Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-07-2022, 07:24 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 21
Adding a second battery ?s

First of all, I am claiming no knowledge of the workings of the electricals on my travel trailer.

I have a 2021 Minnie Winnie 1708FB. It came with a small solar panel and a device that joins it to the electrical system of the TT. The TT has a 12 volt refrigerator that works fine but causes us to stay close to a power outlet. We don't boondock but sometimes we can not get to a spot that has electric. Also we occasionally want to stay at a motel.

So I am considering adding a second battery to allow some flexibility.
One question I have is will using an external battery charger goof up the solar setup?

Also, what other things should I be aware of when adding the second battery. I am pretty sure I need to match the battery that is installed now. But what else should I consider?

I'm sure I sound just as clueless as I am about this. I appreciate any help that is offered.

TIA, Mike
raytwntrvlr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2022, 10:36 PM   #2
Winnebago Vita 24P
 
lenore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 251
Adding second battery is not an issue, make sure it is wired in parallel with original battery. As for charging the battery with a charger, again should not be an issue as the solar controller will just compensate for the external charger.
__________________
2020 Winnebago Vita 24P
lenore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 05:45 AM   #3
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 880
I am not sure why you mentioned an external charger? Your MW has a built in converter, which is a combination charger and power distribution center with breakers for AC loads and fuses for DC loads.

As lenore says above, that charger (or any external charger) will work fine in parallel with the solar controller.

David
__________________
2021 Thor Axis 24.1
DavidM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 06:20 AM   #4
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 2,972
I assume you mean 2021 "Micro Minnie 1708FB". It's a bit confusing but "Minnie Winnie" is a Class C motorhome.

How many watts is your "small solar panel"? It may be too small to expect it to keep one, let alone two batteries charged with any significant load. You may need to consider adding a second panel or getting a portable panel to augment what you have. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but a portable can be moved around for optimal exposure. If you're lucky, you might even have a socket in your sidewall for a portable panel.

You'll also want to make sure the trailer plug and socket between the trailer and tow vehicle includes a 12V charging circuit. Depending on how your tow vehicle's socket is wired, it may not have one. It's easily checked with a multimeter when the tow vehicle is running by checking to see if there's voltage between #4 and ground at the tow vehicle socket:

https://www.northtexastrailers.com/f...RV-Diagram.jpg

It won't supply a lot of charging amps while towing but every little bit helps.

Instead of matching your current battery, which is most likely a "Marine/RV" battery, you might want to consider installing two true deep cycle 12V AGM batteries in parallel or two 6V "golf cart" batteries in series. The 6V batteries can be found for about $100 each at Costco or Sam's Club.

A Marine/RV battery is a dual purpose battery with starting capabilities as well as "deep cycle" characteristics but it doesn't serve either purpose as well as a single purpose battery. The give-away is that dual purpose batteries will have Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) in their specs.

The other thing to consider is, when camping without shore power, think "camping" not Rving. Do everything you can to conserve power. Keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible, turn off your lights when you don't need them and limit or eliminate TV use. Your LPG furnace is also a power hog.

I'm not a big fan of running generators for extended periods of time but you'll probably end up getting one at some point. Unless you get a very large (heavy) one, you won't be able to run your A/C but they're useful for topping off your batteries and running your microwave. Honda generators like the EU2200i are the gold standard but lower cost units are available at about half the price. Stick with the "inverter" models like those sold at Costco or Sam's Club and steer clear of the open frame contractor style (noisy) generators.

You might want to set up a signature block similar to mine and those of the previous posters. That way, the essential information will be visible in any post you make. You can do so via the User CP in the toolbar.
__________________
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
Workhorse Chassis
BobC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 11:22 AM   #5
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 21
Hello to all who replied.
This is exactly the information I needed to hear.
Bob C, you are spot on. My TT is indeed a "Micro Minnie".

