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Old 11-16-2020, 11:17 PM   #1
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New REV batteries no longer pristine

I replaced my REV batteries last summer and all was well until this past weekend.

Saturday morning the CO/propane alarm was beeping. I had the heater running Saturday night because the temps were near freezing and I was putting off winterizing. It beeped until sometime after I turned off the heat and aired out the RV early afternoon.

Monday morning it was beeping again and the heater was running all night. The LED meter showed the batteries were depleted.

I generally keep the REV plugged into 30 amp shore power. Everything electrical was working inside. Even made coffee.

Apparently it wasnít charging the batteries from shore power. I ran the generator and the batteries charged up. I didnít drive long enough to be sure the engine was also charging the house batteries but it seemed to be. Once the generator ran for awhile the beeping alarm stopped.

It seems like it canít keep up with a draw from the Truma Combi heater. I generally donít use the fridge but last summer I had it on for a few days and that taxed the batteries.

I doubt that I can do much trouble shooting due to my physical limitations. I am looking for direction to tell the techs at whatever place I take it to.

This is a PIA since I am just recovering from injured knees and my wife may have that foreign virus.

I will make another post about winterizing.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:11 AM   #2
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One quick check is to disconnect your batteries and see if you have any 12v while plugged into shore power that will confirm converter operation. closer attention to monitoring battery condition may help in averting what you are describing.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:51 PM   #3
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Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:56 PM   #4
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I will be hooking up my battery charger to the 2 house batteries.

Am I correct in attaching the charger cords to the positive post of one battery and the negative post of the other battery?

Having the battery switch turned off and unplugged from shore power?
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:35 AM   #5
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I will be hooking up my battery charger to the 2 house batteries.

Am I correct in attaching the charger cords to the positive post of one battery and the negative post of the other battery?

Having the battery switch turned off and unplugged from shore power?
In a parallel circuit it does not matter. Connect to one battery will charge both. Or the way you suggested would be ok as well. No difference.
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:37 AM   #6
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Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:25 PM   #7
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Yesterday while on shopping trip I ran the generator for almost 2 hours with but it didnít seem to help. After dark I noticed that the lights were blinking while the generator was running. Once I turned off the generator the lights were fine. I drove home with the generator off and the battery switch off.

When parked at home shore power was on all night and this morning, with the battery switch on and the tank heaters on.

Before I attached the battery charger I realized the dreaded CO/propane alarm was not beeping. The control center LEDs showed 4 reds. Since last weekend they showed 1 or 2 LEDs.

My theory is that something may be draining the batteries more than usual and the charging system canít keep up with that drain. No electrical devices are plugged in. TV and radio off.

Wait and see what happens tomorrow plus make a service appointment somewhere.
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Old 11-19-2020, 04:11 PM   #8
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Possibly bad news...

The fact that your CO/propane alarm was sounding suggests that the battery voltage is VERY low. Having the genny both attempt to charge the batteries and silence the alarm is clue number two.

Your batteries, sadly, may be shot for some reason.

The fact that connecting to shore power does NOT silence the alarm nor seem to charge the batteries may be a hint at the culprit...a failed charger with the converter...or, perhaps, a blown fuse or loose connection between the converter/charger and the battery bank.

It's interesting, however, that your generator doesn't just feed the main panel via a transfer switch. Your experience suggests that the genny also has a charging circuit straight to the battery bank. That's confusing, but that may be how your rig is setup.

As SeaDog suggests, start with a simple test. Generator off. Disconnect your battery bank and see if you can get some 12 volt loads to work...perhaps the furnace is the best test, but cabin lights would be OK, too. The furnace will draw substantially more and provide a much better test.

But, that just means the converter/charger are working and supplying power to the fuse panel. There could still be a bad or loose connection to the battery bank. But the test will provide very valuable info to the tech doing the work.

With few exceptions, nothing ruins a battery more quickly than running it down to dead. If your alarm was going off and stopped once the generator was supplying power, it's most likely because the battery bank voltage dropped so low that the alarm was notifying you that it didn't have adequate power to run it.

Understanding that you will be paying by the hour for this experimentation, you may wish to have them also load test the batteries. This bench test will tell you if something has failed within one or both batteries. I confess that Google didn't help me much with the term REV batteries. I don't know if these are conventional flooded cell batteries...but sealed...or what. Regardless of the battery technology, a bench test would tell you if the battery is shot or OK.

To be clear, if you are connected to 30 amp shore power, your batteries should be fully topped off regardless of the cabin loads applied to the 12 volt circuits. Shore power should MORE than keep up. The fact that it doesn't speaks volumes about where the real problem is, BUT the problem may well have ruined your batteries in the process.
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Old 11-19-2020, 04:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Delco Bobby View Post
generator for almost 2 hours with but it didn’t seem to help.
When parked at home shore power was on all night and this morning, with the battery switch on and the tank heaters on.
My theory is that something may be draining the batteries more than usual and the charging system can’t keep up with that drain. No electrical devices are plugged in. TV and radio off.

