Winter battery use question. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-05-2013, 05:45 AM   #15
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Hi Ray. Sorry you were unable to find an all molded towable, but I'm betting you're going to really like your Rockwood Mini-Lite as it will probably suit your needs.

Did you know there's a Mini-Lite group that hangs out over on the Forest River forums? Since it's targeted to your build type, they'll be able to give you better ideas of the systems and usage of the Mini-Lite than we will. Here's a welcome thread: Forest River Forum - Rockwood Mini-Lite

Best of luck!

Donna D.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:03 AM   #16
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Ray, you might also place some insulation in the window openings to help keep the heat inside. Many here use the reflectix bubble insulation for this.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:48 AM   #17
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Thank you for the lead Donna.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:04 PM   #18
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Talking Think out of the box

Maybe you could find a solution in the boating world.

As a former boater, I know that there are a lot of things made for boats that would really by useful in an RV. They usually are expensive because of being made for a marine environment.

The first two require installation with a flue, etc. The alcohol one is portable and you would have to keep a window cracked. But none of these require electricity!


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Old 12-05-2013, 11:05 PM   #19
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If I was going to be staying in my ParkLiner for extended points during the winter I would use this - Propane Fireplaces

I had one on a boat that I lived on...the fan needs to run for a bit when you first light it to get a good draft...after that you can shut it off or down so the energy use would be low.

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.... J.R.R. Tolkien
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:24 PM   #20
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we utilized a cabin alcohol heater similar to what was linked above inside both our 22' and 41' sailboats. It worked to take the chill off on the colder mornings/evenings. It did put out a bit of moisture...though having ~9 onboard the morgan 41 was max capacity and we were probably most of the issue with CO2.

I would really luv putting in a safe wood burner in the Parkliner!
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:18 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ray Cover View Post
Thanks for the input everyone. I talked to a friend of mine who is an electrical engineer and is really into alternative energies. After talking with him, and doing a bit more research, here is what I have decided to do.

I have an area on the tongue behind my propane tank cover for a platform the is 16" wide and 48" long. The platform will be made with an angle iron frame and an expanded steel "floor". On this platform I can fit 3 deep cycle marine batteries and a good size pwm charge controller. Two covers will be made out of FG or kydex thermal-plastic to cover this platform to keep it all out of the weather. One cover will be vented for summer use and the other will be insulated for winter use.

I will add a solar panel set up for daytime use and a small wind generator like they use on sailboats for night time use. I will get a charge controller large enough to handle having both "plugged in" at the same time.

I am also planning to get some of the 1/4" fan fold foam board insulation at the HDWR store and laminating heavy duty white tarp to each side of it and make underpinning skirting out of it that snaps on all the way around the camper.

This system should be redundant enough that I shouldn't have to use the gas generator very often if at all. Within the next few months I am going to be full-timing it in this camper so it will be worth the investment.

Again, Thanks for the input folks.

I experimented with a home brew wind generator on the salt flats in Nevada because they get REAL wind there, and pretty consistently. It consisted of a fan kit, a mast, and an automotive alternator. I had (I thought) a pretty sturdy galvanized mast (weighed a ton), but the winds got so high one night, the mast had a nice curve to it the next morning! If I were to do it again, I'd buy a ready made one, as they have automatic overspeed braking and some feather in high winds. Also, those suckers can pump out 400+ watts in a high wind...that's a lot of solar panels, and in the dark!
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:55 AM   #22
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And magnet power might be another option:
I don't get lost, I go on interesting side trips.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:38 AM   #23
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:50 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
You may consider using a propane only Catylitic heater by day while your awake and use the furnace at night while your sleeping. That would drop your battery power consumption by 60 % or so.

That sounds like a good plan. And it would also mean having backup or redundant heating systems. I would hate to cut a nice trip short because something zonked out on me. I would still have a good detector though as I might fall asleep with the catalytic running.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:51 PM   #25
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Name: Walter
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First off head over to Trojan battery website and have a look at some graphs. They show the effects of cold vs hot temps. ( even if your not using Trojans this is valuable information)

Second you need to charge the batteries at a higher voltage in the cold, if your charger isn't temperature compensated your loosing capacity fast.

A 12v battery that needs to be charged at 14.6 volts but only receives 14.4 volts will never get 100% capacity. You way think oh .2 volts that's a small 2% capacity loss no big deal. But a dead battery isn't 0volts, its at 12volts. So .2volts really equals 8% and when a deep cycle should only be depleted 20-25% for long term health. You've already started off 30-40% loss on you batteries true capacity.

Now we all know a Battery is a massive dense object. If you insulated the battery box with ridged foam during an outting (painted black for winter). You could enjoy a few extra degs of held in warmth over night. The battery even produces a bit of heat during charging.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:22 AM   #26
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Winter battery use question.

Batteries will not freeze if the are holding a charge. The best way to keep them warm is to charge them. Solar panels work better in the cold. The ideal solution for you is to add a bunch of fix solar panels to your roof and a good MPPT controller. Sized properly you will not need a generator.

Larger and better batteries will help. These should be sized to match your charging capability.

You should have a battery monitor so you know what is going in and what is coming out. I recommend Victron as they are the best and least expensive. This will show your usage and based on that you can make intelligent decisions about battery capacity and charging capability balanced against your usage.

Another consideration is camper insulation. Your big electrical draw is your furnace. Find the cold spots and insulate them. On my Bigfoot I found gaps at the beveled corners and filled them with spray foam.

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