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Old 06-25-2016, 04:39 PM   #239
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i agree with what OTRA15 said.

Your voltage readings are pretty good for a 12-volt battery. Batteries that have sat in a discharged condition (like Goliath's probably did on Vogt's sales lot) lose their ability to hold a charge. Good batteries don't show any more voltage when charged, they just keep it longer. Monitoring at intervals to see how long the charge is held is a good procedure. But, OTRA15 may have been talking about monitoring without putting a load on the batteries--umbilical unplugged with nothing turned on. What you're doing is slightly different.

With your fridge on, it's perfectly normal for the batteries to discharge. You're asking them to do work, and they have to give up some charge to do that work for you. Question is how long they will do work before they can't.

Both tests are valid, but the results you should expect are different.
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:36 PM   #240
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Good point Mimi and within my general plan. Sorry for any ambiguity.

The loads which are on should be typical ones for an overnight or two stay without being hooked up to shore power. Fridge, some lights, radio, etc.. And log the battery voltages over time, with specific loads noted. If the batteries do well for a day or two, then plug in and charge again, if the trip is near.

If the voltage readings go below 12.7 and approach 12.5, it is time to plug in and assess things.

Other threads have charts about battery damage line-by-line, with 12.5 sticking in mind about an important point at which to charge up.

Evelyn when you have some data on this, I imagine the posters here with more expertise can help out more.

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:52 PM   #241
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Thanks for your input Peter and Mimi. I purposely did not plug in to home power, so to enable accurate evaluation. I'll report future findings. Fridge/freezer is all I have on.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:16 PM   #242
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The house main battery= 12.5, auxiliary battery= 11.87. Attempt to charge via generator failed, so, I started the engine, then, was able to turn gen on with support of auto engine. I let gen run for 1 hr45 minutes, resulting in: main house battery= 12.79, auxiliary battery= 12.17. Shut down gen, turned off. Main disconnect switch. It was 90 degrees today with bright sun all day, and I would have expected a full charge on both from 100 watt solar panel. I'm not feeling very confident that the two batteries were changed and replaced by batteries sent to them by the factory. I will check in the A.M.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:34 AM   #243
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Thanks for the new report. As background, here is your report from Saturday 6/25 (battery readings from around noon or so, I am assuming?) --

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoLady View Post
I picked up my "Goliath" this morning from local dealer. When I got home, I checked the coach/house batteries....what ??? They only show 12.94 and 12.75 for both.
. . .

Now you are reporting that yesterday (Monday -- afternoon I am assuming?) you first observed:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoLady View Post
The house main battery= 12.5, auxiliary battery= 11.87. Attempt to charge via generator failed, so, I started the engine, then, was able to turn gen on with support of auto engine.
. . .
Am I correct in assuming that approx. 48 hours passed between the two sets of readings above?

And that the fridge was the main electrical load on the system -- no lights, no hidden lights left on in storage areas, propane detector parasitic draw yes . . . any other loads during the two days? Like going out to Goliath and turning the lights on to do trip prep., show him to friends, etc.?

My comment on the facts so far -- again I am no expert, so please do not rely on my opinion alone -- is that the batteries were lower than they should have been after 48 hours of Goliath sitting with only the loads above, especially with your solar panel active. Was it sunny during the days?


Then you further report from yesterday Monday:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoLady View Post
. . .
I let gen run for 1 hr 45 minutes, resulting in: main house battery= 12.79, auxiliary battery= 12.17. Shut down gen, turned off. Main disconnect switch. It was 90 degrees today with bright sun all day, and I would have expected a full charge on both from 100 watt solar panel. I'm not feeling very confident that the two batteries were changed and replaced by batteries sent to them by the factory. I will check in the A.M.
First, were these new voltage readings taken more than an hour after you charged them? Readings taken right after charging are not accurate, as I understand things. Please let us know what you find this morning for battery voltages.

Because I do not have a similar AI it is hard to comment further. One possibility is that the charging system is not set up correctly, assuming that there are menu options one can toggle on and off. Another cause might be that the new batteries had not been fully charged correctly before they were installed. Other possible weak links in the chain are beyond my knowledge and expertise, I regret to say. A short circuit of some kind comes to mind though . . .

My basic gut reaction is that a new Airstream Interstate with even a small solar panel should have done better in maintaining the voltage in the new batteries, over the course of only 48 hours.

Sorry not to be more help . . . and good luck getting the bottom of this!

