HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT A BATTERY BANK?
A GUIDE ON WHERE TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE POWER BATTERIES
As we all know, all car type batteries are heavy. After all, they have lead in them, right? Too, too right. And the better quality ones are even heavier because they have even more lead in them.
Most full size car batteries (not the little Korean or Japanese car batteries) are not that much different, size wise, to full deep cycle storage batteries. So, to state the obvious, we are not talking here about your motor starter battery. If it fails you simply replace it with one in the dedicated compartment for it. We are talking about batteries – or a bank of batteries – for what will become known as “house power”.
House power for a boat or a caravan, motor home, camper trailer or RV is a reserve of electrical energy that you use when you are not running your main boat motor or road propulsion motor.
You will need at least one 12V battery to run your life when the fossil fuel motors have stopped. Preferably 2 or more.
Cost, frankly, is a secondary consideration.
The main consideration is where to put the things. And it’s not just space. You may have some convenient space but, because these batteries are so heavy, they may screw-up the weight distribution of the boat, caravan etc. If you can’t have the battery weight right on the centreline of the vehicle or the bottom of your boat, consider splitting the battery bank to even up the weight distribution. Also remember that a major change in front-to- back weight can also screw up the weight over the towball.
Solution? As many batteries as possible. Even numbers if possible, up to six or even eight. Use a battery management system with blocking diodes, so a dead battery does not discharge the good ones, etc etc. It’s not as hard as it sounds.
Finally, it’s not a good idea just to use car or truck batteries for your battery bank. You really need to use “Deep Cycle” batteries.