Battery charging questions - Page 8 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-15-2013, 09:50 PM   #99
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Name: Russ
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Drew,
I talked to Bogart Engineering today. I described the symptoms I was having. He told me to take 2 aspirins, no wait, he said exactly what you said. Any items you want monitored must have their ground wires going through the shunt. So if you hook up your charger the positive lead connects to the battery plus post. The negative must connect to the shunt lug farthest from the battery. (the large shunt lug) If not the charger is not being monitored. He said only the only wire connected to the battery negative post should be coming from the shunt. All other grounds should connect to the shunt lug farthest from the battery. I'll have to check my installation when I get back home tomorrow and see what I did. It totally made sense what he told me.

Disclaimer: I think I understood what the man was telling me, but I have not verified the info in my case. So please don't take anything I said above to be factual. I will see if it solves the problem I was experiencing and report back.
Russ
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:51 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruscal View Post
Drew,
I talked to Bogart Engineering today. I described the symptoms I was having. He told me to take 2 aspirins, no wait, he said exactly what you said. Any items you want monitored must have their ground wires going through the shunt. So if you hook up your charger the positive lead connects to the battery plus post. The negative must connect to the shunt lug farthest from the battery. (the large shunt lug) If not the charger is not being monitored. He said only the only wire connected to the battery negative post should be coming from the shunt. All other grounds should connect to the shunt lug farthest from the battery. I'll have to check my installation when I get back home tomorrow and see what I did. It totally made sense what he told me.

Disclaimer: I think I understood what the man was telling me, but I have not verified the info in my case. So please don't take anything I said above to be factual. I will see if it solves the problem I was experiencing and report back.
Russ
What you said above would be true.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:19 AM   #101
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Well, I got a chance to look over my Trimetric install while working on a new solar charging system. I had the Trimetric installed properly with all negative leads going to the shunt. It was not able to read the portable Ctek charger due to me hooking the charger ground to the battery neg instead of the shunt. The reason for almost nil reading out of the on board American converter was due to it not putting out much current. I will replace the American in the future just for better battery maintenance when parked for storage.
Russ
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:09 AM   #102
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I decided to replace the American converter with a Progressive Dynamics 5000 series distribution panel suggested by Bob Miller in another thread. It is lower in height than the PD 4045, so fits in the stock location between the top of the seat and top of the cupboard door. The American opening had to be widened a little but the unit looks good with reveal around it. The Panel has room for more AC breakers than I need, and many 12VDC circuits. For the charging I went with the Iota DLS-30 like what Mc Denny uses. It has more aggressive voltages than the similar Progressive dynamics unit. The battery is 15' away, so 30' of wire resistance takes some voltage away. Iota has a IQ4 smart charging pendant that is the brains for the charging scheme. (Like PD Charge Wizard) The pendant has LED that shows what stage the charge is in. I will mount the charger under the rear dinette seat, and provide a vent to let the heat out. I'm hoping the fan noise is not too objectionable. It is variable speed on demand. Probably loudest during bulk charging stage. Most camping situations with shore power should keep the battery topped off so the charger fan should be on low or off anyway. And if boondocking on sunless days the genny would be used during the day to recharge.
Russ
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:31 AM   #103
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Our iota charger is right under my bed. I've never heard the fan. If I stick my head under the bed I can see that the fan is spinning although not very fast.
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:48 PM   #104
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Another vote for Iota. Installed one in my Bambi almost 2 years ago. I've heard the fan one time.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:51 PM   #105
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We just returned from a 2 day campout at Carlsbad State Beach. No hook ups. after the first night the battery read 93% full, so I put out the solar panels at 8:00 AM. The sun was very low but shining brightly. It took until 10:30 AM to reach 100%. The battery can't take all the power the panels put out, so one panel may be just as effective when the battery is so close to full. The next morning the battery was again at 93%, so we waited until we returned home to test the new Iota on shore power. It also took about 2.5 hours to top it off. I am happy with the performance of the Iota, as the previous American converter took days to get the battery to about 95% full and leveled off leaving the battery under charged. If I leave the Iota plugged in when in storage, it will equalize the battery at automatic intervals. I don't know if the Iota will also undercharge the battery. It's absorption stage voltage is 14.2v which is probably over-conservative. In contrast, the Progressive Dynamics units only do about 13.7v I believe, and my Trimetric solar charger puts out 14.7v which should be about optimal for deep cycle flooded type batteries.
Russ
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:58 PM   #106
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Wow, too much effort for the outcome.

