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Old 04-03-2019, 11:45 PM   #1
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Puzzling power issues

We are boondocking on solar but usually run the generator to fix dinner. I recently added a cell phone booster that is plugged into a 150 watt inverter. The coach does not have an inline inverter, only a converter.

All was acting normally until 3 days ago when I heard the inverter screaming. I unplugged it and forgot about it until I later plugged it back in. An hour later I tried starting the generator. All lights immediately blacked out. They slowly came back on after about 15 minutes.

To start the generator I had to start the engine first, then all was fine again. I thought maybe the inverter was causing the problem so tonight I unplugged it before hitting the generator switch. The generator still wouldn’t start.

I checked the water in the batteries. They are full. They are 3 years old and we are near Yuma, AZ where daytime temps are getting up into the high 80s.

Is this a battery problem or ?????
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:39 AM   #2
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Dead batteries, or possibly a loose connection at the batteries. Your inverter was warning of low voltage. When you tried to start the generator, it killed what little battery you had left so the lights went out. Check the batteries with a hydrometer and inspect all the connections and clean any that are corroded. Make sure all connections are tight.

Is that two six volt batteries, twelves, or ???
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finance View Post
Dead batteries, or possibly a loose connection at the batteries. Your inverter was warning of low voltage. When you tried to start the generator, it killed what little battery you had left so the lights went out. Check the batteries with a hydrometer and inspect all the connections and clean any that are corroded. Make sure all connections are tight.

Is that two six volt batteries, twelves, or ???
2 Costco six volts. I am headed to find the hygrometer. I checked the connections and water levels but will double check and report back. I was hoping to get more than 3 years out of them.

Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2019, 03:21 PM   #4
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Do you charge them to 100% at least once a week ?

Did you ever let them drain below 100% and let them sit that way ?

Do you often run them down until the lights dim ?

Did they ever sit dead and freeze ?

Do you use them every single day ?

3 years is over 1000 days. That's about the life cycle of a battery drawn down to 50% state of charge, every day for 3 years.

There are many reasons for batteries to live a short life.

You could double the batterys, doubling the costs, and getting double the life.
2 batteries every 3 years is pretty cheap energy costs.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:44 PM   #5
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You're right. I am a full timer so I can’t compare my battery longevity to vacation and weekend users. Now I’m trying to decide whether to get Costco batteries again or upgrade to Trojans. To add more batteries I'll either have to switch to AGMs or install a vented battery box where the passenger seat used to be. Tough decisions for an unplanned and unbudgeted expense.

I just bought an acre of land in Yuma County, AZ to park on during the winter. Visa LOVES me. This could have happened at a better time. <sigh>
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