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  #1  
Old 07-10-2012
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Living aboard and battery charging

We are thinking about living aboard and I have a couple questions about the electrical system.
We have a 34 Oday
3 Interstate lead acid deep cycle batts...all in great shape...about 3 yrs old...2 for house and 1 for engine.
Guest 3 stage / 10 amp charger (model 2610W)...do not have a manual for this model number.
As it is now, when I get on board, I check that only the green LED on the charger is on and I turn the charger off while on board.
If living aboard is it OK to leave this type of charger on while running all of the 12 volt items? My spidey senses tell me it is not good to do this.
My biggest concern is running the Adler/Barbour Cold Machine refrigeration all of the time.
How do the live-aboard do it?
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Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Living aboard and battery charging

Manual for the 2610 downloadable from website. Not sure this is your model but: http://www.marinco.com/files/support...nuals/2610.pdf


I run the charger whether or not I'm drawing from the 12 volt circuits. Not sure I'd do this with a high amperage load (like winch or windlass) but for normal loads (lights, refrig) I think it's fine. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 07-10-2012
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It's okay to leave the charger on as it will only charge to it's abilities. You been to check the batteries' charge state though to make sure the charger's not being overworked.
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Re: Living aboard and battery charging

mssmith...thanks for the download. I have seen that manual and it is for model 2610A which I assume is the newer version of my 2610W and is the only thing I have to go by.
Quoting that manual "Make sure all accessories on the product you are charging are OFF"
It is this statement that concerns me.
As Sea Hunter mentioned, I do not want to overwork the charger. So I was wondering what other live-aboards do about running 12v systems continually at the dock.... with the highest draw being the refer....then throwing lights and stereo in the evenings.
Should I look at a higher amp charger or are there chargers made for this type of work....charging while drawing at the same time?
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Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Living aboard and battery charging

I wouldn't be worried about it. As long as your average load is below 10 amps, the charger should keep up. Not clear to me even what that statement you quote means.
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Re: Living aboard and battery charging

Don't know what your loads are, but the manual says it's a 10 amp (5 amps into 2 batteries) charger which is pretty light, certainly if you're using power at the same time as charging. Note that the manual says you'll get a warning light if you're drawing more power than the charger can replace. But I don't think it will cause a problem other than that.
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Re: Living aboard and battery charging

Jim, I am not sure what that statement in the manual means either...it seems a bit misleading and is what concerned me. It is under the heading of "Preparing to Charge Precautions" so maybe it means while making all of the connections...make sure all accessories on the product you are charging are OFF.
Anyhow, the bottom line as I see it: as long as there is a green LED only or red/green LED only, I am OK and drawing less than 10a.
Thanks for the feedback folks.
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Old 07-11-2012
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Re: Living aboard and battery charging

Your fridge draws 5 A when running and usually does so half of the time. If your charger only can put in 5A on one of your banks and you're running off the house bank, you should be OK. You really should do an energy budget and know what's going on. If you're gonna start living aboard, you HAVE to know this stuff. You could start here, or buy some books. Electrical Systems 101
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Re: Living aboard and battery charging

I have a couple next to me living on the hook for the summer in training to snowbird in the fall with TWO 145 watt panels and they have run a fridge all season so far so good
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Re: Living aboard and battery charging

Thanks for the link Stu.
The refer will be the only 12v item that will run continuously. It is my thinking that I will leave the batt selector in the "both" position always and the batt charger on while at the dock. That would leave 5a to keep the batts up when not using any other 12v items.
She wants a lot of lighting at night so I am going to install multiple ac powered lamps with soft light CFL bulbs for the cabin and vberth.
We will be running a 16000btu ac unit, 19" flat screen, several lamps, and a laptop on the 30amp ac circuit at any given time. I do not know the exact amp pull for each item yet but I will be learning very soon. I think these items all together should be safely under 20amps. Someone please let me know if my thinking is off track.
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