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Old 03-07-2020, 07:48 AM   #1
steve james
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Battery life

I purchased a 2019 22 RBSWE Cougar and one thing I ordered with it were 2 6 volt RV batteries. Because most of our camping is with out hook ups. I'm disappointed with the life of the batteries , seems I need to use the generator almost daily. We don't leave lights on when not needed or use excessive power at least I don't think we do. I've had them tested at a couple of different locations and was told they are okay. When I bought them I thought they would last at least few days maybe longer. Any thoughts about this , am I expecting to much? Thank you for your in put.
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:10 AM   #2
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First off, 6 volt batteries are usually referred to as deep cycle golf cart batteries, the most popular size being GC2. Wired in series, 2 GC2's will usually provide over 200 amp hours. The rule of thumb with any deep cycle battery is avoid dropping below 50% SOC (state of charge). So, this would provide 100 usable AH.

As each persons energy needs are different, 100 amp hours should be enough for 1 or 2 days of general use. General use would be several hours of television time, use of some interior LED lights, USB charging of phones and devices, fridge operation, DC water pump use, and even the DC radio.

If one's needs are much greater than that, the battery bank described above will either have to be augmented with solar power or run time from a fueled generator.

Also, the OEM converter must be up to the task of charging a larger golf cart battery bank. I replaced mine with an aftermarket 60 amp 4 stage charger last year.
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:26 AM   #3
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Steve,

Your question brings up two "questions for you to consider".

First, why is your battery use so much more than the "typical dry camper"?
Answers may range from "your trailer has incandescent lights" to "your thermostat is set to 80F (rather than 68F) causing the furnace fan (which is the biggest battery drain) to run longer… So, an "energy audit" to determine just what you're using and what you can change to conserve battery power....

Second question, Are your batteries functioning at "full capacity"? If they have been "drained to almost zero" several times, they may only be capable of recharge to 80% or 85% of "new battery capacity". They will still pass a "quick load test" but probably wouldn't pass a "thorough/every cell specific gravity test". So, have your batteries been "fully checked for problems"?

I'd go one step further with Chris's suggestions of solar/new converter-charger and suggest that if your battery bank is 2 GC-2's and you find them inadequate, you might consider adding 2 more GC-2's (if you have the additional cargo capacity and storage space for more batteries. Keep in mind that it will take roughly "twice as long" to recharge 4 batteries as it does to recharge 2 batteries, so plan generator time accordingly (or increase converter-charger capacity to meet the increased demand)…

I'd start with an "honest energy audit" to see just what you're doing different than most of us, if your battery system (same as most other GC-2 users) is only lasting "overnight".... Most get 2-3 days or even more from that same battery system.
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:42 AM   #4
steve james
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Thank you both for your feed back. I do have the GC2 batteries and I feel we are about normal for battery usage, Its our first time ownership of a TT and I haven't had much experience with one . All of our camping has been tent or pop-up until last year. I think that I was just expecting longer usage before recharging. Thanks again and yes I will monitor our usage next time out. By the way our TT sure beats the hell out of camping in a tent. Quote from my wife.
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:58 AM   #5
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You may want to get a good shunt-based battery monitor, like the Victron BMV-712. This will help you see exactly how much capacity you have, how much you are using at any time, etc. It helps you manage your energy usage in many ways.

Note that you should never allow the GC2 batteries to go below 50% SOC (state of charge) or their life expectancy will suffer. The battery monitor helps with this by showing you available capacity only (when the monitor says you are at 0, the batteries have been depleted to 50% SOC).

Given that you are new to TT, I'm not sure how you can know your usage is typical For example, if you sit at your fridge with the door open while you decide which beverage/snack to select, you let all the cold air out (it will just poor out the bottom) requiring a lot of energy to "re-cool" it.

We're just about in the same boat as you. We've installed the BMV-712 with 2 GC2 batteries. We've converted all our entertainment gizmos to run off of 12V and use a small inverter to run the TV (just like Logan-X, above). We're planning our first trip with this set-up to determine what our power consumption looks like. We'll see
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:37 AM   #6
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The battery monitor suggested by Mark is an excellent suggestion. I also use the Victron battery monitor and Iím very happy with it. It is extremely helpful to know the exact state of charge of your batteries and how much energy you are using so you know how long you can camp and when you need to recharge.

My guess is that if you havenít been monitoring the batteries , you may have depleted them too deeply and they may be damaged and not able to hold a charge.
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:01 AM   #7
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If you do most of your camping without hookups a basic solar system would most likely solve your issues...

