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Old 11-19-2022, 08:04 AM   #1
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Best option for battery storage

In the past my coach was parked outside and my 325 watt of solar power was enough to maintain my batteries, just had to shut off the salesman switch.
Finished building our new house in 2019 and then had the bright idea to build a garage. so I started excavating in 2020, doing all the prep work myself and signed a contract for the garage in ~Aug 2020 and finally parked my rig in Dec 30,2020


So I then simply plugged the rig in and forgot about it.



I keep spreadsheets on monthly expenses including electric. The new house I built is very energy efficient and we had averaged ~$140/month, based on a 12 month average. Early this year I realized that our bills had crept up to $190. Finally put 2 & 2 together after seeing the amp meter draw on the coach was always between 5-8 amps, which works out to $50 of electric. Out local coop had raised rates and service fees and it will only get worse.

So last month I did a test, turned off the battery disconnects and the 50 amp breaker. Got my Nov bill notice and the consumption is back down to 2020 levels prior to parking rig in garage, ~850KW for the month.



So my question is what is the best option to keep the batteries maintained. I have a Victron BMV712 so I can easily check battery level when I go into the the garage.
At what level should I charge the batteries or should I just charge them up once a month???
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Old 11-19-2022, 09:11 AM   #2
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Is the 5-8 amps on the 120VAC side? That seems like an awful lot. If you had a dead battery your converter would pump maybe 60A DC into it and pull the 5-8A on the AC side but after the battery is topped off the AC current should drop down. I think you have a load other that the battery. Your BMV712 will tell you what is happening on the DC side. Try turning off all the breakers except for the converter and then look at the AC draw. Another way would be to turn off the converter breaker and see how much you are drawing.
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Old 11-19-2022, 09:24 AM   #3
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All batteries are in good shape, house batteries are new June 2021.

Some of the amp draw is parasitic draw, I usually see that draw with nothing else on. I have a Progressive Surge Protector with the second display in the coach, I check it on a regular basis.

I'm thinking that may be pretty much normal but may be wrong.
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Old 11-19-2022, 09:24 AM   #4
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Inverters have a draw even if no AC loads present.

I prefer simply using BatteryMinders for my house & chassis battys.
Very low draw, no problems w/ 15/20A GFCI outlets and I just replaced 10+ yr old chassis battys that were still starting OK but tested full V but about 50% CCA. I use a selectable 2-4-8A maintainer for house (full auto 4 step charging / maintaining) and a 2A one for my chassis battys.
Many say just plug it in and let the onboard unit take care of it. While that works and I have no argument - I prefer a simpler smaller unit than running the inverter / charger 24/7/365 when it is clearly overkill.
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Old 11-19-2022, 09:44 AM   #5
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5-8 amp draw on 120v is excessive for just being parked and not used. I see maybe 1-2 amps.

You might see 5-8 amps if your residential refrigerator compressor was running, but that wouldn’t stay on constantly.

Are you sure you don’t have your block heater on?
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Old 11-19-2022, 09:45 AM   #6
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Buy a 100 watt portable solar setup and keep it on the roof. Run wires to your batteries via a charge controller, and Bob's your uncle. Just disconnect any parasitic loads.
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Old 11-19-2022, 10:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasdad1 View Post
5-8 amp draw on 120v is excessive for just being parked and not used. I see maybe 1-2 amps.

You might see 5-8 amps if your residential refrigerator compressor was running, but that wouldn’t stay on constantly.

Are you sure you don’t have your block heater on?

Nothing is on, refrigerator off & breaker is off, block heater unplugged.

I'll do some checking.


Is there a problem with just shutting everything off, monitoring the battery voltage, and when they get low enough charge them up????
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Old 11-19-2022, 10:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
So my question is what is the best option to keep the batteries maintained.
For long term storage, clean and disconnect the battery bank.

Use your "favorite" brand of charger, but connect it to and old fashioned mechanical lamp timer. Once they are fully charged (usually less than 24 hours) set the timer on about 4 hours/day.

Check the liquid level about once a month. If you have any corrosion, clean it off. Corrosion is usually caused by small amounts of gas leaking out of the battery.
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Old 11-19-2022, 08:20 PM   #9
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Modern inverters chargers are very busy. I listen to my AIMS spool up on a regular basis even when on shote power. I called and asked they said it is BAU.
So, cold storage for the batteries is likely what you are looking for. I myself just leave my inverter on line as I have enough to worry about. It does have a power saver mode but I have never done the math.
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Old 11-19-2022, 09:36 PM   #10
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5-8 amps 120v is roughly 50-80 amp if was just charging batts. My smart diehard charger will eventually go into stand by mode even if set on 2amp to 4 golf carts batts.or pair of 8D start batts.
There's got to be something pulling say 600ish watts. Do you amp meter/voltage panel in MH.
Did you go direct burial cable I've heard of it getting damage and leaking to ground running up electric bill.
An AC/DC clamp meter is a good investment. You can tell you if it's the line ,coach or use and start shutting off individual breakers.
A marine dual bank charger might be good. I've heard good things about Guest 10/10 the price goes up in fall and winter. But it has enough power to actually recharge batteries if you were to go into the coach and use some lights or radio ect. rather than small maintainers made to only keep charged battery at float level.
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Old 11-20-2022, 07:31 AM   #11
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2 years ago before I built my garage my Oct power usage was 786 KW, RV was parked outside, plugged in but solar working.

Last year, with the coach parked in the garage and inverter on to charge my usage was 1322 KW
This year with the coach parked in the garage and everything off my usage was 853 KW.

Nothing else changed. Oct is a good month to check since outside temps are moderate, no heating or cooling so I can get a good idea on my base power consumption. I have LP tankless hot water heater and LP Range and Dryer. So electric is 2 refrigerators, washer, dishwasher, TV's, and lighting which is all LED.



When i built the new house I was required to use conduit for the buried cable from the house to the power pole, don't think there is an issue there and the last months billing pretty much shows consumption is back down to where it was.




I may pull the cover off my panel and see if I can see which circuits may be pulling amperage. My observation on amps pulled is just me looking at the Progressive display, not sure how accurate it is. So I may be wrong but I definitely see a difference in KW for electric billing over the last 2 years.
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Old 11-20-2022, 07:50 AM   #12
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Storing Lead Acid Batteries

Storing Lead Acid Batteries:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Storing Lead Acid Batteries.pdf (101.5 KB, 13 views)
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Old 11-20-2022, 07:52 AM   #13
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I use the long term storage method of disconnecting the batteries and monitoring them. When they reach a 60% SOC (about 12,2v) I recharge them for 24 hours. They are good for about 3 months before they need a recharge. In early January I recharge them for the coldest months to have a higher SOC for Jan and Feb so they are good to well below -30 F.
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Old 11-20-2022, 08:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Storing Lead Acid Batteries:

Good info Thanks
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