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Old 12-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #29
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I installed three solor panels on the roof with a voltage meter that keeps my coach batters up.
I do run the Gen-set when I am on the road.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:29 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post

And back on topic, if the post above is correct, that the OEM charger has a trickle mode, then the float charger isn't needed. But I have no info on that. Gonna look in the service bin - take the model # off the converter/charger - and do a Google search of specs
So far I haven't found more information about the included converter/charger but I have made this observation for what it is worth...
I have had the Outlaw hooked up to 15amp shore power for about 30 days (since arriving home from Florida). The dealer installed two new house batteries just before we picked up the coach. Last week I purchased a hydrometer so I could test the batteries and what I found is that that one battery has 3/4 power in all three cells and the other battery has 1/4 power in all 3 cells according to the hydrometer.
I hit the disconnecct switch for the batteries, hooked up an old school battery charger set to 2 amps and while charging I noticed that the battery reading a higher charge had very active water movement when I pulled the caps. The battery with the lower reading had no activity in the water at all.
This brings me to some questions:
Will a hydrometer read the same for a 6V or 12V battery?
Should the switch on the wall for A/C and inverter just be set to A/C when hooked to shore power? Would that make any difference in charging if it was set to both or just one?

This whole subject has me wanting to completly understand our system and how it should all run.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:43 PM   #31
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You don't need to drive the RV around. In fact, it's better to do all your engine servicing (oil/filter change, etc.) just before you put it up for the winter. Put some fuel stabilizer in the tank and just drive the rig a few miles to get it mixed up in the tank and thru your fuel system, then park it and leave it. On the other hand, you should run your genset once a month for "exercise." Good batteries should be able to hold a charge over the winter if you disconnect the negative cable(s) to eliminate any phantom load draw.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #32
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So far I haven't found more information about the included converter/charger but I have made this observation for what it is worth...
I have had the Outlaw hooked up to 15amp shore power for about 30 days (since arriving home from Florida). The dealer installed two new house batteries just before we picked up the coach. Last week I purchased a hydrometer so I could test the batteries and what I found is that that one battery has 3/4 power in all three cells and the other battery has 1/4 power in all 3 cells according to the hydrometer.
I hit the disconnecct switch for the batteries, hooked up an old school battery charger set to 2 amps and while charging I noticed that the battery reading a higher charge had very active water movement when I pulled the caps. The battery with the lower reading had no activity in the water at all.
This brings me to some questions:
Will a hydrometer read the same for a 6V or 12V battery?
Should the switch on the wall for A/C and inverter just be set to A/C when hooked to shore power? Would that make any difference in charging if it was set to both or just one?

This whole subject has me wanting to completly understand our system and how it should all run.
A hydrometer measures specific gravity of the battery electrolyte in relation to water. (weight compared to water) In the case of lead acid batteries containing H2SO4. (Sulferic acid).

As you charge a battery, the specific gravity reading increases and this reading. 1,265 is a normal charged rate @ 80F. Need to interpret reading different with different temperatures by adding .004 for every 10 deg above and subtract .004 for every 10 degrees below 80F

All cells need to be tested and should be relativly the same reading. If the reading is 1.175 the battery is quite discharged. These figures vary a bit based on the battery and of course differ based on the temperature. If one cell has a significant different reading than other cells then there could be a problem with that cell.

A cell in a lead acid battery is the same in all batteries. In a 12v battery there are twice the number of cells of a 6v battery.

When you see bubbles while a battery is charging you are witnessing the emission of hydrogen gas and is normal. (Hydrolysis is the process) This gas is extremely volitile so no sparks or flames around where batteries are charging it could explode. If you are charging at too high a rate batteries can explode. Check battery temp while charging.

I have seen people putting tap water in batteries. Please don't do it. There are impurities such as iron deposits in some tap water. Buy distillled water at a drugstore for example, it is cheap and it goes a long way to fill batteries. The lead plates should always be covered with electrolite.

Hope this clears up the battery issue.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:08 PM   #33
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Libero thank you for all the input on this, I am only using distilled water and both batteries needed a fair amount when I filled them last week.
I am using a Thexton 117 Hydrometer. Supposedly it is temperature compensating. It has 4 disc that float to tell you what the state of the battery is. It looks like this:


This is how the floats read:
4 Floats = 100% 1.265
3 Floats = 75% 1.225
2 Floats = 50% 1.190
1 Floats= 25% 1.155
0 Floats = Discharged 1.120

I have two concerns at this point, one is that the one battery has such a low reading but I am going to try a different charger to see what kind of effect it has on both batteries.
The second question/concern is that Thor has told me there is a built in staged charger but the state of these batteries has me wondering if that charger only works with higher amp shore power or the generator and / or if the inverter switch has some effect on the built in charger.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:28 PM   #34
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Scott,

I haven't yet gone to the RV lot to get the info off my Outlaw's Converter/Charger, but like I said before and despite what Thor said, I don't think the built-in 3 stage converter/charger it is a Float Charger...maybe a "trickle" charger, fixed at 1-3 amps, but that is not a Float Charger.

And the fact that you have already had to add water to new batteries looks like the charger "boiled off" some water. A float charger does not do this.

I doubt the inverter has anything to do with the Converter/Charger...unless you are leaving the inverter turned-on. If the inverter is on, then there is a flow of power. Even if the inverter is not powering anything, it still has a parasitic flow from its transformer.

So, the "Staged Charger" thingie is most probably true, and that means that the charger will provide 3 levels of flow, increasing the flow as you increase the load. But, unless the charger can automatically cut the flow almost all the way to being "off" means that it not a Float Charger.

Will get back to you later
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:50 PM   #35
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Good you are using distilled water.

