Originally Posted by Bbelement
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:
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