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Old 04-30-2016, 11:57 PM   #57
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Update: after showing all day as 50 A, when I turned on the electric heat it switched to showing as 30 - the exact opposite of what I've been noticing, eg goes back to 50 from 30 when turn on furnace. I did take the opportunity while it showed 30 to specifically check and I could not locate any power sources that were not working. A little while later I noticed it was again showing 50 A.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:49 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVer402 View Post
Update: after showing all day as 50 A, when I turned on the electric heat it switched to showing as 30 - the exact opposite of what I've been noticing, eg goes back to 50 from 30 when turn on furnace. I did take the opportunity while it showed 30 to specifically check and I could not locate any power sources that were not working. A little while later I noticed it was again showing 50 A.
Good job checking things out. When you say electric heat are you talking about heat pump(s) or a space heater you plug into an outlet?

I know this may sound like a silly question but is your heat source working as expected while the EMS is showing 30A?

Does the EMS have any missing lights on the list of your controlled devices?

I think the first thing to do is get someone to look at your power cord, plug and pedestal. Since this might be getting a little bit above your knowledge base it might be a good time to call in a mobile tech to look at this. If all the basic electrical system checks out then it could be that your EMS control board is going bad.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:45 AM   #59
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I think it's the batteries or a bad connection at them. The EMS runs on 12Volts.
Do the lights flicker or dim when the heater is turned on.

And I wonder too (as Sky_Boss), what is the heat source?

And I concur with Sky_Boss, with limited knowledge of electricity, I would advise a tech should do the work. Electricity can jump at you and batteries have been known to explode, both can cause serious injuries...
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:49 AM   #60
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If you can...order a pair of kill a watt devices.

They are simple plug in units that display plug power and energy use.

Get 2 so one can be plugged into an outlet on each line.

Determining the line layout will need some care as one can experiment with switching breakers or noticing voltage drops when coffee maker or portable heater is plugged in.


Simple plug in and cost is small.

Walmart maybe?
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:03 AM   #61
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Sorry for the confusion about the heat. I keep saying electric heat to differentiate that we are using the electric furnace and not propane furnace due to propane conservation right now. I am referring to the electric furnace. It's after the fan comes on when the heat pump kicks in that it will flip back to showing 50A or as in last night it was showing 50A and when the heat pump started it went to showing 30A and yes it was working fine showing at 30A.

I will soecifically watch for it but haven't noticed dimming or flickering of lights with any of these transitions. Will make note tho to be sure.


I have been trying to avoid diverting to another topic but I do have burning battery questions. We definitely have bad batteries that need to be replaced. My concern is that there is an underlying problem there and very hesitant to buy new ones till feel more comfortable whether or not that's the case. Maybe knowledge could help me on that like with the inverter tripping issues. if the battery issues could be the ultimate source of the problem then that should maybe come first. Before buying new batteries I need some kind of confidence that there is not some kind of battery power leakage that is causing the batteries to go bad. Any simple diagnostic things I can do like with the inverter Sky Boss to try to figure that out? I can start a new thread if so.

Agree this is beyond what I can do at this point. Not sure there are any mobile guys close to us but I can check. At Cape Blanco on Oregon coast. I will run it by M&M Thursday and get their thoughts.

As always, many many thanks!
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:16 AM   #62
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PS forgot to address one of the questions above. Yes the lights are all consistently lit for all four components on the power status on EMS. There are no missing lights there.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:43 AM   #63
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If the batteries are more than 7 yrs, replace.

If the batteries are between 4 and 7 yrs and the coach has been unplugged for more than two three days a few times they are probably bad. Saying this because every time a battery goes below 40% capacity it loses life...

If less than 3-4 yrs you could take a couple to a good battery store and have them load-tested to see how good (or bad) they are.

Some RVers never check the water in their batteries, once a year this should be done and distilled water should be added if necessary. If this was never done, then they are likely toast.