I have never seen a simple hydrometer that factored temperature when taking specific gravity readings. Don't know if they exist.

I interpret that you have 2ea 6V batteries that would be wired in series with the load and the charger.

12.5 - 14.5 V would be supplied by your charger with the two batteries in series. The current on that leg of the 12v circuit would be the same in each battery because it is a series circuit. However the voltage drop across each battery is dependent upon the resistance of that battery. If this is different you will see a difference in the voltage drop or measured across each battery. Check to see if you have 1/2 the supplied voltage present across each battery. It should be the same but I doubt it is because a high hydrogen gas emission in one battery means a higher charge rate, If the battery with the low SG, is not bubbling in each cell, it is not charging hence the reason for the low SG. It could be a possible internal problems in the lower charged battery.

You noted you had to put a lot of water in the batteries, do you know if any battery electrolite was below the level of the plates? Batteries can be damaged if charged at a high rate and heat up wih the electrolite low. Feel the batteries for temperature difference. Too hot is bad.

Can you dertermine how much current is being provided from the charger?

I don't suspect the charger/inverter relationship is relevent but if you ensure there is no load on the inverter by turning the inverter breakers off and see if the voltage across the batteries changes.

Try changing the battery configuration (change the position in the circuit) and see if the situation changes - this one is a guess, I don't have a technical reason or theory to back it up but just a hunch.

Do you have a heat sensor on your batteries? Good idea to have one and if they get too hot, some charges can be shut down.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:28 PM   #36
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I believe the Daybreak is the same as my Intruder.. So the answer is yes. It does (or should) if you have a INtelletec Battery control system then both the engine alternator AND the house converter charge both sets.

Testing i fairly easy,, You won't believe how easy

Turn some "house stuff" open the lid on the fantastic fan and turn it on, Turn on lights, epically the incandascent type. All when NOT plugged into sore power.

now crank that mother up.

About 30 seconds after engine starts.. Do the lights suddenly get brighter,, The fan blow harder (louder) If so that means the alternator is charging house.

To test the other way.....

Plug in and turn off the MAIN circuit breaker in the house.
now turn ignition to ACC, and turn on blower, Dash fans and such (All chassis devices)

Plug in, Again the lights should get bright (Very quickly) and about 30 seconds later. The dash blowers kick up speed.

(OH, set them on HIGH).
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:34 AM   #37
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Quote:
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I interpret that you have 2ea 6V batteries that would be wired in series with the load and the charger.

You noted you had to put a lot of water in the batteries, do you know if any battery electrolite was below the level of the plates? Batteries can be damaged if charged at a high rate and heat up wih the electrolite low. Feel the batteries for temperature difference. Too hot is bad.

Can you dertermine how much current is being provided from the charger?

I don't suspect the charger/inverter relationship is relevent but if you ensure there is no load on the inverter by turning the inverter breakers off and see if the voltage across the batteries changes.

Try changing the battery configuration (change the position in the circuit) and see if the situation changes - this one is a guess, I don't have a technical reason or theory to back it up but just a hunch.

Do you have a heat sensor on your batteries? Good idea to have one and if they get too hot, some charges can be shut down.
You are correct that I have two 6V connected in series. The water was above the lead plates but not by much. I just ordered a volt meter so I should be able to tell how much current is being provided by the charger I have but I am getting one of the Batteryminders (model 12248) on Thursday and will be giving that one a try for the next attempt at charging. I was using a 20 year old Schumacher that my Dad gave me and I don't have a huge amount of confidence in that charger. I had it set to 2 amps but it smells a bit and makes some buzzing and clicking.
I don't have any heat sensor on the battery however the Batteryminder does come with one so I will see how that effects the charging process.

I really appreciate you taking the time to give your thoughts and input.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:10 PM   #38
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I have the Batteryminder now and after speaking with their tech support to make absolutly sure of what I am doing I will be hooking it up tonight and report the results. It would seem I had the Schumacher hooked up incorrectly so that may have been my problem with the last round of charging attempts. I will take a few photos or video this time to have visual results. Happy New Years to all of you.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:13 AM   #39
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Here is the brand of power converter/charger that is installed on my Outlaw:


Here is info from the mfg.:
PD9200 Series RV Power Converters

And a remote that gives you more control of the unit:
PD92201 Remote Pendant
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:04 AM   #40
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I have now ran the Batteryminder for a full 72 hours and have some updates to give on the batteries. The first comment I can make is that I had the prior charger hooked up improperly to the batteries. Most people probably know better but I did not so to save anyone an issue that does not know here is a photo of how properly hook up your charger. Do not hook up a charger where I have placed the red X's.
If you have a temp sensor supplied it can go on any post or somewhere close to the battery (however it is best attached to the battery if possible):


You start by attaching the Batteryminder to your battery connections and you will see this:


The next step is to set the proper parameters which in my case are 8A and Flooded:


Finally you plug the unit in your wall receptacle and you should see this:


Let the unit do its thing for about 72 hours and then check your batteries. In my case there has been a change for the better but not perfect. The hydrometer showed each cell in the battery on the right was at 1.265 which is a full charge. The left battery is the one I mentioned before was showing only 1/4 charge or 1.155 in all three cells. Now two of the cells (the right and left) are showing 1.265 and one (the center) is showing 1.225 so that is still low. I have put the batteries back on the Batteryminder for another 72 hours and will see if the final poor cell improves.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:18 PM   #41
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A follow up to this thread regarding the Batteryminder and the one cell that had a lower reading with the hydrometer... I fully endorse this product now! All cells on both batteries are reading a full charge and working perfectly. If it keeps the batteries in great condition and extends the life of them it is a worthwhile investment to be sure.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:03 AM   #42
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Great all is well. Good testimonial for that battery minder.
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