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Old 03-02-2016, 04:55 PM   #1
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2005 Alpine Limited Battery Problems

Ran 2005 Alpine Limited Coach 3 weeks ago. Today no Battery power, will not crank at all. Inverter is on and does not say low battery. Multi Plexer is off. Think it is a fuse but do not know where to start looking. Thanks. rlandrum
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jrlandrum View Post
Ran 2005 Alpine Limited Coach 3 weeks ago. Today no Battery power, will not crank at all. Inverter is on and does not say low battery. Multi Plexer is off. Think it is a fuse but do not know where to start looking. Thanks. rlandrum
jrlandrum
I imagine, (like on many coaches), your inverter/charger is charging the "house batteries only"... and your inverter is only reading the state of charge of your "house batteries".

Methinks it's your "chassis battery" that has no power.

The "chassis battery" starts your engine, and on many motor homes many, is only charged by the alternator when the engine is running....(just like a battery in a car or truck).

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Old 03-02-2016, 06:28 PM   #3
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No battery power after 3 weeks sitting

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Originally Posted by jrlandrum View Post
Ran 2005 Alpine Limited Coach 3 weeks ago. Today no Battery power, will not crank at all. Inverter is on and does not say low battery. Multi Plexer is off. Think it is a fuse but do not know where to start looking. Thanks. rlandrum
To help you look for the problem, need to get some more data and a few terms straightened out. An "inverter" provides 120 v AC from a 12 v DC input, like what you plug into your cigar lighter to provide AC for your kid's old video player that only ran on AC. A "converter" receives AC shore power input and charges the house batteries (usually) only. So first question, during the 3 weeks in question, was your coach hooked up to AC shore power? If yes, and your house batteries' terminal voltage is less than 11.7 volts, it is likely your converter has failed (could be the power input fuse in the DC distribution panel). You should charge both the house and chassis batteries as soon as possible. If the house battery terminal voltage is greater than 12.8 volts, the converter is most likely good; using the panel cross connect switch for starting off the house batteries may permit you start the engine, and charge all batteries. If the engine won't crank and start, recommend starting the GenSet and charge the batteries that way.
I have found that even with the engine and house DC power disconnects open in my 2006 34' Alpine, the loads are great enough that in about 2 weeks, my batteries are down to 11.7 volts, a value you do not want to go below to prevent shortened battery life. I installed a digital voltmeter and three position switch (House, Off, Chassis) in the battery compartment to keep track of battery voltage while not having shore power plugged in. Short of lifting the negative ground on the batteries, my coach does not secure all loads (e.g. Vansco) by opening the disconnects.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:07 PM   #4
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My owners manual must be different in terminology-Page 61 refers to the Inverter Systems, specifically the Xantrex 2000-never refers to this process as a converter or as converting.

However, the process as it functions is not working. My batteries are not on, the multi Plexer is not on and no power is coming from the batteries into the coach. Have checked batteries and they are ok, just not charging as they should.

I have gone a longer period than a month without running my coach and it cranks good and my batteries are not indicated as being low or below 12.7.

Thanks for replying.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:24 PM   #5
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2005 Alpine Limited Battery Problems

Robert, you need to read the voltage on BOTH sets of batteries. You have two12 volt batteries that are in parallel, those run the engine. You also have multiple 6 volt batteries, most likely 6, that are in series/parallel, three sets that make up 12 volts, around 700 amp hours, these are charged by the Xantrex and will display their voltage on the System Control Panel (SCP).

Get a digital volt meter and measure the voltage on the two 12 volt batteries at the positive post on one of the batteries. They run the engine and the Vansco, and are primarily charged by the alternator. I suspect you will see 11 volts or less on these. There are multiple "ghost" loads (things not disconnected by the disconnect switches), they will draw down the batteries very quickly.

Post the voltages on here and we can help you further.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:31 PM   #6
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Thanks Dave. I will do that first thing in the morning.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:43 AM   #7
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Batteries not charging

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Originally Posted by jrlandrum View Post
My owners manual must be different in terminology-Page 61 refers to the Inverter Systems, specifically the Xantrex 2000-never refers to this process as a converter or as converting.

However, the process as it functions is not working. My batteries are not on, the multi Plexer is not on and no power is coming from the batteries into the coach. Have checked batteries and they are ok, just not charging as they should.

I have gone a longer period than a month without running my coach and it cranks good and my batteries are not indicated as being low or below 12.7.

