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Battery capacity gage

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SILVERLINER

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Battery capacity gage
« on: May 08, 2021, 07:38:36 pm »
It's importance, specially if boondocking ,dry camping and more importantly prolonging the life of your batteries .
Most RV come with push button leds telling you battery capacity 1/3- 1/2- 2/3 -full or gauges that read actual volts, and or  battery percentage." NOT ACCURATE " a shunt is needed at the battery on the ground cable for ACCURATE reading volts,amprere, amp hour,battery percentage, soc,rate of charge & discharge  and more . Usually a very expensive add on (Victron gage) now theirs an inexpensive shunt gage available highly rated Aili battery capacity gage check YouTube/ Amazon. Very pleased with mine ,works great, easy-to-use and install.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Battery capacity gage
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2021, 11:40:19 pm »
Hi SilverLiner,

You are surely correct in that those LED indicators are the worst, and a simple volt meter does not provide an accurate reading of a healthy or unhealthy battery.

The Aili monitor you mentioned being sold HERE is very interesting.  I like it.

A volt meter does provide an "indication" as you become acquainted with the change in readings.  It helps immensely to place it where you can't help but notice it.

Six years ago I installed a simple volt meter in my 2007 stove hood as shown.  CLICK HERE if you want to learn more about it.

I also attached on the inside of the over-head cabinet door above the sink, this chart on what the reading indicates.


The complaint with a simple volt meter is that the reading drops when things are turned on and rises when things are turned off.  The fluctuations are what you become naturally trained to understand with time and experience.

The way we camp, we rely heavily on our battery reserves, most especially if running the furnace overnight without shore power.  So the time it takes to fully charge our batteries with the generator is determined on the amount of drain, hence we do our best to avoid draining our batteries down too far between charge times.

The Aili monitor would seem to be a very nice improvement over a simple volt meter.  Thanks for sharing that.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 06:13:36 am by Ron Dittmer »
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fandj

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Re: Battery capacity gage
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2021, 07:04:01 am »
Silverliner, I agree with your post.  I see on the numerous RV forums as well as chit chat with others you meet at campgrounds dead batteries seem to occur all too often leaving a person or family to an unpleasant camping experience.  Many just take batteries for granted.  Some probably donít even know they have a battery or what it does. For those as you point out that camp without electrical hookup or store their RV unattended can quite often be mislead by the led or even the volt meter type gauge.  Though these gauges can sometimes be better than nothing they can also be worse than nothing if one doesnít understand the proper way to use them.


I installed a Victron unit in a previous pull type camper about 8 years ago and was very impressed with its usefulness.  I moved it to my PC and found it very useful not only in determining how much battery power I had but how different appliances, etc. drew down the charge.  I have also found it very helpful in troubleshooting electrical issues.


Just recently Victron came out with an updated unit that allows one to monitor status from your phone.  I have now replaced my older unit with this and will be installing the older unit in my daughterís RV.  This is the model I just purchased and installed in my PC.  [size=78%]https://www.amazon.com/Victron-SmartShunt-500AMP-Bluetooth-Battery/dp/B0856PHNLX/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3VEUSIMHO9W3W&dchild=1&keywords=smart+shunt+500+victron&qid=1620558435&sprefix=Smart+shunt%2Caps%2C188&sr=8-3[/size]
It is cheaper as it does not include the meter but utilizes ones phone which I prefer.  As long as one is in signal range (100 ft would be my guess) it is easy to access the battery status.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 07:05:53 am by fandj »

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2 Lucky

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Re: Battery capacity gage
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2021, 10:25:55 am »
You can also push the button on your inverter to see what the voltage is. Or your solar controller if you have solar.
Riding the fine line between bravery and stupidity since 1952.

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Doneworking

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Re: Battery capacity gage
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 11:48:53 am »
I have used the colored chart ( like Ron posted above) over the course of two Cs and two Bs (a long time) and a simple voltmeter.   It seems to me that you become pretty aware of load and I intuitively seem to come out OK on battery usage and when to recharge.

That said, before we leave on a trip if we haven't used the PC in a few months, I check the voltage and then run the Fantastic roof fan and the bathroom fan for two or three hours and maybe a light or two as well.   Then I check the voltage again after I turn all that off and let the batteries rest an hour or so and check the voltage again and compare it to the chart (which is taped to the inside of the battery compartment).   I check the water level on the batteries monthly over the winter/storage months and charge the batteries then as well as using a battery disconnect switch.  We have 300 watts of solar and that certainly helps the situation.  I turn off the solar, off course, before I do the exotic, high tech "fan test". >:(

 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 11:50:48 am by Doneworking »

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Battery capacity gage
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2021, 06:04:59 am »
I have used the colored chart ( like Ron posted above) over the course of two Cs and two Bs (a long time) and a simple voltmeter.   It seems to me that you become pretty aware of load and I intuitively seem to come out OK on battery usage and when to recharge.
(exactly)

But for people who are not as mindful as you and me, that intelligent $45 monitor by Aili that SILVERLINER shared, seems to be a good investment.  If only it could be mounted in plain sight as a constant reminder to the user.  It is remarkable how quickly you can drain your batteries without realizing it, most especially on a rained-out day.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 06:14:57 am by Ron Dittmer »
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