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Old 05-11-2012, 10:19 AM   #71
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When measuring bat voltage make sure you have Scraped an area on the post that provides good contact. Double check to make sure your meter is on volts .
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:21 AM   #72
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Make sure your volt meter is set to "DC voltage" probably around the 20 (volts) mark.

Turn the chassis switch on.

It sounds like you checked the house batteries with the converter on, but not the chassis battery. If you are reading 12.35 volts at the chassis battery with no power to the coach, try checking again now that the coach is plugged in. If the chassis battery is being charged by the converter the voltage should be up or above 13.0 volts now.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #73
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NewRVLady,

Test your 6V batteries separately. Place your voltmeter leads on just one battery at a time. the reason is you could have a bad cell or other problem in one of the bateries that is affectibg the other.

To check the chassis battery, bring it up to full charge, then remove one or both of the battery cables so you don't have anything from the coach draining the battery. If the battery continues to lose voltage at a high rate, it is most likely the battey. If it doesn't then something in the coach is draining the battery. You will need to find out what it is and decide whether to disconnect it when parked or not.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newrvlady View Post
This morning my 12v chassis battery was down to 12.35. It is going down .10 each day. I just plugged it shore power so we shall truly see if it does or does not receive a charge from shore power. It seems that 98's do and 96's do not so maybe i will call fleetwood and ask about the 97. Or I could just see what happens today.

Does anyone know if I should have the main and house battery switch on or off when plugged into shore power. Does it have any impact on the charge?

Update: I can't figure out what is happening when I use my voltimeter to test the voltage on the two 6v. I put the neg. teaster on the neg connection on one(left battery) and the red/pos. on the post. connection on the other battery(right battery) and it just constantly jumps around from 8 -.5 and everything in between. And if I don't put it in the exact right spot it will not even read anything. Also if I switch the testers around so that I am testing the pos. connection from the battery on my left with the neg.batt. connection from the battery on my right it will not ready anything. I just had plugged in my shore power when I did the testing. Maybe it needs to charge for a while.
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First to answer your question: Yes, the main battery switches should be ON when plugged into shore power. I don't think the converter will charge the house batteries if it's switch is off.

As far as the meter goes, it could be as others have mentioned that you need to have it on a 20V DC range, you must have your probes on a clean metal part of the battery, and you must hold the probe firmly.

Just a couple questions...the picture you showed earlier of the battery. There appears to be a lot of corrosion on that cable that popped out of the terminal. Did your cut that portion out? Or replace the cable? Corrosion can cause a high resistance and the charging system won't be able to charge the batteries. I've had to cut off 6" of cable to get back to nice clean copper in the past. (Or had to replace a cable altogether).

The battery terminals...all of them, should be removed and cleaned up. Has that been done? And the batteries should be checked for water level. Topped off with distilled water if necessary.

The voltage for those 2-6V batteries should be measured separately, as mentioned above, to make sure that there isn't a bad cell. You can do that without disconnecting any cables.

You are probably losing voltage from your chassis battery because of the parasitic loads on it. Like the radio memory, the LP & CO detectors, and the like. Just start the engine and run it at 1500 RPM for 15-30 minutes. If your system is working right, after the engine alternator has charged up the chassis battery, it will close a solenoid and charge up your house batteries.

The Genset will charge up the house batteries via the converter, as long as it's working, and we haven't established that yet, as it supplies 120Vac to all your RVs outlets...and the converter is plugged into one of those. So naturally, if you're having charging problems with the converter, make sure it's getting AC.

Then, what most of us do, is have a $20 float charger set up to charge the chassis battery while we're just sitting plugged into shore power. Since you'll be in a field with no AC, that's where your genset comes in, it will supply AC to your float charger too. Running the genset 3-4 hours per day should keep your chassis and house batteries (via the converter) up to acceptable levels. If you have the space and $$$, getting a larger 20A charger (that plugs into AC) would top off your chassis battery quicker, of course.

This all depends on having good batteries. If you can, get them load tested at a battery or auto shop. While they're out for testing, good time to clean and inspect all the battery cables and connectors. Best to take a digital photo of all the connections first. Or have a drawing. Some people mark all the cables too.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:02 PM   #75
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Thanks for that great info. everyone. we cleaned off the cable from the photo with cleaner and a tooth brush. I think it needs to be replaced or cut but we thought we should try this first. I just measured my chassis battery after being plugged in for two hours and it went up .10 so maybe it is getting a slow charge. I will now go check the 6v. individually.
Btw, I am reading the 12v side of life right now and I am wondering what my batteries are? Maybe they are not even 6v batteries. I know the 12 v is a starter battery because it is measured in cold crank amps. It says xtreme power 65 xt maintenance free. by les schwaby made 11/09. The article I am reading says deep clycle are best but am i supposed to have a deep cycle for the chassis battery also and not this starting battery?
The two batteries that are hooked together say Driving force commercial by les schwabb 6c2 pa 01-2379-00. 110 amps. Any ideas on what all this means. I would like to find out if I have golf cart batteries or what. I can call les schwabb if no one knows.
thanks
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:28 PM   #76
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maybe my name should be new"blonde"rvlady!

ok This has got to be the funniest/blondest thing I have ever done. I was trying to test the batteries and could not find out why I could not good a good reading. I did have the voltimeter turned to volts but on each battery there was still a plastic cap on one of the connections. I could not see very well last night so I would place the meter on the neg. connection/metal round thing and then place it on the other battery on the pos. connection but what i realized this morning is that on the right battery there is a plastic cap over the pos. connection. And on the left battery there is a plastic cap over one of the connections also. So everytime i tried to get a reading I would connect to one metal connection and one plastic cap. Ha

