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Old 04-16-2024, 09:56 AM   #1
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New batteries won't last the night

Last Fall i replaced old house batteries w/ 2-6volt, deep cycle, AGM wired in series (220AH).
They seamed to do well. This spring we readied for a trip south from Montana. The first night they quit. Minimal 12v in house. Heater died...I'm happy we have a good comforter.

Further into our trip a couple times when it gets cold (18-35) we loose heat in the night. Not enough juice to fire the heater.
Where do i start?
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Old 04-16-2024, 10:05 AM   #2
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A voltmeter meter reading.

How do you charge them?
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Old 04-16-2024, 10:40 AM   #3
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I will need to put a volt meter on them when they are down. We shiow fully charged (with the worthless FR dot system) after a full day of driving and/or we run the generator for an hour.
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Old 04-16-2024, 10:59 AM   #4
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That furnace fan takes A LOT of juice.
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Old 04-16-2024, 11:02 AM   #5
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I will need to put a volt meter on them when they are down. We shiow fully charged (with the worthless FR dot system) after a full day of driving and/or we run the generator for an hour.
That doesn't sound like a lot of charge and no, I wouldn't trust the indicator for much.
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Old 04-16-2024, 11:31 AM   #6
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Further into our trip a couple times when it gets cold (18-35) we loose heat in the night. Not enough juice to fire the heater.
Where do i start?
It's not the juice to fire the heater that's your problem.
It's the electric fans on the heater that is draining your batteries.
These rigs have very little insulation and even if you have full batteries, camping in below freezing weather will drain those batteries overnight.
12v refrigerators that operate off the batteries will also drain the batteries overnight.
A generator would help keep the batteries fully charged until you have to turn it off overnight.
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Old 04-16-2024, 12:10 PM   #7
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my heater also died in the middle of the night
It was NOT a battery fault.. battery had plenty power left.

I had to turn the thermostat OFF and back ON at 3 am GRRRRRRRRRRR
Heater then resumed heating

Saw some threads about this behavior and am investigating further that it may be a heater board or thermostat problem
----------------------------------------------------------------------
If it happens again to you try turning it OFF/ON
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Old 04-16-2024, 02:15 PM   #8
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By chance are you leaving your inverter on if you have one?
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Old 04-16-2024, 02:55 PM   #9
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Without some actual battery readings we are all just guessing.
The little dots are worthless.
There's no way of knowing where you are starting the night capacity wise until you load test the batteries and get some voltage readings.
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Old 04-16-2024, 03:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jsay View Post
Last Fall i replaced old house batteries w/ 2-6volt, deep cycle, AGM wired in series (220AH).
They seamed to do well. This spring we readied for a trip south from Montana. The first night they quit. Minimal 12v in house. Heater died...I'm happy we have a good comforter.

Further into our trip a couple times when it gets cold (18-35) we loose heat in the night. Not enough juice to fire the heater.
Where do i start?
If you're counting on driving and a 1hr of generator to charge the batteries to full it won't happen . 220ahr with a 20 amp charger will take 10hrs with converter say 55 amp it will still take 4 to 5 hrs . 220 ahr should easily get you through a night
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Old 04-16-2024, 03:33 PM   #11
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Without more info, and as others are suggesting, you need to approach this methodically to determine what's going on.

You blame the batteries. I suggest connecting to shore power for at least 24 hours to ensure they are fully charged, and then take them for a load test. If the batteries are good or bad, the load test will tell. And if one out of two is failing, the pair is just a giant 12 volt battery, so the one bad one means a total fail.
P.S. on this, perhaps your charging system is the culprit, or perhaps your battery connections are corroded and need cleaning. If in doubt about the rig's converter/charger, get an external charger and use it to charge the battery bank.

What kind of fridge? 2018 is kind of on the cusp of the switch from Propane/120 volt absorption fridges to the "new fangled" 12 volt compressor fridges. 12 volt compressor fridges will eat about 35 amp hours (AH) per day all by themselves. An absorption fridge's 12 volt demands on propane are nominal. Not insignificant, but negligible when one starts with 110 USABLE AH in the battery bank.

The furnace will draw about 10 amps MAX when running...for the blower mostly. It's cold so one must estimate the duty cycle. Below freezing, the furnace might run on a 60% duty cycle...on 60% of the time. Overnight, that means for 8 hours the furnace will be running almost 5 hours, at 10 amps/hour = 50 AH. But based on the link, even that's a high estimate. Between the fridge and the furnace, getting through the night should be a piece of cake. BUT YOU WILL NEED TO RECHARGE DAILY IN COLD WEATHER. One presumes your motorhome has an onboard generator to top off the battery bank.

