$675 for a $300 inverter is outrageous. Find someone that isn't trying to prey on ignorance and will give you a decent components for the money.
This is why the smaller portables have become popular. You can get a usable amount of solar for a affordable price and it is plug and play, you don't need a degree in solar to not get ripped off.
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner here.
Find a 160W portable solar panel kit, like what used to be sold by Solar BLVD for $240, and be done with it. 9 amp charge rate, and it will keep that rate going by aiming it at the sun 3x a day, unlike a fixed mount on the roof. Cheap, cost effective. Buy a better PWM charge controller on Ebay, where you can adjust the charge voltage, mount the charge controller as close as possible to the batteries, with thick copper wire charging cable, and be done with it. 10 gauge wire from controller to battery on a 9 amp charger should minimize your voltage losses.
Set your adjustable charge controller for 14.8V at the battery, not at the charge controller, for bulk charge rate.
Maybe try this from Home Depot, though their price isn't the very best. Fabricate something to prop it up against to aim at the sun.
160W mono crystaline solar panel
Need more amps, cause you're power hungry? How about 210 watts with a pair of these, you supply the piano hinges so they fold up for storage, and the trunk latches.
Grape Solar 105 watt panels pair them up for 210 watts /12 amps
Add in one of these, it's adjustable voltage for bulk charging, set it at 15.0V, get 14.8 at the battery at that setting.
Solar 30 PWM 30 amp charge controller, adjustable Voltage
Add wire, ring terminals, and you now have your own less expensive, more functional kit.
Part of the anode is still stuck to the rod at the rod tip.
It won't come out which is why the photo shows the nut and rod still inserted.
So. . .just brute force the thing out?
Yes, but keep in mind all that stuff inside the water tank should be flaky, and break up easily. It's sacrificial material.
It's sort of hard to tell if the light ring you can see in the pic is, sediment or part of the old anode. I'd take a small flat blade screwdriver and see if I can tap the stuff loose. If it shatters, it's scale and the center rod on your nut is just stuck in the same scale. After you get it out, you might have to go in the hole with a long drill rod to brake up scale. Crunch it up, flush, crunch it up, flush...till it's as clean as you can make it. With that much scale and corrosion, you have probably got a few weak spots in the tank. I'd just keep it in mind that you might need a new water heater tank soon.
/\ This. Break loose all that you can, be careful of the threads on the fitting while doing this, don't damage them, and flush out all that you can. You might be able to mix some "lime away" with some water and fill up the lower portion of water heater with that and let it do it's magic. That water heater won't last forever, with that kind of abuse, and lack of maintenance.
Alas, I don't have access to some tin, though I still own a pair of tin snips. I'd pay good money for a permanent flapper like that provided it still stays latched down... material near the corners where the latches attach look a little thin.
When bonding something that has a flange onto an exterior surface (I have aluminum siding) and the flange is held in compression to the siding, I like to use self-stick weather stripping, followed by a sealant around the edge of the flange. Should I have to remove the accessory, later, it is relatively easy to do. The weather stripping makes a good seal and I've never had it fail when held under compression.
What brand of material do you prefer for sealant, that is soft, pliable, and not permanent like silicone sealer for sinks and such. It needs to be removable with a reasonable amount of effort in the future, the plastic does not last indefinitely.
What do you like to use for bonding /waterproofing when replacing a Heng external plastic cooktop vent? My flapper broke off somewhere on the highway, already ordered a new one and will be doing the coathanger wire and foil tape modification. 11 5/8" is the magic length to cut to, for future reference.
Considering that Canada has so much Water available why is it that Distilled Water is $3.00 a Gallon in Walmart here and only A Buck in Bone Dry Arizona?
Same goes for Drinking Water..It is way more expensive here in BC than in Arizona or Mexico!
As to which is best in Batteries Either Distilled or Deionized work equally well! get whichever is available .
Your socialized Government and healthcare system. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Everyone pays for it in the form of higher prices.
