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Old 11-02-2015, 02:59 PM   #1
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Battery charge question

Please help. I have a 2011 Sunseeker on a Ford Chassis. Do the cabin batteries charge from the engine battery when it is running? The book says "no" but my RV mechanic says "yes."
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:42 PM   #2
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You SURE the book says "no"? I find that hard to believe. Measure your cabin battery voltage with the engine running and not. Not running it will be under 13V (12.7 or so). When running it will be well over 13V. If that is the case it IS being charged from the engine/alternator.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:45 PM   #3
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Ok, will do that. (Well, will have a friend do it) I'm the typical gal who was married to a guy who did it all and didn't want help. Lost him to cancer but not ready to quit roaming.
Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:19 PM   #4
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You can use your installed battery charge monitor to tell if the engine system is charging the coach battery as it should. Assuming the coach battery is not fully charged you will see less than 4 lights on the monitor. Start the engine, wait a couple minutes for the charging system to close into the coach battery then check the monitor. With the engine running you should see full charge indicated or 4 lights. 4 lights doesn't mean the battery is already fully charged just that the engine alternator is charging the battery. If you don't see 4 lights then there is something wrong with the charge control circuit.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:55 PM   #5
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We have a 2011 Sunseeker and the chassis system charges the coach batteries. If you donít get four lights as ATVer stated the battery control center is not working properly.

If the coach batteries are fully charged or if the coach is on shore power, you'll have four lights whether the chassis engine is running or not. You'll need to disconnect shore power and use some 12 volt power for a while until you have three lights to test as ATVer suggested.

PS The battery control center works both ways. If you are on shore power, the BCC connects the coach and chassis systems so it keeps the chassis battery charged.

PPS If you look on the left side of the driver's seat, you'll find a switch with a battery symbol on it. If the chassis battery is dead, press that switch to use the coach batteries to start the engine. The battery disconnect switch at the stepwell may have to be on for this to work.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:56 PM   #6
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For others new to this reading it later realize that the charge is a slow change as the voltage is being regulated by your engine alternator which is reading your fully charged chassis (engine) battery.

It's more of a maintenance charge to keep your house batteries from draining from whatever loads they have on them (lights, water pump, fridge) while you are driving.
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:22 PM   #7
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While testing my TV setup last night my coach battery dies after less than ten minutes. I had the Sunseeker 2013 2050 plugged into shore power for three days straight then most of the next day it was not plugged in. On that day I drove about 20 minutes or so and then parked for shopping. After that I turned on the TV and the light above the dinette.

So now I suspect my battery is not well as this is not the first time the battery seemed to not have a good charge in the ten weeks that I have owned this guy. I believe it was sitting on the dealer's lot for quite awhile before I bought it. Overall I have negative feelings about the dealer's $110 an hour service so I hesitate to get them involved.

In reading the Forest River Owner's Manual it seems that the battery should be charged and maintained by the FR installed devices. BTW, in my opinion the FR manual is excellent.

I will shortly go out and check the voltage with the engine running and not running as mentioned above.

I have some disabilities so I can't get on the floor to take a close look at the fuse box and other gizmo under the bed of my RV.

What can I do to check the charging circuits are working properly?

Thank you,

Bobby
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delco Bobby View Post
I will shortly go out and check the voltage with the engine running and not running as mentioned above.
Bobby, if you use my (Jim Schings) or ATVers suggestions above, you will see if the coach batteries are charging or not. That is the first step. It is possible that if the battery sat discharged on the lot for a long time it has sulfated too much to recover. The symptoms are that the batteries indicate charged, but their life will be very short...
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Schings View Post
Bobby, if you use my (Jim Schings) or ATVers suggestions above, you will see if the coach batteries are charging or not. That is the first step. It is possible that if the battery sat discharged on the lot for a long time it has sulfated too much to recover. The symptoms are that the batteries indicate charged, but their life will be very short...
I have a Save-A-Watt which I plug into a normal AC outlet in my house. It shows volts, amps, etc.

Is it possible for me to plug an inverter into a DC outlet other than the dash one and then plug the Sav-A-Lot into the into the inverter? Will the inverter interfere with the voltage readings?

Other than that all I can think of is to open up the battery compartment and take a reading directly off of the terminals.

Guidance will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Bobby
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delco Bobby View Post
Is it possible for me to plug an inverter into a DC outlet other than the dash one and then plug the Sav-A-Lot into the into the inverter? Will the inverter interfere with the voltage readings?

Other than that all I can think of is to open up the battery compartment and take a reading directly off of the terminals.
No. Too many variables. I would just measure the voltage on the batteries in both conditions....
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