Is Your Battery Really Charged? - Page 4 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-15-2014, 08:32 PM   #31
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....
I'll have to get one of them "hydrometers" and go camping. Or maybe just get a couple of junk novels and go camping. Better yet, take the wife and the dogs and go camping.

Go camping.
I'm with you! I'm thinking most of us are former tent campers and can "deal" with zero electricity (except maybe CPAP users). If I step inside my trailer and don't have lights? So WHAT! I've got a propane stove, hotwater heater and frig. I'm already AHEAD of being in a tent!
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:48 PM   #32
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FWIW, A couple weeks ago I installed the Trimetric SC-2030 and a Grape 160W panel which has pretty much the same specs as the Gopower 160.

....
If I were suggesting which unit someone should buy, it would be the Blue Sky that Paul has, I don't think the kinks are worked out of the SC-2030 yet, they've only been available for a month. That's what I'll do Ii this one isn't up to snuff by the end of the season.
Hey Bob, just wondering if your opinion has changed at all yet?
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:51 AM   #33
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I contacted ETI to see if they will install a different controller for me instead of their standard one. They will but they will still charge me for the standard one and I will recieve it when I pick up the trailer. So I must purchase both controllers anyway.

My question: will I do any harm to my dual 6-volt batteries if the standard controller and charger don't bring them up to full charge for the first while I use them? If I have to purchase both controllers anyway I would just as soon try out the standard one to begin with and swap it out if necessary afterward.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:50 AM   #34
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Hi Bruce
I believe what I mentioned about the size of the panel and daylight being the limiting factors in getting the most out of the SC-2030. I do see it charging at the higher (15+ volts) once the batteries are over 98%, which is the controllers spec. It just doesn't usually leave enough time in the day to get the number of hours required at the higher voltage. It also has no real equalization phase, kind of a pseudo equalize if you bump up the voltage levels high enough and have enough sun time to reach them.

Would be interesting to see if the Blue Sky has the same issues.

So the SC controller does work, just lacks the Equalize. More then 160W in panels would help it to actually achieve the desired outputs that the Interstate batteries call for.

Lyle,
Swapping it later will not be all that easy from what I can envision, it'll take some work. I do not see where you'll do any real harm to the batteries going with the GoPower at the get go, it's just not the best available.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:58 PM   #35
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I have been pleased with the Blue Sky. I have mine programmed to perform the 15.3 volt charge and then hold that charge for two hours. This is the Interstate specification for my batteries. Using my portable 120 watt panel I have achieved this a number of times. It take a good part of a sunny day as the time getting to that 15.3 volt charge is long.

The Blue Sky does have an equalization setting as well. I have not attempted this for several reasons: unsure if my panels have enough power to deliver the necessary charge for equalization, that is 15.5 volts for two hours. And second, the equalization process becomes less of an issue if you properly maintain your battery.

With the full and complete charge I have been getting with the Blue Sky I have not taken the dual 6 volt Interstate batteries below 75%. Equalization is more necessary when the batteries have been abused by going below 50%.

After spending the summer testing I am very pleased with the Blue Sky. The only issue I have had is getting 8 gauge wire to work. The specifications state it will work but in reality I had to trim strands of wire to get it to fit. Now I have found but not used:

NYLON Insulated WIRE PIN Terminal Connectors 10 AWG Wire by MOLEX

The Trimetric 2025 monitor is nice for several reasons: it can be mounted high for easier to read monitoring, there are many more measurements available and it definitely exceeds the measurements from the JRV monitor provided by Escape. On the other side the Trimetric is expensive, the Blue Sky gives as accurate voltages, the Trimetric does not display enough decimal places and I think has some clumsy installation instructions. As many users have stated, once it is setup it is left on the percentage monitor, that one screen tells all.

Would I do anything different, I think not. Being a techno-weenie I like the monitoring, measurements and knowledge of exactly where the battery systems are at. Now, if I could always find campsites with that exact mix of shade and sun for the best use of solar I would be ecstatic.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by iamunique127 View Post

My question: will I do any harm to my dual 6-volt batteries if the standard controller and charger don't bring them up to full charge for the first while I use them? If I have to purchase both controllers anyway I would just as soon try out the standard one to begin with and swap it out if necessary afterward.
Lyle I hesitate to wade in here among the experts as I am more of Donna's philosophy. But we have dual 6v that are now 4 years old and have been charged with the (apparently) very poor standard WFCO. The batteries are still in very good condition.

Ok I'm ducking and running now"...........
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:26 PM   #37
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I believe Lyle's question was about the GoPower solar controller as opposed to the WFCO converter/charger. In my experience Interstate batteries are high quality, had 8 years on them on my last trailer when I sold it, coincidentally charged with a WFCO converter. It's not so much that you are going to damage them with the GoPower, it's more about not charging the batteries to their full potential.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:40 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I believe Lyle's question was about the GoPower solar controller as opposed to the WFCO converter/charger. In my experience Interstate batteries are high quality, had 8 years on them on my last trailer when I sold it, coincidentally charged with a WFCO converter. It's not so much that you are going to damage them with the GoPower, it's more about not charging the batteries to their full potential.
Sorry - thought he was worried that the batteries would be damaged by charging at less than ideal conditions, (as mine has been for the past 4 years.) ..wading very carefully out of the deep solar waters back to the shallow end of the pool now
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:50 PM   #39
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Lyle,
Swapping it later will not be all that easy from what I can envision, it'll take some work. I do not see where you'll do any real harm to the batteries going with the GoPower at the get go, it's just not the best available.
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post


Would I do anything different, I think not. Being a techno-weenie I like the monitoring, measurements and knowledge of exactly where the battery systems are at.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
Lyle I hesitate to wade in here among the experts as I am more of Donna's philosophy. But we have dual 6v that are now 4 years old and have been charged with the (apparently) very poor standard WFCO. The batteries are still in very good condition.

Ok I'm ducking and running now"...........


Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I believe Lyle's question was about the GoPower solar controller as opposed to the WFCO converter/charger. In my experience Interstate batteries are high quality, had 8 years on them on my last trailer when I sold it, coincidentally charged with a WFCO converter. It's not so much that you are going to damage them with the GoPower, it's more about not charging the batteries to their full potential.
Thanks for all the info, guys.

I'm getting the picture now, I think: the standard equipment does the job just not to the maximum potential of the batteries.

To be honest, my question was about the charging system in general but I didn't have all the words to ask it properly. As someone who doesn't even have their first travel trailer yet maybe I should just read some of these threads and not jump in with some of my beginner questions. Thanks for your patience and for sharing your knowledge nonetheless.
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Old 10-19-2014, 02:09 PM   #40
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Thanks for all the info, guys.

I'm getting the picture now, I think: the standard equipment does the job just not to the maximum potential of the batteries.

To be honest, my question was about the charging system in general but I didn't have all the words to ask it properly. As someone who doesn't even have their first travel trailer yet maybe I should just read some of these threads and not jump in with some of my beginner questions. Thanks for your patience and for sharing your knowledge nonetheless.
Hi: iamunique127... We were all beginners at least once.
I always tell the technician at the pacemaker clinic..."It's up to my wife to charge my battery". Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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