Wait and see what happens tomorrow plus make a service appointment somewhere.
Hey, Bobby. Two hours is probably not enough to charge the batteries using the generator... especially a discharged battery.
Are you certain that the battery charger is good? Plugging the rig overnight to the house might not be enough to charge the batteries if you have the tank heaters on. Since the indicator lights are changing, it looks like they are trying to charge. So either they aren't charging fully because they are so low or they aren't holding a charge. Even though you bought them in the summer, they still could be bad.
The only other thing I can think might be a factor is your RAM battery. The house battery and the RAM battery are connected all the time. Could the RAM battery be pulling current from the house battery?

JimMoore13, the RAM battery is very specific to the rig. Apparently RAM decided to specially make the ProMaster battery. I think the house batteries for Bobby's rig are AGM or regular rig batteries.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:15 PM   #10
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Just a thought but you might check the date code on your CO/Propane alarm. I went crazy after trying to track down why mine was going off all the time and it turns out that the alarms start giving an alarm at end of life. Normally should be 5-7 years but some die early. There is a process for reading the lights that will tell you this if the date code is still good.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:21 PM   #11
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Hey, Bobby. Two hours is probably not enough to charge the batteries using the generator... especially a discharged battery.
Are you certain that the battery charger is good? Plugging the rig overnight to the house might not be enough to charge the batteries if you have the tank heaters on. Since the indicator lights are changing, it looks like they are trying to charge. So either they aren't charging fully because they are so low or they aren't holding a charge. Even though you bought them in the summer, they still could be bad.
The only other thing I can think might be a factor is your RAM battery. The house battery and the RAM battery are connected all the time. Could the RAM battery be pulling current from the house battery?

JimMoore13, the RAM battery is very specific to the rig. Apparently RAM decided to specially make the ProMaster battery. I think the house batteries for Bobby's rig are AGM or regular rig batteries.
I am not certain the charger is good. It seems to be a sudden failure to charge.
I have 2 Interstate group 31 AGM house batteries purchased at Samís Club.

The RV is almost always plugged into a dedicated 30 amp circuit when parked at home.
I donít know if the RAM battery is drawing down the house batteries. That is an interesting scenario. The RAM starts fine as usual.

In the circuit breaker panel the breaker on the far right trips constantly. I usually donít bother with it as I donít know what it controls because everything I use works. It looks to be a GFCI but the house outlets work.

The only thing that doesnít work is the electric portion of the Truma heater. It works great on gas. This has been a problem since my first winter. Truma once said it was a problem with the dedicated 120 outlet. If so, why does the fan blow? Beyond that the best tech at the dealer fixed it twice but failed again after a short while. Unfortunately that tech left that dealership. The best ones leave there. The dealership said the outlet was working. I need a longer arm to reach it. 😐

I a reluctant to return to the dealerís service dept. where I purchased it. They screwed up my rear cap last time. I can go to a larger non Dynamax dealer much closer to home but many of the people never heard of Dynamax. I am afraid of going broke on diagnostic fees. There is a place called Interstate Electric nearby that works on commercial vehicles. They are at a higher level of competence. I will visit them to see if they are willing to diagnose.

Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:22 PM   #12
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Just a thought but you might check the date code on your CO/Propane alarm. I went crazy after trying to track down why mine was going off all the time and it turns out that the alarms start giving an alarm at end of life. Normally should be 5-7 years but some die early. There is a process for reading the lights that will tell you this if the date code is still good.
I know but it only bothers me when the batteries are low. But I am probably close to that date.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:34 PM   #13
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Possibly bad news...

The fact that your CO/propane alarm was sounding suggests that the battery voltage is VERY low. Having the genny both attempt to charge the batteries and silence the alarm is clue number two.

Your batteries, sadly, may be shot for some reason.

The fact that connecting to shore power does NOT silence the alarm nor seem to charge the batteries may be a hint at the culprit...a failed charger with the converter...or, perhaps, a blown fuse or loose connection between the converter/charger and the battery bank.

It's interesting, however, that your generator doesn't just feed the main panel via a transfer switch. Your experience suggests that the genny also has a charging circuit straight to the battery bank. That's confusing, but that may be how your rig is setup.

As SeaDog suggests, start with a simple test. Generator off. Disconnect your battery bank and see if you can get some 12 volt loads to work...perhaps the furnace is the best test, but cabin lights would be OK, too. The furnace will draw substantially more and provide a much better test.

But, that just means the converter/charger are working and supplying power to the fuse panel. There could still be a bad or loose connection to the battery bank. But the test will provide very valuable info to the tech doing the work.

With few exceptions, nothing ruins a battery more quickly than running it down to dead. If your alarm was going off and stopped once the generator was supplying power, it's most likely because the battery bank voltage dropped so low that the alarm was notifying you that it didn't have adequate power to run it.

Understanding that you will be paying by the hour for this experimentation, you may wish to have them also load test the batteries. This bench test will tell you if something has failed within one or both batteries. I confess that Google didn't help me much with the term REV batteries. I don't know if these are conventional flooded cell batteries...but sealed...or what. Regardless of the battery technology, a bench test would tell you if the battery is shot or OK.

