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Old 04-07-2013, 10:22 AM   #15
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check if you have the inverter on. i had a similar experience in the past - after full charging up, house batteries were dead a week later. at the end i found out it was inverter drawing too much power. now when i leave the coach in storage, i turn the inverter off, it's all good.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:18 PM   #16
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I had the batteries tested they were both no good. They were the Delco Marine also maintenance free that were in the motorhome when I bought it, they said the batteries had just been put in. I want to thank everyone for the information it was very helpful.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:45 PM   #17
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Your converter should be a three stage charger. The first stage will be the Bulk Charge State normally used when the batteries are very low followed by the Absorption Charge State and finally the Float Charge State.

If the batteries are really low, the Bulk Charge rate will be about 14.6 - 14.7 VDC. The Absorption Charge rate will be about 13.8 - 14.0 VDC and the final Float Charge rate should be around 13.6 - 13.7 VDC.

If when charging you are only seeing 12. something then there is a problem.

Need more information to followup with more help.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Richard, I changed both batteries just before going to Myrtle Beach about 4 weeks ago. Everything seemed fine during my trip, however I was only about 1 full day not connected to shore power or the coach running. When I got home I parked it for 2 weeks, when I got in the coach the batteries were dead. I had everything off and left the maine power switch on in the coach so the solar panel would keep the batteries charged. Do you have any suggestions? I currently have it plugged in so the batteries will charge and will check them tomorrow. If the batteries are charged then I would assume the converter is working properly.

I will check the voltage tomorrow while it is plugged it to see, I believe the display panel shows 13.6 +

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Ken
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:21 PM   #18
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Ken,
When storing and no shore power, you want use the coach battery disconnect switch. That will assure you all 12v systems are off. With one possible exception. Some coaches with safety sensors (propane, C02, smoke, ect) will keep those systems powered draining your batteries. In those cases, you want to physically disconnect the battery cables, if you don't have sufficient solar to handle them and keep batteries topped off.

It is very doubtful that disconnect switch would disconnect the solar panel from the batteries, if so, it is improperly wired.

If you have an inverter, you certainly want to be sure that is off during storage.

I don't know your coach and all your specific systems, but I highly suspect your drainage problem lies above.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:05 PM   #19
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Ken,
When storing and no shore power, you want use the coach battery disconnect switch. That will assure you all 12v systems are off. With one possible exception. Some coaches with safety sensors (propane, C02, smoke, ect) will keep those systems powered draining your batteries. In those cases, you want to physically disconnect the battery cables, if you don't have sufficient solar to handle them and keep batteries topped off.

It is very doubtful that disconnect switch would disconnect the solar panel from the batteries, if so, it is improperly wired.

If you have an inverter, you certainly want to be sure that is off during storage.

I don't know your coach and all your specific systems, but I highly suspect your drainage problem lies above.
I do have a disconnect switch which I will shut off tomorrow after the batteries are fully charged. It is equipped with the safety sensors, do those really use that much power? My coach is a 2003 Itasca Suncruiser and it has an inverter which I will check again tomorrow to make sure it is off.

Thanks for the info
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:28 PM   #20
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I do have a disconnect switch which I will shut off tomorrow after the batteries are fully charged. It is equipped with the safety sensors, do those really use that much power? My coach is a 2003 Itasca Suncruiser and it has an inverter which I will check again tomorrow to make sure it is off.

Thanks for the info
One thing you want to check is (not relevent now) is if you use the disconnect switch, does that stop your charger from charging your batteries when on shore power. Some coaches do this and some don't. So check that out at some point.

Yes the safety systems can drain your batteries fairly quickly. Any battery will self discharge over time anyway. That is why during longer storage situations, you either want a charging source on site, or you want to take the batteries out and take home and keep on a charger.

I do not know if your inverter is just an inverter, or an inverter/charger. If just an inverter, you want to turn it off. If an inverter and battery charger, you would want to totally shut it down when in storage with no shore power. If it acts as your battery charger too, you certainly want to leave that function on if stored with shore power.

I guess the main point during no shore power storage is, absolutley zero drain on the coach batteries. Even then, batteries will self discharge. With a solar panel, you want to make sure it functions with all systems off, which it should, and be large enough in the area of the country you live to take care of the batteries. I would not feel comfortable recommending anything less than 50 watts unless you lived in a very sunny part of the country during storage times. Most mfgs do not install adequate panel sizes to properly maintain batteries during storage.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:40 AM   #21
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Richard, I changed both batteries just before going to Myrtle Beach about 4 weeks ago. Everything seemed fine during my trip, however I was only about 1 full day not connected to shore power or the coach running. When I got home I parked it for 2 weeks, when I got in the coach the batteries were dead. I had everything off and left the maine power switch on in the coach so the solar panel would keep the batteries charged. Do you have any suggestions? I currently have it plugged in so the batteries will charge and will check them tomorrow. If the batteries are charged then I would assume the converter is working properly.

I will check the voltage tomorrow while it is plugged it to see, I believe the display panel shows 13.6 +

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Ken
Once again, if your house batteries are completely dead, your converter should be in BULK charge status and the meter should be showing 14.3 VDC or so. The 13.6 reading is a FLOAT charge status and that what you get once the batteries are fully charged.

