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Old 08-05-2013, 12:53 PM   #31
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How do you know if the battery is charged?

The new 19 is sitting in the driveway, and I've been wondering about the dual 6v batteries. Although the gauge indicated they were charged, and the no load voltage across both was 12.8v, the specific gravity indicated they were not fully charged. I hit it with the old Diehard charger for a couple of hours and now the specific gravity indicates they are charged. I think the built in charger runs at too low of a voltage to fully charge those batteries. It certainly will not charge fully from the truck while driving.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:36 PM   #32
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That built in charger is well known to be slow. Like 14-16 hours to reach a full charge. Try turning on your pump and Maxx fan before plugging into shore power. Some say that will put the charger in boost mode. Then turn off the devices. Report back.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:09 PM   #33
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Sounds like a good test, I'll try it the next time out. But, for the record when we came home last week from Chilliwack, the battery "meter" was at 3/4. When I plugged in to the 120vac the converter was certainly in "high" mode. You could hear it.

I let it charge for well over 24 hours before I shut it down. Latter, I checked the specific gravity , and found it not completely charged. And you only know if a battery is charged by checking the specific gravity. Everything else is an educated guess. The Diehard charger completely charged the batteries.

The on board WFCO charger puts out 13.6v in absorption (normal) mode. But the Interstate Battery spec sheet for the GC2-XHD-UTL clearly states to charge at 15.3v, Even the float voltage is lower than the battery manufacturer recommends.

I'll keep studying this "problem". We tend towards so called boondocking...but I consider it plain old camping in a campground without hookups. Solar is in our future, but I'm trying to get smart first. So far the best info I have found is at:

HandyBob's Blog « Making off grid RV electrical systems work. Love him or hate him, he has some great insight because of years of real boondocking in a big 5er without owning a generator.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:03 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen View Post
Sounds like a good test, I'll try it the next time out. But, for the record when we came home last week from Chilliwack, the battery "meter" was at 3/4. When I plugged in to the 120vac the converter was certainly in "high" mode. You could hear it.

I let it charge for well over 24 hours before I shut it down. Latter, I checked the specific gravity , and found it not completely charged. And you only know if a battery is charged by checking the specific gravity. Everything else is an educated guess. The Diehard charger completely charged the batteries.

The on board WFCO charger puts out 13.6v in absorption (normal) mode. But the Interstate Battery spec sheet for the GC2-XHD-UTL clearly states to charge at 15.3v, Even the float voltage is lower than the battery manufacturer recommends.

I'll keep studying this "problem". We tend towards so called boondocking...but I consider it plain old camping in a campground without hookups. Solar is in our future, but I'm trying to get smart first. So far the best info I have found is at:

HandyBob's Blog « Making off grid RV electrical systems work. Love him or hate him, he has some great insight because of years of real boondocking in a big 5er without owning a generator.
You are making the same discoveries that I made when I started looking into the charging of my Escape 19 batteries. You are correct that the batteries are not seeing enough voltage to fully charge them. The stock converter does not take the voltage up high enough to fully charge the batteries, regardless of their current charge condition. Interstate suggests around 14.6volts to 14.8volts for the first boost phase followed by 2 to 3 subsequent phase charges. 15.3volts is only required monthly. I changed both my converter charger and also my solar controller to get the charge voltages correct. Now it all works correctly. BTW, the stock solar solar controller will show 100% state of charge when it isn't so. You can search my previous posts for the specifics on what I did. I've seen your same complaint several times on this forum and some folks try their own work-arounds but the 6 volt Interstate wet cell batteries want to be charged a certain way and the stock equipment won't do it. However, there are many people out there that are having no problems with their units even though their batteries haven't truly been fully re-charged. Like you I am striving for the ultimate battery life while boon-docking. Good luck!

Steve
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