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Author Topic: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)  (Read 3437 times)

Camper054

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So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« on: August 23, 2019, 11:51:16 AM »
Hi all,

The camper we bought few weeks back is getting ready for its maiden voyage this weekend! PO never replaced the battery in 6 years he owned it - he did tell me that. I took out the battery to Advanced Auto and had them charge overnight and nothing - it is dead and cannot be revived :). I knew that, but took a chance, anyway. I got myself a new battery last night and haven't put that on yet. Need your expert advice and suggestions on dos and don'ts on a couple of things before I put it on:

* Should I just hook it up the way it was before? It had two black wires connected to the positive end and two white wires connected to the negative end. That's it. Not sure about grounding - do I need anything else?

* After hooking up the battery, how do I know it is working correctly? Should the inside lights will lit when I turn on the light switches?

* Lastly, I know (PO told me) the fridge is 3-way. So, it should work on a 12-v battery. What do I need to do to put the fridge to run on battery (to check and also keep our food cold when we drive) to campsite (about 2 hrs drive). I know that the fridge should also run on propane, but I also do not know how.

* This is the battery I got, hope this will work?  AutoCraft Marine Battery, Group Size 24M, 800 CCA.

I know when I hooked up my camper to electricity at home, the lights, AC, and the fridge worked. I know that the AC would not run on battery, but everything else should, right?

I do not want to 'mess' things up by incorrectly hooking up the battery just before our first trip. But I know that the battery is important for the breakaway switch. I think I can separate out the the breakaway switch and just connect that and leave the other connections off (our campsite - as I was told - has full hook ups), for now. Since the previous battery was complete dead - probably has been for a couple of years, I wouldn't know if the PO had it hooked up correctly or not. (he never cared for the battery and probably didn't know that without a working battery the breakaway switch wouldn't work either)!

So, any and all suggestions and help would be immensely appreciated and million thanks to you all, in advance!

By the way, my camper is 2002 Coleman Cheyenne.
MC

Isaac-1

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2019, 11:59:09 AM »
First off that is the wrong kind of battery, that is a marine starting battery, you want a deep cycle battery.

What you do not want is a starting battery

You also do not want a dual use marine deep/starting

What you DO WANT is a true DEEP CYCLE battery

a deep cycle battery will not have a CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) rating, it will be rated in amp hours, or AH instead, and probably be around 85-100 AH in the size range that will fit in your camper.

As to the refrigerator, tell us the brand and model number and we can tell you more, chances are is a 2 way refrigerator, which will run on AC or on propane, but requires 12V DC from the battery to run the control electronics

p.s. the only deep cycle batteries that Advance Auto shows on their web site are the Yellow Top Optima AGM batteries, which are good, just very pricey, and may require a higher quality converter than your camper has to keep from cooking the batteries.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 12:06:06 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

SpencerPJ

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2019, 12:54:04 PM »
Sorry to say, But Isaac-1 is correct.  Not the correct battery.  He also is correct that you really don't want a duL use deep / start, although that is what I have and will continue to use until it needs replacing, but I am plugged in at State Parks always.  I bet the refer is a 2 way also, and it will have an auto option, that will use propane when not plugged in to115 VAC.  If you have not run refer yet, good chances you will need to purge the propane line, they are finiky sometimes.  And yes, everything should run on 12vdc battery, but be conservative with lights. 
2005 YukonXL; 2012 Puma 21BH TT
Paul & Julie

"Never argue with stupid people. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience" - Mark Twain

Rene T

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2019, 12:58:39 PM »
Before hooking up the wires, trace then back. One set of them should go right to the frame. That is the ground or negative (-).  The other wires should go to components. 
Always hook up the positive cables 1st then the negative wire
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Lou Schneider

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2019, 02:00:31 PM »
You should be able to put the wires back on the battery the same way they came off.  But be careful - some batteries have their positive and negative posts in opposite orientation to other batteries.  Make sure you don't connect the new battery backwards or you'll blow fuses and have other problems.

If you have a 3 way refrigerator, the 12 volt mode draws more current than the camper can pull through the charging wire from the tow vehicle.  If you leave it on 12 volts while you drive to the campsite, you'll have a low or dead battery by the time you get there.  Most newer refrigerators have done away with the 12 volt option for this reason.

Many people run the fridge on propane while driving.  If you don't want to do this, just leave the door shut until you get to the campground - a refrigerator will hold the cold for several hours if you don't open the door.

What is the make and model of your refrigerator?  Propane operation is pretty simple but how you light the flame can vary between specific models.  On some you just select Gas mode and the flame self ignites.  On others, you have to hold in a knob for a minute or so while you press on another spark igniter button to light the flame. 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 02:07:08 PM by Lou Schneider »

Camper054

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2019, 02:36:21 PM »
Thanks so much you all-

It looks like I have the 'wrong' battery!  Not easy to find a true deep cycle battery near me. I will have to take the battery back and probably get my old one back - if it has any charge at all, hopefully, it can be used for the breakaway switch, if needed (I hope not!).

As for the fridge, it is Dometic, not sure of the model, I need to open my PUP to find out, which I will do in a few hours to final packing and get ready for the trip tomorrow morning.

Thanks you all so much, again!
MC

Isaac-1

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2019, 03:28:15 PM »
If there is a Wal-Mart near you they at least sell the dual use marine batteries, and perhaps some real deep cycle marine batteries, not the greatest, but way better than what you have now. see https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Marine-Battery-Group-Size-24DC/49988408       though if you could fit a group 27,   29 or 31 that would be better like https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Lead-Acid-Marine-Battery-Group-27DC/49988411

note these are dual purpose deep/start batteries, so not the best, but way better than what you have now
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Camper054

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 03:46:15 PM »
Hi thanks!

