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Old 06-17-2015, 12:16 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by tnchuck100 View Post
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.
Mustang beat me to it but, this is a 10 year old trailer and it may not have a modern converter.

Also even with a modern converter they are not really designed to quickly and fully charge a battery. Battery manufacturers are publishing charging specs for batteries that range from 14.7 volts to over 15 volts (Interstate). If you don't supply the battery with enough volts it takes a long time to fully charge. A full day or more of being plugged in.
The converter will likely go into float too soon as well which will extend charge time even further.
Upgrading the converter to a modern programmable one is an option.

On top of all that you have long wire runs with small gauge wire in a trailer of any significant length. So even if your converter will put out 14.4 volts it does that at its output terminals. The battery will likely only see 14.2 or so after losses. High voltage (pressure) is needed to get the amps into the battery. Without it the battery is only getting a trickle.

So lets say a 3 hour recharge from the generator gets your battery to 90% state of charge. You are actually missing out on 20% of your battery capacity if you abide by the 50% discharge rule. Also that last 10% has the most energy (watts) in it as well as it can provide amps at a higher voltage.

Anyway I hope that is still useful and relevant to the original question.

- Current battery has probably lost a fair bit of its capacity from being run down.
- It probably never received a full charge to begin with.
- 2 to 3 hours of generator time is probably not charging the battery fully.
- Running the furnace all night takes a lot out of the battery
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:36 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Subaru297 View Post
snip...
On top of all that you have long wire runs with small gauge wire in a trailer of any significant length. So even if your converter will put out 14.4 volts it does that at its output terminals. The battery will likely only see 14.2 or so after losses. High voltage (pressure) is needed to get the amps into the battery. Without it the battery is only getting a trickle.
FWIW, I just measured mine yesterday (2014 28BHBE, I don't remember the model number of the controller but it is a Progressive Dynamics installed at the factory) and this is the voltage I got during "bulk charge" phase; 14.4 at the controller (per the manual) and 14.2 at the battery (measured). The delta at the battery remained constant through the various stages of the charge controller at a loss of .2V. Currently the controller LED is indicating a "float" charge level.

Just thought I would throw that in as I've been following this thread. I'm thinking about boosting my off-power capabilities slightly. No serious boondocking, but I think I need a little more than what I've got.

Sorry for the interruption...
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Old 06-17-2015, 04:36 PM   #23
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What is your float voltage?
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Old 06-17-2015, 04:46 PM   #24
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What is your float voltage?
I believe the documentation says 13.2, but I can't confirm that right this minute, and I didn't get a chance to measure it at the battery. I just popped in there this morning before I left for work and noted that the LED on the charge controller had indicated that it had switched over to "float" mode.

I will measure when I get home, but I assume it will be right at 13.0V.

It doesn't really bother me much at this point because when the trailer is in storage, the battery is on a float charger in the garage that I have repeatedly verified charges at a nice floating level of 13.2V. As long as the trailer's controller can get a good bulk charge on it, I'll let the float charger top it off in my garage between trips.

If I'm going to replace the battery with something better eventually, I'm thinking it might be worth my while to replace the charge controller as well? Just thinking out loud now, this likely won't happen any time soon...

The only reason I'm even looking into all this right now is DW said she thought the battery died while she was lowering the stab jacks. This was after it had been plugged into shore power all weekend, and had been plugged into the truck for a 2 hr ride home. It had sat in the driveway for 3-4 hours unplugged from everything when she made this observation, so it should have had plenty of juice. The problem is that I wasn't there, so I can't confirm what it was she was observing. I just know that I'm not terribly satisfied with the G24 Interstate Dual Purpose that's on there now, and if I ever replace it, I don't want the OEM charge controller to kill it.
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Blue Ox SwayPro (BXW 1503)

Upgraded from an REI internal frame backpack and a Eureka 1/2 dome tent!
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subaru297 View Post
What is your float voltage?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper_bob View Post
I believe the documentation says 13.2, but I can't confirm that right this minute, and I didn't get a chance to measure it at the battery. I just popped in there this morning before I left for work and noted that the LED on the charge controller had indicated that it had switched over to "float" mode.

I will measure when I get home, but I assume it will be right at 13.0V.
Measured last night. Converter is in "float mode", documentation states 13.2V at the converter (from memory; I didn't check it because that manual is in a cabinet behind my slide out and I didn't feel like running the slide to get it); measured 13.1V at the battery. I expected it to be 13.0.
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