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Old 12-05-2014, 08:29 PM   #31
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I agree - a 12V Interstate U battery and 2 6V U Interstate batteries have the same charging requirements.
Then I misunderstood your first post, thinking this is what you had said. Still, I learned sumpin' despite the misunderstanding.
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
For those on the anal side of batteries, I can come up with about six names from the forum, you know who you are. This group, with myself as a member, probably do a lot more off grid camping, perhaps extended off grid camping, or cold weather camping with lots of furnace use and want the best performance possible. So camping style influences this discussion.
I would bet not. In the last few years, the Escape Rally is the only place I have had hookups at all, other than sitting in my driveway. Plus, we certainly get lots of cold weather too. I bet I spend at least 15 nights a year, probably more, where overnight lows get below freezing. Mind you, 5 days (4 nights) is my a typical stay, so not out for extended lengths of time too often. I have started using a 40W panel, which seems to help a bit when the furnace runs more.
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Jim B, what do you use for your portable charger?
I use a CTEK 4.3, which stays on my batteries during winter storage, and a couple times while parked at home in the camping months.
CTEK MUS 4.3 TEST&CHARGE | CTEK Battery ChargersCTEK Battery Chargers

I was thinking of putting one of these in the Trillium I am rebuilding for my daughter, in conjunction with a small portable solar panel when not hooked up to the grid, in lieu of a converter. Previously, there was no battery on this trailer, but I am adding one.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:50 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post

The CTEK manual describes a number of scenarios and explains how the management (switching) capabilities of the charger help, but they never clearly say that the charger will boost a low supplied input voltage to meet the target battery charging voltage. Does it really do this?

I wonder if all it does for low alternator voltage is to supplement charging with solar power output.
I have not used the CTEK in a camper yet, only bench testing, so not 100% sure it is going to do what is needed. On the bench, I was able to verify that it does boost the voltage, but I only tested it down to about 11 volts on the input. I'm assuming that even with the voltage drop to the back of the Escape 21, I will be above 11v.

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That setup makes functional sense. It was proposed in the FiberglassRV forum, where a supposedly qualified electrical engineer didn't understand the point and attacked and insulted the member who proposed it... but of course it would work. Did you ever measure the camper battery charge rate and quantify the improvement?

The set up with the inverter in the truck and charger / inverter combo in my old camper worked well. It provided the correct charge voltage for the AGM battery and allowed me to charge at a 30A bulk charge rate. I did not see any difference between being hooked up or being under way and plugged into the inverter in the truck.

I think the CTEK will be a simpler set up, if it works.
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:30 PM   #33
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On the bench, I was able to verify that it does boost the voltage, but I only tested it down to about 11 volts on the input.
Excellent - thanks

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I think the CTEK will be a simpler set up, if it works.
I agree.
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:56 PM   #34
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I was reading the online manual for the CTEK MUS 4.3 and it indicates that its for batteries 14 - 160AH when connecting the 6 volts the total would 262AH just wondering what effect this would have?

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Old 12-06-2014, 05:33 PM   #35
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Curious: The 12V battery that has been in my trailer since I bought it used is a Lifeline GPL31XT. I think it has reached the 3/4 point of its warrantied life, and it seems to be wearing down kind-of like I am at a similar stage of life. In all of the battery discussions I have seen on this forum I don't recall this battery being mentioned. Based on its heavy weight and the cliche "you get what you pay for", this ought to be an uncontested winner. Is the price the reason I haven't noticed Lifeline mentioned, or are the Trojan and Interstate better performers as well as cheaper? Thanks for any wisdom…Glenn.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:33 PM   #36
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My 2008 came with Interstate. It slowed down a lot in the fall of 2011. I don't know for sure, but probably my fault. I replaced it with a Trojan, mainly because I have issues with Interstate's religious mission.
Since then, I've mostly worried about the state of my battery, probably for no good reason. The more instruments you have to measure it, the more stress you endure.
As you might have guessed, I am a dim bulb when it comes to electricity.
Don't know Lifeline at all.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:14 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrek View Post
Curious: The 12V battery that has been in my trailer since I bought it used is a Lifeline GPL31XT. I think it has reached the 3/4 point of its warrantied life, and it seems to be wearing down kind-of like I am at a similar stage of life. In all of the battery discussions I have seen on this forum I don't recall this battery being mentioned. Based on its heavy weight and the cliche "you get what you pay for", this ought to be an uncontested winner. Is the price the reason I haven't noticed Lifeline mentioned, or are the Trojan and Interstate better performers as well as cheaper? Thanks for any wisdom…Glenn.
I rarely hear about Lifeline's in relation to RV's, they seem to be more common in the marine world. It could well be price, we all know boat owners enjoy throwing away their money even more then RV owners.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:14 PM   #38
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The more instruments you have to measure it, the more stress you endure.
I have five thermometers at my cabin up by Mt. Baker--all in strategic locations out of direct sunlight. I also have five different temperatures.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:32 PM   #39
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Karen, you need an instrument to calibrate your thermometers.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:09 PM   #40
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Jim, I have your battery solution here...

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