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Old 08-28-2015, 12:09 PM   #1
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Battery & Generator Questions

We're finding that when boondocking, our new house batteries (2016 30' Serenity) drop from around 12.5 to 11.7 in a matter of a couple of a couple of hours. What is running during that time is:

-Fridge (on Gas)
-Water Heater (on Gas)
-iPad or two (via Inverter)

That's it. No lights, no TV, water pump only for very brief momentary use at the sink.

Is this battery performance to be expected?

In the evening when watching TV (which includes powering the Winegard sat. dish, DirecTV receiver, Samsung TV set, & the coach audio system) and also running a couple of MacBook Pro laptops, the batteries drop from about 12.5 to 11.5 in a little over an hour. No lights are running, but the fridge & water heater are running on gas.

Again, is this to be expected?

We're thinking an upgrade to a couple of 6v Trojan batteries may need to happen soon.

Lastly, when recharging the batteries with the CU2000i generator, it takes about an hour to bring the batteries up from 11.5 to 12.5 and getting above 12.5 seems to take as long or even longer.

How does this all sound to you guys? About par for the factory batteries?
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:33 PM   #2
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What type of converter are you using? If you have the original Parallax, it is not treating your batteries kindly with it's constant voltage single stage output. It will effectively kill new batteries in short order as well.

Your batteries should hold charge for a much longer period if they are healthy........... which it appears to not be the case here.

I would, at minimum, definitely upgrade your converter to a Progressive Dynamics 3 stage unit before adding any new batteries.

If you want the best charging hardware, consider upgrading your inverter to a Magnum inverter/charger that has full temperature compensation and is programmable for battery type and size of your battery bank.




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Old 08-28-2015, 12:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post
We're finding that when boondocking, our new house batteries (2016 30' Serenity) drop from around 12.5 to 11.7 in a matter of a couple of a couple of hours. What is running during that time is:

-Fridge (on Gas)
-Water Heater (on Gas)
-iPad or two (via Inverter)

That's it. No lights, no TV, water pump only for very brief momentary use at the sink.

Is this battery performance to be expected?

In the evening when watching TV (which includes powering the Winegard sat. dish, DirecTV receiver, Samsung TV set, & the coach audio system) and also running a couple of MacBook Pro laptops, the batteries drop from about 12.5 to 11.5 in a little over an hour. No lights are running, but the fridge & water heater are running on gas.

Again, is this to be expected?

We're thinking an upgrade to a couple of 6v Trojan batteries may need to happen soon.

Lastly, when recharging the batteries with the CU2000i generator, it takes about an hour to bring the batteries up from 11.5 to 12.5 and getting above 12.5 seems to take as long or even longer.

How does this all sound to you guys? About par for the factory batteries?
did you check the batteries with a hydrometer? My 2015 battery (the one that came with the trailer, of the two that are in there now) was dry when I got it from the dealer. It never really recovered from the dealer or the factory overcharging it. I ended up replacing it even though the Interstate store tested it and declared it good, despite the fact that the hydrometer reading in both ends was zero. Replacing the battery solved these kinds of issues right away. Since I'd had the trailer a few weeks before i figured it out I just went to costco and replaced that battery for $70.
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:54 PM   #4
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Seems to be a common issue. Are you measuring directly from the batteries or from a plug in volt meter in one of the 12v receptacles? The meter in the receptacle will show lower when there is a load than if you measure off the batteries.

The subwoofer can draw power as well as the LP Leak detector. The fridge electronics draws some power.

Best to pull the batteries and check the fluid levels and charge completely with a smart battery charger then check each cell with a hydrometer after you've allowed the batteries to rest. If you have low cells then replace the batteries. I'd replace the stock converter charger with something like a PD 4655 with multi charge so when the batteries are topped up the voltage is reduced so the batteries aren't cooked. The PD4655 is only about $200 and easy to install and is worth the upgrade.

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Old 08-28-2015, 07:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
What type of converter are you using? If you have the original Parallax, it is not treating your batteries kindly with it's constant voltage single stage output. It will effectively kill new batteries in short order as well.

Your batteries should hold charge for a much longer period if they are healthy........... which it appears to not be the case here.

I would, at minimum, definitely upgrade your converter to a Progressive Dynamics 3 stage unit before adding any new batteries.

If you want the best charging hardware, consider upgrading your inverter to a Magnum inverter/charger that has full temperature compensation and is programmable for battery type and size of your battery bank.

Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357
Lew... the converter is an Intertek Series 5300 located at floor level under the fridge. And the inverter is a WFCO WF-5110H located in a tightly packet central console/cabinet between the front recliners.

Are you suggesting that both the converter and the inverter be replaced with a single component that would do the work of them both?

It appears that the present spaces holding each of these components would be unlikely to hold a physically larger component, though I could be wrong about that.

