Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-16-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4
Boiled batteries

Hello, I'm writing to the group in the hopes someone may be able to help me understand what might cause all 8 coach batteries to boil? The coach is an Alpine Apex 2006. It is my parents unit and my father passed late last year. He knew everything about the coach and did everything when they took it out. The coach has been in indoor climate controlled storage but was not hooked to line power until two weeks ago. The engine and coach batteries went dead. We replace the two engine batteries and plugged the coach into line power. When we picked it up today and unplugged the line power all eight coach batteries were literally boiling - I could hear them bubbling.

We're currently replacing all 8 coach batteries with new identical units but I'm concerned if something is set wrong and the coach doesn't have sufficient safeguards the new batteries will also be cooked. Am I worrying unnecessarily and the old batteries boiled simply because they couldn't accept the line charge.

Sorry this is so long but I thought more info might help troubleshoot. Thanks for any insight you can provide to this non-mechanical idiot.
__________________

__________________
mgross is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-16-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
RickO's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Litchfield Park, Arizona
Posts: 10,530
Hi and welcome to the forum. So sorry for your loss.

I'm sure some of our Alpine experts will be along shortly with advice. To me it sounds like your charger is either malfunctioning or is set to accept charging current which is too high. My Dimensions inverter/charger can be set to limit the current to the batteries anywhere from 25 amps to 5 amps. It came from the factory set at 25 amps and boiled all my batteries which had to be replaced under warranty twice before we figured this out.

Best of luck.

Rick
__________________

__________________
Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
RickO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sonora, CA
Posts: 121
I presume your inverter is charging the batteries. I sounds like there is a problem there. Have you measured the battery voltage with the unit plugged in?

I wouldn't replace the batteries till I knew what was going on.
__________________
2001 Alpine Coach 36'
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Towed
GMDavidson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
wa8yxm's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,792
Batteries boil for one of 3 reasons.

1: Shorted cell, if all cells are boiling that is NOT the problem, in a parallel/series if all batteries are boilind it is very likely NOT the problem.

2: Over charge from the converter (Too high a voltage) This is #1 on the hit parade in our configuration.

3: Excessively fast charge, Also not very likely in your configuration.
__________________
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2012, 05:46 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: White City, Oregon
Posts: 240
+1 here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
Hi and welcome to the forum. So sorry for your loss.

I'm sure some of our Alpine experts will be along shortly with advice. To me it sounds like your charger is either malfunctioning or is set to accept charging current which is too high. My Dimensions inverter/charger can be set to limit the current to the batteries anywhere from 25 amps to 5 amps. It came from the factory set at 25 amps and boiled all my batteries which had to be replaced under warranty twice before we figured this out.

Best of luck.

Rick
When my MH has been in 'storrage' for a long time I use an 'external' deep cycle charger rather than the built in one. The first just want's to 'charge,' the second asks what's going on here?

Very low bat's (as mine probably are at the moment) take a 'set' which has to be 'broken' before they really will accept a charge. The deep-marine cycle charger knows this and acts appropriately. Just WATCH the water level in the cells. Need water? Probably .. USE distilled water NOT tap water!!!
__________________
fredaevans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 12:36 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
takepride's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 1,563
mgross:

Since your coach is an Apex, it certainly came with a better inverter/charging system. If set up properly, it will maintain your batteries perfectly. I suspect its long dormancy is the cause of your problem, though the boiling is indicative of overcharging.

You should find the charging setup menu in the inverter's remote panel menu. That panel is likely with other monitors, in a cabinet.

If you cannot find a manual, check online. All the manuals are available there. Let me know if you need help with that.

Without the manual, you can still probably look through the menus on the panel, by trial and error.

First, you need to know what kind of batteries you have or are getting (wet-cell, gel, AGM) set the Battery Type to the right one.

Second, you will need to set the charging to Enable (or On).

Third, you will need to set the parameters for when the charger turns itself off. It will be using three stages of charging, Bulk, Absorb, Float. I have mine to charge through Bulk and Absorb. I allow my solar array to charge the float.

This setting could be the root of your troubles. If the batteries are so fried that they never achieve enough voltage to absorb or float, the charger could continue to apply a charge, boiling them. I know from experience. However, my not charging through the Float kept them from boiling.

