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Old 06-26-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
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Dead Batteries

Hi all! Sue and Mike here enjoying our first season in our '93 National Seabreeze without any manuals! Learning how to use the systems now and doing pretty well! Except now the darn thing won't start up! Been starting fine at least once a week and then dead. The 12-volt system is fine...lights etc. We are plugged into 30 Amp service. Is that not enough for the A/C maybe? Is it drawing on the batteries too? Idk any other thoughts as to why we would drain the batteries plugged into electric service? Thank you!!
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:58 AM   #2
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The obvious would be batteries are ready for the dump. There should be no drain on the batteries from running the 110 volt system. First check would be water level in the batteries. Next test the voltage on full charge then after 8 hours. If you need the batteries now take them out and get them load tested. Hope this helps
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:09 AM   #3
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Thanks! We're charging now. Two of them showed low. Maybe we need to replace them all. I'll try your suggestion. Thanks again! Sue
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:12 AM   #4
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You have two 12V systems. Coach and chassis. The chassis battery starts the motor. The coach batteries are charged when you are plugged in to shore power. On many units the chassis battery is not charged on shore power. If this is the case on your unit starting it every week but not running it long enough to recharge the chassis battery, plus the normal parasitic draw, it would run down in a few weeks. My chassis battery will run down enough to not start the motor in a month if I am not keeping it charged or disconnect it. Do you have an emergency start switch ? Do you know if you have a BIRD (you can search BIRD, lots of info). Don't let your chassis battery discharge too many times. It will ruin it. A trickle charger or Trik-L-Start will keep it charged when on shore power.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:20 AM   #5
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That's alot of info we didn't know! Thanks so much! It makes more sense every post I read!
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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There are 3 parts to the battery system, along with their assoicated fuses.

1: The batteries themselves.. If they are bad, they are bad

2: The converter: The job of the converter is to provide 12 volts for lights, water pump, control power (Water heater, Air Conditioners, Fridge) fans (Fantasitc fan, bathroom vents) and assorted other stuff that eats 12 volts..

AND TO CHARGE THE BATTERIES.

If the fuse is blown, or the breaker shot, or the converter toast.. Well......

Finally we have the battery disconnect.. Some folks turn off the batteries when they plug in, you turn 'em off, the converter can NOT charge them.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:26 AM   #7
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Thats great! We know the converter is good. The crcuit breakers are in place and good. The batteries are...slowly...charging. Anything else we should know? This is great!
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:54 AM   #8
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I assume by no start you are talking the motor. When you are plugged into shore power, you have a converter/charger that converts the 120v to 12v for the coach and also charges the coach batteries.

Your Seabreeze is like my Dolphin. That onboard converter/charger is not connected to the chassis 12v system nor does it keep the chassis battery charged. My chassis battery would go dead in a week, connected to shore or not.

On the other hand, when the motor is running, it does charge the coach batteries. This is to keep them charged between campgrounds.

You may have a "Start / Boost" switch on the dash. What that does it temporarily connects the coach batteries to the chassis battery to start the motor if the chassis battery gets run down. This is handy to have but, it still doesn't eliminate a big problem. Because a "starting" battery will soon be worthless if it discharges too many times or is left very long in a discharged state.

Mfgs eventually put in "BIRD" systems, which creates a bi-directional charging system. So when on shore, the chassis battery gets charged too. If you don't do something soon, you will be replacing the chassis battery often.

As previously mentioned, a Trik-L-Start is a cheap and effective way to eliminate this problem and basically gives you a BIRD system. I did this a few years ago and works perfect....install and forget it and a no-brainer to install.

http://www.bestconverter.com/Ultra-T...art_c_124.html

An option would be disconnect the chassis battery when parked. To make this easier, you could install a manual disconnect switch. However, you still want to fully charge it once a month.

Also, if you have other questions regarding your National Seabreeze, post them in the National RV Owners forum.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
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Ok. Good to know. Thank you!
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:59 AM   #10
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Also google "The 12Volt Side Of Life" Good info on batteries and how the work in a RV.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:09 AM   #11
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I will. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:04 PM   #12
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Can I use a regular battery charger as a trickle charge?
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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And how do I know which is the chassis battery?
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:17 PM   #14
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Absolutely you can use a regular battery charger. You can also get a trickle charger 1.5Amp or 2.0Amp at WM for around $20. If you have a 120V outlet near by (I have one in a compartment next to the battery compartment) it's easy to set it up.

If you don't have a AUX start or EMER(gency) start switch on your dash, you can just use regular jumper cables from your house batteries to the chassis battery. (Make sure you're jumping 12V to 12V since your house batteries are usually going to be 2X 6V batteries wired in series for 12V).

The two 6V batteries will be your house, and the single 12V will be the chassis.

If you have more then 3 batteries take a picture and post it here.
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