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So Many Batteries


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17 replies to this topic

#1 geraldlanc

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:50 PM

My Beaver coach has 6 house batts plus 2 more for the chassis.  Why so many house batteries?  We don't boondock or spend much time off the grid.   We will occasionally stay overnite at WalMart or a truck stop, but any power needs we have are taken care of by the massive geneset.  Sometimes all we need is the water pump and a light or two.  I know the slides need a lot of juice, but we don't have to move the slides.  So why do I need 6 house batts, and what would a safe minimum be when I have to replace them?

Gerald


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#2 gskepler

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 06:30 PM

Do you have an ac inverter? If so it takes alot of batteries.
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#3 geraldlanc

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 06:51 PM

The coach does have a ProSine 2500 watt inverter that will power many appliances on the coach, but I never need it.  I know that it charges the batteries, but I don't use it to power anything in the coach.  The fifth wheel we had before this did not have an inverter at all and we never needed one.  Why do I need this one?  Please excuse my naiveté , but I am electrically impaired!

Gerald


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#4 gskepler

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:01 PM

Every Coach that I've had the lights and some appliance control are power by the coach batteries. The battery charger or like mine charger/inverter keep the batteries charged when the voltage drops to a certain level. The more cycles you do the faster you wear them out. The more batteries you have the more power you have in amp-hours the less cycles you have. My Coach can go almost all weekend without charging the batteries. So you may not need that many but its what manufacturer thought your coach needed with the amount of potential loads on the.

 

I hope this helps.


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#5 wolfe10

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:26 PM

Bottom line-- if you seldom dry camp and have minimal electrical needs when you do, you can get by with a smaller battery bank.

 

Proper size battery bank (my opinion) is that it will keep you comfortable overnight without discharging below 50%. For a few, that may be a pair of quality 6 VDC batteries.  For many, 4 or them.

 

Add a residential refrigerator and ice maker and you WILL need all 6.

 

Brett


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Dianne and Brett Wolfe
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#6 gskepler

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:49 PM

That's a great way to look at it.


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#7 TBUTLER

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 07:27 AM

I've run into a few people who don't use their inverter.  It is hard for me to imagine why anyone would not want the full capability of their electrical system.  Our inverter is on all the time, if we don't have AC in the coach, something is broken.  We've run that way since we began in our first motor home, a 1994 Dynasty.  We have a 4 battery system, a 3000W inverter and run our household refrigerator with icemaker, it is never off.  We can go overnight running the furnace and the refrigerator on the 4 batteries without a problem.  What do we use the electric for all the time?  Computers, clocks, TV system, coffee maker, other kitchen appliances, an electric razor, power tools, just all the things we use when we are in a normal house.  Louise hates resetting clocks and I enjoy the convenience of just plugging in when I need electric.  Yes, we have a generator and it is essential for the big things and recharging but I don't want the noise of that running all the time.  Besides, if you figure the actual cost of running the generator, not just fuel but include maintenance costs, it runs you about $2.50 to $3.00 per hour (our actual costs). 

 

I do find four batteries enough for us and if you aren't using the inverter full time you could probably get by with fewer than 6 batteries.  The only downside to six batteries is weight and the cost of replacement.  Both are minor in the grand scheme of things.  If I had space for six batteries I'd be glad to have them.


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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#8 hermanmullins

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:56 AM

gs,
Do you every use the microwave or coffee pot when staying in a WalMart parking lot? If so you are using the inverter.
I for one would like to have a 6 battery bank, that is until I would need to replace them.

Herman
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"Fair winds and Following Seas"

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#9 aztec7fan

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:24 PM

I've run into a few people who don't use their inverter.  It is hard for me to imagine why anyone would not want the full capability of their electrical system.  Our inverter is on all the time, if we don't have AC in the coach, something is broken.  We've run that way since we began in our first motor home, a 1994 Dynasty.  We have a 4 battery system, a 3000W inverter and run our household refrigerator with icemaker, it is never off.  We can go overnight running the furnace and the refrigerator on the 4 batteries without a problem.  What do we use the electric for all the time?  Computers, clocks, TV system, coffee maker, other kitchen appliances, an electric razor, power tools, just all the things we use when we are in a normal house.  Louise hates resetting clocks and I enjoy the convenience of just plugging in when I need electric.  Yes, we have a generator and it is essential for the big things and recharging but I don't want the noise of that running all the time.  Besides, if you figure the actual cost of running the generator, not just fuel but include maintenance costs, it runs you about $2.50 to $3.00 per hour (our actual costs). 

