Thom and Cari's Parkliner - Page 24 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-11-2013, 03:02 PM   #323
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Single LED fixture 12 hour amp-draw test with Xantrex LinkLITE monitor...

I turned on the bathroom LED light at 7am this morning after taking notes off the monitor:

=====7am readings (before 12 hour test)...

Volts: 12.9

Amp Hours Remaining: 94.9 (I have it set at 110 being max)

Amp Hours Used: 6.1

(The manual stated that the more charges completed the more accurate the AHR and AHU reading get. The AHU figure resets when the monitor registers 4 minutes of float voltage 13.2v after coming off of normal-charge voltage 13.6v. I may have to do some monitor adjustments. Still testing things out...the manual is in four languages, and the English still looked a bit Klingon to me.)

Without LED on,
Amp Hours showing on monitor: -0.1

LED light turned on,
Amp Hours showing on monitor: -0.3

=====7pm readings (after 12 hour test)...

Volts: 12.7

Amp Hours Remaining: 91.9

Amp Hours Used: 9.1

Without LED on,
Amp Hours showing on monitor: -0.1

LED light turned on,
Amp Hours showing on monitor: -0.3

---So the math shows (though as stated, the more charges on the system, the more accurate this particular meter will become) is as follows:

Amps used by single LED light for this 12 hour test is somewhat less than 3 amps (i say somewhat less because the meter is showing some phantom draw. All that is hooked up is the monitor). All this really tells me is that running LED lights takes little juice from the system. Last 5 day adventure we spent 90% of our time inside the Parkliner from morning exit of van (our bedroom) to heading back in at ~9pm ish. During this time _indoors_ we had two LED fixtures on for ~6 to ~8 of the hours due to the gloomy weather outside. So for the 5 days i can now approximate we used no more than ~18amps for lighting.

My next test will be some observations of the meter readout during times of bilge pump and water pump use...Cari will have to help me on that one.


what to do next...
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:18 PM   #324
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So for the gauge to accurately read life do you have to charge the battery through the main system so the meter can 'watch it', or can you charge the battery directly?

Thanks for posting this study Thom
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:43 PM   #325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennco View Post
So for the gauge to accurately read life...
Excellent question Glenn and i'm not sure of the answer. Will have to do some digging in the Klingon um.er. Xantrex LinkLITE manual ... PS note, in re-reading your OP if i'm understanding your question, the answer would be yes the batteries are being charged directly via their direct connection to the PD4045 converter. Which gets it's power from either the TV or shore power(?).

Right now, the only way to charge the batteries is through the built in PD4045 converter plugged into our 30 amp service or the tow vehicle pig tail. I have the Xantrex wired into the added battery isolator/fuse box i installed as shown in this image:



So what happens is the two upper red wires are 24" long and come from the two Optima batteries. Each has a 60amp fuse. The current then goes to the common buss that has three connections (one on each lower side, and one on bottom). The Xantrex monitor is connected into the lower right side as seen in the photo (and fused per instructions.)

I say all that to note that when i get going on Solar, i have some pondering and research to do as to where to wire it into the system (with appropriate controller/etc.)

If i'm reading any of this correctly...The Xantrex monitor will read whatever is happening in the current-loop. For instance, tonight with the converter unplugged for the last four days...the voltage after the test was sitting at 12.7v as shown on the converter. If i were to plug the converter in, the voltage reading would be 13.6 for several hours before dropping to the float charge of 13.2. At least that is what i saw when playing around just after turning on the Xantrex last week.

This is all new to me. I've never really bothered with watching battery banks. I just figured that i had enough umph in the battery bank to last the trip, and apparently after seeing the results of this first experiment, will have enough storage in the bank for our intended use between charges with the TV or shore power.

OH, another test idea (and i'm open to suggestions!)... i should back the van up tomorrow and hook up the pig tail and see what the monitor shows!
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:11 PM   #326
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Today's Xantrex LinkLITE monitor test...

First test was on the bilge shower pump that pumps water from the shower drain to the gray tank about 8 feet and ~10" away uphill.

The monitor read ~1.5 AH during the ~5 second _momentary_ uses. We tested this a handful of times and the reading was the same. During the last camp out we took 2 showers. We kept the momentary pump-switch on for no more than ~45 seconds or so to fully drain the standing water in the shower basin (it was a measured gallon going into the shower container). Anyway you calculate it this pump would not drain much out of the battery bank during a 5 day trip.

Second test was on the fresh water tank pump. we ran water for three times for about 30 seconds. It takes less than that to fill up a tea kettle for use in taking a shower (one at room temp, the other for boiling). During this time while the pump was working there was an 8.5AH draw.

