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Old 04-07-2010, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default Battery Power

Being short on battery power while dry camping,I removed the 12v battery which gave me 55 amp hrs .I replaced it with 2-6v batteries(in series)which gave me 235 amp hrs.I fabircated a custom vented battery box using heavy sheetmetal with a hold down bracket and rubber isolators for the batteries.I also added a solar panel (I fabricated my own stainless steel brackets so I didn't have to penatrate the roof) to keep the batteries charged.The factory pump encloser(plastic)at the front of the trailer cracked and was falling apart. I rewired ,soldered all connectors & used heat shink tubing.I fabricated an insulated heavy sheetmetal box for this & used liqiud tight electrial conduit for all the wiring.Our HI-LO is a 21ft.1997 Towlite.We tow with a toyota tacoma.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:36 AM   #2
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Thumbs up batterys

I would love to see pictures of that . Sounds like what I'm about to do myself. The plastic battery box is toast on my 1993 19' that we just picked up
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve F View Post
I would love to see pictures of that . Sounds like what I'm about to do myself. The plastic battery box is toast on my 1993 19' that we just picked up
I'll try to get you pictures but it may take till the end of april.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:23 AM   #4
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I'll try to get you pictures but it may take till the end of april.
Works for me just fine,Thank You
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:05 PM   #5
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Default Battery power pictures

Here are pictures of my change over to 2 six volt batteries and sheetmetal boxes to hold the batteries and hydrolic motor.

Les
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

Excellent Les, Thank-You
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:14 AM   #7
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Les -

Very professional work, great job!

Neal
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:17 PM   #8
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Smile Battery Box

I had a similar battery box challenge when I realized that the 55 Amp original battery in my 2007 22ft Towlite would not reliably provide sufficient power for any thing more than raising and lowering the Hi-Lo.

I opted to purchase two 6 Volt Golf Cart batteries from Costco which gives me 220 amps at 12 Volts connected in series. The problem I had was the battery box was not deep enough to allow clearance between the battery box lid and the batteries, in fact the lid would short out the batteries with 4th of July effects! My solution was to have a local welder drop the battery box bracket 2 inches ... and while he was at it I had him reinforce the bracket. The front post was changed from a 2 inch by 1/4 inch strap to a 2 x 2 inch post with the original strap welded to it ... I also had him extend the sides to include braces up to the hitch. The bracket is now absolutely SOLID!

My expenses? I got the two Costco batteries for about $175.00 and the fabrication cost me $200.00.
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:18 PM   #9
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Nice job, but remember the more battery the longer it takes to recharge from a discharged state. I went the 2 battery route, even went to a fully electronic 80 Amp charger, But we only use the battery power with a 110 volt, 400 watt converter for TV and a DVD player, and a light only when needed, we use candles when boondocking, a good 12 volt would play 2 DVDs, I ran the generator each day for a short period of time with one battery, or every other day for a long period of time with 2 batteries. Didn't do us much good, however may try it again with the new trailer and a larger 110 converter. If you use a large 110 converter for other appliances or run a lot of lights at night then it is worth it, HI-Lo battery chargers are pretty good, the old one was 30 AMPs and the new one is 45. I have seen many people that the charger in their trailer was very small and they couldn't understand why it took so long to recharge the battery, even saw a guy trying to use a 2 AMP charger, this would take days to recharge. Just my two cents worth.
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:35 PM   #10
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Good Point! I have a 75 Amp electronic charger that I use when we get home and I will be increasing the tow cable charge circuit to 10 gage and 30 Amp fuse real soon. Currently the only 120 v appliance in the Hi-Lo is the AC and we never have shore power connected so it is not used, and we haven't succumbed to the temptation to bringing a TV ... yet. I just installed a 900 cfm MaxxAir fan at the entry and hope it meets most of our needs.

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:36 PM   #11
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Another battery problem, don't know if other people had this problem. I kept haven't a blown fuse in the tow vehicle for the trailer. Which then drained the battery with the fridge on DC while driving. Finally discovered that if the trailer battery was just a little bit discharged, when raising the top the hyd. motor would try to draw power from the tow vehicle and blow the fuse. The fix was to unplug the tow vehicle before raising the top. This worked great except I kept forgetting to unplug. Finally installed a relay (Used 2- 30 amp auto relays) in parallel in the positive wire from the tow vehicle. Attached the relay coil to the relay on the hyd motor, so that when I pushed the switch for the top to go up the relay disconnects the wire to the tow vehicle. Problem solved. I will also be doing this to the new trailer.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:42 PM   #12
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Let me preface this post by stating that I am no expert on electrical power, AC or DC. The first post in this thread stated that the 12v battery gave you 55 amp hrs (let's say that this will power lights for 10 hours) and you replaced that battery with 2-6v batteries (in series) which gave you 235 amp hrs. Since the new batteries provide just over 4 times the amp. hrs, does that imply you will have 40 hours of lights? If room permitted, could you add additional 6v batteries to increase the hours even longer?