Now that I have removed the plastic caps I am reading 6.8 on left 6.7 on right and 13.5ish between.
Is this good? I hope
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:52 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newrvlady View Post
I just measured my chassis battery after being plugged in for two hours and it went up .10 so maybe it is getting a slow charge. I will now go check the 6v. individually.
You stated this morning the chassis battery measured 12.35 volts and now is .10 volts higher, but did you measure voltage with the converter on and the main chassis switch on?
If so the chassis battery may not be charging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newrvlady View Post
Btw, I am reading the 12v side of life right now and I am wondering what my batteries are? Maybe they are not even 6v batteries. I know the 12 v is a starter battery because it is measured in cold crank amps. It says xtreme power 65 xt maintenance free. by les schwaby made 11/09. The article I am reading says deep cycle are best but am i supposed to have a deep cycle for the chassis battery also and not this starting battery?
Your set up sounds fine, you have a starting 12 volt battery for the chassis and 2-6 volt deep cycle batteries wired in parallel (this makes it like one big 12 volt battery) for the house batteries.

Quote:
Now that I have removed the plastic caps I am reading 6.8 on left 6.7 on right and 13.5ish between.
That sounds good and also sounds like you checked them while being charged by the converter. They should also be checked a couple hours after they are fully charged (converter off) to see what the full charge voltage is.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:56 PM   #78
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ok This has got to be the funniest/blondest thing I have ever done. I was trying to test the batteries and could not find out why I could not good a good reading. I did have the voltimeter turned to volts but on each battery there was still a plastic cap on one of the connections. I could not see very well last night so I would place the meter on the neg. connection/metal round thing and then place it on the other battery on the pos. connection but what i realized this morning is that on the right battery there is a plastic cap over the pos. connection. And on the left battery there is a plastic cap over one of the connections also. So everytime i tried to get a reading I would connect to one metal connection and one plastic cap. Ha

Now that I have removed the plastic caps I am reading 6.8 on left 6.7 on right and 13.5ish between.
Is this good? I hope
This is very good...it shows that you are getting a charge from somewhere. I'll assume you're plugged into AC or the genset is running, or even the engine. One of the three could be giving you a charge.

Golf cart batteries are used (two 6 volts wired in series) for the house, because they allow a deep discharge without harm. And if you're boondocking, they give you power most efficiently...compared to a regular 12V battery. Their plates are thicker.

The chassis battery is rated for brute power, Cold Cranking Amps (CCA), to turn over the engine in most weather conditions.

Since you're showing that you're getting a charge on the house batteries, now measure the chassis battery (if you have AC), if it's reading in the 13V range, that means you already have a optional charger for that while you're parked.

Quote:
Your set up sounds fine, you have a starting 12 volt battery for the chassis and 2-6 volt deep cycle batteries wired in parallel (this makes it like one big 12 volt battery) for the house batteries.
This is incorrect...your two 6V batteries would be wired in SERIES, not parallel...to provide 12V total.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:03 PM   #79
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I think I 2- 6v marine batteries because it has an mn on the battery instead of a dc. Yikes what are marine batteries. Should I replace?
Also my rig is plugged in so the measurement from the chassis battery at 12.45 is with it plugged in.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #80
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Don't worry about the 2-6 volt batteries unless they are bad. So far, they sound okay, but need to be checked a couple hours after they are fully charged with the converter off.

It sounds like the chassis battery is not charging. Make sure the battery disconnect switch is turned on and recheck. The chassis battery should be reading about 1 volt higher for it to be charging. ie 12.45 volts when converter is off, then plug in RV (or turn converter on) chassis battery should be reading 13.2 volts to 13.7 volts to be charging.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:30 PM   #81
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I think I 2- 6v marine batteries because it has an mn on the battery instead of a dc. Yikes what are marine batteries. Should I replace?
Also my rig is plugged in so the measurement from the chassis battery at 12.45 is with it plugged in.
Marine batteries are golf cart batteries with a different name attached. Don't replace.

Chassis batteries are seldom provided with a charging system while you're parked and plugged into shore power in older rigs...and your 12.45V reading suggests it does NOT have such a system.

Give it a couple hours, and see if it's voltage increases or not. If it does, you do have a small charger on it. If it decreases, you don't. But like I mentioned, you can install one yourself for $20 - $50.

BTW, since you'll basically be boondocking, and running the genset to recharge your batteries, I'd recommend at least a 10Amp float charger be attached to the chassis battery (because I think you'll need one anyway). The $20 one that Walmart has is only a 2Amp. I think that they have the heavy duty charger tho. Auto parts stores will have these chargers too.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:51 PM   #82
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The two batteries that are hooked together say Driving force commercial by les schwabb 6c2 pa 01-2379-00. 110 amps. Any ideas on what all this means. I would like to find out if I have golf cart batteries or what. I can call les schwabb if no one knows.
I'll bet you $10 that '6c2' really says 'GC2'. GC=Golf Cart
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:57 PM   #83
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Oh GC2 could be a golf cart-cool!! I am off to go recheck all my batteries.
Oh one more question, to turn my converter on do I just flip the main battery switch to on. It has been on all day while it has been charging if that is what that is.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:11 PM   #84
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The chassis battery reads 12.34. So that is where it was this morning. But right after I charged it in it read 12.45. now it is down again. I don't think it is charging. So I need to get a charger. Do those chargers hook on by the battery when you are parked and then you remove when you drive. I can just see me forgetting to unplug that thing...... I do stuff like that a lot. I am considering a solar charger also. I guess $20 seems much cheaper though and right now I am all about cheap. Groceries or solar panels hmmmmm. Groceries!
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