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Old 01-05-2015, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default What kind of battery should I buy?

Ok, so I know this is a totally dumb question, but I am a newbie and can hide behind my computer screen to ask the question....
I have a Funfinder T139 and need a new battery. The trailer that I bought has a modified front platform, so there's all kinds of room on the tongue for what ever size I want. I just don't know what kind to buy, Marine? Deep Cell? Golf cart battery? Also any suggestions where to purchase? Yikes, like I said, I'm a total newbie and the choices are endless.

I will use it primary for weekends (2-3 days) when no hookups are available, to run lights. I have an extra large propane tank which I'm sure will get me through a weekend, I'd just like to have some lights at night. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:32 PM   #2
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Default Welcome!

Welcome to the club! Did you really get a T-139? As you can probably guess from my screen name, that was our first trailer, a used 2003. Very rugged -- very fond memories. What year is yours?

You will hear a lot of opinions on batteries. Here is mine -- get one (and maybe two) deep cycle marine batteries. I have two group 31 batteries with 110 amp/hours each. Lots of capacity. We do a lot of extended dry camping (no hookups), and in warm weather one battery will last us four days. In very cold weather, two or three. When the battery gets down to 12.1 volts, switch to the spare. (Get a little digital multimeter -- cheap, easy to use.)

At home, take the batteries off the trailer and put them on a battery minder -- I like the batteryminder plus. It keeps them charged (which is important for battery life) and it knocks any sulfur off the plates. Check the battery water every month or so.

Oh, and one more thing -- there are no dumb questions. We were all newbies, and I clearly remember that feeling of being lost. Ask, ask, ask! The Internet can be a strange place, but it can also be a very good thing -- we can help each other over long distances, far more easily than ever before.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:08 PM   #3
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Thanks! Yes, it's at 2006 T139, in excellent shape with a few add ons. I love it! My ex-husband used to do all the trailer hookups and stuff for our previous trailers, so I'm kinda on my own with this one. However, I've got hitching, towing, stabilizing and new electric brake system completely down! I have asked a ton of questions and learned to weed out the ones that don't make sense to me.... But this battery thing has me baffled.
My platform on the front of the trailer has plenty of room for two batteries, and I have heard about putting it on a battery minder, which I will for sure do.
Can you recommend a place to buy the battery? Costco? Sears? Amazon? Or a brand name? Or does that even matter, are they all pretty much the same?
The one it came with my trailer never really worked and the cells were bone dry when I finally knew that I needed to check it and keep it filled with distilled water.
The only thing I continue to struggle with is backing up... The trailer is so short and I just need more practice, but I am loving the freedom of doing it all myself! I'm Certainly not a spring chicken anymore, but I love to camp and it's very comfortable in my funfinder! Thank you for your help and for helping me not feel like a complete idiot!
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:06 PM   #4
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I got my batteries at Napa Auto Parts -- not the cheapest, but fairly good quality, and they stand behind their merchandise. I recommended group 31 batteries, but I forgot to mention that they are heavy -- around 65 lb each. If that is too heavy, go with group 27s. I also got plastic battery boxes at Napa and bolted them to the platform in front of the trailer -- in rainy weather, this may be a good idea.

Backing up simply takes practice. Go to a big parking lot and bring some orange plastic traffic cones. Set them up and give it a try. Make sure you have good towing mirrors that stick out enough so you can see well.

Be patient with yourself. Believe it or not, a small single axle trailer like the T-139 is the hardest kind to back up. The trailer is squirrely -- it moves from side to side fast, and then it is hard to correct it, unlike a more stately double axle trailer.

You can do google searches on the proper technique. Basically, you put your hands at the bottom of the steering wheel. If you want the back of the trailer to move left, move your hands left while holding the wheel. It is hard to get your head around this trick, but it works.

The other trick is to straighten out by pulling forward a little, every so often, when the bend is too sharp.

Hang in there, and good luck!
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:58 PM   #5
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TAKL4
I agree with profdant139 that RVers should, at minimum, purchase a marine-type 12 volt deep cycle battery when they need a new one. And that might be the best option for you. Walmart/Sams and Costco sell these at pretty good prices. There is another option which is costlier, but will give you considerably more dry camping longevity should you be willing to spend approximately twice as much.

As you can see elsewhere on this forum, I am currently building a solar system and, at the same time, moving away from the "marine deep cycle" battery type that is typically installed by RV manufacturers and buying instead, two 6 volt golf cart "true deep cycle" batteries which, when hooked up in series, equal 12 volts.

Many of the companies which sell batteries post information about the different types of batteries and their relative strengths and weaknesses for various applications. You can do you own research and decide. Below is an example link. Note their description of the difference between marine and what they call true deep cycle batteries.
http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/page_21

I admit that I have been concentrating on solar installation websites, but the need to store power in the battery for an RV and have it last as long as possible is the same for all campers regardless whether they use solar or not.

Not to overwhelm you, but here is a link if you really want to dive deep into the subject:
http://www.saddlebackgolfcars.com/batt.html
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:13 PM   #6
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Default might this work?

Hey guys.... any feedback on this one?


http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...YEL_0006514864



And you're correct the golf cart batteries are twice as much @$178/ea... think I'll hold off on that purchase for a bit and see if a deep cycle 12 volt will do the trick for some dry camping.

Any feedback at all is appreciated!!
Thank you!!
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:46 PM   #7
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I have had pretty good luck with the costco deep cycle. They have a great replacement warranty. I would also recommend replacing your light bulbs with LED's if you haven't done so already. They consume about 10% of what an incandescent bulb uses. I have these: http://shop.ledwholesalers.com/index...&product_id=53
but there are many available on Amazon as well. I prefer the warm white bulbs.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:25 AM   #8
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I agree about the Costco deep cycle marine batteries. The last one I got has been great.

I have been dry camping (exclusively) in my FF160X for 7 years now, and I tend to use my high powered lanterns instead, so I don't have to worry about draining my battery.

I have never run out of power, but I am also a power Nazi. As soon as the water is not being used, off goes the pump!

Lastly, I always keep a spare charged battery in my truck now.

Have fun, I know I have!
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:44 AM   #9
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Welcome to the Forum, TAKL4! Glad you joined us. This is a great place to learn (none of the chest-thumping that goes on over at rv dot net).

Ditto on getting LEDs...that was the first thing I did with my new Fun Finder.

And like you (even though I've had my Fun Finders since summer '07), I still SUCK at backing up. BIG TIME.

I use the "hand on the bottom, turn the way you want the trailer's rear end to go" method. However, I FREQUENTLY get myself in a position that the trailer heads in the same direction, no matter which way I turn the wheel. I don't get it and it boggles my mind.

Well, again - welcome! "Aren't Fun Finders great?", she said after a very rocky start with the new trailer.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: might this work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAKL4
Hey guys.... any feedback on this one?


http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...YEL_0006514864



And you're correct the golf cart batteries are twice as much @$178/ea... think I'll hold off on that purchase for a bit and see if a deep cycle 12 volt will do the trick for some dry camping.

Any feedback at all is appreciated!!
Thank you!!


I have used Optma batteries in all my vehicles for over 10 years.

Never had a bad experience with them. They hold up great to vibration and give good power.

My XT276 came with an Interstate brand battery and when the time come to replace it or maybe add a second battery ... Optima will be the only option IMHO.



I got the best deal on my last Optima for my tow vehicle from Amazon.
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