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Old 12-29-2013, 09:39 AM   #15
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There must be other issues with your system to have a system failure from a fully charged battery bank in the situation that you described. The high amperage draw that you saw is a transient one, occurring only when the heavy load was placed on the batteries by the microwave and inverter.

Your batteries should have recovered significantly several minutes after the inverter ceased drawing power from the batteries. I test my new solar/battery/inverter installations with the same type of deep draw to be sure that all of the systems are working properly together.

Sounds like you have a bad battery, or your charging sections in the solar charge controller or inverter are possible not charging properly.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:55 AM   #16
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I had a horrible experience with a 'rebuilt' dometic purchased through a company in Conway AR. It was my own fault, I was too cheap to spend the extra $500 for a new dometic.

Anyhow, cash up front, the unit arrived 3 months after promise date, wasn't complete and looked like they just rattle canned the wire shelfs with silver paint.

Unit would not work on gas, couldn't get the knob to turn, it was too still, I called the shop and was told to get some brake cleaner spray and spray the contacts and then turn the knob --it should loosen up.

I guess I should have unhooked the battery. I liberally sprayed the contacts, went inside and started turning the knob, whooosh. The spark from the automatic lighter ignited the cleaner, which started the wires burning and insulation burning.

I'm still inside the trailer wondering where all the smoke is coming from..... then it hit me. Luckily there is an outside hydrant with a hose hooked up close,

I run out and start spraying water in the refrigerator access door and get the fire out. Because I was standing in wet grass and the trailer was wet and all the electrical wires, including the 110 plug in for the box, I got the living sheet shocked out of me when I touched the trailer.