We purchased our second Hi-Lo last year and I had a second 12v battery installed at Camping World but the overall battery power length did not seem to double, or for that matter, increase as I thought it would.

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Bob
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:33 PM   #13
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Well we took the new 2209 trailer for an overnight stay, just to check things out, no electric, temperature was in the low 90tys so needed to run the fridge exterior fan, that drained the battery, So it looks like I will be going to two batteries. Will probably stay with 2--12 volt for now. Even though the trailer was manufacture in Nov.08 the battery is relatively new, hasn't been used. The trailer has room for a second battery.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:05 PM   #14
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If you place two identical 12 volt batteries in parallel you end up with 12 volt and the accumulated amperage capacity. If you place two identical 6 volt batteries in series you end up with 12 volts and the same amperage as one battery.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:16 PM   #15
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When we bought our Hi-Lo new in 2007, the installed battery died on our first trip. To be fair, the charging fuse blew and it caused the battery to become completely discharged, but after that, it would never hold a charge again. I replaced that battery.

Then, I added a second battery, in parallel (two 12V batteries). The new 12V battery failed in the next year. I replaced it. Finally, the second "original" replacement battery failed early this year, so it's been replaced too.

Now I have two fairly new Costco batteries and so far, they seem fine. I keep them charged with a Battery Minder when the trailer is parked at my house. It's been on two trips (both boondock) since they were installed and they've functioned fine.

I tend to run my 1000 Watt generator for a couple of hours in the morning and again in the evening when we're camping. That seems to keep the charge at or above the 2/3 level. The refrigerator fan and the water pump are left on at all times. I HAVE replaced all interior lighting with LEDs, so that has surely helped.

My feeling is, these batteries are a bit of a crap shoot. They may last or they may fail immediately. This is my hangup with the 6 Volt batteries. If one of them goes bad, you're up a creek, since they're wired in series. At least with 12 Volt batteries in parallel, if one fails you can simply disconnect it.

- Jack
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:48 AM   #16
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I agree with you Jack, if one 12 volt goes bad just disconnect it but if 1, 6 volt goes bad your dead. Also, 2, 12 volt batteries in parallel have double the capacity of 2, 6 volt batteries in series. When batteries are wired in series you only get the capacity of one battery. In parallel the capacity doubles. Many examples of this can be found by just Googling (batteries in series) Also not all battery manufactures use the standard 25 amp discharge rate to determine the number of minutes the battery will last. Also when batteries are connected together they must be the same capacity battery best way to achieve this is both are same brand and type. RV batteries should be deep cycle and not auto batteries.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:31 AM   #17
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Great information here about 12V/Parallel vs. 6V/Series battery configurations as well as the need to strengthen the battery holder/box. The pictures are a big help, too! I am considering doing the same thing and feel that going with the 12V/Parallel set-up makes the most sense for my application. For those of you who have done this, where did you get your cables to allow you to connect the batteries in parallel? Or did you have to create your own somehow?

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:43 PM   #18
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Hi Jeff -

I just went to Autozone or Checker (I can't remember which). They have battery cables in various lengths. Since my batteries fit pretty much "side by side" I was able to use the shortest length cables they offer to parallel connect the two - I think they were 8". The cables come with the flat "tab type" connectors on one end so they can be simply screwed on to the accessory terminals of each battery at one side and on to the posts on the other. While I was there, I bought plastic covers for ALL post connectors to minimize the chance of an accidental short across the posts. (The metal lid of the compartment made me nervous.)

- Jack
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBStubbs View Post
Let me preface this post by stating that I am no expert on electrical power, AC or DC. The first post in this thread stated that the 12v battery gave you 55 amp hrs (let's say that this will power lights for 10 hours) and you replaced that battery with 2-6v batteries (in series) which gave you 235 amp hrs. Since the new batteries provide just over 4 times the amp. hrs, does that imply you will have 40 hours of lights? If room permitted, could you add additional 6v batteries to increase the hours even longer?

We purchased our second Hi-Lo last year and I had a second 12v battery installed at Camping World but the overall battery power length did not seem to double, or for that matter, increase as I thought it would.

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Bob
The 2-6volt batteries work great for my long weekend get aways.
The 12v battery which was 55 amp hours, was getting a few years old. If you pair up batteries, they have to be the exactly the same age and make or the batteries won't work efficiently. Two 12v batteries will give you 110 amp hours if the batteries where "matched". The 2-6volt batteries that I installed are rated at 235 amp hours each ( 235 amp hrs. didn't double because I wired in series to get 12 volts). To get more amp hours, take 2 sets of 2-6volt batteries wired in series(12 volts) Then wire each set in parallel to get 12 volts @ 470 amp hours.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:00 AM   #20
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I believe that is what I said ... but you said it much more thoroughly! If any one is interested in learning more about batteries try this site: How Lead Acid Batteries Work
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