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Old 05-19-2016, 09:09 PM   #21
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I just want to say thanks for all the help and guidance. Im amazed at how much knowledge it takes to own an RV. My head is still kind of spinning.

From what I gather I've solved #1 and #3 in that I splurged today and got a hydrometer. After letting the batteries sit from a charge my voltage meter read 12.62 but in testing the gravity of the batteries. 3 cells registered zero charge. Click image for larger version

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So I've concluded that the capacity had been greatly reduced and that's why we don't get to enjoy the simple pleasures we bought the coach for.

#3 seems to be related to a faulty or cheep plug and is soon to be replaced by a heavier duty one.

#2 - the WFCO controller rather than the PD 9200 is still a question and why it never enters "boost mode" is yet to be answered except perhaps because the batteries were faulty. I don't know. I'll look into that after I change the batteries.

I'm going to look into Katanapilots idea of upping the battery size to group 31. Solar is for sure in our future as well.

I'm still looking into the fridge heater. That whole post felt like Alice and Wonderland and the rabbit hole to me.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:17 PM   #22
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Check all of the crimped battery cables

One of the reasons my batteries died is because of the poor crimps performed at the factory on one of the battery cables. So once you have all the batteries out of the battery box, give a tug on the terminal ends to make sure they are attached properly.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:37 AM   #23
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I just want to say thanks for all the help and guidance. Im amazed at how much knowledge it takes to own an RV. My head is still kind of spinning.

From what I gather I've solved #1 and #3 in that I splurged today and got a hydrometer. After letting the batteries sit from a charge my voltage meter read 12.62 but in testing the gravity of the batteries. 3 cells registered zero charge. Attachment 108393

So I've concluded that the capacity had been greatly reduced and that's why we don't get to enjoy the simple pleasures we bought the coach for.

#3 seems to be related to a faulty or cheep plug and is soon to be replaced by a heavier duty one.

#2 - the WFCO controller rather than the PD 9200 is still a question and why it never enters "boost mode" is yet to be answered except perhaps because the batteries were faulty. I don't know. I'll look into that after I change the batteries.

I'm going to look into Katanapilots idea of upping the battery size to group 31. Solar is for sure in our future as well.

I'm still looking into the fridge heater. That whole post felt like Alice and Wonderland and the rabbit hole to me.
A coupe things; 1. your WFCO is fine, it was your batteries not allowing it to "complete" the charging cycle. Suggest you search and read up on three stage chargers, of which your WFCO in one. 2. Since you "splurged" $15 bucks for the specific gravity battery tester that showed you your problem in the end, there is no need for a NASA control panel for the occasional dry camping you may do from time to time. Buy a plug-in 12V voltage display like this one
LED Auto Car Truck Cigarette Lighter Volt Voltage Meter Monitor Tester 12V 24V | eBay , search for one that looks decent (four stage are bunk). When you get it, calibrate it against the new fully charged bats your obviously going to buy. 3. Unless MBS Sprinter chassis models have increased the stairwell box, forget about group 31 bats, unless you want to modify the space. 4. look into portable solar units, as they may fit your needs, unless you really plan on going off the grid. 5. download a 12V charge schedule for batteries so you know when you're close the the 50% discharge limit. Glad to have you aboard. Safe camping.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:18 AM   #24
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Group 31 AGM will fit without modification. Just watch the dimensions of the brand you select. Duracell grp 31 AGM at Sams fit my unit. Ista is using the grp 31 agm in the same battery box. Good luck and happy camping.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:23 AM   #25
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Hey StillKicken! Thanks for the informative posts! Before I pop for the $200 monitor, I will try your approach. I have been thinking about the portable solar panel idea, as our coach came with a Zamp-ready plug. The portable 100 watt panel and controller kit they sell is over $500, but folds in half, is pretty much "plug and play", and would allow us to park in the shade. Do you think it is worth the price?


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Old 05-20-2016, 10:37 AM   #26
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Of course, StillKicken is right. You can get a low cost voltage meter for a couple of bucks. It will tell you that the converter is working and that the engine is charging your house bank and other things. Of course, it is only putting numbers on what your LED panel lights can already tell you but requires less interpretation that using the lights.

Solar is the way to go for long term charge management.
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:52 AM   #27
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You don't have to buy the Zamp panel. You could built your own probably for less. The connection on your coach is the same one Battery Tender uses and cords and extensions are available all over the net. I bought the Zamp 120w setup because of the convenience. I store it in it's case on the floor between the foot of my bed and the wall when traveling. I haven't needed to charge my batteries yet when camping even when using the heat at night.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:32 PM   #28
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Of course, StillKicken is right. You can get a low cost voltage meter for a couple of bucks. It will tell you that the converter is working and that the engine is charging your house bank and other things. Of course, it is only putting numbers on what your LED panel lights can already tell you but requires less interpretation that using the lights.

Solar is the way to go for long term charge management.
ScottB, I have found that a chart along with the plug-in12 volt socket meter (after graduating it to a known full charge) which displays in tenths, for all practical purposes, is much more accurate than my four light idiot panel.

RKclound9; On solar, i'd let others who have gone portable, speak to that topic. Just sayin'
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:39 PM   #29
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Group 31 AGM will fit without modification. Just watch the dimensions of the brand you select. Duracell grp 31 AGM at Sams fit my unit. Ista is using the grp 31 agm in the same battery box. Good luck and happy camping.
Good to know, thanks. I wonder if apples to apples, AGM's in their respective group size to lead acids' have in some instances, smaller overall case size. Never thought to compare.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:51 PM   #30
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I just want to say thanks for all the help and guidance. Im amazed at how much knowledge it takes to own an RV. My head is still kind of spinning.

From what I gather I've solved #1 and #3 in that I splurged today and got a hydrometer. After letting the batteries sit from a charge my voltage meter read 12.62 but in testing the gravity of the batteries. 3 cells registered zero charge.
Nothing like a definitive test result to give clear direction on what to do!
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