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Old 09-06-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
Rom
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House Batteries vs Charger/Inverter

There's a couple of threads here about batteries but not sure if mine applies.

Here's the scenario in layman terms:
Primary cast: Xantrex Freedom 458 Charger/Inverter; Trojan T-105 6V Deep Cycle Batteries (4 ea
Preparing for our Labor Day camping trip, turned on the refrigerator (was hooked up to 20 amp, 110 v from residence). After a hour or so, switched to LP and got out of the MH. Looked at the plug and surge protector outside and lights were off - NO power. Got back inside the MH and fridge was also off - no LP. Then notice the battery disconnect switch (light) by the door was also off. Checked the receptacle for power and it has. Tried to start the Genset, it would not. So, started the engine and after a while, everything was on, Genset started, fridge on LP was on.

Turned off engine, genset and fridge (on LP) was still on. While doing the pre-departure check on the MH, fridge suddenly died. Decided to finish the pre-departure check and then started the engine to depart. Turned Genset on to power fridge while on the road - I guess it wasn't required since the fridge came back on LP.

Nothing happened for the 4 days we were at camp. But while preparing to depart and unhook the AC, switch fridge power to LP, after a few minutes, same scenario happened. Fridge off, no battery power. Genset would not start. Turned engine on, after a few minutes, Genset kicked in and fridge was on (LP).

So, I was thinking my house batteries are not getting charged or my charger/inverter is on the brink. My Xantrex monitor shows 13.5 amps for the batteries (while plugged in). Sorry for the lengthy script - but hoping that somebody can pitch in an idea of what's going on. Need to be in the know when I discuss this with the RV service people. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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Based on your info and no specific knowledge of your coach I would have to say that it sounds like at least one bad battery in your house bank.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
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Could you mean the batteries read 13.5 volts while plugged in ?
What does the monitor show for battery voltage when not plugged in or gen running ??
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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It sure sounds as though there is insufficient 12v power to keep the fridge alive. Or anything else. The fridge shuts off at around 10.5vdc.

Check the battery voltage when not plugged to shore power.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:47 PM   #5
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Thanks to all - as what you all are alluding to, possibly it's the batteries or one of them. I'll check out the voltage of the batteries unplugged to shore power.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:45 AM   #6
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Rom you will need to disconnect each battery and check them. Also remember if you have one bad battery in a bank you need to replace them all. A battery bank is only as good as the lowest battery. One other question is your charger/inverter turned on, and have 110V power to it(tripped breaker).
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:05 AM   #7
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My usual steps to check batteries are first make sure if they are flooded type that are not the no maintenance, check the water level and top up with distilled water. I am amazed how many I find low. Check the voltage. A cheap VOM (volt ohm meter) is a good investment. If everything still is looking OK pull them all out after marking what is hooked up to what and maybe even a photo. You will thank yourself later for that. Charge them on the bench and wait a day or so and measure the voltage again to see if they hold a charge. I'm not sure I could have survived all my cars and other toys without a battery charger. I have two now.

Some other tools that are helpful are a little battery hydrometer from the auto parts store to check each cell and a load tester. I think my load tester was $30 from Harbor Freight and it is a quick way to test to see if you are wasting your time trying to save a battery that is shot or it won't start you up the first cold day.

I must say batteries sure aren't as good as they used to be. Might have something to do with the fact that we can't seem to make anything here any longer.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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Rather than 13.5 Amps, I suspect the display said 13.5 VOLTS, which is near normal for a battery floating.

If your T-105s are old enough, or abused enough, One of them may have well given up it's ghost. (Replace BOTH if that is the case, remember each T-105 is 1/2 of a 12 volt battery You would not replace 1/2 of say an 8-D 12 volt battery would you? Of course not you'd replace the whole thing).

It is possible however that the converter module in your Xantrex has given up. Doubtful, but possible. Several reasons for saying that.

It is also possible that the connections to the battery are bad, or the disconnect is not working properly... True and much shortened story.. Went to re-connect after filling propane tank some years back (2006) and NOTHING. not even a CLUNK.. Well I did some emergency stuff, then I bypassed, then I fixed, but that's the long version.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:56 AM   #9
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House Batteries vs Charger/Inverter

Well, haven't been able to do much on checking on the voltage of the batteries while unplugged from shore power. But unless it is proven that my Xantrex is the culprit here, I'm leaning into the possibility of replacing all four of my Trojans, probably not of the same since almost all of the RV service centers within my area are all carrying Interstate. Might need to post another thread about +'s or -'s of Trojans or Interstates.

bbeane: I guess I'll pass on checking the batteries for now. I just refilled the water about a couple of weeks ago. And I would replace all four of them. Yes, the Xantrex was turned on but quit/tripped when I lose all power.

HD4Mark: Yes, as I've mentioned above, I just refilled the water on the cells. Two years ago, I removed them from the tray as it was really corroded that I need to clean and paint the tray. And, since I'm not that savvy electrically or mechanically, I did take a picture of the set-up and that really helped putting them all back. Going to CW and HF tomorrow to get those things you mentioned that I don't have yet and thanks for the suggestions.

wa8yxm: you're probably right that it was 13.5 volts since the "float" was highlighted in the monitor. And yes, the 105's are 6 yrs old so it's probably time to say goodbye and thanks for the good service. And I hope it's not the Xantrex.

Thanks to all!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:59 AM   #10
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Rom,
Lots ove other posts on this subject encourage you to check out Costco and Sam's Club for replacement batteries. That could save you a bundle.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:52 PM   #11
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A well maintained T-105 can easily go 10 years.. Interstate U-2200s 8-10, I'd not have a problem with Interstates (I have Interstates)

I would do a complete 12 volt system check though. If you have 13.5 showing, and no power, there is a blown fuse somewhere. (or tripped breaker)

Many motor homes (Like mine) the converter is on the "HOSE" side of the battery disconnect .. However with your big inverter/converter (I have one of those too) they hook direct to the battery.

Between the battery and the house is the disconnect, and the circuit breaker (Or fuse on some RV's) which protects the system against reverse install. Both fuses and breakers do fail for no good reason (OLD AGE). And it is possible to accidently disconnect (in fact I had to modify my rig to prevent that from happening).

Details on mods on request.

And though my disconnect has always worked 100%, The RE-Connect... Failed!
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