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Old 04-27-2021, 09:24 AM   #1
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
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12v system not completely recharging

During our recent trip I noticed that our 12v system would never completely recharge to 100%. We were connected to shore power the entire time (6 days), and were very stingy about using 12v resources. We also have 190w of solar panels, and the sun exposure was moderate for the week.
I keep our 27’ FC stored at our home and connected to 30a shore power, and the batteries had been maintaining a complete charge.
Suggestions as to whether I have a 12v infrastructure issue, or the batteries are just plan spent.
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Old 04-27-2021, 09:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jlowry1954 View Post
During our recent trip I noticed that our 12v system would never completely recharge to 100%. We were connected to shore power the entire time (6 days), and were very stingy about using 12v resources. We also have 190w of solar panels, and the sun exposure was moderate for the week.
I keep our 27’ FC stored at our home and connected to 30a shore power, and the batteries had been maintaining a complete charge.
Suggestions as to whether I have a 12v infrastructure issue, or the batteries are just plan spent.
Have you checked the water in the batteries? Might be time to remove batteries and have tested or get yourself a volt meter and a hydrometer for some basic testing. Also if you suspect a problem with your system try a portable battery charger and see if that brings them to full. Those are the cheap, easy things you can try.
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:14 AM   #3
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Have you checked the water in the batteries? Might be time to remove batteries and have tested or get yourself a volt meter and a hydrometer for some basic testing. Also if you suspect a problem with your system try a portable battery charger and see if that brings them to full. Those are the cheap, easy things you can try.

Thank you Brian. I’ll check the items you mentioned.
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:41 AM   #4
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What are you using to determine "100%" on the batteries? A shunt-based battery monitor system, or the See-Level indicator provided by Airstream, or an indication from the solar controller?
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:57 AM   #5
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What are you using to determine "100%" on the batteries? A shunt-based battery monitor system, or the See-Level indicator provided by Airstream, or an indication from the solar controller?
I’m using the See-Level indicator located in the galley area.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:48 AM   #6
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I’m using the See-Level indicator located in the galley area.
OK, the first (cheap, easy) thing to do is get a decent multimeter and measure the voltage for yourself at the battery posts. My See-Level meter reading is always a tenth or so lower than the actual measurement at the battery post, and when you're talking about that last little bit of topping off as estimated by the resting voltage of the battery, that makes a difference. It's also harder to be completely certain that nothing is putting a load on the battery when they're connected to the trailer system... a "phantom draw" somewhere, a light on in a storage compartment, etc. The truest reading is going to be with the batteries disconnected and resting for a while after charging.

Remember that the resting voltage is affected a bit by temperature as well when you're estimating state of charge using voltage measurements.
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Old 04-28-2021, 11:36 AM   #7
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Hi

If you have factory solar, you should have AGM batteries. They do not have a "water fill" issue like flooded batteries do.

Some basic checks:

First up, after the sun goes down ( so solar has shut off ):

1) Turn off any 12V loads ( or as many as you can). Disconnect shore power or flip the breaker to the converter / charger. Wait a while (like a half hour) and measure the voltage at the battery posts. It should be at or above 12.6V. Whatever the voltage is, make note of it.

2) Turn the converter charger back on. Measure the battery voltage again. It should go up. Up by how much is a "that depends" sort of thing. If it does not go up, measure the voltage at the output of the converter.

Now:

a) all worked fine, battery voltage went up with converter engaged ... move on.

b) battery voltage did not go up / converter voltage did not go up ... check fuse in output of the converter, if that's not it, suspect a dead converter.

c) battery voltage did not change at all, but converter voltage went up to > 13.2V. Something is wrong in the wiring between the converter and battery. ( Use / store switch, battery disconnect switch, .....)

d) Battery idles at < 12.3V, but converter seems to work as it should .... sounds like a bum battery.

Wait for the next day.

3) With full sun on the panels, turn off shore power / converter for 30 minutes. Next measure the voltage at the battery. Is it up > 13.2V? If so, your solar is likely working.

Since there are a *lot* of twists and turns in all that, you really can't fix things without doing some digging ....

Bob
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