 

I do find four batteries enough for us and if you aren't using the inverter full time you could probably get by with fewer than 6 batteries.  The only downside to six batteries is weight and the cost of replacement.  Both are minor in the grand scheme of things.  If I had space for six batteries I'd be glad to have them.

 

Tom, we are the complete opposite.  I rarely use the small 2-plug inverter I have wired into the batteries, and only use it occasionally to charge a laptop or use a hair dryer.  I mostly utilize propane for the 'fridge and cooking and can usually go 3-4 days boondocking before I start to worry about the battery level.  I have 3 6-volt deep cycle batteries in my system.  Sure the kids miss the TV and the Xbox, but when boondocking, we are camping and have lots of other things to do outdoors.  I've only used the generator about 20 hours in the last 4 years.

 

Nothing wrong with either lifestyle, just different.


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Chris Guenther
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Westminster, CO
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and memories are like starlight, they go on forever"

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#10 hermanmullins

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:54 PM

aztec. I wonder how you only have 3 each 6 volt batteries. Isn't you coaches system 12 volt? Mrs Press taught me that 3 X 6 = 18. :huh:

 

Herman


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"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins
Whitewright, TEXAS
F302225
'02 Monaco Dynasty
40 ft 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
US Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture


#11 TBUTLER

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:07 AM

 

Nothing wrong with either lifestyle, just different.

 

Viva la difference!


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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#12 aztec7fan

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:30 PM

aztec. I wonder how you only have 3 each 6 volt batteries. Isn't you coaches system 12 volt? Mrs Press taught me that 3 X 6 = 18. :huh:

 

Herman

2 wired in series, one wired in parallel = 12 volts.


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Chris Guenther
F3508-S
Westminster, CO
1989 33' Southwind (Gas 454 Chevy)

 

"Life is just a collection of memories

and memories are like starlight, they go on forever"

-C.W. McCall


#13 wolfe10

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:34 PM

Chris,

 

Sorry, that has me puzzled as well.

 

Easy to understand the "2 in series"-- just the standard configuration for two 6 VDC batteries to make a 12 VDC battery.

 

But, what does ONE additional 6 VDC battery do for you?  What terminals are connected to what terminals?


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#14 boberoo

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 11:05 PM

I'm new to FMCA and happened to run across this forum.  With three six volt batteries there is one pair of 6 volt batteries in parallel which ( for sake of argument) doubles the amperage and maintains 6 volts.  This 6V pair is placed in series with the remaining 6 volt battery and as such the group of 3 batteries becomes a 12 volt power source. Think of it as one (now) large six volt battery placed in series with a smaller 6 volt battery.


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#15 wolfe10

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:30 AM

I will restate-- I understand how it can be wired, but don't understand the advantage.  As the 2/1 battery bank discharges, the cells in the single 6 VDC battery will be drawn down at twice the rate of the paralleled batteries leaving little advantage to the extra paralleled battery.

 

 

Said another way, the battery bank will need to be recharged when the weaker battery's specific gravity drops, even though the paralleled batteries still carry more of a charge.


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#16 ClayL

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 12:02 PM

The coach does have a ProSine 2500 watt inverter that will power many appliances on the coach, but I never need it.  I know that it charges the batteries, but I don't use it to power anything in the coach.  The fifth wheel we had before this did not have an inverter at all and we never needed one.  Why do I need this one?  Please excuse my naiveté , but I am electrically impaired!

Gerald

Just a little clarification. The Prosine inverter does not charge the batteries. It inverts the battery voltage from 12v dc to 120 vac. This lets you run 120 vac appliances with no shore or generator power. That can be handy when you need 120 v and can't run the generator for whatever reason (like quiet time).


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#17 wolfe10

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 12:59 PM

Clay,

 

Actually, the ProSine 2500 is an inverter/charger with the 3 stage charger portion capable of 100 amps:

 

http://www.xantrex.c...osine 2.5-3.pdf


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#18 HarveyWhite

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:11 PM

Hey mine has eight 12 v for the coach and two for the engine start that's ten, all coach battery's are in line i was woundering just how long they would last before they where at 50%, but his question seems he wants to know if he can run less battery, sure can you could run one 12v battery if you know yer not going to use it why have the weight and exspence of all the battery's.
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