To be clear, if you are connected to 30 amp shore power, your batteries should be fully topped off regardless of the cabin loads applied to the 12 volt circuits. Shore power should MORE than keep up. The fact that it doesn't speaks volumes about where the real problem is, BUT the problem may well have ruined your batteries in the process.

It is a Progressive Dynamics combination charger converter. It may be failing like you say or may have a loose connection. I am thinking if it is a blown fuse then it would not charge at all. The transfer switch is built in.

Seadogs suggestion is good but I donít have the physical ability anymore to remove the battery cables. Throwing the battery switch will prevent lights and heater from working.

The house batteries are group 31 AGM. Purchased last summer.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 11-19-2020, 06:32 PM   #14
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First, I'm sorry about your knees and hope your wife is doing ok.
Next... the propane alarm. Is it blasting you out of the rig or just 'beeping' like a smoke alarm does when batteries are low. Ours blasts us out of the rig when the house battery is low. The 'beeping' is usually a sign of a propane alarm needing to be replaced.
Then, I'd get those batteries tested to see if they'll hold a charge.
I'm wondering if your suspicions are correct and it's the Trauma. It's possible that that tripping GFI is connected to the Trauma. Sounds like you need an electrician if the propane alarm and batteries are good.
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:41 PM   #15
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First, I'm sorry about your knees and hope your wife is doing ok.
Next... the propane alarm. Is it blasting you out of the rig or just 'beeping' like a smoke alarm does when batteries are low. Ours blasts us out of the rig when the house battery is low. The 'beeping' is usually a sign of a propane alarm needing to be replaced.
Then, I'd get those batteries tested to see if they'll hold a charge.
I'm wondering if your suspicions are correct and it's the Trauma. It's possible that that tripping GFI is connected to the Trauma. Sounds like you need an electrician if the propane alarm and batteries are good.
My knees are doing much better. They survived getting down on the floor to reach under the sofa to close the heater drain. Used knee pads. I was a glass cutter in the 70ís and had to cut up large sheets of glass on my hands and knees. That hurt. My wife is feeling better as we wait for the results of the more accurate COVID test. We doubt she has it.

The beep is about every minute, not a danger alarm. Low battery indicator. It doesnít beep unless the battery is low.

Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2020, 05:15 PM   #16
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Is Dynamax self healing?

I didnít change anything but the batteries finally charged and the beeping stopped. On shore power for a few days as is my norm. I didnít use my portable battery charger.

I am wondering if this issue is temperature related. It was colder when the problem occurred. The last couple of days have been warmer.

I didnít drive it yesterday or today but used it as my mobile ďoffice.Ē Ran heat on propane. Also used a ceramic heater at same time and alone. Used lights made coffee and enjoyed life.

I winterized it so water pump is not used.

Will see what tomorrow brings.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:34 PM   #17
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Is Dynamax self healing?
.
That would be nice if they were self healing.
Obviously something drew those batteries down and the temp could have something to do with it. Think I've read that AGMs can recharge more slowly too.
I think you've stumped the experts, but it's great that things are working again.
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Old 11-23-2020, 01:24 PM   #18
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That would be nice if they were self healing.
Obviously something drew those batteries down and the temp could have something to do with it. Think I've read that AGMs can recharge more slowly too.
I think you've stumped the experts, but it's great that things are working again.
X2. Even a "bad" battery will take some charge unless it's shorted internally or has some other problem. Your converter will also attempt to perform some "emergency-style" restoration on the battery. Some converters will attempt to deal with sulfation, etc.

If you don't plan to used the rig, the battery or batteries may see you through the winter if you remain connected to shore power. But before you rely on those batteries in the field, I strongly suggest a bench load test on every battery. Once crippled, many batteries will just never be the same...and it's time to replace. If you can get thru the winter before replacing, it would be better to install new ones a couple weeks before your next sojourn to give them time to get fully topped of.

I can't attest to the merits of this particular video, but it may be helpful, and there are many more where that came from.
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:23 PM   #19
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anyone who has a camper of any type should have a cheap " multi tester " and know how to use it to test batteries ( very simple ) then test while plugged in , generator running or van running and it will tell you at least if batteries are charging. And if they are charging and dont hold a charge , you have bad batteries even if they are newer . replace and take better care
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Old 11-29-2020, 11:53 PM   #20
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Its back.

Beeping again this evening, batteries are low.

Plugged into shore power as usual. All fine for over a week.

It got colder Saturday night and is cold tonight. cold enough for the tank heaters to activate. Temps in 30ís.

I am thinking the tank heaters may be causing the battery drain or are part of the problem. The only other electric device on is the propane switch and the usual parasitic battery drains like the CO detector and the Truma display.

I havenít made a service appointment yet due to my wifeís health. I hang out in the REV while she is on medical visits. Some facilities wonít let me be with her due to the Covid fears. She is negative but they are restricting entry to patients only.
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