Author Topic: Truck battery  (Read 1076 times)

Offline surfivor

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Truck battery
« on: July 01, 2018, 08:58:01 AM »
 So my truck electrical system is connected to my truck camper battery which can also isolate via a switch. I  discovered that it takes a long time to charge the truck camper battery from the car. At any rate I did not charge it but drove an hour to the beach with the batteries connected. When I stop to get gas the truck would not start. I recently bought a separate lithium 12 V battery . I was able to jumpstart my truck using the lithium battery and it only took about three minutes. I then drove 20 minutes from there to the beach and went surfing. When I left the beach I had to jumpstart it again. Then I drove nearly an hour and camp for the night but  in the morning I had to jumpstart it again even though I had disconnected the truck electrical system from the truck camper ever since it wouldn’t start at the gas station

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2018, 09:00:50 AM »
This truck battery is also new which I bought last fall and installed myself. I bought it at AutoZone

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 09:04:27 AM »
I have also been running the AC in the truck while driving because it’s been very hot. I am driving an hour and a half back to my house this morning with the AC on

Offline Carl

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 09:12:54 AM »
  While a battery CAN fail with only a little use-time....I have to suggest that someone screwed up on your wiring . I would NEVER wire a switch into a multi-battery charging system as a BATTERY ISOLATER is automatic and works well for a starting and operating battery charging and insuring that the start battery is not part of the 'running' or camp battery. Some RV's use a switch to combine the house and start batteries when the vehicle is not starting with the start battery alone...leaving this switch "ON" can cause charging problems.   PS...good deal on having the JUMP STARTER along

  I think you have a two (or more) battery system and this is where the battery isolator really works well.

Example:   https://www.amazon.com/Cole-Hersee-48120-Battery-Isolator/dp/B001FQOGFS/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1530457863&sr=8-9&keywords=battery+isolator


The air conditioner has little to do with the charging system as it is more mechanically driven with just a low power clutch depending on electrical...and an hour should have been more than enough for a functioning charge system to charge even two batteries if the system not defective somewhere.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2018, 09:16:28 AM »
  While a battery CAN fail with only a little use-time....I have to suggest that someone screwed up on your wiring . I would NEVER wire a switch into a multi-battery charging system as a BATTERY ISOLATER is automatic and works well for a starting and operating battery charging and insuring that the start battery is not part of the 'running' or camp battery. Some RV's use a switch to combine the house and start batteries when the vehicle is not starting with the start battery alone...leaving this switch "ON" can cause charging problems.   PS...good deal on having the JUMP STARTER along

  I think you have a two (or more) battery system and this is where the battery isolator really works well.

Example:   https://www.amazon.com/Cole-Hersee-48120-Battery-Isolator/dp/B001FQOGFS/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1530457863&sr=8-9&keywords=battery+isolator

It’s not really a switch but a wire that’s plugged in to the camper and I can unplug it

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 09:20:22 AM »
 I have taking the camper out 10 times or so since I bought it Last September and this particular problem just happen this weekend

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2018, 09:23:57 AM »
Actually I did need someone to give me a jumpstart two weeks ago because I left the batteries connected while running things overnight but it was fine after that. This time even after driving for an hour the car battery still seems weak

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2018, 09:25:43 AM »
Perhaps the camper battery is low and was draining the car battery too heavily

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 09:29:22 AM »
So there is an isolated switch inside the camper but I can also disconnect the car from the camper by unplugging the wire

Offline Carl

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2018, 09:35:33 AM »
  A proper,two battery system will charge only ONE battery at a time and this 'switch' is a major concern as most systems need HEAVY WIRES and RELAYS to manually switch a battery into place to charge ....this is why the isolator is so much more handy...run your truck and accurately measure the voltage of EACH BATTERY....please understand that your trucks electrical system and regulator is designed to work with ONE BATTERY AT A TIME and a 'parallel switch can't adequatly do the job that a proper isolator will do so well. Something in your setup is flawed.

