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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-04-29, 17:20

So my wife and I are getting ready to purchase our first RV*. While I have lots of questions, the big one I want to ask is if anyone has experience with Battle Born batteries? I don't want to use led acid, and am willing to pay the higher price for better batteries.

So, anyone use Battle Born batteries for anything?

Also, this thread will be for RV related questions/topics.

*This is the thing we are just about settled on.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-04-29, 19:25

Never used anything other than led acid batteries in an RV (standard and deep cycle), so cannot help with that. Never even heard of Battle Born batteries, must only be in the US. Our current RV (2008 Ford E450 based model) charges up several batteries with solar panels, and that runs all the 12vot stuff nicely, very nice to have for dry camping (no hookups).

We've had three RVs over the last 35 years or so, a van, and two class Cs motor-homes, one was home built (not by us), and the other was retail. Needless to say, if something can go wrong, it will on the first trip, and ever other trip too. On our 2008 the water lines burst on the first outing and so we had no running water for that trip. I think that was the worst thing, other than tire blow outs on the freeway. Luckily for us, it was always the rear dual sets.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-04-29, 22:56

Battle Born makes deep cycle lithium batteries. Expensive, but they come very highly recommended from every RV-er who has used them—at least as far as I can tell. They're pushing $1000 for a 100AH battery, compared to $150-ish for standard lead-acid and $250-ish for AGM. But they can be drawn down 100%, so you get the full 100AH, vs lead acid and AGM which cannot be discharged below 50% without damage, so you really only get 50AH.

My wife and I want to boon-dock, so we are looking for good batteries and solar panels that require as little maintenance as possible.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2020-04-29, 23:03

Can't help with specifics. Growing up my family had an RV, starting with a class C and later a class A.

Since remote work is becoming so common in my field, and 4G/LTE so fast, I've been very tempted to buy a <20' camper trailer and outfit it as a mobile workplace. Solar panels, a MIMO antenna with cellular router and some kind of desk jerry-rigged inside and I think I'd be quite happy.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-05-01, 09:28

I've always wanted to build an RV out of a sprinter van, and for the past month I've noticed a guy in the neighbourhood has been building one out of a white delivery van. He's got lightweight paneling and insulation up on the walls, and is custom building cabinetry for it. Every time I drive by he's a little further along. From what I can see it looks like he knows what he's doing, very neat.

Sprinters and Ford Transits are plentiful around here, but a good one isn't exactly cheap either.

.........................................
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-05-01, 09:48

One day I will own an RV. I've looked at doing it for a while and before my wife and I started having kids we actually looked at going full time RVing.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-05-01, 12:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
… started having kids …
Man, those things get in the way a lot, don't they?
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-05-01, 14:45

Both my sister and I were out camping before we turned one, not going RVing because you have kids is just an excuse.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-05-01, 15:42

Same with us, and we took my daughter camping everywhere.
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Brave Ulysses
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2020-05-01, 18:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Battle Born makes deep cycle lithium batteries. Expensive, but they come very highly recommended from every RV-er who has used them—at least as far as I can tell. They're pushing $1000 for a 100AH battery, compared to $150-ish for standard lead-acid and $250-ish for AGM. But they can be drawn down 100%, so you get the full 100AH, vs lead acid and AGM which cannot be discharged below 50% without damage, so you really only get 50AH.

My wife and I want to boon-dock, so we are looking for good batteries and solar panels that require as little maintenance as possible.
I do 6V Trojan Batteries in series.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-06-03, 16:30

We had our first trip over Memorial Day weekend. Had a few problems, the biggest of which was that the stock battery was just crap! (Our new batteries had not gotten here yet). Ran out of power the first night using nothing but the fridge and water pump. Fortunately, another of our group brought up his generator the following day and we were able to re-charge (we bought a generator to solve this potential future problem).

The BattleBorn batteries got here last week and I've been getting the wiring all sorted out. Two 100Ah batteries in parallel, a 2000W inverter, a solar panel adapter, and a 12v outlet. All the parts are here and I am getting the electrics in order before I build the new battery housing inside the storage compartment (putting them inside because they are $$$$ and I don't want them to get stolen.) The 12v outlet is for my wife's CPAP, and is far more efficient than going through the inverter. The inverter exists for other possible electrical needs when out in the boonies.

