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Old 10-19-2014, 05:20 PM   #1
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Ongoing power issues.

First, I was wondering if someone could tell me exactly what the battery cut off switch does in each position. I have recently purchased 2 agm batteries for my coach power. I needed to get maintenance free batteries and also ones that will hold up during low temp conditions as well as vibrations. These seemed to fit the criteria even though not highly recommended for RV dry camping. My typical use is 2 days of travel, one overnight dry camping, then on shore power. I do travel to the northeast for the Christmas holidays and have encountered sub-zero temps. Also the interstates in NY state are very bumpy so the batteries get some good jolts.

My research says not to overcharge the agm batteries. I was wondering if turning the switch to the off position while on shore power would prevent overcharging. I notice all my 12 volt lights and other electrical devices do work on shore power in either position. If this is the case, I can extend the life of these batteries by switching it off every time I plug in.

Second, I still do not seem to be charging from the chassis when running. I have installed the "missing" 5 amp fuse in the fuse box in the stairwell. I tested it by running down the coach battery and starting the engine. The batteries indicator never went up. Any ideas when else could be the cause of this? I don't have a local reliable RV dealer so would like to do some research before taking it in to a shop.

Thanks in advance for any advice/info.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:34 PM   #2
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My first suggestion would be to purchase a multimeter so you can check the exact voltage of the batteries while the engine is running to make sure it's charging.

If it's not charging that may be what's killing your batteries.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:10 AM   #3
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Could someone verify that the batteries are not charging when the switch is in the off position. I don't want to kill these new batteries. Picture of switch attached.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by janegraves View Post
Could someone verify that the batteries are not charging when the switch is in the off position. I don't want to kill these new batteries. Picture of switch attached.
Batteries WILL NOT charge when OFF.

Batteries WILL eventually discharge even when OFF due to parasite loads and battery internal resistance.

Several items, like the propane leak detector, are hard wired to the battery(s) between it and that switch.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:40 AM   #5
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Thank you, Herk7769, for the reply. That is what I was thinking. I like to leave it on shore power at home for whenever I have to pop out there to get something or clean and I also run a space heater on low overnight when it may get below freezing. The power converter is supposed to just trickle charge the batteries, but I think they may last longer if I don't have them constantly in charger mode when parked at home. I can turn the switch to on 24 hours before a trip and make sure they are fully charged to get started.

I've also ordered led light bulbs to replace all the coach lights. That should vastly improve my battery life since they use a tenth of the power draw as the stock bulbs.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:25 AM   #6
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Hopefully this will clear up some confusion on the Sunseeker. I have reviewed my electrical diagrams and checked out operation on my 2012 Sunseeker 3120. Other types of RVs may not operate the same.

With the switch in the open or off position the following occurs:

Front slide remains powered
Rear slide remains powered
Awning remains powered
The generator starting and running circuit remains powered.
The propane detector is not powered.
No other loads (lights, water pump, etc) are powered.
The battery does charge from the chassis alternator.
The battery does not charge from the power converter (if plugged into shore power)
The generator will run and produce AC power but will not charge the battery since it needs the converter connected.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:40 PM   #7
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Pretty sure the LP/CO detector is powered when you have either shore power or coach battery power. I switched battery disconnect off trying to stop LP/CO alarms possibly from batteries off gassing but alarm still worked and went off.
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Old 10-20-2014, 04:01 PM   #8
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Pretty sure the LP/CO detector is powered when you have either shore power or coach battery power. I switched battery disconnect off trying to stop LP/CO alarms possibly from batteries off gassing but alarm still worked and went off.

Yes the detector is powered as well as all other 12v systems when on shore power regardless of switch position. I assumed no shore power but should have said that. So if no shore power and switch off only those things I listed are powered. The detector and everything else is not powered, at least on my 3120. According to the diagrams it's supposed to be that way.
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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Surprised that the propane detector is not powered off the battery before the shut off switch; I stand corrected.
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:39 PM   #10
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I also just checked the specs on the wfco power converter and if it works as they claim overcharging shouldn't be an issue. The battery charging criteria allow for an unlimited trickle charge at a voltage range that includes the stated trickle voltage for the converter. But still it is nice to know exactly what that cutoff switch does. I've never used it since I didn't fully understand how it functioned.
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