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Old 11-09-2019, 12:19 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2019
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Maiden trip Ouch!!

Took my maiden trip yesterday in our new 1992 class c. Packed and felt like I was already to go. I was heading to Purdue university yo play wheelchair tennis there. I am an amputee and participate in this sport around the country . We plan on using our Rv to travel to these tournaments. I was going to boondock at the the tennis center and the director said ok with it. Last night after playing all day I was pretty wiped out. Got comfortable in the Rv about 4 in the afternoon. Turned on the heat propane and started watching tv. All working fine. About 1;30 in the morning furnace stopped working. Temp was 29 outside. I turned on the lights and they were dim. Ut oh. Checked the house battery with a volt meter and was putting out 4 volts. Tried to turn on the generator and would not turn over. Panic begins to set in. No place to plug into shore and no generator. Long story short my furnace fan had run down my house battery. I being new at this did not realize the furnace fan could drain the house battery that much. Lessons learned and I did find a place to plug in and house battery charged up and the generator worked perfect. All is fine now. Warm and cozy in the Rv. Iíve heard thereís humor in misfortune so I can laugh about it now but at the time was kind of tense.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:24 PM   #2
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A single 12V battery if new would be challenged to keep furnace running, Tv going for several hrs. An older battery probably wouldn't stand a chance !
Ben & Sharon
2008 43' Holiday Rambler Scepter PDQ
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:36 PM   #3
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Furnace and tv, fridge ,lights = just bite the dust and run the generator all night.
Living in luxury and comfort.


Have a seperate fully charged battery wired in to start the generator???

Economics say run the generator

In my opinion.

Thats what its for.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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There is a good possibility that running the chassis engine could get your generator started. Not sure how long to run, but I have done that with mine before I got solar. I know they don't work at night but they do a good job,of keeping the batterys up.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:39 AM   #5
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Just a couple of things, most coaches have a battery combiner switch that lets the house and coach batteries combine while the switch is held down, this can be used in case you left headlights or something else on and drained the chassis battery, or can be used to crank the generator if the house batteries are ran down.

As to house batteries, a pair of good deep cycle batteries should provide enough power to run the furnace blower overnight, plus power a modern flat panel TV, and some LED lights. If yours will not do this, you may need new batteries, if you can fit 2 batteries, consider buying a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries and wire them in series, instead of a pair of 12V deep cycle batteries. More bang for the buck, and they tend to be more robust than common marine dual use 12V batteries which are not true deep cycles. (there are true 12V deep cycles out there, but they can be harder to find so many RV's have dual use installed instead).
2002 Safari Trek 2830 on P32 Chassis with 8.1L w/ 400 watts solar 420Ah LiFePo4
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:05 AM   #6
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We have two 6V batteries for the house and we are very mindful of battery voltage. Years ago I installed a volt meter into the face of the stove hood so "voltage" is "in my face" all the time. THIS IS THE VOLTMETER STILL SOLD TODAY AT A COST OF ONLY $3 which is also a clock and thermometer depending on the settings you decide, but I always display house battery voltage. With two matching spring-back control switches that I already had, it looks like a factory installation.

The back of this control panel has openings in the plastic structure that the volt meter and switches fit nicely into. As I recall, to remove the panel, you remove one screw on the right side, then pull that end towards you while sliding the panel to the right to release it. If the screw is on the left, then slide the panel to the left. Prying it off recklessly would likely break the locking tabs at the end opposite of the screw.

When voltage reads 12.1 with everything turned off, it is definitely time for charging. I usually charge at 12.2-12.3 to reduce generator run times.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:48 AM   #7
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Very nice. Where did you buy that.?
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jeff clark View Post
Very nice. Where did you buy that.?
I bought it on ebay. Click the link IN CAPS in my reply above to see one offering.

I searched a little deeper just now and found the same thing, but with the two control buttons integrated. CLICK HERE to see it. It appears to be wider than mine which means the back-side of the control panel will require modification.

Obvious to me, the manufacture of the hood had plans for some kind of instrumentation in the right side blank space. I wonder what it was. I worked with skeletal back-side structure which placed the display and switches as shown. Still, I had to be extremely careful cutting out the openings in the finish plate because any mistake would be permanent.

