Batteries for dry camping

Discussion in 'Full Timing' started by geo24a, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. geo24a

    geo24a New Member

    I am not a full timer but I spend 3 months a year in my Lance camper. I'm looking for a way to watch TV at night while dry camping without using my generator. I have two deep cell batteries now and can put more under the sink. How do I hook them up and how do I plug in my TV/DVD? AC with an inverter I would prefer but not sure how to do it. Any suggestions? Thank you for your time. George
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Batteries for dry camping

    First of all, make sure you have the 'best' batteries for dry camping, true deep cycle batteries. These will have only an AH (amp-hour) rating, no Cranking rating at all. If it has any cranking rating, it is less good for dry camping.

    Next, decide on 12 volt or 6 volt. 2 6 volt batteries tend to be 'better' than 2 12 volt batteries, but may not fit as well (they tend to be taller', and MUST be used in pairs.

    For 6 volt, you need pairs of them in series to make 12 volts, and you can have any number of pairs in parallel to provide longer service between charges. For 12 volt batteries, any number in parallel is acceptable. Note that all batteries should be as similar as possilbe (specs and age), because if not, they can 'fight' each other.

    Under the sink is often not a good idea. You increase the odds of shorting them out by dropping something across the posts, which could lead to a fire. When charging batteries, you tend to produce hydrogen gas, which if not vented to the outside could explode. And frankly, batteries tend to get messy over time.

    Your best way to power your TV is to use a TV which runs off of 12v directly. I had a nice RCA TV/VCR in my trailer which could be powered by either 12v or 120v. Run the batteries to a 'cigarette lighter' or '12 volt' outlet, and plug in the TV. If you don't want to get a new TV just to use 12v, an inverter can work. Smaller ones can plug into that 12v outlet, or bigger ones can be wired directly to the batteries. Note that most small and all cheap inverters produce 'dirty' power which can drive some TVs crazy. A 'True Sine Wave' inverter will work fine, but will cost a bunch.

    For longest battery life, try not to discharge your batteries more than 50% before recharging.
  3. geo24a

    geo24a New Member

    Re: Batteries for dry camping

    Can you add two 6 volt batteries to two 12 volt batteries? Thanks again George
  4. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Batteries for dry camping

    If you put in two 6V with two existing 12V you will need to connect the two 6V in series and then treat them as one very large 12V to put in parallel with the two 12V batteries. But keep in mind that for best performance, all of the batteries in a group should of the same type and age.
  5. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Batteries for dry camping

    It would work but like Kirk said best to keep all same type and age. I would not mix. 4 good quality 6 v would work great.

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