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Old 12-29-2012, 03:44 PM   #1
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Unhappy Dead House batteries from boondocking

This weekend I dry camped for the first time. It was 37 degrees the first night so we ran our gas furnace. The next day I started up then genny with no problems. I ran it for an hour until the batteries showed a full charge. On the second night it was warm(I am in florida) and virtually ran nothing during the night. When I got up this morning my house batteries were dead and I couldn't start the genny.


I have a 2008 Itasca Sunova with 2 house batt.
I ran the engine about 1/2 hour and it did nothing, I now have it plugged into a 15amp home outlet, so far after 3 hours, still no charge.

Any suggestions for this ignorant newbie.

Thanks for any help.

Tipaulfla
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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It would help if we knew both the amp-hour rating and the age/condition of your batteries.

I would guess that after running the furnace the first night, the batteries were down to less than 1/2 charge. If that is so, running the generator for an hour could not really have brought them back to full charge. It have needed at least 4 hours.

You may have been fooled by reading the battery voltage while the generator was running or immediately after it was shut off. To get a reasonable valid reading, you need to have it shut off for at least 15 minutes. half an hour would be better.

Joel
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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Could be:
1) batteries are old & worn out; have 'em tested & get new ones if they test weak.
2) bad connections, especially if you have lead posts & clamps. Undo cable connections at batt's, clean to shiny condition, reassemble tight, apply spray or paint on type anti-corrosive (AutoZone, NAPA, O'Reilly). If no joy, update all downstream cable connections similarly from batts to gen & alternator.
3) if you have a settable charger, could be wrong setting for size of battery bank; reset charge level &/or battery bank size (irrespective of actual battery bank size) till you get 30A or better charge rate when batt's are low.
4) wild chance there is a fusible link or fuse inline some place, could be blown fuse. If so, replace fuse; if it blows again figure out what causes that & fix it.
5) not related to inability to recharge, but you could have either left stuff on & not realized it, or have "phantom" or parasitic loads you need to allow for on your rig. Mine bleeds 1.4A all day every day for OGKW*. I have to remember that when dry camping & allow for charging accordingly.

* Only God Knows What
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, problem fixed, all set
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:09 PM   #5
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What did you find?
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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Very strange Ricko. When I went back to my storage there was still no charge. I use two Eva-dry units when it is stored and they weren't working so I went outside and wiggled the plug. I went back in the rv and they were working . I then checked my battery charge on my control panel and they were fully charged. I have absolutely no idea how that could of happened,but he genny fired right up. Mysterious but solved.

If anyone knows what transpired, I am curious,but now a happy camper once again.

Tipaulfla
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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My guess...The loose plug was not powering your on board invertor/charger. When you reconnected the shore power it provided enough 12V to crank the generator. Wherever you are reading battery voltage is giving you charging voltage, not state of charge. Leave it plugged in because the batteries still need to charge. Unplug shore power and turn on a light to take off the surface charge and then you could read the state of charge of the batteries. Or better yet use a hydrometer. Glad it was an easy fix.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:21 PM   #8
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Thanks Tompen
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:45 AM   #9
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The batts are still no good. Replace them. A GOOD batt takes a long tome to recharge from a high discharge, and certainly cannot be accomplished in an hour. You are seeing a surface charge only.

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Old 01-01-2013, 01:04 PM   #10
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If you don't have one already the first thing you need to do is go to Radio Shack or maybe Harbor Freight and purchase a inexpensive digital multimeter. Every RV'er should have one as it is a basic tool to diagnose electrical problems. It will tell you what is going on with your electrical system.

A point to consider. There is no way your two house batteries would be recharged in 1 hour. If you have a battery meter in your coach with a series of lights supposedly telling you the state of charge you can pretty much ignore it. It will not tell you the truth. To tell if you are getting a charge from your engine or from your shore power you are going to need a meter.

Letting your batteries to run dead will dramatically reduce their life. For best battery life you should not discharge them below 50% state of charge (SOC). In cold weather a RV furnace will most likely discharge a group 27 battery in one night.

Get yourself a meter.

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Old 01-02-2013, 11:30 AM   #11
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Dead Batteries over nigh

You are correct on the batteries, Running the furnace on a cold night will depleat them to the point that it will shut down the dieasel funace.
Fresh batt will help prolong this, what Ive experenced batt age less than 3 years old and kept charged . Charging after wile boon docking seams to be the challenge. Working with solar now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jauguston View Post
If you don't have one already the first thing you need to do is go to Radio Shack or maybe Harbor Freight and purchase a inexpensive digital multimeter. Every RV'er should have one as it is a basic tool to diagnose electrical problems. It will tell you what is going on with your electrical system.

A point to consider. There is no way your two house batteries would be recharged in 1 hour. If you have a battery meter in your coach with a series of lights supposedly telling you the state of charge you can pretty much ignore it. It will not tell you the truth. To tell if you are getting a charge from your engine or from your shore power you are going to need a meter.

Letting your batteries to run dead will dramatically reduce their life. For best battery life you should not discharge them below 50% state of charge (SOC). In cold weather a RV furnace will most likely discharge a group 27 battery in one night.

Get yourself a meter.

Jim
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:34 PM   #12
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Every RV that boondocks at all should have an accurate battery monitor such as a Trimetric. With this unit there is no guessing as to the state of your batteries charge/discharge.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:22 AM   #13
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If you are relying on what amounts to a volt meter to tell you when your battery(s) are full, realize this is unless there is no load and this means no drain, and having sat for a couple of hours, or it will be inaccurate. The only way to have some idea is using a battery monitor i.e. Trimetric or Victron which will measure the current going into or coming out of your battery.
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