Be careful when handling batteries, they are heavy. Also when you disconnect batteries the coach should be in a well ventilated area. Batteries discharge gases that will ignite with the sparks from disconnecting. Disconnect ground cables first. Black tape each end as you remove and put a label so you can reconnect them easily.

If you are not comfortable doing this get a mechanic friend to help. Batteries explode and are full of acid. If you wire wrong you could toast a few things in the coach. Be safe.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #64
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OK...first I have been busy for a few days running between service appointments and forgot this piece of information.

This is a link to your charger/inverter specifications.

It's good information to have available.

Bad batteries certainly could compound problems with devices that run on 12V, especially electronic ones like your EMS control card. However, I would also expect to see some dimming/flickering of 12V lights when high draw items kick in. Regardless, it is very easy to forget to do proper maintenance of batteries when they are out of sight and out of mind.

I agree with Dan's suggestions as important things to do while trying to get things under control.
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:06 PM   #65
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First of all, no I would never attempt anything with the batteries. Way beyond me!! No danger at all of that!!

The reason I question if there may be an underlying problem with the batteries:

1. Nov 2014 purchased rig (2006 Winn Vectra) and were told batteries had been replaced there over the summer. Can't verify that as we failed miserably on checking things out before we purchased! Our first and biggest mistake of all!
2. Dec 2014 - can't recall all the problems we were having without my notes but were told batteries were bad and replaced all three Here again, our ignorance. We said okay, asking no questions as to what type we should get etc. (Yes we have learned a heap the hard way!) so they did three 12 volt Interstate Marine/RV SRM 29 deep cycles which we have learned since are not true deep cycle as they are combo and have cranking amps. We go on our way and the new batteries did correct some issues.
3. From that point we occupied the MH for part of December 2014 on shore power and then in dry storage till March 2015 in Arizona.
4. Upon return in March everything was dead. We had turned off everything but forgot to do the battery disconnect. Got it charged, and then occupied mh thru April before storing again near Sedona AZ for the summer in dry storage in shade but yes it's az so it's hot This time we did do the battery disconnect.
5. Returned mid October 2015 and stayed in park on shore power till mid December.
6. Next was a big mistake. Left in hurry early morning to get to a flight. For some reason I do not recall we disconnected from shore power with intention of also disconnecting battery, but that tiny little detail was lost in our hurry. So of course the battery went dead while we were gone.
7. Jan-early April 2016. Traveling Arizona and Southern California and also couple of appointments at RV repair for other issues etc. Mostly shore power but also did some dry camping. Charging 3ish hours morning and evening would leave us at 12.0/11.8 by morning/evening and having used very little power meanwhile. Used propane water heater and only turned on when needed, zero tv, very little lights using oil lamp for most of light, no heat, etc. there's a thread on that etc. basically using very little power and cycling deeper than we should even at twice a day. Maybe that was because we never got a complete charge as I understand it takes longer than three hours. Btw I estimate total dry camping to have been three weeks spread at various times Anyway...
8. In this time period we were checking water in batteries and doing that maintenance. Water was never too low to our knowledge.
9. At some point during above time - January - hubby did check and found one battery to be bad. Took it in, confirmed, and decided ok it was a case of one dragging the others as far as efficiency so decided to see how well we did with two good ones and just removed the bad one. (Two months out of one year warranty of course) We also weren't ready to replace all three, the other alternative. Mechanic said good idea to try with two good ones. Turns out that made no noticeable difference.
10. In March another battery check by hubby showed now the other two batteries to be bad. Since he was going to be leaving and I would be on shore power after that we decided to make decisions on battery replacement when we return in the fall.

Bottom line - we know replacement is necessary but before we make that investment and decide on type (not room for golf cart type), etc we want to be sure there's not something else causing batteries to go bad.

I have outlined the complete history with our batteries. Yes they have been cycled deeper than they should be when dry camping a total of no more than three to four weeks and yes we have made a couple mistakes on running them down completely and yes they were in az heat for a summer. Question - is that enough abuse to warrant these batteries being completely bad this soon? If not, what should we be looking at in finding a source of the problem?

