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Old 06-23-2021, 07:24 AM   #1
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Unhappy '21 NuCamp Boondock XL not holding a charge overnight after one outing - SmartShunt

I have a new '21 Boondock XL with the dealer installed "DynaThrust" 24DC3 battery.

On our first outing we had no issues with going overnight and still having power in the morning, this was running an Alpicool C30 and normal usage of lights.

Wanting to understand more about my battery usage as we did more outings, I added a SmartShunt after this first weekend and we just had out second weekend out. Each morning we woke up, the battery was full on dead.

I am having difficulty understanding the utility and usefulness of the SmartShunt, but more frustrated by the lack of power in the morning. In the morning the unit has no power, so when I add a charge, it comes back online but the historical data is empty. There is no retention of data like when the battery died or how it's usage over time was graphed. With it plugged into home power, it starts back up saying 100% capacity.

When I got home I've been running tests each night - full charged battery, synchronized app, NOTHING turned on in the trailer, very little draw in the hours before bed. In the evening with less than a couple of amps draw, I see that there is well over a day of estimated time left (30+ hours).

But by morning, no power and no history is available.

Battery capacity - 82Ah
Charged voltage - 13.2 (default)
Discharge floor - 50% (default)
Charge efficiency factor - 95% (default)

Under history, I see Deepest discharge -22Ah, cumulative Ah drawn -123Ah (I've recharged the battery probably 10 times since purchase). Charged energy - 1.6kWh, discharged energy 1.4kWh.

I haven't even been able to test a night with the Alpicool C30 plugged in. I'm going to run the test during the day when I can keep an eye on the discharge, but that it's not even going 10 hours with no load is an obvious problem.

Is this a bad battery and I need to contact the dealer? Because at this point it seems like that or the only other thing is the SmartShunt is somehow causing this issue (although I dont know how it could).

Yes, it's wired up correctly - no, nothing else is on (amp draw is less than 3amp). How can I get more utility from the SmartShunt in understanding what's going on? At this point, it seems to be a pretty worthless device since I get nothing from it.
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Old 06-23-2021, 10:16 AM   #2
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That is a small group 24 battery I think. A bigger group will last a lot longer. You will probably need a bigger battery box because a group 27 or 31 is going to be longer.

I would even look for a AGM battery and but that if I could find one.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:25 PM   #3
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Another thing to consider is your default charge voltage at 13.2 volts. That would most likely be while you're plugged into shore power, with the convertor in a float mode. Your battery voltage, at rest and off the charger for a couple of hours, is probably going to be somewhere in the 12.8 volt range. You will still have parasitic draws on the battery from things like the propane detector, electronic device memories, control boards, etc. I agree with tuff, an 84 amp hour battery isn't going to do a lot, and unfortunately; a dealer is generally not going to put a quality battery in like an owner would.
With the trailer at home, you can monitor your usage, then decide if, and how much more battery you need. I would suggest keeping an eye on your water levels if you've been charging alot. Best of luck to you.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:37 AM   #4
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Thank you, the voltage thing lines up with my latest testing. The SmartShunt was reporting 90% capacity when it died - as I hooked up the Alpicool you could watch the voltage meter just drop continuously. There is a definite problem with the battery holding its charge, so I will replace it with something "better" and see about replacing the stock unit since its so new.


What is confusing to me is that the SmartShunt isn't more useful - it doesnt show the status of a battery charging, when plugged in to shore power, it just shows 100% all the time. Again, maybe its a configuration issue and maybe related to the problem with the battery, but the capacity seems to just not work and the lack of historical data is annoying.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:44 AM   #5
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I think your analysis is pretty good. It is not clear what is happening. You have a fairly simple system. It should be clear.

Observations:
Does the unit have an inverter? If so, having it "ON or OFF" makes a difference.
What is using 3 amps? You may or may not have a propane detector and even if so, it should not use anywhere near 3 amps.
Control boards for water heater, furnace, and refrigerator all use a little power, but I am not sure you even have those appliances.

Things to consider:
Ground may be on the wrong side of the shunt.
Victron settings need adjusting.
Some people report better Victron results by resetting it and re-entering all necessary parameters.

I always like to go back to basics in cases like this. Measure voltage directly on the battery terminals. Use a digital voltmeter (not the Victron). This bypasses connections, devices, and anything that might confuse the issues.

Lead acid batteries require 14 to 18 hours for a full clean charge.
Fully charge for 14 to 18 hours.
Unplug from shore power for the test.
Measure battery terminal voltage immediately.
Wait 3 hours and measure again. Voltage should slowly drop from 13.6 or 13.3 volts to 13.0 volts
Measure 3 hours later.
Decide to continue or not. If voltage is below 11.4 volts, recheck Victron results and compare to battery terminal voltage.
Assuming nothing but the Victron is drawing power, voltage should should not drop below 12.7 volts in a week.