18 to 24 amp hours parasitic drain, over 24 hour period, just having the battery hooked to the camper at the same time as while charging. 80 watts might get you 4.5 amp hours, times maybe 6 or 7 hours, maybe 8? Do the math. If all you want to do is recharge, disconnect the battery from the trailer while charging, you'll get more into the battery.
Did you determine the cause of the corrosion issue or just clean it up?
The cause of corrosion is a chemical reaction, between the fumes being put out by the battery, and the elements the battery connector is made out of. The same things that make copper a great electrical conductor, a +3 ionic state element, also make it very reactive with other elements to react to, oxidize and corrode. Old batteries off gas more, release more Hydrogen, Oxygen and Sulfur out of the vents. That free oxygen "oxidizes" or burns, or reacts with everything and anything near it, including exposed battery terminals with poor ventilation.
If you are getting corrosion on your terminals, you have a ventilation problem, or a battery that is getting old and on it's way out... it also probably is consuming water at a higher than original or normal state, due to all the off gassing.
If I have two 6 volt batteries I have one 12 volt battery split into two halves. If one of the halves gets damaged my 12v battery stops functioning properly.
Most RV's have one 12 volt battery. If my one 12 volt battery and got damaged I'd be in the same boat.
Yeah I'm nit picking a bit, but come on, how often do we really get stranded by a failed battery?
Yes Bobbo had a failed terminal on one 12 volt battery. But if it was a 6 volt failed terminal and it was really important at the time I bet it would have been McGyvered until it could be repaired correctly.
OP here. That is EXACTLY my point. I didn't have to "McGyver" it while on the road. It waited until it was parked at home. Thank you for making my point for me.
You miss the point, you were negligent in maintaining your batteries and cables. Every thing else about failure is moot. The onus is on you for failing to maintain and check your batteries and terminals. Had you done so, none of this would even matter. No excuse for neglect. Had you taken care of it, you'd have nothing to post about.
6V or 12V jars, schmars... If you had a sunny day and solar panels on the roof, you'd have 12V available.
No excuse for neglected maintenance of something as silly and simple as a battery cable. Perhaps it's like a spare tire, keep an extra on hand.
At 675W, I would hope you could get some charge out of that! Nice setup. I only have 2x100W renogy panels with their basic pwm controller (more craigslist toys I couldn't pass up).
Would like to go to 4x100W with a small 30A MPPT. Sadly 2 golf cart batteries is all I can drop in without major work (and some idea of where to put them) or just crazy $$$$$$ for AGM unvented.
Tempted to do the bigger solar anyway - even if a bit oversized for 225aH of batteries - just have excess capacity for the more cloudy or shady days.
For now I'll see how the 200W + pwm works as I get used to things.
200W should put you at around 11 amp/hour charge rate, maybe 12. Get your self a charge controller, and measure the amp hours actual output to your batteries while pulse charging.
RC charge meter
Put it in line... also, you may want to get a charge controller that has adjustable voltage for bulk and float charging of your batteries. Something that you can get 15.0V or 14.8V out of, to get your battery closer to 100% charged every 24 hour period.
Remember those wheeled gas station battery chargers? The customer brought in a battery to be charged, the attendant connected the charger cables, set the machine on “High” Setting, twisted the on-off timer to as far as it would go (usually an hour) and then told the customer to “Come back after an hour”. The charger usually had an ammeter, but just as usually it was ignored. “Plug and Play The Early Days”.
Today's converters and chargers have pre-determined “charging limits” but those limits are programmed into a control board integrated circuit that ignores the battery just as badly as the gas station attendent ignored the wheeled battery charger's ammeter. Say hello to “Plug and Play 2014”. The integrated circuit programming is based on a premise of “Well, take your best guess”.
It does not work. The only advantage today's “Smart Chargers” have over a gas station charger is that they are less likely to overcharge the battery. Rather, because manufacturers are less likely to be sued over an undercharged battery that failed prematurely, 99% of smart battery chargers tend to undercharge their batteries. This is supposed to be an improvement.
RV battery usage (and life-span) can be likened to the difference between a Manhattan taxi cab versus the proverbial “Little Old Lady's Sedan” that only got driven to church on Sundays. The taxi sees constant “heavy-duty” service, requires more often and more meticulous servicing, and even with the best of care does not stand a whim of a chance to last as many years as the Little Old Lady's sedan.
