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Old 06-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #1
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battery charging

Well ,my first trip out this year and it did't go well.I plugged my 15' dual 6 volt battery Escape into my extension cord a week prior to leaving.( finding out when I got home the cord is faulty).So figuring everything should be charged ,I headed out.First night was good the fridge worked and the furnace came on for a bit and there were lights.The next day, came back from fishing ( 2 nice trout) and everything was dead ,nothing worked,fridge ,lights ,nothing.So I tried charging the batteries with my 1000 Honda generator for 3 hours and still nothing,but a very dim light of the LED type .Everything runs while the generator was going ,but as soon as it stops then nothing works again.I went through all the fuses and connections looking for loose connections and everything is tight that I can see.So am now home and plugged the trailer into a new extension cord last night for about 6 hours and it seems to be charging some.I went and bought a hydrometer and checked the batteries ,one is still into the mid low range and the other one is completely dead still.

So now my questions are ;

#1 How long should it take to charge the batteries from completely dead ,charging through the system via household power?

#2 Is it normal for the fan on the electrical panel/ convertor/charger to run continually while it is plugged in and obviously charging?

#3 How long should it take to charge the batteries while driving?

#4 Is there a way to charge the dual 6 volt batteries by using a battery charger.Can I disconnect them and charge each one individually ,on the 6 volt setting on my charger.

Any help appreciated.Oh and 6 total fish that I'll smoke ,so not a total bum trip.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:38 PM   #2
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I have tried many of your charging methods and in summary my conclusion is "it takes a long time". The controller used by Escape is often criticized on RV forums for the long charging time required. I would estimate using shore power it will take 18 hours to charge a completely dead set of batteries. I have not tried using a vehicle to charge completely dead batteries but I would estimate it will take even longer. I have removed the batteries and put them on a charger for six hours, they were not fully charged even with them above 50% at the start.

I believe the best solution that I have seen so far is solar. Either built in or portable. Combined with never letting the battery(s) get below 50%. Portable solar requires setup and direction pointing, the built in solar folks just seem to be able to forget about charging batteries, it just works.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:44 PM   #3
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woodie, do you have a cut-off switch that prevents the propane and carbon monoxide detectors from drawing down the batteries? Sorry for the less than totally great trip. However, the fish should be great.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:08 AM   #4
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In answer to #2 question, the fan on the converter in my trailer runs briefly on start up but not after that.

The first time I plugged into shore power to charge the 2 6volts I left the cutoff switch "off" and the batteries did not charge even though everything worked. I noticed that and flipped the switch and the charge monitor lit up.

If you plug in to the running tow vehicle do the interior lights Improve?
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:58 AM   #5
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You will do better using a higher capacity car charger to bring back the batteries, the converter is basically a maintainer of batteries. Check your liquid (distilled water) and place on a charger for a couple of days, making sure the batteries are vented. Turn your converter off or use the disconnect switch so it doesn't run also.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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It is best to use a multi-stage charger to bring you battery charge up and maintain them.
Iota Battery Chargers and Power Supply.
http://www.thesolarbiz.com/Iota-Batt...d-Power-Supply
Read both

Shop for the Iota charger with the smart charge controller add on or integrated.
Use the 12V charger with shore power or the 120V outlet of your generator (size accordingly). The 12V output from the Honda 2000W generator is low (12V, 96W (8A) and is less than some trickle chargers. Deep cycle batteries take a long time to recharge once they have been discharged.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:09 AM   #7
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Is the general consensus that over winter the batteries should be removed from the trailer and plugged into a charger or can the trailer just be plugged into shore power?
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:13 AM   #8
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If your batteries are charged, you can leave hem plugged in 24/7 and the on board converter will keep them charged over the winter. I leave mine plugged in 24/7/365!
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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That's what I have always done in the past. Just re-checking. Thanks Jim.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies.It has been plugged into house power for approx 20 hours now and the batteries are still reading mid low on the hydrometer.The fan on the convertor has been running the whole time.I have the kill switch in the on position.

Will it charge the batteries with the kill switch in the off position,as probably the fan and the built in Escape dvd player lights may be using up as much as being put in.

I'm now going to try and use my charger ,which has a deep cycle setting and a 6 volt setting.

Also will look into the solar idea and the Iota charger.
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