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Old 09-10-2019, 04:16 PM   #1
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Max battery charge now 90%

My solar electrical system used to get to 100% as indicated at the solar controller display. Now it is only maxes out at 90%, which seems odd. The battery fluid levels are well above the plates, so that's not the issue. My trailer is a 2017, 17B with dual batteries. Is the age of the system at play here?

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Old 09-10-2019, 04:20 PM   #2
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:41 PM   #3
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If you watch the ETI video on solar system 90% is normal until a complete equalization cycle then should go higher. If the batteries are getting older then it will slowly drop off as they age.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:43 PM   #4
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What's the voltage at? I believe the gopower converts the voltage to a %, which isn't a great indicator.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:05 PM   #5
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Thank you for the feedback so far.

1. My panels are not pristine but relatively clean. I may be wrong but I assume even dirty panels would still charge batteries to capacity, just not as fast. Is that a proper assumption?

2. The trailer is two and one-half years old. The batteries are likely not too much older. The equalization period should be over by now, I believe. This assumption is bolstered, I think, because the display panel had been showing them at 100% until a few weeks ago. Maybe the the 90% reading is a reflection of the aging process? That reasoning appeals to me, given the age of the trailer. Comments?

3. The voltage registers at 13.something (I cannot recall the last reading earlier today.) That seems pretty good. It's also consistent with previous readings of voltage. And, yes, My system is the GoPower one that Escape offers.

Thanks again,
David
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by David Todtman View Post
Thank you for the feedback so far.

1. My panels are not pristine but relatively clean. I may be wrong but I assume even dirty panels would still charge batteries to capacity, just not as fast. Is that a proper assumption?

2. The trailer is two and one-half years old. The batteries are likely not too much older. The equalization period should be over by now, I believe. This assumption is bolstered, I think, because the display panel had been showing them at 100% until a few weeks ago. Maybe the the 90% reading is a reflection of the aging process? That reasoning appeals to me, given the age of the trailer. Comments?

3. The voltage registers at 13.something (I cannot recall the last reading earlier today.) That seems pretty good. It's also consistent with previous readings of voltage. And, yes, My system is the GoPower one that Escape offers.

Thanks again,
David
I found that the GoPower % reading rarely goes above 90% unless you spend a couple of days running on the converter (plugged into a pedestal).

Page 19 of the PDF manual notes that the only time the display will read 100% is after equalization OR after using the boost button to force a second absorption phase. The manual states that 90% is >= 12.8V (a fully charged battery).
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:23 PM   #7
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When we got the solar put on the 21, Nigel was very specific in telling me 90% is 100%. He said a lot of folks don’t get the concept as explained by Jon Vermilye. About a year later I happened to look at the readout and it said 100%. I said , “today must be equalization day “ I rarely look at the percentage. I look at a readout on a 12v outlet gizmo and it’s always adequate. We are easy on electric use when not plugged in and the solar gets it back up to 13.6 by about 10 or 11 AM. No inverter.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:32 PM   #8
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I rarely look at the percentage. I look at a readout on a 12v outlet gizmo and it’s always adequate.
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Thanks for the response. Please tell me the name of the 12v outlet gizmo.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by David Todtman View Post
My solar electrical system used to get to 100% as indicated at the solar controller display. Now it is only maxes out at 90%, which seems odd. The battery fluid levels are well above the plates, so that's not the issue. My trailer is a 2017, 17B with dual batteries. Is the age of the system at play here?

TIA
David
I wouldn't worry about it. The GoPower display doesn't tell you much about the condition of the batteries anyway. It's just a voltmeter and is not an accurate indicator of battery status most of the time.

https://www.technomadia.com/2008/05/...ry-monitoring/

If you are serious about monitoring the charge on your batteries, get a Victron or Trimetric battery monitor.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #10
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Keep in mind, the more you know, the more you stress.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #11
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12 volt readout

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Thanks for the response. Please tell me the name of the 12v outlet gizmo.
Iíll take a picture and get any info off of it tomorrow morning. The previous owner provided it when we bought the trailer so I did not specifically order it. But we will get it figured out.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I found that the GoPower % reading rarely goes above 90% unless you spend a couple of days running on the converter (plugged into a pedestal).

Page 19 of the PDF manual notes that the only time the display will read 100% is after equalization OR after using the boost button to force a second absorption phase. The manual states that 90% is >= 12.8V (a fully charged battery).
Last year I was also concerned that the GoPower was almost always 90% max even when plugged in and I called their support number. They told me that this was normal and not to worry about it. I've seen it at 100% occasionally, but don't sweat it when the display reads 90%.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:15 PM   #13
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Keep in mind, the more you know, the more you stress.
They mounted our go power readout under the table where itís hard to see. And thatís just fine with me. I donít care to see status reports when Iím camping. If something fails, I have to deal with it anyway. I just make sure I have adequate fresh water before we take showers. Iíve never run out. Although one night Rita told me the pump quit working just as she finished using the fresh water. It was our last night out. Once home we investigated with the intention of going to buy a new pump. Nope, out of water.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:16 PM   #14
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Keep in mind, the more you know, the more you stress.