Such is the difference between an RV battery that goes boondocking frequently and for prolonged periods, versus a battery that endures merely periodic Infrequent weekend usage, or spends a majority of it's time connected to a power pedestal.
What would you think of a Little Old Lady that marches up to the cab driver, puts her hands on her hips and declares “Well! My car has served me perfectly for nine years! It's just like new. You're doing something wrong if “your car” lasts only five years, and leaks oil. Your car is constantly in the garage getting fixed!”
The point of argument is absurd. An argument of “my battery lasted longer than your battery, and did not require the attention you gave yours” is subject to the same rules.
ELECTRICITY IS A BY-PRODUCT
Most consumers think of a battery as “electricity”. This is an error. A battery is chemical laboratory and electricity is a mere by-product.
MANAGING A BATTERY PROPERLY IS A HASSLE
Seventy years ago, about ninety nine percent of what is know about battery management was learned and proper battery management practices adopted by the US Navy. The more than one-hundred fleet submarines and thousands upon thousands of battery cells demanded a steep learning curve or people perished. Submarines simply did not return to the US and get frequent battery replacements because battery cell replacement was a true hassle. You are aware of the requirement to never mix a new battery with an old battery. How would you like to deal with this issue when it involves dozens and dozens of batteries?
There are shortcuts, and battery management “tricks” that reduce the time and effort spent maintaining a battery. The rewards are increased battery capacity throughout its lifespan, and an impressive increase in lifespan.
THE DESPISED HYDROMETER
People who rant and rave about hassles involved with hydrometer use, almost without fail do not know how to use a hydrometer with regard to their battery.
Every battery with more than one cell has “The Weakest Cell” This cell is the first to deplete the acid density and the last to recharge (restore specific gravity – return to 1.275 full charge). This is the “whipping boy” for hydrometer testing. Once a battery has been tested with the hydrometer, and the weakest cell detected and its position noted, this is the cell you return-to first with the hydrometer. If this cell is “normal” fully charged or depleted, the remaining cells will read a higher specific gravity in that battery. Find that lowest reading cell and exploit it. Equalization is performed when standard charging does not drive the sulfate off of the battery plates and back into solution. When you assume your battery is fully charged, but the whipping boy says via the hydrometer “But not me!” you have a problem. You need to fix it. Your recharging protocol needs to be adjusted. Whatever it takes. One constantly weaker cell amongst two or seventeen other cells that tend to always read similar to each other, the majority (but always higher) is a sign of a bad cell – a bad battery. You cannot whip the entire work-force to enforce correct conduct by one employee. Too bad the bad boy is part of a team, a battery, thus the “team”, the battery, is doomed. Everything is progressive – a cell that is a “little” wayward can be tolerated. A real delinquent however can affect the lifespan of all other cells and must be culled from the herd.
Thus, checking a battery usually involves only one cell.
Do yourself a favor and dig through your unneeded clothing and find -anything- that is made of wool. Wool is immune to battery acid. I got a large wool sweater from a Salvation Army store for a dollar and cut off the arms and made a great “tarp” from the remains.
Equalization is a term. It is an incredibly specific protocol that involves a precise formula and brooks no deviation from the formula. I'll say it in somewhat ruder terms, either you use the formula as specified or you are playing with the battery, not equalizing it. Equalization, the formula was created many decades ago by professionals and the formula was used on US Fleet submarines, religiously.
Like many other protocols in today's world, the term 'Equalization” is misused, even abused. Marketing hype, and BS Artists have turned the term into a buzzword. A joke. Too bad the joke is on the consumer. “Press This Button To Equalize” is now meaningless. “Press This Button When The Charger Integrated Control Circuit Fails To Properly Recharge Your Battery” is the correct way to label such a system. Notice above, the word “When” is not the word “If”.
A group 24 battery needs a -constant- FOUR AMPERES of current for equalization.
Group 27, 5-7 amperes.
