How know when Scamp battery is getting low? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-01-2014, 10:20 AM   #1
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How know when Scamp battery is getting low?

I have read numerous references about. Battery power and charging methods. We have always used full electric hookups. Later this month we'll head south and may camp in N P without electric. How will I know if my battery is running low? Measure voltage across the poles? What will be a low indicator -1 v.. -2v. ??
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:44 AM   #2
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Normal battery voltage is 12-13v. Voltage of discharged battery falls to 10v and below.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
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David,
You can buy a simple tester that reads battery voltage that plugs into cigarette lighter outlet. Or if you have a stand alone meter you could measure voltage at the battery.
Fully charged you would read 12.7+ volts, and down around 50% discharged 12.2v.
It is best for battery health to stay above 50% state of charge.
If you do have to discharge lower, say 20%, you want to re-charge as soon as possible to avoid damaging the battery.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #4
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I suggest you read http://manmrk.net/tutorials/RV/phred/battery.html

If you have a 12 volt outlet in your Scamp you can buy an inexpensive digital voltmeter that just plugs in. It will give you a rough idea of your battery status.

The working range will be from about 12.6 down to about 12.3 volts.
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Old 02-01-2014, 01:58 PM   #5
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Tester

I use something like this
INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor : Amazon.com : Automotive
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:34 PM   #6
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Not mentioned is that draining your battery below 12.2 volts will also significantly shorten the life of your battery.

You didn't mention how old your battery is and/or how you will be charging it both when pluigged in as well as when under way.

If you are using the original, pre about 2012 Scamp converter/charger you can get almost anything from undercharged to boiled. That said, also check the battery voltage when you are plugged in and let us know that number as well. As a hint, if it's not at least 13.2 volts when charging, you may never get a full charge.

Don't forget to check your water level add distilled water if low, then charge again.

Bottom line, Batteries are a very fickle item
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
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Try this site. The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

Also has a battery condition chart you can download and print. I keep a laminated copy next to my battery meter.

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Old 02-01-2014, 05:11 PM   #8
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I keep this in my phone

Name:   ImageUploadedByFiberglass RV1391296284.810108.jpg
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #9
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Thanks for the good posts. FYI, My Scamp is 2013, 16'. 24EV deep cycle silver alloy battery. I've charged it with my tow alternator and from the AC when connected. While sitting under covers this Wisconsin winter, I removed the battery to my cool basement. The cells appeared at good levels of water. I put my son's BMW charger on the battery today. I do not yet own a voltmeter that measures tents of a volt. My multipurpose analogue meter showed just under 12 v this morning (under may be a calibration issue.) the charger was putting out 13-15 v when charging. I disconnected it after three hours. After disconnecting the battery showed 13v, and now 3 hours later it shows 12.2- 12.4v(?). I'll check it again tomorrow.
For the future, I will see about wiring a 12v outlet near the power panel and acquire one of the meters some of you recommend.
I appreciate your guidance.
David
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:31 PM   #10
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Another caution.. Don't leave the battery on your concrete basements floor
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdhanso View Post
I keep this in my phone
Attachment 67977
I have that very same chart that I printed out and taped it to the inside of a door next to the plug-in volt meter.
Dave & Paula
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:50 AM   #12
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Get yourself a battery dicharge indicator (BDI)

Here's a link to what you're looking for.
Curtis Instruments | Battery Discharge Indicators and Combination Gauges

If you contact your local forklift dealers parts department they will be able to help you out with the BDI and how to wire it into your camper battery circuit.

Rick.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:05 AM   #13
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When charging a battery......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsironi View Post
Thanks for the good posts. FYI, My Scamp is 2013, 16'. 24EV deep cycle silver alloy battery. I've charged it with my tow alternator and from the AC when connected. While sitting under covers this Wisconsin winter, I removed the battery to my cool basement. The cells appeared at good levels of water. I put my son's BMW charger on the battery today. I do not yet own a voltmeter that measures tents of a volt. My multipurpose analogue meter showed just under 12 v this morning (under may be a calibration issue.) the charger was putting out 13-15 v when charging. I disconnected it after three hours. After disconnecting the battery showed 13v, and now 3 hours later it shows 12.2- 12.4v(?). I'll check it again tomorrow.
For the future, I will see about wiring a 12v outlet near the power panel and acquire one of the meters some of you recommend.
I appreciate your guidance.
David

A battery must be fully charged in order for it to gas and mix the electrolyte (charging will take 6 or more hours depending on the battery capacity and current rate of charge) this must must be done in a well ventilated area because the by product of charging a battery is hydrogen gas emissions( very explosive) so do not smoke or have any spark or flame or ignition source around the charging battery. A properly rated deep cycle charger with an automatic shut off should be used, also someone mentioned about not leaving the battery on the concrete floor, this is great advice because if you leave the battery on the concrete floor it will go to ground and discharge over time to the point of no return.



Rick.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:14 AM   #14
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Any battery left over time will discharge.
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