Do I really need my RV battery?

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tgwinn

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I have a 2004 Open Road 5th wheel on a permanent lot.  I do not tow it anywhere.  I only use shore power when using the RV.  The battery in the RV needs replaced.  My question is do I really even need a battery if I will only be using it with shore power?  It seems that everything runs just fine without the battery hooked up.  My concern is if I will damage something by not using the battery.  I would prefer to not mess with a battery if I don't need to, but I also don't want to create a new problem by not having one hooked up.

Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Tom Gwinn
Harrisburg, PA
 

Just Lou

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You won't damage a thing by NOT having a battery.

However, one thing that comes to mind is that during any power outages, your LP detector and alarm would not function without a functioning battery, and of course, NO 12v lights or 12v controlled propane appliances would work either.
 

donn

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Actually you do need the battery.  Remember the converter is in the simplest terms a battery charger.  It does not supply voltage directly to your trailer.  It only charges the battery, which in turn supplies voltage to the trailer.  Go out and buy yourself the cheapest GP24 deep cycle battery you can find at wally world, install it and move on.
 

Clay L

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That depends on the converter you have. Some like the Magnatek/Parralax 6300 series do require the battery to act as a buffer. Others such as the Magnatek/Parralax 7300 series do not.
 

SeilerBird

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donn said:
Actually you do need the battery.  Remember the converter is in the simplest terms a battery charger.  It does not supply voltage directly to your trailer.  It only charges the battery, which in turn supplies voltage to the trailer.  Go out and buy yourself the cheapest GP24 deep cycle battery you can find at wally world, install it and move on.
My converter supplies 12 volts to the coach.
 

John From Detroit

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I seriously doubt a 2004 RV will have a Magnetek 6300.. Most converters can indeed provide power to the RV, even the 6300 did that (Only ripple senistive systems like the radio were hooked hard to the battery, the 6300, when plugged in provided power to lights, water pump and such and by installing a "Battery simulator" was quite happy without a battery).

NOTE: I do not think they sell the magnatek battery simulator (under that label) any more.

But if you go to a high end automotive audio place they have something called either a "Hardening condensor" or a "Hardening capicator"

Same thing, Different label is all.
 

denmarc

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Something to keep in mind...

Parks and campgrounds can have a power outage too.  And you never know how long it's going to be out until the power comes back on!  A bad storm can knock it out for days.  I do believe your reefer requires 12VDC to operate the control board.  You could lose a fridge full of food if not prepared.  Not to mention a light or two at night during an outage, as Just Lou mentioned, without walking around with a flashlight would be nice.

Do yourself a favor.  Get a halfway decent true deep cycle on sale somewhere.  Or, go to a local battery distributor in your area and ask if they have any blems.  I have had really good luck getting quality batteries at a fraction of the price of new doing that.  They are usually load tested and ready to install.  And they have a short term warranty.  Which is better than no warranty if your thinking of buying a used battery off of Craigslist or the like.

Food for thought.

 

tgwinn

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So am I risking ruining my converter by not using a battery?  Like I said in my original post, everything seems to be working fine without the battery hooked up.

I do see the value of a battery in the case where power is out for the campground.  That is something that I had not considered.  I guess my primary concern is if I am damaging anything by running shore power with no battery.
 

Just Lou

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tgwinn said:
So am I risking ruining my converter by not using a battery?  Like I said in my original post, everything seems to be working fine without the battery hooked up.

I do see the value of a battery in the case where power is out for the campground.  That is something that I had not considered.  I guess my primary concern is if I am damaging anything by running shore power with no battery.

As I said in my initial reply.  You are hurting nothing.  NOT the converter.  NOT the loads.  NOTHING....
 

Marc L

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I ran mine for a while without a battery, I bought a replacement one as backup power during failures so the fridge keeps running.  I too have my trailer setup permanently. 

When I use my trolling motor, I just borrow the battery from the trailer, it's always full charge
 

denmarc

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As Just Lou reiterated, you won't damage anything.  You just lose the convenience of 12VDC if there is a shore power outage without a house battery.  Most find the loss of that convenience most undesirable and well worth the price of a quality house battery.

Your call.
 

John From Detroit

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tgwinn said:
So am I risking ruining my converter by not using a battery?  Like I said in my original post, everything seems to be working fine without the battery hooked up.

