Originally Posted by JUJtacoma2010
we plan on camping about 4 times a year. on average of 3 days each time.
Sounds about like me. I usually use it once or twice camping with the kids, once or twice in the mountains elk hunting. The elk trips are in horrible weather in the middle of no-where.
What i do is take the battery out of whatever vehicle im not using for the trip, make sure its charged and use it. So far with standard use and the batteries being OLD, ive run a week straight with no charging. Thats just interior lights, no furnace in the popup. When i ran a 23' trailer with forced air furnace, tv etc, we carried an old generator and topped off every coupe days of hunting. That setup pulled a lot of juice, and we kept a good battery in it. I saw a lot more use in general.
I have the trucks plug wired so it charges the trailer battery while i drive as well (swap even 4 wire trailers for 7 pin plugs) and carry jumpers as a rule, and on the off chance i would actualy have to charge the battery while m gone. So far, havent needed it but juice is just a plug in away.
If i was going to use it every weekend id go with a designated decent battery out of convenience alone. But for light use, old battery has worked really well for no cost. M getting ready for a new battery in my taco, will likely keep the old and put it in the camper. All that costs is the core charge and $5 for a float charger to keep it juiced.
To see for yourself if cheap will work just test it. Throw the battery in and run the lights like you would with heavy useage, see if it lasts. Regardless i think its a good idea to swap out the standard bulbs even though they dont pull much and replace with fluorescent or led, they will really stretch out any battery before it has to be charged.