Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-16-2022, 03:01 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Draper55's Avatar
 
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
House battery charging

I'm 7 months into owning this 1999 American Tradition 40TVS. My wife & I are full timing and mostly boondocking. Right after I purchased this unit, I was performing routine maintenance to get an idea of how it was taken care of. I found the house batteries in bad shape, both terminal corrosion and extremely low on water. In fact, the four six-volt batteries took a full gallon of distilled water to top them off. I charged them by being plugged in to household 20amp service for about 4 days. The three-step charger seemed to be operating properly, red to yellow to green as the batteries were charging. Using a temperature correcting hydrometer, I tested all four batteries after that and found two borderline good and two a little less than borderline. I decided to run them until they were unable to deliver proper service. It's been cold during the nights even though we are in St. George, UT so I turn the 7500-watt generator on for about an hour while I run both furnaces to heat the coach and then turn them off until it gets too cold for comfort. Last week we experienced a problem with the generator running, the light on the charger stayed red constantly and the 'charging bars' went from green to yellow followed by loss of a/c power from the inverter.

I tested the house batteries again and found all four to be bad. I replaced all four with equivalent items and now when looking at the charger panel with the engine off and the generator off and no shore power connected the yellow light (normal) is on and green bars show on the charger panel indicating good battery voltage. However, as soon as I plug the shore power in the charger light turns red and stays that way throughout the entire night. If I unplug the shore power and start the generator the charge light immediately goes red and stays that way. If I turn the generator off and start the engine the charge light goes back to yellow and the green bars on the charger panel are green, and they even go a couple of bars higher indicating that the engine's alternator is charging very well.

I have rechecked the battery cable routing and there are only two minor wires hooked to the positive and negative terminals and they are not hooked up improperly. I'm not sure what to check next. Any help will be appreciated.
__________________
J.D., Penny Mae & John Henry (Irish Setter companion)
1999 American Tradition 40TVS Toadless!
Full Timers dodging icy roads
Draper55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-16-2022, 03:21 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,168
Welcome.


First off, "indicator lights" are an extremely poor way to monitor battery voltage.


Get a 'DIGITAL VOLTMETER' and tell us the readings.


If the batteries are deeply discharged, a smart charger or smart inverter/charger will not charge them (it assumes a significant battery problem).


If the batteries are indeed good, but deeply discharged, you may need to either use a "stupid charger" or run primary engine or jump from another vehicle to get voltage up to where the smart device will take over.
__________________
Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38FDDS. Ex: 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240
wolfe10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 04:08 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 473
Good advice above. In the absence of monitoring gear, a good old fashioned charger like this is very revealing - they are not dumb really. Whenever I am unsure, I hook this up.

https://www.amazon.com/STANLEY-BC15B...s%2C126&sr=8-3


What kind of charger does your coach have ?
Also not sure how you are testing but the definitive test is take to any battery place or even Walmart and they have proper testers.
__________________
2004 Safari Cheetah PDQ 330 Cat
2020 Ram EcoDiesel toad
USAF Special Operations
Iceclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 04:14 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Draper55's Avatar
 
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
These house batteries are now brand new. I'm just trying to figure out why the 3 step charger is not working like it used to.
__________________
J.D., Penny Mae & John Henry (Irish Setter companion)
1999 American Tradition 40TVS Toadless!
Full Timers dodging icy roads
Draper55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2022, 06:59 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Sedona, AZ
Posts: 2,632
Charger may be bad. Sounds like your alternator is charging but your charger isn't.
__________________
Shell Bleiweiss
2014 1/2 Thor Challenger 37KT
Sedona, AZ
sbleiweiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2022, 07:03 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,168
Without the voltage readings, we are just guessing.


Voltage at the house batteries with no shore power or generator:


Voltage at the house batteries with either shore power or generator:


5 minutes work and you will know!
__________________
Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38FDDS. Ex: 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240
wolfe10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2022, 09:28 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Draper55's Avatar
 
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Standing voltage on the house batteries (all together as I didn't separate them) is 12.18 Standing voltage on the chassis batteries is 12.7 With the generator running the voltage at the house batteries is 12.18 still. So obviously no charging. There is a bright silver solenoid on the back side of the electrical box that has 12.7 volts at the bottom terminal and 12.18 at the top terminal, so I'm assuming this is the 'Auxiliary Battery Connect' solenoid. I'm not sure where the converter/inverter/charger is located.
__________________
J.D., Penny Mae & John Henry (Irish Setter companion)
1999 American Tradition 40TVS Toadless!
Full Timers dodging icy roads
Draper55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2022, 11:39 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 30,208
If you have any other wires on the terminals with jumpers between 2 batteries, they dont belong there.

Send a picture.
twinboat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2022, 12:08 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
andy29847's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,239
First thing to do is reset your inverter/charger. I reset mine by turning the inverter breaker off in the main AC panel.
__________________
2001 Alpine Coach 38/8
ACA 2018006
Andy
andy29847 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2022, 12:40 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 473
Can you please share what model inverter/charger you have. Don't say Xantrex 2000 lol.
__________________
2004 Safari Cheetah PDQ 330 Cat
2020 Ram EcoDiesel toad
USAF Special Operations
Iceclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2022, 08:18 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Draper55's Avatar
 
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
Can anyone tell me where the charger/inverter is located on this 1999 American Tradition 40TVS?
__________________
J.D., Penny Mae & John Henry (Irish Setter companion)
1999 American Tradition 40TVS Toadless!
Full Timers dodging icy roads
Draper55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2022, 09:36 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draper55 View Post
Can anyone tell me where the charger/inverter is located on this 1999 American Tradition 40TVS?
I don't know where their located on your coach or whether there separate units or a combined unit, but you need to read up and install a digital battery monitor. The light indicator type level monitors are worthless. You may also need to install an up-to-date 4 stage SMART convertor (which is aka the charger BTW)
__________________
Traveling Full Timers
Gas Motorhome
Escapees, Maintenance Freak
mr.tommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2022, 09:14 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Cat320's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6,277
Sent you a PM.
__________________
2014 American Eagle 45T
DD 13, 500 HP
Pulling a Honda CRV
Cat320 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2022, 09:53 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Draper55's Avatar
 
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 16
I'm sorry, but I can't figure out how to receive, or read a private message on this forum.
__________________
J.D., Penny Mae & John Henry (Irish Setter companion)
1999 American Tradition 40TVS Toadless!
Full Timers dodging icy roads
Draper55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, charging



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
House battery/chassis battery/charging and start assist question Rookie RVer Class C Motorhome Discussions 5 06-06-2020 07:02 PM
Charging house batteries with the built in charging system - 2005 Mountain Aire 4304 Doug427 Newmar Owner's Forum 16 04-01-2020 02:32 PM
Battery - connected house batteries to both house and engine. Engine battery removed. MMMZ Class A Motorhome Discussions 37 06-07-2018 11:38 AM
House battery charging problem vacation on wheels National RV Owner's Forum 17 04-04-2018 09:44 AM
Charging House Battery(ies) - Gen, Solar, ? Idea JeepDaddy Truck Camper Discussion 4 04-10-2005 07:42 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.