Golf Car, 11 amperes
Group 29, 6-8 amperes
Scrubber battery, (1275) 7-9 amperes
L-16, 18-20 amperes
This constant amperage should not vary too much out of line. As an example, starting with a fully charged Golf Car battery, a starting surge above 15-amperes should not be tolerated. Back off the charge rate. The formula is officially 5% but personally I tolerate four to six percent of total ampere hour capacity of the battery. A standard transformer charger in conjunction with a VARIAC, can yield an exact 5% ampere charge rate and periodic tweaking of the dial on the VARIAC can control amperage to within the percentage limits of the equalization. My personal, monster 2-volt cells demand one hundred twenty amperes constant, to equalize. This was a challenge.
Start out with a battery as fully charged as you can get it.
Apply amperage as specified in the list, above. Amperage, not voltage is key.
Maintain that level of amperage until one of two things occur.
The lowest cell reverts to original density
8.0 volts is reached on a 3 cell battery or 16.0 volts arrives on a 6 cell battery.
Just for your information, every -tenth- of a volt less than 2.666 volts per cell increases the time needed to remove plate sulfation by a factor of 1.3 (call it by percentage. 130%).
Use common sense when checking the “Whipping Boy” cell with the hydrometer. If the cell is sluggish to respond, check adjacent cells. If they have reverted to 1.275 density but the whipping boy refuses, then the battery is bad. One low cell when other cells seem to have equal but higher density, is a cause for suspicion by itself. I like to think of it as “If a cell cannot walk and chew gum at the same time – to the recycler it goes”.
BATTERIES SHOULD NOT NEED TO BE EQUALIZED OFTEN!
Top Charging (My own personal terminology), should be employed in regular battery service. This means to charge an otherwise “full” 12-volt battery from it's regular float voltage to 15.0 volts at the same 5% rate as listed above, but the amperage control need not be as strict or precise. 15.0 volts is a heck of a lot easier and faster to reach than 16.0 volts. I top charge my batteries once a week...
And have reduced the need for formal equalization by 800% !
Eight times as long between equalizations. Top charging is magic. It also stirs electrolyte, and in practice is not as “hard” on battery plates as is a full equalization.
MANY BATTERY BRANDS ARE INFERIOR
Let's face it. Too many brands of batteries will develop inequality in acid density between cells – at the drop of a hat, even when nearly brand new. They rapidly get worse. This can confound a consumer to no end. Choose your brand of battery wisely. Hundreds of positive reviews are the best recommendation in my opinion.
AND DO NOT FALL FOR UNINFORMED OPINIONS
An individual can purchase an inferior battery, or mistreat a good battery and yet believe with utter conviction that the battery is in an excellent state of condition. How is this possible? It is possible by not utilizing the battery's capacity to the point where weakness or inadequacy does not makes it's ugly appearance. The battery is not monitored, not checked, and under-used. Because it does not mis-perform, for the owner it is a wonderful device. The owner may be an individual with “strong convictions”. They'll spend hours, days, and months, trying to convince others that battery maintenance is a snap, their battery has lasted ten years (or even longer) with plug and play charging, and they did nothing more than add a little distilled water now and then. Why did they not notice the battery was weak or got weaker? They do not use it heavily. The battery always lives and relaxes in deep-clover. A lawnmower battery would work for the individual. But strong opinion can have a powerful voice. One of the toughest tasks around is to show a strong-opinionated individual that his belief is without foundation. Misinformation pressed upon willing ears, can do a lot of damage.
It is up to individual battery owners to separate fact from fiction. But I'll share a secret with you:
“I listen to someone describe symptoms of a battery problem. As I listen and form opinions, I may arrive at a tentative “conclusion” as to what is going on. Then the battery owner could say “I took a hydrometer reading and this is what I found”. It is not unlikely my tentative conclusion could be wrong – the appearance of hard data could make my conclusion catch fire and go up in smoke. My conclusion after all, has its basis in guesswork”.
Don't be misled by guesswork.
This should be made a sticky. Perhaps also a Readers Digest Condensed Version for those short of time to read and understand all that said.
