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Old 10-08-2013, 11:09 PM   #21
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
Glad to hear you have it figured out and that you are getting comfortable with the system.

Something else to check is all the switches for the 12v stuff. Does something turn on when they are on? You may find that the two loose wires are switched.

The PO of my van removed the water tank and pump and left me two wires hanging out. I traced them back to the pump switch. Switch on the wires wee hot. Switch off they were dead.
The only switch I have is the water pump switch and that works as it should. If I have some time this weekend, I will pull the fridge out and see if I can trace it down. All the lights work and the cig lighter works too.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:41 AM   #22
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

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With the shore power/converter on, it shows 13.2 volts.
Glad to hear you are up and running. I will offer what I learned about the converter and battery health. At 13.2 volts the converter does not properly charge batteries to full. It takes a higher voltage. (I learned this from the interweb so it must be true.)

After reading all the self proclaimed rv and marine experts I used a regular charger on it and it was much better. After that I disconnected the converter. Now the battery gets most of its charge of the way home and then when I get home I use a battery tender until the next trip. This is a crude two stage charge of the recommended three.

So before you give up on the batteries, charge them up with a regular charger, float charge them, and then check the fluid with Hydrometer. You might find they are fine.

http://www.emarineinc.com/pages/Batteri ... e-101.html

http://www.solar-electric.com/deep-c...ery%20Charging
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:40 AM   #23
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

Thanks for the links. My next purchase will be a battery charger so I can fully charge these batteries before outtings. I do have mis-matched 6 volt batteries and if they aren't up to par, I will most likely replace them with two 12 volt batteries.

I do have a question though. The wire going from the isolator to one of the house batteries is a smaller gauge (probably 10 gauge). Should that be a larger/thicker wire?

Also, the wire from the distribution block/convertor is smaller (10 gauge) as well. Should that be a thicker gauge wire?
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:16 AM   #24
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

When you remove the charging power, the batteries will quickly drop and stabilize at around 12.6v even with no load.

Mike
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:36 AM   #25
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

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When you remove the charging power, the batteries will quickly drop and stabilize at around 12.6v even with no load.

Mike

Very good to know, thank you!
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:36 PM   #26
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

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Should that be a thicker gauge wire?
Bigger is better, no mater what she says. When connecting two batteries, equal is better as well. The wires connecting batteries together should all be the same length and size.

You can use charts to find the right size like the following at the bottom of the page:

http://www.rbeelectronics.com/wtable.htm

But remember a table like this is to keep things from getting hot and melting. It assumes a 3% loss as satisfactory. However if you loose 3% from the alternator to the isolator, 3% from the isolator to the battery, 3% from the battery to the load (pump, cig lighter etc.) you can see performance going south quickly even though it is safe.

With no load I see very little voltage drop at the cig lighter, but that is deceptive. My blender works fine off the battery, but gives up on the cig lighter. So I think the voltage drop from wires and poor connections is more measurable with a load.

Use a fill in calculator like:
http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

and put in one size bigger than the chart and the loss can down to like 1%. Over three runs you can see a total of 3% loss which is much better than 9%.
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:26 AM   #27
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

After some thinking, I have a question to ask. The converter acts as a battery charger for the 12v batteries when plugged in to shore power. Why not just use an actual battery charger like a battery tender? Is it because the converter converts the AC power to a constant 13ish volts to feed the battery instead of a 1.5 amp feed?
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:51 AM   #28
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

In general converters are poor battery chargers but the industry is starting to put out better converters with multi stage chargers. They are used so the RV can run DC items with high loads rather than having a large bank of batteries. The thing is they are expensive and usually designed for larger RV's. A good inverter with a multi stage charger makes more sense for an SMB because more SMB owners are more likely to camp where shore power is not available and AC is nice to have.

If you don't want to spend the big bucks for an inverter/charger or solar then a good multi stage stand alone charger would be your best choice when you want to top off the batteries when shore power is available.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:24 AM   #29
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

Thanks daveb.

Are there any precautions to be aware of when using a stand alone battery charger inside the SMB?
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:30 AM   #30
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Re: New (to me) rig with potential electrical "issues"

Just a thought - why not replace the batteries with 6 volt ones? That way the same wiring could be used (exept the #10). A good 6 volt battery will give equal service to the 12 volt ones.

The comment about the wires needing to be the same size and length only applies to parallel batteries, not series.
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