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Old 08-17-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
Keith
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Texas
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House Batteries Not Holding Charge

The house batteries on my 2010 Solera don't seem to be holding a charge.

Looking for any advice-
I have an RV carport with a 30 amp constant power hookup - with Surge Guard protection

The house batteries are only 5 months old- water level good.

The dometic fridge was clicking with "check " light on- I powered it off

House lights are really dim ( even though I'm plugged in continuously)

The generator panel won't light up enough for me to try power up by my diesel gen set

Surge guard is showing 120 volts getting to coach

Not sure if potential fuse issue ???

Thought I'd try this forum before bringing to a shop???

Thanks in advance for your replies

Keith
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:30 PM   #2
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Sounds like your converter is not charging your batteries. Check with multimeter at battery terminals WITH unit plugged into shore power. Should be over 13.3V if getting charged. If not...then check converter fuses and voltage at converter output terminals which should be 13.3V or higher. If not....Check A/C breaker to converter to insure it is getting A/C current. If results are not good...or fixable with a fuse or breaker...then it is probably time for a new converter...

Assuming you don't find 13.3V+ at your batteries terminals...unplug from shore power and measure them again. If you see anything below 11.5V...your batteries are WAY depleted and may be damaged. Remove them and charge them separately at home or at a garage/auto zone to see if they can be recovered. Hopefully they aren't too badly damaged and can still hold a charge. Good luck!
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:35 PM   #3
Keith
 
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Thanks for the quick reply.
I need to go pick up a multi meter( one of those things I should have but don't )

Follow up question- the converter is an Iota IDP 30- not much literature online, other than they quit selling the IDP line in 2010- one blogger mentioned something about their panels and fires!!

I can't tell if the front of the unit has or should have a power indicator light ?
If so then I don't see anything lit up and may have diagnosed the issue even without the multimeter? I'd think it would have a power indicator light.

If it is the inverter can you recommend a brand for replacement ? I'd also think the newer models would likely have a float or trickle charge for the batteries as well ?

Keith
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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the Iota is a distribution panel.

The converter in mine was tucked behind the water heater. (Aft of the refrigerator and below the bed) Accessible only by removing panels in the large cargo bay and then pretty hard to get to.

I just went thru this.

First disconnect batteries and recharge with good battery charger.

then reconnect and see if converter can put out 13.5 volts. I believe the converter shuts down if the current draw is too high which could be the case with heavily discharged batteries.

If charger comes back to life need to find out why batteries drained so far. As mentioned it could be that the charger is cutting out and needs to be replaced.

Once I determined a new converter was warranted I had the service tech do the replacement. We decided to cut an access panel in the platform under the rear bed to make access easier.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeezer01 View Post
Thanks for the quick reply.
I need to go pick up a multi meter( one of those things I should have but don't )

Follow up question- the converter is an Iota IDP 30- not much literature online, other than they quit selling the IDP line in 2010- one blogger mentioned something about their panels and fires!!

I can't tell if the front of the unit has or should have a power indicator light ?
If so then I don't see anything lit up and may have diagnosed the issue even without the multimeter? I'd think it would have a power indicator light.

If it is the inverter can you recommend a brand for replacement ? I'd also think the newer models would likely have a float or trickle charge for the batteries as well ?

Keith
Cousin has first hand experience with your current one...so follow his lead.
That said...I will assume you have a 30amp converter in there somewhere and it is an old fashioned single stage. Actually Iota has an excellent new line of converters with their IQ4 stage charging models which do 3 stage charging + do a short EQ charge weekly to prevent sulfation.
IOTA 30 AMP CONVERTER CHARGER WITH SMART CHARGE DLS30IQ4

Amazon sells this as two separate unites...DLS30 and IQ4...which simply plugs into the DLS30 "phone jack"

This is an EASY DIY since the unit plugs into any standard AC plug and you just have to connect your black & red battery wires and bolt the unit in place.

Hopefully you just have a fuse blown or breaker tripped.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:00 PM   #6
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I changed out in favor of the Progressives Dynamics 60 amp with charge wizard unit others have used in the Solera.

Replacement looked like a real challenge so I farmed it out to an independent service tech that I have a lot of confidence in. At first he thought we would have to remove the water heater in order to get the old converter out and the new one in.

IN the end we decided it was best to access it from the top by cutting an access panel in the bed deck and work from above. Worked out great.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:27 PM   #7
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Hey thanks to all who have given me a good idea of what I need to do next!

I've only had the Solera since March and my wife and I love it! We purchased it pre-owned and it appears to be a great unit .
I'm still learning all the various systems and I will likely get the repair done by a tech as I have an all inclusive warranty ( well let's see that all pans out right!!)

This forum is soooooo very good at providing answers and I really appreciate all the feedback!
Keith
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:52 PM   #8
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You're welcome...one last thing...if you find the need to swap out your convrter...size it to be no more than 25% of your battery bank amp hour capacity...unless you plan on expanding your battery bank.
Wet cell batteries can only use about 20% of their amp hour capacity as a charge load...so if you have 200 amphours of battery bank...don't waste your money by buying any more than 40-50amps of charger. Common battery sizes and their average amp hour capacities in a deep cycle design.
Group 24...75
Group 27...90
Group 31...105
Group 4D...150
Group 8D...250
6V GolfCart...210 per pair.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:02 PM   #9
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Thanks once more for the help!
I just ran up to Radio Shack and bought a multi meter- reading 11.5 , so you guys are correct , the converter must not be working properly-

Cousin, I looked under mattress and see the hinged storage spot and it also appears the plywood has been cut with screws holding the rest of the half sheet of plywood - with temps here around 96 in Texas this afternoon I think I'll tackle looking for the converter early in the am when it's a bit cooler.

Thanks to all again
Keith
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:05 PM   #10
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The converter on a 2010 24S is located to the left of the under bed access panel. There is an easier way to gain access to that cavity. Look in Solera mods thread where you will find where one owner installed an access panel, on the right wall of the main storage bay, which accesses from the outside. If your interested I can give you the cut measurements and the panel cover I used, which is sold at Home Depot.

Makes a change-out of your converter and water pump much easier. Good luck.
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