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Popup tent trailer. any suggestions for a battery

Discussion in 'Towing' started by JUJtacoma2010, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Jan 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM
    #1
    JUJtacoma2010

    JUJtacoma2010 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    so I bought a 88 star craft popup tent trailer that didnt have a battery. appreciate if any one can suggest a battery that they have used for a while without issues.
    I am only planning to run the lights inside the trailer on those battery.

    appreciate if you can also comment on what size battery would I need
     
  2. Jan 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM
    #2
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    You want a marine/ deep-cycle battery that's designed to be deeply discharged then recharged, not a car battery.
     
  3. Jan 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM
    #3
    crazy joker

    crazy joker Well-Known Member

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    Yep, deep cell. I've always just bought the "cheapest" ones (They're not cheap). Never been disappointed yet.
     
  4. Jan 22, 2014 at 4:26 PM
    #4
    JUJtacoma2010

    JUJtacoma2010 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    any particular brands that you buy? how do you recharge them? I dont trust my tent trailer enough to connect to a power outlet yet. can I just charge them by using a battery charger from sears or harbour frieght?
     
  5. Jan 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM
    #5
    crazy joker

    crazy joker Well-Known Member

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    No particular brand here. And yes, any charger that is made for car batteries will work.
     
  6. Jan 23, 2014 at 5:43 PM
    #6
    monkeyface

    monkeyface Douchebag, or just douche if we're friends

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    Interstate 27 has worked well for me. Deep cycle wet battery. If you can get two batteries on the trailer, do so. To charge them, you'll need a generator or shore power from a house or campground. You can buy a super-duper solar charger for $800 or so, solar panels you mount on the roof, but the best bet is an inverter generator, Honda, Yamaha, Champion, etc. 2000W or greater.


    I've noticed the 7-pin connector from the truck will NOT charge the batteries. It barely keeps up with load. You need a 15-20 amp AC connection, a generator or shore power. You need the amperage
     
  7. Jan 24, 2014 at 7:46 AM
    #7
    JUJtacoma2010

    JUJtacoma2010 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I will pick one up at sams club or sears this weekend. I will also get a charger at harbor frieght
     
  8. Jan 25, 2014 at 7:09 AM
    #8
    crazy joker

    crazy joker Well-Known Member

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    I've noticed the same with my 7-pin connector. I always make sure to charge my battery up before I go on a trip (This means plugging trailer in the house for me. OP, looks like you'll just be charging the battery on a charger.). The 7-pin connector does work fine for maintaining my charge while driving.



    Sweet! Spend less on the setup and more on the traveling. I see you are from Fresno. I spent most of my life near Sacramento, so I know there are great camping areas around there. Good luck!
     
  9. Jan 25, 2014 at 9:20 AM
    #9
    Shadetree

    Shadetree Well-Known Member

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    Definately use a 12-volt deep cycle battery for your lighting application because it will have more cycles due to it's thicker plates, assuming it is properly charged and maintained especially when you are not using it. If you plan to mount it inside your trailer, then a AGM type is highly recommended due to safety. Wet deep cycle batteries are less expensive, but need to be charged outside your trailer to dissipate the hydrogen gas that is formed during the charging process.

    The sizing will depend on the electrical load, temperature and interval between charges. An electrical lighting load can be greatly influenced by the wattage of the lamps. 12 VDC LED lamps are currently the efficient and do require an inverter. An average Depth-of-Discharge of 50% or less will increase the service life of the battery.

    For more information, please see the Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ on www.batteryfaq.org.
     
  10. Jan 25, 2014 at 8:30 PM
    #10
    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    How often will you be using it and or how long? If its once or twice a year for a weekend, buy the cheapest used battery you can find that holds a charge. More often and longer, buy decent. It doesnt take much juice for popup interior lights, a 1/2 dead battery will last the weekend. And if you wire correctly just plug in the car every nw and then and it will top off.
     
  11. Jan 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM
    #11
    JUJtacoma2010

    JUJtacoma2010 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    we plan on camping about 4 times a year. on average of 3 days each time.
     
