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Old 10-23-2014, 06:49 PM   #1
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House Batteries Not Charging on Shore Power

2009 Sunseeker 2900 with F450

I've Googled and read threads on the forum and I can't find anything exactly like the issue I'm seeing.

Plugged into shore power house batteries are not charging (confirmed) suspect they may even be slowly discharging, but I have not been able to absolutely confirm.

1) Checked all fuses - all is fine there
2) AC power fully functional
3) Engine battery unaffected (by design - as one would hope)
4) Replaced both house batteries with brand new ones

Top suspect is now solenoid in inverter. Willing to pay the $$ to replace but don't want to just hand it over to shop and say "troubleshoot". Don't have that kind of dough! Also recs for good RV shop in Seattle area (too much to hope for?)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:01 PM   #2
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Do you have a battery on/off switch? It should be in the on position
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
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Yes, if you mean the house battery cut off switch that would be off to store the RV, this is in the on position.

House lights, water pump and other items run from house batteries all work, but batteries start to go down rather than charging.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
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If I were trying to troubleshoot that, I would start by physically disconnecting the batteries, connect to shore power, then test the 12v systems. If that's good.. so is your converter. "Check"

If the lights don't come on, then it's time to check the converter control board fuses and 110v inputs running into the board before doing an out and out replacement.

If all is good there, then still disconnected from the batteries, I would check the voltage at the cable ends that would be connected to the batteries. If you're getting no voltage there, then 9 times out of 10 the 40amp breaker just inside the pig tails needs to be reset/replaced. Follow the battery leads backwards... should be just before/inside where the cable enters your coach.

Looks more like a shunt, but there will be a small tab type button or such.

If "that" looks good, then check the voltage coming into the in feed side of the breaker to make sure you're getting voltage from the converter. If not, then you're problem would be a physical break/grounding out somewhere between the converter and 40amp breaker.

If that's the case, I would just run a new cable from the converter to the batteries rather than trying to physically check every single inch of cable. It could be just some small hairline crack in the insulation that allowed a touch of moisture in and corrosion finished it off.. in which case you would replace the wiring anyway.. sooo.

All that is assuming your battery disconnect is in the "ON" position.


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Old 10-23-2014, 09:01 PM   #5
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Yarome, very well said.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:14 PM   #6
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Thank you! Excellent suggestions for troubleshooting, Yarome. I have a lot to learn about RV electrical systems (and electrical in general) so this is very helpful.

Too bad physical battery disconnect is such a pain the posterior in my tiny battery bay.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Wish it could have been as simple as battery switch off. *sigh*
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:53 PM   #7
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Did the first test of disconnecting the batteries then connected to shore power and....no lights.

Yarome, when you said "check the converter control board fuses and 110v inputs" do you mean on the converter itself or the fuses inside the coach?

I also noticed a strange thing when I reconnected the batteries and ran the engine to charge them up. The batteries would read 1 bar on the LED control center, then within less than 15 minutes, the LED would read fully charged. I'd turn the engine off run 1 interior light for awhile and the batteries faded again within minutes.

Does this sound normal? I don't know how long running the engine is required to get the batteries really well charged. I was told by the dealer (used lot) that about 20 minutes should do it.

Sorry if these are lame questions, but I have absolutely nothing to compare this to, total newb.

Thanks for all your help so far!
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:24 AM   #8
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Yes, seeing one light on the convenience panel with low or dead coach batteries is normal. It is normal to get all four lights fairly quickly when starting the chassis engine and then having the lights go off fairly quickly after the chassis engine is stopped if you only charged for a short time. This just means that the chassis alternator is charging the coach batteries (getting all four lights) but when the lights go off quickly you have only put a "surface charge" in the coach batteries. This is normal. It takes a while for the charge to "soak into" the battery plates. It would take many hours for either the chassis alternator or the coach's convertor to fully recharge very low or dead coach batteries.

Although the coach's convertor can produce 55 or more amps, and the chassis alternator can produce more than 100 amps, the batteries cannot absorb these high amp rates. One factor is that the deep cycle batteries used for RV's, golf carts and trolling motors are optimized for low amp rates (say, 10 amps) for long periods. Starting batteries for cars, etc., are optimized for high amp loads (200 amps or more) for short periods. Their ability to accept a recharge is similar to their ability to put out a charge.

The 20 minutes the dealer said would recharge a battery is to some degree valid for the chassis battery, but not for the deep cycle coach batteries. Even for a chassis battery, 20 minutes would probably be just enough to restart an engine a time or two, but a slow charge (say, 3 to 5 amps per hours) is the way to fully recharge a chassis (starting type) battery. Do the math. Starting an engine may take 200 amps but only for 5 seconds. That's only 0.3 amp hours! One non-LED light will use more than that in an hour.

