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Old 07-05-2010, 06:40 PM   #1
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House Battery dilemma

Am in the middle of a house battery issue. 2001 Winn Journey, checked batteries at 13 + prior to leaving on trip. First overnight hooked to shore power and all appeared to operate as designed, air conditioner in full operation all night. Upon disconnect next morning. BLANK - NO READING AT ALL on House Battery panel. Could not start generator. Engine battery showed 12.7 and rig started. Upon traveling for 2 1/2 hours panel showed voltage of 12.5. Six hours later, with Aux switch in off position, total loss on house batteries???? Also heard 'converter' fan running the night while hooked to shore power, strange. Should not some switch switch over from battery to shore??? Thanks
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:01 PM   #2
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Check on your battery and ground connections.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:30 PM   #3
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Thanks, probably hasn't been checked since 01.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:40 PM   #4
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If your converter is bad or flaky, even though you are on shore power, your batts will go dead. Running the engine will charge them off the alternator but if they went below 11 volts they may never come back right. If you have a volt meter you can measure output of the converter. Should be 13.4 or so. Just because the cooling fan is running doesn't mean it is doing its thing.
Part of the coach, lights etc. are 12v and run off the house batt all the time. The converter charges the house batts. Parts like the air cond run off AC power from the gen or shore power. (The frig can run off AC but still requires 12v for the control board.)
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:04 PM   #5
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Thanks, Indy Itasca

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy Itasca View Post
If your converter is bad or flaky, even though you are on shore power, your batts will go dead. Running the engine will charge them off the alternator but if they went below 11 volts they may never come back right. If you have a volt meter you can measure output of the converter. Should be 13.4 or so. Just because the cooling fan is running doesn't mean it is doing its thing.
Part of the coach, lights etc. are 12v and run off the house batt all the time. The converter charges the house batts. Parts like the air cond run off AC power from the gen or shore power. (The frig can run off AC but still requires 12v for the control board.)

Sounds like from the two responses, I have a lengthy check to run down this event. Thanks
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:48 AM   #6
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The battery disconnect switch hasn't been accidentally activated has it?

Mine is close to the door and somehow got pushed once.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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My 2001 Adventurer has just started doing the same. I am feeling that it may be ground related or possible one of the power relays starting to go.
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:35 PM   #8
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I found mine - the 50 amp 12 volt breaker to the house panel had tripped. After close to ten years it may be getting a little flaky so I will have to keep an eye on it.

On my coach these are above the batteries behind the riser on the top step in front of the 12 volt relays.

I have three new batteries and a fairly new Intellipower converter/charger with the Charge Wizard so I should have been good for a while but...

There is always a weak link in every system thankfully this one was easy to find. Hopefully this isn't just the sign of something else just about ready to fail. It could be the contacters in the relays are dirty or there could also be something causing a high draw that tripped the reset also.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:14 PM   #9
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At one time, it used to say on the packing box that circuit breakers must be operated at least once every six months to insure proper operation.
Lawyers have caused that helpful tip to disappear. As in "it's not my fault" must be the breakers fault. True story. Breakers do go bad, sometimes during normal use.

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Old 07-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by two-niner View Post
At one time, it used to say on the packing box that circuit breakers must be operated at least once every six months to insure proper operation.
Lawyers have caused that helpful tip to disappear. As in "it's not my fault" must be the breakers fault. True story. Breakers do go bad, sometimes during normal use.

Kerry
Kerry,

Unfortunately with 12 volt popup resets you would have to overload them to do that.

In the real old days the contactors were solid blocks of copper sitting in a bath of PolyChlorinatedBiphenol Oil and they did need to be operated to get the oil that may have cooked onto them off, to break up the carbon ridges that would eventually cause them to gap and to prevent them from getting welded together. Each contact was a set of three made up of a central wedge attached to a moving shuttle and a spring loaded two part vee that the wedge would be driven between by the eccentric motion of the shuttle arm. Those were the ones most benefited by the minimum 6 month cycling. The newer dry contact breakers with exotic platings would have their hard surface plating worn off by too much cycling and would be more likely to fail from use rather than by being left alone.

How things have change in the past hundred or so years. The Civil War era Wood Mill facility that I use to maintain up in the Boston area was like a living museum of technology and had examples of just about every stage of advancment in electrical switchgear, tools, motors and other equipment since before the migration from steam/waterwheels though and past the mainstream adoption of electricity to the current day.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:31 PM   #11
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Thanks to all - took the two House Batteries back to Interstate ( M31s/950cc) (no maintenance) - BOTH DEAD - 10 months old (little use - 3 short overnight trips). Now will go through all of the tips and advise above before hooking these up!!! Very concerned about even putting these into a faulty circuit.
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