Not at all, in fact the greater risk would be if you had a battery.  A battery can short out and take a converter with it (Fuses should prevent that but.. Well there is a murphy's law about fuses not working)


No risk to the converter in NOT having a battery.

Another name for "Converter" is Power supply,  In fact I use my converter AS a power supply on occasion (OPPS occasions but hey... Sometimes you say OPPS).
 

tgwinn

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Thank you for your replies.  They were all helpful.  I think I'll keep a look out for a good deal on a battery so I have a backup in case the campground electric goes out.  Glad to know though that I am not hurting anything by not using one right now.
 

IrishBrewer

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Most converters I've seen have amperage ratings.  I bought a flood-damaged RV and one of the first things I had to do was replace the converter because the old one was fried by being submerged.  I replaced it with a 45A converter and this is the amperage that it can supply as a 12V power supply without any battery.  It supplies current to the battery while charging at a lower amperage.

The converters are sized to be able to supply all of the 12V power required by your 12V appliances and lights without requiring any draw from the battery. 

However, as others have mentioned, it is a good idea to have a backup battery for other reasons and if you just need it for short emergency outages, you won't need to get an expensive one.
 

sueh

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Ohio
Hello,
  Do I need to hook up  my battery just to open my slide and start my frig for the beginning of camping season? We won't be camping overnight yet, just cleaning up our site and opening the RV. We have a permanent sight and plug  into the campgrounds electric source. I have a 2006 Rockwood travel trailer.

Thanks for your time.
Sue
 

Alfa38User

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You may!! Some converters do not like to operate (produce the 12V needed) without a battery. The batteries act as a load and a filter and the converter output alone may not be sufficient to open that slide without assistance from a well charged battery. If you decide to tow at one point, a battery will be needed to power the break-away safety system for the trailer brakes.

My trailer is parked as yours is and I keep two batteries connected. Very useful, especially if there is a power failure. The fridge, water heater,  furnace and lights can continue to work if the 120V campground power drops out for any reason.
 

Rene T

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sueh said:
Hello,
  Do I need to hook up  my battery just to open my slide and start my frig for the beginning of camping season? We won't be camping overnight yet, just cleaning up our site and opening the RV. We have a permanent sight and plug  into the campgrounds electric source. I have a 2006 Rockwood travel trailer.

Thanks for your time.
Sue

My RV has a sticker next to the switches that says a 12 volt battery is required in order to operate the slides. I think it's because the motor for the slides draw so much current that the convertor cannot supply that much power whereas a battery will have power stored for that purpose.
 

John From Detroit

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I will give you three answers. First is the one that applies to your 2004,  NO, You don't.

You may now stop reading this post.  I am serious. STOP READING NOW if you have a 2000+ RV, the rest of this post is for other people.

Some folks with OLDER RV's may be "Belssed" (or is that 1/blessed) with a Magnetek 6300
This converter DOES need either
Answer 2: A battery or
Answer 3: A "Battery Simulator"

But since you have a 2004, you don't have one of those

I assume there may be OTHER older converters like the Magnetek but I've never seen 'em.
 

mel s

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tgwinn said:
I have a 2004 Open Road 5th wheel on a permanent lot.  I do not tow it anywhere.  I only use shore power when using the RV.  The battery in the RV needs replaced.  My question is do I really even need a battery if I will only be using it with shore power?  It seems that everything runs just fine without the battery hooked up.  My concern is if I will damage something by not using the battery.  I would prefer to not mess with a battery if I don't need to, but I also don't want to create a new problem by not having one hooked up.

Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Tom Gwinn
Harrisburg, PA

tgwinn
You may not NEED a battery in your 5th wheel to prevent problems....(but suggest you USE ONE rather than take a chance by NOT HAVING ONE).
 

mel s

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tgwinn said:
I have a 2004 Open Road 5th wheel on a permanent lot.  I do not tow it anywhere.  I only use shore power when using the RV.  The battery in the RV needs replaced.  My question is do I really even need a battery if I will only be using it with shore power?  It seems that everything runs just fine without the battery hooked up.  My concern is if I will damage something by not using the battery.  I would prefer to not mess with a battery if I don't need to, but I also don't want to create a new problem by not having one hooked up.
Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Tom Gwinn
Harrisburg, PA

tgwinn
Assuming that everything works correctly when you DO have a battery in your 5er...it MIGHT be a mistake eliminate the battery...(better safe than sorry).
 
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