Peter

PS -- You might consider sending a PM to AI users like Protagonist, and to experts like lewster, for their more informed opinions. They would probably be happy to chime in if they were aware of your problem.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:40 AM   #244
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Evelyn here is how to tell if you have NEW batteries:

The age of a car battery is always stamped on a label which is normally located on the side of the battery. This label indicates when the battery was shipped from the manufacturer. Important battery information starts with 2 characters:
Letter - indicates which month the car battery was manufactured in (Example: A is January, B is February, C is March, etc)
Digit - indicates the year in which the battery was manufactured (Example: 9 for 1999, 0 for 2000, 1 for 2001, etc)
For example an automotive battery date code that starts with "B1" would be February, 2001.


Sometimes depending on brand of battery with the 12v Deep Cycle which I believe you have in the coach there are no labels put on the side, but instead these codes are stamped onto the top of the battery post.


With solar unless you have a lot going on in the coach the batteries should stay about 12.7. Ours do in our AS with solar and sun, cloudy days is a struggle.


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Old 06-28-2016, 05:45 AM   #245
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Quote:
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. . .
With solar unless you have a lot going on in the coach the batteries should stay about 12.7. Ours do in our AS with solar and sun, cloudy days is a struggle.

Bud
Would this cover her having the fridge on for two days without being hooked up to shore power? What wattage are your panels rated at?

Thanks for the feedback.

Peter
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:19 AM   #246
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paiceman probably has a different fridge in his trailer. I assume his is gas/electric, ColoradoLady has a Danfoss compressor type fridge in her Interstate.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:24 PM   #247
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Days have been sunny, in 90's past several days. "Goliath" solar panel is fully exposed to full sun.
No, it was not 48 hrs. I forgot to post 6/26 findings: 10 am: mn 12.0 aux 11.63
(Gen on 2 hr= mn 12.68 aux 12.59 read b4 turned gen off.)

6/28 @ 10:30am: 0 on = mn 12.37 & aux 11.66 (turned gen on to chg).

When I picked him up at dealer, they gave me the keys, but, no work papers or warranty for new battery. I'm calling Airstream again with report.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:43 PM   #248
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You certainly need papers and warranty info on the new batteries, Evelyn.

I would call that dealership asap, ask them to mail or email you a set which should be in their computers, and keep a record of your conversation.

Good luck.


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Old 06-28-2016, 01:55 PM   #249
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The intermediate voltage readings you just reported suggest something is wrong IMO. Sorry I don't have the expertise to help any further, but another visit to the dealer is in order IMO, with a request that they charge the batteries then provide a daily log of voltage readings without any connection to shore power. The dealer should also be able to plug Goliath into their diagnostic computer to check for short circuits and so forth.

The Interstate owner's manual, at the bottom of p. 5-16, says you can disconnect the unit from shore power for 30 days, with only 1-2 days of charging time needed during that period.

https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...Interstate.pdf

Could this be a Mercedes electrical problem, which the Airstream dealer is unable to find?

Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:21 PM   #250
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I have called the local dealer, asked for work papers and battery warranty. (For new batteries installed under warranty). He told me "I need to get warranty papers from Airstream". He emailed work papers to me. Set up new appt. for diagnostics to locate problem (July 20).

I called Airstream c.s., and informed of persistent problem and new appt date. She emailed several sets of info re: Lifeline AGM BATTERIES to me. I am emailing full report log to local dealer and to Airstream contact person.

Tomorrow, I take "Goliath" to RV storage site with electric hookup. Extra expense, but, apparently needed to maintain batteries.

I have a trip planned week before I take back to dealer and will have full hookups, so hopefully no problem that week. (Fingers crossed)!
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:29 PM   #251
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You would probably have a wider audience if you posted about this problem in the Sprinter B-van forum:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240/

If you scan the list of threads, there are already some which are about battery issues, for instance:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ry-152607.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...nt-151824.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ie-151481.html

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:27 PM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Would this cover her having the fridge on for two days without being hooked up to shore power? What wattage are your panels rated at?

Thanks for the feedback.

Peter
A similarly sized fridge from vitrifrigo consumes 45 watts when running. Assuming it runs 30% of the time, that is about 8 hours per day, or 360 watt-hours. A 100 watt solar panel actually delivering 100 watts (typically they dont) would take 3.6 hours to replace the energy used by the fridge. Assuming it is fully illuminated, a good approximation of solar availability is around 4-6 hours. The solar panel will barely (if at all) cover the refrigerator and nothing else. Make sure the inverter is off.

Hopefully Lew will weigh in here with more accurate information. I'm just talking in generalities and approximations.

Al
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