Jackman713
I was just curious everyone's thoughts on the battery that came with my 177SE.

20171225_192613.jpg Is it any good? Are there others that are any better? What about having a second battery?  I found this battery on the interstate website:

https://www.interstatebatteries.com/products/gc2-ecl-utl?productLine=rv&subcategoryKey=&ignorecategoryid=true

What is everyone's thoughts on it?  Just want to make sure that I have a decent amount of power available to me at any given time.

Also, how can 2 batteries be connected together to provide power? Would there need to be any switches added to select between them or would they just work in tandem?

Lastly, what is some good advice on battery maintenance? Are they ok to be sitting on the RV for a month in storage between trips and then remove them and keep them home over the winter for long storage?

Any help and guidance is greatly appreciated!
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mikes
The batteries are installed by the dealers, AFAIK. Despite the large lettering, that's not really a deep cycle battery - it's better than an automotive starting battery, but not by a whole lot. That looks like a Group 24 battery, so figure roughly 80 amp-hours. But that battery won't live long if you use more than half of that on a regular basis. Even worse if it doesn't get fully charged after each use.  50% of 80 amp-hours means you could regularly use something which draws 2 amps for 20 hours (= 40 amp-hours). So, you need to figure out what you use, and for how long.

I'm working on installing a couple of GC2 golf cart batteries (needs a new bracket, too big for what came with it), which will give me over 200 amp-hours. And, they're designed to be more fully discharged without shortening their life significantly, so rather than the 50% discharge which are reasonable for a marine battery, I can use more like 70-80%, so I'll have 3-4 times more usable energy. Much of our camping is off-grid.

How long the battery lasts depends on how much electricity you use. Does your camper have LED interior lighting? If not, that's probably the best upgrade you can do for extending battery run time when camping. Roughly, the refrigerator will use about 1/3 amp when running on propane (for the control panel). The furnace will use a bit over 2 amps when actually running. If you have a MaxxFan, that draws about 1/3 amp on the lowest speed. If your bathroom fan is one of the cheap ones (like mine), it draw about 1.5 amps, so don't leave it on for long. You need to work out what the stuff you use draws, and how long each runs.

Lights are the worst. The incandescent bulbs which came in my fixtures use about 1 1/4 amps each, and there are a few double lamp fixtures. The LEDs I put in use less than 1/3 of that. So you could have just a couple of lights turned on, drawing 5 amps, and drain the battery in an evening. There's some stuff which drains the battery constantly, like the LP/CO gas detector, and the radio (if you have one). They're small drains, but it shouldn't sit for more than a week or two without being charged. Or simply disconnect the battery when in storage.

Finally, the cheap WFCO power converter in the camper will not properly charge any battery, unless it sits plugged in for a couple of weeks. The most you can expect in a day is to get it up to 80-90%. That, too, isn't good for the life of the battery. So, getting a decent charger and topping up the battery on a regular basis will not only extend its life, but give you more charge to work with.

I installed a solar system, which not only charges the battery when away from shore power, but does a better job of it than the power converter or most battery chargers.
Mike
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sunvalleyjoe
I have had good luck with Interstate. Have 2 on the Retro and 4 on the Jayco (bigger trailer) no issues even when weather gets in 20s and 30s ./ I leave the retro hooked up all winter on shore power with no issues. GBA!!SVJ
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amxpress
The picture in your post of the Interstate is a deep cycle battery, the same one I used in my 5th wheel for 6 years befor having to replace it. Interstate makes a quality battery and Hs many dealers if service is necessary. A Group 27is a little b
larger with a greater capacity, but the Group 24 should be fine for your trailer. As mentioned, having a small battery charger on hand might be beneficial regardless of which battery you have.
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Ralph L Staub
 As the others have said, interstate is a good brand but that particular battery is a bit week if you’re a Boondocker. That said, if you’re going to campgrounds and plugging in  everywhere (like me), that should be more than enough to satisfy your needs.  I have a single group 27 in my 199fks with LED lighting, And I’ve never seen the battery at less than 3/4 full.
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mikes
I should point out that Interstate doesn't make batteries, they buy, label, and resell them. They're often manufactured by Exide or JCI (Johnson Controls). I'm pretty sure their SRM "Marine Deep Cycle" ones are made by JCI.

Interstate does offer some true deep cycle batteries, there are the golf cart ones, then a range of ones for sweepers and floor scrubbers. I think most of those are made by US Battery. Despite being labeled as deep cycle, their group 24/27/31 batteries aren't really - they're dual purpose batteries, and they're a compromise between both. If you don't use the battery to start an engine, you're better off with a true deep cycle one, not a marine battery. I know, "no true Scotsman," etc. But we're up against marketing here.

Here's an article with more detail.

If you normally camp in developed sites with electrical hookups, keep your battery charged when in storage, and properly filled with water, a marine battery will last a long time and keep things powered for the occasional Walmart overnight. But, if you regularly boondock for days, you'll quickly find they can't keep up and don't last long when they are used heavily.
Mike
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sunvalleyjoe
just spent 10 days plus in High Sierra CG no shore power 2 Interstates lasted quite a long time with furnace, led lights , DVD player and radio . Only ran gen every 4 days to top off batteries . Had a great time and all kinds of trout to boot.GBA!!SVJ
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2ty
My Interstate lasted only a year.  As mentioned earlier, the WFCO converter is not a proper charging system.  Progressive Dynamics markets a replacement charger that mounts in the same space and is reportedly much better.  I took the big step and purchased a 100AH Lithium Iron Phosphate battery in a group 27 package.  Though quite expensive, it has too many advantages to list!  It doesn't require watering, it can be stored with fear of sulfating, it does not emit flammable gasses so can be kept inside the trailer, it can be discharged to 10% of capacity, weights less than half of a lead acid unit, can be charged at very high rates, has very low self discharge rate, no acid to corrode terminals, it can be 'short cycled', ie - not charged completely before discharging, and works better than lead acid at low temperatures. Downside is that you cannot charge it below 32°F.  Mine came with a 10 year warranty!
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sunvalleyjoe
I have 2 Interstate batteries and they are 4 years old. I leave my tt on shore power for off season. I Disconnect shore power  once a month for 4 days to cycle batteries. We get below freezing from Nov to March . Still using WFCO system. Looks like just a bad battery from the start. GBA!SVJ
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Tom
My Interstate just died on a short trip.  A 2014 battery so 4 years.  Not too bad in the FL heat. 
Replaced with a Wallymart cheapo because it was there.
Oh the things you do for convenience.  😋
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