Here is a nice basic package (and as recommended get a battery monitor so you know what you are using and the state of your battery charge)...

https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Monocr...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:10 AM   #8
steve james
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Again thank you all for your ideas , suggestions , and input . I'm leaving to surf the central coast of Calif on the 11th for a week + and I will be monitoring our usage daily. Not sure if you guys are interested but I'll post my daily battery draw down when I get back. To be honest with all of you , I've had better advice from you than the auto and RV dealers I went to. Thanks, surfs up
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Old 04-05-2020, 07:09 AM   #9
steve james
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Well got back from my surf trip, batteries didn't last a day before i had to run the generator. Did some more testing on my batteries and a some phone calls to Centennial the manufacture and found out they were almost a year older than my 2019 TT that I bought new. I also bought a cell tester which i should have done first and found a cell dead in both batteries. My bad . Need less to say they are out of warranty. So now I'm on to buying two new ones. Costco carries interstate 6 volts for around $100 any thoughts on them ?
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Old 04-05-2020, 07:35 AM   #10
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We purchased the Interstate 6 volt golf cart batteries from Costco. These were Costco item number 850284. This battery was recommended by others on this group, but there are other good batteries too.

Proper use and handling of coach batteries takes some learning - it's not like batteries in your TV remote. We purchased a battery monitor so we can see how our batteries are doing at any time. The unit we installed is the Victron BMV-712. Not only is it full-featured, but it also provides bluetooth connectivity so I can monitor from my smart phone.

I know there are some who say they can determine the state of charge of their coach batteries by looking at the voltage, but we found this is really difficult to do. Any load on the batteries (like lights, CO detector, water heater/fridge control boards, furnace, etc.) will change the voltage reading. The battery monitor takes all the guess work (and in-head calculations) out of the mix.

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Old 04-05-2020, 08:04 AM   #11
Ken / Claudia
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Some on here talk highly about them. I have had a pair since 07-19, they did work better then any 2 12v batteries that I have used on a 9 day dry camp.
I paid less for them than the last 2 12v batteries.
Several things to consider that you may or may not be doing. They need to be checked for water level and topped off. I try to check them every 2 months.
I got LEDs in all inside trailer lights that will help. Look up your refer and see if you have a heated door. I do and that takes power, I disconnect that when dry camping. You can look that up on past posts.
I monitor the volts with only a LED readout plugged into the 12v socket. Even with new 12v batteries that would be at or below 12v after spending a day hunting. The 2 6v this year never where below about 12.4 as I recall.
My genny is a yama 2000 and real quiet. I ran it every night, inside the trailer the furnace is louder than the genny. I let it run all night for 2 reasons. I am just plain wore out after all day hiking and hunting and am to lazy to get up and shut it off. Also, I now have a handheld GPS, 4 radios and 4 cell phones that need charged. If the day time temps will be at freezing I leave the furnace on at 60, other wise it gets turned off. Everything else but the refer is normally double checked to be off before leaving.
This is your 1st full size TT and even though you think your power use is normal, it's really possible its not.
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Old 04-06-2020, 04:43 AM   #12
steve james
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Thank you , Mark and Ken for your reply's . I should have tested the battery cells first before i went on line, feel kind of stupid by not doing so. I've never had a new battery go bad on me let alone two. Anyway thanks again for your input. I'll pick up a pair at Costco soon. I hope that all of us stay healthy , you never know i'll probably need your help again . Just curious Mark did you purchase your Cougar from Folsom Lake RV ?
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve james View Post
Thank you , Mark and Ken for your reply's . I should have tested the battery cells first before i went on line, feel kind of stupid by not doing so. I've never had a new battery go bad on me let alone two. Anyway thanks again for your input. I'll pick up a pair at Costco soon. I hope that all of us stay healthy , you never know i'll probably need your help again . Just curious Mark did you purchase your Cougar from Folsom Lake RV ?
Happens all the time. Sometimes when a problem seems overwhelming walking away for a bit and letting your head clear is the best course of action.
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve james View Post
Thank you , Mark and Ken for your reply's . I should have tested the battery cells first before i went on line, feel kind of stupid by not doing so. I've never had a new battery go bad on me let alone two. Anyway thanks again for your input. I'll pick up a pair at Costco soon. I hope that all of us stay healthy , you never know i'll probably need your help again . Just curious Mark did you purchase your Cougar from Folsom Lake RV ?
We did get our trailer from FLRV. This is our 2nd purchased new from them. We've had pretty good luck - for the most part. They took care of all the warranty issue and even said (in one case) that if Keystone refused, they would pay for it themselves. I've heard the GM (Angel) recently left so I'm not sure what it's like now.

There are many important factors about proper care of RV batteries, but if I had to pick the top 1, it would be that you should avoid letting the battery go below the minimum charge, which for flooded lead acid batteries, is 50%. This is why I think it is so important to have a battery monitor if you intend to run off of the batteries for any length of time.

There's lots of advice on these forums - don't be afraid to ask.
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