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Old 02-25-2016, 12:52 AM   #31
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..........

After one hour, my battery charge was down to 12.3 v from 12.9 v which, from what I read, is about as low as you should ever let your batteries get.

Are these just the worst batteries ever, or am I missing something here? Yes, I could run my genny and top it off, but that's not something I want to have to do hourly.

Any comments would be appreciated.
As mentioned, measuring battery voltage under load is not a good indication of charge state. I suspected that my two Georgetown batteries were bad after one year because they were too low to start the generator when I was being shown the new unit and they spent a couple of weeks fully discharged after experiencing a blown component in the wiring harness for the levelling jacks. (The wiring harness problem was finally fixed by Lippert after a few years.) An automotive battery tester didn't show the batteries as bad and my research determined that I couldn't determine the condition of the batteries unless I could get a deep cycle battery tester.

The retail store for a major battery manufacturer has the tester but when I took one of the batteries in, was told that only one employee was trained to use the tester and that was his day off. The tester was too expensive for an untrained operator to attempt using it. They did check the battery acid with a hydrometer which showed a full charge but the technician said that the appearance of the battery fluid indicated damage to the battery.

I decided to build my own tester. Deep cycle batteries can be tested by putting a load that's 10% of their rated capacity on them and measuring the battery voltage over time as the batteries discharge. I used a few automotive headlights for a load and a high quality digital multimeter to measure voltage. I also used 10.8V as the test endpoint voltage because that's what's used when testing batteries to determine "reserve capacity." As I expected, the battery capacity was less than 50% of its rated value. I had a large number of trips to the basement, every 15-30 minutes, to measure and record the battery voltage.

After I turned the test results over to the dealer, the batteries were replaced under FR's new vehicle warranty. They've been in the unit for almost four years now and still appear to be working well, despite still using the OEM single voltage converter.

Phil
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:32 AM   #32
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I haven't tested my batteries after a night in our 2004 Lexington RV, but I watch our TV for a couple hours at night and run the furnace and all the "ghost" draws and never had a problem. The next morning I run the gen. for and hour or 2 while I make coffee and charge all the phones, laptop, etc. works for me. I have two hose batteries and no problems.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:51 PM   #33
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I've never run my generator for any amount of time at all, so I don't have a feel for how much gas is used if you run for a couple of hours (with minimal AC load, just really to charge the batteries if that matters). Any ideas?
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:53 PM   #34
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So I am getting my Trimetric 2030RV tomorrow, and also am going to be replacing the generic house batteries with AGMs. Mapped out the path my wire will take and where the panel will be located (right next to my entry steps and only a couple feet from my battery bank). Wish me luck! Seems like a pretty simple install....
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:07 PM   #35
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Jeffreymhardy,

The Onan 4000 (4000 watt maximum output) in our Sunseeker uses 0.5 gallons per hour at 50% load and 0.7 gallons per hour at 100% load, per the Onan manual.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:24 AM   #36
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Go Solar

Change your interior lights to led and go solar. Simple, quiet, no gas cans. It doesn't cost much on eBay, and it will make a big difference. Our entire system was less than $300. Read this blog if you decide to go solar.

https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

I haven't shelled out the money for the monitor yet, but we booddocked for 4 days with no problems with our 100 watt solar panel mounted on the roof. You
may have bad batteries.

Be aware that the closer your load is to the run rating on your inverter, the more efficient. If you have small loads you run a lot, it is worth it to have two inverters.
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Old 02-26-2016, 11:03 AM   #37
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Change your interior lights to led and go solar. Simple, quiet, no gas cans. It doesn't cost much on eBay, and it will make a big difference. Our entire system was less than $300. Read this blog if you decide to go solar.....
If you do decide to add solar, TriMetric makes a solar charge controller that is very sophisticated and communicates directly with their TriMetric 2030 meter. It will immediately give you a readout of solar charge current and also uses the Trimetric's battery voltage, SOC and charge current data to control the voltage and current profile of the charge controller. That way you can put the controller anywhere it makes sense to install (generally very near the batteries) and there is no need for a remote status display in the RV as the main Trimetric will display all of the solar data as well. The SC-2030 has multiple setups for specific models and battery types so that it can optimize its output to match the specific batteries being charged.

Not that expensive either! In fact, if you put it all in at once, the Trimetric will also qualify for a renewable energy credit on your taxes.

Bobsolar has a blog review of the unit and gives it very high marks https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...-2030-perfect/
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:17 AM   #38
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To me dry camping I may as well get the tent back and use it
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:59 AM   #39
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That may have to do with where you live. Where I live, in VA, I have a lot more choices if I want a waterfront spot if I dry camp, even in parks where power and water are available. While there ARE waterfront hookup sites, they are few and far between. Also, I'm much more likely to not have a close "neighbor" if I'm dry camping. Also, I'd rather sleep in my queen sized bed with my refrigerator and 12v TV than sleep in a tent.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:02 AM   #40
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Thanks Scott for that link. When I ordered my Trimetric, I saw that option and that's definitely something I'm interested in down the road. I started putting in my new batteries and the Trimetric yesterday but ran into a problem when I managed to tweak one of my existing positive cables and separate it from its connector. I'm also trying to figure out where to put my shunt (in my battery compartment) because it's pretty tight in there. That will be today's project
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