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Old 02-23-2016, 12:11 PM   #1
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battery charging problems?? or what??

Hello Everyone,

Well, I'm a newbie and I'm still learning stuff everyday!!

You all helped me with my last problem with the by-pass suggestion on my water filter. Now I have a problem with my batteries....or my inverter/converter...im not sure so I thought I would turn to the pros for help.

Last night I kept noticing my lights in my 2011 Coachmen CrossCountry 401FK would go dim and then get bright again.

Well I woke up this morning to find my lights out. I'm plugged into the pedestal here in my park and I have electricity in the unit but not batteries.

Now you guys all know far more about this than I do but here's my stab at it.

My battery disconnect toggle switch located by the door is not letting me reset the batteries.

So I went out and filled up my coach batteries with distilled water....yep they were a little low.

so I checked by Magnum inverter indicator on my panel above my door. Initially it indicated invert, AC in, and absorb. Now it indicates invert, AC in and FLOAT. I guessing by filling up the batteries I gave them some more life....

However, after hours of waiting to see if anything will happen, I still do not have any coach batteries. Now my refrigerator is finally getting a tad bit warmer cuz its not running, even on propane.

Ok, so....what are your thoughts?

I've already called and left a message for a repair guy to come out and check everything.

Should I just sit back and wait for him or is there anything else I can do at this point?

Thanks for all your help and your time!!!
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:03 PM   #2
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I am not a Magnum guy but your system says AC in and Float? That would mean that it is charging your batteries and is happy with them. If you disconnect switch won't toggle, your batteries could be off, but then your Manum should be supplying plenty of 12 volts if all is well there. What concerns me is the inverter indication. You are plugged in so there shouldn't be an inverter running. Try starting your engine and see if the alternator will juice the batteries.

Something is definitely wrong with your system. If you put a voltmeter on the batteries, what do they read? You could have a bad connection on the batteries or at the chassis ground.But then your converter should be supplying all of the 12 volt you need anyway.

If that is the case, what happens if you hit your boost switch?
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:13 PM   #3
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On further thought...you have no 12v house batteries. Either they are dead and the Magnum is confused, or they are disconnected. however, if they are disconnected, the Magnum would generally be powering all the 12v loads anyway.

I bet both are true. They are dead and the Magnum let them die and is lying to you. The disconnect needs 12 volt to run so if it won't toggle that means yo have no 12v at all.

Perhaps your boost switch will help to tell us something since it will bring on your chassis battery in parallel with your dead house batteries. Perhaps starting the coach will start charging and give you 12v, but all of this depends on your specific installation and I am not familiar with it.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:13 PM   #4
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I am learning all the time but IMO an $8 hydrometer from Autozone or wherever will tell you right off the bat if the batteries are any good. You might have other issues but you can rule out the battery as an issue. Go to harbor freight and buy a $5 voltmeter and measure the battery voltage while plugged in and charging. If you see anything over 13 volts, the converter is probably good.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:00 AM   #5
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Your refrigerator should be able to run on just electric, it should switch automatically. My inverter stays on all the time, I never cut it off, just one more thing to forget when I'm getting ready to leave the campground. If you want to learn all about batteries then Google the 12 volt side of life, part 1 and 2.


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Old 02-24-2016, 07:54 AM   #6
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Your refrigerator should be able to run on just electric, it should switch automatically. My inverter stays on all the time, I never cut it off, just one more thing to forget when I'm getting ready to leave the campground. If you want to learn all about batteries then Google the 12 volt side of life, part 1 and 2.


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Not true, when fridge is on shore power it still requires 12v to power the circuit board.


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Old 02-24-2016, 09:32 AM   #7
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Not true, when fridge is on shore power it still requires 12v to power the circuit board.


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True, I forgot


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Old 02-24-2016, 09:34 AM   #8
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True, I forgot


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Old 02-24-2016, 09:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by spock123 View Post
Your refrigerator should be able to run on just electric, it should switch automatically. My inverter stays on all the time, I never cut it off, just one more thing to forget when I'm getting ready to leave the campground. If you want to learn all about batteries then Google the 12 volt side of life, part 1 and 2.