Regards and Happy Camping,
Mike
raytwntrvlr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 12:16 PM   #6
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 2,972
I should have added that, when we had a trailer, we got by with 100W of solar but we had a Honda generator, golf cart batteries and an absorption refrigerator that didn't use much power. Coming to RVing from sailboating we were very conscious of conserving power. We had 200W on our second trailer which was better.
__________________
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
Workhorse Chassis
BobC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 12:42 PM   #7
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 21
So, just as a test, I unhooked from my shore power outlet here at home from 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM and the refrigerator stayed cold (32 to 37 degrees) the entire time. It was a sunny day so some power was coming from the solar.
I had an outdoor type thermometer in the fridge to monitor. Not wanting to run the battery totally dead, I plugged the trailer back in.
The battery in the TT is a "ProGuide 24EV" which is called their entry level deep cycle type.
__________________
Winnebago 1708FB TT
Towed by 2021 Ford Ranger
raytwntrvlr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 01:08 PM   #8
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 880
Sounds like you have a DC compressor fridge. If I had one my daily power requirement would go up about 50 Ahs daily. That would definitely kill most G24 batteries.

DC fridges are great for FHU camping, but for dry camping you probably need to go with two 100 Ah LFP batteries and two more solar panels if you camp in sunny spots. If not you need to upgrade your converter to a LFP capable one and run a portable generator for several hours a day to keep your batteries up.

David



David
__________________
2021 Thor Axis 24.1
DavidM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 01:13 PM   #9
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 2,972
I looked up the specs on your battery and it is definitely a dual purpose battery and only 80Ah (amp hours) in capacity. The typical size for an RV battery is 100Ah so your's is undersized. Two 6V golf cart batteries will give you 215Ah, 2.7 times the capacity you have now, but they may put too much additional weight on your tongue (2 x 58lbs = 116 lbs) vs. your current 34 lbs.

Upgrading to one 12V deep cycle AGM like this one will give you 110Ah or about 1.4 times your existing capacity at 68 lbs:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The reason it weighs twice as much for 1.4 times the capacity is due to its heavier plate construction which makes it much more robust.

On the other hand, and this might be your best option, since your existing battery is pretty new, you could just add a second, identical battery bringing your capacity from 80 to 160Ah at minimal cost and weight penalty. It won't be as robust (resistant to damage from over-discharging, etc.) as the other options but it's the least expensive option and might work just fine for you. When it comes time to replace them you can consider your other options.

It's all a balancing act between capacity, price, weight and longevity.
__________________
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
Workhorse Chassis
BobC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 01:23 PM   #10
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 2,972
The batteries Dave is referring to are LiFePO4 batteries, a form of lithium batteries. Although they're a good, and arguably the best long term solution, they're very expensive and I wouldn't recommend them until you have a bunch more experience and knowledge under your belt.
__________________
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
Workhorse Chassis
BobC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 03:53 PM   #11
Site Team
 
creativepart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Spring Branch, TX
Posts: 5,514
No travel trailer should go out the door with one battery. Dealers are in charge of installing a battery and usually they chose to install only one and as cheap as possible. A good dealer will make sure to install two and do so as an upsale at a reasonable price.

I bought three Travel Trailers over the years and each came with two batteries. The cost for the second was in my bill of sale and under $100 installed with a battery box. It was just a given each time.
__________________
2017 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2016 Lincoln MKX Toad
creativepart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 04:04 PM   #12
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 880
It is hard to say how many amphours the OP is using in 24 hours. If it was my TT with a compressor fridge, I would be using about 75 Ahs daily. A pair of G24 deep cycle batteries would just get by for 24 hours until they were down to 50%, a point you do not want to go below for best life.

That means you would have to start a generator (if you didn't have much solar or were camped in shade) and run it for about 3-5 hours to put enough juice in to go for another 24 hours.

If you installed two G31 100 Ah batteries, they would only be down to 63% after 24 hours and would charge faster (at least until you got to 90%) so your generator run time would only have to be maybe three hours to get back up to 90% so you could go another day.

