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Old 09-13-2016, 08:00 PM   #1
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Electrical help - 12V system

I have something going on with my 12V electrical system. Just started tonight after I realized that I had not had my converter charger plugged in for the past 5 or 6 days and when I went into the MH tonight noting would come on, so realizing what I had done I plugged the converter/charger back in and all came to life. Thought all was well. About an hour later I came back out to the MH and all was off again. I checked all obvious items, breaker at house (I have a 50 amp post with dedicated breaker, all well there, next I check to see that the converter/charger is plugged in, and of course it was, so next I check the breakers in the MH, all good there. Now, stumped I go into the front compartment where some sort of control circuit and wiring bundles are, I take volt meter and check the voltage out on the converter/charger, all good there, next I check voltages at the above mentioned circuit panel and none! I then realize there is a circuit breaker mounted there on the deck between the converter/charger and that circuit board, I see that it is tripped, I reset and all well. But little while later I come back to MH and all dead again, so I go and check this circuit breaker again, and tripped again. I reset and all is back, so I go in and check battery voltages at my information panel in the coach, I get 12.4 for chassis and strange, and differing voltages on the house bank (2 deep cycle 6 volts in series) and first it reads 11.6, then few minutes later 11.4 then 11.8....

Ideas, could I have a bad battery in there overloading the charge circuit? Maybe manifested by running the batteries down by accident. These 2 are only about 2 years old and always on charge when in storage.

I don't know what to check next.

Here is picture of breaker, sorry it posted sideways
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:07 PM   #2
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Wet cells ? Check the water.

What is the rating of the converter ? Is it more then the breaker ?
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:18 PM   #3
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Start by confirming that your HOUSE batteries are good....then check the chassis batteries. Sounds like you have a shorted cell somewhere. Rook
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:31 PM   #4
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You may also be drawing more current than your converter can handle if the house batteries are in the 11.4 VDC range. I'd either grab another charger or keep re setting the breaker a couple of times until the battery voltage came up into the 12 VDC range. At that point you will probably stop having breaker problems.

If you are not measuring the two 6 V batteries directly then do that. If you are reading off a remote panel it sounds like a bad connection or a bad ground.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:38 PM   #5
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Also note that circuit breakers are not "Lifetime" parts. They do fail from age, and much quicker when tripping.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:59 AM   #6
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Update

I guess the outcome was that the converter/charger was being over taxed by combination of me being in the coach running a lot of lights and radio and such, as it must have been in boost mode. When having the issue I decided to shut everything down and leave coach over night, that is when I went in the house to post about the problem. Well, was out there again last night to work on coach and all seemed OK, I turned on lights radio, and a/c and worked out there for several hours, no issues. Went over to the control panel and had 13.2 volts at my house battery bank and 13.2 on chassis. I meter tested both the 6V batteries at rest and was getting 6 plus on them both, water level in both was normal, and all seems alright. I guess overload was issue. I will try not to run them down so much in future.

This taught me an interesting lesson, even with shore power if I have dead batteries I will not be able to use all systems in coach. I could use 120V lighting and appliances but can not run air with 12V down, guess the thermostats are tied to 12V system, nor could I run the water pump or furnace. HMMM... Makes me wonder if I could isolate the converter/charger so I could just use it as a power source and not charging the batteries. Thoughts here?

As an aside here, I have noticed that I add very little water to these house batteries, maybe few ounces in past year or so. I assume this is due to the Wizard on the Progressive Dynamics charger, usually is in "storage" mode when I go to get from storage. Guess it is doing it's job.

Thanks for assistance here.
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:10 AM   #7
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IMHO You do not want to isolate your batteries from the loads. You do want to learn better power management or install a bigger converter. Your converter and battery package is usually matched more or less to the normal load of the unit. With two house batteries that is not huge. A lot of current will be going to charge the batteries, some is needed for the controls, some for the lights. Maybe turn off the lights you are not using or get a 120 VAC radio? Or just turn off what you don't need until the battery charges above 80% or so when bulk charging current drops off.

You are correct that the A/C, furnace and refrigerator all probably need 12 VDC for their controls. That seems to be normal.
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