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Old 08-07-2014, 10:38 PM   #1
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Which battery bank?

Battery 'state of charge' question...

We are boondocking here and concerned about what our
gauges are reporting.

The panel in our hallway with the LED's. (Low, fair, good or charge)
is displaying 'fair'.

Which battery bank is this reading, chassis or house?


Also, the Magnum is displaying 12.6 volts and 9 amps
(inverter is off)
I assume it is reading the house batteries, is that correct?

Again, we have no shore power here and are not running the generator
now.

Thanks
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:13 PM   #2
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I'm not sure about what your reading,but if the 9 amps is what you are drawing off the batteries that seems like alot. Since you are not on shore power or gen running it isn't a charge. Is the frig showing it's running on LP?, that 4-5 amps (if plugged into inverter plug) , a few lights are 2 amps, furnace blower 4-5 amps. I may be off base but I would check what the 9 amp is. 12.6 volts is fine with no AC power.
Good luck
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:16 PM   #3
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And I would say it's house batteries.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
Battery 'state of charge' question...

We are boondocking here and concerned about what our
gauges are reporting.

The panel in our hallway with the LED's. (Low, fair, good or charge)
is displaying 'fair'.

Which battery bank is this reading, chassis or house?


Also, the Magnum is displaying 12.6 volts and 9 amps
(inverter is off)
I assume it is reading the house batteries, is that correct?

Again, we have no shore power here and are not running the generator
now.

Thanks
Below is a state of charge chart for flooded 12 volt batteries:

State of Charge Specific Gravity Voltage
12V 6V
100% 1.265 12.7 6.3
75% 1.225 12.4 6.2
50% 1.190 12.2 6.1
25% 1.155 12.0 6.0
Discharged 1.120 11.9 6.0

Battery Basics: A Layman's Guide to Batte | BatteryStuff Articles

Don't pay any attention to the LED's, they are junk. Look at the voltage the Magnum Remote is displaying. From the chart above looks like you are at about 80 to 85%. I would run the generator for one or two hours when the voltage reaches 12.4.

Bob
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:10 AM   #5
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I dry camp for extended periods in the winter, and I have found the Bogart Engineering TM-2025 RV meter to be invaluable. There are actually several models, but the one I have monitors the state of charge of the coach batteries and monitors the voltage of the chassis batteries. It shows the percent of charge (from full) and the charge or discharge current flowing to or from the batteries. It also calculates lots of other useful information. I normally just watch the amp hours. If I use, say, 100 amp hours, I can see that the solar array puts back that 100 amp hours, and if so, I'm good to go.

It is a really good way to keep track of your battery system while boondocking. Works whether you use solar or a generator (or both) to charge your batteries. Also, FWIW, I have had some dealings with the company, and they are top notch with customer service. Highly recommended company! Oh, and I have nothing to do with them, and I don't work for anybody that sells their products. (or anyone else for that matter) ;-)
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepTJ5 View Post
I dry camp for extended periods in the winter, and I have found the Bogart Engineering TM-2025 RV meter to be invaluable. There are actually several models, but the one I have monitors the state of charge of the coach batteries and monitors the voltage of the chassis batteries. It shows the percent of charge (from full) and the charge or discharge current flowing to or from the batteries. It also calculates lots of other useful information. I normally just watch the amp hours. If I use, say, 100 amp hours, I can see that the solar array puts back that 100 amp hours, and if so, I'm good to go.

It is a really good way to keep track of your battery system while boondocking. Works whether you use solar or a generator (or both) to charge your batteries. Also, FWIW, I have had some dealings with the company, and they are top notch with customer service. Highly recommended company! Oh, and I have nothing to do with them, and I don't work for anybody that sells their products. (or anyone else for that matter) ;-)
We have the BMK (battery monitor kit) from Magnum that interfaces with our Magnum Inverter/Charger and Magnum AGS. It also shows state of charge and will start the generator based on state of charge. Currently installing 480 watt solar system with the MorningStar MPPT 45 charger. Looking forward to less generator run time.

The original poster has the same coach we have but he does not have a means of measuring state of charge. That is why I suggested the voltage method.

Bob
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodine View Post
We have the BMK (battery monitor kit) from Magnum that interfaces with our Magnum Inverter/Charger and Magnum AGS. It also shows state of charge and will start the generator based on state of charge. Currently installing 480 watt solar system with the MorningStar MPPT 45 charger. Looking forward to less generator run time.

The original poster has the same coach we have but he does not have a means of measuring state of charge. That is why I suggested the voltage method.

Bob
Thanks to all for the useful posts.



http://pdf.wholesalesolar.com/batter...-0480RevA).pdf

Does this unit display info from both battery banks?

A quick look says the Bogart and the BMK are similiar, correct?


Bob, my coach does have both the magnum battery temp unit and the auto gen-set starter but not the BMK or Bogart.

By the way, still out here boondocking and I think my chassis batts (2 X 12v)
are dead.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:59 AM   #8
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By the way, still out here boondocking and I think my chassis batts (2 X 12v) are dead.

How did you come to this determination? If this is true, you may need to install a "trik-l-start" or similar which will charge your chassis batteries when you run the generator.

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Old 08-09-2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by pasdad1 View Post
How did you come to this determination? If this is true, you may need to install a "trik-l-start" or similar which will charge your chassis batteries when you run the generator.

Attachment 70325
I have been using VOM and get very low voltage on them.

Also brought a 10 amp portable charger (fed from Onan gen-set) and
my 12v batts still dont seem happy.


