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Old 01-17-2011, 08:47 AM   #1
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Talking battery power

Ok...I'm new at this RV stuff. The battery that is suppose to charge in my 77 Itasca to run the electrical when the motor isn't running.....How do I know it's charging and how do I use it to run stuff like a tv or coffee pot?
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Gene Delong View Post
Ok...I'm new at this RV stuff. The battery that is suppose to charge in my 77 Itasca to run the electrical when the motor isn't running.....How do I know it's charging and how do I use it to run stuff like a tv or coffee pot?
In order to run a coffee pot off of your batteries, you are going to need a good sized inverter. For example your coffee pot may draw between 10 to 12 amps at 120 volts. If you have less than 120Volts the coffee pot may even draw more amps. I expect that you are going to need on average 1500 watts to run a coffee pot. The best dry camping pots will brew into a thermos type carafe and shut off after the brew cycle.

You batteries will charge whenever you are plugged into shore power or when you are traveling when the engine is running. In order to check you need to meter the battery banks. The batteries when charged should show more than 13 volts on the coach side (deep cycle batteries) and over 12.5 volts on the automotive side.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:24 AM   #3
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Welcome Gene to irv2.
If you notice at top of forums you will see sticky's posted. There is allot of information in them here is one that will get you started on understanding your electric systems in your coach both 12v & 110v.
Enjoy the forums and do post often.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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One thing to keep in mind is that your RV batteries have very little energy in them.

Typical household electrical use is about 30 kWh per day. Most RV battery banks will provide only 1 or 2, if that. That means you can't expect to use things just like you do at home unless plugged in or running a genset. (as noted, you need an inverter to run 110v stuff and installing one of those for anything over 100 watts needs very special care)

Voltage is the easiest way to determine state of charge of the batteries. Note that state of charge is not the same thing as battery condition. You can get a digital voltmeter that wires in to monitor the battery or use a modern general purpose digital voltmeter. The key to using one to measure battery SoC is to make sure that the battery has had no significant charging or discharging for at least a half hour before measuring. Then don't worry until the battery starts to get below 12.2v which is the level where you need to think about recharging.

You can use voltage to assess battery condition by watching how it drops when a load is applied but that takes a bit of experience to interpret effectively.

There is a lot of misleading or even bad information in these discussions about batteries so be critical and skeptical about advice given (including mine!).

The life of your batteries depends mostly upon how you use and maintain them. A converter with intelligent multi-stage battery charging and a good maintenance mode that will keep a top charge on the battery and inhibit suflation when the rig is not in use is often a very good first upgrade for getting the best RV battery service.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:03 AM   #5
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Hey....I have the DC to AC converter and a battery meter on my dash for the back-up. As it turns out, I found out that my back-up batteries are pushin dirt so I have to get a couple more back-up batteries. Told u I was new at this. I'm learning as I go. thanx for the advice tho. It's appreciated .
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