Monday, February 4, 2019

Day 27 - Playing with Electricity

It’s only 9:30 in the morning and the equalization cycle has already started (control state in the red oval). Note that the battery sense voltage is higher today than the target voltage yesterday. That is due to the sensed battery voltage. As temperature drops, the voltage required goes up. When I ran an equalization cycle in Fairbanks, the target voltage was above 16 VDC due to the low battery temperature. When it this high, you really should disconnect anything in your RV that may be voltage sensitive. 15.5 VDC is borderline. The only thing running off of the 12 v system are the interior lights and the refrigerator controls.

In spite of the late morning overcast skies, we received enough sun to complete the equalization cycle by 12:20. I checked the water level in the batteries and all the cells were bubbling and only a few needed to be topped up with distilled water. I turned off the converter so the only battery charge will be from the solar charge controller.

The stock converters (built-in battery charger) that are installed in RVs are generally adequate for trickle charging the battery but don’t seem to put out a lot of current in spite of the manufactures claims. If you are charging the batteries using a generator, this results in a lot of run time as we experienced in Quartzsite. I ordered the Progressive Dynamics Intelli-Power 9270 converter with the little remote dongle that could be installed inside. It has four charging modes including a “boost” mode designed to get the battery up to 90% quickly. I wasn’t going to install it in place of the stock converter but in the same compartment as the batteries with a separate power connection. Then the cables could be a short as possible. According to Amazon, this won’t arrive until next week.

Even though the name of this RV park is Needles Marina, there isn’t a marina or boat ramp at this time. When I saw this place yesterday, it didn’t look like there was any work going on. I guess I was wrong. It looks like they are deepening the marina possibly to compensate for low water levels. From the markings on a pier (which is completely out of water) it looks like they are down ten or fifteen feet from high water. I don’t know what “normal” actually is.


  1. When I added what looked like an rj11 plug to my stock allowed (when on shore power or generator) to charge the house battery up to 14.5V which would then eventually settle down to 13.8V.....made the stock converter better but now wondering about moving over to the one you are going to try out.....looking forward to the results....and no I've no installed the shunt yet....too cold to work on the RV lately and I'm not sure I can't get the same info by just using the clamp-on ampmeter whenever I'm curious.

    1. I pulled the converter after you mentioned that. It must be on the newer or more deluxe models. Ours looks like an old power supply from something made in the 60’s. In Quartzsite, when the generator was first started, the converter put out about 16 amps. Within ten minutes it was down to about 4 amps. I’m told that the Progressive Dynamics 9200 converters will start out high like 50 amps and will get the battery to 90% in a couple of hour of generator running instead of all day.