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Old 01-23-2016, 09:46 PM   #11
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Great info, thanks!
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:34 PM   #12
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I agree, having a means of monitoring and/or checking your battery's charge level condition is a useful tool to have.

Just some added food for thought........

I believe you will find that most standard marine/deep cycle batteries (supplied by most RV dealerships) are prone to longevity issues with moderate to high DoD's (Depth-of- Discharge), mainly because they aren't designed for this type of use. A "true" deep cycle battery on the other hand is designed for frequent DoD's.

For example; In the case of a "true" deep cycle battery with an average 50% DoD will last at least twice as long as an 80% DoD average. A typical GC-2 deep cycle battery will average 225 cycles at 80% DoD, but will increase to 750 cycles at 50% DoD.

With any battery, a shallower average DoD will increase battery life.

If you plan to do frequent boondocking, you may want to consider up-grading to a true deep cycle battery.

Bob
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:49 PM   #13
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As mentioned in an earlier post, you should not let your battery drop below the 50% level (aprox12.00VDC). Most TT's have the light bar battery status monitor in them, they are pretty much useless. It was also recommended that you get a digital voltage meter, like one that plugs into the 12VDC accessory receptacle in the TT. There are a lot of them on Amazon that you can pick up for a decent price and are pretty accurate. These will keep you informed as to how your battery is doing. You can always give the battery(s) a little boost (with the TV) at the end of the day before calling it a night. That should help you make it through the night (unless you are using the TT's heating system).

There are 2 examples below. The easy one that plugs into the 12VDC accessory plug and the second one you need to wire in. Not sure of your mechanical/electrical skills.

Don
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12VDC Voltage Display.jpg   BATTERY - AMP-Voltge Digital Display - AMAZON Picture.jpg  
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
As mentioned in an earlier post, you should not let your battery drop below the 50% level (aprox12.00VDC). Most TT's have the light bar battery status monitor in them, they are pretty much useless. It was also recommended that you get a digital voltage meter, like one that plugs into the 12VDC accessory receptacle in the TT. There are a lot of them on Amazon that you can pick up for a decent price and are pretty accurate. These will keep you informed as to how your battery is doing. You can always give the battery(s) a little boost (with the TV) at the end of the day before calling it a night. That should help you make it through the night (unless you are using the TT's heating system).

There are 2 examples below. The easy one that plugs into the 12VDC accessory plug and the second one you need to wire in. Not sure of your mechanical/electrical skills.

Don
Regarding the Creative Edge DualFAV USB Charger/Voltmeter - I ordered this item from Amazon the end of December and received an email from them early January stating that due to lack of availability the item was being removed from my order. As indicated there are numerous others of these devices to pick from including this one which is suspiciously similar to the Creative DualFAV unit:
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:08 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
As mentioned in an earlier post, you should not let your battery drop below the 50% level (aprox12.00VDC). Most TT's have the light bar battery status monitor in them, they are pretty much useless. It was also recommended that you get a digital voltage meter, like one that plugs into the 12VDC accessory receptacle in the TT. There are a lot of them on Amazon that you can pick up for a decent price and are pretty accurate. These will keep you informed as to how your battery is doing. You can always give the battery(s) a little boost (with the TV) at the end of the day before calling it a night. That should help you make it through the night (unless you are using the TT's heating system).

There are 2 examples below. The easy one that plugs into the 12VDC accessory plug and the second one you need to wire in. Not sure of your mechanical/electrical skills.

Don
So can you tell me what I should be able to see on this voltmeter "number wise" since you said not to let it get below 50%,ie. 12VDC? What sort of number should I see when nothing is drawing off the battery? Will I see amps or voltage? I am clueless as to what number is okay.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:28 AM   #16
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So can you tell me what I should be able to see on this voltmeter "number wise" since you said not to let it get below 50%,ie. 12VDC? What sort of number should I see when nothing is drawing off the battery? Will I see amps or voltage? I am clueless as to what number is okay.
A voltmeter only shows volts. And, as Don said, the voltmeter should not go lower than 12 volts when nothing is drawing off the battery.

If you have the voltmeter plugged into a 12 volt outlet, the voltage can be lower than 12 volts while 12 volt items (lights, water pump, etc.) are drawing current. When all those items are off, you want the voltmeter to show 12 volts or more.

