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Old 06-23-2018, 04:37 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2018 27' International
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 22
Boondocking Power shut off list

We have a 2018 International Serenity 27 FB and spend most of our time in it. Picked it up one year ago.

We recently tried to boondock for the first time. No problem when solar panels were producing or the generator. Without that, Voltage dropped immediately to 10.2 volts with just the lights and parasites.

When you go from Full Hook Up to Traveling and then stop at a boondocking site, What should you shut off immediately to conserve your battery power?.

We had solar and wind on our sailboats with golf cart batteries. Maybe we are just spoiled. But also disappointed.
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Old 06-23-2018, 04:48 PM   #2
The Aluminum Tent 3
pcskier's Avatar
2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,735
If your batteries go from fully charged to 10.2 that quickly, they are toast and need replacement. 10.5 is essentially 'dead'. I can go 4 days (no solar) with my Group 24 Interstates powering just the fridge (on propane), very little lighting, and water pump usage. When they get down near 12.1V, I charge them. You should have better results with solar in the mix.

As far as what to shut off. Your fridge will draw a bit, propane detector is always on, and there are varying opinions that the inverter, even in standby mode, draws a bit. And lastly, the subwoofer, even if off. Others have disputed those last two things. Seems to vary.

A lot of threads on here regarding batteries. Many have switched to 6V golf cart batteries in series and report better results. Trojan T105s seem to be common...if they fit in your box.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:44 AM   #3
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,123

I have a thread ( and there are others ) on the various parasitic loads in the trailer. They do add up and it depends a bit on what is in your trailer. You don't have much control over them. They just do what they do.

If the batteries drop to 10.5 immediately, that suggests that they are not getting charged ( or are out of water or are dead ...). Rather than just run out and replace them, do a little troubleshooting first. In some cases the use/store switch is (mis)wired in a fashion that you mostly are not charging the batteries .... On a one year old trailer, you should have some warranty left on the batteries.

The existing batteries are either group 24 ( ~160AH rated / ~ 80AH usable) flooded cells or AGM group 27's ( ~200AH rated / ~100AH usable). With factory solar, the AGM's are the normal setup. If they are AGM's the water level is not an issue. Going with GC batteries will almost always require a modified battery box. They will get you about a 10% increase in capacity over your AGM's.

If you want a major increase in capacity, a pair of lithium's will drop straight into the battery box ( in most cases ) and get you 200AH usable capacity. There may be other bits and pieces you decide to change out at the same time. ( like maybe the converter ).

Lots of directions you could go ....

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Old 06-25-2018, 11:12 AM   #4
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Hartsburg , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 372
Agree with the previous two posts that it sounds like the batteries are not getting fully charged and if they've been depleted very often to that level or left that way for very long they are not going to work very well anymore. You never mention how much solar or battery you have? Keep your inverter off when not in use, and consider adding a disconnect switch right at the negative terminal of your battery so one switch can disconnect everything when you're not in the trailer.
Frank & Fran
2016 27' FC FB with 600 W solar
2016 Ford F150 EcoBoost
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:19 PM   #5
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,123

About the only way to *know* what's going on is to install one of the after market battery monitor systems. The Victron BMV-712 is one, there are many others. They look at current into and out of the battery. Their little brain does the math, adding all the in's and out's up over time. It then presents you with a pretty good estimate of how much is in the battery. Since they are looking at current, you get a real time readout of what the trailer is using.

Looking at the power bus voltage, can (as you have found out) easily fake you out. There are a number of reasons for this. Tracking them all down can take quite a while. Voltage is fine for a basic check, but it fails for anything past the basics.

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