If battery voltage drops faster than expected, battery may be defective.
You can get the battery load tested, but most automotive load testers are not definitive for deep draw batteries. If the battery fails the load test, it is defective. If it passes the load test it may still not have the expected deep draw capacity.

You would need a 20 hour discharge test for best results, but that is harder to do.

You can do a long term voltage test that is easier.
Fully charge for 14 to 18 hours.
Disconnect negative battery terminal.
Monitor terminal voltage.
Voltage should should not drop below 12.7 volts in a week. My AGM holds 13.0 volts for weeks.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:03 AM   #6
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i have a smart shunt and it helps me. i'm wondering about one item you posted. you said with nothing on you are seeing a 3 amp discharge. that seems quite high. first thing i'd do is try to find what is causing that draw. the shunt will help you with this.

then use the shunt to help you monitor the charging process. let it charge for at least overnight if not an entire day. watch the shunt to see how the charging current decreases over time. the shunt monitors the charge current and determines that the battery is 100 percent full when the charge current falls below a threshold for a certain length of time. i don't remember the actual parameters off the top of my head but they are in the manual. make sure you have these set properly or the shunt may be reporting the battery as 100% full when it really is not. if this is the case it may give you a false impression on battery status.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:11 AM   #7
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Would a water heater being on draw 3 amps. I think maybe. That is the only thing I can think of that might draw that much power.
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Old 06-24-2021, 12:06 PM   #8
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I glanced at the Alpicool C30 specifications on line. That looks like a nice unit, but I think you're asking alot of your battery to run it.
As suggested, read the Smart Shunt manual, set your parameters and don't rely on the default settings. I think you'll find that you need more battery, and solar, or a small generator.
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Old 06-24-2021, 12:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Would a water heater being on draw 3 amps. I think maybe. That is the only thing I can think of that might draw that much power.
That is not very much power daw at all on 12v. My base draw when I we leave the RV for the day is 3 amps. This is with the inverter on and parasitic loads.

A 3 amp draw at 12v would only be a 48 watt element.
A 3 amp draw at 120v would only be a 480 watts element.

An RV water heater element seems to around 1400 watts or 116 amps of 12v or 11.6 amps of 120v.
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Old 06-24-2021, 12:46 PM   #10
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The Alpicool lists 45 - 65 watts @ 12 volts, depending on ambient temperature.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:11 PM   #11
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When I get to the point where the op is i start regularly load testing my batteries. Once you get a baseline the rest is easy, several comments here are suggesting possibly you need more battery/batteries, valid points. You have a new rv, with an older battery possibly, dealers like to save money.
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Old 06-24-2021, 02:50 PM   #12
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Great suggestions in here and I'm going to follow them.


I did purchase a Duracell Ultra 105ah battery, so will be installing that to replace this one.


As to the 3 amps - as I noted there is the Victron solar setup that is powered up (bluetooth), the shunt, the radio display is on (but radio is not turned on) and I assume the inverter is powered up, although not being used. I felt that the 3amp draw was about right for those items, but I could be wrong.


I'll be picking up the new battery tonight and testing this weekend. As for the battery that came with the unit, I'll either see about exchanging it for a backup or just return for core.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:04 AM   #13
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As to the 3 amps - as I noted there is the
Victron solar setup that is powered up (bluetooth)

What is the model of the Victon solar setup?

the shunt,
Is the shunt system a Victron? What is the model?
Generally they do not consume much.

the radio display is on (but radio is not turned on)
I agree, the radio is unlikely to consume much when “off”.

I assume the inverter is powered up, although not being used.
What is the make and model of the inverter?
I have a 1000 watt inverter. It uses a little more than 1 amp when “on” and no 120 volt appliances plugged in to it. I turn it “off” when not in use. A 2000 watt inverter may easily draw more than 2 amps.
(I assume you know that an inverter converts 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC. Some folks call their inverter/charger/converter an “inverter”.)

I felt that the 3amp draw was about right for those items, but I could be wrong.
The battery you have should be able to sustain 3 amps for 10 hours. However, 3 amps is high for parasitic draw in a typical tear drop trailer.

Did you fully charge the battery regardless of what the shunt meter said before testing? It takes 14 to 18 hours to fully charge lead acid batteries.
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Old 06-25-2021, 09:58 AM   #14
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I purchased one of these for 55.00....

It works great and matches my dvm. Very easy to use for checking batteries.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...asin_title?ie=
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