In reality, you cannot easily shut off ALL 12 volt items - items like the propane detector and refrigerator running on propane - but those are very low current draw so I ignore them. Just shut off all the items you can switch off and see what the voltmeter shows.

Plus, when you are plugged into shore power, you will see the converter charging the battery and voltmeter will read in the 13 volt range.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:49 AM   #17
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How reliable are the plug-in receptacle meters? I was going to wire one in, but at this point it would be a waste since we don't run without power hardly ever. That being said, it would be nice to have a general idea where our battery is if we have to stop and sleep for a few hours overnight on a multi-day journey.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:12 AM   #18
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How reliable are the plug-in receptacle meters? I was going to wire one in, but at this point it would be a waste since we don't run without power hardly ever. That being said, it would be nice to have a general idea where our battery is if we have to stop and sleep for a few hours overnight on a multi-day journey.
I bought a NEEWER® Mini LED Display Digital Car Volt Meter 12V/24V Vehicle Voltage Gauge for under $10 on Amazon. The voltage reading matched my toolbox digital voltmeter. I plugged it into my tow vehicle, too, as a test and all was well with that. I have no complaints.

It's handy to keep an eye on the TT battery and system when boondocking, of course, but also to see the charging voltage both when the tow vehicle is running and when connected to shore power.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:22 AM   #19
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They're like anything else. Some real close on voltage, others off as much as 1/2 volt. I have bought and used several. They are consistent!! Meaning that the voltage variance remains the same on each unit. The way to use any of them is to plug the unit in and check actual voltage at the battery with a good volt meter. If it reads a little high or low doesn't mean much as long as you are aware of the difference. I use one in the kitchen and the other in the bedroom. They read .3 volt different all the time. No big deal if you calculate that into your thought process.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:28 AM   #20
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If you have one stock battery, two days you should be fine, as long as you are not using the furnace, and you are a little conservative. However, your 120 volt items will not work. These items are anything that plugs into your standard household outlets (Microwave, TV, coffeemaker, etc). In the summer we can go for about 4 days on a single charge, with a single stock battery. I do have a spare, group 29 battery that I will toss in the back of the truck when dry camping. Between the two batteries we have not had any issues.

You have LED lights which is great! The frig will cool on Propane, but uses 12V for the controls. The stove and oven only use propane, the furnace uses Propane for heat, and 12V for the controls and the blower. The blower fan uses a lot of power, and can drain a battery in one day. The AC unit will not work. The water pump uses 12V power, and not a lot of it, as it is just sitting waiting for a call of water to turn on. The new water heaters use propane to heat, and 12V for the controls, very little power consumption. Slideouts and electric awnings use 12V power. There are ways to make the microwave and other 120V appliances work off the battery; you need to install a 12V to 120V converter. They are not terribly expensive, however, they do drain your battery down rapidly, and you do need to buy one sized for your device. The other option is a generator.

Some tips; do not leave the lights ON. Remind everyone only to use the lights that they need. We actually turn on the ceiling light switch, leave it on, and then turn off each ceiling light at the fixture. Then when we need a light we turn on the lights in the area that are needed. This was a learned exercise we used before LEDs and tend to still do it. If you have a 12 Aux power point to charge your cell phones, make sure to unplug them when not charging. Furnace management is the key if you need heat. We turn it on when it is getting a little cool, and warm up the unit, then turn it off. We will wear a few extra layers as needed. We keep the heat of at night, if we get up and use the bathroom at night and think it is a little cool we’ll turn it on for a few minutes, then its right back off. In the morning, we’ll turn it on for a while to warm things back up. When it is cool out and dry camping we’ll use the oven in the morning to cook breakfast to add heat to the htt. When we are setting up, I leave the TV hooked up and running to power the HTT, while I extend the slideout to minimize drain on the battery.

Two nights, no tv or microwave, is easily doable, might need to make a few procedural adjustments, after a few trips dry camping it gets really easy, as you know what and what not to do. Worst case senerio, to get some more power it is not an effective way to charge the battery, but you can hook up the 7 pin connector to the TV, and run the TV for an hour and a half or more and get some charge back into the battery. It really takes a few hours to bring it back up to 95+% charge. I have had to do this more than once in order to teach the family about power conservation, as I purposely let them run the power down on a three day weekend when we first got our HTT.
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