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Old 04-17-2021, 01:14 PM   #1
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(SOLVED) Class C batteries going dead plugged in to 30amp

Apologies for length.
Odd situation here for me. I've read several threads on the topic but need to ask my own. I have a 2018 Class C Forester 3011 DS with Ford V10 and 4000 watt Onan. It has 2 12volt deep cycles in parallel. I keep this rv, like my previous 3, plugged in at home in a 30 Amp rv outlet. About a month ago I went out one day during freezing temps to check on things and had no lights, no One Control panel, no 12 volt items. I checked and confirmed RV was still plugged in.
I began to check batteries (originals dated 2017) and they were showing around 7.2V. I put 2 deep cycle chargers on them over night and everything worked, for a while. But One Control voltage readout was blank. Within a few hours I found them dead again. I have lots of LEDs that use battery. 3 12V tvs, AC thermostat, detectors, etc. But that shouldn't drain that fast.
I installed two brand new deep cycles (group 27) after first charging them overnight. Was fine all day so I thought new batteries fixed the problem. This morning I found everything off again and the batteries showing 7.2V again, with volt meter.
Now I started suspecting converter problems. It's a "Progressive PD4000 series power control center." When I went there, all fuses are good but the converter breaker was thrown, and the cooling fan was not running. I turned on the converter breaker and it made a soft sound somewhere behind it, sort of a fan like sound but I could see the cooling fan and it wasn't moving.
I'm at a loss here. I have extended warranty that covers this but before I seek service I want to know what the problem is. I may do it myself once I'm sure.
Any thoughts or similar experiences I can gleam wisdom from? Thanks guys.
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Old 04-17-2021, 09:14 PM   #2
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Dave, it sure sounds like the converter is having problems. Can you access it to check the dc voltage output at the converter?


I am wondering if perhaps something has possibly shorted in the converter in a way to also drain the battery besides from the 12 volt DC appliances/items that draw from the battery. Something is probably wrong since the circuit breaker to it being tripped.


EDIT: I found a simple youtube video to help a little


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Old 04-18-2021, 05:46 PM   #3
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I suggest calling Progressive's tech support line. They're usually available during the day and can walk you through diagnosing your issue.


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Old 04-18-2021, 06:15 PM   #4
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First step I'd recommend to diagnose is isolate batteries from converter by disconnecting converter's 12 volt output. Converter unit, not battery connection at power panel. Also disconnect batteries by removing one terminal.

Charge batteries with separate charger and with unit plugged in to shore power check output at Converter. If 120 volt is going in, and reverse polarity fuses are good, you should see more than 13 volts at the output terminals (emphasis, with output wires disconnected). If no output -------- bad converter.

It does sound like you have a bad converter but it's always best to rule out other problems before buying replacement items.

I'd also check for something turned on that draws more current than just a few LED's and "instrumentation". Reconnect batteries but leave converter disconnected and see if there is a phantom draw that runs the batteries, again let sit overnight.

In my experience "shorts" that draw a significant amount of current usually lead to either components failing to open state and/or smoke and burnt electrical smell.

