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Old 11-07-2015, 07:43 PM   #1
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House battery question

Hi all,
New to RVing here. So we went to a full hookup campsite and after three days the chasis battery wouldn't start. Needed a jump. It's been fine ever since. Do you think it could be because the house battery was on the whole time? When plugged in, does the house battery need to be on? The reason I'm also wondering is because the previous owner installed a radio/ cd player that stays on when the house battery is on. I'm wondering if this is somehow draining the chasis battery. Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:15 PM   #2
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In most RVs when in a full hook up campground the converter will charge the house battery, while the chassis battery isn't normally charged. It sounds to me that the radio/CD player is connected to the chassis battery, not the house battery. If that's not the case, you might have another drain on the chassis battery.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:24 PM   #3
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But the radio only works when the house battery is on.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:29 PM   #4
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Only you can answer your question.
Plug your coach into shore power and measure the voltage across the chassis batteries.
If it is 13.8v of more, then they are getting charged.

"Normally" the house and chassis batteries are completely separate.
And the inverter/converter will only charge the house batteries.

Many times the coach will have a separate charger for the chassis batteries....but not always.

Regards,
Dan
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:25 PM   #5
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Most inexpensive multimeters also have an amperage tester setting that will show if there is a parasitic voltage draw and how much that amount is. Just be aware that most inexpensive ones are limited to 10 amps. I learned a lot on my last rig about drains of this nature and eliminated them. Here is a simple video of how to test.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:04 AM   #6
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It sounds like you have a bad connection somewhere on the chassis battery. Presuming you drove to the campground the battery should have been fully charged. Even with a radio playing for a couple days you still should have been okay to start. At least mine does, I have only the in dash stereo.

The booster cables may have bumped the bad connection enough to do the trick.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:55 PM   #7
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Check for a bad cell in the chassis battery. If you have a marginal cell and run the vehicle every day or so you will not have a problem starting the vehicle. However if you have any additional draw on the battery it will fail. Take it to a shop or Batteries plus have them put the tester on it, usually is free, the tester will identify a bad cell. Bad cell = New Battery. It's not difficult to diagnose/recognize the problem but if you're not paying attention a bad cell can cause you grief at the most in opportune time.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:50 PM   #8
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I will take excepton with one word in one of the replies.

"In most RV's"

I would change that to "Many" not Most.. I will also say in MANY Rv's the house converter does NOT charge the chassis (Starting) battery Epically in older units...

And finally in still more RVs (This would be "A Few" instead of "Many") the system to charge all batteries off either source is installed.. But Deffective.

Kind of like my phone it has alphabet problems.. The ABC is DEF
(Automatic Brightness Control,,, DEFfective).

When it comes to the battery isolator system (Whch controls which batteries charge from what)

Some have one way
Some have two way
Some have deffective two way.

It is imortant to know which you have.
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Old 11-18-2015, 03:37 PM   #9
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dont rely on a cheap multimeter

my harbor fright meter said my battery charging voltage(engine running) was 12 volts.It was off by 2 volts!My fluke 77 read 14.3 which is what it should be!
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:21 PM   #10
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Charging your fluke is correct manufacture specification standard 12v wet cell charge at 14.4 - 14.8
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikhett View Post
my harbor fright meter said my battery charging voltage(engine running) was 12 volts.It was off by 2 volts!My fluke 77 read 14.3 which is what it should be!
Open up your HF meter, and calibrate it. There is a single adjustment pot.

Regards,
Dan
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:28 AM   #12
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Well, figured out it was the radio system that was installed. Thanks for all the input.
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