Weighty problem? 2 batteries on tongue? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-25-2018, 03:00 AM   #1
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Name: Gerry
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Weighty problem? 2 batteries on tongue?

Finally did it. I went out and bought a 100W solar panel with all the fixings. I now have a weighty question. Has anyone put 2 batteries plus the 20# propane tank on the tongue of their older Boler 1300? I now have one battery there. It is a 79 with the standard 2 by 3 tubular frame, is original but in good shape, and the two batteries will be mounted closer to the jack in the front.(does this position make a difference? I'm kind of worried about all this weight as I have heard that the Boler frames week point is at the bend in the front of the trailer. Any advice or other options. Under Dinette bench is not an option as we leave our bed set up all the time.
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:58 AM   #2
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You don't say what batteries. A couple of 12V 24s might weigh close to the same as a single 29. 6V batteries can be even heavier.

Since you have a solar panel, a single 29 should be plenty, maybe even a single 27. What with all the LED lighting, even LED backlit 12V LCD televisions, you should have all the power you need without overloading the tongue.

We have every conceivable option on our Scamp13 and our 27 has proven to be more than enough. In fact I only have a 27 because it has twice the warranty of a 24, otherwise we would have a single 24 with no solar.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:33 AM   #3
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I've always been a fan of heading off potential problems before they become real problems. If I knew that there were weak areas of a frame such that added weight might be an issue, I think my first stop might be at the welders to have the frame reinforced at the problematic areas. Just one less thing to worry about. Better overkill than rolling the dice IMHO.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:04 AM   #4
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Weights...

Hello

Here are some approximate weights....

12V
Group Weight
24 = 47 lbs
27 = 61 lbs
30 = 67 lbs

6v
T105 = 62 lbs or 124 lbs for two in series

Personally I have been using a Group 30 Trojan SCS225 130AH
for 10 years. Always have plenty of juice with a solar system
with a 160W panel. I considered two T105s but decided the tongue
weight would be too much. I have been happy with the decision.

Larry H
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:10 AM   #5
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Name: Gordon
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I have my 2 batteries, group 27, inside a metal box, on the tongue of my Triill.

So far no problems.

I use a 100W panel to keep them topped up. I have a selector switch so that I can run off of one at a time. LED lights (inside and out), inverters for 110 vac (not really used that much), lots of USB outlets to keep the electronics charged.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Min View Post
I have my 2 batteries, group 27, inside a metal box, on the tongue of my Triill.

So far no problems.

I use a 100W panel to keep them topped up. I have a selector switch so that I can run off of one at a time. LED lights (inside and out), inverters for 110 vac (not really used that much), lots of USB outlets to keep the electronics charged.
This was my next question, If my controller was made for a 2 battery system will it work with just one battery? Next question is if I set my 2 - 12 volt, batteries up and hooked them together how will the controller know what one it is charging? I have one group 30 and one group 27 right now. Will I need a selector switch and not hook the batteries together?
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Old 03-25-2018, 01:15 PM   #7
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Have 2 golf cart batts on the tongue of our 13' Boler, would not be without them.
However yesterday the roll pin broke on the tongue jack, I think the jack has a wow in it, as it got very stiff in the last couple of days, will put in a new pin later today and should be good. Hope I do not have to buy a new jack.
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
This was my next question, If my controller was made for a 2 battery system will it work with just one battery?
The charge controller isn't really "made for two batteries", but for two battery banks or arrays. It doesn't matter if that bank is set up with one battery or with more than one, as long as the bank results in 12V. If you have two different types of 12V batteries, I'd hook up one of them to bank A and the other to bank B. That way the different capacities and charging characteristics of the mismatched batteries doesn't matter.

I'm not sure if the parallel wiring of the batteries to each other matters with this approach. Hopefully others who have non-identical 12V batteries will chime in, but I think that's the recommended approach.

If you had identical dual 6V batteries in series, you'd just hook them up to one bank, as mine are. They'll be charged together as a 12V system. The connectors for the second bank on the charge controller would be unused.
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:48 PM   #9
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12v is 1212v

yes 12v is 12v but you get into amperage draw too. run those batteries down you must be sure your array can handle a steep amperage drop?

bob
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:54 PM   #10
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Congratulations. I have some advice and a question or two. The experts here may know whether it is important to run a matched set of batteries. For example, you may not want to pair a small ATV battery with a big one from a diesel pickup. Maybe some controllers can manage it.

Remember Teeter totters? Loading a trailer is similar. It's best not to put the fat kid way out at the end, especially if you are going to bounce it much. Here I mean batteries further from the fulcrum or axle create more stress.

I may not understand, how it matters putting batteries under your dinette bench if you leave it made up as a bed. You would probably want AGM type batteries that don't require venting.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:17 PM   #11
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Check out Battlebornbatteries.com. You can have a very lighweight high capaciy battery no maintenance battery mounted where ever you would like.
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:18 PM   #12
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Roll pin on the tongue jack took longer to go to Harbor Fright to get than it too to install. Fixed now.
If the two batteries are different, but wired in parallel, it becomes an interesting situation in electronics. My gut tells me to treat them as one batt.
Imagine a very big batt wired to a teeny batt.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:43 PM   #13
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my take.....

