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Old 02-01-2009, 11:45 AM   #1
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I'm battery baffled

Ok.. let's talk battery!

We just got back from our trip to SoCal & NV.. and did our first non-hookup stay in Morro Bay State Park.. We thought it was time to start the dry camping testing..I must say we're totally confused with the Battery monitor.. We basically stayed 2 nights w/o AC.. The monitor at first showed "Good" when we initially pulled in.. We took showers (yes we take them in the Escape) & ran 2 lights a couple of hours..Went to bed the Monitor fluctuated from "Good" to "Fair".. seemed to read "Fair" when under a load (if the lights were on) and then "Good" when everything was off. Day two we woke up the monitor was "Good" .. that night we came back ran the lights a tad the monitor seem to be back on "Fair" ran the furnace the monitor went flashed "Fair to weak" while furnace running.. . Woke up Day 3 (which is always a good thing) used the furnace for 10 min to heat up the Escape, the monitor was "Fair".. Went about our business and two hours later monitor was back to "Good"..

I know it's not a exact science, but we are just thinking.. Is the monitor reading correctly.. Do we have a magic Battery that recharges itself (which would be absolutely Great!) or do we use the reading at Load time of the true battery state..

Just trying to get a handle on how long we can do the dry camp w/o hook-up/generator/solar.. Should the rule of thumb be 3 nights with moderate use?

Hope this isn't too confusing..

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Old 02-01-2009, 12:16 PM   #2
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Hi Jeff
I believe the monitor measures the battery voltage so therefore when you have a draw on the battery
(lights, pump etc.) the battery voltage drops a little and thus gives you a different reading.
For a true indication of the battery condition you need to make sure there is no draw on it.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Hi: Jeff... Maybe you were camping next to "The Energizer Bunny"!!!
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: I'm battery baffled

So that was the drum sound we heard all night..
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:16 PM   #5
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Just a quick follow-up... On average consumption of power.. How many days/night (for dry camping) can you expect to get on a fully charged battery... Not looking for absolutes just a general rule of thumb/idea..
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:06 AM   #6
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Hi: JeffZ... I went to visit "Our Escape Hatch" last weekend. It's been in storage since early Oct. and has just started chirping Lo. batt. warning I think but there's still enough life left to light up a light inside. Only trouble was I had to get out and leave so sad
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: I'm battery baffled

I think it's the propane detector is chirping because of the low battery.. I hate to say thisb but we're probably going to go the generator route for extended trips.. We like using the Microwave and we think we can just get by with the Honda 1000, but undecided at this point (could get the 2000)
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:38 AM   #8
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Hi Jeff,
If you are getting air conditioning on your new 19 even the 2000 won't run it
I am looking at a new 2800, it looks just like the 2000 Honda.
Still waiting for the fellow at the local RV parts dept. to get back to
me with the details.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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Re: I'm battery baffled

There are some folks with A/C units out there that are running with the 2000. I assume the draw is too much for the one on the Escape? I don't plan to get A/C yet, just have it ready for it should I ever decide to spend a bunch of time in hot climates.

If you are just using a gen set for charging the battery, and running a couple lights or the computer, the 1000 would be just fine. I am dealing with this contemplation too. Anything larger, even the Yamaha 2400, starts to become to big of a physical size to carry around. I have the Yamaha EF300iSEB, which is a great unit, by there is no way I am taking it on the road with me.

I am also considering a solar charging system. I would likely go with one that is portable. I saw where someone built a simple frame where 2 decent sized panels folded together. I really don't want to permanently mount solar panels.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:16 PM   #10
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Re: I'm battery baffled

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Old 08-06-2009, 06:11 PM   #11
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Re: I'm battery baffled

At first the batteries seem to live forever. Luring you into thinking they will. Then all of a sudden they disappear. We used to back the truck up and hook up for fifteen or so minutes in the morning and run it. We camped for a couple weeks like this. I am unsure if it will work for the Escape but it did for the Prowler. Not very green but it was very easy.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:43 PM   #12
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Questions......Is the trailer battery being charged via the automobile battery as you are driving or idleing? If you are dry camping will the auto battery act as backup......if you keep the trailer electric pluged into the auto.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:05 PM   #13
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Re: I'm battery baffled

As you drive or are hooked up and the car idling, your trailer battery will be recharging. How long it takes is dependent on your battery. If you leave the trailer hooked up to your vehicle without it being on (for a significant length of time), you would eventually come back and find your car battery dead too!
So, yes, you can use your idling car as your generator in a pinch. Probably uses a LOT more gas than a Honda generator however!
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:11 PM   #14
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Car batteries are also designed for cranking, unlike RV batteries which are deep cycle and designed for less draw over a longer period.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:09 PM   #15
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Does the Escape battery charge "automatically" from the car/truck idling or do you need to have some type of device or modification installed in the car/truck to perform the charging. From what I have read, and there are answers all over the place:

A seven pin plug can indicate it is possible to charge
The wire from the car/truck alternator to the camper battery must be a minimum of 10 gauge and preferrably 8 gauge. This is necessary over its entire length.
A fuse maybe necessary as some vehicles are wired but the fuse slot is left empty.
Some people say the camper battery must be isolated by a relay(soleniod).

Sorry to hijack the thread but it does seem on topic. Anyone have further thoughts?
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #16
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Re: I'm battery baffled

As long as the tow vehicle is wired with a charge line, the trailer will charge when plugged in. #10 wire should be good enough to charge a battery, but if you are running a a fridge on 12V, then #8 wire should be used. This wire should definitely be fused. I am not aware that the trailer battery need be isolated by a relay, but it would make sense should something go haywire with the battery, and not cause any damage to the battery or charging system of the tow vehicle.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:20 PM   #17
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Hi: All...As far as I know the battery in the trailer is only charged by the converter. That means when it's plugged into 110V. power ie: your house or campground. To make it charge from the tug battery you must have the proper wiring from the charging system of your tug thru the connector to the trailer battery. This is how I set up the system in our former Boler so the fridge would run 12V. under tow. The danger here is stopping for lunch or shopping you should shut the fridge off or run the risk of two dead batteries. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie p.s. The only battery I really care about is in my Pace Maker. How will I know if it's dead
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #18
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Re: I'm battery baffled

One of the things people forget is to let a battery rest after a charge or a discharge, then use a volt meter. The Co sensor is always a issue it must be isolated before a test.
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:33 PM   #19
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape artist
Hi: All...As far as I know the battery in the trailer is only charged by the converter. That means when it's plugged into 110V. power ie: your house or campground. To make it charge from the tug battery you must have the proper wiring from the charging system of your tug thru the connector to the trailer battery. This is how I set up the system in our former Boler so the fridge would run 12V. under tow. The danger here is stopping for lunch or shopping you should shut the fridge off or run the risk of two dead batteries. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie p.s. The only battery I really care about is in my Pace Maker. How will I know if it's dead
This is why an isolation relay is useful. If properly wired, it shuts off the charge line when the vehicle ignition switch is off. Some prewired tow vehicles are already equipped with an isolation relay. Check by measuring the voltage on the charge pin (pin 4 on a standard 7 wire connector). If it goes off with the ignition switch off you're OK. If not, you can add one. Some Information on Isolation Relays.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:58 PM   #20
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Re: I'm battery baffled

Why do some people say that two 6 volt batteries are better than one 12 volt battery?
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