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Old 02-29-2016, 08:21 PM   #1
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2014 phaeton charging problem

I have a 2014 phaeton 40'. The house batteries stopped charging. I checked all 6 batteries and 3 were bad. Installed 6 new batteries and had my trickle charger checked which was fine. The problem I am having is it will say charging 12.1 volt then it goes to bulk charging once it climbs to 12.4 volts the transfer switch kicks and the charging process starts all over. I did let the motorhome run for about 40 minutes but the transfer switch keeps kicking and starting the charging process over. If I start the generator it will charge like it should. Problem is only when hooked to shore power. I think this was part of the reason my batteries went dead. Not sure how long it's been like this been parked for about 2 months. When parked inside a garage at my house it is plugged to 50amp power. What made me notice was I walked in and heard the transfer switch kicking in and out and that's when I noticed it wouldn't charge. Any idea?
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:17 PM   #2
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A couple of terms I don't understand. When you talk about a trickle charger, is this the converter(inverter/charger that keeps batteries charged and provides 12v power for house systems? Also, a transfer switch changes 120 v power from shore cord to generator.

The voltages you report are much too low for charging. A 12 v battery is fully charged at 12.7 v, it takes about 13.4 v to overcome internal resistance and start charging, most charging goes at ~14.4 v to charge.(absorption charge) As the battery comes up to about +95% charge, the charger will go to a float charging mode, providing about 13.4 v to finish the charging to 100%.

You need to clean and inspect all connections, including ground connections. Also check and see if your converter/charger has a temperature probe on the batteries. If that is unhooked or broken it will cause the charger not to work properly.

having to replace 3 batteries in a 2 year old RV points to charging issues. If you can't figure it out, it would be worth it to have it checked out to be sure you don't kill more batteries!
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:54 AM   #3
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That is correct on the charger it is working as it should. I understand the voltage. This is part of the issue when hooked to shore power and starts charging the transfer switch kicks before it gets to 13 volts. When unplugged and running the generator it gets to the 14 volt plus. Batteries going bad was my fault for not checking the water in them.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:38 AM   #4
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If the transfer switch is kicking out too early, then that seems to indicate a problem at the switch. It sounds like your converter is working normally on generator, so it's not a problem there.

I know you said you are hooked to 50 amp, but have you actually looked at the voltage on the 120v legs when it's charging? The transfer switch kicking out early seems to indicate low voltage or a defective switch. The default on the transfer switch is the generator side. When hooked to shore power the relay in the switch has to hold it in contact. Do you have a surge protector on the shore line? If so, then that could be kicking out.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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I still think we have a terminology problem. An automatic transfer switch) switches 120 v power between shore cord and generator. It should not be influenced by a charger putting out ~13 volts. If the transfer switch was faulty and switched off power, it should also switch when any moderate amp draw device was turned on.

If you're talking about your converter/charger switching voltages, that could be a bad temperature sensor, circuit breaker, connection, etc. Read the manual on your charger and call the manufacturer, perhaps they can identify the component failing.
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:19 PM   #6
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Do you have any kind of surge management or EMS device on your coach? (SurgeGuard or Progressive Industries). If you have faulty incomming shore power, these will shut down the current to your transfer switch.

Is your shore power connection on a GFI protected circuit? If so, this can raise havoc with motorhome electronics as well and cause the power to shut down.

The problem sounds like a bad transfer switch or a combination with a surge protector and bad transfer switch. The transfer switch default is generator and if that is working, then the problem is on the shore power side of the transfer switch. The easiest thing to do is replace it.

You can call Tiffin Service and discuss with them and if they think it needs replacing, then they can switch you to Parts so you can order it.

Now's a good time to join the Tiffin RV Network and get some additional opinions from Tiffin owners.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
Do you have any kind of surge management or EMS device on your coach? (SurgeGuard or Progressive Industries). If you have faulty incomming shore power, these will shut down the current to your transfer switch.

Is your shore power connection on a GFI protected circuit? If so, this can raise havoc with motorhome electronics as well and cause the power to shut down.

The problem sounds like a bad transfer switch or a combination with a surge protector and bad transfer switch. The transfer switch default is generator and if that is working, then the problem is on the shore power side of the transfer switch. The easiest thing to do is replace it.

You can call Tiffin Service and discuss with them and if they think it needs replacing, then they can switch you to Parts so you can order it.

Now's a good time to join the Tiffin RV Network and get some additional opinions from Tiffin owners.
I agree with luvlabs. Check your shore power first. If you are in a campground, the shore power could be the culprit. Take your multi-meter to the post and see if you have 240 volts across both hot lines, 120 volts on each hot line. I have been to many campgrounds where the electric service was a problem.
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