RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > National RV 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 10-11-2010, 12:19 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10
Generator/Shore power - voltage indicator question

I have a 2008 Sea Breeze LX, and when I have my generator on, or when I am connected to shore power, my voltage indicators on my panel do not jump up to the high 12's or low 13's like my old Class C did when plugged into to shore/generator power. On our previous Four Winds Class C, the minute I connected to shore power or generator power, my Battery Minder would immediately jump to the high 12.9ish range up to 13.4 range...I assume the voltage difference was due to the type of power I was plugged in to. On my Sea Breeze, after quite a few hours of being plugged in, I do see the battery voltage rise slowly, indicating to me that it is charging the batteries slowly, but it certainly isn't like my old motorhome where I can immediately see the voltage jump. I don't have a Battery Minder unit on my Sea Breeze, only the Xantrex monitor panel and built in battery level monitor on my main control/monitor panel.

It's probably just a difference in the way the two motorhomes are wired, and as my old Battery minder just sensed the higher shore power voltage...not the true battery voltage and maybe my Sea Breeze voltage monitors display the actual battery voltage levels. Just wanted to make sure this was normal. Thanks!
__________________

jbobst 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 10-13-2010, 11:49 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
OneRVer's Avatar
 
Triple E Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 727
Have you check you batteries. One may have a internal short that is pulling your voltage down.
__________________

__________________
1997 Triple E Empress, Freightliner Chassis, CAT 3126 w/ 275 horse's.
MD 3600 Tranny, 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid w/Blue Ox tow bar and Roadmaster Base Plate.
Amsoil Synthetic Oil only for my baby.
OneRVer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2010, 09:59 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 633
Jbobst - Your system is working properly. Unlike the old converters, the new inverter/converter charge the batteries slowly. I found this out a few years ago when my batteries didn't have enought power to extend the steps. I plugged the motohome into shore power and at first the steps still were not getting enough voltage to extend. After an hour or so, they worked OK. In all likelihood you have a three stage inverter system. If you don't have the instruction manual you might want to Google the make and model number of your inverter and you might be able to get some information regarding your system.
__________________
Fred Kennerson
2003 Dolphin L/X 6320
Yucaipa, Ca
kennersonf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 10:40 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10
Thanks for the advice guys. Sorry to take so long to get back to your messages. I'll check the batteries tonight and make sure their voltage is ok. Fred, after some further testing, I think my converter is going bad. Over the weekend I checked with my father in law (the previous owner) and another guy with an RV. My father in law told me that when connected to shore/gen power, the battery display would indicate in the 13volt range, and it no longer does this. Also, I had my motorhome plugged into a 30amp plug for the last 24 hours. I left four lights on, and my battery read out was down to 11.4 volts! For the last few hours, I have turned everything in the RV off, and the battery indicator has slowly gone up by .2 volts. This seems to indicate that it's being charged...but REALLY slowly. On two other RV's that I was comparing to this past weekend, whenever they were plugged into shore/gen power, their converter was outputting over 13 volts (read by my volt meter). Where as my converter was only outputting between 11.9 and 12.1 volts. I'll be looking that replacing my converter it looks like.

Thanks!
jbobst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 11:13 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bluff Dale, TX
Posts: 625
I would check a few more things before starting a converter replacement.
Battery water level.
Connections to battery, clean and tight.
Connect an automotive battery charger to the batteries, see if they will charge up.
__________________
Most RV batteries live a long and useful life, some are murdered.
2000 National Sea Breeze F53
1998 CRV Toad
garym114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 11:29 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
RickO's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Litchfield Park, Arizona
Posts: 10,530
Gary's right to suggest checking all of the obvious things first but it sure does sound like your charger is bitting the dust. However, mine will allow the batteries to drop to about 12.2v before kicking in the bulk mode and charging them back up near 13v when connected to shore power.

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

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
RickO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 03:55 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10
Gary, We just put in the LifeLine AGM batteries last spring...about 8 months old. So, no water to check at this point, and I did look at all the connections...everything looks good and secure. It does eventually charge the batteries, but it seems to take days to get any significant charge. Also, I have been plugged into my 30 amp recepticle at my house for the past day and a half. I left four lights on in the motorhome over night, and that should not have drained my batteries down to 11.4 volts...right? I turned those four lights on around 7:30 last night, and found out I left them on exactly 12 hours later (7:30am this morning), only to find that my battery levels went from 12.3 last night down to 11.4 this morning. And I was plugged in to 30 amp shore power the whole time.
jbobst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 07:32 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
OneRVer's Avatar
 
