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Old 05-21-2017, 04:50 PM   #1
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How to plan for BD

I have a 2017 FC FB 25'. Suppose to go BD this fall. Haven't before. If I run one of my overhead fans all night with a window or two open to simulate that, what can I expect batteries to look like in am? I have NO solar and stock wet cell batteries. Refrige is off for now as well as HWH.
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:39 PM   #2
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Fantastic vents draw 3 amps on high.
http://www.fantasticvent.com/assets/...t-new-cust.pdf

Even if you run two, that's 6 amps. Overnight, say for 8 hours, that is 48 amp hours. According to Interstate:
http://www.interstatebatteries.com/m.../rv-deep-cycle

At a 5 amp rate of discharge, a group 24 is good for 13 hours or 65 Amp*hours (that's to full discharge) and a Group 27 is good for 19 hours or 95 Amp*hours. Batteries, however, should not be discharged below half capacity, so if you only have one battery, divide those numbers by 2. Since you said "batteries" I'll assume two.

If you run your refrigerator off of propane, it should only draw about 0.3 amps if you have the humidity control turned off. One fan plus the fridge for 8 hours overnight would be 3.3 *8 or 26.4 amp hours. Both fans would be 6.3 *8 or 50.4 Amp*hours.

One fan plus fridge overnight
Usable Capacity for two Group 24 batteries - 65 AH
Capacity used for two Group 24 batteries - 26.4 AH
Percent of usable capacity used - 26.4/65 = 40%

Two fans plus fridge overnight
Usable Capacity for two Group 24 batteries - 65 AH
Capacity used for two Group 24 batteries - 50.4 AH
Percent of usable capacity used - 50.4/65 = 78%


You should be good with no problem if there are no other significant loads. You are even in better shape you have have Group 27 batteries.

Al
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:01 PM   #3
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Think I have 27s but busy with my rum n coke right now. Thx. I'm going to run that scenario next day or two to check out
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:26 PM   #4
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Great overview Al.

dblee1950, may I suggest that before you go on the boondocking trip, you make sure the battery cells are all full with distilled water, and that the specific gravity of each cell is good, by using a hydrometer. Best not to assume that because they are new, that the batteries have been cared for correctly by the dealer. "Lot rot" happens to many AS new batteries, unfortunately!

Make sure that all possible phantom loads are off, which would include the fridge humidity control (as Al mentioned), any radio or A/V systems including sub-woofer, hidden lights in storage areas, and so forth. The propane detector must stay on.

You can check the battery voltage when you get up during the night to use the bathroom. We don't let it get below 12.2 volts if possible, and prefer to charge with the generator once the batteries get below 12.5 (~ 90%). If your voltage goes below 12, more serious battery damage is said to occur, so you might have to turn off fans etc., or plan on replacing your batteries sooner than you might have anticipated.

By the first morning of your trip, you will have a better sense of the battery usage. Guessing that you will be in the 12.2 to 12.5 range per your overnight test scenario.

Have a great boondocking trip!

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dblee1950 View Post
Think I have 27s but busy with my rum n coke right now. Thx. I'm going to run that scenario next day or two to check out
AS installs group 24 batteries at the factory.
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:22 AM   #6
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Will ck it out tomorrow, thx
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:40 PM   #7
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Yep, grp 24. I'm running one fan, everything else is off. Been going 6 hrs and v indicator in AS shows 12.3, pretty much since I started this am. Not sure how good A measurement I get from that indicator. Shooting for 8 to 10 hours
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:49 PM   #8
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12.3 volts indicates that your batteries we about 40% depleted, which is sub-standard for only running a fan for 6 hours (assuming they were fully charged before). Please see Post #4 for some initial steps to take to research why the batteries have fallen so much. In my opinion, you are not in good shape to leave on a trip that involves any boondocking.

Peter

PS here is a good primer on RV batteries:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/ba...ool.cfm?TID=10

Voltage percentages in the middle here:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm

And here:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/ba...cfm?TID=5#ANC5
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Make sure that all possible phantom loads are off, which would include the fridge humidity control (as Al mentioned),
Does anyone know if the fridge on my 2014 FC (5 CU Dometic, combined fridge/freezer with small freezer inside the fridge) has the humidity control, even if there is no switch for it anywhere? Is it just built in and always on or 'on' as needed, like my fridge vent fan (which I am wiring a switch to so I can shut it off selectively)?

