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Old 04-13-2012, 11:34 AM   #11
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Hi Dave,
Congratulations on your new-to-you trailer!!

Here are some thoughts for you ...



Quote:
Originally Posted by 41railbuggy View Post
Hi all,

I just bought my first RV a Wolfpack WP32 to haul my bike and sand rail to camp. Love it so far. Not new, a 2007 model.

I live in a condo so no shore power available. There is a small approx 12x12 solar panel on top of the AC unit. I have no documentation at all. By experiment I have found that with no shore power or tow vehicle connected the voltage is higher with the battery disconnect "ON" so I assume the solar trickle charger is working. Voltage dropped when I disconnect. I was not sure if the solar would still charge and the disconnect was just to remove the leakage current for LPG detector, etc.

I bought 2 new Group 27 deep cycle batteries and connected in parallel. My idiot light panel just has 4 lights for battery condition and now after about 3 weeks seems to have settled at 3 lights. I measured at the battery connections and it was sitting at 12.3 volts. Was this measurement after the batteries had been sitting disconnected for three weeks or connected and being trickle charged through the panel?

The idiot lights are very rough estimates. Good that you are using a multimeter to measure the battery. 12.7 volts is fully charged and 12.3 volts is about 65% charged. I would recharge them fully at this point. Batteries do best when maintained at a higher voltage for a healthy battery.


With the LPG detector going is this probably all I will get out of the little solar panel on top? I live in sunny St. Petersburg, FL so get a lot of sun. That 12"x12" sounds pretty small. I'm no solar expert but I know different panels will throw off different watts and volts. So, I would probably want to figure out its output in order to calculate how much its helping.

Should I think about disconnecting the LPG detector. I do not like to disconnect any safety devices in the off-chance that something goes wrong and its still disconnected when you need it most.

Nothing else is draining power. How do you know? Common draws are CO and propane leak detectors as you know, plus the radio. I also believe the DSI for the HWH, fridge, and furnace control boards also draw a small amount even though turned off (I may be wrong about those and I've been meaning to check).

Also, remember that batteries self-discharg
e. My two batteries discharged about 11% over two months completely disconnected. It was colder of course than St. Petes.


Maybe 12.3 is fine and when I tow a couple hours camping the truck connection will top off the batteries. You should always recharge fully after each trip. I recharge for at least a day and then disconnect my batteries. Disconnected, they last months. I don't believe a couple of hours towing will fully charge from 12.3. The car alternator doesn't put out that many amps through the pigtail (although it certainly helps).

Also when I hook up shore power camping should I disconnect the batteries? Keep the batteries connected when on shore power and let the converter do its job and charge the batteries. Monitor the water levels if you do not have a 3-stage converter/charger (see below).

Not sure if I have 3-stage converter. It probably is 3-stage but you need to find out. Look up the model number on the converter and go to the manufacturer's website. IMHO, a 3-stage is needed for charging and maintaining your deep cycle batteries.

Thanks all. This is awesome to have so much information at hand.

Dave
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:24 PM   #12
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Think the 65% charge is a little off. 12.3/12.7 x 100=96.8%
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dunnnc View Post
Think the 65% charge is a little off. 12.3/12.7 x 100=96.8%
That would be correct if 0 volts was a dead battery, but since 10.5volts is considered dead, then you need to follow a chart like this one from Trojan ...
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:41 PM   #14
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Thanks Triguy. The 12.3 volts was after it had been trickled on the solar for a few days. Now in fairness I did raise/lower the tongue jack a couple times plus had the interior (incandescent) lights on at night while tinkering plus the incredible fan running on low in the bathroom for several hours that I forgot to turn off when I left.

So I have quite a few variables and understand the little solar engine that could will only do so much. I will monitor for a while and see how the voltage goes.

Also I turned off all breakers but that is on the AC side so probably no effect. Yes the Concertone is probably pulling a few milliamps even when off as I see a small red light in the power button. Good call.

Maybe just have to run a 100' extension cord to the maintenance shed outlet if the condo guys will let me. That would solve everything...

Thanks again and I'm sure I will have more questions as I go!
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:49 PM   #15
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Triguy, Opps, I stand corrected. Sorry about that. Old age bites again.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #16
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Triguy, Opps, I stand corrected. Sorry about that. Old age bites again.
Its bitten me a few times in these last few years, too
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 41railbuggy View Post
Thanks Triguy.
Maybe just have to run a 100' extension cord to the maintenance shed outlet if the condo guys will let me. That would solve everything...
That it would. Come home from a trip, charge for a day and then disconnect the batteries.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:03 PM   #18
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I usually disconnect my battery when I don't plan to use my camper for awhile. Can you advise me on how to install a disconnect switch/ Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:20 PM   #19
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I usually disconnect my battery when I don't plan to use my camper for awhile. Can you advise me on how to install a disconnect switch/ Thanks.
Welcome to one of the more interesting topics on any trailer forum.

There's a bunch of different ideas and these threads would be good for you.

Battery on/off -- Pos or Neg side?

Disconnect Switch Wiring ?

I personally like the Blue Sea disconnects attached near to the battery on positive.
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