"one thing at a time"...

start with one of your 12V on the tonge... and both of your problems are solved...for now anyways....

when you first start there's a lot of experimenting (living with) this solar stuff....you have a lot of horsepower in that panel (relatively speaking) so the amount of storage one battery will provide might be enough (if your power use is "X")...

it's easy to add...if/when you find out you spent more money/carry more weight than you had to....you're sort of stuck with it
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rbryan View Post
The charge controller isn't really "made for two batteries", but for two battery banks or arrays. It doesn't matter if that bank is set up with one battery or with more than one, as long as the bank results in 12V. If you have two different types of 12V batteries, I'd hook up one of them to bank A and the other to bank B. That way the different capacities and charging characteristics of the mismatched batteries doesn't matter.

I'm not sure if the parallel wiring of the batteries to each other matters with this approach. Hopefully others who have non-identical 12V batteries will chime in, but I think that's the recommended approach.

If you had identical dual 6V batteries in series, you'd just hook them up to one bank, as mine are. They'll be charged together as a 12V system. The connectors for the second bank on the charge controller would be unused.
I was just reading the instruction manual on my solar controller the other day. It says it is optimized to work for batteries that are wired in series. Implying it won't perform as well if you have the batteries in parallel?
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Old 03-26-2018, 01:07 AM   #15
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if you want to run 2 12V batteries in parallel, they should both be identical, bought at the same time, wired together in parallel with short heavy gauge wires, and always charged and discharged together. if you do this, they stay pretty equivalent for their life, and your charger will just see them as one 12V battery with double the AH rating.

if you connect different 12V batteries in parallel, the stronger one discharges into the weaker one, and its never happy.

IMHO, 2 6V batteries in series is the ideal choice, as all the current goes through both of them.
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Old 03-26-2018, 04:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
if you want to run 2 12V batteries in parallel, they should both be identical, bought at the same time, wired together in parallel with short heavy gauge wires, and always charged and discharged together. if you do this, they stay pretty equivalent for their life, and your charger will just see them as one 12V battery with double the AH rating.

if you connect different 12V batteries in parallel, the stronger one discharges into the weaker one, and its never happy.

IMHO, 2 6V batteries in series is the ideal choice, as all the current goes through both of them.
Both my batteries are WET batteries of different group size. Does this make a difference?

This truly answered my question as to when my 2 - 12 volt batteries are hooked up together, they become one BIG 12 V battery.

So saying this, if I did want to have the extra "BANK" for more power if needed I could not hook them together and need to run a separate load wire off the EXTRA battery to a manual switch. YES - NO?

OR: Just charge the created BIG battery as 1 battery.

The Zamp Solar controller, model # ZS-30AD, is truly a dual battery controller with separate wires going to BAT-1 and BAT-2.
When one is up to snuff, it will switch to charge the other while still maintaining the status of the first and charge as needed.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:05 AM   #17
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thinking

I am thinking I would have a switch on those batteries sort of like running 2 propane tanks. you always want a full one in reserve!

you never know the true condition of those 2 batteries one goes bad it will pull the good one down along with it.


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Old 03-26-2018, 07:20 AM   #18
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You could just do what I did and switch to a LiFePO4 lithium battery and install it under a cabinet. You would need to change your solar controller to optimize the charge cycle but the advantages are numerous.

Your lithiums can discharge at a higher rate and run them down to 10% capacity and still expect 2000 charging cycles.

Also with a proper pppt controller you will utilize much more of the sun's energy than lead acid batteries.

As for the weight savings? The lithiums are much much lighter and Pulling those batteries off your tongue you can now consider having a bike rack on your tongue.

I run 4 - 100W panels on my boler 1700 into a 100Ah LiFePO4 battery and I can boondock indefinitely provided I have a water supply.

The biggest draws are the fridge and the water pump. But I typically run the fridge off propane and keep the water usage to a minimum.

Spend a couple hundred on lead batteries every 4 or 5 years or $400on Lithium batteries every 10 to 15.

It's a no brainer.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
Both my batteries are WET batteries of different group size. Does this make a difference?
Yes. Ideally, the batteries should be of the same type, size and chemistry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
This truly answered my question as to when my 2 - 12 volt batteries are hooked up together, they become one BIG 12 V battery.
If they are wired in parallel, they act as one 12V battery, increasing the output capacity while keeping the output voltage the same as one of the batteries.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
So saying this, if I did want to have the extra "BANK" for more power if needed I could not hook them together and need to run a separate load wire off the EXTRA battery to a manual switch. YES - NO?
Yes, you could wire in a switch to go from one battery to the other, but not if they are connected in parallel. They'd have to be wired as completely separate batteries. In this illustration below from the Zamp manual, you notice that they are using two batteries, but they are not connected to each other. That makes two battery banks being charged independently by the controller, one on BAT1 bank, and the other on BAT2 bank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
OR: Just charge the created BIG battery as 1 battery.
I would not do so unless the batteries were identical. In such a case, you only need to use ONE of the battery bank connections to the controller, not both.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
The Zamp Solar controller, model # ZS-30AD, is truly a dual battery controller with separate wires going to BAT-1 and BAT-2.
Again, it charges dual batteries, or banks of batteries. From the controller's perspective, it doesn't matter if BAT1 is connected to one battery or a bank of them, as long as the output results in a 12V battery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
When one is up to snuff, it will switch to charge the other while still maintaining the status of the first and charge as needed.
Yes, you can program in the priority of charge for each bank according to the manual.
Attached Thumbnails
ZS-30AD Connections.JPG  
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:10 AM   #20
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Name: bob
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sharp

Robert you have it all figured out but it gives me a headache. I think I will stay with my battery charger and a switch but that is just me.

I admire you guys that can understand the potential brought out in those manuals!

bob
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