  12. Jan 27, 2014 at 11:44 AM
    #12
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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  13. Jan 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM
    #13
    Socalduckslayer

    Socalduckslayer Pelfreybilt Off-Road Vendor

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    I just run a cheap Wal-Mart everstart 27M in my popup. I am on second one in 10 years. They are cheap but work for about $100. Main thing is to keep it on a tender when not in use.
     
  14. Jan 27, 2014 at 11:00 PM
    #14
    scollins

    scollins Well-Known Member

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    I run 2 Costco 6V golf cart batteries wired in series on my Starcraft PU. Cost is about $80 per battery (you need them in pairs), but will last 6 to 8 years with proper care. Each one weighs around 60 lbs, so two together are 120 lbs. Keep that in mind, given the space available to mount them (tongue weight can become an issue....) Most 24M Deep Cycle 12V batteries weigh 45 to 50 lbs. Generally speaking, more weight = more lead = more capacity = better deep cycle ability.

    A "deep cycle" 12V doesn't even come close in performance in my opinion. Also, golf cart batteries are "true" deep cycle, while most 12V "deep cycle" batteries are just labeled that. Notice they almost always say "deep cycle/starting"?

    I believe Interstate makes the battery for Costco, and mine are due to be replaced after 7 years of use. So my experience with Interstate is different than SoCalTaco65's, who says Interstate is crap.... YMMV
     
  15. Jan 28, 2014 at 11:10 AM
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    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  16. Jan 29, 2014 at 9:10 PM
    #16
    monkeyface

    monkeyface Douchebag, or just douche if we're friends

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    Most trailers only have room for two batteries on the tongue. So you're saying two 6V in series is better than two 12V in parallel?


    And on a tangent, somebody said above the vehicle will charge the trailer batteries, in my experience, no it will not do so. No way. The truck can keep up with load, but it won't add charge to the batteries on the trailer. There's not enough amperage from the 7-pin to charge batteries.
     
  17. Jan 30, 2014 at 7:34 AM
    #17
    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    It wont charge from dead or heavy load (in a reasonable time), keeps things topped off easily with light use though. Unless you wire it with 22g speaker wire it will have more capacity than the little float chargers you can buy.

    I think scollins is just saying that a folf cart battery is a true deep cycle vs the off the shelfs deep cycles since its designed for long duration draw. I know squat about golf cart batteries though, so no idea.

    But the draw on a campers system with just its small light bulbs is so minor imo its not worth spending a ton on batteries unless i plan to be in the field for a month. $10 in led bulbs is a better route for a weekend camper than $3000 in batteries.
     
  18. Jan 30, 2014 at 1:24 PM
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    scollins

    scollins Well-Known Member

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    That is a subject of great internet debate, almost as much as the "1911 vs. Glock", "9mm vs. 45", "Mayo vs. Miracle Whip", etc.:D

    I find that the are assured of getting true deep-cycle capability with the 6V batteries. Also, most 12V deep-cycle batteries seem to be in the $100-$140 range, so you are looking at $200 to $280 for a twin parallel setup. Two 6V in series will give you the same AH capacity, but run you $160 to $200.

    Either setup has it's pros and cons. A twin 12V setup would also mean you could easily drop it in your tow vehicle if that battery happened to fail.
     
  19. Jan 30, 2014 at 1:43 PM
    #19
    monkeyface

    monkeyface Douchebag, or just douche if we're friends

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    Yeah, I'll have to do that ASAP. I switch on a couple of lights and I can see the batt indicator on the control panel dip down.
     
  20. Jan 30, 2014 at 1:56 PM
    #20
    monkeyface

    monkeyface Douchebag, or just douche if we're friends

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    Interesting. Well, I have the two Interstate 27 "deep cycle" batteries now. And BTW, there are two different Interstate 27's. One is NOT labeled "deep cycle". I know this because the dealer I bought it from gave me the one that didn't have the deep cycle label and was labeled having much less CCA. Had to take it back and have them give me the correct one. Something like 150 less CCA's.

    Also, the 27F battery has a lot more CCA's than a 27, probably already well-known around here.

    And yeah, I pulled one of the batteries off of the trailer to jump the truck. Since then, I've been keeping this "Instant Power" brand backup jumpstarter (or whatever it's called) plugged in when I run the generator to keep the charge up.
     
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