Thanks for replying.
We can try this one more time if you desire help. Please refer to page 6-3 of the Xantrex Operation Guide to learn that Xantrex does refer to an Inverter as "a device that converts DC power to AC power." Xantrex does not call their muti-function (3) unit a "Transfer Switch/Inverter/Converter" but rather a Transfer Switch/Inverter/Charger to avoid the confusion that it induces in some users. The function you are trying to determine operability of is the Charger / Converter. We can address the Inverter function later if you desire. Please advise as originally requested whether you had the coach on shore power or not during the past three weeks. If you did not, I suspect you may have depleted the house batteries without regard to your positioning of the house disconnect switch, and you should attempt to recharge the batteries immediately.
Attached is a pic of your battery configuration for measuring the battery voltages (house and chassis). The (8) house batteries are on the left, the (2) chassis batteries on the right. Note the battery terminal markings for measuring the voltages as suggested by DrDave. When measuring the house batteries, measure across both 6 volt batteries for their series output, in parallel with the other 6 batteries. As stated previously, even if you had the CHASSIS disconnect open, loads not eliminated by opening the disconnect will pull the chassis batteries down within a couple weeks such that the engine will not start, and thus the discussion of the engine starting cross connect on the driver panel to crank the engine (maybe) if the house batteries are okay, or starting the genset, etc.
If you were connected to shore power, you need to check whether the "Charger/Converter" charging function was "Enabled" on the RS2000 control panel, probably in the forward right overhead section of your coach above the House disconnect switch. If battery volts are low, you may not have any indication available, and the batteries will have to be charged before restoring operability. Warning - if batteries were discharged for a significant period, you may find they will not hold a charge and have to be replaced. As previously requested, please advise findings related to breaker/fuse continuity at AC main and Sub panels, and DC panel.
If you choose a more detailed discussion on this subject offline, feel free to contact me thru the ACA member listing.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:26 PM   #8
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2005 Alpine Limited Battery Problems

Robert, when you turn the key to start the engine after your cluster gauges go through their start up get steps, the display will indicates the voltage on the chassis side. Once it is showing the mileage, look on the right side of the display, you will see the voltage to the tenth of a volt, close enough for us. That is what the engine is seeing. Once we have adequate voltage on the engine side we can work through the rest, if any, of your issues.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for all who replied to my problem. Dave wins the solution!!
The cranking batteries, 12 volt, were very low in charge. I put a charger on them last night and ran for 12 hours. Within 15 minutes after hooking up the charger, the multi plexer had lights blinking. This morning the batteries showed a full charge. Cranked my coach and ran for 20 miles or so. Ran generator as well. Thanks for all of your help. Happy RVing in your Alpine. Maybe I will see you at FMCA in Perry.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:37 PM   #10
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Dave, do you know if the Alpine has a trickle charger within the system for the 12 volt batteries? Or is this just charged only when you run your coach?
Thanks Robert
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:46 PM   #11
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Thanks dhschultz39 for the pics of our battery bank. Every bit of info I can get will help me now and later.
Thank You. Robert
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:39 PM   #12
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Smile Chassis batteries not charged except in engine run

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Dave, do you know if the Alpine has a trickle charger within the system for the 12 volt batteries? Or is this just charged only when you run your coach?
Thanks Robert
Find attached a schematic layout of the DC system, including the isolation solenoid (Item 22, "Interconnect solenoid) that is only closed when ignition in "run". Note that the converter (Xantrex charging function) only provides DC power to the house batteries, and then only if being powered by shore power or the genset. The design idea is not to deplete the chassis batteries to the point where you can't start the coach when "dry camping". When dry camping, reco starting the genset every day or two, place the ign switch in auxiliary position, and that will (should) close the isolation solenoid and permit charging both House and Chassis batteries through the Xantrex (charging function) from the genset. Verify this for your coach by observing about 13.8 charging volts on each of the two batteries.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:10 AM   #13
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Robert, the key to your issues is how YOUR coach was built. WRV was famous for making changes on the fly. What type battery disconnect switches do you have, one in the battery compartment and one at the entry stairs, or three in the battery compartment? You will notice that the drawing was produced 8/4/05 and shows the three switch configuration. If you have that set up that drawing should be for you coach. WRV would make a change but use up inventory before implementing it, not necessarily a bad strategy, but it makes it confusing once the mothership is gone and we no longer have access to build records by serial number. My 05 came off the line in Sept 04 and has some 04, 05 and 06 options, so you must look at the coach and see what was installed. You will also notice that the drawing does not show (unless I missed it) the solar panel interface, that applies if you have that option to charge your batteries.

If I were you I would look for a load that was/is left on on the chassis side while you were parked, headlights, wipers, etc. anything connected to the chassis batteries that would draw them down while the coach is just sitting. It could be something like the xenon lights in the cabinet over the dash (they are on the chassis batteries attached to your dash lights). When I store my coach it disconnect both battery banks and once a month (approximately) run both the engine and the generator.

Yes we will be in both Charleston and Perry starting next week and will be glad to talk to some more.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:45 PM   #14
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Multiple ways to charge both sets of batteries

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Thanks dhschultz39 for the pics of our battery bank. Every bit of info I can get will help me now and later.
Thank You. Robert
One additional comment regarding battery charging with the Xantrex charging function - when inspecting my battery water level in preparation for camping coming up, I noted an inconspicuous switch (ON / OFF) (still a whole bunch of learning going with this coach since I've only had it about 8 mo) on the aft wall of the battery compt that may have been installed by WRV or by a previous owner (no records reflect the install.) The switch takes 12 v DC power off a positive terminal of the house batteries, and connects to the "interconnect solenoid" actuating terminal, permitting local closure of the solenoid without regard to position of the ignition switch. The utility of the switch is to permit charging of both the house batteries and chassis batteries with the Xantrex charging function if connected to shore power or with the genset running. You may wish to check if this ability exists on your coach, with the understanding that the switch should be opened when charging of chassis batteries is complete. The cautions noted by DrDave regarding your exact configuration are also very applicable in determining if this capability would suit your needs.
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