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Old 03-05-2013, 11:07 AM   #1
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Battery dead?

I went to start my generator today in my motorhome and it wouldn't start and no lights in rig the light wouldn't even come on when I primed generator
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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How long has it been setting before you tried the generator? I know I have a emergency button on mine that I can push which will help start the gennie in this situation. Did you make sure the battery switch was off before leaving. That will drain it as well. Our RV is stored at a storage place and every now and then I bring it to the house and plug it in to charge the batteries. Put a meter on the batteries to see if they are indeed dead.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyzforme View Post
How long has it been setting before you tried the generator? I know I have a emergency button on mine that I can push which will help start the gennie in this situation. Did you make sure the battery switch was off before leaving. That will drain it as well. Our RV is stored at a storage place and every now and then I bring it to the house and plug it in to charge the batteries. Put a meter on the batteries to see if they are indeed dead.
I have a store and use button when I walk into the door of trailer for the lights I think. Maybe I left lights on in rig? I also have a emergency start button on the dash what's that for.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:50 AM   #4
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If your Store and Use buttons (Salesman's Switches) were left On too long, then both battery sets may be dead. You'd need to service them, jump them, get your engine started to charge them up. There are vampire loads on both sets of batteries and even turning off the switches does not disconnect all those loads. Many just disconnect the ground cables while in storage.

The emergency start button closes a solenoid that parallels the coach batteries with the chassis (starting battery), allowing you to start the engine if the starting battery is dead. If both sets of batteries are dead, it won't help much.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:04 PM   #5
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If your Store and Use buttons (Salesman's Switches) were left On too long, then both battery sets may be dead. You'd need to service them, jump them, get your engine started to charge them up. There are vampire loads on both sets of batteries and even turning off the switches does not disconnect all those loads. Many just disconnect the ground cables while in storage.

The emergency start button closes a solenoid that parallels the coach batteries with the chassis (starting battery), allowing you to start the engine if the starting battery is dead. If both sets of batteries are dead, it won't help much.
The truck starts up, are you saying run my truck and that will charge my house battery? Or how do you jump battery?
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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I got it started , I just pushed the battery disconnect until it turned red then started the generator up , question, how do I charge house battery? And do I turn battery disconnect to store when I shut off generator ? And does leaving my generator run a while charge my house battery?
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:41 AM   #7
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Running the generator will charge your house batteries but from what I have been told it takes a loooooong time. I would once they are charged turn the switch to off as you leave the RV. If your going to be storing it for long periods of time I would disconnect the negative cable like what was stated before and then they should stay charged for awhile but eventually will get low and require to be charged again. For this reason I just take the RV out of storage and drive it to my house and plug it in for a few days. Then I know the batteries are charged good. I take the RV out to races every couple of weeks so I am not too worried about my batteries. I don't know your situation so its different for everybody
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:02 AM   #8
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Mano, It looks like you have a Class C that's similar in age and appearance to my brothers rig. His is designed so that the engine and house batteries will charge from the alternator.

But his converter only charges the house batteries when he's on shore power.

He has gotten into the habit of connecting his rig to AC while parked as his home AND he has installed a small float charger (2amp, available at WM) that plugs into 120V that keeps his starting battery topped off.

This kind of set up is also common for class A rigs. At least older or low end rigs. Higher end rigs or newer rigs have provisions for charging both sets while either driving, or when plugged into shore power. Best way to find out how yours works is to measure the voltage with the engine running (after waiting a few minutes), or while on shore power.

Quote:
I just pushed the battery disconnect until it turned red then started the generator up , question, how do I charge house battery? And do I turn battery disconnect to store when I shut off generator ? And does leaving my generator run a while charge my house battery?
I think you pushed the Aux Start switch? Or Emergency Start switch?

When the generator is running, it will charge the house battery automatically, if your converter (converts 120Vac to 12Vdc) is plugged in and working. Measure the voltage on the house batteries, they should read 14+ volts with the genset running. So to charge the house batteries, either running the engine, plug into shore power, or running the genset should charge them up.

If you're going to store the rig for lengths of time, consider just disconnecting the ground cables to the batteries. After they're charged up. I've done that for months at a time. If they are healthy, and fully charged, they'll hold that charge for quite a while when disconnected.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:33 AM   #9
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The same thing happened to me yesterday. I solved the problem by starting the engine and letting it run for about 20 minutes. I then had enough voltage to start the genset. It was tough starting since it has been very cold out. But after three times it fired up. I then let it run for about half and hour. I have purchased a 7 watt solar charger. I set it on the ground now and trickle charge the engine battery. I plan to install this on the roof of the vehicle some day.

So between starting the engine once a week for about 30 minutes, starting the genset once a week for about 30 minutes, plugging into shore power once a week for 24 hours, plugging in the solar charger (except when driving) and driving the RV around the block (about 7 miles) once a week, I have kept my RV running and ready to go this past winter.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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I have my rig stored at a storage lot, At least onece a month if I am not using it,I go by just to check on it and while I am there, run the generator for about 20 minutes, keeps the generator up and charges the batteries at the same time.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Mano, It looks like you have a Class C that's similar in age and appearance to my brothers rig. His is designed so that the engine and house batteries will charge from the alternator.

But his converter only charges the house batteries when he's on shore power.

He has gotten into the habit of connecting his rig to AC while parked as his home AND he has installed a small float charger (2amp, available at WM) that plugs into 120V that keeps his starting battery topped off.

This kind of set up is also common for class A rigs. At least older or low end rigs. Higher end rigs or newer rigs have provisions for charging both sets while either driving, or when plugged into shore power. Best way to find out how yours works is to measure the voltage with the engine running (after waiting a few minutes), or while on shore power.

I think you pushed the Aux Start switch? Or Emergency Start switch?

When the generator is running, it will charge the house battery automatically, if your converter (converts 120Vac to 12Vdc) is plugged in and working. Measure the voltage on the house batteries, they should read 14+ volts with the genset running. So to charge the house batteries, either running the engine, plug into shore power, or running the genset should charge them up.

If you're going to store the rig for lengths of time, consider just disconnecting the ground cables to the batteries. After they're charged up. I've done that for months at a time. If they are healthy, and fully charged, they'll hold that charge for quite a while when disconnected.
How do you measure the voltage?
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #12
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I have a Digital Multi-Meter (DMM) that I use to measure voltage. You can buy this for as little as $10 at Harbor Freight. The MM part means you can measure AC/DC, resistance, amperage, etc.

Buy yourself a DMM, read the manual, learn to use it and you'll be happy to have it.

Now, if your question was different then the above answer, I'd guess you might need more detail about where I put the probes and such. I don't use the dash gauge to measure the voltage as those can be off by quite a bit. I measure right at the battery terminals with a DMM.

Let me know if you need more detail.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:38 PM   #13
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Thank you, I'll get myself one
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