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Old 12-09-2019, 10:00 PM   #1
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My RV needs electrical help in the Denver area.

Hello all! I apologize if this has been covered already but for the life of me I could find it with my searches.

Anyway I have a 2005 Four Winds Majestic Class C RV and need someone familiar with RV electrical help me out. I have five Renogy 100W panels on my roof, a 2000W inverter charger, and four trojan T-105 batteries. Both the solar system and batteries are not operating as expected. The solar is not bringing in nearly as much power as expected, even in the summer. My batteries are depleting somehow. I've had my rig plugged into shore power and my batteries on a battery charger. I can get all the batteries charged up in full or about 13.8 volts but if I removed the battery charger by the end of the day they are down to 11.4 or so volts despite my rig being on shore power.

Long story short I have had a variety of reputable RV shops work on this rig and just want someone who specializes in electrical to look over the work i've had done over the years. Who in Denver is able to work on electrical systems in an RV? Thank you so much for any help!
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:58 PM   #2
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First it sounds like you have one or more bad batteries. A single bad cell can kill the entire battery bank in just a few hours.
Second, you need to analyze your electrical useage. A simply am8meter should help you there. Star
t turning stuff off watching the ammeter each time. Once everythoing is turned off the ammeter should read zero.if not look at parasitic draw. Do you really have an INverter/charger? Inverters are notorious for having parasitic draw even when everything is turned off.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:19 AM   #3
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13.8 is NOT a Battery voltage charge status, it is a CHARGING VOLTAGE, and will leave a "false high voltage" (surface charge) on the battery for a short period. Most say allow 30-minutes AFTER removing charging voltage, THEN read battery voltage to get a status voltage. Fully charged (95-100%) will be 12.6-12.7vdc, best life to recharge at 50% (12.0+/-) and 11.3vdc= 10% charge. Full charge on some batteries (Varies w/ age/ condition) can take 24-72-hours, but most good will charge to marginal 65-70% within 4-6hrs. Also important to NOTE that a SLIGHT TERMINAL CORROSION that you cannot see until terminals removed can STOP battery from charging over about 75%. CLEAN/ SHINY TERMINALS are IMPORTANT
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:37 AM   #4
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In betting this is all after market installed stuff. Not knowing how it was done, troubleshooting is difficult at best.

Are you sure its an inverter/charger ?

Is the original charger still in place ? It may need to be shut off while on inverter or switched on while on shore power.

Do you have a gas/electric fridge or water heater ? They need to be run on gas while on inverter. They draw to much power for your solar to keep up.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:51 AM   #5
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I agree with having a bad battery can bring down the others in the loop. I'd test each cell in the batteries with an old fashion hydrometer. Two are in parallel and the other two are parallel and in series = 12v. The 13.8 volt measurement is most likely a surface charge and the small RV load thru ought the day kill the surface charge to 11 volts.

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Old 12-10-2019, 07:49 PM   #6
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So you have an inverter charger ???
Your plugged in to shore power.
And you also have been using a battery charger ???

So, what have you found so far ?

Did you test Each battery Cell individually?
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:23 PM   #7
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All this info is good, but I would add to take to place like Napa, they will do a load test for you, that will help tell you your condition of the batteries and it’s free, if you have one bad cell just all you need it will discharge your batteries as you posted. I would start there before you hire someone...$$$
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Old 12-14-2019, 05:47 AM   #8
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I'd go to NAPA and buy a 5 dollar Hydrometer and test each cell. Not many NAPA stores will have a Golf cart battery on their shelf. You can do a load test by turning on all your vehicle electrical equipment, (without engine running) high beams blower motor, defrost, etc, . Measure the voltage at beginning and after 5 minute intervals. You'll see pretty quick if you have a bad battery. Then you need to determine which one,,,

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Old 12-15-2019, 03:49 PM   #9
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Hello again everyone! I really really appreciate the responses. I have a surface level understanding of all this that's why i'm looking for a pro. I will go get a hydrometer today though and test each battery. How do I test each cell individually? Thank you!
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:13 AM   #10
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Using the hydrometer is easy. Your battery's have rectangular removable caps, using a screwdriver carefully pry them up.( Carefully that's acid in there. ) The hydrometer has a glass float with numerical lines and most likely color bands 'white', 'green' and 'red' Green being good . If there are cells with low fluid level you most add water enough to cover the plates inside. If that's found you can't test till you charge them properly. Since the cells are all connected in series internally one cell that's bad will create a problem. (christmas lights, one bulb goes out they all go out,thing.) Tell us what you find

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Old 12-17-2019, 10:14 AM   #11
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Goto Youtube and search "battery hydrometer how to use"
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:38 AM   #12
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100 Watt solar may not be enough to keep batteries up unless you have a house & chassis disconnect switch.



I have 325 watt of solar that will keep batteries up if I turn the Salesman Switch off, if not the parasitic draw draws the batteries down. I can still leave the house and chassis disconnects on, it doesn't have as much parasitic draw.
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
100 Watt solar may not be enough to keep batteries up unless you have a house & chassis disconnect switch.



I have 325 watt of solar that will keep batteries up if I turn the Salesman Switch off, if not the parasitic draw draws the batteries down. I can still leave the house and chassis disconnects on, it doesn't have as much parasitic draw.
OP has 500 watts.
If you have 100 plus watts of parasitic draw that would seem unusual to me.
My 200 watts charged 400 amp/hrs of from 60 to 100 with no problem. It did take quite some time however.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:01 PM   #14
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Shop recommendation

If you’re still looking for an expert eye to take a look at your rig, I’d recommend Lakewood Auto Electric at Colfax and Kipling, or Merrill Auto Electric at Kipling and 26th. Both shops work on RVs/traveler trailer frequently, and have experienced techs to review the layout and make any recommendations.
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