Only way to be certain what is causing the problem is to isolate all possibilities from the new batteries and add back one at a time.
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:30 PM   #5
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Wmtire. That is one of the helpful ones I watched, While it isn't the same converter I have it helped me see some ways to check. My breaker was completely off, not half way. I don't remember turning it off and its not in a convenient place to accidentally do it. I''ll do some more checking.
Today, Sunday, at 6:20 PM I took them off deep cycle chargers after 30 hours of charging. They measured 13.5 volts each, with disconnect on and off. I unplugged 30 amp power and checked them again, 13.5V still. Gonna check again tomorrow after I take a friend to Shreveport for followup tests. He was just released from Ocshner LSU after 4 weeks, 2 on a vent in a coma. Let you know what I find when I get back. Thanks again.
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:31 PM   #6
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Mbutts
That is my next step if I can't figure this out tomorrow. Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:35 PM   #7
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TitanMike,
Good information. I started this process yesterday but had to stop for leg cramp. Power center with built in converter is under foot of bed with about 20" of floor space to work with. I'll do more checking Monday evening. Thank you.
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcheatwood View Post
Apologies for length.
Odd situation here for me. I've read several threads on the topic but need to ask my own. I have a 2018 Class C Forester 3011 DS with Ford V10 and 4000 watt Onan. It has 2 12volt deep cycles in series.I keep this rv, like my previous 3, plugged in at home in a 30 Amp rv outlet. About a month ago I went out one day during freezing temps to check on things and had no lights, no One Control panel, no 12 volt items. I checked and confirmed RV was still plugged in.
I began to check batteries (originals dated 2017) and they were showing around 7.2V. I put 2 deep cycle chargers on them over night and everything worked, for a while. But One Control voltage readout was blank. Within a few hours I found them dead again. I have lots of LEDs that use battery. 3 12V tvs, AC thermostat, detectors, etc. But that shouldn't drain that fast.
I installed two brand new deep cycles (group 27) after first charging them overnight. Was fine all day so I thought new batteries fixed the problem. This morning I found everything off again and the batteries showing 7.2V again, with volt meter.
Now I started suspecting converter problems. It's a "Progressive PD4000 series power control center." When I went there, all fuses are good but the converter breaker was thrown, and the cooling fan was not running. I turned on the converter breaker and it made a soft sound somewhere behind it, sort of a fan like sound but I could see the cooling fan and it wasn't moving.
I'm at a loss here. I have extended warranty that covers this but before I seek service I want to know what the problem is. I may do it myself once I'm sure.
Any thoughts or similar experiences I can gleam wisdom from? Thanks guys.
Just focusing on the bolded parts of your original message...first...I'M HOPING you meant parallel hookup with the +' of both batteries jumped as well as the negative of both batteries jumped. Otherwise you'd have had 24 volts going where it shouldn't.
Second...you discharged to 7.2 volts when 10.5V is dead flat. These batteries REGARDLESS of what they read on a voltage meter after charging MUST be damaged. The only question is how badly.
Any reading over 12.8 is either a reading from a charger OR a surface or "ghost" charge left by charging that will disappear quickly under load. Don't assume a 13.5 reading means "fully charged" as the real charge could be far less.
Am I understanding correctly that you purchased another set of batteries and they were driven to 7.2 volts as well?
Suggest that you get yourself an AC/DC clamp meter instead of just a volt meter so you can see what amp (current) load you have that is drawing you down so quickly to 7.2V.
A good amp meter will also let you measure both the voltage and amps being put our by your converter. I lean to a converter problem as well but there may be something going on on the AC side as well.
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Old 04-19-2021, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcheatwood View Post
Apologies for length.
Odd situation here for me. I've read several threads on the topic but need to ask my own. I have a 2018 Class C Forester 3011 DS with Ford V10 and 4000 watt Onan. It has 2 12volt deep cycles in series....
...

I noticed right away that you said 2 batteries connected in series. EEK. A check on posts revealed that one other poster caught this too... if you've already followed up.

It actually makes sense that that is the problem. Your converter is charging exactly 14.4 volts like it should during initial fast rate... but 7.2 volts to each battery... which means the converter voltage limiter is probably draining the batteries down to this split level, 7.2v+7.2v = 14.4v.

If you haven't double checked to make sure that either you have two 6v batteries adding up to 12, if they are in series (one plus to the other minus), or two 12v batteries correctly connected in parallel (plus to plus, minus to minus), do that now.

Then look to see if there is any damage from a period of 24v overvoltage to anything 12v that may have been turned on when full 12v batteries were first connected, or any blown fuses. The situation is similar to putting 220vac to 110v appliances. These things happen, it wouldn't be the first time.

I think there is a good chance that the batteries may be ok once properly connected and charged.

