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Old 10-24-2010, 08:24 AM   #1
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Inverter left on for 2 days - Now house batteries won't charge

I let my in-laws take the coach out for a three week trip. A few days into it they told me that the generator wouldn't start. Just click click like a dead battery.

After some phone consultation, they told me that the inverter light was on. Well, they left the inverter on for quite a long time and drained the house batteries. I have a few questions:

- While connected to AC power, the batteries should have recharged right? They didn't
- What do I need to do to get the batteries to charge up? The batteries are 6 months old.
- The generator wouldn't turn over even if I had them depress the "30 second" switch to bind the chassis and house batteries.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

GT
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
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Remove them and charge each one separately using an external charger. Since they have been drained completely, they may be toast. You may want to take them and have them tested for their ability to hold a charge now. Batteries should NEVER be drained to more than 50% of their full charge state. That would be around 12.0 volts since a fully charged battery should be around 12.6+ volts.

Regarding your on-board charging system, not knowing what you specifically have is a problem. You need to post what you currently have and we can go from there.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:55 AM   #3
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Sounds like maybe since the inverter was left on for that long it drained the batteries dead, I'd put a battery charger on them to bring them back . The AC converter charger in the M/H will take a lot longer to bring them up when they've been sucked down that low. Afterwards use the tha AC cord to maintain them
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:07 AM   #4
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On my first trip I left the fridge on 12 VDC and when I stopped for the night it ran the house battery down and I tried to charge it with my charger and no soap. Took it to Sears and they checked it out which charged it up. To be sure they checked it out on another tester and returned it to me fully charged and it was done free on a Sunday!! No problems since, just a bit wiser.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:53 PM   #5
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GTHill,

Buy a 3 stage smart charger, such as this one at Lowe's:

Shop Stanley 40-Amp Battery Charger at Lowes.com

These 3 stage, high amp, smart chargers make it difficult, if not impossible, to screw up the charging process. Use one to charge all the house batteries at one time - no need to remove and charge them separately.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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If it was me, I would start the coach motor and let it charge the house batt's for at least an hour, then start the generator before you turn engine off. If they still don't charge ? You may have blown a fuse or circuit breaker on the inverter/charger. I've had to reset mine twice. Good luck.

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Old 10-24-2010, 09:42 PM   #7
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GT:

Your inverter ought to charge your batteries just fine. You need to solve that problem. Bypassing it with yet another charger won't fix it. I have experienced the same problem twice, most recently last month.

The main fuse may be blown. It is 300 amps and labeled House Batteries Fuse on the back wall of the battery compartment. If blown, the charger cannot pass energy to the batteries. It can be checked with a multi-meter. Just see if it measures the same voltage on both sides. If no, it's blown.

I would first verify that there is power leaving the inverter. Check with a multimeter. You can check this at the fuse mentioned above. Mine measured 14.3 volts, but less than 12 volts on the battery side of the fuse. Changed fuse, viola!

If there is no power leaving the inverter, crawl back in there and reset it. If that doesn't work, there is a problem with the charger in your inverter, or the charging function has been turned off. You can check that on the control panel (Xantrex and Heart Interface), or other method as appropriate to your inverter/charger.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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It appears that the batteries are now charged. I called my in-laws and they said that it is back up and running. It just took a day or so to charge them up. Thanks for the info. Next time I'll brief them to turn off stuff after they are done with it.

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Old 10-24-2010, 10:12 PM   #9
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This battery charger/conditioner has saved me money.
BatteryMINDer 12 Volt 2-4-8 Amp
.
This link has taught me about how to care for batteries.
Batteries -- and Other Electric Stuff by phred
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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GT:

Show them where the two "off switches" are (front door and rear service panel). They'll kill most of the loads. Also turn off the inverter, unless you have the residential reefer and are using it. If you leave it plugged in, no worries, leave it all on.
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