The twist being that I have solved yet another mystery. Everything is FINE. Perfect even!!!
For days now, I’ve been experiencing gigantic voltage drops in the evening. Tonight, with everything off, I was at about 12.5V. Turn on the fridge and I dropped to 11.9V. Turn on an LED light? Forget it. The voltage drop wasn’t just in the rig, I was experiencing it right at the battery. Something was very, very wrong.
So I haven’t been using any power in the evening except an LED light for just a few minutes at bedtime because I was sure my electrical system or batteries or both were on the verge of going KABOOM.
I didn’t want to put any of this on the blog because I feel that many of you have given me way too many braincells already. I had all the information any outsider could give me. It was time to do the hard work myself and until I either solved this issue or came up with a specific gravity number for my batteries, I was staying mum.
Just before dark this evening, I took some voltage readings. Could my solar array monitor be wrong? It was wildly fluctuating.
I headed outside in the waning light to take a gander at my battery bank. Or, rather, I felt around with my hands. My connections were all tight. I pulled out my flashlight and… wait a minute. Was that corrosion on the positive terminal?
And that was the missing variable, folks. We’ve all been looking at my battery issues as a textbook situation rather than in context. Where I am, context is important. I am by the ocean. I’m seeing rust form on all my exposed metal right now. So it’s obvious in hindsight that some of that salty air would end up on my batteries.
So I recleaned that terminal and then coated all my connections yet again in dielectric gel.
Now, voltage with everything off? 12.55. Fridge on? 12.48. One LED light on? 12.44. Two LED lights on? 12.4. All of the above plus the incandescent stove hood light? 12.38.
The icing on the cake is that my battery (still flashing 0.00V, mind you) is perfectly calibrated. I know I’ll have a full charge by lunch tomorrow and then I can start to plan a strategy for the couple of grey days ahead.
L has the tools and knowledge to remove my motorhome starting battery and test (and repair or replace) the solenoid, so I will try to wrangle him tomorrow afternoon to do that, and early enough to run into town to the auto parts store if we need to.
It’s been a really great day on the beach. Now, there’s a strawberry daiquiri in the freezer with my name on it!Share on Facebook