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Old 04-06-2015, 08:19 AM   #1
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Charging the house batteries

I[ moderator edit ] can't seem to get a question answered regarding my 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 36R (F53 chassis) RV. My question is: Is the house battery supposed to charge when connected to shore power, or is the generator the only source of charging for house batteries?

I assumed I could charge the battery through shore power but so far I've only gotten a charge using a trickle charger directly on the battery or I start up the generator for 15min-30min every so often to top off the battery.

If the generator is the only source, has anyone wired up a permanent trickle charger to the shore power for this purpose? For example this would fit nicely in the battery bay: 12 Volt Deluxe Battery Maintainer and Float Charger

Appreciate the help!
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:23 AM   #2
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Batteries should charge when plugged in. Your 12 volt converter or converter/inverter does this.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:25 AM   #3
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check into whether your charger may have a breaker
tripped that provides the power to the charger from
the shore power side - i cant imagine that any charger
would not provide power to charge while on shore...
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response. I'll look for a fuse or breaker. I've already replaced a few as it looks like they haven't been replaced since 2002
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:45 AM   #5
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Hi gigamanx,
For coach battery charging the 120 VAC via the shore or generator both must go to the converter. The converter charges the batteries. Check to see if there is 120 VAC to the converter. If yes, check to see if there is DC power out from the converter to the batteries. If no, the converter is suspect.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:51 AM   #6
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Check and re-fill batteries as needed with distilled water while you're at it.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:18 AM   #7
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If your batteries charge from the generator and not the shore cord , someone moved some wires around.

It could be a previous owner used to plug the shore cord into an inverter and didn't want the charger running.

In any case, look for the converter, 120 volt wires, they may go to the generator side of the transfer switch.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:39 AM   #8
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Another possibility may be the transfer switch. Normally, the switch will energize from the genny even if both genny and shore power are present. The switch may be defective, not allowing shore power to pass through even if genny is not running. you can check if you're getting 120V to the converter should tell you if switch is defective.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:44 AM   #9
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I'm going to do some testing with the multi meter from the battery. There are two wires one set of which looks like it heads towards the generator. I'll test backwards and see if I can find the source. I need to do the same for the water heater since electric isn't heating but gas is fine. Probably a burned out heating element from the previous owner, but the good ole multi meter will tell me for sure. I'm starting to learn those essential little tools that make RV maintenance much easier.
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:05 PM   #10
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That was a short test. Checked the two smaller wires going to the battery an no power. I then looked under the battery box and found the wires had been severed with a little electric tape on the ends. So, a more specific question now is....where is the charger/inverter that these wires are supposed to be connected to on a 2002 Fleetwood 36R (F53 chassis). I'll check the manual also but you guys might be able to give me a quicker answer.








I also resolved a secondary issue that I mentioned. I thought it was the electric heating element, but turns out the ECO has a reset switch and pushing that seems to have gotten the 110v water heater working again. Gotta love a free repair!
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:56 PM   #11
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Hi gigamanx,
The "where is it located" question is the question of the day for many of us. Never have owned a Fleetwood coach so as a guess, the converter would be in the basement compartment that holds the shore power cord. It should be somewhere around the batteries. There is a Fleetwood Owner's forum here on iRV2. If Fleetwood specific questions are asked in that forum, the correct answer should come to you quickly.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:43 PM   #12
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I'm getting warmer. I found the inverter under the fridge by listening for the fan. No problems with 12v in the coach so I'm assuming output is fine. What I'm now struggling with is where in the mess of cables should I be looking for some kind of charging device. Is it ok to just charge the battery through wires straight from the inverter or do I need to be looking for an "in-between" step. I've read about 3 phase switches that charge them switch to trickle. Is that possibly what I need or are RVs usually wired without those?


Sorry for the questions. I'm at a bit of a dead end now that I've found a working inverter
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:01 AM   #13
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I've been googling and found that that house battery should get 13.4+ when plugged into shore power or its not charging. The responsible component for that is something called a BCC which I found under the front hood. A solenoid is used to switch between battery and shore for charging the battery. The same solenoid is used somehow for the aux power button on the dash to start the RV from house batteries. I am pretty sure that button has never worked. Any suggestions on how to test the circuit?
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:21 AM   #14
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On mine there is a disconnect switch. When in the store mode does not charge batteries. In the use mode does charge.
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