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Old 11-18-2019, 06:49 AM   #1
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12 V battery duration?

While dry camping without a generator , how long would one expect the battery to last? My old camper forest river Flagg staff used to get the whole weekend. The new camper Acadia/primetime gets about 2 hrs. The new camper has a brand new battery and I am fully charging the battery indoors disconnected from the camper. Do you think my camper has a issue?
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:35 AM   #2
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Need more information-- what is on in the camper.
Do you have a 3 way fridge? IF so is it on 12v DC mode??
What else is on??

How do you know your battery is low? Are you using a volt meter??
Are you sure your battery is full to start with? How do you know?
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:36 AM   #3
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I have a single Group 31 deep cycle battery and just using lights here and there and no furnace...Ö I can get through a weekend for sure.

2 hours doesn't seem right, something is going on. Do you have a three way fridge that's running on DC?
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:56 PM   #4
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Well, never heard of an Acadia, so I looked it up. It appears to be a clone of the Avenger line, made specifically for Campers Inn dealerships.
Agree with others that something is very wrong if the battery only lasts for 2 hours.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:55 PM   #5
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No 3 way fridge. Granted I was running the heat during those few hours. Iíve tried on 2 different batteries. One is band new (as is the camper). I know a battery can be bad which is why I tried the one out of old camper thatís about 3 years old with the same result.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:10 PM   #6
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Step one is to find out just exactly how much current is being drawn from the batteries. Either a clamp on ammeter or a battery monitor capable of measuring current out of the battery. Best place to measure is between battery negative post and the disconnected cable that attaches to it. That will show ALL current going in or out of the battery.

Next, you need to know the Amp Hour capacity of your battery.

Two hours is really short, even running a furnace with a small Group 24 battery.

Only two possibilities. Battery is not fully charged or your current draw is really high.

On battery charging, it takes a lot more time than one would think to FULLY charge a battery. Depending on how discharged, and type of charger, it can take 2-3 days to FULLY charge it.

Back to the beginning, you need to find out how much draw (current) you are taking out of the battery.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:24 PM   #7
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The furnace draws a lot of current. Also some fridges have a heat strip in the door frame to prevent condensation which can use current. You also don't say what battery you have, but it is very likely a Group 24 dual purpose battery so not much reserve.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:42 PM   #8
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The furnace draws a lot of current. Also some fridges have a heat strip in the door frame to prevent condensation which can use current. You also don't say what battery you have, but it is very likely a Group 24 dual purpose battery so not much reserve.

According to my Victron battery monitor my Suburban furnace only draws 5-6 amps while running. Even an inexpensive group 24 battery, if fully charged, should keep the furnace running at least 8-10 hours before dead.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:28 PM   #9
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No 3 way fridge. Granted I was running the heat during those few hours. Iíve tried on 2 different batteries. One is band new (as is the camper). I know a battery can be bad which is why I tried the one out of old camper thatís about 3 years old with the same result.
You haven't posted info on either battery. You may be buying the wrong type and size.
The furnace is the biggest power drain on the battery.
You also may be draining your batteries down to zero, therefore shortening their life.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undercover Poe View Post
While dry camping without a generator , how long would one expect the battery to last? My old camper forest river Flagg staff used to get the whole weekend. The new camper Acadia/primetime gets about 2 hrs. The new camper has a brand new battery and I am fully charging the battery indoors disconnected from the camper. Do you think my camper has a issue?
One thing that can exhaust the battery besides the fridge is the fan to the furnace also.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:03 PM   #11
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Dry camping with a fully charged battery, you should get a least one night from a battery (assume less than 50% run time on the heater and fridge on propane). On my A-frame campers, we can get 4 nights with 2 GC-2 6V golf cart batteries before the batteries are down to 50%.

But that is running very little else besides the fridge control board (fridge on propane), the heater at night (set at 62), a few minutes with the lights, and some use of the vent fan on low during the day. I installed a cut-off switch for the stereo to get rid of that parasitic draw.

