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Old 10-22-2018, 04:51 PM   #1
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Longer Boondock

For second trip to Mammoth Lakes campground I wanted more days boondocking. Added two new interstate batteries from Costco in parallel as well as portable 100 watt panel with extended branch connectors to my 100 watt roof top (parallel). Worked great for 8 days, no generator. Shady so portable needed to reach the sun.



However, back home I began to see the voltage drop overnight. With one Powerstride before the change, never shore power, the roof 100 watt solar kept the battery at 13.5. Battery in "store". This for over a year


Now mornings would be at 12.7 or 12.8 and 82%. Seemed solar was not cranking amps even in sun. By mid day when I was always at 100% I was still in mid 80% in full sun. After many tests and tech help from GoSolar it seemed might be batteries.



So, Interstates are removed and tested at 12.94 and 12.93 each. Every hour they dropped and after 3 hours are at 12.83. My Powerstride, after sitting 6 weeks never dropped. Hooked back up to AS they got to 13.5 in 2 hours.


I did test Ph on all cells of both batteries and passed. So, seems they are not holding a charge and time to take back to Costco, yes?


I want to have 2 batteries for dry camping and I don't want to change converter (again, almost never use shore power) so stay with flooded? Which ones? Guess Powersrtide might be great candidate.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:26 PM   #2
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It's not clear to me what your saying. Maybe you had Powerstride batteries before you bought new ones at Costco? (I'm not sure Powerstride is a battery.)

However we've boondocked with two stock Interstate batteries for eight days using a 100 watt portable solar panel with no problem at all.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:29 PM   #3
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Your expectation of battery behavior is not supported by actual battery behavior. A 12v flooded lead-acid battery isn't going to maintain a surface charge above about 12.7V for long. That's the "fully charged" state. The higher voltage you see for a while when you take it off the charger is a phantom surface charge. Now, if in a resting state after a full charge they drop much BELOW 12.7v you may have something wrong w/ the battery, but what you're describing sounds like normal behavior.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:41 PM   #4
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Did not know that about phantom charge so maybe batteries are ok. Will check tomorrow. Initially thought that there was a solar controller problem in the amps were at .00 to .01 when battery at 12.6, 82% in morning with full sun. Maybe it is the controller and go solar said they would send me a new one. Just 1 yr old
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfish View Post
Did not know that about phantom charge so maybe batteries are ok. Will check tomorrow. Initially thought that there was a solar controller problem in the amps were at .00 to .01 when battery at 12.6, 82% in morning with full sun. Maybe it is the controller and go solar said they would send me a new one. Just 1 yr old
The amps will start to drop after the battery reaches around 80% charge level even though the voltage stays level. There is a site www.batteryuniversity.com that is very educational. There a lot there to learn.
This should help you, it was a great help to me.

Thanks
Matti
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:46 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that I was talking about the battery in a disconnected state... after charging, disconnected from the system, it'll float down eventually to about 12.7v and stay there for a long time.

While charging, generally you should see voltages above 13v after the early part of the charging cycle, but it initially starts close to what the battery's resting voltage was at that state of discharge. Over the first part of the charge cycle it holds current steady and ramps voltage up to something over 13.5V (it'll vary somewhat depending on the controller and the settings) so you may have been looking at the display just after it started charging when the sun hit the panels or something like that... the Battery University site mentioned earlier will tell you a lot about the charging profiles.
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