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Old 08-15-2015, 11:50 PM   #31
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Can't tell you about the two 6 volt batteries yet but, our previous rig had a 12v battery and a number of times it wouldn't make it through the night with the furnace running. We were winter camping and the furnace was only set to come on every 30 minutes or so but it went below the cutoff voltage on or controller.
The last time, for that battery, we were cold, I jumpered the controller to keep running the furnace. That battery never recovered and had to be replaced.

So for me, A big battery will get you through times of no heat.
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:50 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by bisonbill View Post
...
It turns out that trickle chargers for 6 volt batteries are more difficult to find than 12 volt trickle chargers. I couldn't use my existing charger and had to buy two chargers to handle the 6 volts.
There is no harm in using 2-6 volt trickle chargers to charge the batteries individually except to the pocketbook. But keep in mind, when in use in the trailer, the two 6 volt batteries are in series and are essentially a single 12 volt battery - just in two pieces. There is no harm in keeping the same arrangement on your work bench - two batteries in series for 12 volts, and using a 12 volt trickle charger.

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Old 08-16-2015, 12:01 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by llfalcon View Post
I know nothing. So, please help me understand. I think:

1. There is a "standard" 12 volt battery.
2. There is an optional bigger 12 volt battery.
3. There is an optional set of two 6 volt batteries.

If so, I assume 1 - 3 above are in order of increasing capacity and weight. Is this correct?

About how much more does one weigh than another?
Yes - to find the right batteries in the Interstate data listing, the three choices (numbered as above) are:
  1. Group 27 (so presumably SRM-27 or SRM-27B) [54 lb; about 102 A-h]
  2. Group 29 (so presumably SRM-29) [61 lb; at least 105 A-h]
  3. GC2-XHD [2 x 62 = 144 lb; 232 A-h]

Quote:
Originally Posted by llfalcon View Post
And, you say you have to trickle charge the two 6 volt batteries in the winter. Do the 12 volt batteries have to be trickle charged too?
There is no difference in the need for maintenance charging between battery sizes, or between 6 volt and 12 volt.

Also, I suggest looking for a maintenance charger (or "battery maintainer"), rather than a trickle charger. "Trickle charger" sometimes means just a small charger with no intelligence; a maintainer normally watches the battery voltage and cycles on and off appropriately. A good solar charge controller will do the same thing.
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Old 08-16-2015, 02:13 AM   #34
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Thanks for clearing that up, I was wondering

Yes, having solar to keep the batteries up during longer periods of time of inactivity is certainly easier now than the old days when a 110 volt charger was required. The first time I tried using solar only to keep some boat batteries charged overseas when I was leaving them for 7 months I was worried that they might get overcharged and become low on water. I hedged my bets and put 2 on solar and left one off. The 2 on solar were in perfect condition and the third was a write-off. Haven't trickle charged since.

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Old 08-16-2015, 03:32 AM   #35
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Ron, perhaps you know about this? .... I have trimaran sailing friends (I'm one too) but thinking about your boat example. They make battery caps for airplanes that can fly inverted. They have a built in air trap that keeps the battery acid where it belongs (interesting for an inverted trimaran) but to the point I think they also have some plantinum screen that can recombine the hydrogen and oxygen gasses from outgassing. Thereby greatly reducing the need for water. Now in more modern times, I suppose a sealed AMG battery would do the same thing.


Hurry up Lithion ion batteries!


Tom
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Old 08-16-2015, 12:21 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P;
normally watches the battery voltage and cycles on and off appropriately. A good solar charge controller will do the same thing.
Yes, they're such an improvement over the pre solar days of battery maintaining. You could almost argue that with lower priced solar now readily available that the battery choice is less critical.

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Old 08-16-2015, 12:27 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
They make battery caps for airplanes that can fly inverted. I suppose a sealed AMG battery would do the same thing.
Hurry up Lithion ion batteries!

Tom
Somehow I find that strangely comforting (Southern Alps of NZ in background)

Don't know about the lithion ion batteries, will they beat out low cost fuel cells in the race to have abundant portable power?

Ron
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Old 08-16-2015, 01:41 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Somehow I find that strangely comforting (Southern Alps of NZ in background)

Don't know about the lithion ion batteries, will they beat out low cost fuel cells in the race to have abundant portable power?

Ron
Our local Proctor & Gamble plant did that very evaluation. They set up some long-term experiments with hydrogen fuel cell-powered fork lifts, etc. Result: they now have a permanent installation for hydrogen fueled operation. Word is their other plants are getting the same.

About that great photo: I see that my computer converted the orientation on my screen to my northern hemisphere location.
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:12 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
... I think they also have some plantinum screen that can recombine the hydrogen and oxygen gasses from outgassing. Thereby greatly reducing the need for water. Now in more modern times, I suppose a sealed AMG battery would do the same thing.
Yes, AGM batteries recombine any gases created. I would be very suspicious of a catalyst-in-cap scheme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
Hurry up Lithion ion batteries!
Lithium batteries (usually lithium iron phosphate - LiFePO4 or LFP) are used now in some RVs. At this point I think we're just waiting for lower prices, and for everyone to accept the idea of electronic battery management systems (not just a charger).
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:27 PM   #40
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Dang, this stuff makes me crazy!! I'm trying to make sense of it, but not happening just yet.

Meanwhile, we will get solar, but we will cover the trailer in the winter. Just bought the thingie below because my 90-year old neighbor who goes grocery shopping with me keeps leaving my car door ajar, and I don't notice it until too late and husband has gone off to work! Will it work to take care of the battery(ies) off season?

Diehard 80/20/10/2 Amp Fully Automatic Battery Charger with Emergency Engine Start (Not Sold in OR or CA) - Walmart.com
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