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Not to be a stickler here, but if his frig runs off an inverter, it isn't a propane/120 VAC unit, it is a residential model. As such, it has never,ever heard of 12 volts! i suppose you could power an LP/AC reefer off of an inverter but that really would make no sense.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by retiredchief View Post
Hello Everyone,

Well, I'm a newbie and I'm still learning stuff everyday!!

You all helped me with my last problem with the by-pass suggestion on my water filter. Now I have a problem with my batteries....or my inverter/converter...im not sure so I thought I would turn to the pros for help.

Last night I kept noticing my lights in my 2011 Coachmen CrossCountry 401FK would go dim and then get bright again.

Well I woke up this morning to find my lights out. I'm plugged into the pedestal here in my park and I have electricity in the unit but not batteries.

Now you guys all know far more about this than I do but here's my stab at it.

My battery disconnect toggle switch located by the door is not letting me reset the batteries.

So I went out and filled up my coach batteries with distilled water....yep they were a little low.

so I checked by Magnum inverter indicator on my panel above my door. Initially it indicated invert, AC in, and absorb. Now it indicates invert, AC in and FLOAT. I guessing by filling up the batteries I gave them some more life....

However, after hours of waiting to see if anything will happen, I still do not have any coach batteries. Now my refrigerator is finally getting a tad bit warmer cuz its not running, even on propane.

Ok, so....what are your thoughts?

I've already called and left a message for a repair guy to come out and check everything.

Should I just sit back and wait for him or is there anything else I can do at this point?

Thanks for all your help and your time!!!
if you called a repair guy then wait don't screw it up anymore . i'd guess your batteries are toast . just adding distilled water will not rejuvenate batteries they will require a charge . how low were they ?plates showing ?
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:47 PM   #11
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battery charging

had that problem with my 335 only had it few months. Lucky I was camping 2 miles from my tech man. Frig and battery only working shore power and inverter keep tripping. Found that cables on battery were not secure, needed to be cleaned and reconnected same. Year later and no recurrence of that issue
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:49 AM   #12
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Not to be a stickler here, but if his frig runs off an inverter, it isn't a propane/120 VAC unit, it is a residential model. As such, it has never,ever heard of 12 volts! i suppose you could power an LP/AC reefer off of an inverter but that really would make no sense.
Our 2011 Georgetown 327DS has a Dometic propane/AC fridge that we run off of an inverter. I purchased the inverter and had the dealer install it before the rig went out on its first trip because I didn't want to drive with the propane on and couldn't see running the 5500W generator for a 300W intermittent load for the fridge. When we're driving, the 175A alternator provides more than enough power to run the inverter, charge the batteries, and still meet the chassis electrical needs. The inverter has an internal transfer switch and was wired into the electrical system so that it automatically shuts off whenever shore power is available or the generator is running.

I also installed a switch in the propane solenoid power line from the propane detector. This lets me shut off the propane at the tank from inside the rv when we're driving.

Phil
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:36 AM   #13
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Our 2011 Georgetown 327DS has a Dometic propane/AC fridge that we run off of an inverter. I purchased the inverter and had the dealer install it before the rig went out on its first trip because I didn't want to drive with the propane on and couldn't see running the 5500W generator for a 300W intermittent load for the fridge...
Phil
Makes sense, that's a new one for me, never heard of anyone doing that. I guess as long as the alternator is supplying the power it's no problem. When running from batteries, the AC section of a propane/AC reefer is really inefficient as it is merely a hot wire resistance heater. Taking 12 volts to make 110 to make heat is not a very optimal process.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:18 PM   #14
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Our 2011 Georgetown 327DS has a Dometic propane/AC fridge that we run off of an inverter. I purchased the inverter and had the dealer install it before the rig went out on its first trip because I didn't want to drive with the propane on and couldn't see running the 5500W generator for a 300W intermittent load for the fridge. When we're driving, the 175A alternator provides more than enough power to run the inverter, charge the batteries, and still meet the chassis electrical needs. The inverter has an internal transfer switch and was wired into the electrical system so that it automatically shuts off whenever shore power is available or the generator is running.