I'd like to find a way to disable it if in fact it is always on or on when the fridge says it needs it. Trying to really crack down on phantom draws.
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:52 PM   #10
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You could probably get better feedback on the 23FB thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...um-166374.html

Does your owner's manual talk about this, or the fridge mfg. Dometic pamphlet with your AS paperwork?
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
12.3 volts indicates that your batteries we about 40% depleted, which is sub-standard for only running a fan for 6 hours (assuming they were fully charged before). Please see Post #4 for some initial steps to take to research why the batteries have fallen so much. In my opinion, you are not in good shape to leave on a trip that involves any boondocking.

Peter

PS here is a good primer on RV batteries:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/ba...ool.cfm?TID=10

Voltage percentages in the middle here:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm

And here:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/ba...cfm?TID=5#ANC5


I'll read up on those links as time allows. What I do know is that the airstream was plugged into shore power probably for the last two weeks with battery charging engaged I'm not too worried about frying bats because I have the PD4655 charger. As I recall it showed that it was in the slow state of charge i forget what the real name is but the wizard was only blinking every 10 seconds or so. I assume () bats were fully charged. My indicator may be off? Bats are less than a year old according to stickers and AS was delivered straight from factory to dealer where I picked it up.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:09 PM   #12
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An alternative to running the vent fan(s) is to get a standalone "endless breeze" fan (which is from fantastic and is essentially the same fan we have in the vents but in a case with a 12v cigarette lighter end). Having that fan blowing on you (even on low speed,which consumes about half the power of full speed) will make you more comfortable at night. On a night with a breeze and the windows open you'll do just fine with no fan.

Your 2017 model trailer may only have USB plugs, not 12volt. There may be a USB model of small box fan. If not, you may want to have a traditional cigarette lighter outlet added. I put an extra 12 v with USB on my wife's side of the bed so she gets the fan.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post

Does your owner's manual talk about this, or the fridge mfg. Dometic pamphlet with your AS paperwork?
The Dometic manual (it's a comprehensive manual for all models) only mentions 'climate control' for the larger unit that has the separate fridge and freezer, there is a switch to turn it on or off. No mention of any other models, I was just wondering if anybody knows if there is anything similar on the smaller 'all in one' units. I am going to email Dometic and ask them and will report back.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
An alternative to running the vent fan(s) is to get a standalone "endless breeze" fan (which is from fantastic and is essentially the same fan we have in the vents but in a case with a 12v cigarette lighter end). Having that fan blowing on you (even on low speed,which consumes about half the power of full speed) will make you more comfortable at night. On a night with a breeze and the windows open you'll do just fine with no fan.

Your 2017 model trailer may only have USB plugs, not 12volt. There may be a USB model of small box fan. If not, you may want to have a traditional cigarette lighter outlet added. I put an extra 12 v with USB on my wife's side of the bed so she gets the fan.


Good idea. I'll look into that kind of fan. Thx
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:50 PM   #15
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. . . Bats are less than a year old according to stickers and AS was delivered straight from factory to dealer where I picked it up.
That was what I was cautioning you about in Posts #4 and 8 -- the possibility that the batteries have "lot rot."

Many brand new Airstreams have batteries which have been mistreated by the dealer. Your 12.3 volts after only 6 hours of using one fan is a red flag warning IMO.

Post #4 has some suggestions about checking the specific gravity of each battery cell, which would take about 10 minutes and might confirm that the batteries are compromised.

No need to keep repeating things.

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:31 PM   #16
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I'll check SG tomorrow. I did check v at batteries and found 12.5. Maybe inside indicator is off. Not sure about lot rot as as I said AS came straight from production to me.
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:32 PM   #17
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Thinking about agm batteries. This is a pain
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:01 PM   #18
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tester

why not do a dry run in your parking spot if possible.
I do that at times .... I'll run both ventaxia's all day plus a few other things to test out my batteries.
Just returned from 3 nights started at 12.6v and ended around 12.2 ... ran 3 fans ...furnace ..lights..water pump etc . We were boon docking and find 3 nights easy to do ... my wife even used her 110 hairdryer and the 110 toaster twice.
I have 2 6v golf cart "All Canadian" brand batteries.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:39 AM   #19
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That'll be next. I checked voltage with my good quality meter and found 12.5 when inside indicator showed 12.3. I'll continue to follow with hydrometer
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:55 AM   #20
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If you choose to replace the battery, you might measure your battery box to see if a group 31 battery will fit. On my 25' it did. That battery has 100AH capacity.
Sounds interesting. I'll check the dimensions. I'm going to try to get as much out of these bats as I can.
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