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Old 08-23-2014, 09:01 AM   #15
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A voltmeter is high impedance so very low current draw, so when you go to measure voltage it won't load the circuit and give you an incorrect reading. A battery operated voltmeter will draw something from the circuit measured, but nothing of concern. A voltmeter that gets its power from the circuit, like the 12v outlet meter shown above will draw more. I would pull that type of meter when not needed.

You can get banana plugs from Radio Shack and attach them to the pigtail. Then you don't need the probes.

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Old 08-23-2014, 09:57 AM   #16
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The one I plan to go with is an "always on" LED readout.


It draws only 50mA so I don't feel too bad about having it on all the time (when not in winter storage.)


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Old 08-23-2014, 10:06 AM   #17
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Volt Meter advice

Originally Posted by DonKarstedt View Post
That answers it, thanks. I DO plan to put in real meter. I just wanted to make sure that measuring voltage was all I needed to do.

Thanks again,


Don, actually measuring voltage is NOT a very accurate way to tell how charged or discharged your batteries are....it's just that it's a cheap and easy approximation. To be more accurate, the batteries need to be NOT CONNECTED TO ANY CIRCUIT WHICH EITHER CHARGES OR DISCHARGES THEM for at least a couple of HOURS ! THEN take the voltage reading. Obviously not going to happen in a Typical RV application -ha ah ha

So you need a more sophisticated meter which can determine what's happening WHILE THE BATTERIES ARE IN USE.

Have a look at this.

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Old 08-23-2014, 10:40 AM   #18
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For simple things a goid voltmeter will be fine...but it has limits.

You only can see voltage so state of charge is it

Capacity is a whole different thing but assuming you are just using this in your rig then yiu can simply measure the voltage and guess with the above chart that say for example you are at 50%.

If this measurement is on the first day then you need to determine why...too much load or too little battery.

If after a week them maybe fine.

What I mean by this is the voltmeter is just a tool that you need to understand how to use and how to apply the results.

Please search battery charging and testing to get a lot more good information and a lot of this will make more sense.

Tony & Lori
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