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Old 01-23-2013, 08:55 AM   #1
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Another battery question

I have a 2008 Fleetwood Terra 33L. It has two 6 volts for the coach and of a course a single 12v for the chassis. I put the battery charger to the chassis battery this past weekend and left it on until the "charged" indicator lit up. I also plugged the shore power cord in so I could vacuum the interior and tend to some other housekeeping chores. When I plugged in the shore power, even before entering the coach to turn off the main battery disconnect (within a matter of a few seconds) I could hear the relay at the front of the engine compartment switching every three to four seconds and also heard an odd hissing sound. I opened the engine access on the front and listened for a few seconds. The hissing was coming from the battery.

I considered that I was hearing this noise from the battery because the converter was charging it although it had a full charge, but I thought it was certainly strange that the noise started so quickly. I went inside and switched the main battery disconnect off and the noise stopped. After tending to most of the indoor chores, I switched the main back on to start the engine so I could run the slides out. Dead. No juice from the chassis battery. I hit the monitor and got no display. Not even "0.0" volts. This despite having a "charged" indication on the battery charger.

Two questions: 1) Is the relay swtiching every three or four seconds when the shore power is plugged in normal? 2) If the chassis battery is completely dead (i.e., I'm off to the store for a new one) would I get a blank screen on the battery monitor or should I at least see something?

Thanks for putting up with another battery question(s).
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:06 AM   #2
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Hissing sound could be the result of a cell run;boiling; dry, due to an internal problem.
A lot of battery chargers won't give a battery condition indication , only a resistance to charge , that will turn on the indicator, so an internal problem can fool the charger to show a full charge.
Pull the battery for a test.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:21 PM   #3
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Yep..at least a shorted cell, maybe more than one. Likley is generating hydrogen gas when it is hissing, very dangerous. If a cell or two have completely shorted internally, it could actually explode! NOT GOOD!
As advised...pull 'er out!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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that's what hydrometers are for. so you can check each cell. any auto parts store has them and they are not expensive. they come with instructions.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Just so I'm clear... you connected an "external" battery charger to your chassis battery and it was reading full charge. While the charger was still connected, you plugged in to shore power and that's when all heck broke loose?

I certainly agree that your battery is probably toast, but I'm having a hard time connecting the dots. Why would connecting to shore power blow a chassis battery?

Rick
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
Just so I'm clear... you connected an "external" battery charger to your chassis battery and it was reading full charge. While the charger was still connected, you plugged in to shore power and that's when all heck broke loose?

I certainly agree that your battery is probably toast, but I'm having a hard time connecting the dots. Why would connecting to shore power blow a chassis battery?

Rick
That is a good question. Another one is; Was the battery charger still connected when the shore power was connected? and; Does the on board charger kick in automatically when shore power is connected? then; Is it OK to connect two chargers to the same battery? If not? then what damage might occur?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:40 AM   #7
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Oh, did the OP confirm the battery is toast by using a separate Multi-meter?
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:25 AM   #8
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That is a good question. Another one is; Was the battery charger still connected when the shore power was connected? and; Does the on board charger kick in automatically when shore power is connected? then; Is it OK to connect two chargers to the same battery? If not? then what damage might occur?
When I first read the OP, connecting two chargers to the same battery at once is what I though we were dealing with... and I still think that the external charger was connected when the rig was plugged in to shore power.

However, he states that the external charger was connected to his chassis battery and not his house batteries. To my knowledge, many rigs have a trickle charger integrated with the inverter to keep the chassis batteries charged while hooked up... but I don't know if it's common at all in gassers and I doubt a trickle charge added to the voltage from an external charger would make all that much difference so quickly.

I don't think the OP has reported that he's verified his battery as toast with an external meter but that should be the next step. With everything "dark" it may well be something else.

Hopefully someone smarter than me will chime in with what would happen if an external charger were hooked up to house batteries while the inverter/charger was trying to charge them. Sure doesn't sound like a good idea.

Rick
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:08 PM   #9
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Just so I'm clear... you connected an "external" battery charger to your chassis battery and it was reading full charge. While the charger was still connected, you plugged in to shore power and that's when all heck broke loose?

I certainly agree that your battery is probably toast, but I'm having a hard time connecting the dots. Why would connecting to shore power blow a chassis battery?

Rick
Sorry I wasn't clearer to begin with. I had the external charger on to charge the chassis battery. I was not plugged into shore power. Once the charger indicated the chassis battery was fully charged, I disconnected the charger from the chassis battery. I did not plug into shore power with the charger still attached.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
When I first read the OP, connecting two chargers to the same battery at once is what I though we were dealing with... and I still think that the external charger was connected when the rig was plugged in to shore power.

However, he states that the external charger was connected to his chassis battery and not his house batteries. To my knowledge, many rigs have a trickle charger integrated with the inverter to keep the chassis batteries charged while hooked up... but I don't know if it's common at all in gassers and I doubt a trickle charge added to the voltage from an external charger would make all that much difference so quickly.

I don't think the OP has reported that he's verified his battery as toast with an external meter but that should be the next step. With everything "dark" it may well be something else.

Hopefully someone smarter than me will chime in with what would happen if an external charger were hooked up to house batteries while the inverter/charger was trying to charge them. Sure doesn't sound like a good idea.

Rick
The chassis battery is toast. Despite a full charge indication from the charger, it showed only 3.6 volts with a multimeter and my hydrometer told me to enjoy my shopping trip.

I think the first question about why I had no juice to start the rig despite the full charge indication was answered by Skip426. I'd still like to know if the frequency of the relay switching (every three to four seconds) is normal. For clarification, my rig has a converter, not inverter. It charges the house batteries when plugged into shore power, but I do not know whether it also charges the chassis battery. I'm guessing it does, and that's why I heard the frequent switching. The converter was bouncing back and forth between chassis and house batteries. Is this a correct guess?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:45 PM   #11
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Sounds like a good place to start. I'm new here and am learning a lot on this forum.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #12
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If the battery was a 2008 or possibly a 2007 it was time for a new battery anyway.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:13 PM   #13
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The chassis battery is toast. Despite a full charge indication from the charger, it showed only 3.6 volts with a multimeter and my hydrometer told me to enjoy my shopping trip.

I think the first question about why I had no juice to start the rig despite the full charge indication was answered by Skip426. I'd still like to know if the frequency of the relay switching (every three to four seconds) is normal. For clarification, my rig has a converter, not inverter. It charges the house batteries when plugged into shore power, but I do not know whether it also charges the chassis battery. I'm guessing it does, and that's why I heard the frequent switching. The converter was bouncing back and forth between chassis and house batteries. Is this a correct guess?
Could be there wasn't enough voltage to 'hold' the relay.
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