Previous post had the discharge information, this will have the recharge information which is, at least to us, what counts more.
I basically just turned on the charger and let it go, monitoring the amps it was putting in and the amp hours it was accumulating. I also checked the balance of amps between the two sets of batteries, as I did when discharging, and they again were within one amp of each other over the entire test. It all looks pretty much what you might expect, except the time in absorption is much longer than any of the timed charging charts that I have seen would indicate.
Here is a graphing of the test, which ran 12+ hours to complete the charging to the return amp minimum. At the end, it still was not at the minimum amps at 14.5 volts, so I moved it down to their nominal of 14.3 and it came in. Lifeline states the minimum amps of .5%C should be good at all voltages, but I just don't see how that could happen.
The charger stayed at full output for about 100 minutes then transitioned out of bulk to absorption. At about 250 minutes the charging amps really started to go low, but then dropped very slowly from there. The normal bulk plus 2-4 hours absorption would have left the batteries quite a bit short.
I have read a lot places that the deeper the discharge, the more absorption time you need to get full again, even though the bulk takes you to essentially the same SOC point in recharge. This discharge was under 50%, so it would be interesting to see if it stretches out even more at a deep discharge, or by using ending amps, it just makes all the absorption cycles as long as the deep ones would be.
What this does show, is that it is going to be kind of difficult to get totally full in a day of driving, although certainly not impossible. For a discharge of this depth, the engine would probably get you to absorption in about an hour, so you would still need around 11 hours of driving or enough sunlight to generate the under 5 amps it takes to finish the charging, plus of course what the van is using.
You would get very close on almost all days, I think, but could be a few hours short. That is a minimal amount of capacity lost, and is also a better charge than probably 98% of shore chargers do. By getting that close nearly all the time, I would think would make an occasional shore charge very effective.
I think the only times we would be operating in the less than very close to full range would be if you were on solar only, no driving, and the conditions weren't perfect, as the solar would not get to absorption soon enough in the day to have time to do the long hold time.
With this information, if it duplicates in the van, we should be able to very effortlessly be able to stay off grid as much as we want, and still take good care of the batteries.
I think Marco's statement that he thinks most batteries are being undercharged (which I agree with completely) would certainly be backed up by this test.