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Old 03-02-2008, 06:42 PM   #15
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Buying two new batteries tomorrow EMike. Figure your/my odds are 90-10 batteries (wait it's my money). Will let you know.

Thanks to all for the suggestions.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:56 PM   #16
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Jerry:

Most battery places can hook up a tester to let them know if the batteries are bad or just low. I had Sears run the tests at no charge (no pun intended). BTW, they also have a new family of AGMs that are configured (inside) even better than the Lifelines. Cheaper, too. Good warranty.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:03 PM   #17
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In regard to Nick and Mike's question about battery boost switch working with dead chassis batteries, this is how it works on my '07. See photo at start of this topic, 1 page back, of my battery compartment. There 3 red switches on left of compartment wall, they are for house, "jump both" and chassis. They are shown in the normal run position. If the chassis batteries are dead, jump the 2 banks with the center "jump" switch long enough to give the chassis batteries a small charge. Then turn off the "jump" switch, it can't handle the load from the starter, and then use the boost switch on the dash to start the engine.

On earlier years if they don't have the switches like mine, one could take one battery jumper cable to connect the positive posts on both banks together to power the the boost switch and then use it to start the engine. (The solenoid can handle the starter current better than the cable.)

Dale
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:53 PM   #18
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When I installed the new White-Rogers solenoid I noted that there were no markings on any of the terminals. Is it possible to install the unit incorrectly? I assumed that it didn't matter which leads went to which posts. Stupid question but that is why us dummies need this forum.

Still waiting for the batteries to come in to try the unit out.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:25 PM   #19
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Jerry,

None of the terminals are polarity sensitive. My only concern would be if there were more than one wire on each of the 2 small terminals. If so then those 2 wires have to be kept together on the same post.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:11 PM   #20
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Finally received and installed new chassis batteries this afternoon. All lights lit up and the coach fired easily. Thanks to all for your suggestions and help.

As a side note, as I was connecting the ground cables to the batteries (the positive side was still unhooked)there was a slight arc from the cable to the battery post. How is this possible without the positive hooked up? Also, is it better to always turn off the chassis battery switch even if you are plugged in?
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:43 AM   #21
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Was the positive cable unhooked or was the switch just turned off? Just turing off the switch (or switches) doesn't disconnect all loads. The big load on the house side is the Inverter-charger which is hard wired to the positive side of the batteries. You can see where, if you just follow the fat red wires in the battery compartment. This concerned me so I installed a super heavy duty battery disconect switch on the ground side of both batteries so that I could be sure everything was disconnected in the event of an emergency or while I might be working on the electrical system.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:36 AM   #22
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For my $0.02, I would have a load test on all of the batteries because you may have one dead cell. Just checking the voltage will give you a good reading but the battery cannot hold the voltage if it is bad and under load.
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:19 PM   #23
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The chassis batteries were completely disconnected. The only connection was as I was attaching the negative terminal. The positive terminals were not yet connected to the batteries. Why would I get a small arc from the negative terminal to the negative lead?

All has been fine with the new batteries and new solenoid
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:00 PM   #24
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Five months after replacing the chassis batteries and the solenoid in the battery compartment I am back to having the chassis batteries drain while parked with the coach plugged into shore power in my back yard. The house batteries are charging fine but the chassis batteries are not being charged. The #19 light on the vansco unit is sometimes lit and sometimes not. When the light is not on the only way to light it up is to start the coach. Doesn't the vansco unit control which set of batteries is being charged by controlling the solenoid? If so, which set of batteries is being charged when the coach is plugged to shore power and the #19 light is lit and how can you tell if the unit switches to the chassis batteries when the house group is charged??
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:32 PM   #25
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My understanding is that the house batteries are always being charged, regardless of the Vansco unit. When the Vansco senses a pre-set voltage level in the house batteries, it activiates the solenoid which connects the chassis batteries in parallel with the house batteries. If the voltage drops across the house batteries below the pre-set level, then the Vansco shuts off the solenoid.

When connected to shore power, the solenoid should feel warm to the touch if it is operating.

I am guessing that the pre-set level is around 12.8-13.2 volts. If you measure a voltage across the house batteries that is less than that, then the solenoid will not be active.

What voltage do you see across the house batteries with the inverter/charger plugged in?

If the voltage is good then maybe the Vansco is faulty. You can always jumper 12v to the solenoid to keep the chassis batts charged in an emergency.
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:32 PM   #26
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The solenoid is warm. The voltage across the house batteries is in excess of 13.3 volts. Shouldn't the vansco unit switch to the chassis batteries? If not why not?
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:28 AM   #27
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If the solenoid is warm, then the Vansco is powering it. You should have continuity between the positive side of the house batteries and the positive side of the chassis batteries.

Do you have an ohm meter? If so, check the resistance between the positive side of both sets of batteries. Also, what is the voltage across the chassis batts?
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:37 AM   #28
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Jerry,

While it's "possible" that you've got some wiring problem that may need to be fixed or changed, there is another "solution" that you might want to consider.

I personally don't believe in using the 100 amp charger that's built into the inverter to do the job that can be done by a smaller charger. For many years, I've been using a 1.25 amp (one and a quarter amp) Battery Tender charger on my Harley battery. And that battery has lasted longer than any other Harley battery I've eveer had (from before I bought the Battery Tender charger).

When we had a Safari Trek, I started using the Battery Tender charger instead of the one built into the inverter. And I had excellent luck with that setup.

With the Alpine, I've got a Battery Tender 1.25 amp charger hooked to the Chassis batteries and another brand of 1.25 amp smart charger hooked to the House batteries. When I get home and plug into my pedestal, the inverter charger automatically turns on (which it also does after a power failure). I manually turn it off and plug in both the 1.25 amp chargers. I also turn off both battery master switches.

I can't help but think that I'm treating my batteries more gently with 1.25 amps than I was when using 100 amps. The batteries are always fully charged in this manner.

You can check out http://batterytender.com for more information.

Good Luck!
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