By the way, the two BB batteries and all of the additional electrics combined weigh less than the single lead acid battery I am replacing while yielding 4x the available power.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-06-03, 19:37

Does your RV not have propane for use for the fridge and hot water heater when not connected to power? It won't matter what batteries you've got running a RV fridge will run them down fast. We've had to run the generator in our unit a few times when we were camped in shady areas, that made the solar panels less than useful.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-06-03, 23:17

The fridge is propane, yes, but it still uses a *small* amount of 12V DC power. The water heater is also gas, but the *pump* is electric! That should tell you just how bad the battery is. Either that or we have a monster electrical draw somewhere. We'll find out after I get the new batteries installed this weekend.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-06-04, 14:43

Yes the ignition system for those are electric, that’s normal. Shouldn’t be killing even a normal 12V deep cycle battery in less than 24 hours. You must have something sucking power. Are there lights in your storage bins? Radio/stereo on standby? We found turning off the water pump when not in use helps. If you had the furnace on that would do it too, the fan for them can really suck power.

With our first RV we could go 6-7 days on a single 12V standard battery with running lights 3-5 hours a night, the fridge, water pump and water heater. The new ones are far less efficient though.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-06-04, 14:53

Only other thing running was the stereo on standby. Everything else was shut down, and we never used the furnace.

Of note, the tongue jack fuse blew on the way up, and I think that may have drawn down the power. But that's an uneducated guess.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-06-06, 11:19

The support jacks on our motorhome are manual cranks, so I don't know what kind of power draw that would have. Given that it would likely be a hydraulic system, it could draw a fair bit of power. A short causing a fuse being blown could be an issue for sure.

I one of the biggest points of draw down I've seen in the past would be the water pump, like if you had long showers, or if a tap was left ever so slightly on. Either would cause the pump to stay on for a long time. Of course in the latter case you'd hear the pump, and start looking, but I don't know how loud the newer units are. Usually fans, like the stove hood fan or ceiling fans are very low draw, our solar panel has no trouble at all staying ahead of that.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-06-08, 12:24

Well, I got my new batteries installed and this weekend we are taking the trailer out for go #2. I installed 2 BattleBorn 100Ah batteries, a 2000W Energizer inverter, and a dual-plug 12v charger with 2 USB ports and a 12v socket which is connected directly to the battery. Now, even when not connected to shore power, we will have enough juice to run the C-PAP with a 12v power supply, a coffee maker, and other such things, as well as the normal power needs. I also got a 3500W generator and a 200W solar panel. I have yet to test the generator and the solar panel (weather has been less than ideal) but hope to get to that tonight or tomorrow. I am also going to figure out some sort of water-proof cover for that so it can ride in the back of the truck.

I removed the stock lead-acid battery from the tongue and built a new box inside the storage bay for the new batteries, and then replaced the old battery box with a double-wide box and am using it to hold all the miscellaneous sewer bits* (adapters, clean-out hose, etc.). We'll see how that goes, but it keeps all of that stuff out of the trailer storage.

By the way, if any of you have need for consistent power beyond just the normal stuff (say, for a C-PAP), I highly recommend Power Station from Jackery. I bought one—and the 100W companion Solar Saga panel—to make absolutely certain that the C-PAP had power. If you have any need for stable, clean, renewable power while out and about, I highly recommend these two products. Very well crafted, easy to set up and use, and they seem quite durable. It worked, and it worked well. I have the 500W system, and it was able to power the C-PAP for 9 hours from it's built-in inverter, and 12 hours+ from the 12v (we didn't have the 12v adapter our first time out, but we got one and tested it from home. The 12v adapter seems to do about 20% better not having to convert and waste power as heat). The 100W solar panel was able to recharge the 500W system in about 8-9 hours in mostly good sun. We used the system for 3 nights and had to recharge twice (the first charge was at home). The Power Station came with a 110v transformer and a 12v adapter. The Solar Saga came with all the necessary connecty bits, and also has a built-in 2.1A USB-A socket, and a 3A USB-C socket. We tested the USB connector recharging iPhones and such, which obviously cut down on the available wattage to recharge the Power Station, but it was only by a few watts and maybe added 15-20 minutes to the general recharge time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
The support jacks on our motorhome are manual cranks, so I don't know what kind of power draw that would have. Given that it would likely be a hydraulic system, it could draw a fair bit of power. A short causing a fuse being blown could be an issue for sure.

I one of the biggest points of draw down I've seen in the past would be the water pump, like if you had long showers, or if a tap was left ever so slightly on. Either would cause the pump to stay on for a long time. Of course in the latter case you'd hear the pump, and start looking, but I don't know how loud the newer units are. Usually fans, like the stove hood fan or ceiling fans are very low draw, our solar panel has no trouble at all staying ahead of that.
Our support jacks are manual, but the tongue jack is electric with a manual backup. Also, the water pump was only running when called upon. I am convinced that the trouble was two-fold: 1) There was a short in the tongue jack fuse that drew the battery down; and 2) the stock Lead Acid battery wasn't all that special. Both of those problems have been dealt with, and this weekend will tell whether or not I'm crazy, as I plan to run all kinds of random crap just to see what the new system can handle.

Hopefully, I don't burn the joint to the ground!

