Battery Recommendations

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Joined
Oct 9, 2018
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Hello again everyone,

We've determined that our camper's 12V battery is dead.  We're in no big rush to purchase a new one until we get some nice camping weather again in May, but I thought I'd get some recommendations from you all about some quality deep cycle battery options.  We go on at least one camping trip per month during the upstate New York camping season, sometimes two per month.  The majority of those trips we have shore power available, but once or twice per year we'll hit up some of our favorite state park campgrounds with no electricity, so we'll rely on the battery for those trips.

First and foremost I'd like a quality battery, but price is always a factor of course.  Any specific suggestions, or at least some suggestions as to where we should purchase it?  It's easy to walk into Wal-Mart and buy a battery but you never know what you're getting there.  Thanks in advance!
 
If you have room for it, a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries wired in series to get 12 volts is usually the best bang for the buck option.  Best brand is Trojan, specifically the T series T-105, etc., as they now have a cheaper battery out to compete with the bargain brands, though even off brand golf cart batteries will outperform name brand marine deep cycle batteries in this application. 
 
Oh wow, I didn't even know that was an option.  It would seem like we have plenty of room on the trailer tongue to rig that up, but as far as I can tell we only have one set of battery cable/connectors (one positive one negative) available to connect to the battery.  How would two batteries be connected?
 
I too will suggest a pair of 6 volt golf car batteries (GC-2) if you have the room ..

If not check out the GC-12

These are DEEP CYCLE!! batteries designed for exactly the type of service we use them in.

Most of the 12 volt batteries are MARINE/deep cycle and these are mostly starting batteries. Not that good for RV use as if you run 'em down too far they age super fast.

THe GC-batteries are DEEP CYCLE.

NOTE: yes you can get DEEP CYCLE batteries in 12 volt sizes. Kind of pricy though.

Also the GC-2. is the best "Bang for your buck" as you get more capacity for less money than any other size.

Brand.. Well my Originals. (Interstate) lasted 9 years.. My new ones (DEKA) look like they may go longer. but I've learned more and that also has an effect.

DEKA (East Penn Battery) is made in the USA. ENtierly.. Most other makers at least import the lead.
 
GolgiApparatus said:
Oh wow, I didn't even know that was an option.  It would seem like we have plenty of room on the trailer tongue to rig that up, but as far as I can tell we only have one set of battery cable/connectors (one positive one negative) available to connect to the battery.  How would two batteries be connected?

You need to wire them in series so that the two 6 volt batteries add up to the equivalent of one large 12 volt battery.

Your negative cable goes to the negative posts on one battery and the positive cable goes to the positive post of the second battery.  You then connect the two with a short cable between the two remaining posts.
 
Also, consider getting a portable solar panel. Like you, we only dry camp a couple times every year. We use portable solar to put some juice back into the battery. An inexpensive 100 watt panel should be sufficient for the fridge and LED lights on occasional weekends.
 
About Trojan versus big box golf cart batteries.
--  Costco & Sam's Club sell golf cart batteries for under $100
--  Your limited dry camping days in a year, as well as not using the RV from October to May, doesn't warrant paying a premium price for Trojan, or maybe even the lower cost Trojan mentioned by others.
--  Discharging a battery below 50% as well as not keeping the battery fully charged will greatly reduce the life of an expensive Trojan just as it will a big box GC battery.
--  About not discharging a battery below 50%.  If you don't have a battery monitor such as a Trimetric https://www.bogartengineering.com/products/trimetrics.html it is very difficult to KNOW how far you have discharged, as well as charged the battery.  The key is having a monitor to display how many amp hours (AH) have been discharged.

Recommendation:
--  Buy a pair of 6V GC batteries at a big box store, when you store the RV, pull the batteries and keep them in your garage and charge them monthly with an inexpensive battery charger. 
--  A pair of GC batteries will work fine for 2-4 days dry camping as long as you don't use lots of battery power.  Just using a couple of lights for 2-3 hours at night, no TV, no furnace, just charging electronics and laptops if you take them, and you can go for those 2-4 days w/o charging the batteries.  You do want to be sure to get the batteries back to 100% after your dry camping.
 
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