Keep in mind, not everyone thinks like you.

I, for one, stress less when I actually know how much juice is in my batteries, instead of relying on an unreliable, voltage-based guess.

Perhaps this is because we camp differently. We tend towards longer road trips with fairly high power usage, rarely with plugins so rely almost exclusively on solar, and oftentimes solar replenishment is iffy, either due to weather or foliage. I take reassurance from my Trimetric battery monitor keeping an accurate count of how many amps are in my batteries, rather than the low reliability inherent in a voltage based measurement.

In fact, we regularly have to adjust our plans to ensure we donít push the 50% limit and risk hurting our batteries. Sometimes we have to select a less than otherwise ideal site because it offers better sun. Sometimes we have to rein in the amp usage. Sometimes we have to leave the deep dark forest a bit earlier than we planned. Sometimes we have to look for a power bush. Although we try to avoid that if possible.

If you stress more when you know more, does this mean you ignore the gas gauge on your tow vehicle to keep your stress down? More relaxing to rely on the old tap tap on the gas tank to get an idea of how much is left?
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:19 PM   #15
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If you stress more when you know more, does this mean you ignore the gas gauge on your tow vehicle to keep your stress down? More relaxing to rely on the old tap tap on the gas tank to get an idea of how much is left?

It's a RAV4. I fill up at every gas station I come upon.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:28 PM   #16
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We all camp differently and drive differently. Today I had a tailwind, got good milage and drive 330 miles from home till I filled with gas in Indiana. 300 miles, took 17.1 gallons which meant I had two gallons left. That would freak some people out to be that close to empty. I wouldn’t do it in North Dakota but where there are towns with gas every 15 miles, middle of the day, it’s of no stress to me to drive on low fuel for 20 or 25 miles. I haven’t run out of gas since I took a new vehicle for a test drive in the fall of 1977. Different strokes.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:48 PM   #17
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The gizmo that plugs in only monitors the voltage and will read the same as the go power readout so is a waste. For true monitoring if you insist on monitoring you need a load meter that measures amps in and out of the battery.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:56 AM   #18
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12volt readout

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Iíll take a picture and get any info off of it tomorrow morning. The previous owner provided it when we bought the trailer so I did not specifically order it. But we will get it figured out.
Iowa Dave
Walk out to the camper this morning. Open door, look straight ahead at eye level, thereís my battery voltage display at 13.0. Good, the sun is not up over the houses yet so Iím only down a little from last night and Iíll be full by 10AM. Couldnt be much simpler than that. Took a picture, no manufacturers marks on the gizmo. Just those reassuring words we all live by ďMade in ChinaĒ. Bent down to look at the readout under the table. Ouch, my bone on bone knee that Iíve abused for 7 decades says, you donít know and you donít need to know.
Might be worthless to some but not to me. Donít stop too long for a cup of coffee, Iíll be along directly. Full charged electrically and needing to see my physician, Doctor Al K. Hall.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:38 PM   #19
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Walk out to the camper this morning. Open door, look straight ahead at eye level, thereís my battery voltage display at 13.0. Good, the sun is not up over the houses yet so Iím only down a little from last night and Iíll be full by 10AM. Couldnt be much simpler than that. Took a picture, no manufacturers marks on the gizmo. Just those reassuring words we all live by ďMade in ChinaĒ. Bent down to look at the readout under the table. Ouch, my bone on bone knee that Iíve abused for 7 decades says, you donít know and you donít need to know.
Might be worthless to some but not to me. Donít stop too long for a cup of coffee, Iíll be along directly. Full charged electrically and needing to see my physician, Doctor Al K. Hall.
Iowa Dave
Iowa Dave, I did not mean to offend when I said the Gizmo was a waste, I just meant it was redundant. the power monitor system is a better indicator and the display can be mounted above the Fridge in the blank space. I agree, my knees protest when I check the solar , that's why I don't check it much.
That said the new GoPower panels are coming out with Bluetooth so you can use your smart phone or Tablet to see the readings.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:45 PM   #20
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We all camp differently and drive differently. Today I had a tailwind, got good milage and drive 330 miles from home till I filled with gas in Indiana. 300 miles, took 17.1 gallons which meant I had two gallons left. That would freak some people out to be that close to empty. I wouldnít do it in North Dakota but where there are towns with gas every 15 miles, middle of the day, itís of no stress to me to drive on low fuel for 20 or 25 miles. I havenít run out of gas since I took a new vehicle for a test drive in the fall of 1977. Different strokes.
Iowa Dave
Leaving Sturgis on Labour Day heading east on SD34 showed I had over 250km left on the tank so thought I'd fill up either when we got to Pierre or sooner if needed. Well with a headwind suddenly my km. remaining was quickly depleting and I began to worry. Great here's a town ahead with gas station, oh oh closed Labour Day, so finally with under 60km showing found a little gas station/general store where I put in very expensive premium gas (other choice was diesel).

Always best when you don't know the area to ensure you have enough fuel.
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