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Old 07-29-2015, 04:48 PM   #21
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At 11.2 that means you should have started it already.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:04 PM   #22
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Thanks Kansas, I knew that. I was trying to understand why camaraderie says it tells you nothing. I boondock frequently and watch my battery voltage religiously.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:15 PM   #23
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Voltmeter install in Roo 19

Oh, I agree. We leave tomorrow to go to the mountains and will be doing the same thing. My wife gets made at me as I check with my volt meter multiple times a day. How low do you allow your deep cycle to go before charging? I have always heard not to let it drop below 50% which is around 12.1 or it could damage the battery.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:36 PM   #24
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ALWAYS disconnect the negative cable first! That is the safe way on negative ground systems. If you try to disconnect the positive cable first you risk blowing the battery up if you slip and your wrench goes to ground. Personally, I never bother disconnecting the battery, 12VDC won't hurt you.

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Old 07-29-2015, 08:28 PM   #25
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Well as I said...it will indicate a flat battery....so it would indicate that you have already done damage to your battery life and it is way past time to recharge...it cannot reliably tell you when it is REALLY 12.1 OR 12.2 AND TIME TO RECHARGE without cycle loss OR WHEN THEY ARE 100% TO AVOID the same fate. If you boondock a lot you need a true battery monitor like the trimetric or victron...in the $150 range. Alternative is buying batteries much more often.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:38 PM   #26
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Sounds like a lot of trouble to go through. You will get the information you need out of a 120v plug in voltmeter in one of your outlets and for about $15

I just added one in my 5er to monitor the battery. Converter is trickle charging the batteries right now, meter reads 13.68 VDC right now. I wired in a vom meter I don't use any more so it has a switch I can use to turn it off and on when I want. I sits in the switch panel just inside the door. This will allow me to watch the batteries voltage when I am boondocking, so I will know when I need to charge them. Much more accurate than the idiot lights! Herk7769 supplied this chart to use to watch your batteries charge.



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Old 07-29-2015, 11:52 PM   #27
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Harbor Freight sells a great tool to tell you if your battery capacity is up to snuff.

It measures the battery voltage condition under a load and will give you the best information you can get in an inexpensive package.

100 Amp 6/12V Battery Load Tester

You don't need to use it all the time, but after a season is over or at the beginning of a new season. I have used one for years and works great.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:25 AM   #28
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A voltmeter tells you nothing useful about the state of your batteries IN USE except if they are flat dead or presently charging. if it reads 12.4 or such then you have no idea what the ACTUAL state of charge is unless it is reading after the batt has been disconnected from everything for 24 hours..
Incorrect. Yes, you don't want to have a significant load on it to make the evaluation, but a few lights, etc. won't make any difference at all. I have been testing batteries for 20 years.

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.even more importantly is cannot tell you when you have charged to100% ....
Incorrect. During charging, of course not. But after charging is stopped, and a slight draw is used to remove the float (a few lights for a couple minutes) the indicated voltage will tell you exactly what state of charge the batter is at.

I have tested Lead Acid, AGM, and Gel Cells very accurate load and time instruments. With proper reading the DVM method is very accurate. There are other devices that can do a slightly better job, but installation and price are not worth the effort in normal RV boondocking application.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:29 AM   #29
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Personally, I never bother disconnecting the battery, 12VDC won't hurt you.
Wanna see a watch or a ring get welded to the frame ? Wanna see a red hot wire leave a neat scar on the arm? Did you know you can arc weld with a car battery pretty well.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:32 AM   #30
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Harbor Freight sells a great tool to tell you if your battery capacity is up to snuff.

It measures the battery voltage condition under a load and will give you the best information you can get in an inexpensive package.
Yes a good tool, to have. (to indicate how well the battery will charge and to some degree, it's available energy. ) However, by the time you notice that the battery is getting a bit old (sulfated), you probably already knew this from use.
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