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Old 11-19-2019, 05:42 PM   #12
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You haven't posted info on either battery. You may be buying the wrong type and size.
The furnace is the biggest power drain on the battery.
You also may be draining your batteries down to zero, therefore shortening their life.
This right here. Are you using a deep cycle battery? I can see a camper killing a "car" battery in 2 hours or less. Especially with furnace running.
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:51 AM   #13
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Yeah. The new camper came with a new deep cycle battery. I also saved the battery from on 05 forest river flagstaff. Iíll try my
Boat battery next. Iím fully charging the new battery this week and I will put it in the camper with the heat on and see how
Long it lasts this weekend and report back.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:53 PM   #14
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Yeah. The new camper came with a new deep cycle battery. I also saved the battery from on 05 forest river flagstaff. Iíll try my
Boat battery next. Iím fully charging the new battery this week and I will put it in the camper with the heat on and see how
Long it lasts this weekend and report back.
I'm betting that your new battery is NOT a true deep cycle battery, but a 12v dual-purpose marine battery.
If you truly want to dry camp more, at least get a matching battery so you can have a dual battery setup.
It would be better to have dual 6v golf cart batteries though.
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:29 PM   #15
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Can you share how you installed cut-off switch to stereo?
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:41 PM   #16
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Can you share how you installed cut-off switch to stereo?
In my A-frames, the stereo is mounted in the same cabinet as the microwave. I remove the microwave for easy access to the space.

Once I can reach behind the stereo, I locate the plus and minus 12V feeds, and separate them from the speaker wires. The plus side feed will have 2 wires from the stereo, one is for primary power, and the other for backup power (when the ignition is turned off in car/truck). I prefer to switch BOTH positive wires, shutting off backup power and shutting down the stereo power completely. This does remove the memory from the stereo, the memory that saves your radio station presets and the equalizer settings. But I don't care about those things so I switch both wires.

I install an automotive 12V, 5A or better, rocker SPST (on/off) switch in the cabinet. I bring the 12V+ feed to one terminal on the switch, and the 2 stereo + leads to the other terminal. That's it.

If you buy a switch with an LED light in it, the middle terminal is usually 12V negative for LED power. And it will matter which of the terminals gets the incoming power. Use the wiring diagram that comes with the switch. I recommend not using the LED because they are too bright at night, at least in the small space of an A-frame. I have inserted 100K resistors in an effort to dim the LEDs, but it was still brighter at night than I wanted. So I don't wire in the LEDs any more.

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Old 11-27-2019, 10:54 AM   #17
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Here are my stash of batteries that Iím using. The green one is the ďnewĒ one included with my camper. I take it inside to charge 10amp for 40 hrs. That should charge it. I even had auto zone ďtestĒ my battery and they said itís ďgoodĒ. I can get about 6 hrs on the camper this time of year with the heat only running. That doesnít seem right. The kill switch on the radio might make sense. I see that even thought the radio isnít on. Itís still receiving power. Maybe thatís draining it. That being said if there is some high powered option for long lasting battery system, let me know. I canít bring the gen set everywhere and I sure as f canít fire it up in the middle of the night to stay warm.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:35 AM   #18
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Attachment 219945Attachment 219943
Here are my stash of batteries that Iím using. The green one is the ďnewĒ one included with my camper. I take it inside to charge 10amp for 40 hrs. That should charge it. I even had auto zone ďtestĒ my battery and they said itís ďgoodĒ. I can get about 6 hrs on the camper this time of year with the heat only running. That doesnít seem right. The kill switch on the radio might make sense. I see that even thought the radio isnít on. Itís still receiving power. Maybe thatís draining it. That being said if there is some high powered option for long lasting battery system, let me know. I canít bring the gen set everywhere and I sure as f canít fire it up in the middle of the night to stay warm.
I went through my TT pulling one fuse at a time and watching how much the residual current draw dropped for each.

Radio drew less than .1 amp in standby and my Sensar Pro tv amp another .1 amp
With both tv and stereo fuses removed my battery monitor shows ZERO amp. The really small parasitic draw from lpg detector and battery monitor itself amounts to only one watt which at 12.8 volts (current bat voltage) is down around 80 milliamps.

I'm going to venture a guess that the batteries are past their useful life as deep cycle batteries. Auto parts stores have no way of testing battery capacity it. Only voltage under load.

Testing a battery for capacity requires application of a known load then timing how long until battery reaches "fully discharged voltage".
Not just a simple load tester.
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:59 PM   #19
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Yeah. You are probably right. Itís got to be that they didnít give me a new battery when I bought it. I should just buy a new battery and not drag it back to the dealer almost 2 hrs away. What is the best battery set up to buy?
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Old 11-28-2019, 07:37 PM   #20
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What is the best battery set up to buy?

Best bang for your buck if boon docking as a pair of GC-2 batteries (6v golf cart batteries).
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