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Old 12-17-2018, 04:25 PM   #1
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2014 Chateau 22E Boondocking battery consumption

Hubby and I have been full-timing in our Chateau 22E since late August, but just started boondocking this month. We have 2 brand new 12v 150ah batteries wired in parallel. We’re finding that we need to run the generator for at least 90 minutes morning and evening to keep the batteries charged even if we’re out of the rig all day. We know to look for parasitic draws on the batteries. The only ones we can identify are the Co2 monitor, fridge thermostat, and the backup camera + display which stays on all the time. We charge the batteries to 12.9-13.0v in the morning and in less than 12 hours they are at 12.0.
Asking all experienced boondockers—does this sound about average or normal? Anything else we can check?
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:10 PM   #2
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Normal is not in an RVer's vocabulary but I can offer this. Mine will sit over 48 hours with just the fridge (inverter) and whatever parasitic drains on before the inverter gets locked out. After that, the coach totally isolates the batteries before they get so low they won't start the generator. I just did this last week when I got back from a long trip as it sat disconnected in the driveway from Thursday till Saturday afternoon. Saturday morning the inverter was still on...Saturday afternoon it had shut everything down but generator still cranked (slowly turning over).
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:24 PM   #3
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I can't really answer your direct question, but I do have a couple thoughts

first thing I'd do is look more closely at that back-up camera display. that no doubt eats a lot. I found that mine (mine is the dash radio) had a very cryptic way of putting the display off. I'm guessing yours probably does have a way...

The other thing...when you say you charge to 12.9-13V, that probably isn't the most reliable way to look at state of charge. As I understand it, to get a battery level status using voltage it has to rest for some time after charging because of surface charge and such throwing off the reading.... and that it takes a really long time to get those last few amps into a battery... so my point is maybe you're not getting the things fully charged and so it's stair stepping down lower and lower day after day.
I don't have any personal experience, but I understand that folks that get seriously into this stuff, use battery monitors that more accurately track amps in and amps out
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:27 PM   #4
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if I could go from 12.8 to 12.0 in 10-12 hours, I'd be a shoutin' Hallelujah!

You're doing good, I wouldn't worry about it...
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:26 PM   #5
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^^All good advice. At the factory they told me about the auto shut down feature so that's why when I got home I did what I did and monitored it over a couple days. I had been driving 2 days so I knew they were at true full charge. Best thing, when convenient and you're not using the coach, is to do something similar and see just how it reacts over time. You may be surprised that you can cut your generator use in half for the reasons you state in your post, meaning only run it once a day or less depending on your results. I'm sure in the summer when things heat up a bit, this window will shorten but I will do the same test then with temps in upper 80's to low 90's. When we start boondocking that much (and we will next year) I will use my portable generators for the purpose of charging instead of running the house unit. I have 2 Honda 2000's I run in parallel and a Champion 3100, both of which have a 30A RV plug.
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:50 PM   #6
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Consider a Solar Panel

Consider a Solar Panel
I lost a Battery last winter due to a faulty GFCI Outlet.
I put a 100 watt Solar Panel on the Roof this summer and it has kept my batteries (I added a 2nd one when I replaced the 1st) charged even on cloudy days. I have not tried it boondocking but I do use power sometimes during the day to work, prep or fix things in my Driveway. I no longer plug it in during non use, though now it is winter I did turn the Store /use switch to off.
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:53 PM   #7
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Forgot to mention that the solar panel is wired directly to the batteries through a solar Charge controller, so it charges the batteries at all times regardless of what the use / store switch position.
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:55 PM   #8
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I dont think 90 min of Genny time is enough to get a full charge. It might be more like 3 or 4 hours? So you might kill your bat. life over time by not charging correctly.

I would also figure out some way to get the camera disp off.... that sucking a lot of juice. Is your backup display part of the radio in the cockpit area? Can you just shut it off totally (I know I can in mine). Or are you listening to the radio the entire time? If you are ..... can display the radio screen only and save some juice.

But it sound like your battieries are still doing pretty good (for now).
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bry899 View Post
Forgot to mention that the solar panel is wired directly to the batteries through a solar Charge controller, so it charges the batteries at all times regardless of what the use / store switch position.
Yup!

RV Solar Panel Kits & Solar Charge Controllers | Samlex Solar
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
I can't really answer your direct question, but I do have a couple thoughts

first thing I'd do is look more closely at that back-up camera display. that no doubt eats a lot. I found that mine (mine is the dash radio) had a very cryptic way of putting the display off.
I downloaded the user manual for the aftermarket Pioneer system and finally located a way to turn off the display using the “Mode” button. Hope that helps the battery life—it will certainly be nice not to have that bright glow coming from the dashboard at night!!
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bry899 View Post
Consider a Solar Panel
I lost a Battery last winter due to a faulty GFCI Outlet.
I put a 100 watt Solar Panel on the Roof this summer and it has kept my batteries (I added a 2nd one when I replaced the 1st) charged even on cloudy days. I have not tried it boondocking but I do use power sometimes during the day to work, prep or fix things in my Driveway. I no longer plug it in during non use, though now it is winter I did turn the Store /use switch to off.
Matter of fact we just got 3 100-watt panels, just waiting on the cables to arrive. Bought them as part of a kit with the Kodiak portable solar generator but will also use them to charge the house batteries once we get a charge controller. Don’t plan to mount them on the roof just yet though.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
I dont think 90 min of Genny time is enough to get a full charge. It might be more like 3 or 4 hours? So you might kill your bat. life over time by not charging correctly.

I would also figure out some way to get the camera disp off.... that sucking a lot of juice. Is your backup display part of the radio in the cockpit area? Can you just shut it off totally (I know I can in mine). Or are you listening to the radio the entire time? If you are ..... can display the radio screen only and save some juice.

But it sound like your battieries are still doing pretty good (for now).
Yep, figured out how to get the display turned off. We’ll see how that impacts how we quickly the batteries lose juice.
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