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Old 11-28-2017, 01:04 PM   #1
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Power failure -> battery drain in storage.

Sadly, we have put our all-electric 2016 VTDP into heated storage for the long North Dakota winter months. During a recent visit to the storage building to check things out, I discovered that a ground fault breaker had tripped and AC current to the coach failed. The gauge above the passenger seat reported house battery level at about 7 volts. I have 8 AGM house batteries. I reset that GFI plug to restore power and all seemed to be working fine. I returned the next day and voltage readout had jumped to 14 volts.

Questions:
  1. Have I done permanent damage to the AGM batteries?
  2. Are there any preventative steps I can take to minimize the threat that this might happen again?
  3. Has anyone installed a remote sensing system to monitor such things from afar?
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:09 PM   #2
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I think14 volts is ok. Disconnect the charger and wait a few minutes then reread the gauge. Should be reading 12.6 or close to it.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushy View Post
Questions:
  1. Have I done permanent damage to the AGM batteries?
  2. Are there any preventative steps I can take to minimize the threat that this might happen again?
  3. Has anyone installed a remote sensing system to monitor such things from afar?
1. I suspect you used up the equivalent of several charge cycles.
2. If it's an ongoing problem I guess you could use a stand-a-lone charger that would run anytime the pedestal had power. I'm sure there are better ideas. That's just one.
3. Do you have wifi ability in storage? If so there would be many cheap options.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:34 PM   #4
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GFCI devices have a long history of nuisance trips leading to property damage. My suggestion would be to remove the GFCI breaker and replace it with a standard breaker. This is of course a code violation but better that than loose $$$ worth of batteries.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:46 PM   #5
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I agree, I am an electrical contractor, gfi's can trip on little surges lightning strikes or for any unknown reason. I would remove the GFI and use that outlet only for the coach. You could also put another receptacle in on a GFI for anything else you want to run in the storage area. That will be your personal protection. That way you will be able to sleep at night!
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:52 PM   #6
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Is that a shared circuit or is it for your use only?


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Old 11-28-2017, 03:00 PM   #7
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A healthy battery, fully charged, with the ground disconnected, should survive the winter months, even if not in heated storage. I have read a typical self-discharge rate is around 5 percent per month.

By disconnecting the batteries you eliminate all manner of worries surrounding AC supply and charger reliability.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Is that a shared circuit or is it for your use only?


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Our use only.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
A healthy battery, fully charged, with the ground disconnected, should survive the winter months, even if not in heated storage. I have read a typical self-discharge rate is around 5 percent per month.

By disconnecting the batteries you eliminate all manner of worries surrounding AC supply and charger reliability.


Iíll have to research this option of a total disconnect for the off-season. That would certainly reduce anxiety. We did it that way for years with our DSDP with no problem. During our dealer orientation at pick up time of our new VTDP all electric coach we were advised to keep plugged into shore power whenever possible, including off-season storage. Our DSDP was not all electric - the VTDP is all electric. Does that make a difference that would require continuous current to the VTDP? Would I lose all the feature settings throughout the coach systems?
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:33 PM   #10
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BTW - I checked on the coach this PM. I disconnected from shore power for 30 minutes and the house batteries are holding strong at 13 v so Iím hoping that the AGMs are OK.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:38 PM   #11
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Power failure -> battery drain in storage.

Maybe replace with a new GFCI. Can you find the breaker it's on, it's probably a 20a and if so maybe replace with a new 20a GFCI. Sometimes for cost savings they put 15a in. Probably not the answer but I would try it.


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Old 11-28-2017, 03:58 PM   #12
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Get rid of the GCFI, they are a known problem.

If you disconnect the AGM's and stop by once a month or so check the battery voltage with a portable voltmeter. Write down the voltage.

Look for a state of charge vs voltage chart for AGM's on the Internet. There are many. If your battery bank drops down to 50% plug it in for several days or a month. Whatever fits your schedule. Then repeat the disconnected cycle.

If you save the records year to year you will probably see a gradual shortening in the time between charge cycles as the batteries age.
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Old 11-28-2017, 05:03 PM   #13
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I have my inverter set to shut down at 12 volts. Power goes out, at least my batteries wonít run all the way down. Fortunately my coach is on my property and I have a sensor that will notify my cell phone if the power goes out. If I am home, I can catch the problem right away.
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Old 11-28-2017, 05:09 PM   #14
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Your batteries are fine, replace the GFI to regular outlet as said.
You have no draw of fridge because it and other appliances are off.
Your converter with the B.I.M. will keep your batteries all of them fully charged.
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