Dry cell Marine battery

Discussion in 'Trucking Electronics, Gadgets and Software Forum' started by crc32, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. crc32

    crc32 Light Load Member

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    Jun 11, 2010
    North East, Missouri
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    Is anyone on here using a marine battery to run things while the truck is off, and charging it up while driving? I am getting back on the road next week. I am also a former heat casualty, so I am sensitive to high temperatures. I want to be able to run a fairly large fan in my cab while I sleep.
     
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  3. Truck-N-Tech

    Truck-N-Tech Medium Load Member

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    Sep 13, 2010
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    In a perfect world, you would use what is called a "deep cycle" battery for all power inverter uses. The term refers to a battery's ability do be discharged almost all the way, then recharged to full capacity, with being damaged. Next, you need enough capacity of those batteries to run what you want to run, for as long as you plan on running it before the next charging cycle. You might want to put 2 batteries hooked up in Parallel, which would give you the same 12 volts, but double the charge capacity.

    The problem is that these "Deep Cycle" batteries can be on the expensive side. Maybe if one deep cycle would do the trick, it might be cheaper to put 2 regular batteries in it's place. The 2 batteries together would only be discharged half as much each, and eliminate the need for the more expensive Deep Cycles.

    The first part of the equation is to figure out what your power needs are. Find out what a fan would require to run for 10 to 12 hours, then plan on a setup that will give you twice as much power as you need. Most fans, with the newer Magnetic and no bearing technologies, really do not draw that much electric. Maybe 2 smaller fans would do a better job. One fan blowing out, with a cowling, in one window, and air coming in the other window, would keep the whole cab from getting too hot inside, and the other fan could blow this cooler ambient air on you. See which setup would suit you best, while drawing the least power.
     
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  4. DThompsonNGI

    DThompsonNGI Light Load Member

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    Apr 9, 2012
    Norfork,AR.
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    I've got two trucks that I replaced the batteries in with marine deep cycle batteries with the highest cranking amps I could get from wal mart and so far they are working great and a lot better than the normal truck batteries. I was tired of paying a outlandish price for truck batteries and them going bad right after the warranty was out, so to wal mart I went. I figure if they don't last I will replace them under warranty and keep new batteries in truck. If they last longer than the warranty and go bad I'm still money ahead cause they are way cheaper than truck batteries. Like I said so far so good time will tell. A driver that drives for me told me about marine batteries said that is what his old company started putting in theirs and had better luck. Worth a try I figured.
     
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  5. crc32

    crc32 Light Load Member

    77
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    Jun 11, 2010
    North East, Missouri
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    As a test, yesterday, I ran a cheap house hold box fan on a 200watt inverter till the buzzer started sounding. It lasted for about 1 and a half hours. I'm sure I could find a more efficient fan. I'm looking into something I can use as a screen over the little metal bunk vents. I have been pretty creative with cardboard and duct tape before. So who knows what crazy contraption I will build in my bunk during down time. After all, we truck drivers have to make extra effort to make sure our bosses can afford their daughters new porsche.

    I worry about requiring a jump in the morning, how reliable are those plugin battery monitors? At Knight, we have to jump each others trucks. They have gone as far as telling us to pull start another drivers truck. Spend a dollar to save a nickel. All our trucks are cut down to three pathetic batteries. There is room for 8 on the volvos.

    But, I am just trying to find ways to be as comfortable as possible without the constant threats of unemployment.
     
  6. DThompsonNGI

    DThompsonNGI Light Load Member

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    Apr 9, 2012
    Norfork,AR.
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    If you are working for a company that does not have a apu on their trucks or they grip about your idle time when you are trying to sleep then you really need to look for another company to work for. You are the one that is responsible for the people's lives around you and your own life when driving that truck and if you can't sleep then you are not going to be as alert as you need to be, not to mention it's not good for your health. You need to be comfortable so you can get your rest. My drivers are real good about if it's nice out side they will shut the truck off to save fuel, but I tell them just be sure your comfortable and can sleep that way. Just my opinion.
     
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  7. Truck-N-Tech

    Truck-N-Tech Medium Load Member

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    Sep 13, 2010
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    Remember, if you are doing a test, the truck's electrical system might only be using 1 battery for accessories, leaving the others to start the engine later. What you want to do is have your own battery bank, independent of the truck's system. When you start the engine, your battery bank can be connected to the truck's batteries, but then disconnect them when you shut off the engine. That way you are only draining your own battery bank when the engine is off.

    If the fan you use is average, it might draw as much as 5 amps. 5 amps plus a little bit for the power inverters fans, to keep it cool, should run for a good while if you have 240 AmpHr. battery. Start off with one battery, and see how long it lasts. Then add the number of batteries you will need for the amount of time you need the power. Remember, the drop in volts in the battery is why you need deep cycle batteries. You can run them down to 7 or 8 volts, since after all, you will not be starting the engine with them.

    The battery bank you have for your inverter, can be connected and disconnected with a heavy duty switch, or you can get fancy, and install what is called an "Isolation block" between the two sets of batteries. The best people to answer this line of questions can be found at a local RV dealer. They are well informed in modern RVs, which have electrical systems that do what you want to do.

    If you haven't fallen asleep reading this yet, just remember all the expense and planning a good power system requires, will pay you back with more than enough comfort while you sleep. Also, if you want to get really crazy, maybe look into a solar panel system to help charge your power system, making your batteries last that much longer while being drawn from.

    I once saw a flatbed truck, that had a solar panel system, that stored in a tool box while traveling, but set up in a couple minutes when the driver shut down for the day. The solar panels (3 of them) were hooked up 4 deep cycle batteries. The system ran a 12 volt air conditioner for up to 12 hours, on a bright sunny day. The driver had gotten the A/C unit from an RV dealer.

    Maybe you could throw out this whole idea, and just get a small generator, which guns on diesel. When you park, just fire up the generator. But the battery system, with or without a solar system attached, would be cheaper to run in the long run.
     
  8. pawpaw1

    pawpaw1 Medium Load Member

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    Sep 9, 2011
    Dallas,Ga.
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    Well, your best bet is an APU. If you are a company driver , and they don't provide one , or allow you to run your engine , to stay comfortable , perhaps it's time to move on.
    That being said , I'm an O-O , and I run 6 Sears Die Hard Platinum AGM Marine Batteries , with a cut-off switch between the 2 on the right side of the truck ,and the 4 on the left side.
    This allows me to run my Inverter, which powers the microwave , coffee pot , TV , Sat reciever ,etc. , without worrying about the truck starting.
    Those Die Hards cost me $1500.00 , on sale. 12 month free financing , and they have a 3 year replacement warranty. Not Pro-Rated ,either.
    I'm a little more than a year into them now , and they have done an excellent job so far.
    Hope this helps !
     
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