Phil
Phil

The only issue I see is whether or not the wiring from the alternator to the inverter is heavy enough to support the 25 amp plus load you are putting on the alternator. Depending on the distance, you want at least 6 gauge wires making that run to avoid the voltage drop. If you have much of a voltage drop, the batteries are going to carry the load instead of the alternator (and the batteries will not be charging).

Fred W
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:07 AM   #15
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Phil

The only issue I see is whether or not the wiring from the alternator to the inverter is heavy enough to support the 25 amp plus load you are putting on the alternator. Depending on the distance, you want at least 6 gauge wires making that run to avoid the voltage drop. If you have much of a voltage drop, the batteries are going to carry the load instead of the alternator (and the batteries will not be charging).

Fred W
On a class A chassis the alternator feed is designed to support a residential refrigerator and inverter option. That means that the feed will handle an inverter load with no problems and still manage to top off the house battery bank.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:21 AM   #16
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Phil

The only issue I see is whether or not the wiring from the alternator to the inverter is heavy enough to support the 25 amp plus load you are putting on the alternator. Depending on the distance, you want at least 6 gauge wires making that run to avoid the voltage drop. If you have much of a voltage drop, the batteries are going to carry the load instead of the alternator (and the batteries will not be charging).

Fred W
Actually, it's the wiring from the alternator to the battery, not the inverter. I believe the dealer used 2/0 wire from the battery to the inverter, around 6'. The inverter draws 25-27A at 12V when the heater in the fridge is running. Next time I'm running it that way, I'll check the house battery voltage while the fridge is drawing power for its heater. I have a two decimal DVM monitoring the battery so it should be easy to see the voltage drop.

Newer units with residential fridges would have a charge wire heavy enough to carry the current needed for the inverter but since mine didn't have that type of fridge, I might have a smaller charge wire. 20' of #10 wire has a resistance of 0.02 ohm. At 25A, this would cause a 0.5V drop in the voltage delivered to the battery. #8 wire would be 0.013 ohms, with a corresponding voltage drop of 0.325V.

Phil
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:08 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=...Newer units with residential fridges would have a charge wire heavy enough to carry the current needed for the inverter but since mine didn't have that type of fridge, I might have a smaller charge wire. 20' of #10 wire has a resistance of 0.02 ohm. At 25A, this would cause a 0.5V drop in the voltage delivered to the battery. #8 wire would be 0.013 ohms, with a corresponding voltage drop of 0.325V.

Phil[/QUOTE]

I doubt that. The wires from the alternator are designed to charge the battery bank, regardless of what is drawing it down. My bet is #6 since FR seems to use it in the battery section, with the exception of inter battery and battery to BCC wiring, which is #4. In fact, I have a 25 foot run of #6 from my 70 AMP converter to the battery bank. Sure it is rated for 70 amps, but has a big voltage drop at that length with 70 amps...but then it hardly ever puts out 70 amps...but the #6 has a lot to do with that!

Imagine what it would be like to build one if you constantly had to refer to a build sheet for wiring that every coach has!
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:12 PM   #18
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I doubt that. The wires from the alternator are designed to charge the battery bank, regardless of what is drawing it down. My bet is #6 since FR seems to use it in the battery section, with the exception of inter battery and battery to BCC wiring, which is #4. In fact, I have a 25 foot run of #6 from my 70 AMP converter to the battery bank. Sure it is rated for 70 amps, but has a big voltage drop at that length with 70 amps...but then it hardly ever puts out 70 amps...but the #6 has a lot to do with that!

Imagine what it would be like to build one if you constantly had to refer to a build sheet for wiring that every coach has!
I measured the effects of the inverter drawing 26A for the fridge heater. The voltage drop is 0.20V which leads me to suspect that the charge wire is around 12' of #8. If I run the inverter at full output, 1kw, that would be around 100A and would have a voltage drop of 0.8V. With 14.1V at the alternator, that's still 13.3V at the battery which should keep it charged. Of course, running 100A through a #8 wire exceeds its rated capacity which will cause it to heat up, increasing its resistance. #8 wire, used for chassis wiring (not in a bundle), is "conservatively" rated at 73A. ( American Wire Gauge table and AWG Electrical Current Load Limits with skin depth frequencies and wire breaking strength ).

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