Originally Posted by TBeery
Just replaced both original batteries with big Optima blue tops. First trip out they were great and after 2 nights were still at 90%. This last boon dock trip this weekend they were in the yellow after only a few hours at camp. This was after being plugged into the house for a full 24 hours before the trip. Had to run the Honda 2000 generator 45 min. a couple times a day just to keep them out of the red.
After taking measurements in the breaker panel and finding everything 'seemed' ok, I noticed what looks to be a blown capacitor in the lower section of the breaker panel (under the pantry). What is this? Is this the charge controller? Inverter? Not much as far as a schematic on this that I can find.
Any help to let me know what's going on here, if it's causing the rapid discharge, and how to repair or replace it would be so much appreciated!
The device located below your breaker panel is your converter
. It has a single stage output and will very likely destroy your batteries due to improper charge voltage in very short order. I would replace it as soon as possible with a PD-4655 from Progressive Dynamics, which is a direct replacement.
As for your batteries, your original Interstates were Group 24, which means that they had a capacity of 80 amp/hours each for a total of 160 amp/hours. Since it is suggested to not draw lead based batteries much below 50%, that gives you usable battery capacity of 80 amp/hours.
Optimas are the same physical size as Group 24 batteries but due to their spiral design and the voids between the '6 pack', they only provide 55 amp/hours. with 2, you get 110 total amp/hours. Compare this to the 160 amp/hours that you originally had, and you can see that you have drastically decreased your battery capacity by 40% using Optima batteries.
Despite their limited capacity, they were once considered a good battery. That perception has changed recently, as the are now made in China! Check some of the recent comments on the Web.