So i would think in a loose calculation that the water-pump systems would impact the battery bank no more than about -10AH during a typical 5 day adventure.

Tomorrow i'll try to back the van up and attach the pigtail and watch the monitor...

Right now it's time to enjoy some SciFi on the Tele next to my McGirlver wife

Cheers,
Thom
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:17 PM   #327
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I'm sure you have a spreadsheet with all the calculated amperage readings.

I gotta take notes reading your threads, so much info!
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:40 PM   #328
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Hi Leonard, thanks for the visit and kudos!

Today's test was the aforementioned Xantrex LinkLITE monitoring of the current flow from Tow-Vehicle to Trailer...

While in idle the reading was 14.3v at 4.5AH

During a steady higher RPM (It's an automatic with no RPM gauge) it was 14.3v at 4.7AH...

Looks like all is working as designed from the Van's engine compartment back through pig tail into the trailer's converter and ultimately its battery bank. Our typical drive into _town_ during our adventures if re-stock is needed is about a 3 hour round trip which would put in about 1/2 the typical AH used during a typical 5 day mild-temp adventure. Trip back home is about 5 to 6 hours which might get the bank close to full again if i'm understanding the math. Though once home we do plug back in to the 30amp service.

For now, i'm not to concerned with adding solar due to our typical short 5 day runs and the apparent ability of the current battery bank to meet our needs (110AH total, with "Low Battery" alarm set at 50%/55AH).

As always i'm open to suggestions, comments, and opinions. I'm always up for a mod or tweak
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:55 PM   #329
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are two batteries necessary

Thom,
Considering the results of your measurements, do you think its necessary to have the extra battery. I suspect you are very conservative in your power usage but it seems that if a small,
say 50 watt, permanently mounted panel were used, and even if it was cloudy, and if someone was not as careful as you, a single battery would work fine. The money saved on not opting for another battery could defray the cost of solar.
Steve
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:55 PM   #330
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Hi Steve. Your idea of small panel is a consideration at some point and if the current load/use is kept a single (larger?) battery might do the trick as you pointed out.

I'm already putting in my notes that when these two 34's (55AH x 2 = 110AH) have given their useful life i might go over to a single 31 or similar (85AH) if usage has remained basically unchanged. Though i suppose if we ever put in a 12v (compressor style) fridge drawing ~18~24AH a day, not only will i be thankful for the two batteries...i will certainly need something along the lines of 100+ watts on the roof.

Thom
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:49 PM   #331
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A prospective Parkliner buyer asked a couple questions about the stock Ice Box. Since our PL#35 came with it i went ahead and responded to his questions _at this post in his thread_

Can the ice box be insulated more than stock?
Yes it can. And Yes i did : )

What are the interior dimensions?
Below the ice tray there is a about 7"h to 8"h x 11"d x 15"w
Above the ice-in-tray typically about 5"h to 6"h (same d x w).

Here is a photo i took for that post:



: ) Thom
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:30 PM   #332
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Today i checked on the PL battery monitor after my work day...
It was showing 13.2 volts so it had dropped down to the _float_ voltage after sensing a full charge. I followed the directions on "synchronization" of monitor & battery bank. This was the second full charge-to-float since putting monitor in. One more week to our next 5 day off-grid adventure. I'll take usage notes and monitor the monitor : ) and report back.

On the cooler cool-down... I put a 20lb bag of ice in the ENGLE inside the van, and i will grab a block of ice ~Wed/Thurs and place inside the PL Ice Box to get it cooled down before putting our cold-food items in them. Typically frozen meat/etc into the ENGLE (keeps a lower temp than ice box) and veggies into the Ice Box on the day we head out. Will of course take use notes and report back here after returning.

Thom
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #333
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Deryk,

Do you have any up to date info re Parkliner Co. We have ordered one but get no response from Charndler. We haven't even gotten a receipt for our deposit or an expected delivery date.

Thanks for any info you have gleaned.

Worried in Philly.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:05 PM   #334
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Here is thread going about Parkliner support. Someone posted a concern on their facebook but may have been deleted the same day? IDK, I can't find the post now. Best of luck
Park Liner Support
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #335
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They are horribly slow getting back to people...I sent them an email 3 weeks agoand haven't gotten a response back about the battery vent box....keep calling till you get through
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:42 PM   #336
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Greetings fellow travelers : )

I'm wondering if the current slow response time is partly due to a possible taking-a-step-back by Chandler and rethinking some design issues? Of course this is just a guess on my part. But taking into account the recent situations with current model tire-rub (which was fixed on at least #34 & #35) and then the battery-bay issue?

Thom
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