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Old 05-22-2016, 07:12 PM   #1
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Converts running on shore power

Hi All,

We just finished our first trip in our 23RLSW to Mongaup Pond in NYS. I ran a generator in the morning and evening (maybe 4 hours total), and drove for 2 hours returning home. Once we were home, I plugged into house power. The fan in the electric panel was running for a couple of hours. I started shutting off breakers and when the converted was off, the fan stopped.

I presume the converter was charging the battery... but why wasn't the battery charged from the generator and direct from the truck during the ride back?

Any ideas? maybe the battery was drawn down to the point that the generator did not fully charge the battery, and the 2 hours ride home did not fully charge it.

Ron
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:17 PM   #2
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What is the battery voltage?

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Old 05-22-2016, 07:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmotyl View Post
snip...
I presume the converter was charging the battery... but why wasn't the battery charged from the generator and direct from the truck during the ride back?

Any ideas? maybe the battery was drawn down to the point that the generator did not fully charge the battery, and the 2 hours ride home did not fully charge it. ...snip

Yup. You nailed it... ' the generator did not charge it enough and the ride home did not fully charge it.'

You'll probably have to determine how far down you are drawing your battery and, when charging using the generator, how much the battery is actually being recharged. (Note: Based on personal experience, the charging from the TV to the TT is MINIMAL at best.)
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:44 PM   #4
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I have one 12 volt battery, and I just checked the push-button indicators and it shows the battery us fully charged. The frig is on, but that has never caused this in the past.

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Old 05-22-2016, 09:45 PM   #5
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In my opinion, those lights are a curiosity, but not meaningful.

Like Don mentioned, knowing your battery voltage is necessary for you to know the health of your 12 volt system. Before you begin charging, knowing the voltage will show how low the battery has been drained (draining it too far will ruin it). Then, when you begin charging, you can see if your charging system is functioning well. After charging, and removing loads on the battery, you can see the actual state of charge of your battery and know if 4 hours of generator time is enough.

Voltmeters that plug into a '12v power port' in trailers are very inexpensive and can go a long way to keeping an eye on your 12v system.

You also didn't mention if you plugged your trailer into the generator and used the trailer's converter to charge the battery. If you used a 12v outlet on the generator, as far as I know, none of those have enough current to charge the battery.

I hope this is helpful and makes sense. There is more to learn and Don and others have a wealth of information on this topic.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:12 PM   #6
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Two observations:
1) The 12v supply from the TV to the trailer isn't always "turned-on" from the truck. Some vehicles require a jumper or a fuse be installed to get the 12v supply to the trailer to function. Check your connector at the back of the TV to see if it's "hot".

2) Your push-button battery indicator will always show as "full" while you are plugged into house power, because it's reading the voltage coming off the charger. Unplug the power cord and let it sit for an hour or so to get a truer reading.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:26 AM   #7
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If you are using the basic battery that most dealers install (probably a group 24), there really isn't much draw needed to run the battery down and as mentioned above, a generator or an alternator from the vehicle doesn't do much to bring the battery back up to full charge.
You can pick up a cheap multi-meter and check your battery charge level several times during your camping trip. That will tell you how much you battery is being discharged and how well the generator is doing to bring the charge back up.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by oldmanAZ View Post
In my opinion, those lights are a curiosity, but not meaningful.

Like Don mentioned, knowing your battery voltage is necessary for you to know the health of your 12 volt system. Before you begin charging, knowing the voltage will show how low the battery has been drained (draining it too far will ruin it). Then, when you begin charging, you can see if your charging system is functioning well. After charging, and removing loads on the battery, you can see the actual state of charge of your battery and know if 4 hours of generator time is enough.

Voltmeters that plug into a '12v power port' in trailers are very inexpensive and can go a long way to keeping an eye on your 12v system.

You also didn't mention if you plugged your trailer into the generator and used the trailer's converter to charge the battery. If you used a 12v outlet on the generator, as far as I know, none of those have enough current to charge the battery.

I hope this is helpful and makes sense. There is more to learn and Don and others have a wealth of information on this topic.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:39 AM   #9
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Yes no doubt the lights leave a lot to be desired. Once I disconnected the shore line, the lights indicated 2/3's charged.

Thanks for all the comments and support.

I did not directly charge there battery, I presumed it would charge from the 3100 watt generator via the TT system.

Also I will check the voltage with my multi-meter tonight. But I thought batteries do not give accurate readings when read from a multi-meter. I thought they generally read at full voltage and a shut was needed to get accurate readings.

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Old 05-23-2016, 11:42 AM   #10
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Typos... "I did not directly charge THE battery... "

"And a SHUNT was needed... "

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