Where would you suggest the Magnum Inverter/Charger be placed, and would it replace both the inverter and the converter?
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by leedav View Post
did you check the batteries with a hydrometer? My 2015 battery (the one that came with the trailer, of the two that are in there now) was dry when I got it from the dealer. It never really recovered from the dealer or the factory overcharging it. I ended up replacing it even though the Interstate store tested it and declared it good, despite the fact that the hydrometer reading in both ends was zero. Replacing the battery solved these kinds of issues right away. Since I'd had the trailer a few weeks before i figured it out I just went to costco and replaced that battery for $70.
leedav... I have not checked with a hydrometer. My only measurement tool for the batts it the Airstream meter panel for batt/water/tanks.

I did check the Interstate battery water levels, which look ok for one of them. The other battery can't be opened without disconnecting the batteries and I didn't have time to do that today... will do tomorrow. It's possible that the battery I can't check the levels on is low.
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Seems to be a common issue. Are you measuring directly from the batteries or from a plug in volt meter in one of the 12v receptacles? The meter in the receptacle will show lower when there is a load than if you measure off the batteries.

The subwoofer can draw power as well as the LP Leak detector. The fridge electronics draws some power.

Best to pull the batteries and check the fluid levels and charge completely with a smart battery charger then check each cell with a hydrometer after you've allowed the batteries to rest. If you have low cells then replace the batteries. I'd replace the stock converter charger with something like a PD 4655 with multi charge so when the batteries are topped up the voltage is reduced so the batteries aren't cooked. The PD4655 is only about $200 and easy to install and is worth the upgrade.

Kelvin
Kelvin... we're boon docking presently and I don't have a hydrometer, nor a separate battery charger. May stop by a service shop somewhere down the road.

I do have a vohm with me, but not sure of the best place to tap into the 12v system. Perhaps one of the LED light fixtures?
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:39 PM   #8
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Should I expect the EU2000i Honda to take perhaps 3+ hours to bring the batteries from about 11.7 up to 13.5 or so? It seems to get them to 12.5 fairly quickly, then I'm not seeing much additional charging with an additional half-hour or so? Are you guys saying this really looks like a charger issue?

Is the Intertek 5300 converter doing the charging?
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:41 PM   #9
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Battery & Generator Questions

Your battery is already weak at 12.5 and possibly damaged at 11.7Click image for larger version

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Old 08-28-2015, 07:51 PM   #10
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Your battery is already weak at 12.5 and possibly damaged at 11.7Attachment 246577
Atomic... thanks, I have that chart. It could be that the batteries are toast. But perhaps not. We'll find out when we get somewhere and a good test can be done. If they are toast... we will go straight to a pair of Trojan 6v. Hopefully, with the 2016 battery box, we will have enough height to fit them in. Or look into a battery box sleeve extender. It is nice that Airstream went to the taller battery box for the 2016 models.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:04 PM   #11
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Question

Connecting directly to the Honda will take all day to charge your batteries.

Run your Honda, let it power the 5300 and charge the batts.

Turn the inverter off....it drains a bit even with everything off.

Our 2000i runs for 1/2-45min while preparing breakfast, which will keep the grp27 Lifelines well above 12.8v.
At 13.2v we can go 2 days if necessary.

Bob
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:57 PM   #12
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Connecting directly to the Honda will take all day to charge your batteries.

Run your Honda, let it power the 5300 and charge the batts.

Turn the inverter off....it drains a bit even with everything off.

Our 2000i runs for 1/2-45min while preparing breakfast, which will keep the grp27 Lifelines well above 12.8v.
At 13.2v we can go 2 days if necessary.

Bob
Thanks Bob. I have the Honda running straight into the 50 amp AC line to the coach. Is that what you mean by "power the 5300 and charge the batts"?

I have not powered down the inverter when doing this, so I will try that and see what effect it may have.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:45 PM   #13
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Yep.....a lot faster when using the converter.
Our only electrical 'dock'n upgrades...55a IOTA IQ4 converter, two Lifeline AGM's, Honda 2000i w/LPG dual use conversion and all the hi use lamps converted to LED's.

Bob
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DHart View Post
Lew... the converter is an Intertek Series 5300 located at floor level under the fridge. And the inverter is a WFCO WF-5110H located in a tightly packet central console/cabinet between the front recliners.

Are you suggesting that both the converter and the inverter be replaced with a single component that would do the work of them both?

It appears that the present spaces holding each of these components would be unlikely to hold a physically larger component, though I could be wrong about that.

Where would you suggest the Magnum Inverter/Charger be placed, and would it replace both the inverter and the converter?
Your converter is a Parallax 5300 series (tested by Intertek) with a single stage charger. These are known destroyers of any type of battery as they never completely charge a lead-based battery and never allow them to float if/when full . And YES, you can replace both the WFCO inverter and the Parallax with a fully programmable Magnum MMS-1012 1000 watt sine wave inverter/charger that will take the place of both existing devices.

The best part of the Magnum is their full programmability when using their ME-RC remote. This allows selection of the best charge profile to suit your existing battery bank, as well as the size of that battery bank, along with full temperature compensation. And all made and warranted in the USA!!!

PM me if you have any further questions.
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