It seems you are absolutely going to need new batteries. There are endless threads, here, of AGM versus wet-cell. I have AGMs since they require no maintenance and last longer. If money is an issue right now, get wet-cell. They are much cheaper, but require very regular maintenance. (I've had both.)

After installation, monitor the initial charging. You can watch for the charging amps to drop as the charger goes through the three phases.

Remember your solar array will be charging, too. However, it will not be adequate for your initial charge.

Good luck with all this. Feel free to PM me (Private Message).

Also, welcome to our group. I hope you will be able to truly enjoy your coach and have lots of opportunities to take it out. I am also sorry for your loss. Maybe this great coach will help you feel better connected to his memory.
__________________
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
takepride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 05:56 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: White City, Oregon
Posts: 240
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
When my MH has been in 'storrage' for a long time I use an 'external' deep cycle charger rather than the built in one. The first just want's to 'charge,' the second asks what's going on here?

Very low bat's (as mine probably are at the moment) take a 'set' which has to be 'broken' before they really will accept a charge. The deep-marine cycle charger knows this and acts appropriately. Just WATCH the water level in the cells. Need water? Probably .. USE distilled water NOT tap water!!!
'Bump only.'
__________________
fredaevans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 07:54 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Old Scout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,928
So far, you have gotten a "wealth" of information about the condition of your bats and what you should do next. Dont think there is really enough data here to assess what is happening. First, the Alpine APEX has a very capable 3-stage bat charging system so unless its parameters have been changed, it is probably still functioning correctly as it was before all this started. Second, very low bats will bubble [not boil but release gases] for some time as they are charged. "Boiling" suggests extreme heat in the bats so the temp probe should show the condition and if its been going on for awhile, the sides of the bats may have deformed--ie bloated. Need to know bat probe temperature, charging stage, water levels in all the cells and bat voltages while being charged and at rest. At this point, you probably need an experienced third party to assess the situation first-hand and let you know what they think is going on.
__________________
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
Old Scout is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 08:49 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4
Thank you, that sounds like a very logical and relatively easy thing to check. Much appreciated.
__________________
mgross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 09:29 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4
Thank you all for taking your valuable time to provide all this great input. As Old Scout wrote I've received a wealth of information. All of the suggestions seem very logical and viable. Your suggestions make me feel much more empowered to track down the issue and resolve.

Thank you all!!
__________________
mgross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Summer Rowlett TX (Why?)/Winter Palm Springs CA Two Springs RV Resort http://www.twospringsrv.com/
Posts: 521
Quote:
Originally Posted by takepride View Post
mgross:

Since your coach is an Apex, it certainly came with a better inverter/charging system. If set up properly, it will maintain your batteries perfectly. I suspect its long dormancy is the cause of your problem, though the boiling is indicative of overcharging.

You should find the charging setup menu in the inverter's remote panel menu. That panel is likely with other monitors, in a cabinet.

If you cannot find a manual, check online. All the manuals are available there. Let me know if you need help with that.

Without the manual, you can still probably look through the menus on the panel, by trial and error.

First, you need to know what kind of batteries you have or are getting (wet-cell, gel, AGM) set the Battery Type to the right one.

Second, you will need to set the charging to Enable (or On).

Third, you will need to set the parameters for when the charger turns itself off. It will be using three stages of charging, Bulk, Absorb, Float. I have mine to charge through Bulk and Absorb. I allow my solar array to charge the float.

This setting could be the root of your troubles. If the batteries are so fried that they never achieve enough voltage to absorb or float, the charger could continue to apply a charge, boiling them. I know from experience. However, my not charging through the Float kept them from boiling.

It seems you are absolutely going to need new batteries. There are endless threads, here, of AGM versus wet-cell. I have AGMs since they require no maintenance and last longer. If money is an issue right now, get wet-cell. They are much cheaper, but require very regular maintenance. (I've had both.)

After installation, monitor the initial charging. You can watch for the charging amps to drop as the charger goes through the three phases.

Remember your solar array will be charging, too. However, it will not be adequate for your initial charge.