Offline Carl

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2018, 09:38:58 AM »
So there is an isolated switch inside the camper but I can also disconnect the car from the camper by unplugging the wire

Unless the wires to and from this switch are like starter cables ,,,,they are too thin and simply switching two batteries parallel will not adequately get 'sensed' by the charging system to properly charge the (either of the batteries) as they must be charged ONE AT A TIME to be properly charged.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2018, 09:43:27 AM »
It was installed by the guy who runs the truck camper RV place. He told me that it will not charge the camper battery very much or very fast and that to get a good charge I need to plug the camper into my house
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 09:50:01 AM by surfivor »

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2018, 09:44:33 AM »
It is a thick wire and that RV place has been in business for more than 20 years

Offline Carl

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2018, 10:15:01 AM »
  He did the best he could and how long a business has been operating has little to do with the quality of the work as 'they' even admitted that it would not properly charge the 'house' battery in the camper....a job that could have been done properly with simple and available parts....you need to decide to stick to the poorly done work or to fix it correctly as 'their' way is not going to get the job done. A simple battery isolator wired in to your existing system will do a far better job of charging BOTH batteries though the 'house' battery ,due to the longer feed wires,will not fully charge in short ,1 hour,runs as wire resistance at 12 volts is costly. I refuse to argue that the job could,and should,have been done better...even they told you this....good luck.

Offline fratermus

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2018, 09:35:36 PM »
...and an hour should have been more than enough for a functioning charge system to charge even two batteries if the system not defective somewhere.

Cycled lead chemistry batteries require hours at Absorption voltage to get fully charged.  Absent $$$ alternator regulator tweaks the alt isn't going to reach Vabsorb, much less hold it for sufficient time.

Quote
A proper,two battery system will charge only ONE battery at a time

/squinting

In a vehicle?  The two states of isolators and continous duty solenoids are:
Alt charges starter battery
and
Alt charges both starter battery and house battery.

Some voltage sensing relays (VSR) will wait until the starter battery is above a given voltage before combining.

I will add that diode-based isolators tend to have a .5 - 1v drop across them, which hamstrings their ability to charge.  Solenoids have no voltage drop but consume about .5A to activate the circuit.   

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2018, 07:11:02 AM »
Perhaps the camper battery is low and was draining the car battery too heavily

How low did you run the batteries down?
Was it below 10 volts?
Kid

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2018, 08:25:29 AM »
 I should probably get more into checking batteries. Is an ohm meter all I need to use ? I bought the battery at autozone last fall but my mechanic says autozone batteries are not necessarily that great and that the battery is no good. They are checking it for other things because I may take the camper to Canada at the end of the summer.

 I had doubted it was a problem with the battery since it is not that old but I was told even new batteries can have problems. I have never had that experience with a new battery previously but maybe some things are cheaper nowadays unless not driving the truck much has stressed the battery ? I tried to start the truck at least once a week (every two weeks minimum when I may have missed a week) during the winter and leave it running for a while. I have been driving the truck a few times since late winter and the battery problem just cropped up now

I am getting synthetic oil put in because they told me even if you don't have high mileage driving synthetic is the best

Offline fratermus

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2018, 08:30:11 AM »
He told me that it will not charge the camper battery very much or very fast and that to get a good charge I need to plug the camper into my house

He's on the right track, though some clarification may be useful. 

After the isolator combines the two batteries into the same circuit, the alternator will the get about 2/3rds of Bulk charging done fairly quickly - probably in the hour that has been discussed earlier.

The problem is that most alternators are regulated down to about 13.8v after running for a few minutes.  Lead-chemistry batteries are properly charged by holding Absorption voltage (Vabs, specified by the battery manufacturer, generally 14.2 - 14.8v) until battery acceptance drops to 1/100th or 1/200th of rated capacity (C).  Example:  acceptance for a 100Ah battery would drop to 0.5A - 1A.  Then float.

