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Old 09-29-2017, 01:16 PM   #1
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Exclamation Tiffin battery problems

We have a 2018 Red 33aa, it's about 45 minutes old, but, when it's parked for more than 2 days plugged into 50 amp shore power (we haven't parked it without shore power yet) , the chassis batteries discharge. Also whenever I start it, I get a battery low voltage warning. I can drive all day and then stop for five minutes to register and then get the warning when I start it up. I've been starting it every other day for 10 minutes to keep the batteries charged but that can't go on forever I don't think. Anyway what I am wondering is if the inverter should be turned off when plugged into shore power?
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:33 PM   #2
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How are you determining that the battery is discharged ? Do you need to jump start it or use the boost switch ?


If you are determining it by the low battery light on the dash, that is on because there are intake air heaters on the engine that run for a few minutes after startup. The heaters pull more power then the charging system can supply at idle, so the light comes on. This is normal.


If you do need to jump or boost start it, after sitting a few days, something is wrong and you should get it checked.


Starting the engine and only running it for 10 minutes, is taking more energy out of the batteries then the alternator is putting back. Doing that is not good for the engine either. Anytime you start it, take it for a ride to get it warmed up, but not every two days.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:45 PM   #3
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new rig! I would call Tiffen tech support since it's new. Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:48 PM   #4
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What Twinboat said. The inverter needs to be on when on shore power, as that is what charges the batteries. If it is off, things like the lights, furnace fan and anything else that is 12 volt only is drawing off of the house batteries and slowly draining them.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:04 PM   #5
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Cummins says not to even bother starting the engine unless you can drive it for at least 30 min at highway speeds and only needed monthly, otherwise let it sit and use a battery charger.
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:43 PM   #6
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Tiffin battery problems

To answer your question about the inverter, no, you do not need to turn off the inverter when connected to shore power. The inverter has no connection or path to draw power from the chassis batteries, just the house batteries.

Based on what twinboat said you may not have a problem at all. You could check the chassis battery voltage prior to starting the engine to see if the voltage is low before start.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:41 PM   #7
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Tiffin battery problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
What Twinboat said. The inverter needs to be on when on shore power, as that is what charges the batteries. If it is off, things like the lights, furnace fan and anything else that is 12 volt only is drawing off of the house batteries and slowly draining them.


An inverter does NOT charge the batteries! It also does NOT power the 12 volt accessories in the motor home.

An inverter converts 12 volts DC into 110 volts AC. That's it. That is all it does. It provides the 110 volts AC in the motor home when not connected to shore power or when the generator is not running.

The battery CHARGER is what charges the batteries.

The 12 volt accessories (furnace blower, control circuits, lights, etc.) are powered by the batteries, not the inverter.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by A Traveler View Post
An inverter does NOT charge the batteries! It also does NOT power the 12 volt accessories in the motor home.

An inverter converts 12 volts DC into 110 volts AC. That's it. That is all it does. It provides the 110 volts AC in the motor home when not connected to shore power or when the generator is not running.

The battery CHARGER is what charges the batteries.

The 12 volt accessories (furnace blower, control circuits, lights, etc.) are powered by the batteries, not the inverter.
Yep, I knew that, but was always told that the inverter/charger were as one.

My apologies to the OP for the misinformation. We learn something every day.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
Yep, I knew that, but was always told that the inverter/charger were as one.

My apologies to the OP for the misinformation. We learn something every day.


Crasher-

You are correct in so far as the inverter and charger are typically housed in the same unit or housing, but they can be controlled independently for flexibility. Some of the older and/or less sophisticated inverters do not have the charger built in and they are two separate components. In most applications I'm aware of the charger will only charge the house batteries unless an Echo charger (or similar) is installed to trickle charge the chassis batteries once certain charging levels and conditions have been met on the house batteries.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:52 PM   #10
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Inverter/chargers are in almost every diesel pusher since the turn of the century and before.

One heavy box with three functions.

When AC power is available, it uses some of it to funtion as a battery charger, sending the charging current to the batteries, thru the 2 large battery cables. The rest of the incomming AC goes on to the inverter powered outlets and devices.

When AC power is lost, it takes the battery power, from the same battery cables, and sends it out thru an internal transfer switch, to the inverter powered outlets and devices.

So it's an " Inverter, Battery Charger, Automatic transfer switching device ".

That's a long name, so many shorten it up to Inverter/Charger.

Others, knowing it's in reference to a high end motorhome, just call it an inverter. Many have remote panels and the ability to switch the charger OR the inverter funtion on and off.

Others leave the charger enabled all of the time. Once you plug in or start the generator, the charger starts charging. The inverter can be left off.

When stored without shore power, you want the inverter off. They draw some current in standby and will run down the batteries.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:01 PM   #11
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Think it was pretty well covered but most newer rigs have a battery charging system [eg BIRD] that is designed to charge the chassis bats once house bats have been charged while on shore power, via the inverter/charger. Most rigs have a variety of hidden draws on the chassis bats so they will discharge the bats in a few days without a re-dharging source. If your rig doesn't have a "BIRD" system, you may need to install an after market trickle-charger, but again, would be surprised if your newer rig doesn't have one--perhaps its not working properly.....
PS--if you are camping and are using any of the automotive 12v systems like 12v lights or fans, dash radio, etc, your chassis bats will discharge even faster [without a recharge source].
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:03 PM   #12
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twinboat-

Based on what you're saying the ATS in my 1990 Country Coach Concept would be an integral part of the Xantrex Freedom SW3012 inverter/charger installed. Do you know if this is correct in my case? I had always made the assumption the ATS was a separate component somewhere in my coach but, if so, I don't know where it is. I've been wondering if I should preemptively replace the ATS in my coach due to the age, but maybe I unknowingly replaced it when I installed the Xantrex a couple years ago. The learning never stops with these beasts. Thanks for your input.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:39 PM   #13
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No, the internal transfer switch in the inverter, only transfers some of the shore and inverter power, to inverter powered things.

Your regular, external, automatic transfer switch, transfers the power coming from the shore cord OR the generator, to all of your circuits, including the supply to the inverter/charger..
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
No, the internal transfer switch in the inverter, only transfers some of the shore and inverter power, to inverter powered things.

Your regular, external, automatic transfer switch, transfers the power coming from the shore cord OR the generator, to all of your circuits, including the supply to the inverter/charger..


Ah. Got it. Thanks for the clarification!
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