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Old 07-29-2015, 10:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
When you are plugged in, if the battery disconnect is on 'store', your batteries are DISCONNECTED from the converter (which is really no prize either and will eat you batteries if left on shore power for any length of time ) via the solenoid that the use/store switch controls.

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Is this only true with new AS units? On my 2004 Safari if I plug in on generators, even if the battery switch by the door was in the "store" mode to start, the light suddenly comes on and power from the converter goes to the patio light, step light, bed ceiling and kitchen ceiling lights. I do think the DC board to the battery is off though with no connection to the battery for charging or drain. This is a PD4655 replacement, so I am trying to apply your information above to my situation to see if I am in danger of draining my batteries by leaving it on store thinking all the power is coming from the generator and the batteries are 'safely' disconnected. I can just as easily put the switch in the "USE" mode and have the multi-stage charging system apply 14.4, 13.6 or 13.2 as necessary to keep the batteries from running down. What is the best way to handle an older system? Is it different or the same as far as discharging is concerned?
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:45 PM   #16
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Unless built to order, an Airstream has been sitting on the dealership lot for some period of time. Check the manufacturing build month and year on the serial number decal on the street side front corner of the trailer. If over six months old, the odds of a short life first battery set is very high since the dealers typically do not take proper care of the battery, or the coach for that matter.

The typical charge rate from the towing vehicle to the trailer battery set when moving will be under ten amps typically due to undersized wiring by the tow vehicle manufacturer. I upgraded the power to the trailer and the trailer brake circuit to #10 wire with 30 amp fuses attached directly to one of the two truck batteries. In my experience, driving for ten hours or more could replenish a night's furnace operation in the trailer in cold weather.

A three or four multi-stage inverter/charger is a great choice to properly take care of the battery system versus the single stage "toaster" Airstream has typically installed.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:21 PM   #17
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Also remember that the inverter, if you have one as factory installed, does not go through the USE/STORE switch. If you left it on by mistake, or didn't realize it was on in a new unit, you can easily kill the batteries. It takes about 1.8 amps just sitting there doing nothing.

So, check to see if you have an inverter, that it is off.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Rossbach View Post
Is this only true with new AS units? On my 2004 Safari if I plug in on generators, even if the battery switch by the door was in the "store" mode to start, the light suddenly comes on and power from the converter goes to the patio light, step light, bed ceiling and kitchen ceiling lights. I do think the DC board to the battery is off though with no connection to the battery for charging or drain. This is a PD4655 replacement, so I am trying to apply your information above to my situation to see if I am in danger of draining my batteries by leaving it on store thinking all the power is coming from the generator and the batteries are 'safely' disconnected. I can just as easily put the switch in the "USE" mode and have the multi-stage charging system apply 14.4, 13.6 or 13.2 as necessary to keep the batteries from running down. What is the best way to handle an older system? Is it different or the same as far as discharging is concerned?
Dan,

Unfortunately, the use/store light will illuminate if:
1. you are on shore power, either grid or generator
2. if you are dry camping and it is in the 'use' position.

I found this out quickly after purchasing my new 2006 19CCD Bambi late in 2005. If you are unsure about the switch position, unplug from shore power and set the switch, then plug in. When off-grid, the light only illuminates when in the 'USE' position, which closes the solenoid and connects your batteries to the converter output.

It is perfectly OK to remain on shore power with the switch in the 'USE"' position IF you have a smart 3-stage converter like the PD-4655. It will read you battery voltage and apply the proper charge, whether bulk, absorption or when it's full...... float.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Dan,

Unfortunately, the use/store light will illuminate if:
1. you are on shore power, either grid or generator
2. if you are dry camping and it is in the 'use' position.

I found this out quickly after purchasing my new 2006 19CCD Bambi late in 2005. If you are unsure about the switch position, unplug from shore power and set the switch, then plug in. When off-grid, the light only illuminates when in the 'USE' position, which closes the solenoid and connects your batteries to the converter output.

It is perfectly OK to remain on shore power with the switch in the 'USE"' position IF you have a smart 3-stage converter like the PD-4655. It will read you battery voltage and apply the proper charge, whether bulk, absorption or when it's full...... float.
Lew, at what voltage are the batteries getting dangerously low?
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:44 PM   #20
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It's not a good idea to drop your battery voltage below 50% depth of discharge. This number varies with specific batteries, but is generally recognized to be between 12.0 and 12.2 VDC for liquid cells and 12.2 VDC for Lifeline AGM batteries. Other AGM cells might differ.

AGMs are more tolerant of deep discharges below this point, but you decrease the useful number of charge cycles, and thus the longevity of the battery every time you draw them below the 50% level.

Conversely, the LESS you use a battery ( lower depth if discharge and assuming it is being properly charged) the more charge cycles you can expect.


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