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Old 07-21-2021, 08:03 PM   #1
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Battery Issue

I have an '05 fdts 40'. My chassis batteries are flat dead and won't accept a charge. It will be next week before I can get replacements. Here's the immediate problem. My registration renewal is due by Monday. I can't read the digital dash without power. I have a 12 volt charger on the 2 chassis batteries thinking that would be enough power to light up the gauges and odometer. I need to have the mileage to put on the renewal form. I have the rear battery switch off to isolate the coach batteries which are also flat. Am I correct in assuming that I might be trying to charge a 24 volt arrangement with only 12 volts. Do the dash instruments work on 12 or 24 volt? Any ideas to light up the instruments will be greatly appreciated.
Best wishes to all,
Mike
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Old 07-21-2021, 08:20 PM   #2
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Your Chassis battery is 12 volts. If you can get anywhere close with a vehicle, you could try to use jumper cables to get 12 volts to it, leave the other vehicle running for 5-10 minutes before turning the key to light up instruments.
The Coach batteries should be on a different circuit but good idea to keep them switched off anyway for now.
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Old 07-21-2021, 08:27 PM   #3
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Nothing is 24 volts in your RV.

The chassis and house batteries are either multiple 12 volt wired in parallel or if 6 volt, wired in a series/parallel arrangement for 12 volts.

Of you have left your batteries in a state of discharge for a long time, you may have caused irreperable damage to them.

To get an odometer reading, remove the chassis ground connections from the bad batteries and then use jumper cables from a car to the positive cable and chassis ground. Turn on the key and read the mileage.
Do not try to start it !
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Old 07-21-2021, 08:37 PM   #4
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At least it's not last minute!

Chassis batteries are in parallel, hence 12VDC. Parallel [+ to +] doubles the current delivered to crank that diesel. (In series, it'd deliver 24 VCC). Charging both batteries while paralleled essentially halves the charge to each.

Newer battery chargers won't charge dead batteries. I use an 'old school' charger to try to recover any too-discharged. If the battery can be charged to a minimal voltage (9-10?), a new-age charger may complete the task.

They may also be sulfated and not deliver the power you need for starting. I've used various techniques to dislodge the sulfate plate coating. Merely powering a gauge takes little current. Another 12VDC source applied to the + and - chassis feeds, NOT across both batteries, may do the trick. Be careful and sure of what you're doing!

1- one newer charger I have has a recovery mode; sometimes works. This, as below, done disconnected from chassis, for the same reason below: prevent fried electronics.
2- with the battery disconnected from delicate vehicular components, I momentarily 'blast' 15-16v with the 'engine start' mode of the old charger a few times; somewhat the technique of the newer charger.
3- last resort: dropping the battery from about 3", which may mechanically dislodge the coating that prevents charging.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrinklemeist View Post
I have an '05 fdts 40'. My chassis batteries are flat dead and won't accept a charge. It will be next week before I can get replacements. Here's the immediate problem. My registration renewal is due by Monday. I can't read the digital dash without power. I have a 12 volt charger on the 2 chassis batteries thinking that would be enough power to light up the gauges and odometer. I need to have the mileage to put on the renewal form. I have the rear battery switch off to isolate the coach batteries which are also flat. Am I correct in assuming that I might be trying to charge a 24 volt arrangement with only 12 volts. Do the dash instruments work on 12 or 24 volt? Any ideas to light up the instruments will be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes to all,

Mike


Mike,

If you have the battery disconnect in the battery compartment off, you have disconnected the chassis batteries, you will never get a reading on you Actia gauge.

The battery compartment disconnect is for the chassis batteries, the disconnect inside the front door is for the house batteries. Have them both on or closed, you will be able to get your mileage.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:20 AM   #6
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Correct me here, if applicable. Turning either or both battery disconnect switches to “Off” will not isolate either battery bank. The switches are on the load/output side of the battery. Charging either bank, from any source, would eventually trigger the Trombetta to close and connect the two banks.

As to the immediate problem, if none of the “jumper” suggestions are successful, would it be possible to approximate the mileage? Do you know the odometer reading to at least within 1000 miles of actual? Are you at, say 78,xxx? Then just make up the last 3 numbers.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Nothing is 24 volts in your RV.

The chassis and house batteries are either multiple 12 volt wired in parallel or if 6 volt, wired in a series/parallel arrangement for 12 volts.

Of you have left your batteries in a state of discharge for a long time, you may have caused irreperable damage to them.

To get an odometer reading, remove the chassis ground connections from the bad batteries and then use jumper cables from a car to the positive cable and chassis ground. Turn on the key and read the mileage.
Do not try to start it !
^^^^^ This ^^^^^
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Nothing is 24 volts in your RV.
Not true in my Alpine

All kidding aside, if the issue is not with the disconnect switch, which it likely could be, then why not just use any 12V car battery connected just long enough to get the reading you require until you can get the replacements.....this can be done through direct connection or via jumper cables to the Positive and negative cables on your coach
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
Not true in my Alpine

So we don't confuse the OP, ALL Alpines, from the factory are 12VDC only.
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:44 AM   #10
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You could spend the better part of an hour cobbling a setup to light up the dash, or just WAG the number you put on the form. It's not like this is a sworn testimony, put down something close and move on.

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