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Old 05-30-2015, 09:53 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2015
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Damon Challenger 372W House Batteries Don't Charge

Yes, I am a total newbie here and I am sorry for dropping a question like this on the website as my first activity as an official member but I am at my wits end.

Here goes..........

My wife and I bought a used 2005 Damon Challenger 372W from the original owner last fall. Being from Wisconsin we stored it all winter in cold storage with no issues. We brought it home, cleaned it up and plugged it in. Came home one day after work and the two house batteries had burst making a huge mess on the driveway. Given that it was plugged in and the electrical systems worked just fine, we kept the batteries in the rig for our first camping trip where we had 50-amp power. Again, no issues and everything was fine.

Memorial Day weekend we had a campsite where there would be no power so I decided to buy two new batteries. I removed the old ones, installed the new ones and connected them the same way the old ones were connected. We made the trek to northern Wisconsin and I parked the RV, leveled it and went to slide out the closet slide-out in the bedroom. Before I did that though, I turned on the interior lights and man, were they bright. I figured it was just the new batteries I didn't think much of it. I hit the switch to move the slide-out and it moved incredibly fast. Again, I was thinking it was the new batteries. I went to move the second slide-out in the bedroom and nothing happened. I tried the main slide-out and nothing happened. I tried to retract the slide out I had moved and nothing happened. That's when I realized I may have screwed something up.

After a quick check I found that the original batteries were 6-volt and the new ones I bought were 12-volts. Given that I connected the new ones the same way as the old ones, I was feeding the RV 24-volts!! I immediately disconnected one battery and given that the lights were dimmer, everything was fine including the furnace which kicked on several times.

Woke up Saturday with a low battery which would be expected I guess. Needed to use the chassis battery to help start the generator but the generator did start. After running for several hours, I used a volt meter to check the house battery and it hadn't charged at all. Tried to make a few calls to various RV places, but given that it was Saturday, everybody was closed. So, rather than pack up and leave, I connected the second battery (after disconnecting the first one) and the second night was fine.

Woke up Sunday AM and managed to scour this website for potential answers and found that when driving the down the road, the alternator should charge the house batteries, so we went on a joy ride and probably spend about 2-hours with the engine on. I check the battery again with the volt meter and found the battery hadn't been charged. We made due on the third night, manually retracted the one slide out that was open, packed up and came home.

The first thing I did was to plug in the RV when we got home and after about 6-hours of charging, found that the house batteries hadn't charged. First thing Tuesday, I called the Thor Motorcoach 800 number and explained the issue. The gentleman on the line couldn't have been nicer. He told me to look for circuit breaker / auto fuse on either battery cable that connects to the positive side of the house battery to which I found none.

I've torn the RV apart and have found every fuse panel and circuit breaker panel in the thing and all fuses are good and none of the breakers were tripped.

So, with that being said, I am at my wits end. My house batteries don't charge and the slid-outs are inoperable. I've made an appointment at the local RV service center but they are booked until 6/15 and I'd prefer to not have to wait until then to use it again.

Please help!!


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Old 05-30-2015, 10:12 AM   #2
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Hi Lee! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Sorry I can't help with your questions!

Congrats on the new rig! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:05 AM   #3
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First thing to do is un plug your converter from the house and measure the output voltage. 2005 should have a Progressive Dynamics converter that does 3 stage charging. Float charge should be 12.3, charge should be 13.2 and boost charge should be like 13.6. If you don't get the proper voltages, it could be the converter (if voltages are not quite right I am sure someone will correct me). Next you would check the transfer switch to ensure correct flow through. Look for bad connections, poor grounds, possible shorts. Check all fuses and circuit breakers. I would suspect a bad transfer switch or connection since it didn't charge on 50amp plug. Generator or alternator.

Good Luck
2006 Damon Daybreak 3272 w/F-53 @ V10
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:18 AM   #4
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The 24 volts, probably blew the converter breaker or fuse and what ever protection, the engine charging system has. Find the converter and look for fuses. If none follow the heavy wires comming from it. They go to the battery, there may be a fuse there.

When you unhooked 1 battery, did you put all of the + wires on the + post of the battery you are using and all the - wires on the - post? You could have left something off.

Get them all on 1 battery, then get 2 battery cable jumper wires, from AutoZone and hook them + to +, and - to -. Actually, you should have a jumper, and just need 1 more.

Good luck
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:51 AM   #5
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Welcome, glad to meet you!
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:06 AM   #6
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Good luck with your outcome.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:12 AM   #7
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I have the slide out issue fixed! It was a bad relay and for the heck of it, I replaced the 30-amp auto reset breaker that fed the relay.

When it comes to the batteries not charging, I am thinking it's a relay in the BCC or the auto transfer switch, which frankly is kind of overwhelming with the mass is wires and termination bars, etc.

Luckily, the local O'Reilly Autoparts branch has a gentleman working there who used to work on motor homes!! We shall see what happens........
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:40 PM   #8
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Hey RedApple. When you say measure the voltage of the converter, are you talking at the positive and negative connections? If so, I get nothing whether the unit is plugged in or not. Am I doing something wrong??
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:17 PM   #9
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Hi Buddy...

Here is how you test it...
1. Disconnect wires from the batteries and the output of the converter.
2 attach volt meter to red + and black -.

Apply AC power to the line cord of the converter.

3. Is output between 13.0 and 14.0 volts

4. If above 14 v unit needs repair.

5. If not above 14 v use AC volt meter to measure input voltage to converter.

6. If voltage is between 105 and 130 v AC. Check output fuse. Fuses blow when polarity is reversed. Confirm proper wiring to battery(s)

If the converter is hot, it is possible it shuts down due to overheating. Check proper airflow to the converter.
2006 Damon Daybreak 3272 w/F-53 @ V10
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:14 AM   #10
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Just thought I'd let everybody know what happened.

When it came to the house batteries not charging, I gave up and brought it to the local RV dealer and their service techs fixed it. I picked it up on a Saturday so I wasn't able to talk to the guy who did the work. The paperwork said blown fuses which is slightly odd to me because I checked every fuse I could lay my hands on. Unless of course, there is a fuse box somewhere that I couldn't find. In addition to them fixing the charging issue, I also had them replace a headlight, a tail light and one of the brackets for the awning. Total tab was $325.00. I wasn't disappointed.

When it comes to the slide-outs not working, as noted it was bad relay and fuse but that only fixed 2 of the 3 slide-outs. For the third slide-out there was a relay on the slide-out control board that got fried as well. Of course the circuit board I needed was discontinued a few years back but I was able to find a company who was able to fix it. I got lucky because the relay on the circuit board isn't made any more but the guys I sent it to happened to have the relay I needed left over from a previous job. Total cost was $99.00 plus freight and now all three slide-outs finally work.

If anybody needs to know, the company that fixed the control board is M&M RV Electronics. 205 North Main Street. Ohio City, Ohio. 45874. Great to deal with and would use them again in a heartbeat.

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batteries, damon, house batteries

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