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Old 08-29-2009, 12:16 AM   #1
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Cross Country charging problems

have a 2006 cross country have had continuing problems with coach 2 6v deep cycle batterys always dying. just recently put new batterys in it and it it still seems to drain down fairly fast with just a few lights on. Even with generator or plugged in to house batterys did not seem to charge until i put charger on coach batterrys then they were fine. Had an electrician friend check output of generator and house wiring seems to be good. Have tried locating a schematic from our local dealer here in canada but they said it wasnt easy to get them. Is this true? it make life easier when you know the sytem and what it all operates.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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Hi kawidad48 and welcome to irv2.

You will probably get more responses to technical questions like this by posting in the appropriate forum, so I moved it to Motorhome Problems & Solutions.
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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Sounds like your converter has died, it should charge your batteries any time you run the generator or hook to power.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:51 AM   #4
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Thank you for doing that. I am still learning the navigation of this site
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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Hi kawidad48,
Welcome to iRV2. There are three possibilities.
  1. The batteries are bad and will not hold a charge. I put this first as it is the easiest and cheapest thing to check. Take the batteries out of the coach. Charge them overnight. Take them to your local auto parts store and have them check them under load. Another way to do this (but it takes about a week) is to disconnect the batteries from the coach. Leave the batteries connected to each other. Charge the batteries overnight. Take a reading with a good meter (one needs to measure to .X VDC. It should be 12.6 VDC). Let the batteries sit for 7 days (not on concrete or the ground). Take another reading. The reading should be the same or maybe -.1 VDC from the previous reading. If the reading has dropped more than .1 VDC you may have a bad cell or two. Replace the batteries.
  2. The converter/charger has died or is not putting out the correct charge. With the batteries properly connected and the coach plugged into shore power, measure the voltage on the coach batteries. It should be 13.5 VDC or higher.
  3. There is a drain on the batteries. For this you'll need a meter with an induction AMP reading capability. With the coach not plugged into shore power and all DC appliances and lights off (don't forget to turn off the inverter, propane detector, etc.), measure the AMP draw on the batteries. If you see a draw, find the panel(s) that contain the 12 VDC house fuses. Remove one fuse at a time until you see the draw go away. Now you have the offending circuit. The next step is to determine what, on that circuit is making the draw.
A large draw on house batteries is the inverter. With no 120 VAC being used, just sitting there, the inverted can draw batteries down in a couple of days.

None of this is hard to do. It is just time consuming. Once you find what is wrong, please post here so we can all learn from you.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:01 AM   #6
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Thanks Gary, I actually have done some of this testing. i charged batterys up with charger, unplugged from house i did leave fridge and prpoane detector on. I started out with 12.8V checked 8hrs later had 12.3Vchecked again 12hrs 12.1V and another 12hrs11.9V 18hrs 11.5V. So it doesnt seem like there is a heavy draw anywhere but coach has 12V flourescent lights i turned 4 of them on for 3hrs and it took batterys down to 5V question how long should you get on an avaerage get out of batterys running a few lamps not knowing your specific amp draw. When i start generator i get 13.2 V at batterys so that side is good. It recently has been knocking house breaker out once and awhile which it never used to do. made sure i had 110V at outlet plugged in i got 110V in coach but no 12v ie. fridge light etc would work because i let batterys go down again to do this test. i am thinking i need to check where house voltage comes in and going to converter to check voltage there. There isa big grey box on LR side where house and genertor wires meet up. does it T off there to got o converter? because on RH side there is a compartment with some of the 12V relays etc going there and looks like a small 55amp converter which doesnt make sense for the whole coach. I know on travel trailewrs the converters are look fairly heavt duty and are usually close to fuses. I will look into this a bit more and please give any suggestions. Thank you
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:43 AM   #7
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Gary et al,

Your comment about not setting a LA battery on concrete brings up an interesting subject. Please see -

Batteries on Concrete

As to the OPs original problem. Go to Sears and buy their Clamp-on ammeter (~$90) or find someone that has one. Another possibility is to use a Radio Shack VOM (~$20) with a 10A scale. Disconnect the + battery lead and put the negative lead of the meter on the battery post and the positive lead on the batt cable. Read the current draw

It is VERY unlikely you are drawing >10A. And even if you are, it will only blow the fuse in the meter. And if it does, you know you have a serious drainage problem.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:16 AM   #8
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Hi kawidad48,
Gut feel says your battery(s) are bad. Do #1 in my OP. If you decide to do the one week test, the batteries need to be completely disconnected from the coach. A quick way to get the test done is to take the batteries to the auto parts store, after fully charging them.

For a couple of 6 VDC batteries and with the inverter off, your batteries should last several days. With the inverter on, it depends on how much you use the 120 VAC appliances connected to the inverter. One could use up the batteries in one evening or less.

One thing that has not been mentioned is to check the water in each cell if these are flooded batteries.

As to the rest of your measurements, let's let them sit for a while until you make very sure your batteries are in tip top shape. Strange things can happen when one has bad batteries.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:25 AM   #9
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Hi hamguy,
Now I feel old. Guess I'm old enough to have a few urban legends hanging around in my head. It's always good to learn something new. It will still be hard for me to place a battery on concrete.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:43 AM   #10
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Hey Guys, thanks for the input up to now. These Batterys were just replaced a few weeks ago but that doesnt mean that there isnt a problem because I have also seen new batterys screw up i will check them out. I guess I should have noted this is my buddys motorhome and he really doesnt know how to to do any of this computer stuff so i have been just going over to his house and doing the troubleshooting as i have some time. I still beleive one of the problems is the house side to converter as you have 110V but nothing coming threw on 12V side but you do when you fire up generator. I will definetly look into the amperage draw. Thanks again guys.
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:15 PM   #11
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I have a 2007 Crosscountry, my converter went out and after about 1 1/2 years. It was replaced under warrenty (2 year warrenty). I called the converter manuf., they helped me trouble shoot and sent a replacement. My converter is located in a compartment behind the rear wheels on the drivers side. I noticed the lights filcker, and the cooling fan would cycle often.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:08 PM   #12
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Thank you Darwin i had looked at that converter there before but i was expecting to see something more complex for such a fancy motorhome. After searching fuse panel and fuse area (thinking it would be like a regular travel trailer) i figured that must be it. I think it is an intermitent thing because some times it would charge and then not be charging. Also when we were out on the weekend with generator running it was dimming all 12V lights and pulling generator down but TV and all 110V was fine. I checked for output the next day on converter and there was nothing. We have ordered a new converter as i was told by an RV deaer that the WFCO 55amp that was in there was a cheap and unreliable converter. We have one on order and when i get the make and model and see how it works i will let you know. Thank you everyone for all your help.
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