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Old 11-14-2015, 04:04 PM   #15
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Boondocking

I have had the same problem, however I am also new and know little about electrical issues. I did get a 90 watt portable solar unit from Overland Solar that has helped a lot. The owner of Overland Solar is very helpful and has answered many questions I have had about boondocking since he does it all the time. I am in the process of installing an isolator so that I can run on one battery at a time and use the solar when possible to recharge that battery. Using one battery at a time has increased the amount of time I can dry camp considerably. He also suggested upgrading the converter since the ones installed by the factory are junk. I bought a Progressive Dynamics Converter and installed it last week. This is a 3 stage converter with a boost mode, normal mode and storage mode. It will increase the life of the battery. He did mention that if you have drained the battery too low it may have damaged the battery permanently. One problem I have is even with LED lights if I turn on the main light switch it controls 12 lights in the main section of our 2009 25' Flying Cloud FB, I don't think this is a good idea when dry camping, it just draws too much. Therefore I just turn on the lights over the table and one over the sink. It's not a lot of light though. I would like to be able to hook up only half as many lights on the main switch to limit the amount of draw but it's beyond my knowledge at this point.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:21 PM   #16
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coincidentally, I just happened tp check the parasitic draw on our trailer last week when I had an ammeter heed up to mature brake current when I pulled the breakaway switch.

With the on/off store switch in on position, I was surprised to see that the draw was
1.45amps - a lot higher than I expected, but from what I read here here seem to indicate similar load.

I should have put the store switch in the off position to see what it dropped to - didn't think to do that. I'll check it next time I am messing around!

Brian.

When I pulled the pin on the breakaway switch I measured and additional 12.5 amps draw.


Brian.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec J View Post
I have had the same problem, however I am also new and know little about electrical issues. I did get a 90 watt portable solar unit from Overland Solar that has helped a lot. The owner of Overland Solar is very helpful and has answered many questions I have had about boondocking since he does it all the time. I am in the process of installing an isolator so that I can run on one battery at a time and use the solar when possible to recharge that battery. Using one battery at a time has increased the amount of time I can dry camp considerably. He also suggested upgrading the converter since the ones installed by the factory are junk. I bought a Progressive Dynamics Converter and installed it last week. This is a 3 stage converter with a boost mode, normal mode and storage mode. It will increase the life of the battery. He did mention that if you have drained the battery too low it may have damaged the battery permanently. One problem I have is even with LED lights if I turn on the main light switch it controls 12 lights in the main section of our 2009 25' Flying Cloud FB, I don't think this is a good idea when dry camping, it just draws too much. Therefore I just turn on the lights over the table and one over the sink. It's not a lot of light though. I would like to be able to hook up only half as many lights on the main switch to limit the amount of draw but it's beyond my knowledge at this point.
One thing that will help the Overland Solar unit is to remove the charger from the back and move it closer to the batteries. Having it on the panels results in a voltage drop that severely limits the charging. I was only getting 13.2 volts until I moved mine and now I can get 14.7 volts most any sunny day.
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:05 PM   #18
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FWIW, anything with a remote control will have some circuitry powered 24/7. The remote controlled Fantastic Fans and Sony entertainment system are examples. Turning battery switch to 'off' will kill these drains. If you boondock a lot, you could wire in on/off switches ahead of each remote operated goodie. Then you could keep your 12V system on without the drains from these devices unless you wanted to use them.
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Old 12-13-2015, 12:17 PM   #19
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if you have solar, your solar controller and battery monitors are also likely a parasitic draw - at least at times when the sun isn't shining.
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:07 PM   #20
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M and M a bit more info might help. If you don't have a Trimetric battery monitor buy an AC/DC Clamp meter. Not usually found at Home Depot/Lowes as most of what they have is AC only. I have an inexpensive one from Amazon made by Mastech.

You can out it on one of the cables on the battery and tell what actual DC amps are being drawn by the coach while the storage switch is off, then turn the storage switch on with all other appliances off, then one item at a time. Build a list so that you know what each item is doing.

Pretty important if you like to boondock to understand the impact of all the circuits in the trailer.

My 15 Classic draws .5 amps with everything 'off'. That seems to be from a couple of items. LP detector, low voltage relay for my Lithium Batteries, bit of a draw from the monitor for the BlueSky. By seeing exactly what is happening with the clamp meter I can then plan on trips out to the trailer to do a re-charge.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:31 PM   #21
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Clamp on meter to measure DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghaynes755 View Post
M and M a bit more info might help. If you don't have a Trimetric battery monitor buy an AC/DC Clamp meter. Not usually found at Home Depot/Lowes as most of what they have is AC only. I have an inexpensive one from Amazon made by Mastech.

You can out it on one of the cables on the battery and tell what actual DC amps are being drawn by the coach while the storage switch is off, then turn the storage switch on with all other appliances off, then one item at a time. Build a list so that you know what each item is doing.

Pretty important if you like to boondock to understand the impact of all the circuits in the trailer.

My 15 Classic draws .5 amps with everything 'off'. That seems to be from a couple of items. LP detector, low voltage relay for my Lithium Batteries, bit of a draw from the monitor for the BlueSky. By seeing exactly what is happening with the clamp meter I can then plan on trips out to the trailer to do a re-charge.
I second Gary's recommendation of getting a clamp-on type meter. As he says, however, many of the cheaper ones can't measure DC. The one I use I did find at Home Depot a couple years ago. It is made by Klein. I think it cost around $100. Seems like a good unit.
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