Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: dry docking and charging
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 > dry docking and charging

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guscampag

Ohio

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Posted: 06/25/20 06:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a small travel trailer and have set it up with (2) 6-volt batteries for drydocking. When I arrive to a destination and the batteries are fully charged, we do not use much electricity and the batteries will remain charged for about 5 days. I will then charge with my 3000 Watt Champion Inverter Generator. The problem is that even after running several hours and the gauge showing a full charge, the batteries will only last about a half day and need recharging. I don't understand what is happening here. Any insights would be greatly appreciated!
thanks.

2oldman

New Mexico

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Posted: 06/25/20 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

guscampag wrote:

I will then charge with my 3000 Watt Champion Inverter Generator.
Please clarify this statement..are you powering a converter, or does the generator have a 12v outlet?

bigorange

Tucson, AZ

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Posted: 06/25/20 06:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you running the batteries all the way down? It will take longer to get them back to full charge If you fully discharge them. I’d run the generator a little more frequently than 5 days to top them off more effectively.


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wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 06/25/20 06:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are charging using the built in converter, it will charge about the first 70% in just a couple hours, to finish takes much longer. Thats one more reason so many folks love even a small amount of solar. You can get most of the way in a couple hours off the genny, and then let the solar take all day topping off.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/25/20 07:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check your charging voltage. You need 14.2+ volts on the battery or you are looking at 12 to 24 hours to be fully charged. Many only go 13.6 even when labeled as multistage converters. WFCO is especially notorious at this.

Consider a replacement like this:

http://www.bestconverter.com/PD-9260C-148-60-Amp-RV-ConverterCharger


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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 06/25/20 07:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What gauge are you looking at? The little Full - 2/3 - 1/3 red light gauge? If so, that thing is useless. It's looking only at voltage. The voltage is high anytime the converter/charger is operating. An actual battery gauge that uses a shunt like those made by Tri-metric, Magnum, and others will give you 0 - 100% reading of what's in the batteries.
Some RV converter/chargers are notoriously bad. Most people don't really do much camping off the grid thus they don't need a good charger thus the RV builders don't install a good one to save cost.
Don't use the 12v output from your generator. It is also useless. Plug the RV into the generator just like plugging into an outlet and let the build in converter/charger do it's job no matter how poor it may be.

philh

Belleville MI

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Posted: 06/25/20 07:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

new convertor/charger is needed

Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

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Posted: 06/25/20 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

philh wrote:

new convertor/charger is needed

And a real gauge, make sure you don't take your battery bank down lower than 60%.
12.6/7=100%
12.5=90%
12.4=80%
12.3=70%
12.2=60%
If you went 5 day's that'd prolly be lower than 60%. There is a lot of info on this forum in different places for charging and good use practices. The options for charging types and battery banks are as wide as the world. Choosing what is best for you takes time and trials.


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Lwiddis

Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area

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Posted: 06/25/20 08:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Daily full recharging is best for deep cycle batteries, not what you are doing. An adequate solar system would eliminate the generator use almost every day.


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ssthrd

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Posted: 06/25/20 11:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This year we have been boon docking quite a bit, and so we picked up a couple of 130 watt solar panels to look after our two Trojan T105 6v golf cart batteries. They work great for me. We have to chase the sun a few times a day, but no big deal.

We have been usually down to 70% or so when I check the battery controllers in the morning, and it only takes a few hours to get them back to 100% again on a nice clear day. Mine even charge on cloudy days, but of course not nearly as well as on a sunny day.

I have a 2000 watt gen/inverter for those nasty days. We were set up for 14 days, and used the generator only once initially to get things going. We also have a couple of small 100 watt USB inverters to charge our electronics in the trailer.

The beauty of these solar panels is that they automatically stop when the batteries are 100% at which point they go into a maintenance mode similar to a battery tender. Just have to check the water level in the batteries now and then to make sure the plates are covered.

I have no idea if the performance that I have seen is typical, but I sure am happy with the results for our purposes.


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