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Sky_Boss 06-08-2012 11:56 AM

Just Want to Clarify House Battery Charge Issue
 
HELLO ALL!

I think I have a good handle on some house battery charging issues and cured some real problems. I'm a bit paranoid about my house batteries getting drained so forgive me if I am asking a really basic question.

I understand that my converter will charge the batteries on genny or shore power. If I am going down the road and have the genny fired up to run the air conditioner I will probably also run my refer on electric at the same time. I believe that in this configuration I will need to engage the AUX BATTERY switch which makes sense to me. The genny puts out 110 to the converter and the converter charges the house batteries.

During the times I am not needing to run the genny then I know I will need the refer to be on LP. I also know that the refer needs 12V service to run the control board.

So a couple questions:

1. Do I still need to activate the AUX BATTERY switch to get 12V to refer for for any other 12V circuits for that matter?

2. Does the chassis alternator also charge the house batteries so that running the AUX BATTERY switch (if needed) will not drain my house batteries?

STILL LEARNING

bluepill 06-08-2012 12:08 PM

Are you referring to the "Aux. Battery DISCONNECT" switch near the entry door?

Sky_Boss 06-08-2012 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluepill (Post 1204245)
Are you referring to the "Aux. Battery DISCONNECT" switch near the entry door?

Yes sir.

Skip426 06-08-2012 12:28 PM

De-activating the "Aux Battery " switch will cut power to all 12v circuits in the coach. So leave it on; or the Fridge won't operate on 110; shut down for storage is the only reason to turn "Aux batt " switch off.
I've run with gen set on for roof A/C operation on the highway and the convertor and alternator, don't seem to have any issues working together. Not sure if your coach would do the same, but I'm sure all manufacturers would forsee this and wire things up accordingly.:thumb:
Driving the engine alternator should charge all batteries in the coach, if your coach batteries go down while driving, you may have a problem with the "Dual Battery Isolator" or whatever system in use in your coach.

Sky_Boss 06-08-2012 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skip426 (Post 1204267)
De-activating the "Aux Battery " switch will cut power to all 12v circuits in the coach. So leave it on; or the Fridge won't operate on 110; shut down for storage is the only reason to turn "Aux batt " switch off.

...

Driving the engine alternator should charge all batteries in the coach, if your coach batteries go down while driving, you may have a problem with the "Dual Battery Isolator" or whatever system in use in your coach.

That is how I think I understood the use of the AUX BAT switch.

I'm just a tad concerned that my house batteries are a little smallish. I ran the rig on batteries for about 2 hours with no lights on, refer and HWH on LP and 2 Fantastics running. According to my EMS my batteries were down to 12.2V. I get a little squeamish when I get below 12.2V and perhaps that is a result of dead house batteries in the past that were later found to be caused by my converter. That problem has since been fixed and no problems since.

Without going to far off topic, how low of a voltage is it safe to let a house battery drop to before one must fire up genny/shore power to top them off again?

THANKS!

RV Wizard 06-09-2012 02:26 AM

12.2 vdc is a commonly used standard of a lead acid battery state of charge to be at 50%. You don't want to go below this level for good battery maintenance.

siggyd 06-09-2012 10:27 AM

To be sure,I would clip on a Volt-meter to the RV batteries and then test with the Genny,Engine,Shore power, Aux switch On & OFF.
That will answer and confirm all your questions ,in case there is a problem
with some other failure.
Siggy D.

Dr4Film 06-09-2012 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by athuddriver (Post 1204238)
HELLO ALL!

I think I have a good handle on some house battery charging issues and cured some real problems. I'm a bit paranoid about my house batteries getting drained so forgive me if I am asking a really basic question.

I understand that my converter will charge the batteries on genny or shore power. If I am going down the road and have the genny fired up to run the air conditioner I will probably also run my refer on electric at the same time. I believe that in this configuration I will need to engage the AUX BATTERY switch which makes sense to me. The genny puts out 110 to the converter and the converter charges the house batteries.

