Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

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Does your 12-volt system have one battery or two?

One battery – never wanted more.
34
58%
One battery – sometimes wish I had two.
3
5%
Two 12-volt batteries wired in parallel = 12 volts.
15
25%
Two 6-volt batteries wired in series = 12 volts.
7
12%
 
Total votes : 59

Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby Thawley » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:18 pm

Please vote twice only if you've owned multiple trailers or have upgraded from one option to another. The goal is to find what people are happiest with. Voting for what you weren't happy with is just as helpful.

Feel free to post info about why you're happy (or not) with your battery setup. Please add any info about changes you have made from one system to another, differences over multiple trailers, about heavy load items like A/C, coffee makers, microwaves, etc. Also add details about solar, wind or Mr. Fusion devices that may lengthen your off-the-grid battery life.

Thanks.
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby droid_ca » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:47 pm

I'm still in the building stages of my trailer and since mine is going to be a little bigger then a teardrop I'm considering 2 six volt possibly 4 if I can get them for the right price or else I'll get 2 twelve volt batteries...I never voted as I don't have my trailer yet
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby Thawley » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:02 pm

I'm in the same spot as you, droid. We had a single 12v in our first TD about 12 years ago, but cabin lights were the only drain. Apples to oranges against what our next rig will be powering.

Off the top of my head, I imagine the following loads:
- Laptop chargers
- Phone chargers
- Reading lights
- Galley lights
- 110v inverter
- Coffee maker* (probably 110v off the inverter)
- Microwave (maybe – still on the fence about this...)
- Water pump (not sure about this, either)
- Fancy-ass 12v cooler (we'll see)

*the coffee maker is a real design challenge. The easy way to go is just heat water on the LPG stove. But what we WANT to do is be able to make coffee from inside. That way we can read in bed and sip coffee until we feel like getting dressed and going outside...
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby bdosborn » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:34 pm

Its all about the goesintas and goesoutas. Here's a spreadsheet that will let you calculate your amp-hr usage. You can pick a battery size based on usage.

Amp-hr and Solar Calculator

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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby droid_ca » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:36 pm

I live in an area where the power use to go out all the time so I picked up a 12volt coffee maker..sure it may take a while to brew hot coffee but when your the only one on your block having hot coffee it is sure worth it I also take it when I go fishing
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby Shadow Catcher » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:10 am

As said the goesinta and goesouta are the key, With a 150 AH Lifeline AGM battery and the 320 W potential solar (with the portable panel unrolled) I can add to the list of goesouta. We did however make the most of conservation with all LED lights, use of computer case fans in place of a Fantastic fan. Add to the list however we do have a water pump DSI water heater TV/DVD, XM satellite receiver, potential for a Dish receiver (have not used it yet) MAHA battery charger for flashlights etc. The biggest users are the Waeco refrigerator and Espar diesel heater.
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby Thawley » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:45 pm

Great info folks. Keep'em coming.
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby doug hodder » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:57 am

I voted for 1. I've been out 10 days on 1 and was able to run the fantastic fan all night at Minden Ne at the ITG in the hot weather when I wanted, had lights, and ran my portable DVD player. I don't even have it wired to charge when I'm traveling. Just a charge when I get home. I've been running on the same battery for 4 years now, and it just gets switched from trailer to trailer or to the boat. Never had a need for more than 1.

For hot beverages....run the stove, anything that has a heating element is a battery killer. For cold....use ice. After all....it's camping! Does anyone really need a microwave when camping, if so, what's your hurry? Just my opinion, but for the price of a reefer for a tear + the converter etc...., you can buy several years worth of ice, or make it at home. This may be an unpopular opinion, but it seems that there are a lot of people trying to cram all sorts of larger RV options into a build that may be only 5x10 or smaller. It kinda defeats the intended purpose of a smaller trailer. I'm more of a "keep it simple" type camper though. Others opinions may vary.