Myself... I try to do my best to top charge daily on my scrubber battery, to 15.0V. So far, I've had very good results. That and the 3 most important, basic tools in the toolbox for a lead acid battery owner... A good glass tubed hydrometer (Freas #1), a digital volt meter, and a digital ampere meter. Don't leave home without them. They are the tools necessary to give your batteries a full physical checkup.
Can't speak for RV's, but in my European sedans... I have nothing but great results with Koni's. Found that I preferred them over Bilstein gas shocks in several Audi's and VW's I've owned. YMMV, but I think you'll find money spent on Koni's as money well spent with a superior ride. Plenty of miles on canyon and mountain roads and freeways all over the Western United States to back up my comments and experience.
40 to 50 amp hours out of a 150 amp hour battery is 66 to 70% SOC. Portable, aimable panels up your amperage take over more hours per day. Another observation is that when I run 15.0V out of my charge controller to that T -1275, the charge controller seems to stay in bulk mode and at higher overall amps going in to the battery, in pulse charge mode.
I mention this because one of the charge controllers I have, while adjustable for voltage, really drops off on the amps it provides 66-75% of the time, with it's pulse charging algorithm. The solar 30 Amp charge controller I bought, for $33 off of Ebay, is much, much better in terms of keeping the amps up and pushing from my 120 watt portable solar panel, capable of 6.6 to 7 amp hours... 6.5. 6.33 6.28 6.5.... The 10 amp unit I bought drops off to 3 or 4 amps. Easy to measure when you put a little $15 RC battery charger meter in line and take a look at the output. Not all solar charge controllers are worthy. This is important on cloudy days and when counting on your solar panels to keep you off the generator as much as possible.
I've not seen this particular Link before.
I like the "tips on how to maximize your battery life" at the bottom:
As a general rule of thumb, the total amps from your PV panels should be sized between 10% and 20% of the total amp-hours (Ah) of the battery pack.
I deliberately lowered my battery capacity so that my solar can just barely reach 10%.
198 watts for a 130 A/h battery
I've taken some minor grief here and there on this forum for employing this strategy.
So a 210 amp 6v pair of GC-2's should get between 21 and 42 amp/hours capacity from the solar panels, for the day, if I am reading that correctly? I get 6.5 to 7 amps/hour at as close to 15.0V as I can for a Trojan T -1275... and 50% of a 150 amp hr battery is 75 amps to be replaced max, per day. No way I am going to get that kind of output come short days of winter and the sun low on the horizon. Summer time, yes.
I removed the tape around the location where the brake wires were tapped into the main wire run, moved it around and it seemed to solve the issue. No more error messages. I will see what tomorrow brings.
I would fix it correctly, before you find out you don't have trailer brakes again, intermittently, and possibly injure the innocent. "Seemed to solve the issue" is not the proper correction of the problem, or safety issue.
Really, it sounds like your solar panel, with the length of the days, is most of the time getting the job accomplished. I'd not run the Schumacher too long, and try to let the solar do as much as is possible... since it seems it's most consistent in getting to 15.3V and getting your SG to 1.275 most of the time.
Your experience with a programmable solar charge controller really brings home the importance of knowing the charging spec and procedures for your specific brand of battery, and the manufacturers recommendations. Seeing BFL13 having to massage a T-1275, and you having to massage a US Battery Group 31 Deep Cycle really points out to how superior a set of GC-2's are in the maintenance department, for day in and day out use. They just seem a lot less fussy. Perhaps Trojan has perfected those GC-2's for efficiency in discharging and charging, in internal dimensions and electrolyte capacities to plate capacity?
I would not worry about a short 16.0V session from time to time... doing so, you know you are truly getting a 100% SOC, which is good for the batteries health and longevity, certainly for long term storage disconnected, also.
Those below 50% SOC sessions put the hurt, big time, on expected battery life. Still, I wouldn't worry about it... you are more than getting your money's worth out of this one in terms of daily cycles, with proper recharging procedures and minor maintenance. Big, odd shaped and ratio'd 12V batteries, like group 29's, 31's and T-1275s need that 100% charge daily, to stay healthy. I just accept it as part of the requirements for going with an odd shaped or a free battery, since both my T-1275's were used and free.