My local Walmart do not have any in stock!  So, I got this one:

https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/battery/rv/deep-cycle/12/sli27mdc

Hope this one is 'good' and will work.  Thanks so MUCH for your help!
MC

Isaac-1

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2019, 04:17:07 PM »
Yeah, that one looks fairly good, Do you have a digital voltage meter, if not you may want to get one to keep track of the charge level on your battery, those 1/3, 2/3, Full LED's found in most RV's are nearly useless.

Something like https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B077S4VDGB/    They have a number of choices for around $10 Drok has a  good reputation for cheap import electronic components,  Just try not to discharge your battery below about  50% in order to maximize its life.  Here is a battery voltage / charge chart, note they are only accurate when there is no load on the battery and it has been off the charger for an hour or so to allow surface charge to dissipate.

https://www.rvtechlibrary.com/battery/bat_volts.php

p.s. these type are also handy as they combine a USB charging port with the DC meter, though you have to drill a hole to mount them https://smile.amazon.com/MICTUNING-Digital-Multimeter-Current-Motorcycle/dp/B078LWJZ1P/     I have a similar unit in my coach made by the same brand except it is in a square switch panel size case.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 04:32:49 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

SpencerPJ

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2019, 04:47:24 PM »
Good choice (especially in light of the urgency).  If I were you, I would make sure refer works on propane.  You will here it click and light, and stay lit hopefully.  They take a while to cool down. If you need to purge the system, I would open up gas on stove burner, light it for a minute.  That will get it flowing to the refer area as well.  What I do, is make sure everything is going to work as expected on propane (for the following days journey) then, I go ahead and plug into my 115vac garage, that will change refer to run on 115vac all night, cold and ready for the morning.  It also will charge your battery to 100%.  Win / Win.  If all else fails, charge your battery and take a cooler.  Enjoy your trip, safe travels  :))
2005 YukonXL; 2012 Puma 21BH TT
Paul & Julie

"Never argue with stupid people. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience" - Mark Twain

Isaac-1

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2019, 05:02:48 PM »
As mentioned RV refrigerators are slow to cool down, try to turn it on 18-24 hours in advance, on the plus side they tend to be well insulated, I turned mine off to defrost it after emptying it the other day and 5 hours later the ice was still solidly frozen to the back wall of the freezer compartment in 90+ degree heat (I have power in my storage shed 15 miles from my house so usually run the fridge all the time so I have cold drinks available when working on it).
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Howard R

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2019, 01:33:03 AM »
Also note that you will want trailer/fridge fairly level while you are getting ready and pre-cooling to prevent damage to cooling system.  For example if you are hooked to tow vehicle in driveway, which slopes down to street ... not good.  this is not a problem enroute, ie hills etc.

Howard
2001 Fleetwood Southwind 35R
V10   F53
2003 Jeep Liberty Toad
Minnesota

blw2

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 07:21:45 AM »
1st...I disagree about the advice against a marine hybrid.  True a starting battery is not the right choice, but the hybrid deep marine batteries are fine....IF you don't plan on doing a lot of off grid RVing.  If you always go to campgrounds and plug in, it'll be ok.  An occasional overnight with careful l electrical use will work ok....but I wouldn't expect more than that.

Golf cart type battery is better if you need more capacity....and will probably last longer if well maintained.

My 1st advice is to install a disconnect switch when you connect the battery and use it.  Anytime you store the unit disconnect the battery...even if only for a little while.  It will make the battery last a whole lot longer!

my popup had a 3-way fridge.  If you try to use 12V while towing, make sure your tow vehicle has a working 12V charge lead through the connector.  A fridge will drain a battery in nothing flat!  I used to turn mine on 12V when I started towing, then by the time we got to the CG it would be starting to get cool.  I'd turn it off if stopping for an hour for lunch enroute....  Once I left it on and logged into the truck for about an hour and my truck's starting battery was dead!
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Mark_K5LXP

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 12:38:45 PM »
Not sure where these comments about a propane fridge running a battery flat are coming from.  When I tested mine it draws 5 watts from 12V.  A group 27 battery could run a fridge like this for weeks straight.  The only question to answer is whether the OP is OK with running a propane fridge while in motion, which is a separate topic of discussion.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

Isaac-1

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2019, 12:54:43 PM »
Mark yours is likely a 2 way refrigerator, not a 3 way, though it still needs 12V for the control system, it does not run on 12V, it must also have either 120V AC power or propane to operate.  3 way refrigerators will run on DC battery power only and draw 250-400 watts nearly continuously.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Lou Schneider

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2019, 02:30:30 PM »
Not sure where these comments about a propane fridge running a battery flat are coming from.  When I tested mine it draws 5 watts from 12V.  A group 27 battery could run a fridge like this for weeks straight.  The only question to answer is whether the OP is OK with running a propane fridge while in motion, which is a separate topic of discussion.

We're discussing running a 3 way absorption refrigerator in it's 12 volt mode, where 12 volts is not only powering the circuit board, but also the heating element running the absorption cooling system.

A continuous 20 amp load will draw a single deep cycle battery flat in a couple of hours.  Less than that for a typical starting battery.  I learned this the hard way running the old vibrator powered tube radio while parked in my 1955 Chevy when I was a teenager.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 02:38:53 PM by Lou Schneider »

Mark_K5LXP

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2019, 10:27:20 AM »
 :'(  Sorry, missed that critical detail.  Running a fridge of any kind makes you appreciate the energy density of propane, or that which comes out of the RV park power pedestal. 

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

Camper054

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Re: So, I got myself a new battery, now what? -:)
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2019, 10:25:56 PM »
Hi all,

Thank you all so very much - I learned a lot and hopefully, now have a better understanding.  Will reach out to you if any more questions, as I know you all will be really helpful and again many million thanks!
MC