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Old 08-15-2014, 05:37 PM   #1
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Battery gauge

I just bought a new Rockwood premier 2514g. I wonder if there is any way to see the charge level of the battery. Right now I only can tell when it is completely dead.

Is there any kind of gauge that can show the battery charge level?
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:05 PM   #2
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Charge level would require a battery tester, which is not practical. I suggest mounting a DC volt meter somewhere, with a normally open switch. Closing the switch would give you a voltage reading. 12VDC batteries when fully charged normally read about 13.5VDC.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:16 PM   #3
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This is what I use.
Check out this item I found on eBay: http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item...BAY-US&alt=web
Click image for larger version

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Old 08-15-2014, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbelement View Post
I just bought a new Rockwood premier 2514g. I wonder if there is any way to see the charge level of the battery. Right now I only can tell when it is completely dead.

Is there any kind of gauge that can show the battery charge level?
A simple voltmeter can tell you the state of charge OF A STATIC BATTERY that has neither been USED or CHARGED in the last 24 hours.
It provides little to no RELIABLE information on a battery in use or while charging. You can get a voltage reading with this or any multimeter:
Robot Check
7 bucks ...good for when you arrive at your trailer. Suggest a 10 buck multimeter would have better accuracy and many more uses around the place! Robot Check

BTW..."FULL" is 12.7 volts. "50%" and time to recharge is 12.2V...If you regularly go below 12.2 volts (which can only be measured AFTER you stop using the battery for 24 hours!!) you will kill your battery early.
If most of the time you will be plugged in somewhere...you probably don't need more than this. BUT if you dry camp or boondock...it is obviously VERY important to know how much battery you have left, when it is in need of a recharge and when it has BEEN recharged to 100% as it should be to avoid loss of life cycles.

In this case you need a full battery monitor like this Victron or the popular Trimetric. These go for about $150 bucks ...but will save you a lot more.
BMV-600S series - Victron Energy
They work in REAL TIME and let you know exactly where you stand right now, and how much time you have left at present use rate and what % you have to go while you are recharging etc. etc. ...You will quickly come to rely on it heavily since you can also see exactly how much current each device uses ...and how to save battery life ...or if you need more batteries. It will also show you the presence of parasitic loads which can leave your battery dead when you leave it for a few days or a week unattended.

Hope that is all clear. Good luck
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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Pretty sure for $6.00 I can see in real time what my battery Voltage is.
I just looked 13.32


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Old 08-15-2014, 06:55 PM   #6
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Thanks

Thanks for the help and ideas thus far.

I do plan on mostly dry camping. I'll ask my father-in-law to chime in on the issue (retired electrical engineer) and let you know what he says too.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
Pretty sure for $6.00 I can see in real time what my battery Voltage is.
I just looked 13.32


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Heh...actually Turbs you just proved my point. NO 12V battery has an actual voltage level of 13.32 !!! A 100% full battery is 12.7 volts!!

You are either measuring your CHARGING SOURCE charging voltage or the phantom surface charge left on your battery for some hours after charging. (Which is why you have to wait 24 hours after use or charging to take a reading that is accurate.)
Thanks for that great example of why you need a MONITOR if you boondock!
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Heh...actually Turbs you just proved my point. NO 12V battery has an actual voltage level of 13.32 !!! A 100% full battery is 12.7 volts!!

You are either measuring your CHARGING SOURCE charging voltage or the phantom surface charge left on your battery for some hours after charging. (Which is why you have to wait 24 hours after use or charging to take a reading that is accurate.)
Thanks for that great example of why you need a MONITOR if you boondock!
My camper is plugged in and the charger is in float mode.

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Old 08-15-2014, 09:13 PM   #9
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On a float via the converter...Trimetric
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:56 PM   #10
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I went this route..

Since I installed a 12V Outlet and use this..

INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor
Amazon.com: INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor: Automotive
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