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Old 08-07-2013, 07:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mbvell View Post
Sorry for the confusion cable guy. I mis-stated amps in my original posting. The built in CO monitor shouldn't draw Very much at all and the refrigerator fan is .12 A according to the advertisement for it on eBay, where we bought it.

The voltmeter I am using switches automatically from milliamps to amps and is in DC mode so that's not a problem. And I do know how to measure with it, but apparently I don't know how to properly record what I measure! LOL.

So. I measure ~1.5mA and 12.5 V across the poles when ground is connected (when the fridge is on and the fan is running). I measure slightly less between the disconnected ground wire and the negative pole under the same conditions (fridge, CO), ~1.4mA and 12v. I am positive of the readings, just trying to make sense of it.

Thanks,

mb
Based on these numbers, if this is at the battery and this is your only draw then you have no short. However, I do not see it possible to only be drawing 1.5mA with frig., fan in frig, and co detector. IMO

Furthermore, you still have not said how many lights you were using in the 2 days that killed your battery. Did your water pump run any? Do you have a sound system and did it run? Do you use an inverter for anything? Were the old batteries full charged before you left? Also you stated 2 group 24 batts. how many amp hours are they? Are they marine batteries or true deep cycle?
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:03 AM   #12
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With battery connected-
Set your meter to Amps/milliamps.
Pull fuses ONE at a time and place the meter probes across the fuse
holder terminals.
Your meter replaces the fuse and measures the amps being "drawn" by
what ever is on that circuit.
Check each circuit this way and write down any current you see.

Don't worry about voltage right now.
You are trying to find the current in amps in each circuit.

If your fridge is a 3 way power MAKE SURE it is on LP ONLY mode.
If your fridge has an "environmental" heater in the metal between
the freezer door and the fresh food door you should know that heater
is 12v and it will suck your battery dry quickly.
Many fridges have a little switch at the top of the door opening for this
heater. SHUT OFF that switch!!
A few models have the heater and no switch to shut it off.
That sucks but there is a work around IF you determine you have
the heater and no switch.
You don't care about a little condensation between doors- especially when
you're boondocking.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:40 AM   #13
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CableGuy,

1.5 mA doesn't make sense to me either....puzzled that one over for most of my nights' dreams and can't figure it.

Some additional info:

* 2 old group 24s were 100Ah each, new ones are 140. Not sure on marine v deep on the old, and it's pouring outside right now or I would check, but I think they are deep cycle marine.
* all of our interior light are LED, and we run them sparingly when we dry camp (an hour a day total for all lights)
* water pump is turned on as needed - total run time per day of at most 10 minutes. We sponge bathe or sun shower on long dry camp trips
* furnace is on the fritz, so despite the fact that we are camping at 9000 feet in a lot of rain, it hasn't run once. :-(
* we do have a sound system but haven't powered it up thus trip.
* we did use the 12v outlet to charge an iPhone the first day, but have since switched that fx to our goal zero power pack.

mb
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:56 AM   #14
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Dan,


I'll make those measurements as soon as I Can get myself to get out of bed. BRRRR.

Re: the fridge, it is only 2way - LP and 110 so it shouldn't be drawing much from the batteries. We have the switch on LP only now, too. And there is no environmental heater either, just the 3rd party fan we installed in the fridge.

The only other thing I can think of is that a short in the Goal Zero charge controller or alligator clips fried the first set of batteries (wouldn't surprise me given the shorts in the first two controllers). If the new batteries we bought yesterday weren't QUITE fully charged, that might explain the drop from FULL to 2/3 on the built-in battery monitor in the camper AND our panic that something was eating battery power. I SHOULD have insisted that the salesperson throw the batteries on their tester before we walked out the door, but you know how it goes with hungry kids and husbands, worry Bout digs left behind at camp, etc...

mb
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:56 AM   #15
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Not sure if you have Internet access but this link will help you calculate how long batteries will last. Also if you do not have deep cycle batteries but have car batteries once you drain them completely a few times they really lose a lot of amp hour capacity. You can't tell much by measuring voltage though. You need current draw. If you are only drawing two amps a 60 amp hour battery should hang two weeks. If you draw more of course it goes down. For us using the pump to shower and flush speeds the discharge up.

http://www.batteryweb.com/pdf/invert...sizing_faq.pdf
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:01 AM   #16
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You need to find out which line is the parasite line.

Pull all of your fuses at one time.
Next pull your negative cable on the battery.
Attach your meter with one on the neg post of the batt and one on the neg cable going to the camper.
Do you have any amperage going through the meter?
If yes, then you have a grounding problem from the positive line from the batt to the fuse box.

If no amperage then reconnect your neg post.
With all of the fuses out.
One at a time, use your meter and go from one side of each fuse to the other. All should have no amperage going through them with all systems are off. The fuse line that has amperage going through it will be the one that is 'grounding' or has some type amperage 'pull'.

With what it seems that you have and what you are doing,two fully charged deep cell batts should last you the whole time you are there and that would be with out the solar cells. imo You have a parasite somewhere imo.

I am no professional electrical person and this is only imo.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:11 AM   #17
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If you have car 'jumper battery cables', take each of your new batts and charge them with your truck. Do not have them hooked up to your camper when charging up.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:13 AM   #18
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10. HH T - 0

9. Radio 1.5mA

8. Antenna boost - 0

7 a/c. -

6. LR - 0

5. Refer-Furn - 1.25mA

4. Bath - 1.5mA

3. Kitchen - 1.02 mA (led light on)

2.porch - 0

1. Empty - 1
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:19 AM   #19
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Do you have zero pull of amperage when all of the fuses are pulled and checking for amperage between the neg post on the batt and neg (pulled) cable going to the camper?
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:24 AM   #20
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On board battery "monitors" that have LEDs that show
full
3/4
1/2
1/4
are notoriously in-accurate. (although I do use mine but with caution.)

Measure battery voltage with a digital meter.
Do the measurement with light or no load.
Don't go by the measurement if you've just taken it off a charger
in the last few minutes.
Rough rule of thumb- battery voltage at 12.0v is 40% charge remaining.
see chart here bottom of the page-
Trojan Battery Company

Above all-
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