Battery Disconnect - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-24-2020, 10:17 AM   #1
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Name: Eva and Kirk
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Virginia
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Battery Disconnect

New to us Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe apparently has some kind of DC load.
The battery is not holding a charge. It's a standard automotive battery so I'll be replacing it with some kind of deep discharge unit. However, when it is sitting I want to completely take all load off the battery such as the CO detector. I know other folks install switches or just a disconnect in the battery compartment. Before I fumble around in my autoparts store or Lowes, can anyone recommend a disconnect that works well?
thanks in advance
Evirk
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evirk View Post
New to us Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe apparently has some kind of DC load.
The battery is not holding a charge. It's a standard automotive battery so I'll be replacing it with some kind of deep discharge unit. However, when it is sitting I want to completely take all load off the battery such as the CO detector. I know other folks install switches or just a disconnect in the battery compartment. Before I fumble around in my autoparts store or Lowes, can anyone recommend a disconnect that works well?
thanks in advance
Evirk
https://littlehousecustoms.com/store.html#elec

search in there for ANDERSON DISCONNECT
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Evirk View Post
... However, when it is sitting I want to completely take all load off the battery such as the CO detector. ...
Lots of ways to do it. Pick what works for you.

I put this switch under the front bench in my Scamp using a short run on Marine grade 10 gauge wire. (The single battery one with knob). It is inside the camper and not exposed to the elements or mischievous individuals. I also have a dual Anderson power pole connection built into the bench. One side is on the switched side and the other is not, so I can use it to power something, or to recharge the battery even even the battery disconnect switch is off and the rest of the camper is "offline."

Do you have a propane detector / alarm? They can pull the battery down in weeks. CO detectors are often powered by internal batteries (AA size or 9 volt). Propane detectors on the other hand are almost always hardwired to the camper's 12 volt system.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:38 PM   #4
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Name: K C
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go to any marine supply store, they sell good quality battery disconnect switches.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:27 PM   #5
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parasitic current draining battery

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Originally Posted by Evirk View Post
I know other folks install switches or just a disconnect in the battery compartment. Before I fumble around in my autoparts store or Lowes, can anyone recommend a disconnect that works well?
The disconnect switch is a good idea (I just pull the main fuse at the battery), but you will also want to find the real problem. Hook in an amp meter at the battery and pull the fuses one at a time. Mine runs down also, but I know that it is the LP gas detector and the tracker doing it. Most tow vehicles have this problem also, but if driven every few days they still start. My 1997 f150 was at 0.4 amps and the new one is 0.5 amps. It is good to record the data, so you know when you really do have problems. (I have been told that they should be 0.050 after 1 hour but I have never waited that long.)
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:47 PM   #6
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Name: Eva and Kirk
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Virginia
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Thanks everybody. What I saw at a Rally was apparently the Anderson Disconnect but liking that marine switch.
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Old 01-28-2020, 04:33 PM   #7
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a regular car battery is quite unsuitable for deep discharge usage. marine/rv batteries are only somewhat better. you ideally want a true deep cycle battery, these tend to be a fair bit more expensive, and I dunno if they are even available in a size that will fit in the group 27 'battery cafe' of a casita.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:10 PM   #8
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I have one of these. Simple, positive and clean looking.
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:07 PM   #9
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ah. Trojan "Signature Series" makes 2 Group 27 true deep cycle flooded batteries, the 27TMX and 27TMH, 105AH and 115AH respectively (20 hour rate), rated at 600 cycles of 50% discharge. These are kinda pricey.

big clue, any battery that specifies CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) is a starter battery NOT a deep cycle battery. Starter Batteries are optimized to put out a LOT of current, like 200 amps or more, for just a few seconds to crank a cold motor over. a deep cycle battery is instead optimized to deliver a steady current for many hours and do many 100s of 50% discharge/recharge cycles.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
ah. Trojan "Signature Series" makes 2 Group 27 true deep cycle flooded batteries, the 27TMX and 27TMH, 105AH and 115AH respectively (20 hour rate), rated at 600 cycles of 50% discharge. These are kinda pricey.

big clue, any battery that specifies CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) is a starter battery NOT a deep cycle battery. Starter Batteries are optimized to put out a LOT of current, like 200 amps or more, for just a few seconds to crank a cold motor over. a deep cycle battery is instead optimized to deliver a steady current for many hours and do many 100s of 50% discharge/recharge cycles.
Very useful information John, and I appreciate your willingness to share your perspectives on a particularly important dimension of the camping experience.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:21 PM   #11
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I have one of these. Simple, positive and clean looking.
I have the same setup, and perhaps the same battery. What is yours?
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:44 PM   #12
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Name: Bob & Jackie
Trailer: 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe
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Marine Battery Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evirk View Post
New to us Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe apparently has some kind of DC load.
The battery is not holding a charge. It's a standard automotive battery so I'll be replacing it with some kind of deep discharge unit. However, when it is sitting I want to completely take all load off the battery such as the CO detector. I know other folks install switches or just a disconnect in the battery compartment. Before I fumble around in my autoparts store or Lowes, can anyone recommend a disconnect that works well?
thanks in advance
Evirk
Marine switch under rear dinette seat
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evirk View Post
Thanks everybody. What I saw at a Rally was apparently the Anderson Disconnect but liking that marine switch.
Hi Kirk,

