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Old 03-17-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
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While at the FMCA Convention I was boondocking and everything work fine using the generator for AC apliences etc. One evening while running the generator the 12V lights started flickering and contiued for about 5 min. Then went back to noemal brightness. After that the house batteries would not charge unless I ran the Altenator.
When I got back to shore power the batteries (both house and chassis) will not charge from AC. The house batteries will charge from the roof photo cells but the chassis battery is loosing about a volt and a half a day.
I,ve checked the batties, cables, all the fuses i can find. The Inverter does not indicate any problems. I noticed that in the Inverter bay there is also a device called Batt Charger. I alwas thought that the Inverter charged the batteries when hooked to shore power. Any Ideas?
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:16 PM   #2
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While at the FMCA Convention I was boondocking and everything work fine using the generator for AC apliences etc. One evening while running the generator the 12V lights started flickering and contiued for about 5 min. Then went back to noemal brightness. After that the house batteries would not charge unless I ran the Altenator.
When I got back to shore power the batteries (both house and chassis) will not charge from AC. The house batteries will charge from the roof photo cells but the chassis battery is loosing about a volt and a half a day.
I,ve checked the batties, cables, all the fuses i can find. The Inverter does not indicate any problems. I noticed that in the Inverter bay there is also a device called Batt Charger. I alwas thought that the Inverter charged the batteries when hooked to shore power. Any Ideas?
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:36 AM   #3
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Check the voltage comming out of the battery charger module when plugged into AC. If it is functioning, check your battery disconnect switch.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:13 AM   #4
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papaturtle, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. Which inverter (year, make & model) do you have in the coach? Also give us the info on the "charger" that you see. Use a DC volt meter to check voltage differenes at charger output while on and off of shore power. It should increase to around 13.8 if charging. Let us know what you find.
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:43 AM   #5
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Sounds like the lights were flickering while you converter(battery charger) was failing.

I agree with RV Wizard...you need to check the output of the converter.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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Thanks guy's for your input. To answer your questions: I'm a '04 National Seabreaze on a W22 workhourse chassis. My Converter charger is a Paralax 7400 and the Inverter is a Dimensions DUI-12/600 (only runs the television). Checking the converter output it's 0 volts without shore power - 13.7 V on shorepower.
Two new anomays: When charging the chassis batteries - the house batteries are also charged. We had an area-wide power outage while whatching television and the TV kept playing with the house inverter switch off. Toggling the swith did nothing, I had to turn the inverter off at the inverter. Always had to use coach swith to use the inverter b4. shorted Isolation diode somewhere?
thanks
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:37 AM   #7
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Many inverters have to have the switch off on the inverter itself to contol it from a remote switch or control board. Have you tried this and if so does it work?
When you are charging the chassis battery it will charge the coach battery as the charger is replacing the altenator. I the altenator charges both banks, then a charger will too unless you disconnect the batery cable.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:15 AM   #8
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Yes, with the inverter turned off - the coach inverter swith will turn the inverter on and off. Seems like every new clue I come up is the way it should work. Is it posible that while boon-docking with the invereter turned on - I was discarging the house batteries faster than I could charge them with my 100w solar panel or the generator? After both sets of batteries have been fully charged (13.5V) the house batteries do stay between 11.5-12.5v while the chassis battery drops about 1.5v per day. The batteries are almost five years old; could it be that the chassis battery will not hold a charge?
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:41 AM   #9
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When the converter/charger went out on my Southwind, the 12 volt lights would get bright at times, Whether on shore power or generator. When I checked the battery connections, I could here them boiling as if being overcharged. I took the C/C out of the circuit and found it putting out 24 volts! It does not have a dual output setting, so I know it was defective. Replaced it and everything works fine now.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:25 AM   #10
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papaturtle, you could have a bad chassis battery(s); have it checked and replaced if neccessary. Recheck the charging section and connections and let us know the results.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:18 PM   #11
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I've moved 350 miles and am now parked in partial shade so roof-top solar cells are not putting out many amps. Have run now for 10 days and house batteries varie from 11.8 to 12.4 chassis battery has slowley dropped from 12.4 to 12.1. My problem has either fixed itself or I have a very poor converter/charger that requires the batteries to be fully charged b4 it will maintain battery charge. Thks for all your help and advise. Les
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:13 PM   #12
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I'm running out the door and can't look through the thread. We had this happen to a Monaco in our January Death Valley caravan. It turned out to be a flakey resettable circuit breaker, also under-rated from the factory. A trip to NAPA made it all better.

10-Benihana's..
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:36 AM   #13
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Hi and thanks guys for all your help. Just returned home and went to my favorite cert RV tech and he solved the problem. An open circuit breaker on the circit board between the converter and the batteries. That's why the solor cells and alternater worked - but the output of the converter (or generater)couldn't reach the batteries. All's well - have gone a week and all batteries are at 13.2V. Les
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:31 AM   #14
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Papaturtle,

Any clues why the circuit breaker opened up?

This will probably happen again if you don't know what caused it to trip.

I've worked with high amp dc circuit breakers and reliable quality 50 amp breakers are magnetic & quite expensive. I suspect Magnetek/Parallax is using a low cost thermal breaker or a pair of automotive type plug-in fuses.

If I were you, look inside the unit, or in the manual, and get some spare fuses so you can replace them them on the road.

Murphy's law, it will happen again at the worst possible time.

Good luck,
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