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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Xantrex Truecharge2 Reliability?

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CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 10/31/19 07:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NO Don't remove the batteries at home, they are needed for the trailer brakes! Or as the OP suggested use a temporary battery for transport to storage.


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Posted: 10/31/19 07:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Removing batteries gets old real quick. From the OPs usage I'd suggest a large set of cables from the TV battery to the RV batteries. This will go a long way towards significant battery charge from CG to home to storage.

Add solar to finish the charge in storage. Since you often store it for a month you don't need a huge solar setup. And if it's just a few days the batteries will be fine and benefit from alternator charging as you leave storage and then leave home.

Also add a full disconnect switch for the batteries so there is absolutely no RV battery drain in storage. Wire the solar to the battery terminals so switch off and batteries get charged.

I have battery switches on both of my battery banks for storage which is covered so I can't use my solar. There is limited battery self discharge and I make sure they get fully charged once a month. And the OP uses his RV once a month.

pianotuna

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Posted: 10/31/19 10:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Add a modest solar system. Your batteries will thank you for doing so.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

jseyfert3

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Posted: 11/03/19 03:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

NO Don't remove the batteries at home, they are needed for the trailer brakes! Or as the OP suggested use a temporary battery for transport to storage.

That wasn't the OP, since I'm the OP. Someone else suggested removing the batteries, and cautioned to make sure I use a temp battery for transport to storage. I said that if I was going to remove them, I'd do it at the storage lot. Meaning we'd come home from camping, unload, take it to the storage lot, remove the batteries, come home and charge them. So just rearranging the order of things to not need a temp battery.

CA Traveler wrote:

Removing batteries gets old real quick. From the OPs usage I'd suggest a large set of cables from the TV battery to the RV batteries. This will go a long way towards significant battery charge from CG to home to storage.

This is a good idea. I bought the batteries yesterday, and yes, it will certainly get old dragging those to and from the camper. They aren't drastically bigger than a group 24 but they are way heavier!

Anyway, thanks all for the advice. I think I have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to do.


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BFL13

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Posted: 11/03/19 03:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The big thing now with the new batts is to charge them up to true full ASAP, then note their SGs. Say 1.300 or whatever.

(They will be down a little from shelf time)

That is your "baseline SG" to be your target for future recharges. If the SG does not get up to baseline SG, the batts are not full! It takes a lot of time to get to true full, so having them at home gives you that time.


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jseyfert3

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Posted: 11/03/19 05:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah they were both at 6.11 volts, which is just a tad under 60% SOC (6.12 is 60% according to the datasheet). Manufacturing date was January 2019. Got them from a small battery company, clearly they had not been watching/charging them enough. According to Trojan, they should be charged in storage upon dropping to 70% SOC. $300 for the pair before tax, core charge included, so hopefully I didn't get a bad deal.

Right now I'm charging them with my RC hobby charger. Like most chargers, it goes to 14.7 volts, and is not adjustable. 10 A max charge current. It ends the charge at 10% of charge current setpoint. So if I charge at 10 A as I am now, it ends absorption at 1 A. If I set it to 5 A, it would end at 0.5 A and so forth.

I haven't yet bought a hydrometer or a power supply/charger that can do full charge voltage or equalization, so it's just the hobby charger for now. That should get them fairly close to full. After I let it sit a day or two after charging the voltage should tell me, though it won't tell me if I need an equalization. Full charge is 6.37 volts or 1.277 SG (T-105 datasheet).

I will use a hydrometer to check for full charge and the potential need of equalization as soon as I get one. I found one of the good ones today at the local hardware store, the floating tube with a built-in thermometer, but unfortunately the thermometer was clearly broken as it was reading 40 °F in room temp or I'd have bought it. It was the only one with the floating tube scale they had. My guess is battery hydrometers don't exactly fly off the shelves. [emoticon]

BFL13

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Posted: 11/03/19 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will have to equalize those batts when you get the PowerMax, to make up for their past neglect.

You do want a glass tube with the bobber in it, but it does not have to be "good one". I use a $10 one, eg. Just avoid those sideways arrow plastic things that are hard to operate to get the right amount of fluid in them and hold them just so and even then they are kind of wonky.

The trick is to use the same hydrometer each time to the same readings. You go with consistency, not accuracy as such. When the SG gets as high as it will go, that's your number (whatever it is) using that hydrometer. That is good enough to tell you what you need to know.

Wait till you do the equalize to get the SG as high as it will go to be your baseline SG. meanwhile just get them as charged up as possible.

With the Wet 6s at least you don't have to achieve a minimum amps charging rate like with AGMs that are down enough to take a Bulk Stage. You can use your 5 amp rate if you want on the 6s and use the time it takes.

Don't use voltage to tell you the batts are full--voltage readings can be very misleading. The SG never lies! Use SG to tell the truth.

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Posted: 11/03/19 06:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I thought voltage was pretty close, but ONLY if the battery has sat disconnected for like 24-48 hours and ONLY if you are using the manufacture's datasheet for that battery to determine SOC.

By "good" I meant floating glass tube bobber type, not that it was $100. As opposed to the 4 ball model (really, how useful is that) or the plastic floating arrow.

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Posted: 11/03/19 07:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, but when recharging the voltage has nothing to do with SOC, so that leaves SG.

With AGMs you don't have SG, but now you do have an ammeter (Trimetric say) to tell when they accept 0.5a/100AH at 14.4 as your marker for full. Not voltage.

But other times you can just use voltage for a general idea of SOC when loads are mostly not running. EG, off-grid your "morning voltage" with the furnace off at the moment, and no lights on, and before solar comes on to jack up the voltage, you can see it is say 12.1 and that means you are at about 50% (Trojans--some others 12.2) so you need a recharge. You don't need an SG reading for that.

Compare your voltage with the AH counter to see if they "match" for approx. SOC. If they don't match, you have a clue to look for why. Such as you left the converter on when on inverter. [emoticon]

Don't believe your battery monitor Percent SOC. Believe the SG. (At home--you don't need to take an hydrometer camping--you never get to true full while camping off-grid so who cares if you stop the gen at 89 or 91 SOC?

jseyfert3

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Posted: 11/03/19 07:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, I know that while recharging the voltage doesn't have anything to do with SOC.

The nice thing about the hobby charger I'm using right now is that it displays the actual charge current and keeps a running total of mAh delivered. Right now, the current is down to about 6.5 A and the total Ah delivered is approximately 50. At 60% SOC I'd expect around 100 Ah will be needed, plus charging losses, minus the reduced capacity new deep cycle batteries have, but it's still probably a good first past indicator of the battery health.

This might be the first time I "roll over" the mAh counter on the hobby charger, since it only has 5 digits. [emoticon] Typically, I'm charging 2000-3000 mAh lithium battery packs, not massive lead acid batteries.

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