Battery thoughts/help! - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-14-2015, 03:22 PM   #43
Junior Member
 
Name: Jenny
Trailer: Scamp 13
Tennessee
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
BTW - I sent you a PM.
Replied!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallon View Post
Fuses aren't designed to protect appliances, they are designed to protect the wire. If you pull to much juice though a wire, they heat up & can catch fire. So if you have a frequent problem with blowing fuses, DO NOT EVER PUT IN A HIGHER RATED FUSE......If you frequently blow fuses, get with an electrician or RV repair guy so that they can troubleshoot the root problem causing fuses to blow.
Agreed. I will monitor this particular fuse and hope it doesn't blow again. I cannot say with any certainly why it blew; while camping in Florida in July I was running everything (air conditioning, lights, fridge on AC, laptop, phone) but I pretty much do that every time I camp so I don't know why Florida was different. The main difference between that trip and others is 1) it was hotter than usual (+100 degree heat index almost every day) and 2) I was plugged in for 7 nights.

For all I know it may have blown when I was attached to my house power while packing for the trip!
__________________

__________________
ScamperGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 11:18 AM   #44
Junior Member
 
Name: Jenny
Trailer: Scamp 13
Tennessee
Posts: 26
Hello everyone!

I had a chance to go Scamping over the weekend. I picked up the Scamp from storage on Thursday, October 1st. Once hooked up to the TV, the battery read 12.28. After a 10 minute drive home, I tried to turn on the outside light after disconnecting from the TV and before connecting to shore power. Surprisingly, after only 10 minutes attached to the TV, the light turned on! I thought this was a good sign. I then hooked it up to electric at my house.

On Friday, October 2nd I took another reading. The Scamp had been plugged in for about 24 hours. It read 13.55. So far, so good.

I took another reading on Sunday, October 4th and it was 13.66. Not much change since Friday but then again, we were running the fridge all the time and an electric heater a good bit of the time.

We left on Sunday and had about a 2 hour drive home. I disconnected the power from the TV and the battery read only 12.51. I did have the fridge turned on using 12 volt power for the ride home.

My understanding is that a battery is fully charged at around 12.8. So, my thoughts are that my battery, while not dead, may not fully charge and therefore shouldn't be relied on for boondocking. All of my trips so far have been with electric hook ups. My next planned trip is the weekend of October 23rd at Fall Creek Falls state park with electric hook up so purchasing a new battery right now isn't high on my priority list.

I plan to take readings again before/during/after my next outing to see
1) how much the battery drains while parked in storage between now and October 23rd and
2) if it will charge up any higher than 12.51.

Thoughts/opinions/advice are welcome!
Jenny

PS. I did swap all of the interior lights to LEDs this weekend. Woo Hoo!
__________________

__________________
ScamperGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 11:35 AM   #45
Member
 
Name: Fallon
Trailer: Shopping
Colorado
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScamperGirl View Post
Hello everyone!
We left on Sunday and had about a 2 hour drive home. I disconnected the power from the TV and the battery read only 12.51. I did have the fridge turned on using 12 volt power for the ride home.
Depending on wiring & how big the alternator is in your tug, a fridge can easily drain the battery in your trailer & the battery in your tug. Many people won't use the fridge on 12v for this reason. It pulls a lot of juice, quite possibly more than your alternator can put out, thereby draining both batteries. The fridge on 12v is generally the most possible power draw you have in a trailer unless you get a big inverter or something.

Alternator capacity is only part of the equation. If your tug has relatively small wires supplying 12v to the trailer plug, you'll get a lot of voltage loss, which means batteries don't charge well & a lot of juice gets wasted.

There is a great thread talking about this on http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/...-while-towing/ (may have to register to view it). While I don't agree with all the points (at least in relation to my '09 Tacoma), the basics are there & very relevant to smaller tugs less designed for towing (smaller alternator & wiring) than a truck like mine.
__________________
Fallon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 11:45 AM   #46
Senior Member
 
Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
Posts: 1,443
I have pulled my Scamp 13' with the 3-way Dometic 1.9 for nearly 10K miles for 5-1/2 yrs. (The larger fridges may pull more amps). I pull it with the stock alternator on my '99 Nissan Frontier 4cyl pickup and have never had an issue. Now my on board G27 battery is nearing the end of its life cycle understandably. I can see it drop a little more (using a plug-in 12 meter in my Scamp) when unplugging than it did when it was new. But it still works for me (non-boondocker) and I'm not replacing it yet. I also keep my Scamp on my Battery Tender when parked.
__________________
Darral T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 11:56 AM   #47
Moderator
 
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,081
Lot of reports about the fridge on 12 volt drawing down the battery even while driving down the road. Too little alternator output, drop in voltage from long run of thin wire back from tow vehicle engine are the common culprits.