13.8v can eventually get a battery to 100% state of charge with the alternator, but unless one is on a cross-country road trip it won't be spinning long enough.  Here are some options, from most common to least common:
  • add a little solar to the mix - even 100w will make a monster difference. The alt will get most of Bulk done, and solar will get the bank to Vabs and hold that voltage for the hours it takes to fully recharge.
  • plug the camper into shore power (like your house, or campsite with hookups).  This will require some kind of 120vac --> 12vdc charger.  A "smart", multistage charger is best, though you can also use an RV-style converter or even a $20 12v adjustable power supply.   If using converter or power supply, the single-voltage charging is usually set to something like 13.8v for batteries that are cycled, or 13.2v for batteries that are just in standby.   Neat thing about the power supply is you can adjust output voltage up/down to meet your needs by adjusting a pot with a small screwdriver
  • trick the alternator into providing more voltage with an aftermarket regulator, or other hacks
  • switch to a $$$ exotic chemistry (LiFePO4, carbon foam AGM) that doesn't mind sitting at partial state of charge


Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2018, 09:24:20 AM »

 Thanks,
 

 Well I just plugged the camper into my house yesterday and left it overnight to charge. I did that once also about 2 months ago. I am not sure how often I should do that as well as how often in the winter. I suppose I can try to figure out with some sort of meter what the camper battery charge is at.



Offline Carl

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2018, 12:10:15 PM »
 A volt meter might tell you the battery voltage.....

Offline surfivor

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2018, 12:25:21 PM »
My mechanic installed a new battery, he said this new one it is twice the size of the one I had in there and should work good for what I am using it for. He says the old battery was defective even though it is less than a year old.

Offline fratermus

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2018, 01:04:36 PM »
If the battery is flooded, you can use a hydrometer on it after resting to take a temp-corrected reading of electrolyte specific gravity.

You can also a voltmeter to assess rough state of charge on a rested battery.  See the "state of charge" link above for tables and caveats.

There are also amp-counting monitors that can, when calibrated, give you a pretty good idea.  The most popular is the $$$ bogart trimetric.

Offline Carl

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2018, 02:53:10 PM »
  Something simple,like a voltmeter would be the best way to keep an eye on things.

Offline Fixit

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2018, 04:46:06 PM »
While the volt meter is useful  load tested is better .I have seen lots of batteries that were sitting on 12.5 volts but had no amps . If problem persists look at the alternator . You might have a diode backfeeding or a regulator sticking .

Offline Carl

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2018, 06:10:36 PM »
While the volt meter is useful  load tested is better .I have seen lots of batteries that were sitting on 12.5 volts but had no amps . If problem persists look at the alternator . You might have a diode backfeeding or a regulator sticking .

You are correct. But the original poster is not understanding electronics and this is why I gave the simple answer

Offline fratermus

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2018, 06:17:46 AM »
Sorry, I missed this earlier:

I am not sure how often I should do that as well as how often in the winter. I suppose I can try to figure out with some sort of meter what the camper battery charge is at.

A smart charger wlll take care of that for you, and will hold a maintenance Float voltage to keep the batteries from self-discharging.  Especially important in the winter. 

If your home charger isn't smart (what model is it by the way?) I'd check the output with a voltmeter.  A common voltage to maintain a battery in Float is something like 13.1v-13.2v.  If it's much higher than that you could put the charger on a timer and run it a couple hours a day. 

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Truck battery
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2018, 08:58:56 AM »
     I don't know if this applies to your situation, but many times when a battery goes "dead", it's because the electrolyte level in the cells is too low. I had a friend who swore up and down that the battery (that left his truck stranded) was a maintenance free type. Naturally it turned out that it was not maintenance free and practically dry because he never checked the electrolyte level. Of course, if your batteries are truely the sealed maintenance free type, then that's not the problem. In extremely hot weather I check my battery levels more often. The fluid level is the first thing I check when confronted with a regular dead battery.