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Old 06-19-2020, 11:50 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
The system I'm looking at comes with a pair of 175 watt flexible panels. I'd rather have more capacity than is necessary... With room to expand to 525 watts in the future.
After extending my drycamping experiences of late, I found I use the generator a little more than I'd like to. Combine that with the generator located right under the couch and who wants to listen to that thing while watching TV?

I stuffed 4-12s under the steps and happy with the result so far but am finding they don't charge to the capacity they did just two days ago. Not sure what's up with that but you do get what you pay for and I got into them for cheap (relatively). Initially, 13v charges on a 30m gen run weren't out of the question. I ran it for 60m today and only got 12.84 for my money. As I wrote back then, this setup is an experiment. I may have benefited from better quality batteries but plan to replace them in the near future so I didn't want to invest too much this time around. I'll upgrade when I upgrade the inverter. I'm keeping detailed records on trending. I attached what I have after 2 days of monitoring. I'm beginning to feel like I have too much time on my hands

Chance is right about one thing - if you don't need it, you don't need it. I'm guessing I might benefit from it some. What's the ROI? Anyone's guess. Depends on how much you use it. I'm going into it with the attitude it's largely lost money.
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Old 06-20-2020, 01:24 AM   #42
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You are doing a very thorough job of documentation... Congratulations!

I'll be limited to 2 Type 27 batteries (or their size equivalent), under the steps.
I'm looking for the quickest way to stuff power back into them...
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Old 06-20-2020, 01:32 AM   #43
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You are doing a very thorough job of documentation... Congratulations!

I'll be limited to 2 Type 27 batteries (or their size equivalent), under the steps.
I'm looking for the quickest way to stuff power back into them...
Then you want to go with something a little more robust than what I did. I only did this because I had room for 4 and wanted to maximize the use of space on cheap batteries to see what I could do.

When I get to that place that I understand things a little better and feel confident in what I know, I'll pull the trigger on a better set. If I did something to damage the batteries in this experiment, I didn't blow up my entire world in the process. I can run out and buy one or two new ones to get me through the learning process.

I have that initiation phase where I drew the batts down to 40%. I'll be lucky they're not damage out of the gate. I searched for SOC tables and had to settle for standard' instead of a specific application.

Also found this interesting: https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...acid_batteries
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Old 06-20-2020, 02:19 AM   #44
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Thanks for the link on how to make the Fla batteries last longer!
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Old 06-20-2020, 02:56 AM   #45
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After extending my drycamping experiences of late, I found I use the generator a little more than I'd like to. Combine that with the generator located right under the couch and who wants to listen to that thing while watching TV?

I stuffed 4-12s under the steps and happy with the result so far but am finding they don't charge to the capacity they did just two days ago. Not sure what's up with that but you do get what you pay for and I got into them for cheap (relatively). Initially, 13v charges on a 30m gen run weren't out of the question. I ran it for 60m today and only got 12.84 for my money. As I wrote back then, this setup is an experiment. I may have benefited from better quality batteries but plan to replace them in the near future so I didn't want to invest too much this time around. I'll upgrade when I upgrade the inverter. I'm keeping detailed records on trending. I attached what I have after 2 days of monitoring. I'm beginning to feel like I have too much time on my hands

Chance is right about one thing - if you don't need it, you don't need it. I'm guessing I might benefit from it some. What's the ROI? Anyone's guess. Depends on how much you use it. I'm going into it with the attitude it's largely lost money.
You need to run the generator for a lot longer than 60 minutes to fully charge your batteries.
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Old 06-20-2020, 03:30 AM   #46
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Just my 2 cents
I have a 2017 Thor class C. It also had 2 12v batteries under the step. When installing my solar set p I knew I needed more batteries. For the life of me I could not any 4 agmís that where short enough to fit under the steps and still be able to get a wrench on top of them to make all the connections.
My solution was installing 2 Life Line 6volt 300 ah in series. I have them laying on their sides. Perfect fit. So if you can live on 300ah of back up power that my work.
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Old 06-20-2020, 07:26 AM   #47
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You need to run the generator for a lot longer than 60 minutes to fully charge your batteries.
How much longer?
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Old 06-20-2020, 07:29 AM   #48
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cut...

I have them laying on their sides. Perfect fit. So if you can live on 300ah of back up power that my work.
And that's a different take on a problem. Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2020, 02:50 PM   #49
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How much longer?
Too many variables for a direct answer including what the starting state of charge is.
Realize that your 55 amp converter doesn't constantly charge at 55 amps.
You have BULK charging which will start at 55 amps on a low battery but slowly decrease as the state of charge increases up to about 80%.
Then the converter should shift to ABSORPTION mode where it applies a constant voltage to the batteries which again decreases the charging rate as the state of charge increases.

Most boondockers find it takes at least 3 to 5 hours to fully recharge their battery bank. This is where solar or a small inverter generator helps in the equation of topping off the battery bank so you don't need to run the big generator for so long.
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Old 06-20-2020, 04:21 PM   #50
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Or why some owners are paying a premium for lithium batteries which generally charge faster. And even lithium batteries are not the same since some use different chemistry. The most common for RV are safest but charge slower compared to automobile-type lithium batteries, which a few RVs are using. Regardless, even lithium iron phosphate charge fairly fast, so if only partially discharge, an hour or less ďmayĒ do.

AGM lead-based batteries apparently donít do well with partial charging, and take longer to completely charge, so thatís one disadvantage when using a generator to charge them during the day.
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Old 06-20-2020, 06:30 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post

cut...

Most boondockers find it takes at least 3 to 5 hours to fully recharge their battery bank. This is where solar or a small inverter generator helps in the equation of topping off the battery bank so you don't need to run the big generator for so long.
Better to know and dislike than not know at all in my book. We'll give a try and get crackin' on the solar. Thanks
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Old 06-21-2020, 01:45 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Too many variables for a direct answer including what the starting state of charge is.
Realize that your 55 amp converter doesn't constantly charge at 55 amps.
You have BULK charging which will start at 55 amps on a low battery but slowly decrease as the state of charge increases up to about 80%.
Then the converter should shift to ABSORPTION mode where it applies a constant voltage to the batteries which again decreases the charging rate as the state of charge increases.

Most boondockers find it takes at least 3 to 5 hours to fully recharge their battery bank. This is where solar or a small inverter generator helps in the equation of topping off the battery bank so you don't need to run the big generator for so long.
I appreciate your feed back. The starting SOC is in the data as 'Start Volts'. As we collaborated in a separate post, I was able to achieve high voltage readings on short gen runs, taking readings after a period of rest

I was hoping that would continue, at least for a while, and observing it hasn't. I was wondering if the batteries were headed south that quick or I was witnessing the declination in wet cell fortitude. (re: https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f1...ing-22080.html)
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