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Old 06-17-2009, 03:21 PM   #1
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Charging System Not Charging

After a long week in the Colorado Mountains way back in the woods, I found out that my on board converter with battery charger is not charging my RV Battery. When hooked up to the generator, it does power almost all the 12volt systems, but for some reason, it was not charging the battery. I am looking for any ideas for fixing this problem.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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Please define "Almost all the 12 volt systems." All at once? One at a time? What does it not operate?

What voltage is it putting out?

Known condition of the Battery/Cables/Connections? Good, bad, ugly?

All that said, if it is putting out 12 volts or more, the battery (if good) should be charging. When operating on shore/generator power, the battery acts as a buffer for the 12V system maintaining a constant voltage. Any excess power will go to charging the battery as needed.

Harodl
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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Will the battery power the 12VDC systems when you're disconnected from shore power and the generator isn't running? If not, look for a blown fuse between the converter output and the battery - you didn't mention the make or model of your RV, but my former Jayco had an in-line fuse about 6" from the battery terminal in the B+ cable. Also, do you have a 12VDC shutoff/battery disconnect switch? If so, be sure it isn't off.

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Old 06-17-2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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The battery does power all the 12 volt systems when we are not connected to AC or the generator. I do not have a fuse in line with the battery and I dont have a battery switch that i am aware of.

As far as the make it is a 2000 Wildwood Lite 25'.

The battery is new. It appears that when the AC is plugged in, all the 12 volt systems are running correctly. It just appears that there is no power going back to the battery to charge it. After running the generator for a few hours, the battery was not showing any improvent in charing. We hooked up a battery charger from the generator, and the battery accepted a good charge.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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As far as the "almosts all the 12 volt systems". My suburban heater runs off my battery even when the generator is plugged in and running. The fridge (new Dometic) with a electric circuit board also needs 9.6 volts DC from the battery to run the auto switch from gas to AC.

When the battery died early in the morning, my fridge shut off and my heater quit working. I plugged the generator in to AC and started it. The fridge still showed no power and the heater did not have enough power in the battery to run the fan. As soon as I put a jump pack on the battery, the fridge and the heater started back up. For the rest of the week, we ran the battery charger directly on the battery for a couple of hours during the day and the battery charged just fine. It would hold a charge for the whole night. (Cold nights, had to run the heater all night long). As far as the AC, it would run all the lights, fridge (minus the circuit board), the micro wave, all the AC outlets.

It just appears that the battery will not charge from the AC or the generator.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:09 PM   #6
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If your battery is new and fully charged it should read 12.65 volts as read at the battery terminals with a digital volt meter and NO current draw.(battery cables disconnected from the battery) When plugged into shore power and the converter plugged into a KNOWN good 110 volt outlet, the volt meter should read 13.5 volts or higher output from the converter at the disconnected cables. If you have less then this, check the 110 outlets AC the converter is plugged into for AC power and disconnect the positive lead at the converter and measure voltage output again right at the converter. Does it read 13.5 volts at the converter? If not, you have a blown fuse or a bad converter assuming the 110 outlet is hot. Your battery will only accept a charge when the converter or whatever is trying to charge the battery is about 1 volt higher (or more) then nominal battery voltage.

What kind of converter do you have? Some are really very good, and sadly, others are not. My experience is that almost all manufacturers will try and save a single penny by using a cheap single stage converter. The price paid for the trailer seems to have no influence on whether or not you get a good converter. If your converter is dead and it's not a Progressive Dynamics or an Iota, (I like those two brands) now is your chance to upgrade and purchase a newer multi stage output converter that will make your batteries last about twice as long.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scaragon View Post
... The fridge (new Dometic) with a electric circuit board also needs 9.6 volts DC from the battery to run the auto switch from gas to AC. ...It just appears that the battery will not charge from the AC or the generator.

Sure sounds like the converter is not putting out. A neighbor just stopped by, said he had to replace his converter in an '01 Bounder. He had just replaced his batteries, (original) and they didn't last very long with generator running. So, $350 later, for a 55 AMP converter with smart charger, everything works now! An I still had my old one that I removed years ago, just sitting in garage! I could have made him a good deal!

Check the output voltage, and, good luck!

Harold
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:04 PM   #8
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Paul,
Thanks for all the good information. I will take it and check the systems when I get home from work today. I pulled the battery out yesterday and low and behold, it is only reading about 25 % charge. I am attempting to charge it now out of the trailer with a trickle charge. I will check all the items you listed and get back to you in a few days.

Thanks so much for the info, I now have a starting point.

Scottie
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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Harold,
Also thank you for the info. I will check the output voltage and let you both know.

