Jump to content

ANOTHER electrical question


Recommended Posts

2018 LE2, #333
I've searched the FB pages and Forum, and do not see this specific issue, so I did look first!  I only know enough about this electrical system (or any electrical system for that matter) to be dangerous.  🙂  so I'm no good at extrapolating the information that is already here.  My apologies if I'm causing you to roll your eyes!
 
Our trailer is stored where it is plugged in and receives 2 hours of charge per day. Went by today and found the batteries at 12.0 volts (during the non-charging part of the day)
Turned on the power, display jumped to 14.3, which as I understand the chart in the PD manual, is normal super boost mode, then later dropped to 13.6, also supposedly normal. EMS was displaying E0, 60 H, and 112 (volts I assume) that dropped to 111 before I was done in there.
I'm at a loss as to why the batteries discharged to 12.0. (I did pick up from the Forum I think that I need a bigger ga extension cord and no longer than 25 feet)  So given the above, I'm stretched to understand why when I turn the power on, all seems normal (maybe except the 112 v?  maybe should be higher?) but loss of charge over time. The trailer is in storage, but not fully covered, solar should be picking up at least some charge over time.  There should not be any parasitic draw, nothing is on (I did turn the Main Cabin lights on when I went in there, but nothing was on before that.)  
 
I'll be grateful for insights, I know there are a bunch of electrical wizards here!
  • Like 1

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The required protection systems (alarms) are always on - propane detectors, etc.  

  • Like 3

ALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA

Arizona | 2020 Oliver Elite II Twin bed Hull #617 | 2021 Ram 1500 e-Hemi 4x4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't have an Ollie yet but 2 hours of charging from the landline (120v outlet) at our house wouldn't be enough to keep up with the parasitic draws in our  fifth wheel. It's connected to power overnight for 5 hours every day in the winter. Probably overkill, but I prefer that to dead or frozen batteries.

  • Like 2

Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.e6391b9064a3f8f0951751f985664135.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

@Liana, a few more questions. 

Who sets up the two hour charging time? You, or the storage facility. Does everyone in the facility charge at the same time? Were you at the facility during that time, or outside of the charging period, when the monitor showed full power?

Have you checked to make sure battery connections are tight and clean? As in, no corrosion?

As @Steph and Dud B said, you will always have a ghost draw,, if batteries aren't disconnected.  Ours is small, at roughly 3.5, but many people report .7 or higher. Any chance you have something running on dc or 110? Lights in storage areas, water heater, fridge, etc. Every control board sucks a little power. And, if you have something, even small, running on 110, it will suck some of the charging power away.

I'm guessing you have a progressive  dynamics converter charger, from your trailer age. That can cut out at 105 volts, due to low power protection (though a tech I spoke to said probably not til it drops to 100, but I wouldn't count on it). If everyone in the facility is charging on a timer, at the same time, you may not be getting much of a charge, if any. The charge wizard will kick in when it gets good/full power, (as you showed, with e0, 60h, 112) but will kick out when it's too low.

I wouldn't count on getting much (if any) solar if you're in a covered spot, in winter. Your batteries are 3 to 4 years old. Agm, or flooded? Have you checked the water levels recently, if flooded? How long has your trailer been in storage?

How long has it been since you were at the storage unit? 12.0 is pretty much a flat battery bank. So a complete cycle. Agm and fla like to be fully charged, daily. You don't get a lot of cycles on marine batteries. You may, or may not, be approaching end of life on your batteries, and may or may not be able to bring them back. 

A cheap portable solar, sitting on the carport, or even on the trailer tongue,, in the right orientation, facing the winter sun at 90 degrees would help more than your fixed panels, imo.

Which monitor do you have? Blue sky, or Zamp?

I know it's a lot of questions,  but you'll get better answers with more info.

 

  • Like 3

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, @SeaDawg, I knew there was more information I was supposed to be giving!

We have the Trojan AGMs, (yes, I'm suspicious of their age, have said as much to spouse).  Zamp monitor, PD converter charger.  Our solar has always produced *some charge with the smallest hint of daylight, the trailer is partially covered, gets afternoon sun, but as you pointed out, never directly onto the panels.  So the 112v is ok?  I thought I saw someone else post elsewhere that it should be higher.

I tried to say I was there during non charging time and turned the power on myself.  The facility gives everyone one of those timers that starts at dusk and runs for 2 hours, so I suspect you're right that everyone is charging at the same time.  So, I'm discerning from everyone's help that it is likely a combination of age of batteries with insufficient daily charge time.  I hinted to spouse that we may need to consider the lithium route, I guess it's time to jump down that rabbit hole...

