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Old 07-21-2013, 12:40 AM   #1
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2012 Interstate Coach
norman , Oklahoma
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Yet another coach battery life thread

So I've been experiencing what I think is unacceptable coach battery life and I'd like some feedback. This morning at 7am I unplugged the shore power. At that time the battery life indicator was reading 100%. The propane switch, TV antena booster and inverter are turned off. The only thing running as far as I know should be the fridge. I reset the solar panel amp hours meter to zero when I unplugged. 10 hours later the battery life indicator was reading 85% (volt meter was hovering at 12.4v). Over the course of the day the solar panel amp hour meter had climbed from 0 to 19.2 amp hours. The charge rate at 5pm was 2.5amps and I expect it should have been in that range through most of the day, though I did not check it. Seems to me I must either have weak batteries or an excess drain coming from somewhere. One of those amp meters/ battery monitors some of our members have installed is sounding pretty good right about now. Any thoughts? Can any one tell me how many amp hours the fridge should draw in a ten hour period on a hot day? Or perhaps how many amps it draws when running? (It's set at "6" and holds temp in the low to mid forties FWIW.) TIA!
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Old 07-21-2013, 01:27 AM   #2
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I don't know the equipment in your Interstate Coach, but here is a thread which shows the amp load of most all of the items in a 2014 20' FC.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...fc-106815.html

You will note that the refrigerator takes about 0.34 amps, and the fan another 0.55 amps. If you have a refrigerator without fan, and it ran for 10 hours it would take about 3.5 amp hours of energy to run it.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:52 PM   #3
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While pre-cooling my refrigerator before a trip earlier this month, I was able to run my refrigerator (by itself) for a good 48 hours without the house batteries dropping below 75% on the indicator, with the solar panel working, with the thermostat set to "3" and my refrigerator thermometer showing 38F.

One important thing, the refrigerator automatically switches to 120vAC mode if the inverter is set to auto/invert. To keep the refrigerator operating on 12vDC, you must set the inverter to "Off" or "Charge Only."

So, you could be seeing a drain from the inverter (which also uses power in its own right) as well as the refrigerator if you had it set to "Auto/Invert." Plus, the refrigerator itself uses more power in 120vAC mode than in 12vDC mode.

If memory serves, there have been a couple of folks who simply unplugged the 120vAC cord of their fridge (which requires delving into the recesses of your galley cabinet) in favor of operating on 12v only and saving electricity. I've given the idea some thought, too, but was too lazy (so far).
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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Orange County , California
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Hi Protag, Hmmm, I never thought of unplugging the frig. On my 2013, you can unplug the frig by opening the tilt out tray by the sink and reaching in over the microwave. I'm not sure if this is the same for Interstates with the wardrobe.
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:37 PM   #5
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Russ, I also started a post regarding parked battery life. Mine had a shorter battery life than what you're experiencing, but after experimenting with various configuration settings and advice from this forum, my battery life is about what you're experiencing. I'm still not satisfied so I will be ordering 2 of the AM Solar GS100 panels recommended by Lewster on Monday, and will have the second propane switch added. I wanted Lew to do the installation of the solar panels, but timing and location may not work out (sorry Lew). I did tell AM Solar that you (Lew) sent me, and the nice girl that took my call had nothing but good things to say about you! I'll keep you all posted on the results.
David
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
I don't know the equipment in your Interstate Coach, but here is a thread which shows the amp load of most all of the items in a 2014 20' FC.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...fc-106815.html

You will note that the refrigerator takes about 0.34 amps, and the fan another 0.55 amps. If you have a refrigerator without fan, and it ran for 10 hours it would take about 3.5 amp hours of energy to run it.
Unfortunately this doesn't apply to the Interstates with the 120V/12V fridge it is for the trailer with 120V/propane with 12V control fridges.
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