Need battery advice!
Greetings! I need advice from the experts.
We have an 2006 5th wheel toy hauler that has a built-in generator and does well enough boondocking off the generator but we’d like to visit some boondocking sites that don’t allow generators. For the most part, we’re usually on shore power or running a generator so I don’t want to go overboard on solar and battery upgrades but want to be able to hold out longer than we’re currently able. We also have a small teardrop that my wife uses for solo trips or we take to parks that can’t accommodate our 40-footer so I’m hoping to make some upgrades that can be transferable between the two rigs or to a new RV when we decide to make the jump. Primarily, I want to be able to run our fridge on propane, some 12V fans, and in colder temps, our propane furnace.
I’ve already purchased a Renogy 100 Watt Solar Suitcase with the built in Voyager MPPT charge controller. I currently have a single flooded deep cycle battery that also starts my generator. It’s old and is need of replacement anyway. I’m considering upgrading to two 12V, 100Ah gel batteries wired in parallel but have two concerns.
1) Do I risk overcharging them when connected to shore or generator power? The converter currently installed is a Progressive PD9160A. Would I need to install something to control charging while on shore or generator power?
2) Will I have enough amperage to still start the generator or would I need another starting battery?
Thank you in advance for your suggestions!
1) No worry that the converter will overcharge, usually it's the other way around, chronic undercharging. I think the OEM try and error on the side of undercharging so the batteries don't overcharge and boil over and run dry. Not a problem with gel but many are using wet cell batteries and of course, most folks have no clue that they need to add water now and then.
2) I don't think you'll have a problem but if you do, a good idea is to carry a little 12V jump start box or cables and use the tow vehicle to jump-start the genny
Thanks, Ray! I appreciate your help!!!
If you have the room I would go with 2 six volt batteries to double your AH and keep your 12 Volt system. I replaced my six volt batteries with 100 AH Battle Born batteries. I use the Battle Born battery to start my generator. You could check with them on seeing if your converter is compatible with their batteries. You can swap the battery to the other trailer when you use it. The thing to remember about Lithium batteries is you get to use 90% rated capacity verses the 50% on wet cell or AGM.
Thank you, Grump!
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