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Old 06-04-2015, 03:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ddrueckh View Post
You could easily drain the battery overnight if using the furnace a lot. Is your current battery a group 24 or 27? I would suggest a second 12V battery or better yet two 6V batteries. Don't mix 12 volt with 6 volt and make sure that the batteries are of the same capacity and age. Also, my guess is that you are not getting a full charge to begin with. How long do you run the generator and how do you charge the battery with the generator? Do you connect the battery to the generator directly or do you plug the trailer into the generator and let the trailer's inverter charge the battery? If using the generator to directly charge the battery with the generator's 12v plug, it will not do much. It does not put out enough amperage. Plugging in the trailer would be best and I would think that 3 hours would be minimum for a full charge.

Finally, I would reconnect the CO2 alarm ASAP. I would rather a dead battery than a dead person.

Dave
I was connecting the generator directly to the battery with alligator clips and a regular plug that goes into the generator (sorry for the odd explanation). And we were usually running it for 2-3 hours. I will definitely try to plug the trailer directly into the generator next time.
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by arkhillbilly View Post
One or two days with one or two batteries using the furnace, etc., will draw it down. It takes a generator a few hours, depending on the system, to bring batteries back up to full power. Search this forum, and you will find off grid campers that have battery power down to a exact science.
I just discovered the boondocking section - I'm sure there will be plenty of tips in there. Thank you!
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:18 AM   #13
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I was connecting the generator directly to the battery with alligator clips and a regular plug that goes into the generator (sorry for the odd explanation). And we were usually running it for 2-3 hours. I will definitely try to plug the trailer directly into the generator next time.
I would agree with everything ddrueckh said except plugging the trailer in and using the convertor to charge the battery. Most are not very efficient and don't put out enough voltage to properly charge a battery. It would likely take a full day or two of being plugged in to fully recharge your battery.
Have a read here and you will know more than you ever cared to about charging batteries....
https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/
Two to three hours may get you back into around 80% charge but that last 20% is where most of your capacity comes from and also takes the longest amount of time. Especially if your onboard converter/charger has a low absorption voltage around 14 to 14.4 volts.

The furnace is a big drain and will run our new group 27 battery down in a night. And I am assuming similar temps to you as we are in Calgary as well.
Don't mix batteries as was mentioned before. They will all die a fairly quick death if you do. If you just purchased a new 12v and you can go back and get a matching one that is your best bet. Same brand and capacity and manufacture date if possible.
If you like using your generator the best bet to a quick charge is probably to buy a smart charger and plug that into your generator.

The ultimate solution (IMO) is to get a suitable solar installation to recharge and maintain your batteries with a programmable charge controller that you can adjust to suit your exact batteries needs.

You mentioned having some solar already. What do you have?

Lots to learn about batteries and keeping them healthy!
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:25 AM   #14
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You may also want to get a really good charge into your new battery and possibly equalize it as the constant undercharging will shorten its life.

Another suggestion is to get a battery powered CO monitor from Home depot. I just bought one last weekend for our trailer that is supposedly good for 10 years on the internal battery. No draw off the trailer battery.

Cheers
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Subaru297 View Post
I would agree with everything ddrueckh said except plugging the trailer in and using the convertor to charge the battery. Most are not very efficient and don't put out enough voltage to properly charge a battery. It would likely take a full day or two of being plugged in to fully recharge your battery.
Have a read here and you will know more than you ever cared to about charging batteries....
https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/
Two to three hours may get you back into around 80% charge but that last 20% is where most of your capacity comes from and also takes the longest amount of time. Especially if your onboard converter/charger has a low absorption voltage around 14 to 14.4 volts.

The furnace is a big drain and will run our new group 27 battery down in a night. And I am assuming similar temps to you as we are in Calgary as well.
Don't mix batteries as was mentioned before. They will all die a fairly quick death if you do. If you just purchased a new 12v and you can go back and get a matching one that is your best bet. Same brand and capacity and manufacture date if possible.
If you like using your generator the best bet to a quick charge is probably to buy a smart charger and plug that into your generator.

The ultimate solution (IMO) is to get a suitable solar installation to recharge and maintain your batteries with a programmable charge controller that you can adjust to suit your exact batteries needs.

You mentioned having some solar already. What do you have?

Lots to learn about batteries and keeping them healthy!
Lots of great information - thank you!!

Currently I just have a trickle charge battery:
Coleman 6-Watt 12-Volt Solar Battery Maintainer-58022 - The Home Depot

I'm not a huge fan of generators, so looking into a more advanced solar set up might be the way to go.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by keffy View Post
Lots of great information - thank you!!