Ah Ha! I found my pictures of the back side. These make it very clear.

I was wrong about the plastic tabs being only opposite side of the screw. This picture shows 3 pairs of tabs all along the way. You most certainly pull-away the left end, then slide the panel to the left to release it.

I placed the temperature sensor right there behind the panel. Temperature reading is obviously skewed when cooking, but I always display the voltage.

I picked up 12V power off one constant-on 12V black wire as seen in the picture. I thought the red wire was constant, but I was wrong, hence the insulation on the red. I don't recall how I grounded the display.
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:26 AM   #9
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Removing the hood front panel....

It has been a long time and this brain of mine is stuffed. Now I am wondering if there is even a screw to remove. Maybe you just unsnap it from the left end by prying it up. Then slide the entire panel to the left.

I am mixing up my projects. I am so sorry for the messy information. I'd fix my posts, but this forum won't let me after one hour. If only I could.

Ron Dittmer
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:41 AM   #10
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Think of it as a "shake down cruise", then you can be thankful things went wrong so you can fix them before you have problems on a major trip.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:59 PM   #11
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You may want to look into a Lithium Iron Sulfate battery for the house battery. They have about 2x the power of a standard Lead Acid house battery. They are much more expensive but have a MUCH longer useful life. So they are a lot of money upfront but can be cheaper in the long run.

The fan on a typical RV furnace will draw about 7A. So if you are running it fro 8 hours that is 56Ah (amp hours). A typical battery might only have a capacity of 70 or 80 Ah when new, so 56Ah is going to draw it down all the way if the battery isn't in brand new condition. It will take a long time with the generator running to get that battery charged too. A battery that has been discharged and charged a few hundred times is going to be worn out and lose capacity as well.

A battery like this - - will store 100Ah, more than enough to get through an entire night. They are rated to last through thousands of cycles, so they will work for years (decades perhaps) without needing to be replaced. They also charge must faster than lead acid batteries. A few hours running the generator will get them to full charge while a lead acid could take all day to go from 80% to 100%. The downside is that a good quality deep cycle battery can be found for a few hundred dollars, but a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery will cost $1000.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:32 AM   #12
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Discharging a lead acid battery to 12.3 volts seems low?? I charge mine at 12.6 volts.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:27 AM   #13
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You probably just need to replace the house battery.

If you only have room for one, get a GP31, deep cycle one. They have about 100 AH of capacity. I'm using Sam's Club GP31 batteries, about $100 each.

If your heater is drawing about 7 amps, and is running 45 minutes per hour, that's about 5.5 AHs. 10 hours of heat and you've used up only 55 AH.

Its a myth that you can't run your batteries down below 50% capacity. Sure, each time you do, you shorten there life one day, but with 500 cycles with deep discharges, instead of 1000 at 50% discharge, you just replace it sooner.
Think about how many dry camping nights that is.

A few lights, fridge on gas, and 3 to 4 hours of flat screen TV ( big old thick TV's go in the dumpster ) is only marginal use. If you want to use them, run the generator until 8 or 9 PM and then restart it in the early AM to recharge.

One other important thing is to confirm that your isolation/charging solenoid is working. That's what connects your chassis battery to the house battery when the engine is charging the chassis battery.

You want your house battery to charge while traveling down the road. That way its charged up for the next night of dry camping. Then you only need the generator for a few hours before bed time.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:23 AM   #14
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My group 27 battery on Class-C usually low battery 5-8 hrs, depends on temp, temp settings and blower run time. Many Class-C have EMERGENCY START Switch at step that allows ENGINE BATTERY to boost coach and start GEN; often also used to start engine from Coach if it goes down. Allow 3-5 minutes charge after flipping switch before trying to start GEN. Alternate is to crank ENGINE, which auto charges Coch battery, then start GEN and shut down engine after a rig warms? If you have/ need special accommodations, your rig maybe diff/ modified of switch locations for your convenience?
E.g. My ES switch is very LOW, easy to reach from outside, not so much from inside?
(TerryH.) 2000-GS Conquest Limited 6266 Class-C 99-E450SD V10
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