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Old 10-20-2021, 07:14 PM   #1
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Electrical question

I'm waiting on a part for my Monaco inverter but have an opportunity for a high paying job and want to take my motorhome. My inverter won't charge my coach batteries so this is what I'm thinking I can do until I get my new control board.

My 120V pass through seems to work on the inverter just fine so my fridge, outlets, microwave etc work fine but I need my coach batteries for lights, thermostat, pump etc. My coach batteries will obviously die pretty fast without charging.

My question is if I turn off the inverter charging via the control panel can I just plug a portable battery charger into one of my storage bay 120 outlets to charge my coach batteries?

Mind you this is just temporary until the container ship backlog off the Cali coast is resolved and my new board arrives.

Thank you for any advice
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Old 10-20-2021, 07:19 PM   #2
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Use a Smart Charger, so not to overcharge and boil them dry.
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Old 10-20-2021, 07:31 PM   #3
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Yes you positively can.
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Old 10-20-2021, 07:48 PM   #4
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Thanks guys!! I'll see if I can find a smart charger or if they are all sitting off the coast as well
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Old 10-20-2021, 07:51 PM   #5
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You can either get a smart charger as mentioned


OR


A "dumb" charger that you monitor to keep voltage in the 12.8-13.5 VDC range (a little higher if cold temps).


Really your choice if you want it automatic or less $$.
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Old 10-20-2021, 07:56 PM   #6
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Should I disconnect the coach batteries from the inverter?
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Old 10-20-2021, 09:56 PM   #7
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Probably not worry about it, but you can. If you want to do that, you will need to access the large lugs on the inverter that should be color coded with large plastic or rubber covers. Be careful with your tools and handling your cable ends so you don't accidentally short the positive cable-end or lug to ground. Also, if you do remove them be sure to insulate your positive cable-end very well and secure it so it doesn't get into trouble.

One quick question first. When you are off of shore power will the inverter supply 120 VAC to the coach outlets, or are they dead when not on shore power and not running the generator? If it does supply the 120 VAC to the outlets, you might want to keep the cables connected so you will still have that capability.

I just looked at the owners manual for the Magnum inverter we had in our '06 Dynasty and the troubleshooting for no charging listed four things to check. 1) Loose or corroded battery cables. 2) Defective batteries. 3) Wrong charger settings. 4) Wrong AC input voltage.

I suspect you've checked most, if not all of those four things. As for the charger settings, if you haven't already, page thru the menu settings for the charger portion and make sure they are right. Again, you probably already did that, but I'm mentioning it just in case you didn't. There is a setting where the charging current can be severely limited such as one might do if they were plugged into a 15 amp outlet with a long extension cord to just keep the coach "alive". I guess that's called life support, right?

Good luck finding your problem.
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Old 10-20-2021, 11:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K7JV View Post
Probably not worry about it, but you can. If you want to do that, you will need to access the large lugs on the inverter that should be color coded with large plastic or rubber covers. Be careful with your tools and handling your cable ends so you don't accidentally short the positive cable-end or lug to ground. Also, if you do remove them be sure to insulate your positive cable-end very well and secure it so it doesn't get into trouble.



One quick question first. When you are off of shore power will the inverter supply 120 VAC to the coach outlets, or are they dead when not on shore power and not running the generator? If it does supply the 120 VAC to the outlets, you might want to keep the cables connected so you will still have that capability.

I just looked at the owners manual for the Magnum inverter we had in our '06 Dynasty and the troubleshooting for no charging listed four things to check. 1) Loose or corroded battery cables. 2) Defective batteries. 3) Wrong charger settings. 4) Wrong AC input voltage.

I suspect you've checked most, if not all of those four things. As for the charger settings, if you haven't already, page thru the menu settings for the charger portion and make sure they are right. Again, you probably already did that, but I'm mentioning it just in case you didn't. There is a setting where the charging current can be severely limited such as one might do if they were plugged into a 15 amp outlet with a long extension cord to just keep the coach "alive". I guess that's called life support, right?

Good luck finding your problem.
Thanks for the input but I did alot of trouble shooting of the inverter and if I leave it in charge or invert it shuts down and gives me an internal error fault. I'm done dealing with it and just want a temporary solution. If the control board doesn't fix the problem we'll see about further investigation. I have another entire post about trouble shooting the inverter.
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Old 10-21-2021, 07:25 AM   #9
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Wow, it sounds like you do have a lot of skin in the game, already. I'm so sorry! I will stick with my first paragraph above, regarding disconnect options and safeguards. If it isn't functioning as either an inverter or a converter/charger, it would make great sense to disconnect the two 12 volt cables from it. That would avoid any other potential problems, completely.

And yes, you received good advice on charging the batteries with a portable charging device. Good luck on the repair/replacment going forward.
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Old 10-23-2021, 02:41 PM   #10
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One more question

I've been experimenting with this using only two of my 6v house batteries and it appears to work as long as the charger leads are on different batteries so both charge on the 12 V charger.

My rig will hold four 6V batteries hooked up to provide 12 volts. Will charging all four house batteries with a 12 volt charger cause any issues? Should I just stick with using two of the 6 volt batteries?

Thanks
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Old 10-23-2021, 05:30 PM   #11
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That (charging all four house batteries with a 12 volt charger) is what I would do. That's what I did a couple of times on our '06 Dynasty. When you have four 6-volt batteries connected in what can be called series-parallel (two batteries in series connected in parallel with two more batteries in series) like yours are, that is really just a 12 volt battery with twice the load capability of only two batteries. The size of your batteries will not overload the charger. The charger will deliver what it is designed to deliver and the batteries will accept most of what is sent to them.

That is how your current (if it was working properly) converter would charge them, as well as how they would charge from your engine alternator supply.

The only real difference between using only two of your four batteries is that you will have half of the load carrying capability (half of the amps) and half of the energy capability (half of the amp-hours) compared to using all four of them. I would not do that, myself.

Also, it is best to keep all two (if you only have two) or all four (if you have four) batteries all be of the same make, size and age, hopefully purchased and installed at the same time. It is also best treat them all pretty equally, and that would include charge/discharge cycles. Physical differences and duty cycle differences can have an adverse effect on the overall life of the battery bank installation.
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