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Old 07-30-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
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Dry camping electrical consumption

We have owned our MH for 3 years but have never really dry camped. Next year we will be driving to Alaska and the boondocking opportunities are plentiful. I don't want to wake up some morning and discover dead batteries. I do have auto start capabilities for the generator but I also don't want to wake the world at 3 AM.

How can you tell what charge level your house batteries have remaining? Other than recording the amperage usage as an average the only other method I guess would be voltage. Is there a chart for this somewhere that is battery type specific?
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:37 PM   #2
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How about this one?

CHARGE LEVEL
Specific
% Gravity DC VOLTS
100 1.277 12.73
90 1.258 12.62
80 1.238 12.50
70 1.217 12.37
60 1.195 12.24
50 1.172 12.10
40 1.148 11.96
30 1.124 11.81
20 1.098 11.66
10 1.073 11.51
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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Read more about it here:
Trojan Battery Company
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:05 AM   #4
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Interesting chart

The article and chart make for interesting reading. The small print in the chart states the battery should be idle for 6 hours (no charge or discharge activity) before taking a voltage reading. Rather impractical. Any idea of how much of a difference is made by taking an active reading?
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:42 AM   #5
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Do a search for Amp Hour Meters. It is the only accurate way to measure your battery usage and remaining capacity.

Charlie Tuit
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catch and Release View Post
We have owned our MH for 3 years but have never really dry camped. Next year we will be driving to Alaska and the boondocking opportunities are plentiful. I don't want to wake up some morning and discover dead batteries. I do have auto start capabilities for the generator but I also don't want to wake the world at 3 AM.

How can you tell what charge level your house batteries have remaining? Other than recording the amperage usage as an average the only other method I guess would be voltage. Is there a chart for this somewhere that is battery type specific?
the other posts have good info.
discharging your battery bank over 50% is called ''deep cycling'' and shortens the life of the batteries.
i will post some links that explain this better.
my batteries have 300 ah capacity, so i only want to use about 150 ah before recharging (about 12.1 v.).
here is some approximate consumption data for 12v items: (actually about 13v.)
12v, 18w lamp: 1.4 ah
12v ceiling fluorescent lamp: 30 w, 2.4 ah
12v reading lite (1383) 20w, 1.6 ah
12v fantastic ceiling exhaust fans, 3 speed: 1.9, 2.3, 3.0 ah
furnace blower suburban sf-42: 11.5 ah
refrigerator, norcold n822: 1.2 -3.0 ah
water pump, shurflo 2.8 gph @40 psi 7 ah
vector modified sine wave inverter, 750 w: .6- 57 ah
12v 3 speed bedroom ceiling fan from backwoods solar: .5- .75- 1.2 ah.
from this data you can figure about what your consumption is per hour and how long your battery bank will last without deep cycling.
now the links:

Batteries -- and Other Electric Stuff by phred

RV Batteries

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:53 AM   #7
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thanks

Good info. I had forgotten about Fred "poop sheets". It was a good review of lead acid batteries. Having spent my adult career in aviation where we were using Nicad batteries for the last 30 years, I had forgotten the basics.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:50 AM   #8
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Good info. I had forgotten about Fred "poop sheets". It was a good review of lead acid batteries. Having spent my adult career in aviation where we were using Nicad batteries for the last 30 years, I had forgotten the basics.
i retired from ual as a maintenance training lead in honolulu in 2003. 36 years and 49 days of service. then ual dumped my pension on the pbgc and i lost half of it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:53 AM   #9
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UAL

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAN L View Post
i retired from ual as a maintenance training lead in honolulu in 2003. 36 years and 49 days of service. then ual dumped my pension on the pbgc and i lost half of it.
Don't forget the money that was lost in the ESOP.

I took the lump sum from CAL when I left in 2006 because I didn't want any funds left for the managers to screw up.
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