Also, if you completely discharged the house batteries past 50% SOC which is 12.0 - 12.2 VDC too many times you will be buying another new set of batteries.

So it behooves you to get your VOM meter out and start tracing 12 VDC power draws that appear to be draining your batteries quickly. Also maybe having a clamp-on meter would help too.

It could be a multitude of things going on so to find out what is what you need to look at each system separately and carefully until you isolated the problem.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #22
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Once again, if your house batteries are completely dead, your converter should be in BULK charge status and the meter should be showing 14.3 VDC or so. The 13.6 reading is a FLOAT charge status and that what you get once the batteries are fully charged.

Also, if you completely discharged the house batteries past 50% SOC which is 12.0 - 12.2 VDC too many times you will be buying another new set of batteries.

So it behooves you to get your VOM meter out and start tracing 12 VDC power draws that appear to be draining your batteries quickly. Also maybe having a clamp-on meter would help too.

It could be a multitude of things going on so to find out what is what you need to look at each system separately and carefully until you isolated the problem.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
On one note with the disconnect switch off and the coach plugged into sure power the batteries still charge. With that said I doubt if the solar system is large enough or working at all. What is the easiest way to test the solar system? I checked the converter to assure it was off and it was.

When starting to trace VDC power where should I start?

Ken
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:38 PM   #23
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With the shore power removed and the genny off, start at the batteries. With the negative (black) terminal removed, measure the voltage across the the battery posts. A fully charged 12V battery will read close to 12.6 volts. To see if the solar panel is putting out anything, connect the battery terminals back up and measure the voltage. If it is higher than with the battery disconnected, it is putting out.

It's a lot more complicated than that, but this site will answer a lot of your questions about batteries and solar panels.

http://www.solar-electric.com/deep-c...ttery-faq.html
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:20 PM   #24
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With the shore power removed and the genny off, start at the batteries. With the negative (black) terminal removed, measure the voltage across the the battery posts. A fully charged 12V battery will read close to 12.6 volts. To see if the solar panel is putting out anything, connect the battery terminals back up and measure the voltage. If it is higher than with the battery disconnected, it is putting out.

It's a lot more complicated than that, but this site will answer a lot of your questions about batteries and solar panels.

http://www.solar-electric.com/deep-c...ttery-faq.html
I will start with that

Thank you,
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #25
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I will start with that

Thank you,
If you want to know the 12v drains on the coach, proceed this way. With a voltmeter that can test 12vdc amps, remove the positive cable and connect the meter betweeen the post and cable. I would start with the disconnect switch in disconnect mode. This will tell you in amps how much draw the safety systems and any parasitic drains have. As an example, if there is a 1 amp draw and your bank has 200 Amp Hours (100 usable), your batteries would be drained in 100 hours. That's considering they were fully charged and in very good condition.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:19 PM   #26
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If you want to know the 12v drains on the coach, proceed this way. With a voltmeter that can test 12vdc amps, remove the positive cable and connect the meter betweeen the post and cable. I would start with the disconnect switch in disconnect mode. This will tell you in amps how much draw the safety systems and any parasitic drains have. As an example, if there is a 1 amp draw and your bank has 200 Amp Hours (100 usable), your batteries would be drained in 100 hours. That's considering they were fully charged and in very good condition.
I will start wit that and go from there. One question when I remove the positive cable I connect the meter to the cable that is disconnected and the positive post with the switch in disconnect mode?

This is something I have never done or thought of so this should tell me a lot. I should test the voltage of the battery prior to starting theaters test correct?

Thank for the advice,
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:15 PM   #27
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I will start wit that and go from there. One question when I remove the positive cable I connect the meter to the cable that is disconnected and the positive post with the switch in disconnect mode?

This is something I have never done or thought of so this should tell me a lot. I should test the voltage of the battery prior to starting theaters test correct?

Thank for the advice,
Yes test the batts first, as long as they are between 12.2 - 12.7, thats good enough for an amp test.

Start with the disconnect switch in disconnect mode. This will tell you the amp drain as if the coach was stored. Knowing the amp draw is a clear indication on how long the batts will last without needing charged.

If you want to test the various amp draws on normal 12v items, use the switch to connect the batteries. Just be aware of the meters amp limit. An example is, a 12v incandesent reading light will use about 1.0 amps.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:12 PM   #28
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Yes test the batts first, as long as they are between 12.2 - 12.7, thats good enough for an amp test.

Start with the disconnect switch in disconnect mode. This will tell you the amp drain as if the coach was stored. Knowing the amp draw is a clear indication on how long the batts will last without needing charged.

If you want to test the various amp draws on normal 12v items, use the switch to connect the batteries. Just be aware of the meters amp limit. An example is, a 12v incandesent reading light will use about 1.0 amps.
Everything tested fine, the solar panel must be working because with the disconnect switch on I was getting 13.3+ v when I turned the disconnect switch off it actually climbed to 14. When I turned on the light it dropped back to 13.2. It appears everything is working fine but I don't believe the solar panel is enough to Handel the draw from the items that run when the coach is parked for a long period of time.

I hat the disconnect switch on all day and the v went to 13.1, I shut the switch off for the evening and will check it tomorrow after the sun is out for a while to see if it re charges.

I appreciate the help, Thanks Ken
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