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Old 03-15-2011, 10:47 PM   #1
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Batteries?? Where???

My rv has a generator installed. We are complete new and uneducated in the RV'ing field, so this may be a stupid question. Are there batteries in this thing other than the 2 in the front under the hood? Or does the generator charge the main battery, and the other one, and we run lights etc off them? 1983 Pace arrow...Thanks
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:14 AM   #2
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83 Pace Arrow

I also have a 83 pace Arrow, and unless yours is different and or modified the only batteries you will have are those under the hood, and you should have at least 2 one for the house a deep cycle and a starter battery for the engine. I was told by the PO that the generator only charge the starter battery so he jumped the house battery to the starter so when the motor-home is connected to shore power or running on the generator it will also charge both batteries. I too am a novice so other may chime in to correct me.

I installed 2 blue top Optima battery to provide me a longer house power supply. I also installed a disconnect switch to separate the house and starter battery, that way I had a choice.

If you need manuals I have a blog where I have posted most of the ones I have been able to obtain, I can provide that link at your request.

By the way Oldguyrich the only STUPID question is the one not asked.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:11 AM   #3
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i have downloaded all the manuals for a 1985 let me know if you need il get you a link
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:31 AM   #4
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I'm pretty sure you'll find your house battery, the one that runs your 12v system, is charged by your generator. If it were charged only by the alternator, you could use your house battery only a day or two before needing to drive.

The chassis (or starting) battery is charged by the alternator while driving. Your rig may also have an extra lash-up to charge the house battery while driving as well. Many rigs have a momentary dash switch so the chassis battery can get a boost from the house battery if low on start-up.

The generator draws ITS starting power from the chassis battery.

And sadly, wiring diagrams work only so long as some PO didn't "improve" things too much.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:38 AM   #5
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OP, in case I'm not clear, one battery (chassis) will be your regular starting battery, exactly like in your car. The other battery (house) will power all your 12 volt lights, water pump, furnace, and frig while unhooked from shore power.

The house battery is charged from your generator, or your solar panels or wind generator if installed, or through your converter/charger if running on shore power. Your rig may also have the capability of charging the house battery while driving.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kartvines View Post

I installed 2 blue top Optima battery to provide me a longer house power supply. I also installed a disconnect switch to separate the house and starter battery, that way I had a choice.
When it comes time to replace those Optima's which will happen far sooner than you expect.. Dump them in favor of either a pair of same size Lifeline AGM's or your choice of brand maintenance free deep cycles and you will pick up over 30 percent more "run time" and (if you go with Maintenance Free instead of AGM) save a bunch of cash as well.

Optimas, (Which are AGM) and GEL Cell batteries are really not designed for RV use.. Optimas are great for the kind of service that needs them, but not for RV use.. WHY.. they are only 2/3 battery (The other third is air.. Just wasted space) You can see this just by looking at them.

I also looked at the specs,, they confirm what my eyes told me.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:27 AM   #7
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Optima's

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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
When it comes time to replace those Optima's which will happen far sooner than you expect.. Dump them in favor of either a pair of same size Lifeline AGM's or your choice of brand maintenance free deep cycles and you will pick up over 30 percent more "run time" and (if you go with Maintenance Free instead of AGM) save a bunch of cash as well.

Optimas, (Which are AGM) and GEL Cell batteries are really not designed for RV use.. Optimas are great for the kind of service that needs them, but not for RV use.. WHY.. they are only 2/3 battery (The other third is air.. Just wasted space) You can see this just by looking at them.

I also looked at the specs,, they confirm what my eyes told me.
As far as the Optima's batteries, I have not had that experience, and have used them in every RV I have had, and I personally consider them the best, but then again everyone is welcome to their own antipodal opinion. I am in no way an expert, so it is just my personal opinion
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:41 AM   #8
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to oldrichguy i got a e-mail about a PM but i dont know how to reply
any way give me a little ill try to make a clickable link
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:23 AM   #9
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link sent let me know if it works
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:51 AM   #10
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Yes, I got the link . Thanks. Lots of good help on this site.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:34 AM   #11
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any time those work for my 1985 southwind also
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:04 PM   #12
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Look at the specs on Optimas. More amp storage is available for alot less money with flooded lead acid batteries. The maintenance is increased with flooded (convential) lead acid but is not near the level needed 10 years ago.

The debate will go on forever concerning batteries so let your personal experience and pocket book guide you.

A Blue Top Optima group 27 has 66 amp hour, my group 27 convential lead acid has 125 amp hours. Which do you think will last longer powering my motor home accessories?
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:45 PM   #13
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A good way to check the honesty of Amp Hour claims is to compare the weight of the batteries (Within the same chemistry) More weight = More Lead = more capacity in general.
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