* The main sewer hose is in the rear bumper.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)

Last edited by kscherer : 2020-06-08 at 12:44.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-06-22, 18:17

And an update to that:

We now have 200 amp-hours of power available. We used the 12V adapter to run the C-PAP, the inverter to run a Keurig Mini (once), and all of the other 12V stuff running directly from the batteries. After 2 nights out, we barely used 20% of available battery power. I never used the generator or the solar panels, and at the end of the trip we left confident that the new batteries provide enough power that we can use whatever resources we choose with zero concern of running low on juice. Plus, I am now confident that we could go boon-docking for a week and water would be our only concern, especially with the generator and solar panels as backup. In fact, I now know that the solar panels would easily keep up with day-to-day needs under reasonable circumstances.

These batteries are awesome!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
  quote
Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2020-06-28, 23:06

I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on a Taxa Cricket.



(manufacturer's photo, obvs)

I'll need to upgrade my car though. Can't very well tow anything with a Honda Fit. Debating between paying cash for a used RAV4 or Subaru Outback, or maybe biting the bullet and just buying an Outback new since Subaru is offering 0% financing for 60 months.

On the other hand, a new car *and* camper is a lot of money to throw down.
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takelarge789
BANNED
I am a filthy spammer.
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
 
2020-07-22, 05:46

*Snip*

I'm not letting this jackass disrupt the thread, so its crap has been deleted.

~ Kscherer

Last edited by kscherer : 2020-07-22 at 11:18.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-07-22, 11:22

I saw one of those on our last camping trip. It was … weird?
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2020-07-22, 11:54

Just watched the videos on that. That looks pretty damn cool.

Seems like a modern interpretation of what a "pop-up" camper could be like.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-07-22, 12:28

They're interesting. The one I saw was housing a family of 4—mom and dad and two little kids, maybe 4 and 6.
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2020-07-22, 18:51

Anyone have tips on used cars that can tow? I'm thinking about an older RAV4 with the Adventure or TRD package. I'd rather not take on a big loan for a new car right now.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-07-22, 23:27

Many of the new models cannot be towed without moving the drive axle off the road, so getting used is a good idea. Anything with a CVT is out. We made sure we got a 2014 CRV, because the later models cannot be towed. Cannot speak to the RAV4, I don't recall seeing many/any towed on the level. Most people had Jeep SUVs and Hondas for level towing, I worked at a privet campground one summer after college, so I did see a good number of people doing it.
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2020-07-22, 23:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Many of the new models cannot be towed without moving the drive axle off the road, so getting used is a good idea. Anything with a CVT is out. We made sure we got a 2014 CRV, because the later models cannot be towed. Cannot speak to the RAV4, never seen one towed on the level. Most people had Jeep SUVs and Hondas for level towing, and I worked at a privet campground one summer years ago.
I meant the other way around. Looking for recommendations of a used car that can tow a trailer.

I've read the recent model years of the Toyota RAV4 have some serious reliability issues, but the older 2011-2014 models seem to be doing well. There are also a *lot* of used Ford Escapes on the market in the $12-14k range.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-07-23, 10:53

When there are a *lot* of used models on the market you can get them cheap, but you have to wonder why they are there. Some of the escapes use the same clutch that our Ford Fiesta used and the clutch was recalled. We had to take advantage of Idaho's lemon law because Ford could not figure out how to fix the darn thing. In other words, avoid them, especially as a tow vehicle.

Make sure to check the max tow weight of the vehicle and compare that to the max payload weight of the trailer, and then make sure those two are separated by at least 10%.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2020-07-23, 14:24

Ah for towing. The entry level SUVs don’t have a lot of towing power, not for camping trailers anyway. Maybe a lightweight tent trailer, anything else is going to burn out the transmission in short order.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-07-23, 14:41

I've seen people towing with midsize jeeps and Honda Pilot-type SUV's. The RAV-4-sized things are really pushing it. The newer models average in the 2000-ish pound capacity. which would be a problem for that Cricket thing, which has a dry weight of 1800 pounds. Loaded with 20 gallons of water, food and other supplies, and it will be over 2000 pounds. Some of the stronger RAV-4 configurations can pull up to 3500 pounds, but they don't have "towing" transmissions, so what PB PM said.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
  quote
Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2020-07-23, 15:09

Good to know, especially given that any trip I take means I-70, which has a 6% grade at 11,000ft elevation.

Sounds like I should get something that's at least a V6? What about a used Pilot with 4WD? Not too many on the used market but there's a few nearby for $15-20k with ~70k miles. My father has a 2008 Pilot at 250k miles and it's still going strong. It's rated for 4500 pounds, but I'm not sure how to evaluate if its transmission is up to the job.

Or should I just go straight for a truck, like a used F150?

Last edited by Ryan : 2020-07-23 at 15:23.
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