Voltage reading will go higher with a "surface" voltage under no load and fresh off the charger fully charged. Will generally drop almost immediately under load to an actual battery voltage.

If charging the voltage will always read higher. Charger has to produce higher voltage than battery to create a "flow" of energy into the battery. If there is a charger running then the battery terminals will read the chargers voltage not the stored battery voltage.
__________________
RogerDat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 12:03 PM   #48
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScamperGirl View Post
Hello everyone!

I had a chance to go Scamping over the weekend. I picked up the Scamp from storage on Thursday, October 1st. Once hooked up to the TV, the battery read 12.28. After a 10 minute drive home, I tried to turn on the outside light after disconnecting from the TV and before connecting to shore power. Surprisingly, after only 10 minutes attached to the TV, the light turned on! I thought this was a good sign. I then hooked it up to electric at my house.

On Friday, October 2nd I took another reading. The Scamp had been plugged in for about 24 hours. It read 13.55. So far, so good.

I took another reading on Sunday, October 4th and it was 13.66. Not much change since Friday but then again, we were running the fridge all the time and an electric heater a good bit of the time.

We left on Sunday and had about a 2 hour drive home. I disconnected the power from the TV and the battery read only 12.51. I did have the fridge turned on using 12 volt power for the ride home.

My understanding is that a battery is fully charged at around 12.8. So, my thoughts are that my battery, while not dead, may not fully charge and therefore shouldn't be relied on for boondocking. All of my trips so far have been with electric hook ups. My next planned trip is the weekend of October 23rd at Fall Creek Falls state park with electric hook up so purchasing a new battery right now isn't high on my priority list.

I plan to take readings again before/during/after my next outing to see
1) how much the battery drains while parked in storage between now and October 23rd and
2) if it will charge up any higher than 12.51.

Thoughts/opinions/advice are welcome!
Jenny

PS. I did swap all of the interior lights to LEDs this weekend. Woo Hoo!
This is all a little confusing.

First... An accurate battery reading can only be taken with all input power to it (TV charging line or Converter) disconnected and all loads disconnected or at least turned off.

The first reading, when connected to the TV, was with the engine OFF so you were only reading the collective average of both the TV's and the RV's battery. Start the engine and it should come up to about 13.5 volts in the RV, but that is a charging voltage, not the batteries voltage

The next two readings are at a charging level indicating that your TV was connected & running or your shore line/converter was running.

The last reading was lower than expected because you had your refrigerator running and that will cause the battery voltage to temporarily drop while any load is ON.

When a battery is being charged it will take on a "Surface Charge" that will drop quickly when any load is applied for a short period , so reading right after charging might not be accurate. I suggest, with the charging system OFF, tuning on a regular 12VDC light (not an LED) or running the water pump for a minute or so before taking a reading and then do so with nothing turned ON from the battery.

Your readings reported could be very normal for the conditions.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 12:36 PM   #49
Senior Member
 
rdickens's Avatar
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
Posts: 504
Jenny,

It's only my guess, but I'm thinking that your battery may be just fine .... for boondocking or anything else. Just measuring voltage will not give you an accurate idea of how many amp-hours are left in your battery.

Getting the battery tested would probably be the thing to do now.

As mentioned, running the fridge on 12v is huge drain on your battery and/or your tow vehicle's alternator. (I once completely drained a G27 battery overnight in a Walmart parking lot 😳 )

Without being connected to shore power or your tug (and without the fridge on 12v), I would expect the mid to high 12.# volts range. Connected to shore power or tug power, I would expect 13.# volts (again without fridge on 12v).

For long duration boondocking, you might review the solar panel links that I listed earlier.
A 35 watt solar panel and controller would probably meet most of your boondocking needs.

Good luck! 😊

Ray




Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV
__________________
rdickens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 05:48 PM   #50
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,066
Circuit stuff

Powering a skill saw with an extention cord and charging a battery through a charge line are two different circuits.

