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Old 01-31-2007, 02:47 PM   #1
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With our new '07 34' SE we have the full set of 8 house batteries that are "spring fed" by the gravity flow water system. However after 3 months usage I'm only seeing water consumption of perhaps one quart. We've done a limited amount of dry camping, but mosty had electric hookups. Also have 2 x 100 solar panels that have kept it pretty well topped off.

Does anyone have a sense of whether this is a relatively "normal" amount of water consumptoin? I'd thought it would use quiet a bit more.

Tom
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:47 PM   #2
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With our new '07 34' SE we have the full set of 8 house batteries that are "spring fed" by the gravity flow water system. However after 3 months usage I'm only seeing water consumption of perhaps one quart. We've done a limited amount of dry camping, but mosty had electric hookups. Also have 2 x 100 solar panels that have kept it pretty well topped off.

Does anyone have a sense of whether this is a relatively "normal" amount of water consumptoin? I'd thought it would use quiet a bit more.

Tom
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:59 PM   #3
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You might want to visually verify that each of the battery cells fluid level is "full". (This is a just-in-case move.)

It seems most fluid loss is when the "equalization" phase of a charge controller 'boils' the batteries. Although the batteries do become warm, it is not a stove-top style boiling, more of a chemical process - - yeilding Oxygen and Hydrogen gas (the reason for the explosion warnings).
The equalization process usually includes seeing charge voltages over 14-volts (eg: 14.3 volts). Have you been tracking your system's voltages & amp/current flows?

(Some simple 'converters' installed in RVs also push the battery charging to0 far -- another reason for fluid loss.)

A quart in three months on eight batteries may be on the low side, but it might be exactly right for your particular system.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:03 PM   #4
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Tom,
We picked our 07 SE up in October and have added just one gallon (shortly after we got it so I dont know the battery level when we got it) and have only used about a quart since then (and yes, I have visually inspected to make sure they are full), so yours may be about right. We usually use full hookup when camping but may not camp as much as you (about 3-4 days every 2 weeks) and dry camped at DRR for 4 days.

My question is:
should the valve be left open all the time or just open it and let it stabilize then re-close?
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:38 AM   #5
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Tom,Hugh and all Apex owner
How long can you go when dry camping befor your battery need recharging?I can only go about 7 hrs.and I go thur about a gal.of water every 3 or 4 weeks in my batties.
Bob
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:12 AM   #6
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While this is a slightly different topic, I'd observe that with 8 house batteries we have a theortetical 880 AH. Conventional wisdom is that you want to avoid going below 1/2 of that if possible to prolong battery life. While I've not yet been able to fully determine the phantom load w/inverter off, it's likely less than 5. With the inverter on, and everything else off, it approaches 14 A. If you're using TV, etc, w/the associated electronics, it goes to around 30, and of course higher as you turn things on. We have a "Sun Runner" 2 x 100 W solar panels with a high end controller (unadvertised Alpine option), and that definitely helps. But the biggest "help" is turning the inverter off when AC isn't needed. At the Qz rally we ran the generator perhaps 1.5 hrs per day (average) to compensate primarily for the inverter/AC usage -- such as two NFL playoff games on Sunday. That kept the batteries reasonably topped off during the rally.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:40 AM   #7
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Bob,
I agree with Tom,
a lot depends on how much additional usage you have and how much additional charging capacity you have. I have still to play with using lower levels of inverter usage (I just turn it on and let it run) and I only have the standard 10 watt and the optional 100 watt solar panels. At DRR I ran about 2 hours in the am and 2 hours or so in the pm. I did get a little low a couple of times on battery charge so maybe a total of 5 or 6 hours per day would have been right or maybe I should get more solar power like Tom
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