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Originally Posted by ruscal View Post
My 2003 16' Scamp has an American brand converter, and a lead acid Costco RV 12v battery. I have installed a Trimetric monitor to see what is going on when charging and monitor power usage real time. I experience very long re-charging times, and see not much current being dumped into the battery. My question is would there be an advantage in installing a smarter converter, or would that be redundant if I went to a solar system utilizing a sophisticated MTTP controller later on? The PD4045 seems like it would be a step up from the stock converter, but is physically larger than the American, and may not fit under the side dinette seat. I hate to run the Honda gen for hours just to top off a 20% discharged battery. I also use a stand alone CTEK 7002 smart charger at times, but it is also slow. Any ideas?
Russ
Get yourself a cheap deep cycle charger and that will fix your problem of long charge times, as the battery reaches 85% charge the internal resistance will lower the amps and increase the volts(ohms law) disconnect the charging circuit of the convertor and let the cheap charger do the work for you it will put out the higher amps required to fully charge your battery faster and if you parallel another 12volt DC battery that will surely take care of all your overnight power requirements.
The older convertors as someone else mentioned did not put out a high enough voltage to properly charge a battery in a fast or complete fashion especially if using the 12volt devices in the trailer ie... lights fans or fridge.
That said the new convertors in most cases are now capable of charging the rv battery while still supplying 12volts to the rv devices.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:14 AM   #107
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Rick,
The effort wasn't a big deal, as I enjoy the challenge, engineering, and construction projects. It keeps me busy doing something positive. I have all the bases covered on battery charging for the Scamp covered now, and need a new project.
I did pick up a Pro-Logix 20A fast charge intelligent battery charger/maintainer for general auto charging needs. It doesn't waste any time getting the job done. Recommended.
Russ
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:58 AM   #108
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Russ,

Our approach is to have numerous methods of charging our battery. We have a solar panel which is generally plenty when in the sunny parts of the North America. As well we can charge from our tow vehicle as we drive, enough to keep us charged during our typical 3-4 hour drive. As well on occasion we have carried a 1000 watt generator when traveling across Labrador in the spring when the sun is relative low and the sky can be gray.

We have a smart charger as well. When camped with services we will often leave that on and let the smart charger do it's thing.

Like Byron, the best thing we've done is to replace every lamp and fixture with an LED equivalent. For most people Lamps are the largest 12 volt draw. As to the reliability of Smart Converters our last one lasted for 14 years and was still good when we sold the rig. Our present one is 6 years old. Like most parts of our RVs, we leave them powered virtually all the time.
Did you just replace the bulbs or the whole fixtures? I did try the LED bulbs years ago, and they were way to unidirectional for me. Camping World sells some nice fixtures, but they are PRICEY!
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:14 AM   #109
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As Camping World seems to cater to the high end, 40', diesel pusher crowd, everything they sell is pricy.... Try eBay, I bought new fixtures with flat panel LED's that are as bright as the sun for less than $30 each.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:49 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Bill in AZ View Post
Did you just replace the bulbs or the whole fixtures? I did try the LED bulbs years ago, and they were way to unidirectional for me. Camping World sells some nice fixtures, but they are PRICEY!
Bill,
I just replaced the bulbs with 48 LED flat panels. They are not as bright as the incandescents, but still very usable for reading or general tasks. All the LED's are mounted to a circuit board with no reflector and facing one way. The light beam is diffused enough to spread out over the table, and the wall mounted kitchen one lights up the sink and stove OK, but could be better with an articulated head fixture. They draw about a tenth amp.
The type of LED bulbs that go right into an incandescent socket have the LEDs firing in all directions, and can take advantage of a reflector. I have no experience with those. They are pricey.
This technology is rapidly improving, and the newer stuff is amazingly better than just 2 years ago.
Russ
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:48 PM   #111
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Steve,
The battery is only 2 months old, and it will take a 100% charge with enough time. What seems strange though are some of the readings I get with the Trimetric during charging. During my last campout the battery was down to 86% after the first night. I fired off the Honda and plugged in the shore power into it. The voltage read in the low 13's and the amperage read minus .2. I tried adding load with the water pump and some lights to see if the current would change. It only fluctuated a tenth. Why would it be showing discharge with the converter online? I also tried unplugging the shore power and using the CTEK charger. Same reading! Discharge.... Weird. I ran the Honda for about 4 hours and got the battery up to 100%, so it must have been the Trimetric giving me a bad reading?
Russ

You have one of two problems here.

1) the shunt you installed with the trimetric is either wrong or the trimetric is set wrong. The shunt either has to be a 100a/100mv or 500a/50mv ( there are some other options in the manual but these are the main two) so make sure you have the proper shunt and the meter is set correctly. If you have the wrong shunt you read .2 when it's really 2

2) And this is where I think you'll find your issue. Your shunt most be placed first in line on your battery. I bet your battery has a direct ground to the frame from the negative post. All electricity has to go through the shunt in order to get the bigger picture. Your above statement suggests your charger and your load aren't both going through the shunt, or your charger can't keep up to the load and your drawing 0.2 amps more then your replacing.


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