In the case of the skill saw, you have a single power source. The extension cord resistance combines with the skill saw to determine the current. Since the extension cord is in series with the skill saw, a voltage divider is formed. As such a voltage drop will occur across the cord. The skill saw sees a reduced voltage which may be too low to run the motor.

In the charge line circuit, the skill saw is replaced by a second source (trailer battery). Now you have two sources, series opposing. The difference between the two is the voltage across the charge line. Because of that, the charging current is determined by the resistance of the charge line.

That is: Icharge = (Vtow-Vtrailer)/Rchargeline


In the first case, the voltage drop is the result of the current and the load (skill saw) voltage is what's left.

In the second case, the voltage drop is the difference between the two voltages, not the result of the current. The current is that difference divided by the wire resistance.

What happens when you add the refrigerator is it's current is drawn from the trailer battery. The tow battery ( alternator) must supply that current and any additional current needed to charge the battery. There is so much electrical demand in today's vehicles. In many cases the charge line demand exceeds the capabilities of the alternator, worse if too large a charge line is used. As such the battery doesn't charge and the fridge is warm, both starved.

What's interesting is that Darral's '99 Frontier has enough energy to run his fridge, my 2012 Frontier does not. In fact the factory wired charge line looks to be 12-14 gauge wire. I suspects the engineers weren't being cheap but rather used such a small wire to limit the available charging current. They want to keep the on board computers, the braking system, the drive by wire throttle, etc. working properly.

By leaving my fridge off, my battery will usually charge in about 4 hours of driving. Raz

p.s. My new Honda CRV adds electric steering, a computer controlled CVT, and electrically controlled motor mounts to the demand!
__________________
Raz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 09:37 PM   #51
Senior Member
 
Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
Posts: 1,443
Raz...let me shed a little more light on the subject. My 99 Frontier came with NO hookup whatsoever for a trailer. I had to hook up the 4-pin plug early on for a U-haul trailer. It also required a "tail light converter" (because my Frontier has separate brake/signal lights).

When I decided to buy my Scamp, I made the decision to install the brake controller AND 7-pin connector (socket) myself. I researched it out and bought all my stuff from etrailer.com. (Great place to order from btw). Here's the clincher: The "kit" came with 10 GA wire! So the wire to my trailer that charges my onboard 12v battery from my truck, runs directly from my battery, through an included "breaker", then straight to the 7-pin connector that the trailer plugs into at the rear of my truck.

The only problem I've had was, this year I ran out of adjustment on the alternator so I had to have new belts put on. It was starting to go to "squeal" city! Not bad though for nearly 16 yrs of service!

[QUOTE=P. Raz;552419]

What's interesting is that Darral's '99 Frontier has enough energy to run his fridge, my 2012 Frontier does not. In fact the factory wired charge line looks to be 12-14 gauge wire. I suspects the engineers weren't being cheap but rather used such a small wire to limit the available charging current. They want to keep the on board computers, the braking system, the drive by wire throttle, etc. working properly.

By leaving my fridge off, my battery will usually charge in about 4 hours of driving. Raz
__________________
Darral T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 04:36 AM   #52
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
Not bad though for nearly 16 yrs of service!
Impressive.
__________________
Raz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 08:31 AM   #53
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
While getting 16 years out of a fan belt is commendable, I personally think that preventive maintenance is a much better idea.

Spending the afternoon or a night along a desert highway, with no cell service, hoping someone will come along, has no appeal whatsoever..... Nor does changing a spare serpentine belt one might carry, in a rainstorm.

This is Judy's 1994 Nissan 4x4. She sticks with the maintenance chart and, in over 20 years has not only never had a breakdown, but has made only 3 minor repairs, a starter relay, a driveshaft support and a speedometer head.

When she bought it, the dealer offered, for $150, "Oil Changes for as long as you own the vehicle", big mistake.... Plus that, the Wenatchee, WA dealer is right next to COSTCO. A twofer trip.


This pic was taken about 200 feet from her house after last months fires. The Blazer behind her wasn't so lucky. (Click on the pic to enlarge)
Attached Thumbnails
Judys Truck.jpg  
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 08:50 AM   #54
Senior Member
 
Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
Posts: 1,443
Ummm Bob.... obviously you havent read my Nissan's Maint. manual so you have NO idea as to even what it says???