I wish you best of luck.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:09 PM   #10
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If 12v batteries were connected in series the reverse polarity fuses would probably blow dur to current spike and protect the converter. That and converters often have protection built in to block hugh voltage damage by blocking reverse current.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:54 PM   #11
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Yes!!! Thank You!!! I did mean parallel. I've corrected that now. Thanks again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Just focusing on the bolded parts of your original message...first...I'M HOPING you meant parallel hookup with the +' of both batteries jumped as well as the negative of both batteries jumped. Otherwise you'd have had 24 volts going where it shouldn't.
Second...you discharged to 7.2 volts when 10.5V is dead flat. These batteries REGARDLESS of what they read on a voltage meter after charging MUST be damaged. The only question is how badly.
Any reading over 12.8 is either a reading from a charger OR a surface or "ghost" charge left by charging that will disappear quickly under load. Don't assume a 13.5 reading means "fully charged" as the real charge could be far less.
Am I understanding correctly that you purchased another set of batteries and they were driven to 7.2 volts as well?
Suggest that you get yourself an AC/DC clamp meter instead of just a volt meter so you can see what amp (current) load you have that is drawing you down so quickly to 7.2V.
A good amp meter will also let you measure both the voltage and amps being put our by your converter. I lean to a converter problem as well but there may be something going on on the AC side as well.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:56 PM   #12
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Thank you. It is 2 12 volt in parallel. By the time I posted that my brain was fried. I'm gonna reread your comment and see if I can do further checks based on that information. Thanks again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Tausend View Post
...

I noticed right away that you said 2 batteries connected in series. EEK. A check on posts revealed that one other poster caught this too... if you've already followed up.

It actually makes sense that that is the problem. Your converter is charging exactly 14.4 volts like it should during initial fast rate... but 7.2 volts to each battery... which means the converter voltage limiter is probably draining the batteries down to this split level, 7.2v+7.2v = 14.4v.

If you haven't double checked to make sure that either you have two 6v batteries adding up to 12, if they are in series (one plus to the other minus), or two 12v batteries correctly connected in parallel (plus to plus, minus to minus), do that now.

Then look to see if there is any damage from a period of 24v overvoltage to anything 12v that may have been turned on when full 12v batteries were first connected, or any blown fuses. The situation is similar to putting 220vac to 110v appliances. These things happen, it wouldn't be the first time.

I think there is a good chance that the batteries may be ok once properly connected and charged.

I wish you best of luck.
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Old 04-21-2021, 03:58 AM   #13
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Thank you. It is 2 12 volt in parallel. By the time I posted that my brain was fried. I'm gonna reread your comment and see if I can do further checks based on that information. Thanks again.
...

Sorry. I guess I probably jumped to conclusions then. It seemed in theory, the precise 7.2v would be exactly the measured result if the 12v batteries were hooked up in series, but it isn't like I've actually seen it, and I haven't experimented in that manner to see it with my own eyes either.

Probably the most likely cause of two batteries being accidentally hooked up in series would be if a owner decided to replace two 6v batteries which have to be hooked up in series and just hooked them up the same. But changing batteries is something you would remember.

Other than that, it might be possible that a half of the converter charger could go to heck and leave just a half-wave sort of charge voltage available. Then that problem would be a failed converter in need of replacement or repair by someone very familiar with the circuitry.

I do sympathize as I 've had one of my matched 12v batteries fail in the past and give strange characteristics in troubleshooting. The bad one dragged the other down, yet when the converter kicked in the bad one acted like it charged up almost immediately and shut off again. It seemed to drive the converter control nuts. When my current RV batteries fail, I'm going to replace them with two quality series 6v's in hopes of alleviating this dilemma in the future.

Good luck to you again.

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Old 04-21-2021, 04:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wes Tausend View Post
...

Sorry. I guess I probably jumped to conclusions then. It seemed in theory, the precise 7.2v would be exactly the measured result if the 12v batteries were hooked up in series, but it isn't like I've actually seen it, and I haven't experimented in that manner to see it with my own eyes either.

Probably the most likely cause of two batteries being accidentally hooked up in series would be if a owner decided to replace two 6v batteries which have to be hooked up in series and just hooked them up the same. But changing batteries is something you would remember.

Other than that, it might be possible that a half of the converter charger could go to heck and leave just a half-wave sort of charge voltage available. Then that problem would be a failed converter in need of replacement or repair by someone very familiar with the circuitry.

I do sympathize as I 've had one of my matched 12v batteries fail in the past and give strange characteristics in troubleshooting. The bad one dragged the other down, yet when the converter kicked in the bad one acted like it charged up almost immediately and shut off again. It seemed to drive the converter control nuts. When my current RV batteries fail, I'm going to replace them with two quality series 6v's in hopes of alleviating this dilemma in the future.

