Originally Posted by cuffer101
Also, what is a good meter to keep track of the battery condition?? Thanks Chuck and Terry
I use one of these VoltMinder
Digital Voltmeter | VoltMinder.com
You can plug it into the cigarette lighter looking socket by the TV antenna power booster or hard wire it into the 12 volts bus in your converter.
I tried to find it on BestConverter.com where I bought it but they do not list it now. And a few other searches say it is discontinued but it seems you can still buy it direct.
Here is an Amazon hit on it. Again not available by them right now. Maybe the requests have overcome the supply.
Amazon.com: VoltMinder Digital Volt Meter w/ 6 Foot Cord for 12V Batteries: Electronics
I really like the Voltminder as it even has a low level alarm that you can set it.
Then what voltage is what state of charge? I use this chart, see bottom of page, Trojan Battery Company
Those are at rest voltages. This works well boondocking as there is no surface charge left after about 8 hours. Meaning a lead acid battery has a mini memory to it from being charged. It you put a volt meter on the battery while charging it can read 13.25, 13.65 or even 14.4 if you have a 3 stage charger. That is the over voltage to actually charge the battery. The best you are ever going to get on a 12 volt lead acid cell battery is 12.7 volts when it is at rest and 100% charged.
Once you unhook the charger that higher surface charge will diminish down to the actual resting voltage over time which can take up to 8 hours. Read that number and compare it to the chart. So when boondocking and there is no large current device pulling power, a water pump, the furnace, the bath fan sorta etc, read the resting voltage after 8 hours of being unhooked from charging. The voltage will drop when the water pump runs or worse the furnace but that is the fact that high power is being used from the battery. It will come back up once the pump shuts off.
A good rule to go by is to not drain your battery below 50% or 12.1 volts resting voltage. The life of the battery will last longer if you charge it back up before going very far under 50%.
Hope this helps and good luck
Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
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