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Old 03-04-2013, 08:16 PM   #1
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Battery queation

When I bought my 02 Jayco less than a year ago it had one 12 volt battery. The battery would go down real quick. So I installed two 6 v golf cart batteries from American Battery. I thought I would be ok now, with the power output. I am a little dissapointed. On a 6 hr drive I arrive at the camp sight. The power display shows charge. I put out the slide, and it goes to good. I use the pump, and a couple lights, and it drops to fair. It stays at fair for most of the time, but drops to low whrn the heater comes on, but recovers to fair when the heater is off. I would think the batteries should show good for a long time. What do you think? Stan

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Old 03-04-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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I would take the measurement using a meter at the batteries and see how it is really doing. I know my built in meter works as a guide, but does not do well overall for the battery health. Any load at all causes it to show low when it really is not that bad.

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:36 AM   #3
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The "idiot lights" will only give you a half way reliable indication when no load is present. Everything off. The only accurate measurement is by running separate pair of wires from the battery to a voltmeter.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:51 AM   #4
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The full charge light will go out fairly quickly unless you have a huge bank. Somewhere under 12.6 V is when it kicks out. Where the 2 x 6V will perform better is in the 3rd and 4th light areas. You will sustain longer periods of use in the 12.2-12.5V range vs the single 12V. I do not let mine go below 12V under strain like inverters. Usually once I take a load off it will pop back up to 12.2v-12.3v under minimal load when it was showing 11.9-12.1 under a heavy load. This usually occurs on the 4-5th day of only getting 2-3hrs charges each day while dry camping. I am considering a supplemental solar charger to keep up with the daily draw and help sustain them when gennys need to be off.

Once I get a good 5-8+hr charge they are back up to 12.6-12.7.

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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Never ever check a battery state of charge while it is in use... it has to be resting to give an accurate reading. Get a multi meter to check battery voltage those little lights are worthless.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:46 PM   #6
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OP, I don't know what Jayco you have, however, some are designed poorly. A couple of things, I wouldn't expect any trailer to charge from driving. The vehicle wiring is just not up to the job - it is a LONG ways from the alternator to the battery.

If I stored my trailer at a location without power, I'd take my batteries home and put them on a charger. Can't see any other practical way to do it if you dry camp.

Personally, I found that my trailer was setup in a way from the factory that pretty much prevented the batteries from ever reaching full charge (see blog below). I did some work that seems hard, but really wasn't, to ensure my batteries can charge quickly when I have shore power (or generator) and use less power when camping.

With more details of your setup, me and the rest of the crew here at JOF would be glad to give you some advice on how to tweak things to make life better...

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Old 03-10-2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the answer. I have a 02 Jayco 26ss. Since I have been home I have left my lights of for around four hours, and moved the slide in and out,the battery indicator didn't go below the fair indicator light. So I think with my two new golf cart batteriews from American battery co.I may be ok. Stan
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:27 AM   #8
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I use a BATTERY MONITOR PANEL I built up from inexpensive digital meters from SURE ELECTRONICS ebay/china. This monitor is mounted where I can catch a glimpse of what the DC VOLTAGE is when running things camping off the power grid. Like said above in another post here I watch for the batteries to not go below 12.0VDC which is a close level that represents the batteries may be approaching 50% charge state. The TRIMETRIC TM-2025-RV meter panel works great as well . The TM-2025-RV has a settable battery alarm level you can set for 12.0VDC and will alert you when the approximate 50% discharge state is reached.

I have learned from experience that going below the 50% charge state for any length of time starts doing damage to your batteries. They need to be re-charge back up to at least 90% charge state using your on-board smart-mode converter charger being run fromconnecting the trailer shore power cable directly to the 2KW HONDA type small generator 120VAC receptacle using a RV30A-15A "dogbone" 18-inch long adapter (WALMART). Most camp grounds have generator run time restrictions so this will work out great to run the generator to meet the rules of the camp ground and you can get your batteries back up to 90% charge state in as little as three hours using smart-mode charging technology. You can do this equally as well using a portable smart-mode battery charger like the B&D VEC1093DBD smart mode charger being run directly off the generator.

Two 6VDC batteries 220AHs are better than one OEM provided 12VDC battery 85AH but all batteries will run down with the loads. The trick for us was to decide what we was wanting to run when camping off the power grid both the 120VAC items from an inverter and 12VDC items direct connected to the battery bank. Then add additional batteries to meet the power demand and operate on the one day/night battery run and be able to re-charge the batteries the next morning during breakfast when allowed to run your generator. This also involved making the trailer "GREEN" so to speak with the best thing to do is change out the high current automotive type lighting for low power consumption LED lights.

This has been very successful for us camping off the power grid. Without knowing what is going on BATTERY WISE will most likely get dark on you around 10PM at night - got to have those PLAN-Bs in effect.

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Old 03-13-2013, 12:38 AM   #9
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Get yourself a hydrometer at your local auto parts store. Fully charged batteries should give a reading of 1260. Always keep the batteries charged up to prevent the plates from sufating. If this happens you will just get a small surface charge. It may take a lot of charging to break down the sufate. Check the batteries twice a day until you get the 1260 reading. It might take 3 or 4 days depending how bad they are.


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