There are several very good posts and links on the 12 volt system in the Libraries section of this forum, under the heading Power and Electrical. Poke around all of the library. You'll find good stuff there that the dealer didn't tell you.

Sorry to get long winded, but I don't know when to stop!
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:37 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=blythepyrate;725195]Did the first test of disconnecting the batteries then connected to shore power and....no lights.

This means that your converter is not working and providing 12v DC. Either it has failed or the input 110v fuse or breaker has opened or the output fuse has failed. Check your fuse/breaker panel for any tripped breakers or blown fuses. If nothing locate the converter and check for any fuses on it. Lastly use a multimeter and check inputs and output terminals for power. My guess is the converter has failed.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:15 AM   #10
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I think I'm going to order a smart converter upgrade which I wanted to do anyway and see if that fixes it.

I checked the fuses when I first noticed the problem and they checked out ok.

From what I've read converter failure is fairly common. Not sure about my particular year/make. But expect it's a fairly cheap one.
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:55 PM   #11
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I had to replace my WFCO converter having experienced similar problems. I think the clue is that if the batteries charge with the motor running but not on shore power (or with the generator running), then the converter is the most likely problem. The consensus seems to be that Progressive Dynamics converters are better than WFCO, however they are not designed to be easily installed as a replacement.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:37 AM   #12
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Progressive dynamics supposedly sells a direct replacement to the WFCO converter. At least on the "all in one" model.

Otherwise if it is a "remote mount" (converter is installed separately from the breaker box) then it should be pretty easy to swap the two.

4600 Series Upgrade or Replacement Power Converters from Progressive Dynamics
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:25 AM   #13
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Wait. ..am I to understand you can't just swap out any old converter? It seems like this should be a fairly standard item. Can anyone explain what the limitations are? Size, power supply, amperage? I wanted one by Go Power in anticipation on converting to solar.

Yes mine is a remote mount in the cargo bay. Can't wait to crawl in there....not
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blythepyrate View Post
Wait. ..am I to understand you can't just swap out any old converter? It seems like this should be a fairly standard item. Can anyone explain what the limitations are? Size, power supply, amperage? I wanted one by Go Power in anticipation on converting to solar.

Yes mine is a remote mount in the cargo bay. Can't wait to crawl in there....not
Amp differences 45 55 60 70 100
Size configurations
12 v or 24 v


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Old 10-28-2014, 01:06 PM   #15
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The Progressive that we use is 60 amp rated. That covers our most electrically demanding unit (3170) with everything on. (in theory)
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
The Progressive that we use is 60 amp rated. That covers our most electrically demanding unit (3170) with everything on. (in theory)
Imo the 60 amp is a good choice for any unit.

Toy haulers seem to have 100's

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Old 10-28-2014, 01:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
The Progressive that we use is 60 amp rated. That covers our most electrically demanding unit (3170) with everything on. (in theory)
I'm sure you are talking about the the charge rate? If the OP put in a 90 amp he would only charge faster if i'm correct, is that true? Those figures that Turbs quoited where for charging off of shore or generator. More amps less time to reach 90%. I understand this is a Sunseeker forum but batteries are batteries. If I was boondocking I would want to run the generator the less I can to get to 90%. Is this a true statement (in theory)?...I wish we had a Rockwood rep like you, you go way above to help people out. I like that, and also learn a lot...
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:22 PM   #18
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I think the way the engineers size it is based on every 12v device operating at one time. What is the worst case scenario, then sized off of that.

3170 has all the lights, dash radio, front TV, outside TV, kids TV, kids DVD, bedroom TV/DVD, compartment lights and any other 12V device I'm not thinking of.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:00 PM   #19
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I just ordered Progressive Dynamics (PD4655V) 55 Amp Converter/Charger

I'm assuming this will fit and work well with my Sunseeker, based on the comments here.

Does anyone know if I can get a head start by taking the old one out now but still be able to use the 12 v system? Not sure if taking out the converter will break the 12v system circuit. Of course if it's not working anyway.....

Thanks for all the great input!

Alison
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:46 PM   #20
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Hello, I'm new to the forum. I just joined half an hour ago because of this very issue, Batteries not charging on shore power. However, my problem is that we have changed out our converter three times in the past 15 months. All three times have been diagnosed by RV dealers/technicians and all three times the converter has been at fault. The converters are lasting on average eight months. First replaced in July 2013, next time was February 2014 and now October 2014. The unit is a 2008 Forest River Georgetown XL. We are living the good life full time since December 2013.
I sent a call out this morning to Forest River Customer Service Bus Division, no response yet. Fortunately we are still getting warranty, I don't know how much longer.
Thanks for any tips or advice.
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