Good luck to you again.

Wes
Thanks wes, The batteries now are brand new deep cycle. They've never been hooked in series. That was just my tired brain talking. The originals were 4 years old so I "assumed" they were bad. Now the new ones are being drained rather fast. I've checked about every way I know to figure it out. Gonna post a new comment next about the latest revelation.
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:22 PM   #15
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Ok everyone. See if this helps you help me. I charged the batteries up to 12.7V a couple days ago with separate deep cycle chargers. Two chargers I use on boat batteries occasionally. Battery disconnect was off so little to no draw was expected. I checked them 24 hours later and they were still good at 12.5V. Then I turned on battery disconnect and turned on fridge (for a short trip this weekend) and a roof vent fan. Checked the voltage today and down to 12.5V. I am plugged in to a 30amp outlet.
I started the generator to see if it would charge, but no rise in voltage, turned generator off. So,,,, here's the surprise. I started the engine (Ford V10) and the voltage went to 14V with engine running, indicating that the batteries are charging.
Keep in mind I have an auto transfer switch for generator, and the battery system manager, and the converter is built in as part of the breaker/fuse box and not a separate unit. Does any of this help dianosing?
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:51 PM   #16
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Battery disconnect was off so little to no draw was expected.
Your assumption that turning the battery disconnect to 'off' stops parasitic drain from the battery is incorrect. You need a battery disconnect on the battery itself to stop any draw from the battery.
When plugged into a 30amp outlet, you're going to get a trickle charge and it takes forever to charge it that way.
I don't know why your generator isn't charging the battery, but it's been our experience that the rigs engine charges the batteries faster than a 30 amp or our generator.
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Old 04-21-2021, 05:53 PM   #17
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I started the generator to see if it would charge, but no rise in voltage, turned generator off. So,,,, here's the surprise. I started the engine (Ford V10) and the voltage went to 14V with engine running, indicating that the batteries are charging.
Keep in mind I have an auto transfer switch for generator, and the battery system manager, and the converter is built in as part of the breaker/fuse box and not a separate unit. Does any of this help dianosing?
So the shore power and the generator go to the ATS, this switches the AC input of the main panel depending on which is connected/active. From there to charge your batteries, your panel will provide AC to a converter/charger. This also connects to the DC bus and provides DC voltage/battery charging. If you don't have a functioning converter, the only place that DC voltage is beings supplied would be your batteries and maybe the solar/solar charge controller if so equipped.

You basically have 3 electrical systems in a motorhome, your chassis 12V DC system, your house 12V DC system, and your house 120V AC system

Overall I'd be looking to make sure the converter is working properly. Given that you're only seeing the voltage rise when using the 12V DC chassis system via the battery isolation manager, it strikes me that it's likely bad or somehow disconnected. On a lot of panels, you'll have a standard NEMA 5-15R (Standard wall outlet) on the back of the panel, but it could also be connected to an AC breaker.
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:12 PM   #18
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From your description it appears the power converter is not working. The converter in located internal to your power distribution box where your fuses and circuit breakers are located. First check the reverse polarity fuses. There will be 2-4 of them depending upon the converter, usually 30 amp. If they are good you will need to disconnect the converter output to test. Most likely you have a Progressive Dynamics converter, you will find the troubleshooting guides here.
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:22 PM   #19
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If that transfer switch is sticking it may be what made the breaker for the converter trip. Did you check voltage at the battery once you reset the breaker? The fan in the converter won't run unless it needs to, and the noise you were hearing could very well be the converter working.
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Old 04-21-2021, 07:59 PM   #20
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At first glance it would appear the converter is bad. The 14Vdc at the batteries with the engine running is from the engine alternator. On shore power and the chassis battery js also not being charged that would enforce the bad converter assumption. Assuming you have checked that there is actually 120Vac at the converter. Some ATS contactors have to energize for both shore/generator power inputs and do not just default to shore power. The ATS is out of the equation for engine alternator battery interconnect. Just rambling.
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