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Old 03-11-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Michigan
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Single 12v deep cycle battery for a "lite" house battery?

I'm setting my van up as a "lite" campervan and wondered if anyone with something similar has had success running house power off of a single 12v deep cycle battery? My load will consist of running some LED lighting before bed and maybe a Fan-tastic vent during the night, not much more than that. I want to mount this battery inside so it will need to be sealed. Anything beyond that would need a power hookup available (e.g. electric space heater). The van won't be set up for staying inside for long periods (e.g. no TV, no fridge, no microwave).

From what I have been figuring, a system using batteries like sealed Lifeline, Deka or 6v golf cart batteries will be big, heavy and expensive.

Thanks for any thoughts!

2005 Chevy 1500 AWD
4x4 conversion, Ultralight RB50 floorplan,
Firestone Destination A/T, Silverado wheels, 3000w inverter, PIAA lighting
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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Re: Single 12v deep cycle battery for a "lite" house battery

I'm sure it would work great. Our 1988 DIY camper van had an inexpensive deep cycle battery under the hood in the spot where an aux. battery goes. I think it was 100 amp-hours. It would run our Suburban furnace and incandescent house lights for 24 to 48 hours depending on the outdoor temperature. The Fantastic fan probably draws less power than the Suburban furnace.

A non-vented battery will be a lot more expensive...

2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: Single 12v deep cycle battery for a "lite" house battery

A Fantatic fan runs about 3 Amps on high If I remember correctly. Anyway, in the FAQ's about battery problems, in the electrical section, there are some calaulators I linked to that discuss load similar issues...etc

Good luck...
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:44 PM   #4
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Re: Single 12v deep cycle battery for a "lite" house battery

I currently run a 12volt deep cycle battery it works great I even run my furnace off of it in the winter with out any issues.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:12 AM   #5
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Re: Single 12v deep cycle battery for a "lite" house battery

I run one very small house battery. It's a small car battery that runs a Fantastic fan, ARB fridge. some lights and the water pump for the sink. It charges off an isolator and has been fine. It's in a sealed box vented to the outside. I don't use much electricity except for the fridge.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:26 AM   #6
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Re: Single 12v deep cycle battery for a "lite" house battery

We had a single battery for 10 years in our first -Ford- van. We also had a single battery for 7 years in our present -Chevrolet- van. Since my last remodel we switched over to two house batteries.

The real question is not if you need one, two or four batteries? The question is how many amps do you need before you will be recharging? You also need to remember that for good economical battery life you should not discharge your house battery(s) more than 50%. So if you are going to be of the electric grid or 4 days and consume 12-13 amps a day on the average you will need a 100 amp-hour battery. If the number is 25 amps a day then you need 200 amp-hrs of batteries (does not matter if it is 1,2,3,....batteries). Then measure is amp-hours.

We used to be fine with one battery but with laptop computers, digital cameras w rechargeable batteries. Four days off the grid pushed us into the 25 amps-hours a day (12x25=300 watts/day) area so we went with two 115 a-h batteries 3 years ago.

So, to make a long story short(er). Figure out how much amps or power you will NEED to consume in a day, how many days you want to go between recharging the house batteries, multiply the to together and then double it and that is the battery size you will require. If you can find a single battery that will have that many amp-hours your set to go.

Fantastic vents: Two model types

1. 3 speed using resistors to control speed 1amp to 3 amp draw $$
2. 24 speed using a chopped signal to control speed 0.2amp to 1.8 amp. $$$

Before adding our SMB Penthouse Top we used one of each. Our natural A/C for hot humid weather.

With present penthouse we use the single 24 speed model. Sleeping at nigh with that fan on one of the lowest speeds is great - cannot hear the fan and it auto closes if it starts to rain.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:13 PM   #7
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Re: Single 12v deep cycle battery for a "lite" house battery

I run 1 deep cycle battery. I ran it with a splitter through the Van battery's so not to drain them but as soon as I start the van it charges the deep cycle. I run a C-pap (small machine that blows air while you sleep) all night after reading for 2hrs with the int. lights on and have never had a problem. I did it myself in 2hours including mounting the Battery to the frame super cheap and works great. you can always add more later.

Going where most dont
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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Re: Single 12v deep cycle battery for a "lite" house battery

I have found this very helpful:

"there is neither science nor fact prevailing here" - vlamgat
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