Is your furnace on the fritz? Does it run sometimes and not others? One possibility is that the sail switch is getting cluttered up with dust, etc and needs cleaning or replacement. That's a routine maintenance item on a 6 year old rig. There are plenty of other things that might be wrong with the furnace, but that's the most likely culprit.

And what about other 12 volt loads? You mention the furnace, but you make no mention of lights, water pump, slide(s), leveling jacks. Have you tested the battery condition by trying these other loads? If they all work but the furnace doesn't, then it may not be the batteries.

None of us can tell if it's the batteries, the charging system, or the furnace based on your initial post.

Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:07 PM   #12
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my furnace was only drawing 5 amps
was able to see the amp draw from the battery bluetooth

12v fridge and furnace were about 10amps when BOTH were running
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Old 04-16-2024, 09:04 PM   #13
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You have over 100 ah available. I suspect with a compressor fridge and the furnace you likely did the batteries in.

Modern rv’s often have less battery than you have. Plugging in is sort of necessary.

A battery monitor is a good idea.

But, I doubt you would ever make two nights on the battery you have.

If boondocking is in your mind you need batteries!

We have 400 ah available. As we have a gas fridge we can boondock four days easily. I use a cpap, a big user. The DW discovered Harvest Hosts. We have slept in the desert, bars, wineries, brew houses, horse farm, restaurants, museum in Roswell, and several gas stations.
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Old 04-16-2024, 09:32 PM   #14
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Have the new batteries been run down to below 50% charge multiple times?
If so it is likely they are damaged and will no longer hold a full charge.
Best way to check is charge for a long period of time (24 hours) and retry.

*Lead Acid and AGM battries can only be discharged to about 50% without being damaged.
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Old 04-17-2024, 07:26 AM   #15
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good deep cycles can go below the 50% find the specifications from the manufacturers

you can get a chargers that desulfates a lead acid
May add a couple years back into the battery life
Sulfated battery reading-----> https://www.power-sonic.com/blog/wha...ou-prevent-it/

------------------------------------------------------
If batteries are gonners ... take a look at lithium (Lifepo4)
they are safe and have many benefits over Lead acid

your standard converter + some solar or a small lithium charger will work to keep them charged

Lots of threads already in here about Lithium ---> https://www.google.com/search?q=lith...iverforums.com
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Old 04-17-2024, 10:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
<smip>--
If batteries are gonners ... take a look at lithium (Lifepo4)
they are safe and have many benefits over Lead acid

your standard converter + some solar or a small lithium charger will work to keep them charged

Lots of threads already in here about Lithium ---> https://www.google.com/search?q=lith...iverforums.com
My 6 year old 100ah AGM is finally going. I ordered 2 Lifpo4 batteries for under $400 and a 40 amp DC to DC ($160) charger so I don’t over tax my alternator and charge while driving. Batteries are optimally charged at 20 amps each so the DC-DC is good.
I should now have 4x the usable amp hours and could add an inverter to run the microwave….

Cheap Lifepo4 are now cheaper than an AGM. In 5-6 years I will know if they last as long.
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Old 04-17-2024, 11:30 AM   #17
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I doubt the OP had fully charged batteries and his motorhome was pulling power for more than just the furnace.

The furnace on my Roo pulls 3.34 amps when the flame is on.
My pair of T125 "golf cart" batteries have a capacity of 203 useful amphours (before they won't power much).

6th grade math indicates the planning time for the battery to power the furnace is 203 amphours/3.34 amps = 60 hours.

Something else is going on here. Refrigerator, lights, bilge pump from that voyage from home in Hawaii killed the batteries?

Propane on my furnace consumes about 1#/hour of flame time so the propane should last 40 hours and run out long before the battery.

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Old 04-17-2024, 07:09 PM   #18
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I was wondering how he got it here from Hawaii.
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Old 04-17-2024, 07:41 PM   #19
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there's a boat leaves Hawaii regularly

I shipped my car over was only 900.00... (22 years ago)
Picked it up in LA.
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Old 04-17-2024, 08:56 PM   #20
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I was wondering how he got it here from Hawaii.
I believe that they keep their RV stored in Montana.
I'll be in Kauai next month.
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