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Author Topic: Running out of power  (Read 6634 times)

v33sonata

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Running out of power
« on: May 07, 2016, 09:54:09 AM »
So this winter I knew I would be boondicking again in the spring so I did some upgrades before heading out. I upgraded my 94 southwind with all led lighting and put a boon dockers 75amp converter to power up my 2 group 24 deep cycle batteries. I left for the mountains Sunday and by Thursday I was out of power to the point I couldn't start the genset. I used the water pump for a total of 10 mins and lighting for about 8 mins that week. The only other thing I know that uses power is the COx detector and  the control system on the  propane refrigerator. So according to the manual on the converter I should be able to run the converter with its. Quick charge system for about 3 hours for about 90% charge so I I fired up the genset for 3 hours. During that time I went thru and removed the fuses for things on the rv that are not used any more. The old none working Co detector and the power antenna system. I work up this morning with the batteries just about dead again..... any suggestions?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 09:57:17 AM by v33sonata »

John From Detroit

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2016, 10:25:34 AM »
First dump thnose G-24 MARINE batteries and try a pair of GC-2 Golf Car batteries

You now have 150 amp hnours of which you can safely use about 50
You will then have 220 +/- 10 amp hours of which you can safely use about 110.. That's over twice the usable power and no other change needed.

With the larger batteries you can go to a 70 amp give or take a bit converter... Or just add a bit of generator run time.

Next. MARNIE batteries, even if they say "Deep Cycle" or RV on them, are really starting boxes, they do not like to be run down too far and will go bad very quickly if run down too far.

My Interestate Work-a-holic U-2200s (A GC-2 type battery) took several deep, and I meen DEEP discharges and recovered.. I've not been so lucky with starting/Marine batteries.

You do have to water them (DISTILLED ONLY) from time to time though.
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v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2016, 10:35:15 AM »
You think it's theses battery's? They are only a year old. Sent golf cart batteries only 6v?

v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2016, 10:39:51 AM »
And would this really help. I feel like I am running out ofnpower due to a problem........? Shouldn't theses battery's last more the. A night?

Nomadb1

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2016, 10:43:32 AM »
There was a post on here not too long ago from a guy with a similar issue but his was with the engine battery, turns out he had a short to the frame - wire had some insulation rubbed off. You might try checking for that?
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Abendage

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2016, 10:47:05 AM »
Are you running a furnace?  That could easily drain those batteries quickly.

Golf car batteries are 6v, you wire them in series to get one big 12v battery.
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v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2016, 11:05:52 AM »
Nope all I ran is what I posted I even logged everything

Happy Prospector

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2016, 11:25:16 AM »
When was the last time you serviced these batteries? Group 24 batteries are about the smallest batteries you can buy. I would go with two 6 volt golf cart batteries in series for 12 volt for a start. Think about a battery monitoring system so you can see how much you are draining your batteries. You would be surprised how many amps are being used by various devises.




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v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2016, 11:44:09 AM »
Right before I went out I checked them out even took them in to get tested. All looked good.

v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2016, 11:47:06 AM »
I don't feel it's the batteries. I might be wrong but out of power in 1 night?

Kevin Means

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2016, 12:33:05 PM »
I also think it's your batteries. Two healthy, fully charged Group 24 batteries should last a lot longer than one day powering only the things you mentioned. Since they're running down overnight they're either not getting fully charged to begin with, one or both are not healthy or there's something turned on that you're unaware of.

I'm with John on this one. Those Group 24 batteries are near the bottom of the pack when it comes to AH capacity and lifespan. It doesn't take many discharge cycles for them to start showing signs of not holding a charge. And yes, GC batteries are usually 6 volt batteries - you just wire them in series vs. parallel like yours are wired now. Before you buy them however (or any other larger capacity battery) make sure they'll fit in your battery compartment. They're physically larger.

Kev
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2016, 12:34:54 PM »
While GC2 golf cart batteries would provide more amp-hours and give at least 2x as many years of use, I don't see that as the solution to the immediate problem. If he indeed used 10 minutes of water pump and 8 minutes of lighting (really?), then something is seriously wrong with his 12v system, or those batteries are shot.   How old are they? When was the last time the water in the cells was checked? Have they ever been severely discharged, or perhaps left for weeks in a very low state of charge? Any of those can rob the battery of its ability to hold a useful charge. Distilled water can be added and it will probably recover, but the other problems are often fatal.
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Rene T

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2016, 12:38:51 PM »
He/she said they are a year old. I would disconnect one of the battery cables and with a digital voltmeter, check the output of the converter while it's charging.
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JDOnTheGo

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2016, 01:24:50 PM »
Howdy v33sonata, knowledge is power.  It sounds like it is time to instrument your coach so you know what is happening.  Specifically, a quality battery monitor like the Trimetric RV-2030.  These are not terribly expensive nor difficult to install.  Once installed, you will know exactly how much power is flowing into or out of your battery bank.  Given the appropriate configuration information, it will also be able to report what the state of charge is as well.

