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Old 12-05-2014, 01:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I have Trojan T-105's, so I went to their site, and they recommend a 14.8V charge, 13.2V float, and a 15.5V equalize. At 14.4V, the Escape supplied charger is not too far off. For equalizing batteries, a couple times a year, I use a charger that I have at home that does a 15.8V charge. I can see that if you wanted the one in the trailer to do it all, you might want a new one.

I still don't understand how with deep cell batteries, that charging dual 6V, or charging a single 12V would have different charging needs.
I agree - the ETI standard charger sounds like it is much closer to optimal for the Trojans than for the U Interstates.

I agree - a 12V Interstate U battery and 2 6V U Interstate batteries have the same charging requirements.

BUT the standard ETI 12V battery is not a U and does not charge the same. And the standard charger will not get U batteries fully charged quickly (if ever) and the U battery life will suffer some. Many people are obviously satisfied with this set up, even though it is not optimal.

I am using the the sub-optimal ETI standard solar controller. At some time I will probably replace it as I am not getting as much out of my panels and into the battery as possible. But for now that is acceptable to me.

I have no problem with anyone (including myself) who decides that a sub-optimal solution is OK for them - temporarily, permanently, or whatever. I do have a problem () if anyone says their solution is optimal when it is not.
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:02 PM   #12
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Our local Sam's sells Duracell 6 volt batteries, their lowest priced model is Group Size GC2 for $84. Not sure they are the same model you are looking at but the big complaint was the short life span of these batteries. Typically 18-24 months and they fail.

Some say the best measurement of a deep cycle battery is its weight. The Duracell are 60.5 lbs, Trojan T-105 at 62 lbs and the Interstate GCX series at 65 lbs.
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:22 PM   #13
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I am Sub Optimal

Good points that Jamman makes on battery charging. I agree whole heartedly. At the same time Eric points out that sub par performance is OK. There is nothing wrong with this approach. It sure makes more time for camping by ignoring all the banal discussions we have about batteries.

For those on the anal side of batteries, I can come up with about six names from the forum, you know who you are. This group, with myself as a member, probably do a lot more off grid camping, perhaps extended off grid camping, or cold weather camping with lots of furnace use and want the best performance possible. So camping style influences this discussion.

The issue for both sides is that the Escape designed battery, battery charger and solar charger all work. And actually work pretty well. I do not recall many complaints about failing batteries, though the 12 volt folks are probably replacing soon after three years, at such a small cost they are probably just taking it in stride and we do not read postings.

For the owners not happy with sub optimal there are not a lot of choices. I have yet to find an RV converter/charger that will give the charge rates that Trojan and Interstate recommend. There maybe a 110 volt battery charger that might do the trick, I welcome recommendations. For a solar controller I have only been able to find three models that will provide the necessary charge rates. A very bleak picture.

What a sad day, our group will have to resign ourselves to sub-optimal.
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:40 PM   #14
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I have the ETI dual 6 volt set up with remote 95 watt solar panel which I have set up
during storage. Is there a problem with connecting my battery tender/charger to the
batteries as they are, i.e. without disconnecting the batteries or the solar panel or the 110 volt power supply which I sometimes use ?
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
...
For the owners not happy with sub optimal there are not a lot of choices. I have yet to find an RV converter/charger that will give the charge rates that Trojan and Interstate recommend. There maybe a 110 volt battery charger that might do the trick, I welcome recommendations. For a solar controller I have only been able to find three models that will provide the necessary charge rates. A very bleak picture.
...
converter/charger = xantrex truecharge2
http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Bat...0_20110303.pdf

And the 3 solar chargers (hopefully MPPT and not outlandishly expensive - fat chance) are???
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertg View Post
I have the ETI dual 6 volt set up with remote 95 watt solar panel which I have set up
during storage. Is there a problem with connecting my battery tender/charger to the
batteries as they are, i.e. without disconnecting the batteries or the solar panel or the 110 volt power supply which I sometimes use ?
No.

I don't use a battery tender - just let my solar panels take care of it. (But I store it outside with no cover and have permanent sun - less in winter but still beats white stuff falling from the sky.) And the solar and converter/charger are connected in parallel whenever I am plugged into 120V.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:40 PM   #17
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Jim, I take it you can't fit a Group 24 12 volt battery in with your group 29?
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:44 PM   #18
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The 160 watt panel on my new 19 is a big improvement (my opinion) over the 95 watt I had on my 17 (with which I never had any problem). We spent three days over Thanksgiving boondocking, with the heater going quite regularly, and only one day of sun, and we left with the batteries showing 12.8 volts.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:45 PM   #19
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For 12V batteries - Group 31 usually hold the most juice - if you can fit them in. I put a group 31 in my 17' Casita.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:56 PM   #20
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Size notes:
The BCI group designations are not proportional to size at all, but by coincidence a Group 31 (biggest common 12V RV/marine battery, not offered by Escape) is bigger than a Group 29 (optional big Escape 12V battery), the Group 29 is bigger than a Group 27 (another very common RV/marine size for 12V, not offered by Escape), and the Group 27 is bigger than a Group 24 (common in RV/marine and for light trucks and some cars; standard equipment from Escape).

Proportions are important. The most common 6V "golf cart" batteries (usually designated GC2) are differently proportioned (shorter and wider?) than the common size of about the same weight. When packing battery boxes, this matters.

Putting in the biggest single 12V that fits in the available space and can be lifted into place makes a lot of sense to me; if that's enough, it's simpler than any dual-battery setup.
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