Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-04-2020, 09:13 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Dixon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
Poor battery performance when boondocking

At rest (about an hour after of charging), my batteries are never over 12.5. The batteries were new 2 years ago. Each time I boondock the batteries have less voltage. I use a CPAP at night. Early this summer I would be at 12.3 in the morning. Now, I am 12.0 or 11.9V after a night of battery use.
Oddly, these Interstate batteries were never more than 12.5 at rest even when they were new. The fact that they are deteriorating has me buffaloed. We are very conservative in battery use when boondocking ..except for the CPAP. Ideas?
__________________

rockeddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2020, 12:45 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
gator.bigfoot's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
KW , Ontario
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 646
How are you charging the batteries? Are you using solar or are you charging them before you leave for your trip? Either way you need to look at your charger. I is not charging them properly and most likely not long enough. Please provide more details on you setup.
__________________

gator.bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2020, 10:15 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
wulfraat's Avatar
 
2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,415
Images: 1
They were likely toast when you bought the trailer. Dealers are notorious for letting units sit on the lot, with parasitic draws, draining the batteries down to <10v and permanently damaging the plates.

So many warranty claims on brand new trailers that as of this year airstream are no longer shipping batteries with new units.

Time for new batteries unfortunately if they are topping out at 12.5v.

If you are reliant on CPAP I would most definitely put 2 lithium batteries in the unit.
wulfraat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 02:36 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 14,128
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockeddy View Post
At rest (about an hour after of charging), my batteries are never over 12.5. The batteries were new 2 years ago. Each time I boondock the batteries have less voltage. I use a CPAP at night. Early this summer I would be at 12.3 in the morning. Now, I am 12.0 or 11.9V after a night of battery use.
Oddly, these Interstate batteries were never more than 12.5 at rest even when they were new. The fact that they are deteriorating has me buffaloed. We are very conservative in battery use when boondocking ..except for the CPAP. Ideas?
Welcome to the forum! Sounds like your batteries are shot, so it is time to get new ones ASAP. Wulfraat's proposed upgrade to lithium batteries will also require that you get a new battery charger/converter, so you might want to hold off on that IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
They were likely toast when you bought the trailer. Dealers are notorious for letting units sit on the lot, with parasitic draws, draining the batteries down to <10v and permanently damaging the plates.

So many warranty claims on brand new trailers that as of this year airstream are no longer shipping batteries with new units.

Time for new batteries unfortunately if they are topping out at 12.5v.

If you are reliant on CPAP I would most definitely put 2 lithium batteries in the unit.
With your reliance on good batteries, replacing them in kind, with new ones right away, is the simplest quick solution. If you have the time and money, and a longer range perspective, upgrading your electrical infrastructure to include lithium batteries probably makes sense now IMO. Your Airstream, however, will probably be out of action for a while IMO.

FYI this Battery School is a good resource for learning:

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

Happy trails,
__________________
Peter
OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 09:38 AM   #5
New Member
 
Dixon , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 1
Thanks, but!

Yes, my batteries in the new Airstream were toast. After battling dealers for sometime I got new batteries. They were only 12.5 resting when new .also. Installed a four-stage converter. After being on float for days they still would max out at rest at 12 five. This did not seem to bother any of the dealers but it bothers me as I think the resting state should be higher and I should end up in the morning with roughly 12 five
I am flummoxed. The new battery option does not seem to be working. The inverter is off-line, and I should have only the standard ghost loads.
Since we are on an extended vacation it seems that I will be limited to shore power.
Stickney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 09:53 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 14,128
Have you started a new user name?

Something is wrong if you have new batteries and a new charger. Fully charged batteries should read about 12.7 volts, an hour or so after you remove shore power.

Are you sure that your shore power outlet is suppling a full 12O volts?

Also were the new batteries fully charged at the store? "12.5 resting when new" suggests the battery store sold you defective or improperly charged batteries IMO.

Have you checked the Battery School source linked before?

Good luck,
__________________
Peter
OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 10:42 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Al and Missy's Avatar

 
2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,115
Another option for the initial 12.5 volt reading is voltage drop in the measurement system. Take a digital multimeter and measure the voltage directly on the batteries. You could also measure the current out of the batteries to see if it is reasonable. If not, you can try to track down the source of the drain.

By "the inverter is offline" do you mean turned off at the inverter, or just not in use? It has significant drain when on but not in use.
__________________
“You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"
Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO WBCCI 1322
2002 Classic 30 Slideout -S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
Al and Missy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 10:43 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,595
Blog Entries: 1
I also run a CPAP. I never get more than 2 years use from flooded cell batteries. So I think your first move is to replace the batteries. You might be fine. If it still does not fully charge I would look at the power converter as maybe an issue. I am not familiar with the converter that Airstream uses in that unit. A email to Randy at Best converter might clear up whether that converter is suspect is some way.
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 10:56 AM   #9
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,653
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
State of charge and health of batteries...

If your 2-years-new batteries are regular maintainable flooded batteries, get a hygrometer hydrometer and test each cell that way. They're cheap, available from auto-parts stores or Amazon, and offer a fairly definitive reading of the status of each cell.