Scottie
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:49 PM   #10
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I'm guessing after all is said and done that your converter is shot and that you can actually view this as a way to save your new battery by buying a replacement stand alone converter thats multi stage. Look here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/RV-In...Q5fAccessories or here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Iota-...Q5fAccessories

Either way you will be happy and your batteries will last longer.Keep us posted.
-Paul R. Haller-
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:48 AM   #11
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Thank Paul.

I will keep you posted. Thanks for everyone, this forum is so helpful.

Scottie
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:01 AM   #12
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Paul,
I have confirmed that my Magnatech 6300Q (6332) is a piece of junk and needs to be replaced. It is definately not sending any charge to the battery. I think I am going to go with the Progressive Dynamics 9200 series with the Wiz.

I do have a question though maybe you can help with. I currenlty have one new 24 series Interstate Deep cycle battery. I am considering adding a second one (only room for two 24 series batteries or one 27 series battery).

What is your recommendation on the second battery?

If I add the second battery, what size converter should I go with? My current one is 32 amp, I read somewhere online that you should take you amp hours and times by 0.3 to get your converter size. With one battery the smaller converter should be fine, but with two batteries, what size would be better 45-60 amp?
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:10 PM   #13
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Well, if you only have room for 1 more group 24 buy that and install. I still prefer 2 6 volt golf cart batteries wired in series but since you already have a new 12 volt battery, I'd buy another. As far as which brand... people say there are better quality brand batteries but in actual use I never find much difference in battery life which tells me they are all about the same.

I recently went to Costco and bought 2 new 6 volt golf cart batteries. I think they cost about 70$ each. I now have 6 6volt golf cart batteries each 2 wired in series and then in parallel with each other 2 giving me now about 720 amp hours and I also just bought a new 80 amp Progressive Dynamics converter with a built in charge wizard. I have a 40 foot 4 slide 5er with lots of 12 volt accessories and a large battery bank so I sprang for an 80 amp converter.

I do not know your rig but I tend to like the bigger is better philosophy with converters and batteries. You have learned that when batteries do not provide a nights worth of power you will go cold and dark. If it were me, I'd go with the 60 amp converter. However, be aware that more potential current flow from converter to batteries = larger feed wires between those 2 components. In my trailer the manufacturer used 1 #6 wire between the converter and batteries on both the negative and positive side. I left the existing #6 wires in place and added another # 4 welding wire between the new converter and the batteries. Wire tables indicate that 1 #4 will carry in free air about 80 amps. Progressive Dynamic converters offer 2 lugs on both the +and- output that makes adding another wire easy and they are rated to a #2 wire. I really like welding wire for battery cables. It's very inexpensive because it is so widely used and is extremely flexible because of its very finely stranded wire. If you buy it at a welding supply they sell by the foot from #4 all the way up to 4/0 and my welding supply will even crimp on the heavy duty lugs onto the wire of your choosing for you if you buy both the lugs and wire there or you can solder or crimp on the lugs at home. I always bought the wire in a long length then went home and measured the lengths needed, cut them, and returned to the welding supply to buy thr lugs and have them crimped on. Also upgrade your battery inter connect wires and your wire from negative to the frame. Again, I go way over kill and used 4/0 wires for that but that is excessive. It needn't be any larger then the max current draw of your rig with all 12 volt stuff on at once. I installed a 3000 watt inverter 1 foot away from my battery string and used 4/0 wire for that so I had about 30 feet of it around.
I also do not know the layout of your trailer. Mine has the batteries right next to the converter in another compartment so adding an additional wire was easy. Some trailers wire the fuse panel directly to the converter and depending how far away everything is from each other will dictate how much wire is needed. Remember that the wiring between the converter and batteries now carries more current so look at how your rig is laid out and increase both positve and negative wire size back to the battery from the converter. You can buy your converter from any retailer but some like Best converter. I buy a lot of things off ebay.
Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:54 PM   #14
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Paul.
Well I just received my new Progressive Dynamics 9260 converter and am getting ready to install soon. I checked my current positve and negative wires from the batteries to the converter and they are both 8 guage. I was checking into adding the second wire as you suggested and was wondering if another 8 gauge would be sufficient or should I go with a 6 gauge? I should have mentioned, I have a 25' Wildwood with the battery in the hitch area and the converter in the bathroom in the back of the camper. Probably be at least 20' of wire if not more. If I understand, I can just add tow wires from the battery to the converter, one positive and one negative, is this correct? I will soon add the second battery and am unsure on how to hook the two together. Any comments or suggestions?

Thanks for all the help. It is slowly coming together.

Scott
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