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ybconway

Ontario

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Posted: 09/26/20 07:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So this is our first excursion with our RV. We bought second hand from a rental group. The RV has been in a storage lot with a few small trips to the house and then a 3 hour drive to our non electrified campground. We have spent one night without worrying about electrical consumption. Had the outside light on, interior lights, the fan on the furnace. When we got here the meter was showing 12.5 Volts. This morning it is at 12.2.
Is this normal?
I didn't really want to run the generator just because of the noise but am I at the the downside limit?
The unit is going into storage for in a couple of weeks and we will probably do some shorter day trips till then. I will get some new house batteries ASAP if these are shot.
Thanks.
Doug C

corvettekent

Marysville, WA

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Posted: 09/26/20 07:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This would be normal with the use of the furnace. You need to think about conserving battery power when not plugged in. If you plan on using your RV without being plugged in you should think about adding 200 - 400 watts of solar panels.


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jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 09/26/20 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And maybe get a Mr. Buddy heater. A lot less electrical & propane use...and no electrical use.

Lwiddis

Camping near Pearsonville, CA

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Posted: 09/26/20 08:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“I didn't really want to run the generator just because of the noise...”

A solar system doesn’t make any noise, recharges depleted batteries and keeps them charged during storage. Daily full recharging when camping and keeping batteries charged when in storage are the keys to battery long life.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 09/26/20 08:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, it is normal.

The batteries need to be fully recharged. The sane way to do that is with shore power.

3 hours of driving won't be enough to fully recharge the battery bank.

Look into adding a modest solar system to recharge the battery bank in between trips.


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.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 09/26/20 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ybconway wrote:

So this is our first excursion with our RV. We bought second hand from a rental group. The RV has been in a storage lot with a few small trips to the house and then a 3 hour drive to our non electrified campground. We have spent one night without worrying about electrical consumption. Had the outside light on, interior lights, the fan on the furnace. When we got here the meter was showing 12.5 Volts. This morning it is at 12.2.
Is this normal?
I didn't really want to run the generator just because of the noise but am I at the the downside limit?
The unit is going into storage for in a couple of weeks and we will probably do some shorter day trips till then. I will get some new house batteries ASAP if these are shot.
Thanks.
Doug C


Do not get new batteries until after you get it out of storage next year. The new batteries will not do well sitting in storage unless you do things right for that. Nurse those batteries along for this year.

Your starting voltaage of 12.5 is low for on arrival. Was there power at the storage? Is that the loaded voltage with those lights etc on, or before you turned on all those lights etc?

Normally that arrival voltage would be 13.x with the surface charge still there from alternator charging with a full battery when leaving home. We don't know if the battery was full on leaving resting at 12.7v.

First thing is test for that by turning the engine on and see if the house voltage jumps to 14v or whatever it gets to. If that voltage does not change, you have a problem with your alternator charging to the house battery.

A drop pf 0.3v for one night is normal. But you would recharge at reaching 12.2 resting voltage. If that 12.2 is with everything on, your resting voltage will be higher and maybe you can do a second night before recharging. Turn everything off and see what the house voltage is then.

Get used to running the gen every day or two for a couple or three hours camping like that. How it is. Normal would be one night per 12v battery in the house bank before a recharge.


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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 09/26/20 09:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of good advice above. Agreed that what you describe is normal. The furnace/fan suck down enormous amounts of power. Your batteries do not sound like they need to be replaced, but I agree also that they should be recharged fully before being stored away.

Also, do be aware that for purposes of checking state of charge, the battery needs to be powering nothing for at least 5 minutes before being tested. This is because the battery voltage drops temporarily while powering a load.





ybconway

Ontario

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Posted: 09/26/20 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the information, I'll have to reread this a couple of time. There is a small solar system on the camper with one panel. I wasn't sure how effective they are but it may be worth adding extra panels to the system.
We did go out for an hour since I posted, turned the lights off and it is at 12.3 now.
We don't have power at the storage site.
Looking under the unit, Forest River 23c on a 450 chassis there is lots of room on the frame rails to add some battery boxes.

Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 09/26/20 10:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yb,

First off, you are in Ontario, and that is as bad solar-wise as Michigan. The little panel on the roof will probably do a good job of making up for the loss when the coach is stored.

As for running the generator, you need to do this soon. Find some open place to park for a short time. Fire it up and put some load on it like the A/C. Then, go out and walk all the way around it at different distances. You may find that the noise is generally in one direction. Remember that and when you next are at a 0HU location, aim that away from everybody else.

Also, if you watch the voltage of the house bank, you can probably develop a better feeling for how often and long you need to run the generator to keep it up.

Matt


Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 09/26/20 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not clear where things stand with that 12.3 after driving a little.

Do you have any alternator charging or not? If not, you might not get any charging from the converter by running the gen either. Although you might still get gen charging if no alternator charging. Have you tried that?

Your batteries do need recharging for sure, so you need to know what you have going there before they die while you are still away camping.

You can take the house batteries home to charge them up after camping trips, and keep them on a trickle charger/maintainer, and use your little solar panel to maintain the engine battery--but you have to make the solar do that if it does not now.

Here is some good reading --it helped me a lot!

http://www.bestconverter.com/Books_c_67.html

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