Can i use a regular car battery for a weekend camp?

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by B.T.Brews, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. B.T.Brews

    B.T.Brews New Member

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    Hi there. My camper is wired for a battery. I've seen that it's recommended that you use a deep cycle battery to power you camper but will it hurt anything to use a car battery in a pinch? I haven't got the time or the extra money to jump out and buy a new battery before we leave on Friday. What I do have is a fully charged battery from a Buick Lesabre.
     
  2. dion

    dion Member

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    It won't hurt anything.

    A deep cycle battery will last longer in deep cycle usage patterns, where you have fairly low power draw for a long time. A starting battery will work better for starting situations, where you have an extremely high power draw (the starter motor) for a very short period of time.

    If you use a starting battery in a trailer, it may not last quite as long as a true deep cycle battery would last. But it won't damage any electrical items in the trailer, or anything like that. Your lights, water pump, and 12V accessories will still work, at least as long as the battery holds a charge.

    Since you say this battery is from a Buick LeSabre, I can only guess that maybe it's already had a fair bit of use. It may be somewhat worn out, so it may not be able to keep everything powered up for an extended period. You may want to try to conserve your electricity use to make it last. If you can plug in to shore power, the shore power will provide your 12V electric needs, so you won't need to worry.

    Have fun camping!
     
  3. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Are you going to be connected to shore power....if so you do not need a battery if your converter is working properly. If you are not connected to shore power and powering from your tow vehicle's battery you very well could end up with a dead battery and no way to get home.
     
  4. B.T.Brews

    B.T.Brews New Member

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    Thanks a lot. That's exactly what I was worried about. I didn't want to fry anything I wasn't sure if the extra amps would cause damage. There should be shore power available. What Im not sure of is how the sites are orientated. Last time out I could not use the 30 amp cord that came with the camper because the power station was too far away. Luckily I was close enough to home to get a regular extension cord and a clip on desk lamp and a fan, but I could not use the 12v lamp/fan combos that also came with the pup.
     
  5. B.T.Brews

    B.T.Brews New Member

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    The battery I'm planning to take is from a Buick Lesabre. It's no longer installed and has been on a trickle charger for 3 days. I'm showing full charge.
     
  6. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Buy a 10 gauge 30 amp 25' extension cord. you will find sites that need close to or more than 50' to reach especially if the power site is in the middle between the two campsites. They are only $35-40 dollars
     
  7. B.T.Brews

    B.T.Brews New Member

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    That's what I experienced last time out. It was a common box for 4 sites and mine happened to be the smallest site furthest away from the power and water.
     
  8. B.T.Brews

    B.T.Brews New Member

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    Maybe I should hit up the RV center before we leave and grab an extension cord.
     
  9. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    good idea
     
  10. NegrilJerry

    NegrilJerry Newbies in GA, we LOVE this site!

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    If you use the battery from the Buick consider it disposable - running down a standard car battery can kill it swiftly.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  11. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

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    There is a good chance the ol' Buick battery has very little capacity available. The fact that "it starts the car fine" is irrelevant. And you could ruin the battery by running it down past 50%, or about 12.2V. Which wouldn't take much as it probably has little capacity remaining.

    All in all, a scenario unlikely to end well. Which is often the case when one tries to figure out some clever way to do something without actually buying the appropriate parts.
     
  12. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    Use what you can afford. It won't hurt anything.
     
  13. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

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    You can also get a 30a to 15a adaptor and use a heavy duty extinction cord (8-12gauge). Just don't use the air conditioning or 120v heaters.

    Sent from my XT1060 using Tapatalk
     
  14. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

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    Does it really need to come to that? [LOL]
     
  15. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

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    I have 2- 50 ft (100ft) of 10gauge extinction cord and it powers everything except the ac.

    I use 1 to run the ac by its self and the other powers everything else in the camper.

    Sent from my XT1060
     
  16. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Extinction or extension [?:~{]
     
  17. ric66

    ric66 New Member

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    I used a 12v lawn mower bat for a two day trip twice sometime back. lights with leds and a radio. Im still using the bat in my mower now.I just charged it back up when I got home and but it back in the mower. [2C]
     
  18. davido

    davido Active Member

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    Deep cycle batteries are designed to withstand many (hundreds of) discharge cycles where they're taken from 100% slowly to 50%, and back up again. Deeper discharges will shorten their lives.

    Automotive batteries are designed to withstand many (thousands of) car start / charge cycles, where they're taken from 100%, rapidly down to 90%, and then back up again.

    Using an automotive battery in an application where it is discharged to 50% or lower will greatly diminish its longevity. Count the total number of 100% to 50% cycles to be under 100. Maybe even under 50.

    But doing it once or twice? That's probably fine. Sure, it will shorten the longevity a little, but you're in a pinch and just want to get out camping; go for it.
     
  19. M-88

    M-88 Member

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    Any issues with leaving the battery in the popup connected to an inverter? Would there be hydrogen gas coming off of the battery at a rate to cause problems?

    I'll probably end up doing something similar to run a phone charger and a CFL light. It shouldn't draw too much power so I will probably end up just charging it in the morning off of the Jeep's battery.
     
  20. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Do not put a lead wet cell battery inside your camper without ventilation of off gasses. You can leave the battery connected to an inverter but the inverter will most likely have some parasitic load.
     

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