Using the trailer pin 4 of the 7 pin connector will only charge at 10-15 amps when the batteries are near 50%, dropping to about 5 Ahs as they rise to 90%. You would have to drive for about 8 hours to put enough juice in to go another day.

LFP (thanks Bob for the clarification) batteries have two big advantages. You can routinely discharge them to about 20% with no damage and with the right converter/charger they will charge much faster, cutting your generator run time in half.

Finally if you do camp in sunny places, it will take 200-300 watts of panels to keep up with your daily 75 Ah demand. That is the best and easiest solution if you already have the wiring in place. You should be able to add two 200 watt panels for about $300 in parts cost.

David
__________________
2021 Thor Axis 24.1
DavidM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2022, 06:59 PM   #13
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 2,972
Another thing to help reduce your power consumption. Use an ice chest for cold drinks and snacks to reduce the times you open your refrigerator door.
__________________
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
Workhorse Chassis
BobC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 04:28 PM   #14
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 21
I have decided to do this, as suggested by BobC, for the time being:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
On the other hand, and this might be your best option, since your existing battery is pretty new, you could just add a second, identical battery bringing your capacity from 80 to 160Ah at minimal cost and weight penalty. It won't be as robust (resistant to damage from over-discharging, etc.) as the other options but it's the least expensive option and might work just fine for you. When it comes time to replace them you can consider your other options.
So, I picked up a double battery case for two 24 type batteries and a second deep cycle 24 type battery. I have some short 6 gauge connecting cables on the way.
Now my question(s) is... What steps to take so I don't muck up the circuitry of the TT and its electrical devices. To install the double box, I will have to remove the existing battery and box and disconnect the wiring to it. I will also disconnect the shore power, but some charge will still be flowing from the 100 watt solar. I intend to isolate the plus and minus going to the camper until I reconnect after the install.
Is there some other gotcha I am not aware of?

TIA, Mike
__________________
Winnebago 1708FB TT
Towed by 2021 Ford Ranger
raytwntrvlr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 05:22 PM   #15
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 2,972
You might want to consider a battery disconnect switch. I mounted one of these on top of my battery box. It's waterproof. I wired it so the solar controller and my electric trailer jack were both wired directly to the battery but everything else goes through the switch. I left one on/off handle in place and stored the spare inside the trailer. This way I can be certain that nothing can drain my battery while in storage.

https://www.amazon.com/GOGONFLY-Disc...3&sr=8-22&th=1
__________________
Bob C
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
Workhorse Chassis
BobC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2022, 02:10 PM   #16
Winnebago Owner
 
Marine359's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytwntrvlr View Post
First of all, I am claiming no knowledge of the workings of the electricals on my travel trailer.

I have a 2021 Minnie Winnie 1708FB. It came with a small solar panel and a device that joins it to the electrical system of the TT. The TT has a 12 volt refrigerator that works fine but causes us to stay close to a power outlet. We don't boondock but sometimes we can not get to a spot that has electric. Also we occasionally want to stay at a motel.

So I am considering adding a second battery to allow some flexibility.
One question I have is will using an external battery charger goof up the solar setup?

Also, what other things should I be aware of when adding the second battery. I am pretty sure I need to match the battery that is installed now. But what else should I consider?

I'm sure I sound just as clueless as I am about this. I appreciate any help that is offered.

TIA, Mike
Hi Ray,
Congrats on your new MM.
If you donít boondock often, then donít spend a bunch of money on batteries. Find the cheapest solution you can that will provide around 100 useable amp hours. Your fridge uses 50 amphrs per day nominally. So all you need is a bucket big enough to service that 50amphrs plus all other daily electrical consumption.