Good luck with all this. Feel free to PM me (Private Message).

Also, welcome to our group. I hope you will be able to truly enjoy your coach and have lots of opportunities to take it out. I am also sorry for your loss. Maybe this great coach will help you feel better connected to his memory.
If your 2006 is still in the WRV factory configuration, it will not have a inverter remote panel. The inverter is controlled from Silverleaf at the monitor in the dash. My coach is in California and I am in Dallas or I could get you to the correct screen for inverter setup. APEX OWNERS: Help him please.

Inverter bad? Some of us have replaced the Xantrex 2000 watt with a Magnum 2812 which requires a Silverleaf mod/reprogramming unless you install the Magnum remote panel and ignore Silverleaf. Others have put in the new generation Xantrex. Search forum.

I love my AGM batteries and seldom dwell on the arm and a leg it cost me to put them in. So much easier to maintain.................Wipe off the dust ocassionly.
__________________
Basil & Sue Shannon
Former Apex owner (Gary & Renee have it now)
Was Traveling Circus (2 clowns/Sage the Wonder Dog) Tent rotted. Circus folded.
Basil Shannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 03:22 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4
Thank you Basil & Sue,
You were definitely right, I couldn't find an inverter remote panel. But, just as you identified I did find the Silverleaf dash monitor. I can't seem to get the TV SilverLeaf menu to come up, the TV just keeps cycling on and displays some power saving mode and then goes off again.

Using the dash display I was able to set the inverter to on (enabled). What I couldn't find was any menu option to tell the system the new batteries we installed were the standard wet-cell (the cheapest and still unbelievably expensive at $1,500 when all done).

Do you know if with the APEX factory inverter, as one kind individual indicated, needs to be told the battery type (e.g wet-cell, AGM, etc.)? I didn't see anything in the dash menu for that nor did I find any ability to set such on the inverter itself.

Thanks again everyone.
__________________
mgross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 04:15 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
backseat's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10
So, is it "normal" to hear a slight amount of "activity" coming from the batteries when plugged in? Or does that mean we are overcharging? Thank you!
__________________
2002 HR Vacationer 36'
backseat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 06:27 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Summer Rowlett TX (Why?)/Winter Palm Springs CA Two Springs RV Resort http://www.twospringsrv.com/
Posts: 521
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgross View Post
Thank you Basil & Sue,
You were definitely right, I couldn't find an inverter remote panel. But, just as you identified I did find the Silverleaf dash monitor. I can't seem to get the TV SilverLeaf menu to come up, the TV just keeps cycling on and displays some power saving mode and then goes off again.

Using the dash display I was able to set the inverter to on (enabled). What I couldn't find was any menu option to tell the system the new batteries we installed were the standard wet-cell (the cheapest and still unbelievably expensive at $1,500 when all done).

Do you know if with the APEX factory inverter, as one kind individual indicated, needs to be told the battery type (e.g wet-cell, AGM, etc.)? I didn't see anything in the dash menu for that nor did I find any ability to set such on the inverter itself.

Thanks again everyone.
WRV never provided any manual for operation of the Silverleaf. Without the monitor in front of me, I can't remember where to start. I have sent out a message on the APEX owners group for somebody to help you:
ApexOwners : Alpine Apex Owners
Join this group which is not very active but has a lot of history. If all else fails, you could call Silverleaf and they could walk you thru it.

Since you are replaceing existing wet cell batteries, the inverter should already be set that way. Once you get to the correct screen on Silverleaf, all the settings that you would have gotten on a remote panel are there. At one point it will ask you for some kind of password to go deeper into the settings I think. I have that number written on the front of my WRV owners manual in the coach in California. APEX OWNERS: help him please.

Not sure about your problem with the TV. Silverleaf video comes from an interface box behind the TV and connects to one of the inputs on the TV. You have to change the input to see it. Once there, there is info on inverter charging modes, voltages, etc but not settings.
__________________

__________________
Basil & Sue Shannon
Former Apex owner (Gary & Renee have it now)
Was Traveling Circus (2 clowns/Sage the Wonder Dog) Tent rotted. Circus folded.
Basil Shannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
batteries



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.