Post by LittleVintageTrailer on Apr 16, 2012 9:40:08 GMT -5
The trailer I just bought has 3 or 4 interior lights that are 12 volt and used when boon docking. The PO showed me near the tongue where there are a couple small battery terminal connectors that run along wiring. Looks sort of primitive to me but PO said those hook to a battery and run all the 12 volt interior lights.
I forgot to ask what size battery. Are we talking about a car battery or a smaller one like for a motorcycle or does it even matter what size I use?
Post by offspringin on Apr 16, 2012 10:10:46 GMT -5
i dont have one so i cant say for sure but reading the description of this battery it sounds like a marine battery may be a plus? for all the bouncing etc etc. i think the one on my dads trailer looks like a standard car battery too. its inside a plastic housing so i have never actually laid eyes on it but its the size of a car battery.
i would think you could replace the ends your holding with the clamp style that a car uses (buy the clamps at auto parts store) and be a little more official. dont want one of those clamps falling off and touching the frame and shorting out anything.
Post by LittleVintageTrailer on Apr 16, 2012 10:14:11 GMT -5
The wire runs under the trailer to somewhere....haven't looked yet. Then he clamped these to the tongue for transport. Is it not a good idea to clamp them to the tongue? No juice is flowing through them since they aren't hooked to a battery but maybe that's not a good idea anyway?
I was thinking since the clamps are so little maybe it meant using a smaller battery.
Post by universalexports on Apr 16, 2012 13:38:08 GMT -5
the best type of battery is a deep cycle marine battery, they will allow for more "juice" to be stored in it, and they are made to cycle, i.e. charge, drain, charge, drain etc.
a popular choice for a lot of the tiny teardrop trailer people is to use two 6 volt golf cart batteries wired correctly to produce 12 volts.
a regular car battery will work, but will not run the lights for as long a time.
another option if you will not be boondocking is a power inverter, that converts 120v to 12 volt for running lights. several do this, I have a nice one I will be installing in my camper so I can run the lights either way, 12v or 120v with an inverter.
Deep cycle marine. There is also a battery box available which allows you to check the remaining charge and charge it from outside the box. Its great, no more lugging or handling the battery, once its in the box. Both available at walmart. I think the battery was $70 and the box was about $49. We use them on the Airstream and the boat. Oh and those little clips are what we have on one of the boats. They seem to make a much better and tighter connection on a battery than the larger ones, imo.
Last Edit: Apr 17, 2012 0:24:48 GMT -5 by boandsusan
Post by universalexports on Apr 17, 2012 8:14:22 GMT -5
better to mount to the toungue, you "could" just carry it out there in your tow vehicle, then hook it up beside the camper. but keep in mind unless it is an approved sealed battery they emit gas or fumes and can explode from a spark, so definatly do not use it in an enclosed area.
Universalexports is correct, they are dangerous to carry inside a camper. From camper to battery hook up is usually on the tongue. Where is yours located? The battery box on our pontoon boat is located in the storage compartment under the back bench but with plenty of ventilation.
Oops missed one of your questions. Marine battery`s are heavy, too heavy for me. Mount the box to the tongue. Once the battery is in the box and the box is mounted, you should never have to touch it again, except to replace it. When the battery needs charging, we take our charger with an extention cord to the Airstream or boat. We don,t do it, but you can also set it up where your tow vehicle is charging your battery on the tongue of your camper while your towing. If we were travelling from campsite to campsite every few day, thats what we would do.
Last Edit: Apr 17, 2012 10:09:09 GMT -5 by boandsusan
Car batteries are made to put all their amps out at once to turn the engine over, so they have thin plates with a lot of surface area (that's why they rate them by cold cranking amps instead of amp-hours of storage). That makes them vulnerable to low states of charge, like you get when you boondock and drain them slowly for long periods until they're close to dead. They don't last long in that scenario because the plates get pitted when you discharge them too far, and they're too thin to take it for many cycles.
Real deep cycle batteries like they put in golf carts have really heavy plates so that they don't lose so much lead during discharge, they're made for slow steady discharging and large storage capacity. But they're also usually much bigger and heavier, which is great for long periods of boondocking but not so great for tongue weight if you can't put them near the axle. My two 6v cart batteries (Deka 8L-16) are each about the size of two big car batteries stacked on top of each other, and weigh about 115 lbs each, but they give me 370 amp-hours to play with.
Marine batteries are in between the two, they're not true deep cycle but they're better than car batteries. Probably fine for just lights.
If you can afford them, sealed, advanced glass mat (AGM) deep cycles are the best, because they can be put in any orientation, they're smaller and lighter than lead/acid cart batteries and they don't outgas.
A car battery will work ok if you can keep it charged every day or two, and don't let it discharge below about 50%. If you drain it every trip, it won't take many trips to kill it.