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Old 07-30-2020, 06:27 PM   #1
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Master switch question

I have a 1994 26ft Fleetwood Flair. I am still confused on when or if the chassis batteries get charged. I have it connected to shore power but it seems as the power supply does not maintain the chassis batteries. They have lost their charge after about 4 months on shore power. I switch off both of the master switches while on shore power. The engine battery seems to hold a charge and from what I understand, the power supply does not charger the engine battery. Can someone describe when and how to manage the Master switches?
Thanks, Ed
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:59 PM   #2
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Location: Powell River, B.C.
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Well I don't have any experience with you particular coach , BUT , switching off the master switches while ON shore power could be the issue .

Master switches OFF is for storage of the RV when no shore power is available .

To see if your RV charges the chassis batteries while on shore power , with the master switches on , test each battery bank with a multi meter , if the volts show the same ( 13.2+ up to 14.1 ) then both battery banks are charging . If only the house battery bank charges , then consider installing the item below.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:01 PM   #3
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When you say chassis battery, I assume you are referring to coach or house batteries since you later indicate "engine battery" holds a charge. Is that correct?

Typically, the battery disconnect for the coach batteries is disabled when plugged into shore power. If it is actually disconnecting the batteries while on shore power, that would explain it. The batteries can't charge if they are disconnected. You would still get 12V from the converter to power things in the RV, but the 12V wouldn't reach the batteries to charge them.

As you indicated, engine battery is not usually charged by the converter from shore power.

The stock converter charger on most RVs does a poor job as a long term battery maintainer. They usually overcharge the batteries if left unattended for long periods of time. There are various solutions to this. One solution is to replace the converter charger with a better one, but this is usually only cost effective if you use the RV full time or have a bad converter that needs to be replaced anyway. Some people put the RV on a timer that only powers it up for a few hours a week. However, I believe the best solution is to not power the RV at all during storage, but add a battery tender maintenance charger designed specifically to maintain the charge without overcharging. With this, you would leave the RV unplugged, disconnect the batteries, and connect the maintainer directly to the batteries.

If the batteries aren't getting charged at all, they will eventually self discharge. There are often some items that remain connected even when the disconnect is set to disconnect the batteries. The gas and CO alarms are sometimes wired this way. If that's the case, the batteries will drain much more quickly than just self discharging.
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