Last repair place insisted there was no problem with what were at that time the good batteries, that I was worrying about nothing, and to prove it they proceeded to do a test and leave lights on at battery power for several hours, cycling them very deep in the process to around 11.5. He missed my point. I wasn't trying to see just how deep we could cycle. Thanks to wonderful info and diagnostics about the inverter issue by Sky Boss I now understand the inverter issue and can operate things with confidence and with no more problems!! That's where I need to get with the battery topic. I need to either confirm there is likely a problem OR understand the limitations and live with it. No mechanic has been able to come close to getting me there.

Now I'm off topic and far too wordy as usual but so emboldened by progress otherwise that I have to ask in this setting for anyone with enough patience to follow it!
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:56 AM   #66
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tq60,
I ordered my kill o watt from my local home depot store. it took about 2 weeks to get it. cost was about $35.
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:11 PM   #67
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New things coming to light. My next step in the current plan is still to chat with M&M tomorrow and then go forward from there and am researching for a possible mobile tech as well. I promise not to go off on another long post , but I have a quick question. On the Dimensions display I have the charger draw limit set to 20 amps. In the past it was on 15 amps, I assume by default, and a while back I set it to 25, thinking that would help in charging with all of the battery issues. But now I wonder maybe it should be lower. I set it to 20 last night and just wonder if any recommendations on where it should be set. Options are up to 25 starting at 0 and in increments of 5.

Will also add briefly minus all the details that I have turned off electric furnace which apparently is not working and was actually defaulting to the gas furnace. I have also now turned off the propane completely. Interestingly, since doing so, at least to this point in time, the EMS display is consistently showing 50 amps AND when I attempt to turn on the electric furnace, the fan comes on and then clicks off and it does not impact the EMS panel at all and then the fan switches off. My brain is swimming but I think all of this will give direction to a tech looking at the whole situation. It did occur to me in the process that perhaps the charger limit should be lower given all of this.
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:08 PM   #68
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Charger or converter?

Figure a generic 10 to one ratio.

120 volts in to 12 volts out means 1 amp in for every 10 amps out ( not counting overhead but close enough for discussion)

So 20 amp input to converter would be 200 amps out which is not likely.

If you can find the converter or charger itself and look at it or on a build sheet someplace behind a door it may state how many amps it is.

Simply divide that by 10 then go to next higher step.

So a 75 amp converter divided by 10 is 7.5 so next level by 5 amp steps would be 10.

If you can find the unit and if it has a data plate indicating watts or amps at 120 volts that would be the number to set to.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:08 PM   #69
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TQ60,

Thanks. Unfortunately I'm not sure. Attaching, I hope, a photo of the specs. Would 21 amps be what I'm looking for on this?



Secondly, I haven't been ignoring your comments about the Kill A Watt. Just overwhelmed. I think you had mentioned this also in another thread for me previously and I was planning to and never got one. Too many times we have gotten frustrated, given up, and never get to the bottom of these issues but determined to resolve this time or explore other options... I am going to order from Amazon Prime. Easiest and quickest thing with current location. They show several models. Which do you recommend? I would like to go the cheapest if that is enough. Your thoughts? Here's a link. Also, I didn't quite follow you on the reason for two.

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Old 05-05-2016, 08:51 AM   #70
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The p3 looks like what we have.

Got ours at harbor freight maybe and another for a buck at a yard sale...


Price is good

Your device is charger and inverter combo so you need to set to the capacity of the unit so 21 is the max.

Setting for 21 or 20 should be correct.

Reason for 2 kill a watt is to easily see if you are loosing a feed leg of shore power.

The pictured device can provide power to replace it so your ems may indicate 30 amp due to loss of L1 or L2 the inverter turns on and all looks good.

You could use your voltmeter to check but you were not comfortable with that and that is fine.

Given intermittent it may self correct before you get there anyway.

The kill a watt has a voltmeter display so having one plugged into an outlet that is on each supply , L1 and L2 will allow you at a glance to see what is there.

Just need to be sure the outlet is not on the inverter.
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