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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Ya'll, The RV center I purchased from installs 1 battery as standard equiptment. I believe they said Interstate deep cycle. I asked if I should have them install an additional batt. The gentleman responded, "Only if you plan on doing alot of dry camping". Is it worth just getting it now or just waiting until I see my needs? How long does a battery last anyway? Thanks for the help! Brian
 

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I would wait and see how much you wind up dry camping. We don't do any at this point. It's easy to put in a new battery anytime. As far as maintenance, I keep mine plugged in all summer in the driveway and on a schumacher maintenance charger all winter in the basement. If they are kept fully charged they last much longer from what I've been told.

mike
 

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During our delivery inspection, the dealer rep told me that the battery will easily last three days while dry camping. I'm sure that would br true, but with little furnace use. Also, the A/C will not work while dry camping.

Before I went dry camping, I would want to "test dry camp" at an electrical camp site.
 

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Since I've owned my PopUp then my Kiwi I've run with dual 6v batteries, I do prefer to dry camp and if I do I don't want to worry about having enough power for the furnace or for lights. The dual 6v will give you more amp hours than 2 12v in most cases. Are they installing a Group 24 or Group 27 12v battery on your camper?
 

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We had a second battery installed and dry camped several times. Well, sort of dry camped. We've gone to sites that have no hook ups, but water was close by. Camping with three girls, the pump, fan, furnace, water heater, lights, etc. are used a lot. My daughter wouldn't go to sleep without a light on. We didn't scimp on anything, electrically. With all that, the two batteries lasted 24 hours with no problems, and the monitor panel was on the last light (indicating the batteries were low). I'm not sure how much longer it would run like that. We ran our generator for four hours, and then it would go another 24 hours.

I'm sure if you're conservative, one battery would be fine. If you want to use all the conveinences with no worries, you may need a second battery.
 

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Hi, We also do alot of dry camping and last time we were out we had a lot of problems with keeping the batteries charged. We had 2-12 batteries and they just made the night, We ran the heater and set it at 64 when I got up in the morning the monitor was on empty. I also had to run the generator for around four hours to recharge. When I got home from the trip I contacted Parallax converters and I asked why it was taking so long to recharge and why the converter says it only puts out a charge of .5 amps. They said that this is a averge number the gov. requires them to put on the converter and in reality they put out close to 55 amps under full charge. He also told me to check the wiring at the batteries to see if both neg. and pos. from the converter go directly to the batteries or if the neg. is attached to the frame, you get a better charge if direct connectted. We are attached to the frame at the battery and also where the neg.(white) wire comes though the floor. He also told me you can increase the reseave capacity from 230 AH to 440 AH by installing 6 volt batteries. So I installed a new 6 AWG wire at the lug under the trailor and ran it directly to the the neg. side of the batteries. Then I went and bought 2-6 volt batteries and put them in, we have not had any problems since. If you don't want to replace your 12 volt batteries there is something else you can do to make sure you are discharging evenly from both battieries. Typically the batteries are connectted in parallel, neg. to neg. and pos. to pos. with in my case was with a 10 AWG wire, this wire size is to small, upgrade it to a 6 AWG. Then locate the pos. wire from the trailer to the battery,disconnect it and reconnect it to the other pos. terminal on the other battery, this is called cross connectting and you will discharge your batteries more evenly. Everyone should check the wire where it comes out off the floor and connects to a lug on the frame this connection was loose on mine and it will cause a lot of problems, tighten and or run a new neg(white 6 gauge) wire to the battery. I hope this helps and if there are any questions I will try to answer. kirk
 

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I dry camped one time with my single Interstate 12 volt battery. It went dead about 2 am, on the second night, and the furnace quit. I could see my breath in the OUTBACK. I had to back the truck close enough to the hitch, and hook up the trailer wire to the truck. I ran the truck and furnace long enough to warm it up nice, and went to sleep. The Auto start would shut off the truck for me, and when I wanted to warm it up again, I just mashed the button and started the truck.

To answer your question? A 12 volt Interstate battery will last almost 2 nights when new, and fully charged. (a cool Fall night in Northern Minnesota.)
For all you Southern folks, cool means morning frost on the grass, and 32 degress here.


Pete's Solution:
I replaced my new 12 volt, with 2-6 volt Golf Cart Batteries, and hooked them in series. It was very simple, and cost $60 each for batteries (Sam's Club), and about $8 for wires. (Batteries Plus)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Everyone! Your information has been very helpful. Brian
 
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