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japanders

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Posts
7
Hi all! This is my family's second year with our TT, and we are hoping to take even more advantage of it this year. Our travels last year took us over 2900 miles, with the longest trip being about 600 one way. Our trailer is a 2016 Forest River Wildwood X-Lite 261BHXL that we bought used after the new one we put a deposit on got held up in the factory with parts on backorder :(  Oh well...  Our truck is a 2017 Ram 1500 crew cab with the Hemi and 3.21 axle. It's done great so far! I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about either.

One of our goals this year is to increase our battery capacity and spend a few nights in the forests in SD and NE unplugged. I'm hoping you all can help us with that! I'll take a look around and see what I can find on the message boards.

Nice to meet you!
 

IBTripping

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
1,700
Location
Virginia
Welcome to the forum. Nice place; nice people. What batteries do you have in your current battery bank; number of batteries, 12 v, 6 v, and amp hours of each battery?
 

japanders

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Posts
7
It's a single 12v that I think is a cheap starting battery. I can't find anything listing any CCA or AH ratings on it. We went out for one night last fall and woke up around 2 AM to the fridge clicking. I think it was trying to switch back to 120v power since the battery didn't have enough juice left. Other than the fridge, we only used a couple lights for a few minutes each, the water pump to flush the toilets and maybe was a few dishes, and I think we turned the radio on in the evening.

I'm planning to get a pair of 6v, battery monitor, and a new converter in the spring. We are also looking at replacing all or most of our lights with LED bulbs.

My goal is to just extend our season a little earlier and later in the year by allowing us to run the furnace for a bit in the evening to keep the chill off. Our state parks just raised the fees to $25 minimum for a 30A electric-only site, but there are a few NRD parks that only charge $6 for the primitive sites (where we were staying in the beginning of this post). We'd also like to go up to the forests for dispersed camping.
 

jackiemac

Site Team
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Posts
7,313
Location
Scotland
Hi and welcome to the forum. Lots of info on boondocking, solar and batteries etc.

Let us know if you have specific questions.

Good luck,
 

IBTripping

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
1,700
Location
Virginia
japanders said:
I'm planning to get a pair of 6v, battery monitor, and a new converter in the spring. We are also looking at replacing all or most of our lights with LED bulbs.

My goal is to just extend our season a little earlier and later in the year by allowing us to run the furnace for a bit in the evening to keep the chill off. Our state parks just raised the fees to $25 minimum for a 30A electric-only site, but there are a few NRD parks that only charge $6 for the primitive sites (where we were staying in the beginning of this post). We'd also like to go up to the forests for dispersed camping.

Looks to me like you are on the right track to meet your goals. Two 6 volt deep cycle batteries may give you a couple of nights, maybe 3, if you are careful on your electricity use. Wise move going with LED lights. You might consider a small generator or portable solar to charge batteries for a few hours during the daytime. Sam's Club, Costco, and Batteries Plus Bulbs are low cost places to obtain 215 AH 6v batteries. For a little more cash, you might consider getting a couple of 235 AH 6v batteries at Batteries Plus Bulbs. Here's a link: https://www.batteriesplus.com/battery/rv/na/6/sligc125

You've got a newer TT. What is the reason you think you should change the converter/charger?

 

japanders

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Posts
7
jackiemac: Thanks! I'm trying to look around and see if my questions have been answered elsewhere before creating new threads. I don't like to be "that guy"! Do you have any tips or "must buy" items for newbies?

IBTripping: Thanks for the tip on Batteries Plus. I'm always game for squeezing a few more drops of juice out of the batteries. As for the converter, I've read that the cheaper trailers like ours typically come with single stage chargers that aren't good on your batteries. It's been in storage this winter, so I haven't had a chance to look at it since I started learning about the electrical system in depth. Perhaps the factory unit is sufficient? I'd be happy not to have to replace it and save a few bucks...maybe for that small generator.
 

Gizmo100

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Posts
3,029
Welcome to the RV Forum japanders

Your on the right track with your battery upgrade. Our TT came with the Starter /deep cycle battery. We upgraded to the 2 six volts and they work at least 3 times better.

Our TT is a 2017 and it has a 3 stage converter so no problem with ours

I'm surprised you don't already have LED lights.
 

japanders

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Posts
7
Here's what my manual says regarding the charger:

"If the battery is below its full charge, the converter charger will begin operation at a rate that reflects the level of discharge. When the battery is again fully charged, the converter charger drops its charging level back to a maintenance level to keep the battery fully charged."

I guess that sounds like a multi-stage charger???

And 2016 was the last year before they switched to LEDs :(  Just a little too early. Oh well, we got a great deal on the trailer!
 

IBTripping

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
1,700
Location
Virginia
I'm sure your converter/charger is a modern multi-phase charger.

On the other hand, my 1996 TT has an ancient converter/charger. I had to order a replacement. Not very expensive. But, I'm slow, so it's a 2 hour job.
 

jackiemac

Site Team
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Posts
7,313
Location
Scotland
If your fresh water tank needs pressure to fill it, I'm not sure if they all do or not, then a useful item to have is a water pump.  That enables you to refill the water without moving the TT.  We got a cheap one from Harbor Freight for around $50 and 6 of the collapsible water containers from Walmart. The pump plugs into the 12V socket in truck...

Really useful even in the State Parks if you are not close to the water spigot!

https://www.harborfreight.com/12-Volt-DC-Transfer-Pump-63324.html
 

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