 

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Probably a hard question to answer, but if the storage facility is supplying 111 to 112 VAC in the middle of the day, which is low in my opinion, what is the supplied power when everyone else is charging?  I guess you would have to be there at dusk to find out.

The EMS shuts down below 104V or above 132V per the manual, so it’s possible that the supplied power may be too low due to demand.  If the facility consist of mini warehouses and other tenets are there is the evening working on the cars, trucks, boats or whatever there may be a higher demand for power at night than in the day.

I would mention the low power readings to facility management and maybe talk with other RV owners about their experiences.  My Ollie is plugged into a 20 amp circuit at my house via a 50' 12/3 extension cord and I consistently get 119 to 120 volts at the trailer.  And if you can verify power at the source that you plug into that may be useful.

If the facility power is not a problem then take the batteries to a battery supplier and have them load tested.  After confirming good power supplied to the trailer and the batteries fail a load test, be all means jump into that rabbit hole.

Mossey

B5194C0C-A05A-422E-960F-0D99B46BFBD5.thumb.jpeg.68b004f2386f2f01f0a70921e424a9c8.jpeg

Edited by mossemi
Remove duplicate picture
  • Like 4

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

@Liana, as @mossemi said, if you were getting 112 mi-day, and a bunch of other people are charging or using power otherwise, at dusk, your ems, and/or your pd charge wizard will shut down if voltage received is too low, as i mentioned earlier. Do talk to the management.  You may not have been charging much, if at all. Have you visited the storage site again, to see what your readings are, after sunset?

Frankly, I'd cut off the solar, remove the batteries, take them in to an auto parts shop, and get them load tested. See if it's worth trying to bring them back. If autozone or Napa says it's worth a try, take them home, put them on slow chargers, and see what you get after a few days.

Even really dead batteries will display over 13, when charging. But, they'll very quickly drop down to 12.0 or 12.2 when the charger is disconnected,  and any small load is applied.

I'm sorry this has happened.  It may be possible to revive flattened batteries, or it may not. Depends on how long they've been flat, and how many times they've cycled. At least you got 3 or 4 years. 

Whether you jump down the lithium rabbit hole, or replace with agms, is really up to you. But, I'd really want to find out why the batteries weren't charging, in the first place before I replaced them, and fix that situation first. No point in throwing good money after bad, as my mom would say .

  • Thanks 1
  • Like 4

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@SeaDawg, @mossemi, the plot thickens.  I went back today (again during non charging hours) and found the Zamp reading 13.1.  I went to the power source and turned on the power, and the EMS was reading E0, 60H, 1A, and 122v.  Zamp showed 3 out of four bars solid with the fourth flashing.

I left the power on and will go back in the morning to see where we are.

This is why electrical stuff confounds me!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Time of day? Angle of the sun? Do you think your zamp reading of 13.1 could be some errant solar actually charging the panels? The 4th dot flashing would also indicate "charging" to me, but I'm not a Zamp owner. Someone else who is could be more help here.

It is curious. Resting voltage of a fully charged agm 12 v battery isn't 13.1, in my experience. Maybe 12.7 or 12.8, maybe a bit higher, depending on the battery. 13.1 would seem to be  a charging voltage, from some source.

Resting voltage is a battery sitting without charge, or load, for several hours.

  • Like 2

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I realize the OP is talking about her AGM FLA batteries. But, for anyone that might not realize the difference, the resting voltage of a fully charged LiFePO4 battery is 13.6V

  • Thanks 1
  • Like 3

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@SeaDawg, yes, 13.1 along with the flashing dash indicates charging, and yes, I do think our solar panels were capturing *some sunlight.  The trailer is under a cover but exposed on the west side, so when the sun gets past that point, *some light gets to them.  That's been our experience all along, that this solar system starts charging with the slightest hint of daylight.

It is still a mystery to me why the voltage into the system a few days prior was so low, but I do hope that when I go back the batteries are all the way back to full charge.

 

  • Like 1

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

@Liana, I saw this on the Facebook page, and wondered if it were you? 

If so, you've been experiencing some charging issues since October?

I omitted the full name, but liana was first name.

20220115_231318.jpg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/15/2022 at 9:14 PM, SeaDawg said:

@Liana, I saw this on the Facebook page, and wondered if it were you? 

If so, you've been experiencing some charging issues since October?