Triple E Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 727
Quote:
Originally Posted by garym114 View Post
Connect an automotive battery charger to the batteries, see if they will charge up.
This is a very good suggestion. Do one at a time. Either it will or will not work. But you should try this first. I have had a battery go bad in seven months. Only takes one bad battery to fool the whole system.
__________________
1997 Triple E Empress, Freightliner Chassis, CAT 3126 w/ 275 horse's.
MD 3600 Tranny, 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid w/Blue Ox tow bar and Roadmaster Base Plate.
Amsoil Synthetic Oil only for my baby.
OneRVer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2010, 03:22 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10
Did a few more tests... I disconnected the batteries, and my converter output (without a load) was at 13.6 volts. When I reconnected the batteries, the output voltage went back down to 12.5 volts (which is where the batteries tested out at). The batteries are charging with the converter, just very slowly (18 hours for .3 voltage increase...they were at 12.8 volts this morning, compared to 12.5 yesterday). When I had the batteries disconnected, they both read 6.25 volts exactly.

However, if I have even the slightest draw with any electrical devices in my motorhome, the voltage drops slowly over time while plugged into 50 am shore power. When there is shore power, the converter should overcome the battery voltage and power all powered devices regardless of where the battery levels are at. That is not happening. The converter should be outputting in the 13 volt range when plugged into shore power and it is not.
jbobst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2010, 05:57 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
OneRVer's Avatar
 
Triple E Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 727
So if I am understanding you right, without batteries your converter is putting out 13.6, which is great. When you connect your batteries the voltage drops to 12.5, which is bad, correct?

If that is correct, I would point to the battery/batteries. Have you tried charging these batteries with a car charger? I believe this would tell you if it is your batteries or not.

If you get the same results with the battery charger then you know you have a bad battery/batteries.

You could also take your batteries to Sears Auto shop or some other place that sells batteries and have them tested. They will be able to tell you in less then five minutes if they are bad or not.
__________________
1997 Triple E Empress, Freightliner Chassis, CAT 3126 w/ 275 horse's.
MD 3600 Tranny, 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid w/Blue Ox tow bar and Roadmaster Base Plate.
Amsoil Synthetic Oil only for my baby.
OneRVer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2010, 07:42 AM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10
OneRVer, You got it right. The only difference is, the converter output reading on my voltmeter varies when connected to the batteries. It was 12.5 yesterday morning, because the motorhome had been plugged into shore power for the past 2 and a half days. When I first plugged in the motorhome on Sunday afternoon, the batteries (and converter) output was 11.9. It slowly went up each day as the batteries were slowly charging. So the batteries seem to be taking a charge just fine, and as of last night when I finally unplugged the motorhome to take it back to storage, the battery levels were at 12.8. The other odd thing is, is that if I have any sort of light or other device that draws power turned on, it seems to be pulling power from the batteries, rather than the converter. If plugged into 30amp shore power, I should be able to run all my devices (other than my 2nd AC unit) without draining my batteries. But, that is not the case. The only way to get a slow battery charge is to make sure EVERYTHING is turned off. Even one light on will keep the batteries from slowly charging it appears.

I will take the batteries down and have them checked out. They both read out the same voltage (two 6 volts batteries), and seem to eventually take a small charge from the converter, but the converter used to have a high 13 volt read out everytime it was plugged into shore/gen power.
jbobst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2010, 10:44 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
OneRVer's Avatar
 
Triple E Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 727
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbobst View Post
The other odd thing is, is that if I have any sort of light or other device that draws power turned on, it seems to be pulling power from the batteries, rather than the converter. If plugged into 30amp shore power, I should be able to run all my devices (other than my 2nd AC unit) without draining my batteries. But, that is not the case. The only way to get a slow battery charge is to make sure EVERYTHING is turned off. Even one light on will keep the batteries from slowly charging it appears.
Alright, I guess that part was not sinking in. Yes, sounds like a converter problem. Still not a bad idea to have the batteries check, but, this does point to the converter.

When you are on shore power, like you said, you should be able to run all of you lights and charge the batteries. Converters are slow at charging but not that slow.
__________________

__________________
1997 Triple E Empress, Freightliner Chassis, CAT 3126 w/ 275 horse's.
MD 3600 Tranny, 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid w/Blue Ox tow bar and Roadmaster Base Plate.
Amsoil Synthetic Oil only for my baby.
OneRVer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shore Power Voltage / Surge Guard Monitor John Neff Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 8 07-29-2010 08:44 AM
Generator Power Cutting In and Out nosnovi MH-General Discussions & Problems 7 09-29-2008 09:58 PM
50A Power and Amperage Workshop Excel Owner's Forum 16 01-17-2008 05:48 AM
Navistar Suspends Production of Ford Power StrokeŽ Diesel Engines DriVer RV Industry Press 14 03-15-2007 11:31 AM
No Eletrical Power from Power Tech Generator Field Trip Newmar Owner's Forum 5 09-27-2005 05:23 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.