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Old 03-03-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
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Battery charging and Inverter??

Need you guys to give me your SAGE advice. I have been parked here in Tucson for about 7 weeks. Hooked up to 50amp shore power with my inverter OFF. My 12 volt batteries were flat, so I am charging them back to life.
The way I think? I understand my manual is "leave the inverter OFF when you are conneted to shore power 50amp or are going to run the generator. Or...when dry camping only ON for the inverter.
Sooo. do I need to "float charge" with a sperate flow charger from 110volts to keep my 12volts charged while connected to 50amp shore power.
What the heck is your understanding.
The Goose
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Geese View Post
Need you guys to give me your SAGE advice. I have been parked here in Tucson for about 7 weeks. Hooked up to 50amp shore power with my inverter OFF. My 12 volt batteries were flat, so I am charging them back to life.
The way I think? I understand my manual is "leave the inverter OFF when you are conneted to shore power 50amp or are going to run the generator. Or...when dry camping only ON for the inverter.
Sooo. do I need to "float charge" with a sperate flow charger from 110volts to keep my 12volts charged while connected to 50amp shore power.
What the heck is your understanding.
The Goose
There are a lot of experts on batteries who will be able to help you. I am not an expert on anything. I have assumed that the change-over is automatic in my coach when plugged into shore power, at least the panel tells me it is. No dead batteries...so it must be working. Joe
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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What make is your rig and what make is your inverter?
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:18 PM   #4
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Mr. Dirk. Thanks for you reply. I have a 2005 Monaco Windsor with an Xantrex 2000 watt inverter by Trace RV2012M.
My old 2003 Camelot required a "float charger" to keep the 12vots up.
The Goose
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:24 PM   #5
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Inverters change 12VDC to 120VAC. Operate TV's etc from batteries.

Converters change 120VAC to 12VDC to operate 12V items and usually charge the house batteries.

I'd first look at the physical state of the batteries...

- are connections clean or corroded? Resolve any issues.

- do you have a good ground connection? Check and clean.

- check the water level in every cell. Are any low? Dry?

Lots of good and informative info to search on here for education and troubleshooting.

good luck
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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Hi Larry,
When you turn the inverter (part of the Xantrex?) back on, did the Zantrex start to charge the batteries? I think the 2K Xantrex is a converter, inverter and charger all in one.

Do you have a manual? If not go to http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/299/docserve.aspx for the two stage product. Go to http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/301/docserve.aspx for the three stage product. There are some interesting unique features one needs to know about. Pushing buttons twice, maximum loads, etc.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
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My 12 volt batteries were flat, so I am charging them back to life.
Larry,
It is entirely possible your Windsor is not set up to charge the 12V Chassis batteries from shore power or generator. Just alternator.
Our 07 Dip was not. 07 Camelots are not. It is an easy fix however to add a device to do this. It takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks to wind up with dead chassis batteries if you do not have the device to charge them.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:46 PM   #8
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Mr. Gary. This what my manual says: exactley from the manual.
Use the inveter, when shore power is unavailable and the generator will not be used as the secondary AC power source option, to supply silent AC power to most receptacles, the television and microwave. Use of the inverter will greatly increase house battery consuption. Turn off the inverter when not in use to conserve house battery power.

Sounds to me like when I'm using 50amp shore power...turn the inverter OFF.
I did and my 12volt chassis batteries did not charge. I now have a battery Float charger on the 12volts and all seems well. The indicater for the house batteries states "full".
This has always seemed a confusing issue with inverter and batteries.
I would just like to understand what to do when using shore power 50amp.
The Goose
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:51 PM   #9
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I would just like to understand what to do when using shore power 50amp.
When using shore power, you do not need to worry about the inverter. Power is passed straight through unless one of the breakers on the inverter pops.
When dry camping with no shore power, they recommend turning off the inverter except when needed because all newer electronics use some voltage even when turned off.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Geese View Post
Mr. Gary. This what my manual says: exactley from the manual.
Use the inveter, when shore power is unavailable and the generator will not be used as the secondary AC power source option, to supply silent AC power to most receptacles, the television and microwave. Use of the inverter will greatly increase house battery consuption. Turn off the inverter when not in use to conserve house battery power.

Sounds to me like when I'm using 50amp shore power...turn the inverter OFF.
I did and my 12volt chassis batteries did not charge. I now have a battery Float charger on the 12volts and all seems well. The indicater for the house batteries states "full".
This has always seemed a confusing issue with inverter and batteries.
I would just like to understand what to do when using shore power 50amp.
The Goose
Note what Mandy's Man says, I think he nailed it. There are things that still run off the chassis batteries when you are parked even through they are not being charged. Look in to an Echo Charger or a Trik-L-Start.

Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer

Xantrex Echo-Charge Digital Auxillary Charger

Bob
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:37 PM   #11
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Hi Larry,
The part of the manual quoted in your post is correct when you are not connected to shore power. My question is about when you are connected to shore power, can the inverter be turned off and the batteries still charge. The manual should tell you this. Your inverter works the same as mine. Coach manufacturers wire things differently. I leave my inverter on all the time. No reason for me to do this except I'm lazy.

It is time to get a baseline on when the inverter is on or off when connected to shore power. If you have a meter, take a VDC reading on the batteries with the inverter on. Turn the inverter off for 8 hours or so. Take the same VDC reading. If the batteries are not being charged, the reading should be lower. Then you know you'll need to leave the inverter on to charge your coach batteries.

The terminology we are using is not quite correct. The unit you have is a combined charger/converter/inverter. It is not clear to me that the switch you use to turn off the inverter is turning off just the inverter part of the unit. It might be turning off the entire unit.

Mandy's Man could be correct. Your coach might not charge the coach batteries from shore power.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:15 PM   #12
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Thanks Mr. Gary for you input. I'm not clear on leave it on all the time or only when dry-camping without shore power or generator.
I now have my 12volts on a "float charger".
I hope more folks give us their input.
The Goose
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:26 PM   #13
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Dont know exactly what you have compared to our coach, but ours has two buttons; one for charging batteries and one for inverting batteries to AC. I agree with the manual saying not to run the inverter unless you need short term AC when not plugged up to shore power. Do you have a separate charger switch? Like Nodine said, some of the coaches, like mine, required an aftermarket mod (like the Echo-Charge) to allow the charging part of the inverter/ charger to charge the chassis batteries as well as the coach batteries.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:37 PM   #14
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Larry....Maybe I'm reading your post wrong, but it sounds like you turned off the whole system. Your wall unit, operating your INVERTER, CONVERTER and CHARGER should always be on and charging your batteries, no matter what power you're connected to. The INVERTER has a separate button that turns just the inverter on and off. You should be constantly seeing something that shows your state of charge....something like BULK or FLOAT charge. I ONLY turn off my charger on rare occasion (for a short period of time) if I limited to 20 or 30 amp shore power and need to run a large amperage item like an AC unit.

No matter what you're plugged into, most of your lights are running via the batteries. They draw 12 volts from your batteries and the charger replaces the battery charge. When you're hooked to shore power or the generator, all of your 12 volt systems are still running through the batteries first. They keep the power supply even.

I apologize if I misunderstood your question.
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