Currently I just have a trickle charge battery:
Coleman 6-Watt 12-Volt Solar Battery Maintainer-58022 - The Home Depot

I'm not a huge fan of generators, so looking into a more advanced solar set up might be the way to go.
The TT's heating system fan is not battery friendly, and will drain the battery over night depending on how high you have the thermostat and how many times it comes on.

It may be possible that the batteries are not getting a full charge. Have DH check the battery voltage while it is being charged, with the generator. It should be between 13.2 and 14VDC, if not your not getting enough charge.

Try this:
1- Take the voltage at the battery. Have DH pull the TT's 30 amp fuse by the battery. Get a Volt/Ohm meter that can measure Amps (most new ones do this and can measure 10 amps). Select the AMPs on the meter, plug the red probe into the battery side of the empty inline fuse holder and the black probe into the TT side of the fuse holder. You should only read like .1 or .2 amps. This is a normal drain.

2- If you have a normal drain, leave the fuse out and take a battery voltage reading 5 hours later (or next morning). It should be almost the same voltage (give or take .1 volts) as the first reading. If not you may have a battery problem... also check all the battery terminals/cables to insure they are clean and tight.

If you have a lot more drain, leave the meter in the inline fuse holder and start pulling 12VDC fuses, one at a time, in the TT's battery charge controller. You can then isolate the circuit that is causing the drain.

PLEASE RECONNECT THE CO METER, ASAP!!!!

Let us know what happens...

Oh, one more thing... check to see if your TT's break-away switch did not get activated. This switch is mounted on the tongue of the TT and has a cable that connects to the TV, in case the TT should become disconnected from the TV, it applies the TT's brakes. This will also drain the battery VERY fast.

Also check to see if your SOLAR panel has a blocking diode or solar charge controller. If not the solar panel will discharge the battery when the sun goes down. I looked at the panel specs and it shows 12VDC and .33 amps. This will not do much of anything to an RV battery, even if it is fully charged.

I am not a generator fan either. In most cases (units in newer TT's) the TT's 12VDC output is generally greater than the generators 12VDC output. The benefit of the TT's battery charge controller is that it is a smart charger. If you have deep cycle batteries the worst thing you can do to them is charge them like an automotive battery, which is built (thinner plates) for that type of charging and heavy loads for a very short time (like cranking your car in the cold of winter.. a lot of amps for a short time). Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and need to be slowly charged (like the TT's charging system). Since this is not a new TT, have SPARKY (hubby) look at the TT's charging unit and search the internet for its specs. This is good information to have... and if it does not meet your needs you can always get a newer model that has a lot of smarts to it. My unit specs indicate it COULD put out 40+ amps to the batteries, should they need them.

Hope this helps...

Don
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:48 PM   #17
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Don't worry about mixing batteries, if you add a second, as you NEED two new batteries. Once a lead acid battery has been run down to dead, below 80% discharge, it is likely damaged beyond recovery. See Trojans Tech page for info. Your existing battery has been killed multiple times.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:58 PM   #18
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I would agree with everything ddrueckh said except plugging the trailer in and using the convertor to charge the battery. Most are not very efficient and don't put out enough voltage to properly charge a battery. It would likely take a full day or two of being plugged in to fully recharge your battery. .....
I will have to disagree with Subaru297.

The new converters are actually excellent at charging the battery efficiently and properly. They are mostly 3-stage chargers with bulk charge and float capability.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:26 AM   #19
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I will have to disagree with Subaru297.

The new converters are actually excellent at charging the battery efficiently and properly. They are mostly 3-stage chargers with bulk charge and float capability.
The TT is an older 2005 model. I do not think that they had 3-stage battery chargers in the TT's back then. Not sure as to what the specs on battery charge controller in a 2005 model are. This is why I requested that they investigate the model in their TT and see if it will meet their needs (should be one that will peak out around 30 or 40 amps to the batteries), not that it will ever be needed.

You are correct the NEWER models can handle the batteries with no problems at all, charge the batteries in a manner that deep cycle batteries need to be charged (unlike generators connected directly to the batteries), and they have more amps available than a standard generator.

Don
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:59 AM   #20
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Just a couple comments as most bases have already been covered.

1] 1 battery won't get it done if you are boondocking for more than 1 day.

2] The OEM battery that came with the TT is junk so replace it when you buy that 2nd battery.

3] A battery is more or less like a canteen. Some hold a quart, some a gallon, and some 5 gallons. You can't boondock for 5 days with a gallon of water and you can't rely on a low capacity battery either.

Sorry I had 3 not 2.
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