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Old 11-01-2021, 09:38 AM   #1
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Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 89
Dead House Batteries

Again, life on the road brings challenges. I figure this is another opportunity to document my symptoms and resolution in hopes it will help somebody else down the road.

Our inverter did a low voltage cut off in the middle of the night, about 3:30am. I was too tired to get up and fire up the generator at the time, plus I didn't want to be "that guy" who fires up his generator outside of normal quiet hours when there are other campers around (we are boondocking currently and there are other campers not too far away). So when I get up at 6:30am and I go to start the generator and nothing, it won't even turn.
  • I check that I can fire up the rig's engine and that the battery under the hood is good. - CHECK
  • I bust out the jump box (we don't carry jumper cables thanks to this little guy) and put it the house batteries (2 12V lithium) and it throws a reverse polarity error. No biggie, it's still a little dark and I'm tired, maybe I didn't see the red and black as clearly as I should so I reverse them. Same error.
  • I disconnect the house batteries from everything except ground. Same results with the jump box.
  • Now to break out the voltmeter and see what's going on with the house batteries. 0v, dead as can be. NOTHING!
  • Now I'm thinking that if I can just get the generator running and online I'll be ok, recharge the batteries, get my residential style fridge turned back on before things start to thaw out, and have some lights inside the rig. So I take the jump box over to the generator and hook it up to the starter solenoid. SAME reverse polarity error.
  • Is my jump box fried? I test it out on the chassis battery. All good there. So i go back to the generator and disconnect the battery feed (from the house batteries) that goes to the starter solenoid (Onan 4000 btw).
  • Put the jump box in manual mode, which does 12v/1500 watts until it's dead. Generator fires up but as soon as I disconnect the jump box it dies. Apparently the generator still needs 12v to fire the ignition.
  • Wire the generator solenoid back up to the house batteries, but disconnect the + from the house batteries, hook the jump box back up to the generator and fire it up.
  • Keep it running with the jump box providing 12v for the ignition until, the generator output is online. Once it comes online, putting out 120v (I can hear my automatic transfer switch click and my inverter turn on)
  • Wire the house battery positive back up, remove the jump box from the generator starter solenoid, and VOILA, we're charging!!!!
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Old 11-01-2021, 04:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoBen View Post
Again, life on the road brings challenges. I figure this is another opportunity to document my symptoms and resolution in hopes it will help somebody else down the road.

Our inverter did a low voltage cut off in the middle of the night, about 3:30am. I was too tired to get up and fire up the generator at the time, plus I didn't want to be "that guy" who fires up his generator outside of normal quiet hours when there are other campers around (we are boondocking currently and there are other campers not too far away). So when I get up at 6:30am and I go to start the generator and nothing, it won't even turn.
  • I check that I can fire up the rig's engine and that the battery under the hood is good. - CHECK
  • I bust out the jump box (we don't carry jumper cables thanks to this little guy) and put it the house batteries (2 12V lithium) and it throws a reverse polarity error. No biggie, it's still a little dark and I'm tired, maybe I didn't see the red and black as clearly as I should so I reverse them. Same error.
  • I disconnect the house batteries from everything except ground. Same results with the jump box.
  • Now to break out the voltmeter and see what's going on with the house batteries. 0v, dead as can be. NOTHING!
  • Now I'm thinking that if I can just get the generator running and online I'll be ok, recharge the batteries, get my residential style fridge turned back on before things start to thaw out, and have some lights inside the rig. So I take the jump box over to the generator and hook it up to the starter solenoid. SAME reverse polarity error.
  • Is my jump box fried? I test it out on the chassis battery. All good there. So i go back to the generator and disconnect the battery feed (from the house batteries) that goes to the starter solenoid (Onan 4000 btw).
  • Put the jump box in manual mode, which does 12v/1500 watts until it's dead. Generator fires up but as soon as I disconnect the jump box it dies. Apparently the generator still needs 12v to fire the ignition.
  • Wire the generator solenoid back up to the house batteries, but disconnect the + from the house batteries, hook the jump box back up to the generator and fire it up.
  • Keep it running with the jump box providing 12v for the ignition until, the generator output is online. Once it comes online, putting out 120v (I can hear my automatic transfer switch click and my inverter turn on)
  • Wire the house battery positive back up, remove the jump box from the generator starter solenoid, and VOILA, we're charging!!!!
Appears to me your batteries are dead because you were running the inverter all night off those batteries. It's too much to ask. I don't see anything complicated here.
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Old 11-02-2021, 09:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OkieSVT View Post
Appears to me your batteries are dead because you were running the inverter all night off those batteries. It's too much to ask. I don't see anything complicated here.
Correct, I didn't have them fully charged before going to bed. My point in posting this was for steps in how I was able to start my generator when the batteries that start it are completely dead.
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Old 11-02-2021, 10:53 AM   #4
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What jump box do you have that offers a 1.5kW supply?

Do you have a boost switch or was that defeated with the lithium installation?

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 11-03-2021, 09:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_K5LXP View Post
What jump box do you have that offers a 1.5kW supply?

Do you have a boost switch or was that defeated with the lithium installation?

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
Here's what I purchased: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Slight catch. I said the jump box was 1500 watts, I mis-typed. 1500 amps.

I do have a switch that is supposed to join the house/coach batteries but I think I defeated it when installing my Lithium Battery Isolation Manager. I did try it just in case but no joy.
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