My favorite was the woman that asked me to build her a tear that had a dedicated bread making machine station in it.....and she wanted to come and stay in a local motel while I did it.....Doug
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby Ron Dickey » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:10 pm

I have non I am wired for DC. I first put in the wires I had planed to have a battery in the bonnet but found over time the weels are to far back and what is in the bonnet including a tire that it pulled my rear of the car to far down. I moved the tire closer to the axel but it still is to far down. Later I thought of putting in a motorcycle batt. Right now I carry a B&W battery/ radio. If I build a new trailer it will have a more thought out Battery system. I also plan to have an AC plug outside, for KOA with Power.
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby jss06 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:25 pm

I run a single battery. the only thing I run are a couple of led lights and a fantastic fan from the battery. I have used it over a long weekend without having to recharge the battery.

I am wired for 120v and have an ac unit for when its hot if I have generator or shore power.
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:19 pm

I have encountered the totally clueless class A motor home owners that wonder why their 'battery bank' goes dead, they have no idea what conservation means nor monitoring that goesinta and goesouta. One discussion involved advice that the individual buy an additional and slave them together 3000 W Honda at $2600 rather than spend $170 on a Bogart Engineering Trimetric or a Victron at $160. I get so frustrated with folks that do not want to have to actually do some homework or actually think.
OK I have ranted and feel MUCH BETTER.
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby halfdome, Danny » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:06 am

Jane was forgetting to turn off lights and after I reminded her several times she said " Why can't we have two batteries?".
Soooo... All my builds have two 12 volt deep cell batteries under them. It keeps everything balanced too :lol: .
We have a dual controlled mattress warmer to keep us toasty at night, and don't want to run out of power, for it or the TV.
Sometimes we leave the Fantastic Fan on all night to keep the cabin cool.
Jane uses a 110 volt curling iron on the inverter too.
If the need ever arises, each battery has it's own shut off, so one could be removed.
They charge while being towed.
We like the secure feeling of the probability of never running out of 12 volt or inverted 110 volt power.
:D Danny
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:40 pm

I only have one battery, but will be getting a second.

When my friends and I go boondocking, we have the stereo running all afternoon, evening, and through much of the night, because at least a few people are usually up pretty late. After a night, the battery voltage drops quite a bit. I suspect that part of the reason is that I got the battery used, and it hadn't been maintained at all - I had to pour in quite a bit of water when I got it. So I have doubts as to its capacity and will be picking up a new one this spring. I'll probably keep the used battery as a backup, wired in with a Perko battery selector switch.

As far as conserving power goes, we're out to have a good time, so another battery just makes more sense. :lol:

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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby halfdome, Danny » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:01 pm

absolutsnwbrdr wrote:I only have one battery, but will be getting a second.
As far as conserving power goes, we're out to have a good time, so another battery just makes more sense. :lol:

If you get another battery keep in mind the batteries should have a born on date within 2 months of each other to prevent one of the batteries from sulfating.
This is a voice of experience. :cry:

:D Danny
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Re: Camping without hookups: One Battery or Two?

Postby len19070 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:40 am

doug hodder wrote:I voted for 1. I've been out 10 days on 1 and was able to run the fantastic fan all night at Minden Ne at the ITG in the hot weather when I wanted, had lights, and ran my portable DVD player. I don't even have it wired to charge when I'm traveling. Just a charge when I get home. I've been running on the same battery for 4 years now, and it just gets switched from trailer to trailer or to the boat. Never had a need for more than 1.

For hot beverages....run the stove, anything that has a heating element is a battery killer. For cold....use ice. After all....it's camping! Does anyone really need a microwave when camping, if so, what's your hurry? Just my opinion, but for the price of a reefer for a tear + the converter etc...., you can buy several years worth of ice, or make it at home. This may be an unpopular opinion, but it seems that there are a lot of people trying to cram all sorts of larger RV options into a build that may be only 5x10 or smaller. It kinda defeats the intended purpose of a smaller trailer. I'm more of a "keep it simple" type camper though. Others opinions may vary.

My favorite was the woman that asked me to build her a tear that had a dedicated bread making machine station in it.....and she wanted to come and stay in a local motel while I did it.....Doug


I'm right with ya Doug, I'm a Camper!

I use a stove & percolator for Coffee, No inverters in the trailer (do have one in the truck for emergencys) No Microwaves or heating elements, I can always find/make Ice and I charge my phone inside my truck.

I do make all my trailers with a 7 pin and a 4 pin connector though.

Really think that having a way to recharge from the Tow Vehicle is important.

And...No batteries were killed durring camping in my Trailers.

Happy Trails

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