Shelter insurance bailed me out. I am so glad I have full coverage on that trailer!
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:07 PM   #17
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I'm with lew.
40 years I have been fight with absorbsion refers , why ?
for the cost of a NEW absorpsiobn unit you can put in an a/c refer , inverter / charger and add to the battery bank . xantrex has the freedom hf which is great for this purpose , also has built in 30 amp transfer switch . you can run the whole trlr without a gen ( no air conditioner though) and a very sophisticated charging system .
I have 1 cust , a carriage fth with3 x 240 solar panels , 2x 8d agm batts and a 2000 watt magnum inverter . he dry camps all winter and the only time he fires his gen up is for the ac . most of us don't boondock enough for it to be a problem.
It is hard to find a new motorhome with an absorbtion fridge. They have double door residential type fridges, inverters and a bigger battery bank. The generator automatically fires up if the batteries get low. The only downside to the above set up is the cost and finding a place for more and bigger batteries. A small electric fridge doesn't draw that many amps. I have no room for a big one in my small trailer. Two 8d's would handle a small fridge and give me lots more furnace time than my two group 24.s I could double the size of my 200 watt solar charger and keep things mostly charged except on cloudy days.
My Dometic failed prematurely on my 2004 Safari. I wish I had spent the 2k it cost to replace it with an electric fridge, bigger batteries an inverter and a bigger solar charger.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:56 PM   #18
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It is hard to find a new motorhome with an absorbtion fridge. They have double door residential type fridges, inverters and a bigger battery bank. The generator automatically fires up if the batteries get low. The only downside to the above set up is the cost and finding a place for more and bigger batteries. A small electric fridge doesn't draw that many amps. I have no room for a big one in my small trailer. Two 8d's would handle a small fridge and give me lots more furnace time than my two group 24.s I could double the size of my 200 watt solar charger and keep things mostly charged except on cloudy days.
My Dometic failed prematurely on my 2004 Safari. I wish I had spent the 2k it cost to replace it with an electric fridge, bigger batteries an inverter and a bigger solar charger.
For the capacity of an 8D (2255 amp/hours), you would be better off with a pair of Lifeline GPL-6CT golf cart batteries ( 300 amp/hours) that. Are easier to handle, half the weight each and are more versatile in the way they can be positioned in the trailer. They are also the 'sweet spot' in the Lifeline selection, as they are the lowest cost per amp/hour. We use more of these in our solar. Installations than any other battery.f
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:10 PM   #19
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That's 255 amp hour capacity for the 8D
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:14 AM   #20
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This is an interesting thread. After reading it over, I have a couple of points to add.
Absorbed glass matt batteries do vent gas, not as much as flooded cell but some. They should be vented or at least placed a long way from any source of ignition.
I have a combination 24 volt d.c./125a.c. refrigerator in my boat. It is compact. They make the same refrigerator in 12v/125v. One of these would enable one to ditch their dometic, and leave out the inverter.
I appreciate the point about the golf cart batteries having almost as many amps as the 8d's. Probably 4 of them (2 banks) would be smaller and less weight than 2 8d's
I am going into my 7th year on the agms on my boat. Their care and feeding is totally in the hands on my Xantrac inverter/charger. It is a very good charger.
I ditched my Paralax for a 3 stage converter charger but am not getting the battery life that I hoped for. I suspect my no name solar system is overcharging my batteries particularly when I am plugged into a.c. My next project is to upgrade the solar charger regulator. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good unit?
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:17 PM   #21
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This is an interesting thread. After reading it over, I have a couple of points to add.
Absorbed glass matt batteries do vent gas, not as much as flooded cell but some. They should be vented or at least placed a long way from any source of ignition.
I have a combination 24 volt d.c./125a.c. refrigerator in my boat. It is compact. They make the same refrigerator in 12v/125v. One of these would enable one to ditch their dometic, and leave out the inverter.
I appreciate the point about the golf cart batteries having almost as many amps as the 8d's. Probably 4 of them (2 banks) would be smaller and less weight than 2 8d's
I am going into my 7th year on the agms on my boat. Their care and feeding is totally in the hands on my Xantrac inverter/charger. It is a very good charger.
I ditched my Paralax for a 3 stage converter charger but am not getting the battery life that I hoped for. I suspect my no name solar system is overcharging my batteries particularly when I am plugged into a.c. My next project is to upgrade the solar charger regulator. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good unit?
I BEG TO DIFFER.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries DO NOT OUTGAS when properly charged. Different AGM batteries have different requirements for their charge profiles. Lifelines in particular have one way valves in them that will only open when either severely overcharged (15.5VDC at 77F) or when the batteries are experiencing thermal runaway (associated with the previously described condition).

If they did vent, even slightly, they would immediately begin depleting the acid mixture contained in the glass mat and would start to lose their charge retention capacities immediately, as the moisture has no way of being replaced. Lifelines (and most other AGMs) are designed to recombine any vapors back into the glass mat to maintain the acid/water ratios within the battery shell.

As far as a solar charge controller, my best selling and best liked unit is the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512 iX-HV MPPT with the IPN Pro Remote and 500 amp shunt battery monitor kit.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:53 AM   #22
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I BEG TO DIFFER.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries DO NOT OUTGAS when properly charged. Different AGM batteries have different requirements for their charge profiles. Lifelines in particular have one way valves in them that will only open when either severely overcharged (15.5VDC at 77F) or when the batteries are experiencing thermal runaway (associated with the previously described condition).

If they did vent, even slightly, they would immediately begin depleting the acid mixture contained in the glass mat and would start to lose their charge retention capacities immediately, as the moisture has no way of being replaced. Lifelines (and most other AGMs) are designed to recombine any vapors back into the glass mat to maintain the acid/water ratios within the battery shell.

As far as a solar charge controller, my best selling and best liked unit is the Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512 iX-HV MPPT with the IPN Pro Remote and 500 amp shunt battery monitor kit.
Thank you Lew for clarifying that AGM's subject to overcharging or thermal runaway lose their charge retention capacity. This is what had happened to me - the draw of 134 amps was for 3 minutes (not exactly transient). Since I require 110-volts for my CPAP machine, I have to be mindful to ensure that I don't lose any capacity - loss of capacity means loss of sleep.
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