a little bit but i haven't had to yet.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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I think the OP was questioning if he needed a battery in the first place, not 2 batteries. If I'm wrong I apologize but to answer the OP's question, do you need a tongue battery extra, yes for your emergency release on your brakes if your trailer becomes disconnected from your tow, the battery will power your magnetic brakes and stop the trailer.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:52 PM   #10
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It's not a good idea to just run a battery down until the lights dim or something doesn't work. Running any battery down to below 50% charge will reduce the life expectancy of the battery. If you are going to boon dock a digital battery monitor, with an alarm, will let you know the real condition of your battery and when to stop using and start charging. I use the Voltminder (voltminder.com) It's a continuous display and has settable high and low voltage alarms.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I think the OP was questioning if he needed a battery in the first place, not 2 batteries. If I'm wrong I apologize but to answer the OP's question, do you need a tongue battery extra, yes for your emergency release on your brakes if your trailer becomes disconnected from your tow, the battery will power your magnetic brakes and stop the trailer.
After rereading, I think Jim is right.

In regard to having a dedicated trailer battery, powering the brakes in an emergency is probably most important. Perhaps next is not running down your tow vehicle battery which is not designed for the continual charge/discharge that occurs with trailer use. Research starting vs deep cycle batteries. Raz
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:39 PM   #12
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Bingo !

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I think the OP was questioning if he needed a battery in the first place, not 2 batteries. If I'm wrong I apologize but to answer the OP's question, do you need a tongue battery extra, yes for your emergency release on your brakes if your trailer becomes disconnected from your tow, the battery will power your magnetic brakes and stop the trailer.
Now I have a real valid reason to carry the extra weight of one battery on the tongue. CP you are right I meant the extra being that of the trailer as opposed to just feeding off of the one in the tow vehicle.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:45 PM   #13
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Name: Cornelius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealster View Post
I am planning on buying a new scamp with a heater and ac. No fridge or other electrical appliances. The only thing I could imagine using 12 volts would be interior lighting and I plan to convert those to LED. I usually just plug into 110 volts at the campground. Do I really need an extra battery sitting on my tongue? Does the scamp feed off of the tow vehicle while plugged in? I can't imagine using the heater without being plugged into 110v. Would that extra tongue battery power the heater fan all night anyway?
Not so sure about the Scamp any more. Just took a look at the Escape and Trillium sites.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:05 AM   #14
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You are not the first here to take a longing look at the Escape ;-))

I camp a fair bit without 110 power and only one battery - as others have said its not good for the battery to run it down to below 50%.. If done more than a few times the battery will not hold a charge well or live a very long life. If your careful you should be able to get away with more than a few days of camping without needing a recharge. I use a small solar panel for that if I am not going to be hooking up the trailer to the tow vehicle to move to another location. If your interior lights are LED and you run the fridge on propane and run the furnace only as needed (just before bed and in the morning to warm up the trailer) you should be able to get by easily for more than a few days. I also use LED headlamp if I am going to be reading late into the night.
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