Here is a very quick into:  http://jdfinley.com/trimetric-battery-monitor/
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robertusa123

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2016, 02:38:02 PM »
The converter could be causing a drain..... A DC amp meter would show if you have current draw.   A inverter  turned on will draw power even if your not useing it. 
1996  26ft. 3 kids 2 dog and the wife too

Paul & Ann

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2016, 03:00:23 PM »
Would you post the make and model of of converter you installed, and have you verified that it is working?
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v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2016, 06:12:37 PM »
Okay so I found the climate controlled switch in the fridge was on. I went out and got a multi meter. With the climate controlled on I am drawing 0.55amps when it's off and nothing else on but for the COx detector and the propane fridge controller I was at 0.10amps. So that could have been a problem. I fired up the genset and tested the converter and it's running at 14.7v according to the manual it's in boost mode. So I went to the battery's. One battery is at 12.7v and the other 12.6v. Is that normal. I did notice when having the converter charging them one of the battery's is at 14.2v but the other is the same. What are your thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 06:42:47 PM by v33sonata »

v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2016, 06:19:42 PM »
Boondocker powermax pmb4 75amp

Nomadb1

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2016, 06:28:10 PM »
Sounds to me that one of your batteries has/is about to say adios. Buy a set though -they need to be matched to work the best. Bite the bullet - get the GC batteries. Although if they're only a year old it might be a warranty issue. Make em give you two new ones.  Like a chain - they're only as strong as the weakest one.
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v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2016, 06:40:53 PM »
Sorry I fixed theses numbers. I have a couple backwards....... please explain

John From Detroit

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2016, 07:45:41 PM »
Do I think it is the batteries.. As I said, with Group 24 MARINE/deep cycle you have at most 150 amp hours and can only use about 50.. They do not like to be run down too far, and may have over winter.

With Golf Car batteries you have roughly 220 amp hours and 110 usable, that's twice the usable capacity... So yes, I do think a battery upgrade is in order


As someone said.. Your current batteries are like this

Battery
Battery

With golf car batteries it is Battery---Battery--12 volts.

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Abendage

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2016, 11:10:35 PM »
I did notice when having the converter charging them one of the battery's is at 14.2v but the other is the same. What are your thoughts?

This to me sounds like you don't have your batteries wired in parallel and they are isolated. The battery at 12.6 isn't hooked up, thus is full and you are operating on one battery which with the climate control on, could easily go dead overnight and is at 14.2 because your converter is charging it, but not the 12.6'volt battery. Could be a bad parallel cable, or just hooked up incorrectly. Now that you have a volt meter, check your voltage in the morning, if the battery that was at 14.2 with the gen running is low and the other one is at 12.6, that's your problem.
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Kevin Means

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2016, 01:29:40 AM »
I agree with Abendage. If your charger is outputting 14.2 volts, both batteries should be indicating that voltage. If only one of them is, it tells me that the other one isn't hooked up properly, and you may be running off only one battery. By the way, a fully charged battery will indicate 12.6 to 12.7 volts 30 minutes (or so) after disconnecting from a charger. Somehow, both your batteries got charged at some point.

Kev
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Len and Jo

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2016, 08:11:24 AM »
If batteries are wired in parallel the voltage should be the same, they should be acting as one larger battery.  I do have cart batteries...now .... but did use marine deep cycle for years.   If you want to dry camp a lot you really do need to know what uses battery power.  To understand the amp draw of each of you electrical components you will need a clamp amp meter and check everything.

A new group 24 marine battery should have about 80Ah in it.  So two batteries IF CONNECTED IN PARALLEL should have 160 and 50% of that should be usable, specially at a low draw down rate (<5Ah).  Remember that 80Ah over a week of 24 hour days only allows you to use an average of 0.5 amps per hour.  If your batteries ARE IN PARALLEL (doesn't sound like they are if you are reading two different voltages on them....that is not possible if they are wired in parallel with good wiring) and being drained in two days you must be drawing >1.5 amps per hour.  A clamp amp meter should help you find what is taking all that current.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 06:55:24 AM by Len and Jo »
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v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2016, 09:54:12 AM »
I doubt checked the wiring. I am wired parallel. Also I have been checking the battery's every few hours and they seem to be almost the same voltage every time I check them. Last time I posted I ran the gen for 3.5 hrs and had a voltage on each battery of about 12.5v on each battery. Yesterday I did not run the gen at all but ran the rv into town. This morning one battery is at 11.6v AMD the other is at 11.4v I did not use the water pump at all and used one led light for 5 mins. Is this a normal rate of discharge? I understand that golf battery's will give me more time but I assume they take longer to charge as well I'm trying to avoid running the genset so much. Thank again for everyone's help

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2016, 10:07:33 AM »
Hi v33sonata, using voltage to determine state of charge is unreliable.  The only way to make it semi-usable is to check open circuit (not connected to anything) battery voltage after the battery has been resting open circuit for many hours (at least 4-6 hours, probably 24 hours).

Looking at your numbers and assuming you are using the above approach, a 12 volt battery that is "fully charged" and then falls below about 12.5 volts during the rest period is not in great health.
JD - Full timer out west
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Abendage

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2016, 10:22:49 AM »
No, that does not seem like a normal discharge rate. You either have something drawing a lot of power or the batteries are shot.
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v33sonata

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2016, 10:26:51 AM »
Okay. I'm going to let them charge up then will disconnect them and see where they are at later today. I will also see if I can find anything other draw on them that I might have missed. I need to be very careful before dumping $400 on new batteries as I just got laid off.

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2016, 10:31:10 AM »
If in an area where Costco/Sams carries golf cart batteries, their 6 volt units are reportedly ok and only about $70/each (or so, I don't know exactly).  Two 6 volt batteries in series (for one 12 volt battery bank) will likely yield more total capacity that two 12 volt batteries in parallel (making several assumptions).
JD - Full timer out west
1998 MCI 102 EL3 Revolution | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
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Abendage

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Re: Running out of power
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2016, 11:05:58 AM »
Just looked yesterday at Costco, $83 a piece here in Colorado. Batteries Plus is everywhere and if you buy online and pick up in store they are $90 a piece.
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