During the times I am not needing to run the genny then I know I will need the refer to be on LP. I also know that the refer needs 12V service to run the control board.

So a couple questions:

1. Do I still need to activate the AUX BATTERY switch to get 12V to refer for for any other 12V circuits for that matter?

2. Does the chassis alternator also charge the house batteries so that running the AUX BATTERY switch (if needed) will not drain my house batteries?

STILL LEARNING

After reading all of the posts on this thread someone is really confused or Fleetwood does things A$$ backwards or they use weird nomenclature.

An AUX Battery Switch is not the same as a Battery Disonnect Switch. The battery disconnect switch is commonly called the "salesman switch" which is usually near the entry door and it disconnects 12 VDC to the interior of the coach. The AUX Battery Switch as I know how it is primarily used is to temporarily tie both battery banks together when one bank is low. Such as in this case, if the chassis battery was too low to start the engine, you hold the AUX Battery Switch until the engine starts.

I don't know how Fleetwood put together its charging system but I know Monaco did NOT install total charging systems on every coach that would allow both battery banks to be charged when using shore or genny power or when the engine alternator is running.

However, there are after-market devices that will work if the coach isn't already equipped. A good one is called Trik-l-Start that will keep the chassis battery charged while on shore or genny power.

Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer

My coach is equipped with a Lambert Battery Maintainer which will keep both battery banks charged when using any power supply.

Regarding how low you can let your house battery bank go down to, that number is between 11.9 - 12.0 VDC. That's when the AGS should kick in and charge your battery bank back up. The battery state for full charge is Float Status.

Here is a good article on 12 VDC batteries and maintenance.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

Dr4Film ----- Richard

jauguston 06-09-2012 11:56 AM

12.2v is considered the 50% SOC for your flooded lead acid batteries BUT there are conditions that have to be met before the reading you get with a volt meter is anywhere near accurate. There has to have been NO LOAD of any kind on the battery bank for several hours and no charging done for the same length of time. Otherwise the voltage number you see is meaningless. The batteries need to be disconnected as there are usually phantom draws you don't even know about. Removing a cable from the pos battery post is the most sure way to know there is no draw on them. Its never easy (-:

Jim

Gary RVRoamer 06-09-2012 02:41 PM

Since athuddriver has a Winnebago, I think he can safely ignore the remarks about Fleetwood electrical designs or what Monaco does or doesn't do. Winnie has their own way of doing things. And I doubt if athuddrive's Adventurer has an AGS to automatically kick the generator on.

The battery disconnect switch should be left on (batteries online) all the time except when the coach is being stored for several or more days without being plugged to shore power. It should also remain on while driving, since the engine alternator will be charging both house (Aux) and chassis batteries.

It appears your batteries are draining rather quickly. That suggests either a large power draw even when you think there is "nothing on" or batteries that are in poor condition. I would suggest a battery load test at a local auto parts shop to rule out bad batteries. The test is usually free.

ChasA 06-09-2012 03:20 PM

What Gary said is right. I think of it this way: If the switch is off, the batteries are disconnected and cannot be charged from any source. You can still have 12 vdc power from the converter if you have shore/gen power-- even if the switch is off. So if you want your house batteries to be charged the switch must be on. Hope I haven't added to the confusion.

wa8yxm 06-10-2012 01:23 AM

I see nobody answered the second question you ask.

Both answers are the same: YES.

Aux battery is another name for the HOUSE battery, power to interior lights, fridge, water heater control, water pump and a host of other things.

RV Wizard 06-10-2012 02:17 AM

Not all coach builders will run the refrigerator circuit through the house battery disconnect.
This allows you to be able to turn on the refrigerator for an upcoming trip and still have most everything else turned off.

Ottav 06-15-2012 09:31 PM

Newbie here..
So if you turn off the aux battery switch located near the entrance and are plugged into
shore, will the interior lights light..

Bob

garym114 06-15-2012 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ottav (Post 1212517)
Newbie here..
So if you turn off the aux battery switch located near the entrance and are plugged into
shore, will the interior lights light..