First of all, it's a 4 cylinder with NO serpentine belt that has to be replaced as suggested (my Nissan book doesnt list one). Nor does it have a "timing belt" that has to be replaced every 100K+ miles. The 4 cyls have a timing "chain". And, here's the suggested "preventive maintenance" as you call it quoted right out of my Nissan book for my 3 belts:

Drive belts* Check drive belts for wear, fraying or cracking and also for proper tension. Replace any damaged drive belts.

So, if you're still interested, I DID/DO preventive maintenance and noticed while trying to tighten the Alt. belt, that they were starting to crack. I had them replaced. Not only that but the muffler and catalytic converter.

[QUOTE=Bob Miller;552496]While getting 16 years out of a fan belt is commendable, I personally think that preventive maintenance is a much better idea.
__________________
Darral T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 08:52 AM   #55
Junior Member
 
Name: Jenny
Trailer: Scamp 13
Tennessee
Posts: 26
I had no idea the fridge pulled in so much juice from the car battery! Well, let me rephrase: During one ill-fated camping attempt we ended up at a hotel for the night and forgot to unhook the TV (his Jeep - this was before I bought my Subaru) from the Scamp. We also forgot to turn off the fridge. The next day the battery in his Jeep was dead. This was expected and understood, since the fridge was pulling from his Jeep battery and the alternator wasn't running. BUT, I did think the TV alternator would keep up with the demand of the fridge running on 12v. Very interesting that it might not and good to have this knowledge now. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
Getting the battery tested would probably be the thing to do now.
Yes, indeed. I will do this sometime over the winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
Without being connected to shore power or your tug (and without the fridge on 12v), I would expect the mid to high 12.# volts range. Connected to shore power or tug power, I would expect 13.# volts (again without fridge on 12v).
So it sounds like my reading of 12.51 isn't so bad after all, especially in light of the fact that my fridge was turned on during the ride home. I'm kicking myself for not taking a reading before driving home! I will next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
For long duration boondocking, you might review the solar panel links that I listed earlier.
A 35 watt solar panel and controller would probably meet most of your boondocking needs.
I did look at quite a few of them but thought a 100 watt panel was the way to go? Regardless, I'm torn between solar and simply purchasing the dreaded "G" item (generator). Most of my camping is done with shore power but I do enjoy going to music festivals in the summer which rarely offer hookups. Since I live in TN, summer camping anywhere around here without hooks ups pretty much requires air conditioning. If I end up investing in a (fairly) quiet Honda generator I really won't need solar.

Luckily this isn't a decision I need to make anytime soon.
__________________
ScamperGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 10:28 AM   #56
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
[QUOTE=Darral T.;552506]Ummm Bob.... obviously you havent read my Nissan's Maint. manual so you have NO idea as to even what it says???

First of all, it's a 4 cylinder with NO serpentine belt that has to be replaced as suggested (my Nissan book doesnt list one). Nor does it have a "timing belt" that has to be replaced every 100K+ miles. The 4 cyls have a timing "chain". And, here's the suggested "preventive maintenance" as you call it quoted right out of my Nissan book for my 3 belts:

Drive belts* Check drive belts for wear, fraying or cracking and also for proper tension. Replace any damaged drive belts.

So, if you're still interested, I DID/DO preventive maintenance and noticed while trying to tighten the Alt. belt, that they were starting to crack. I had them replaced. Not only that but the muffler and catalytic converter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
While getting 16 years out of a fan belt is commendable, I personally think that preventive maintenance is a much better idea.
Nope, I didn't even notice that you also had a Nissan. That's said, I have been turning wrenches long enough to know that "Most" drive belts don't last even 10 years without showing signs of wear and/or cracking. Aftermarket products, may show cracks even sooner.

My "Rule of Thumb" has always been to replace all of the drive belts when the first one shows cracks. In the case of the non-mechanical owner, the cost of the extra belts will usually be less than the labor of replacing them individually. When I talked to Judy this a.m. she said that she would look through her service records and let me know how many drive belts have been replaced in the past 20+ years.

As she is a single lady, who works at a health care facility, and is living in a rural community with harsh winters, 100% reliability is always a high priority, and being proactive trumps a breakdown.

But to each their own.....
__________________

__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any thoughts on the Serro Scotty? Liz Kissell General Chat 19 02-20-2007 09:00 AM
Thoughts on living Jackie Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 1 01-05-2006 08:23 PM
Random Thoughts Legacy Posts Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 0 10-07-2002 12:47 AM
Lightweights in the wind and other thoughts General Chat 0 12-31-1969 07:00 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.