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Old 03-25-2013, 02:56 PM   #15
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I recently put a heavy load on my house batteries and drew them down to where the charge controller's meter showed the batteries were discharged by 22%. The battery metering panel with its red/yellow/green LEDs showed roughly 100% charge level and so is worthless.

No way to know what your draw down will be without accurate metering of the state of the batteries and the amount of discharge that has taken place overnight and the time required to recharge using a generator or solar panels or driving (and using the alternator). A TriMetric with a shunt and wiring costs less than $175 and adding one is the first order of business. Then you can monitor your RV yourself and know exactly what is going on.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:14 PM   #16
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Never had a problem exactly knowing what the state of charge is with my bank of batteries and monitoring usage and rate of discharge. I have a HPV-30DR Solar Charge Controller and Monitor, Magnum ME-RC Remote Control
Magnum Energy MS 200 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter Charger, with 4 solar panels. If I am away or sleeping and power drops, an alarm goes off, lights display, and the inverter is automatically turned off.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by John Hilley View Post
You probably wouldn't have to replace the fixture, there are LED replacements for virtually all incandescent and halogen lamps. Cost from under a dollar to over twenty dollars each. Depends on what you consider an investment, it is definitely an investment in power saving.
I tried that, my wife HATED the brighter/whiter light and I ended up taking the one out. Luckily I only bought one though! I need to try "sneaking" in a few more though.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:53 PM   #18
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I just installed 2 - 6V batteries to replace my 1 -12V that came in the rig. I am headed to Big Bend NP in 10 days and will be boondocking for a few days. I have a generator but will try not to use it any more than necessary. How can I run a few simple things like a coffe maker, w/o running the gen? I have no built-in inverter.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:04 PM   #19
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I just installed 2 - 6V batteries to replace my 1 -12V that came in the rig. I am headed to Big Bend NP in 10 days and will be boondocking for a few days. I have a generator but will try not to use it any more than necessary. How can I run a few simple things like a coffe maker, w/o running the gen? I have no built-in inverter.
A percolator or French press are your only real options. There are some 12 VDC coffee pots, but they aren't worth purchasing.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:30 PM   #20
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A percolator or French press are your only real options. There are some 12 VDC coffee pots, but they aren't worth purchasing.
X2 and while either will work - my money is on the French Press. Best cup a Joe. Dump coffee in press - Boil water and pour in press - wait 5 minutes - push the plunger and Bobs your uncle.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:46 PM   #21
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We have 4 Interstate GC-2 6 volt batteries. We run anything we want even the storage bay freezer, my CPAP, maybe both TV's, the satellite box, the electric ice maker etc. and easily get through the night. I usually run the gen set a couple hours (maybe till 10:00 pm) and then again in the morning unless we're headed out on the road, then I let the alternator do it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:09 PM   #22
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I found when I installed a TriMetric type of charge meter that when my batteries were at 80% the LED panel provided by the RV manufacturer still showed the top LED as green or nearly 100%. We had been relying on the installed LED panel to evaluate how much we had been using and how fast the batteries were being recharged and yet the RV's panel was way off.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:39 AM   #23
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I just returned from Big Bend. 1st 3 nights were boondocking with daytime temps of 100+. My 2 6V batteries and El cheapo 2500 watt inverter are not going to do what I want. I will add 2 more 6 V batteries before the next trip as well as some type of monitoring device. At some point I will have to decide if I want to take the next step to a quality charger/inverter and possibly some solar charging. I suppose you just have to determine at what price point you want to become independent from generator power. I already have a 5500 Onan onboard.
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