ParkLiner Battery Monitor and Battery Strap - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-07-2013, 10:44 PM   #15
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Well my 2 CO detectors are battery powered, but who know's if there is a drain. I need to charge the batteries this weekend and then keep an eye on them to see if they go down... then its solar power time to the rescue lol.

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Old 03-07-2013, 10:49 PM   #16
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I will be replacing any hardwired detectors to stand alone battery powered units like we have in our Van Conversion. Two years of use without issue, and we replace the two AA batteries in spring just for good measure. (they have a low battery warning that has yet to go off in a 12 month cycle). Hopefully there are easy solutions to lowering or eliminating any phantom draw(s). We have zero in the Van Conversion at this point, with all the comforts of home (in our style of dry camping).
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ruscal View Post
Deryk,
Your truck should be able to throw some current into the batts. Check your monitor while your truck is running to ensure you are getting enough voltage to charge. Should be in the mid to high 13's. For best battery longevity don't let them sit too long while discharged. I killed a blue top by letting it sit discharged for a month. I did't know there was a draw on the system which drained the batt.
Russ
Russ, I did hook my truck up to my ParkLiner yesterday and with the engine idling it was showing 12.8volts... I guess that means I don't have a real heavy gauge wire coming from my battery in my Rav4?

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Old 03-10-2013, 10:14 AM   #18
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If you install solar then that will help, otherwise you may need to run a larger wire back to the plug from your engine with a relay. Also check your alternator specifications, it may not have enough reserve to put any more into your trailer.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #19
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Jim, I think its the wire. I checked on the Rav4 forum and with the tow package I have 150amp alternator vs the standard 100amp for non tow package Rav4's. I guess solar is gonna have to get installed because I do have dellusion's of running the fridge on 12volt while traveling if I have food in it.

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Old 03-10-2013, 10:48 AM   #20
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If you install solar then that will help, otherwise you may need to run a larger wire back to the plug from your engine with a relay. Also check your alternator specifications, it may not have enough reserve to put any more into your trailer.
I've never seen an alternator too small to charge a trailer battery. Auto alternators are sized based on their output at engine idle speed. That way, when the soccer mom or taxi driver sits for an hour with the lights and AC on with the engine idling, the battery is still taking a charge, or at worst not discharging. When the engine speed gets off idle, the alternator output surges.

Some newer vehicles have a smart charger function that reduces the alternator output (and drag) when it senses adequate voltage at the TV battery. In tow/ haul mode this function is overridden to ensure a charge to the trailer battery.

The most likely issue with the RAV4 is a too small charge wire. A way to check this would be to use jumper cables from the TV to the trailer battery and measure the current with an ammeter.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:19 AM   #21
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Jim, I think its the wire. I checked on the Rav4 forum and with the tow package I have 150amp alternator vs the standard 100amp for non tow package Rav4's. I guess solar is gonna have to get installed because I do have dellusion's of running the fridge on 12volt while traveling if I have food in it.

deryk
Deryk most of the fridges running on DC have a pretty big draw (way more than a Fantasic Fan) and as suggested some newer vehicles actually prevent the fridge from taking the full draw it needs to protect the vehicle regardless of the size of wire. Due to those issues I dont run my fridge on DC when traveling as I would rather arrive at destination with a fully charged battery. I just keep a few small freezer packs in the freezer section of the fridge when plugged in or its running on propane and then take them out and put them around the items that really need to be kept cold such as milk and meat etc while moving on down the road. If you dont open the fridge while traveling and have insulated around the fridge you should find it works at keeping things cool for a long time while on the move as basically it just acting as an unmovable cooler.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:00 PM   #22
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Russ, I did hook my truck up to my ParkLiner yesterday and with the engine idling it was showing 12.8volts... I guess that means I don't have a real heavy gauge wire coming from my battery in my Rav4?

deryk
Deryk,
One simple method to check the wire size is to see if there is voltage drop. First plug your trailer into the tow vehicle. Start the engine and measure the voltage at the tow vehicle battery. Then do the measurment at the trailer battery. If the voltage is the same your wire is sized correctly. Too small a wire will use up some of the voltage due to resistance. I'm not sure, but I think if the test is carried out with discharged batteries it may be more valid due to the higher current draw through the wire.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:17 PM   #23
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I have posted this link on a couple of other threads, but in light of the ParkLiner owner who recently had a rather scary experience with their battery smoking and seemingly burning, it might be good to consider this fix. Scroll down on this page (in the link) to 'Optima Jim,' as he is a tech for Optima (the brand of battery ParkLiner uses) and has a definite recommendation: Battery Vent? - evolutionm.net

Also, I started a new thread listing some concerns we had with our ParkLiner prior to selling it. The above link is in that thread as well: ParkLiner Concerns from a previous owner

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:57 PM   #24
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Scroll down on this page (in the link) to 'Optima Jim,' as he is a tech for Optima (the brand of battery ParkLiner uses) and has a definite recommendation: Battery Vent? - evolutionm.net
In case the other forum become unavailable, here's the post:
Quote:
Hello, I noticed your conversation and wanted to offer some assistance. Even though our batteries have a “sealed” design, all lead-acid batteries can vent gas. Under normal operating conditions, an AGM battery will not vent gas. Since alternators or chargers can fail, the safest and correct mounting method for trunks and passenger compartments is to make sure that any possible gas venting will escape to the outside of the vehicle. All vehicles with original equipment battery locations in the trunks or passenger compartments will have a vent provision that should be used.

Our group 27, 51, 34C, and 31 batteries all have ports for connecting a vent hose. Although people do it anyway, we would never recommend installing an unvented battery in any enclosed space, because there's a legitimate, albeit unlikely, safety risk involved.

For example, IF there is a voltage regulator failure, and IF the battery is severely overcharged, and IF this goes unnoticed, and IF the battery vents because the internal pressure exceeds the release pressure of the vents, the gasses are both flammable and toxic. This may sound like a lot of “ifs,” but attorneys and engineers get paid to plan for every worst-case scenario. If anyone has any questions about our batteries, I'll do my best to answer them.


Jim McIlvaine
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
www.facebook.com/optimabatteries
Wow! A clear, helpful, and responsible post offered by a manufacturer... rare, although we do have some of our manufacturers participating similarly in this forum. My opinion of Optima just went up a notch.


Of course, this doesn't address proper wiring, charging, or mounting, but it does cover the often poorly understood venting issue.
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