Now, Trik L Start or Echo Charger?
Heard good things about both. Wonder which may be better for my set-up/useage?
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:54 AM   #10
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I can't speak to the Echo charger, but I have the Trik-L-Start and it has worked flawlessly for me. My chassis batteries keep charged for extended periods of time with no running of the engine. The chassis batteries get a maximum of 5 amps charge rate, and will drop off to trickle as they become charged. As I am sure you are aware, there are always some parasitic loads unless the batteries are completely disconnected, so the Trick-L-Start, or similar device, will keep the batteries up and they will always start your engine. Most of the time, (in my particular situation) almost all of the solar power goes to the coach batteries, but the chassis batteries stay charged.

Note to Bob:

I have the Morningstar MPPT-60 and it's great. I have about 720 watts of solar panels (3), which I run in series at about 90 volts. This keeps the current down in the wire to the controller, lowering the loss in the wire. The Morningstar controller really works well and it is a high quality product. I also connected the Ethernet output to a wifi adapter so I can monitor all the data and control the unit from my local wifi network.

Except for running the microwave or convection oven for extended time, I almost never have to use the generator. I run the coffee maker and vacuum cleaner off the inverter, as well as the satellite receiver and a small compressor refrigerator. (in addition to the Nor[never]cold on LP.)
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
Thanks to all for the useful posts.



http://pdf.wholesalesolar.com/batter...-0480RevA).pdf

Does this unit display info from both battery banks?

A quick look says the Bogart and the BMK are similiar, correct?


Bob, my coach does have both the magnum battery temp unit and the auto gen-set starter but not the BMK or Bogart.

By the way, still out here boondocking and I think my chassis batts (2 X 12v)
are dead.
My coach did not come with the BMK and I installed that myself. It does not show status from the chassis battery bank, only the house battery bank. We have the Trik-L-Start and don't worry about the chassis batteries. If you have not upgraded your AGS and the Remote display you may want to consider that. Call Magnum and they will walk you through finding out what software version you are now running.

Bob
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepTJ5 View Post
I can't speak to the Echo charger, but I have the Trik-L-Start and it has worked flawlessly for me. My chassis batteries keep charged for extended periods of time with no running of the engine. The chassis batteries get a maximum of 5 amps charge rate, and will drop off to trickle as they become charged. As I am sure you are aware, there are always some parasitic loads unless the batteries are completely disconnected, so the Trick-L-Start, or similar device, will keep the batteries up and they will always start your engine. Most of the time, (in my particular situation) almost all of the solar power goes to the coach batteries, but the chassis batteries stay charged.

Note to Bob:

I have the Morningstar MPPT-60 and it's great. I have about 720 watts of solar panels (3), which I run in series at about 90 volts. This keeps the current down in the wire to the controller, lowering the loss in the wire. The Morningstar controller really works well and it is a high quality product. I also connected the Ethernet output to a wifi adapter so I can monitor all the data and control the unit from my local wifi network.

Except for running the microwave or convection oven for extended time, I almost never have to use the generator. I run the coffee maker and vacuum cleaner off the inverter, as well as the satellite receiver and a small compressor refrigerator. (in addition to the Nor[never]cold on LP.)
Sounds like you are serious about dry camping. We probably should have gone with the MPPT 60 for future expansion but I doubt we will every go above the 600 watt capacity of the 45. I was worried about the size and routing of the 2 ga cable for the 60. Just yesterday I completed the installation of the 4/2 cable from the combiner box down to where we plan to locate the Moringstar controller and did not find it difficult. Hind site says the 2 ga would not have been a problem.

Bob
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:39 AM   #13
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Note to Bob:

I have the Morningstar MPPT-60 and it's great. I have about 720 watts of solar panels (3), which I run in series at about 90 volts. This keeps the current down in the wire to the controller, lowering the loss in the wire. The Morningstar controller really works well and it is a high quality product. I also connected the Ethernet output to a wifi adapter so I can monitor all the data and control the unit from my local wifi network.

Except for running the microwave or convection oven for extended time, I almost never have to use the generator. I run the coffee maker and vacuum cleaner off the inverter, as well as the satellite receiver and a small compressor refrigerator. (in addition to the Nor[never]cold on LP.)[/QUOTE]

I have almost the exact same set up and love it, except I did not set up the wifi.
Easy system to self install.

Good reading: HandyBob's Blog « Making off grid RV electrical systems work


The main reason was I store my RV and there is no power available, so the solar system keeps the 4 L16's and my coach batteries fully charged and then some according to my TM2025 RV, which is great, I really like the features.

The previous owner did not treat the EXPENSIVE L16's well so keeping them charged, watered and if needed the automatic equalization is wonderful.

Having a residential fridge in my coach uses a bit more amp hours but still only having to run the generator if I get a few cloudy Georgia days in a row or if the DW wants to cook in the convection microwave is GREAT.

The bad news is right after I installed the solar on my coach I moved from the land of the sun, NM to the land of the large sun blockers and cloudy days, GA so I try and make sure to park accordingly.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bukzin View Post
I have been using VOM and get very low voltage on them.

Also brought a 10 amp portable charger (fed from Onan gen-set) and
my 12v batts still dont seem happy.


Now, Trik L Start or Echo Charger?
Heard good things about both. Wonder which may be better for my set-up/useage?
LSL Products has come out with an "upgraded" version of the TrikLStart called the Amp-L-Start which has a higher current capacity. It also has a few additional indicators to tell you what the battery states are.
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