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Old 07-08-2019, 06:57 PM   #1
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First time out electrical problems Coach Batteries lose charge on Shore Power

New Forester 2020 2861ds, went away for a weekend to try out our new toy. I admit right up front we are newbies to camping/RVing world. We had the camper plugged in all week leading up to the trip, running the refrigerator and anything else we needed on shore power and one solar panel on the roof. No problems.

The second morning we woke up and the lights were dim and the refrigerator was not working. I started the RV and then the generator separately and the lights got bright and the fridge worked. We went on a bike ride and visited a few other places come back to the RV and did not think of anything (since we had no experience to check on things). Slept and repeat biking, visiting friends, etc the next day - got back around 11:00 PM and basically nothing Coach V around 7.2 V and nothing working. Called FR line to talk to a technician, since I have only owned for one week it took a while to get confirmed as an owner... So around midnight I was talking to a technician and he suggested turning everything off at the kill switch and when stores open get a battery charger to trickle charge the batteries so they don't get ruined. Which I did and the last two days went fine with the trickle charge.

No problems with the three hour drive home, coach batteries above 12V on monitor. Plugged in again back home, 24 hours later still reading 12V.

It seemed to me to be a converter problem at the campsite, but now everything working again. Can anyone help diagnose my issues? I will be trying a real trip in three weeks and would not like a repeat.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePa77 View Post
New Forester 2020 2861ds, went away for a weekend to try out our new toy. I admit right up front we are newbies to camping/RVing world. We had the camper plugged in all week leading up to the trip, running the refrigerator and anything else we needed on shore power and one solar panel on the roof. No problems.

The second morning we woke up and the lights were dim and the refrigerator was not working. I started the RV and then the generator separately and the lights got bright and the fridge worked. We went on a bike ride and visited a few other places come back to the RV and did not think of anything (since we had no experience to check on things). Slept and repeat biking, visiting friends, etc the next day - got back around 11:00 PM and basically nothing Coach V around 7.2 V and nothing working. Called FR line to talk to a technician, since I have only owned for one week it took a while to get confirmed as an owner... So around midnight I was talking to a technician and he suggested turning everything off at the kill switch and when stores open get a battery charger to trickle charge the batteries so they don't get ruined. Which I did and the last two days went fine with the trickle charge.

No problems with the three hour drive home, coach batteries above 12V on monitor. Plugged in again back home, 24 hours later still reading 12V.

It seemed to me to be a converter problem at the campsite, but now everything working again. Can anyone help diagnose my issues? I will be trying a real trip in three weeks and would not like a repeat.
Camp shore power on and working?? Main breaker on in the RV?
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:06 PM   #3
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Yes, the shore power worked, the AC worked fine. I could us the Air Cond and Microwave. I had a surge protector that showed 120+V and 60 Hz. Depending what was running on the AC the amps would vary.

All the fuses in the panel were good. No circuit breakers had tripped.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:11 PM   #4
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what type of refrigerator do you have? rv or residential? if residential if could be as simple as the refrigerator is running the batteries down overnight.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:16 PM   #5
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I have the standard RV refrigerator the Domico that runs on electricity or propane. The fridge at this point with the low voltage would not run on propane either.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:44 PM   #6
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I would think you have a converter (or had...) Unfortunately your narrative isn't sufficient to totally diagnose that. You say you started your RV and then the generator. First off, you could start the RV so the engine battery was OK. You started the genny which may or may not use the chassis battery. Then the voltage came up. Well, once your engine was running, the alternator would begin to charge the house bank all by itself, without the need for the converter. The genny, on the other hand, would have used the converter to charge anything. Not sure if your converter began to run or if the engine did the heavy lifting. Nonetheless, when you shut off the battery master switch, the converter would have still supplied power to your 12 volt accessories anyway. If you were dark...your converter wasn't running.

But...now it is! I love an intermittent problem.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:15 PM   #7
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but...you have learned a good lesson here.

When starting up the engine...look at the DC voltage panel and make sure it goes up above 12 volts

When plugging in to shore power...look at the DC voltage panel and make sure it goes up above 12 volts

When running your generator...look at the DC voltage panel and make sure it goes up above 12 volts

You will never be surprised with dead batteries
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:42 PM   #8
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In your house fuse panel there are a couple of 30 amp fuses that connect the house batteries to the converter make sure those arn't blown or missing.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:23 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for all the tips.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:29 AM   #10
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Got to learn much more about electricity!!!

You need a quality voltmeter connected to the house batteries. Saying you have 12 volts does not help.

A fully charged battery is 12.6 volts. Non usable battery is 12 volts.

When charging or just after charging batteries read higher than 12.6 volts. The converter charges at voltages from 12.8 to 14. Depending on battery status.

Your issue is what is the problem. No way enough information to check much.

Could be the converter, battery charger, could be bad batteries. Could be goofy wiring. Could be items on you do not know about.

RVís are very complex.

There are no decent manuals nor wiring diagrams.

When taking a voltage reading carefully state what is going on. I.E. After sitting on the shore power all night disconnected it is 12.5 volts. Dead battery, charging on shore power 14 volts, and I can hear the converter fan on, etc.
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