Going to add more batteries

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by Lampie, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    This is something I have wanted to sort out for a while and now have the time to do it.

    My Coachmen Santara only has 1 x 85a hr battery on domestic side and is a total waste of time. So I wish to replace it. I would like to keep the location the same ( under step as you enter ) . To remove old battery tray and replace with larger on is not a problem but I am concerned that if I add more batteries the access to them for maintainance may be a problem as you may only be able to see two under the step.

    So what I would like to know is

    1/ How many batteries shall I add ( was thinking 3 or 4 x 110a hr )

    2/ What type of battery ie sealed or not

    3/ What size charger should I have

    4/ What is best make and best place to buy from.

    Any advice much appreciated


    Regards

    Lampie
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you could go the extra mile and buy gell batteries.

    i think these are totally maintainance free (could be wrong though)
     
  3. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    I don't know too much about batteries just know that what I have is a waste of time, just would like peace of mind to know power would be there when needed. We mainly hook up anyway but this summer we might try something different and it is not always right to be running the on board genny.

    Regards

    Lampie
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    We manage with 85Ah. I think it lasts about 3 days though we've not run out ever.

    You stick in 300Ah and you've quite a charging problem. A quick guess says a full 24 hours of hook up to charge them fully ( though you shouldn't let them get that low ).

    I don't want to interfere but should you be looking at your usage ?

    And don't forget the weight of 3 or 4 batteries, could that be a problem ?
     
  5. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    From what I have read on various forums most RV's have more batteries than mine, just thought if I replace this 85a hr one again then why not go larger.

    Reagrds

    Lampie
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    Sorry , but I have to disagree with John, IMO GEL are a waste of money for an RV, buy the cheapest FLAs (flooded lead acid) you can find, and don't waste money on 'branded' batteries.

    I have 4 x 85ah cheapo FLA batteries and they are still going strong after four years.. total cost was £120 and they have been abused.. often ran way below what is considered good for them.

    Re charging.. what do you have at present ?

    If it's the bog standard RV charger/power supply unit running off the 110v supply it won't perform well on the 50hz from the tranny, pretty useless at the best of times... if you want to upgrade consider replacing with a decent 50A four stage charger such as Sterling.. spend money on the charger rather than expensive GELs
     
  7. olley

    olley Funster

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    1 as many as you can fit in

    2 ordinary batteries are the most cost effective

    3 30-50amp

    4 Phoenix batteries at the shows, charger from Sterling.

    Brian RV's aren't built to be economical with power, just running my heating overnight would kill an 85amp.

    Olley
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Beat me to it..

    not only that, there is the plasma TV , entertainment centre , outside flood lighting, extractor fan.. etc etc :Laughing::Laughing:
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Sorry, I realised afterwards that you had a monster. The American Way :)

    If you have the space and weight is not a problem AND you don't want to live off solar then it's a whole different ball game.

    Excuse me now, I'll crawl back into my little Burstner and mutter things about Yanks and global warming :)
     
  10. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    Do you lads have the sterling charger if so where did you get it and what model. Mine is just the original 110v one thought might have to change it. Seen some 110a hr for sixty quid on sale locally at moment would you go for them ?.

    Regards

    ampie
     
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Yes I've got the message. I'm not sure what the message is though it paints a picture of the good old US of A total disregard for efficiency.

    Do they have to be that inefficient ?

    It's all very well when things are working but what you are saying is that if your charger fails you'll freeze to death sooner rather than later.

    Me, envious of the massive interior luxury ? Oh no, no, no, honest.
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    And the meek shall inherit the Earth, some guy said. So that's your inheritance screwed.

    UltraLeds will sell you a bulkhead LED fitting that would do justice to a football pitch and all on 300mA.

    I still manage a dish washer and washing machine on 85Ah. Mind you, she does moan a bit.
     
  13. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi lampie price sounds OK for the batteries, I got my 50amp sterling charger from Yacht bits I think Charging & Power Management

    I think someone's a little jealous. :BigGrin:

    Olley
     
  14. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Olley

    Found that site while searching for sterling chargers they do seem to be a good price from them compaired to sterling direct. Do you have the remote panel with yours as well or did you not bother with it. Think I may go back and get the batteries as they are only on offer till end of month.

    Be interested to see what others think of the charger.

    Thanks again

    Lampie
     
  15. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi Lampie I got the 50amp pro-digital charger, didn't bother with the remote pad as I already have a xantex battery monitoring system.

    GT used to reckon Sterling where the bee's knees; no higher recommendation. :BigGrin:

    Olley
     
  16. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Olley


    I think a trip to see Sterling might be the thing to do and have a look at it , they are not that far away, no point putting batteries on without a good system to look after them .

    Like the fact that it would work in 110v at the right Hz off genny as well, and that you can change the way it draws power if on small supply.

    Anyone else with one love to hear your thoughts.

    Regards


    Lampie
     
  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Lampies problem was access to the batteries for maintainance Jim.

    he said if he replaces the original, understep battery tray with a bigger one, he said thats no problem, to take 4 batts then he cant get to the two rear ones without removing the tray.
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi John

    I see your reason for suggested GEL ..

    however, if I were fitting I would still make some provision for maintenance .. GEL or otherwise.

    Jim
     
  19. Wall-E

    Wall-E Read Only Funster

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    Adding Batteries?.

    Hi Lampie,
    There is a six page spread in this months (February) MMM magazine about adding batteries to Motor Homes by John Wickersham.
    He as come to the conclusion that is best (If room available) to use ONE large capacity Marine or golf buggy battery, than adding one, two or three extra leisure batteries. His reasoning is that it is that all the batteries have to be the same size (Amps), in the same condition, all being capable of receiving the same level of charge. also the weight of all the single batteries will be far greater than, one large capacity battery and that the vehicles/habitation battery charging set up, will be able to cope much better. With a lot less wiring to boot and only one battery to anchor down. read for yourself, don't shoot the messenger.
    Wall-E.
     
  20. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    For me to make a larger tray is not a problem there is loads of space , and I would make it that I could lower it down to service the new batteries but it would not be a five minute job. Just wondered if sealed batteries would be easier. Having looked at the chargers suggested I can see why it would make sense to buy normal batteries and buy a good charger. Good to get the feed back from you guys ...... thanks

    Lampie
     
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