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Author Topic: Battery Mod Complete  (Read 10273 times)
upnorthpup
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« on: April 05, 2013, 07:28:52 PM »

Heres some Pics from my recent Battery Mod

Went from a single Group 24 to a pair of 27's. Thanks to Oz and some other folks that gave me some good advice. I appreciate all the help. I had fun with the project and looking forward to my first long weekend with no shore power!  Wink

Before.......



During.........











After.........

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Dave and Toni
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09' Grand Caravan 4.0L w/ Tow Pkg
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Tenttrailer
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 07:42:00 PM »

that looks nice.
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austinado16
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 10:51:17 PM »

Clean, clean, clean!  Very nice job!
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rd3
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 03:45:59 AM »

very nice work, looks like it came from the factory that way
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upnorthpup
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 04:27:12 AM »

Thanks for the kind words  Smiley
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Dave and Toni
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RichN
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 05:15:19 AM »

 Looks great! I'm going to tackle this same project in a couple of weeks. Then, a double LP bottle set up.
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JiminDenver
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 05:34:03 AM »

Sweet looking mod, good job!
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beemerphile1
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 07:19:07 AM »

Looks great, very professional appearance.

I can't determine how you connected the wires but here is what I recommend;


The picture displays what is called a balanced battery connection.  It gives a bit more power and longer battery life than putting both cables on one battery of the pair.  Yours may be corrected correctly, I couldn't tell in the picture.

Edited for typo.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 07:20:11 AM by beemerphile1 » Logged

Tim
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upnorthpup
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 07:26:26 AM »

I connected them just as your picture shows.

I got some great advice from some of the folks on this forum on a previous post on how to hook them up

Thanks for the replies and all the advice
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Dave and Toni
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Chuck S
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 07:40:55 AM »

I think I'm seeing in the photos that the trailer ground wire (white) is connected to the port side battery and the trailer positive wire (red) is connected to the starboard battery. This is the traditional way of equalizing charging/discharging from a pair of closely matched batteries.

There remains, however, the unfortunate effect of the weaker battery -- and there's always a weaker battery -- constantly siphoning power from the stronger battery when they are connected in parallel. This happens all the time unless you disconnect the pair from each other when not charging/discharging.

The clunky, olde OFF-1-BOTH-2 marine battery switch will keep the batteries separate in the Off position which also prevents trailer parasitic loads (the LP detector and radio battery) from discharging the battery between camping trips.  This switch is essentially used in the OFF or BOTH positions ignoring the 1 and 2 positions.

It is usually more convenient to put the Negative wire on the battery switch as there are often a multitude of wires connected to the Positive side.  DC systems don't care which side you disconnect.

Parasitic discharge from on-board systems seems small but the LP detector and radio can suck our 25 amp hours in a week which is probably 20% to 25% of your useful battery capacity even with two batteries.  It's always prudent to disconnect the battery from the trailer between camping trips.

-- Chuck
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upnorthpup
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 07:58:40 AM »

Both batteries are brand new

I have a 30 amp outlet in my garage. I usually keep the pup plugged in 24/7 when I have it parked in the garage.

Would it be better to have the disconnect switch or let the WFCO charger keep them topped off?

Dave G
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Dave and Toni
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2013, 08:39:57 AM »

It's OK to leave the batteries on trickle charge but you must check the electrolyte level frequently until you determine the otherwise very competent WFCO charger is not boiling them dry.  Dry plates are dead plates.

I just charge my batteries when I return from a dry camping trip and then switch them OFF so there's no parasitic discharge.  And no chance of boiling them dry.  Switching off eliminates any unintended discharge.  An overnight charge the day before the next trip ensures they're topped off.

Over the winter my batteries have never dropped below 12.0v and that only once, they usually only drop to 12.3v.  It's cold here and my camper is in a barn for five (5) months with the battery switched Off. 

I consider the battery switch to be mandatory and constant charge unnecessary.

-- Chuck
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upnorthpup
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 08:45:47 AM »

Good advice Chuck

Thanks for the tip  Smiley

I think I'll pick up one of those disconnects
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Dave and Toni
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techntrek
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2013, 06:17:11 PM »

...
There remains, however, the unfortunate effect of the weaker battery -- and there's always a weaker battery -- constantly siphoning power from the stronger battery when they are connected in parallel. This happens all the time unless you disconnect the pair from each other when not charging/discharging.

...

No such thing.  Yes, there is always a weaker battery in any pair (parallel or series), but when they are connected as shown above for parallel batts, you minimize any issues.  There isn't any kind of parasitic draw when they are just sitting there even when connected.
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Chuck S
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 06:43:58 AM »

Batteries charge (and discharge) by voltage differential.  Two batteries connected in parallel will always have a voltage differential and the weaker battery will pull current from the stronger or the stronger will push current into the weaker, take your choice, it's the same effect.  With closely matched batteries this effect can be minimized -- perhaps to the point it makes no practical difference -- but it's always there.

Connecting the normal load to the negative pole on one battery and positive of the other will help keep the voltages in the two batteries as close to identical as possible, but they'll always be different and when other loads are removed the stronger battery will continue to charge the weaker and grow weaker in the process.  Normal self discharge of the batteries ensures the weaker battery will continue to get weaker and continue to suck current from the stronger.  The self discharge effect is accelerated.

Simple solution is to eliminate the parallel connection when not using or charging the battery.  Each battery will, of course, continue to self-discharge over time but the effect will not be compounded by the parallel charge/discharge effect.

In a camper trailer with very closely matched batteries this effect might be minimal but it's there.  This effect is almost startling in marine and motorized RV applications when folks leave their starting and house batteries in parallel accidentally or for want of knowledge.  In this application we have two different batteries.  One designed for starting the engine (high "cold cranking amps") and the other a deep cycle for lights and electronics. 

Parasitic loads within the vehicle can be startling as well and care should be taken to not only disconnect parallel wired batteries from each other but also from the trailer itself.  On my Roo 23SS the LP detector and radio memory will consume 25 amp hours in a week if the battery is left connected.  150ma x 24 x 7 = 25,200mah or 25ah.

Use of a pair of 6v batteries in lieu of a pair of 12v avoids the parallel effects.  Damage to one 6v battery, though, kills the entire system.  Having murdered too many 12v batteries Smile in parallel situations I'm using a pair of 6v.

-- Chuck
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 06:46:47 AM by Chuck S » Logged

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