 

Yes, that was me.  That issue was related to not having a bonded plug for the generator (we were boon docking in colder weather).  However, we started noticing in November that in full sun all day, the batteries were not getting back to full charge, so, yes, this has been going on for a while.  Our trailer has been in storage since Thanksgiving and I only went back to check on it when I posted this thread having found the batteries all the way down and low voltage getting into the trailer. 

I set our timer to have power on from dusk to dawn (shh, don't tell the manager!) and am seeing that indeed, the batteries are still not getting back to full charge.  Probably should do as you suggested and pull them to have them load tested.

2018 LE2 #333  "the Otter"

2015 Silverado 2500HD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I'm sure you have looked, but I'd run through everything again. Make sure you have no heavy unnecessary loads on batteries.

Low angle sun in November might not allow you to bring batteries to 100 per cent with just solar, if it was cold, and you were running furnace fan a lot.  Batteries will sulfate if charging too little, not reaching full, even agms. That shortens life.  Lead acid batteries of any sort like to be charged to full, and not heavily discharged. 

Your pd charger runs a mild "equalizer" desulfating charge every 23 to 25 hours, if plugged in consistently, which is short, and doesn't harm agm batteries.  I don't think that happens when plugged in and getting power for only a few hours. (NOTE: this is not the same as fla equalization on the Blue Sky, which you should NEVER do on agm batteries. This is ONLY for flooded batteries. )

Could be any number of problems. 

It may indeed be time to take the batteries out and get them load tested, as miserable as that is, due to weights. It's really the only way to know, short if investing in a load tester.

Unplug. Turn off the solar, battery disconnect. Take photos, so you know how to hook them up again. Make sure all battery leads are isolated.

Good luck. 

 

  • Like 3

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

David - 

Somewhere in your LE2 you should have a solar disconnect switch similar to THIS ONE.  It is most likely located under the street side bed area.

Switch it to the "OFF" position and your panels will not be transmitting electricity to the batteries.

You should disconnect anything that runs off 12 volt power.  This would include your inverter and propane detector.  Also turn off the two circuit breakers that are most likely near the solar disconnect switch shown above that look like THIS.  Simply press the red button down until the little yellow flag pops out of the side.  Note that when it comes time to turn these back on all you have to do is press the yellow flag back into the case.

Don't forget to take pictures of the batteries from several different positions (as Sherry mentions above) so that you can reconnect things in the proper manner.

Bill

  • Like 3

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Somewhere in your LE2 you should have a solar disconnect switch

Not sure when in the production sequence it occurred but my later 2018 with Zamp controller did not have a disconnect of any kind on either side.

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
4 hours ago, bhncb said:

Not sure when in the production sequence it occurred but my later 2018 with Zamp controller did not have a disconnect of any kind on either side.

I agree!  My 2017 was equipped with a automatic resetting circuit breaker on the positive output of the Zamp charge controller and without a manual disconnect before or after the charge controller.  
I did install a circuit breaker before and after the Victron charge controller when I installed it.  If you do not have a method to disconnect the solar charge controller output, I would suggest you purchase a moving blanket and cover the solar panels whenever you are working on the solar system and batteries.

Mossey

  • Like 1

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, mossemi said:

I agree!  My 2017 was equipped with a automatic resetting circuit breaker on the positive output of the Zamp charge controller and without a manual disconnect before or after the charge controller.  
I did install a circuit breaker before and after the Victron charge controller when I installed it.  If you do not have a method to disconnect the solar charge controller output, I would suggest you purchase a moving blanket and cover the solar panels whenever you are working on the solar system and batteries.

Mossey

Mine is a 2019 and was set up the same as Mossey. I also added a disconnect switch before the charge controller and a circuit breaker after charge controller.

Here is a pic of disconnect switch and Victron charge controller monitor.

IMG_1180.thumb.JPG.54c66c5fb714f58e075b51ef72ebfd72.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

The moving blankets would be my advice, too. Dark ones. 

Then, get a switch installed. I wonder why there isn't one? It's not often that we need it, but its still important to us.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
29 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

The moving blankets would be my advice, too. Dark ones. 

Then, get a switch installed. I wonder why there isn't one? It's not often that we need it, but its still important to us.

A tarp would also work to cover the solar panels.  And I think the easiest place to put a cutoff switch or circuit breaker before the charge controller would be in the street side overhead cabinet behind the radio and charge controller.  Access the rear of the charge controller through the round hatch.  
 

Mossey

AFA438D1-1E7D-4DEF-A427-706F87F1AB02.thumb.jpeg.cf5bb4b5157e98036817ae2c2521a6b3.jpeg

  • Like 1

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...