The Anderson type disconnect is what I showed you at the Hungry Mother rally a couple of months ago. It not only allows me to temporarily disconnect my battery but it simplifies removal of the battery to put it on a battery maintainer in my basement when I don't use my Casita over the winter.

I might not have shown you the service shelf that I made out of an old piece of 1x6. That makes it easier to avoid the need to "basket catch" the battery when checking it or removing it from the Casita. :-)
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Anderson Battery Disconnect.jpg   Casita Battery Service Shelf 1.jpg  

Casita Battery Service Shelf 2.jpg  
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:11 PM   #14
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Name: Eva and Kirk
Trailer: Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe
Virginia
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Shelf

Hi Larry-
Actually was going to email you for more detail on your battery catcher. Not clear what is holding up the battery when itís pulled out.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:51 PM   #15
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Name: Larry H
Trailer: Trillium
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Disconnect?

Hello,

Sometimes one can disconnect the battery on the fuse panel that
is part of the power converter/charger. Mine has a 30A fuse
for the connection to the battery... I just pull the fuse and all
is disconnected.

Larry H
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:00 PM   #16
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Name: Babs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
a regular car battery is quite unsuitable for deep discharge usage. marine/rv batteries are only somewhat better. you ideally want a true deep cycle battery, these tend to be a fair bit more expensive, and I dunno if they are even available in a size that will fit in the group 27 'battery cafe' of a casita.
Since itís new to you, perhaps the previous owner overdischarged the battery so that it is now damaged and that could be why it wonít hold a charge. We ordered the battery disconnect switch from Little House Customs and use it when we store the Casita unused for any period of time. With a 75 dollar Wal-Mart battery, we can go about 4 days dry camping, and indefinitely if we can use our solar.
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:11 PM   #17
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Battery Service Shelf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evirk View Post
Not clear what is holding up the battery when itís pulled out.
Hello (again) Kirk,

The short answer is that the 1x6 is holding up the battery (kind of like a poolside diving board).

You cut the 1x6 to the length of the battery plus the depth that the 1x6 can be inserted into the battery compartment. After removing the battery retaining angle bracket and the bolt, you slid the 1x6 into the compartment as far as possible and then add the length of the battery (plus another inch or so). I also added a "shim" on the external length of the 1x6 to compensate for the depth of the battery holder in the Casita so that the battery slides easily onto/off the 1x6 as you slip it out/into the Casita. See link in the notes below for complete how-to.

The service shelf makes it easier to check/add distilled water in addition to making it easier to remove the battery.

Final notes:
  1. I also had to grind down the bottom edge of my 2007 Casita's battery compartment opening slightly by about ⅛" so that the 1x6 could slide into the battery compartment and be level enough to slide the battery in/out.
  2. Credit for the idea and original design goes to Don Dayton who has posted many (many) "how to" tweaks in a series of blogs on Flickr
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:20 PM   #18
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Name: Bob & Jackie
Trailer: 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe
California
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Battery Shelf

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryB. View Post
Hello (again) Kirk,

The short answer is that the 1x6 is holding up the battery (kind of like a poolside diving board).

You cut the 1x6 to the length of the battery plus the depth that the 1x6 can be inserted into the battery compartment. After removing the battery retaining angle bracket and the bolt, you slid the 1x6 into the compartment as far as possible and then add the length of the battery (plus another inch or so). I also added a "shim" on the external length of the 1x6 to compensate for the depth of the battery holder in the Casita so that the battery slides easily onto/off the 1x6 as you slip it out/into the Casita. See link in the notes below for complete how-to.

The service shelf makes it easier to check/add distilled water in addition to making it easier to remove the battery.

Final notes:
  1. I also had to grind down the bottom edge of my 2007 Casita's battery compartment opening slightly by about ⅛" so that the 1x6 could slide into the battery compartment and be level enough to slide the battery in/out.
  2. Credit for the idea and original design goes to Don Dayton who has posted many (many) "how to" tweaks in a series of blogs on Flickr

Here are some pictures of my battery shelf showing connections for trickle charger when pulled and stored in garage, solar controller Mc connection and also battery disconnect when pulling battery out for storage. Marine switch inside trailer. Blue webbing makes it easy to pull out of compartment.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_6633.jpg   IMG_6631.jpg  

IMG_6620.jpg  
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