Now all you need is a hose, or multiple hoses big enough to replenish the juice you take from the bucket each day.
Check your manual, but I believe the standard solar panel on new MMs these days is 190w. Thatís more than enough power to run the fridge on sunny days. On drive days.
If your tv alternator can supply 4amps through the 7-pin, then youíre good as gold on travel days because the MM is wired to send it to your battery. And that will be more than the fridge will eat.

Think carefully about how much and what kind of bucket to buy. 2x 6v gc batteries would be great for your needs if, a big IF, their added weight on the tongue doesnít send you over rear GAWR or GVWR. The weight of a bigger FLA bucket was the biggest reason I switched to LiFePo4. A single 100ah AGM may be a big enough bucket for you, and it weighs far less. But, a good one can be almost as expensive as a 100ah LiFePo4. Either one will be a $300-400 drop in replacement for your marine deep cycle. The LFP will give you a full 100amp hrs, and the AGM can give you 80amp hrs before needing recharge. Your solar should be able to handle that.

Good luck and safe travels with your new Micro Minnie.
__________________
Jim. 2021b Micro Minnie 2108DS, 110w foldable solar
2021 GMC Canyon Denali 3.6L Gas 4x4, Husky C-Line
170AH LiFePo4, Xantrex XC2000, Champion 2500w df
Marine359 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2022, 08:30 PM   #17
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Pflugerville/Austin, Tx
Posts: 4,350
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytwntrvlr View Post
I have decided to do this, as suggested by BobC, for the time being:


So, I picked up a double battery case for two 24 type batteries and a second deep cycle 24 type battery. I have some short 6 gauge connecting cables on the way.
Now my question(s) is... What steps to take so I don't muck up the circuitry of the TT and its electrical devices. To install the double box, I will have to remove the existing battery and box and disconnect the wiring to it. I will also disconnect the shore power, but some charge will still be flowing from the 100 watt solar. I intend to isolate the plus and minus going to the camper until I reconnect after the install.
Is there some other gotcha I am not aware of?

TIA, Mike
Sounds like a good time to throw in some things that you may/may not know and most of us need to be told now and then just to keep the brains active!!

Battery safety is critical but not terribly hard if we get some basics down.
The biggest hazard around batteries is arcing from us letting the wrong things touch together, so the first step when not quite sure, is to act like we want full protection.
One way to do that before even getting any tools out, is to use something to cover up the things we don't want touching, like the tools to the walls or metal of the RV. So if we spread something thick enough that a tool that slips won't punch through between the places we will be working and that metal stuff all around some batteries. Thick cardboard or good thick cloth are a couple that are handy.

Then once you've got a safe place to work, keep in mind that power only moves if it has a full circle (circuit?) to move. In a battery, that circle is from the positive post to the negative or ground. In our RV that is often anything metal as the frame if used for ground and lots of the other metal is connected to the frame. So cut off any chance of current to flow by first taking the negative cable off and wrapping the end of it in cloth, etc. and lay it back away from the battery.
Now you can safely deal with any of the other connections without worry about trouble IF (big IF!) you do not let a tool you are using on the positvie connections touch any other metal.
Common problem is when we think we are all okay but a wrench slips while we have it on the positive post connections and the handle whacks into the metal around it!
Big ARC, possible burned fingers, often ruined tools and just not good! So it is worth the time to spread that insulation out FIRST, not after that first slipup!
The power passed through a ratchet can weld the bearings in that ratchet so it no longer works!

No other big gotchas involved!
__________________
Richard
Morich is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding a second armrest on captains chairs Catskillgal Winnebago General Discussions 0 07-27-2018 03:07 PM
Where does the second satelite cable go??? RickO Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 10 11-06-2008 01:22 PM
Adding a second RG-6 cable in slide LK23 General Maintenance and Repair 8 09-29-2008 03:55 PM
Second thing to go kaput :( mrsr71 General Maintenance and Repair 8 02-08-2007 05:36 PM
Second thoughts about an autoformer John_Canfield Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 19 06-10-2006 10:14 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×