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Old 06-07-2023, 07:34 AM   #1
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How long do house batteries last?

We are boondocking for 4 nights. Everytime we try to use anything off the battery, the battery drains. The level shows red and the the voltage is 10. 6. Running the engine to recharge the batteries isn’t working. We have to jump the battery and then it’s good til we try and turn something on. The batteries are a year old. Can it be another problem? This is making us hate boondocking! We have a Winnebago Sunstar 2018.

Also, we have a CO2 monitor that beeps on it’s own with nothing to cause it…

TIA…. Moniki
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Old 06-07-2023, 09:14 AM   #2
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If you have lead acid batteries, check water levels. You should be checking them monthly. Do you always have them on a charger or the rv plugged in.
Sounds like being discharged that much you are looking at new batteries.
With proper maintenance , should get 7 years or so on them.
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Old 06-07-2023, 09:23 AM   #3
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It doesn't sound like they're being charged sufficiently. Not getting a charge from the engine is a clue. Do you have some form of battery monitor in place? This could be something as simple as a tripped breaker or blown fuse.

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Old 06-07-2023, 09:28 AM   #4
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Jumping a battery is only temporary. You need to get the charging system repaired to maintain charge in the batteries or run a generator with a battery charger on the batteries to recharge them.
If you need to refill the batteries go to the store and buy Distilled water. Do not use tap water for the batteries.
How many batteries do you have to run the house portion of your RV? Are they 6 or 12 volt. Poorly maintained batteries will have a short life. Yours may be used up. The best way to tell would be to remove the batteries, have them recharged and tested. You can't accurately test a dead battery.
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Old 06-07-2023, 09:30 AM   #5
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You didn’t mention what type of battery you are using.
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Old 06-07-2023, 09:33 AM   #6
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CO monitor beeping is probably because of low voltage. You may have a bad cell, and/or charging issues. How many things are running on DC? Changing lights to LED helps, if they aren't already.
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Old 06-07-2023, 09:48 AM   #7
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CO monitor beeping is probably because of low voltage. You may have a bad cell, and/or charging issues. How many things are running on DC? Changing lights to LED helps, if they aren't already.
You may have to replace your CO monitor. Mine did the same thing and after doing some homework, found that they (or my brand) only last for about 4 years. Replaced the circuit board and the beeping stopped.

Safe travels and all the best..
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:05 AM   #8
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There are a few things you need to determine,. You say the battery is not charging via the engine but you need to quantify that. This below presume a single 12v FLA battery
1. Pop the caps and check water levels--should fully cover the plates
2. Get a DMM and read the resting voltage
3. Start your engine and re-read the battery voltage; should see a significant jump to ~13.5v or greater
4. For a badly discharged battery it can take an hour plus at highway speeds to recharge a battery
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:26 AM   #9
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Get yourself a good AC/DC multimeter and learn to use it. If you clamp it to the main positive cable from your house battery you will see how much current you are pulling out of them. Then you can make decisions about what is important and what you can avoid using by turning breakers off or pulling fuses one at a time while watching the amp draw change. . If you have weak batteries or not enough of them you might be limited to just the water pump and some LED lights to get through a day or a weekend. And it takes a while to fully recharge batteries. Running the engine for a couple hours will not get them to full charge. If you are seeing 12 volts they are pretty much fully discharged which is a surprise to people who do not know much about 12 volt batteries.
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:33 AM   #10
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You may have to replace your CO monitor. Mine did the same thing and after doing some homework, found that they (or my brand) only last for about 4 years. Replaced the circuit board and the beeping stopped.

Safe travels and all the best..
OP's rig is 5 years old, which is usually the lifetime of a CO monitor, so you might be right. However they do also have a beep warning if the battery voltage is low. I just replaced mine again, after 4 years. The old one wasn't beeping yet, but when testing it with an unlit lighter, it was slow to respond.
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Old 06-07-2023, 11:05 AM   #11
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4. For a badly discharged battery it can take an hour plus at highway speeds to recharge a battery
You say that your FLA battery was discharged to 10.6 V which is basically completely dead (0% SOC). After an hour at highway speeds, you may see voltages (under no load) above 12 V. It will likely take 8 hours or more for your battery to reach 100% SOC.
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Old 06-07-2023, 12:09 PM   #12
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There are a few things you need to determine,. You say the battery is not charging via the engine but you need to quantify that. This below presume a single 12v FLA battery
1. Pop the caps and check water levels--should fully cover the plates
2. Get a DMM and read the resting voltage
3. Start your engine and re-read the battery voltage; should see a significant jump to ~13.5v or greater
4. For a badly discharged battery it can take an hour plus at highway speeds to recharge a battery
It will take 5 or more hours of driving to recharge a deeply discharged battery.

My engine system sends about 30 Amos to the house batteries while driving.
To put 100 AH back into a discharged 100 AH battery, I need to drive 3 hours and that gets it to 85% to 90% charged. The last 15% takes 2 more hours.

With 2 batteries, double the driving time.
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Old 06-07-2023, 05:32 PM   #13
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We are boondocking for 4 nights. Everytime we try to use anything off the battery, the battery drains. The level shows red and the the voltage is 10. 6. Running the engine to recharge the batteries isnít working. We have to jump the battery and then itís good til we try and turn something on. The batteries are a year old. Can it be another problem? This is making us hate boondocking! We have a Winnebago Sunstar 2018.

Also, we have a CO2 monitor that beeps on itís own with nothing to cause itÖ

TIAÖ. Moniki


Running the engine would be worthless charging dead house batteries. You need to run generator or plug it in. CO2 is beeping cause your house batteries are dead and 10.6 is dead dead.
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Old 06-07-2023, 06:04 PM   #14
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12.6 dcv is fully recharged
12.2 dcv is half discharged
10.6 is dead

When you finish charging at 13.6 dcv the voltmeter will report that voltage as in the battery.

That is called the float charge and does not accurately describe the state of charge for the battery.

Wait at least 15 minutes after disconnecting from the charger to measure the actual resting voltage of the battery.
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