Bob

It is the battery disconnect switch that is by the door, not the aux switch.
Interior lights are 12v, makes no difference if you are plugged in or not.
The interior lights should not work if you open the battery disconnect switch.

I have never used the battery disconnect switch other than to see if it works.

Iangolf 06-15-2012 10:37 PM

On Winnebagos the switch to tie to the house and chassis batteries together is labeled Battery Boost. Concerning your other question, if you turn off the switch by the door the 12 V circuits including the lights will not work even while plugged into shore power.

JimM68 06-15-2012 10:51 PM

I've had both a Fleetwood and a Monaco, and the wiring was very different. The Monaco has a "Salesman's switch" as Richard desrcibed. It turns off interior lighting, without affecting anything importantr, like the water pump or the fridge.

The Fleetwood had 2 switches in the cabinet above the entry door labelled "MAIN" and "AUX". These switches controlled the battery disconnect relays, which were latch type relays that stayed on without power being applied.

Turning off the "AUX" did the same thing as rotating the manual disconnect in the monaco's battery bay. It disconnected "almost" all the draws on the house bank. So if you are using the rig, leave it on.

Even my old fleetwood gasser, a 99, had a system to charge both battery bankc from any available power source. It was from RV Custom products, and mime was bad and nneded to be replaced. Once fixed, it worked as designed. When the main engine was running and the chassis battery has reached about 13.5 volts, the system would close a relay and charge the house batteries too. Worked exactly in reverse if on shore or genny power, house batteries charged first, then it hooked the chassis batteries in as well.

When using battery power, it would leave the banks connected until down to about 12.2 volts, then the relay would open so the chassis battery would not be allowed to run down by house loads.

The "BIRD" system in my 08 Monaco works exactly the same way. From what I've heard, Monaco caught on to this type of system long after Fleetwood did.

As for voltage, I've had to set my auto gen start down to 60 seconds below 11.2 volts. Anything higher, and heavy inverter loads will cause the system to start the generator even though there is plenty of power.

Running the microwave, hair dryer, or coffee pot, the inverter will pull 60-80 amps out of the battery, and even fully charged, this will drop the voltage well below 12 volts. 2 of the above = 100 amp load, and voltage down near 11.0.

This is a loaded condition though. I agree, at 12.2 volts no load, you need to charge em up.

clyon51 06-16-2012 06:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ottav
Newbie here..
So if you turn off the aux battery switch located near the entrance and are plugged into
shore, will the interior lights light..

Bob

It depends on how the mfg set it up. Some systems use the battery disconnect switch just as that, only takes the battery out of the system. If plugged into shore, all 12v systems still work and operate only from the converter. I know these to be in TTs, never seen this in MH.

Other systems use the switch as a complete 12v disconnect. Some of those will not even allow battery charging while on shore.

Again it depends on what system the mfg used. Over the years and sometimes year to year, mfgs have changed their own systems around. To get acurate info on your rig, generally you need to find someone with an identicle. The way I always do it with a new to me rig is get the trusty multi-meter out and find out for myself.

Ottav 06-16-2012 09:03 AM

aux switch
 
Thanks for the response.

My switch located by the entrance says aux battery on it. I turned that off and the interior lights still work and the coach battery has a battery disconnect terminal. I have to disconnect the coach battery because of a drain.. The rv is connected to shore power.
If I leave the coach battery connected the it will go dead. When removing the neg battery cable I measure 12.5 volts between the neg bat terminal and the neg battery cable going to the engine ground.
I'm here trying to gets a education on how things work so I can trouble shoot my problem. I have a 2003 Winnebago sight seer 30ft.

First thing I have to do is understand the terminology meaning the difference between coach battery, house battery, chassis battery, aux battery..
I think coach and house are the same.. house and aux are the same
Please correct me If I'm wrong.

Jim_HiTek 06-16-2012 09:47 AM

In my Fleetwood, the Aux, house, & coach are all terms that describe the same battery set. Main, chassis, engine, & starting are all terms that describe the battery connected to the starter.