If batteries are suspect, you need to remove all possible drains when testing. disconnect the batteries, fully charge them with a known-reliable charger (this takes 12+ hours for flooded lead-acid batteries), let them rest and then test the voltage and/or test with the hygrometer hydrometer. One weak-but-not-dead-yet cell will drop the resting voltage, and when they're wired in parallel the pair will appear low.

Also, the meter on the wall in the trailer is... iffy. I think it's measuring voltage at the fuse block, not the batteries, mine reads lower than at the batteries.
__________________
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 11:07 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
gator.bigfoot's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
KW , Ontario
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 646
Are you sure you have the converter set for the correct type of battery? Your charge voltage should be much higher as well as your float voltage. Can you measure your voltages while charging? If they are flooded cells the previous post on using a Hydrometer is a must. Nothing will give you more conclusive evidence than a Hydrometer. If AGM then take a look at the setting for charging AGMs.
gator.bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 11:18 AM   #11
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 15,814
Images: 1
Welcome Aboard👍

From 11.9v...one hour of charging will not be a 'full' charge.
The question..."what are you charging with?" has not been answered.

More info needed.

Bob
🇺🇸
__________________
"Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory."
Molly Ivins

"Mary-Jane....'cuz 2020 sucks"

Tahawus
🌤
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 02:35 PM   #12
1 Rivet Member
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Dixon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
Thanks, I have the converter from Randy.
rockeddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 02:37 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Dixon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
Thanks will do
rockeddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 02:44 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Dixon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
I am moving around using solar, generator and land line. Still 2 days on shore pwr will yield similar results.
rockeddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 02:49 PM   #15
1 Rivet Member
 
2019 27' Flying Cloud
Dixon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
Another odd thing: the 2 or3 as dealers I went to with the first bad set of batteries said, in effect, “ 12.5. V is a full battery, now beat it.”
rockeddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 02:59 PM   #16
2016 19ft flying cloud
 
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 144
Make sure something else isn’t drawing down batteries
The following will draw current even when off,

Sub woofer under table
Radio
Fantastic fans If not switched to zero
Also make sure awning light didn’t get switched on by mistake or one of the led lights in storage compartment or closet

There is An automatic draw of 0.i5 Amps per hr due to the carbon monoxide detector you can’t turn off,,,so your 12.6 volt reading will drop day by day without a charge

The victron 712 current meter is a good investment if you are using your batteries for boondocking , as you get an instantaneous reading of voltage and current as needed
Spinonedad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 03:00 PM   #17
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 15,814
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockeddy View Post
Another odd thing: the 2 or3 as dealers I went to with the first bad set of batteries said, in effect, “ 12.5. V is a full battery, now beat it.”
Yes...but 12.5v does not mean it's a good battery.

It needs to be fully charged, rested and tested.

Bob
🇺🇸
__________________
"Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory."
Molly Ivins

"Mary-Jane....'cuz 2020 sucks"

Tahawus
🌤
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 04:20 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 14,128
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockeddy View Post
Another odd thing: the 2 or3 as dealers I went to with the first bad set of batteries said, in effect, “ 12.5. V is a full battery, now beat it.”
The dealers are not correct -- 12.5 volts is about 85% charged. See the Battery School link I keep posting . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Yes...but 12.5v does not mean it's a good battery.
. . .
Nor fully charged!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
FYI this Battery School is a good resource for learning:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm
. . .
_________________________
Per Battery School:

"12.66 volts = 100% charged
12.54 volts = 90% charged
12.45 volts = 80% charged"
_________________________

So 12.5 volts is about 85% charged.

Suggest sending the Battery School link to the dealers . . .

__________________
Peter
OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 06:25 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar

 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2,812
You guys are trying to pick the fly shxx out of the pepper. Just because you have a digital VOM does not mean it is calibrated and reading precise voltage. Discerning 12.5 vs 12.6, even assuming the battery is at rest and the voltage is measured at the terminals, is a crapshoot. As has been said, the only precise way is specific gravities.
Larry
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2020, 09:26 PM   #20
4 Rivet Member
 
Life is a Highway's Avatar

 
2019 25' Flying Cloud
Lady Lake , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 347
Thank you!

I NEVER though that the fan 0-3 speed selector would be on with the switch not set to 0. I figured they were off line. So that just canceled two current draws.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinonedad View Post
Make sure something else isn’t drawing down batteries
The following will draw current even when off,

Sub woofer under table
Radio
Fantastic fans If not switched to zero
Also make sure awning light didn’t get switched on by mistake or one of the led lights in storage compartment or closet

There is An automatic draw of 0.i5 Amps per hr due to the carbon monoxide detector you can’t turn off,,,so your 12.6 volt reading will drop day by day without a charge

The victron 712 current meter is a good investment if you are using your batteries for boondocking , as you get an instantaneous reading of voltage and current as needed
__________________

Life is a Highway is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A real solution to poor fridge performance...? truxpin Refrigerators 2 09-24-2013 09:06 AM
Poor brake performance. Even after new brakes. timmaah Brakes & Brake Controllers 64 08-25-2013 09:08 PM
poor refrigerator performance 16595 Refrigerators 23 08-11-2011 11:50 AM
Performance report: Battery upgrade one year ago hshovic Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 4 07-10-2009 09:04 AM
Poor cooling on AC, good on gas Pahaska Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 1 06-13-2002 10:46 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.