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Old 11-17-2007, 11:38 AM   #1
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Hi, when dry camping, my 4 6 volts are not lasting thru the nite, using furnace, tv, etc. Its a new monaco camelot. Add batteries? solar panels?
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:38 AM   #2
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Hi, when dry camping, my 4 6 volts are not lasting thru the nite, using furnace, tv, etc. Its a new monaco camelot. Add batteries? solar panels?
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:12 PM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2.

My first knee-jerk (tongue in cheek, ie: joking) response is
A: Stop using the etc. as that is known to have too high a current draw.
B: You will need to get the new NASA solar panels that operate in the night. They themselves are not too expensive, however the cord down from the Space Station costs a bundle.

It really is a matter of load and working battery capacity.

If you are an occasional camper, try charging up the batteries during the day at home.
Then disconnect the rig from the house power supply. The next morning check the Level of Charge in the batteries. It is best if you can check each cell individually if you have the tool.

Stand by - there are others with more answers on their way.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:23 PM   #4
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donny, welcome to iRV2. Great to have you.

We have only two 6 V batteries, but the furnace blower is a big current draw and will drain the batteries fairly quickly. TV, satellite receiver, and a few lights (fluorescent or LED are best) are fine for our two batteries for the evening and early morning. Then we are at about 50% and need to run the generator to recharge. You should be able to run more with 4 batteries, but you still may not be able to run the furnace very much.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:36 PM   #5
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Donny, welcome to iRV2.

As the other posters have noted, we have a lot of electrical devices that consume a lot of energy.
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Old 11-17-2007, 04:44 PM   #6
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Our four 6-volt Deep cycle Trojan batteries will easily last overnite running the furnace after watching 3 or 4 hours of tv off of the Inverter. But not running it constantly they wouldn't. When we go to bed around 9:30 to 10:00pm we turn the thermostat down to hold the temp around 65 and the furnace cycles on a few times during the night, of course this depends on how cool it gets at night. When I get up around 6:00am the batteries are showing about 12.3 to 12.4 volts. This means they are down to about 55 to 60%. I have 300 watts of solar panels that recharge the batteries to 100% by noon the following day if its a good sunny day. We're good to go for another night.

Either your using way to much juice, or your batteries are not holding their own. Just because your moho is new doesn't mean the batteries are new, or even if they are they could be shot. Check the codes on the batteries to see how old they are, and be sure and do a good load test on them.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:10 PM   #7
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With four 6-volt batteries you should have about 440-amps of battery capacity and draining to 50% gives you 220-amps. (consistently draining below 50% will shorten battery life.).

You have to decide what to do with those available 220-amps. Most furnaces consume between 6 and 8-amps so if the furnace runs 1/3 of the time for 12 hours you will draw about 28 amps. That leaves 192-amps available for other uses.

A television, satellite receiver, a couple of lights and a laptop will draw a total of about 20-amps so running those items 3 hours will consume 60-amps. That leaves 132-amps available.

Your motorhome has ghost loads such as the LP detector, circuit boards, radio memory, indicator lights and these items can run as high as 1.5-amps. For overnight or 12-hours that will be 18-amps. That leaves 114-amps available.

You will use more amps for things like cell phones and other cube chargers, water pump, an outside light when you walk the dog, etc. Lets be generous and say these take 14-amps. That leaves 100-amps that should be useable when you get up in the morning, plus the 220-amps in reserve. (The amount from 50% charge to dead batteries.)

If your batteries don't last through the night either they are not fully charged at dusk, one or more of the batteries are defective, or you are using way too many amps.

Some ideas: Turn the inverter off when you are not using it. It wastes amps. Don't use the microwave more than 3-5 minutes because it is a big power sucker. Incandescent lights use three times more power then fluorescent lights for the same output. If your refrigerator has a humidity control or self-defrosting mode turn them off. When you go to bed turn the furnace down several degrees and close the door to the bedroom. The bedroom will stay warm, the front of the motorhome cool, and the furnace will run very little.

If these things don't help you need to load test your batteries and test the charging system.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:49 AM   #8
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Our HR Vacationer has a pair of the 6 volt batteries, which provide plenty of power for an overnight stay even when the temperatures dip into the single digits while dry camping. A group of 4 should be sufficient for at least that period.

During these winter weekend excursions, we do run the generator several hours each day to make sure my two batteries are ready for the evening.

Make a couple of easy checks on your batteries at home first. Verify the cores are covered with water (use distilled to refill), and check to make sure all the connections on the battery terminals are tightly secured.

Any battery retailer should be able to load test your batteries if all appears good to you during your check at home.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:34 PM   #9
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Hi Donny,

I trust that your fridge and hot water heater have shifted to propane? Also, do you have a 12 VDC heater in your wet bay and has it been cold enough for it to be running? These items also consume a lot of battery power.

Good luck,
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:15 AM   #10
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Another couple of thoughts:

1) Have you checked the fluid in the batteries, since they may outgas quickly?
2) If you are using an inverter, the conversion to AC has an inherent inefficiency and the AC appliance burns through amphours faster than you would think.
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:03 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by donny:
Hi, when dry camping, my 4 6 volts are not lasting thru the nite, using furnace, tv, etc. Its a new monaco camelot. Add batteries? solar panels? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The charge portion of the inverter is not connected to the house batteries on the 06-07 Camelot. I installed the AM100-30 system from AM Solar out of Oregon. If the sun shines, I can go for days running the furnace, water heater, tv, computers, microwave and misc electrical by switching different items off and on when needed, "no AC's or heat pumps". I would suggest you install a minumum (2) each 100 watt solar panels with 30 amp controller which will let you install more panels at a later date as needed. Approximate cost $2,000.
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Old 12-25-2007, 11:00 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Originally posted by popeye:
The charge portion of the inverter is not connected to the house batteries on the 06-07 Camelot. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If the charger section of the inverter is not charging the house batteries what is it charging??

Green lights and soft breezes,
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:11 AM   #13
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Turn off / unhook the inverter/charger.
Measure the voltage of the batteries in question with a digital volt meter.
Reconnect / turn on the inverter/charger.
Measure again.
If the voltage is not higher, you have a problem at the charger.
But before you replace it, check all your connections at both ends, the batteries and the charger. Make special attention at the grounds. Also check the fuses/breakers on the inverter/charger.
Don't forget to also check the batteries at each cell with a tester for specific gravity. this will tell you if you have a bad cell.
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