Many devices are connected to both sets...like the LP detector, the CO detector, etc. Newer RVs have electronics that run the computers for the engine and the transmission...which draw from the chassis battery even if the 'salesman's switches' are Off.

Many Class A RVs DO NOT charge the chassis battery when connected to shore power. Many owners of those types of RVs add either a float charger that plugs into AC nearby or a Trik-L-Start device to keep it topped off when parked for more then 3 days. Some RVs come with a small roof mounted solar panel that's suppose to trickle charge the chassis battery...but it's worthless.

If your chassis battery is going dead in a day or two while on shore power, that's typical of most RVs, old and new. If you have an electronic transmission, that's probably what is sucking it dry. The tranni electronics keeps a memory of how you drive and adjusts it's shift points so you can get the best operation out of it...but in many systems, it 'forgets' if it looses battery power, so it's wired before the 'salesman's switches'. Disconnecting the chassis battery is how many 'reset' the tranni if it's not behaving. I believe this is true of any engine computer system you may have as well.

As others have mentioned, it's best to use a voltmeter and measure the voltage across both banks of batteries. First measure the voltage across the batteries, then plug in. Wait a few minutes. Then measure the voltage again, if the voltage rises, you have a chassis battery charger, if it doesn't, you need one. And of course, if you have them, check your RV manuals.

wa8yxm 06-16-2012 04:25 PM

The AUX battery disconnect.. There is a real problem with the terms "Engage" or "Activate" here in the US.. I recall writing a letter to no less than Ben Bova (A famous Science Fiction Author and editor) about a story where the terms "Engage" and "Disengage" were reversed.

For the Refrigerator to work goind down the road the AUX batteries must be ON, (Don't matter what you call it, they have to be on)

For the converter to charge them.. Same thing Must be ON.

ON my coach there is an indicator light. IF you are not plugged in, and the generator is not running, and it's on.. That's the way you want it

If you do not have that indicator, you can use any internal light to indicate the ON condition before you start the coach. Generator or plug in.

And yes the alternator will charge them when the switch is ON.

Ottav 06-17-2012 02:43 PM

Excellent.. Thanks you Jim and wa8yxm.
I'll start checking the Allison transmission connection right away.
I had the same problem in the corvette. I bought brand new red top battery and it went dead in a little over a month while the car was in storage..
I didn't think the computers drew a lot of current just setting waiting for a door to open or the alarm to go off, or signal to open the trunk..

I put on a battery tender and that solved the problem.
I guess I'll but another battery tender and won't worry about the problem any longer..

thanks for all the help..

Bob

Dave78Chief 06-17-2012 03:54 PM

Ottav,
Electrical setups are different amoung different mfg's so one must answer a question based on that rigs configuration.
On a Winnebago:
Coach battery Bank (also called House or AUX battery): Used to operate all the human convience items installed by Winnebago (overhead lights, water pump, water heater, fridge, etc.). The AUX BATT Disconnect switch by door engages or dis-engages this battery ONLY using the coach battery disconnect relay. Winnebago connects the converter to the load side of the battery Disconnect relay so the lights WILL work when connected to shore power. Your rig originally had two 12VDC Deep Cycle coach batteries connected in parallel.

Chassis Battery (also called starter or engine battery): For a gas engine rig, far as I know, Winnebago did not use any form of a chassis battery disconnect relay. For some pre-2006 Winnebago rigs, there is a known chassis battery drain issue (https://www.winnebagoind.com/resource...ik-L-Start.pdf). The normal solution is to ADD a Trick-L-Start system and let the converter charge the chassis battery as it charges the house battery. Winnebago started adding the Trick-L-Start system on many rigs in 2005.

Is your problem with the single 12VDC chassis battery or the dual 12VDC coach batteries? Your words "If I leave the coach battery connected the it will go dead." say coach but the singular reference says chassis.

Dave

Ottav 06-17-2012 10:13 PM

Yes Dave you are right I referred to the wrong battery.. Its the chassis battery that's giving me a problem.
I'll look into the Trick-L-Start and that sounds like it will fix my problems

Thanks
Bob


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