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Old 04-24-2020, 06:58 PM   #1
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batteries

I have a 36ft 2006 Journey with 2 engine and 3 house batteries. We lost power because of a storm and within 2 days the batteries went dead to the point they wouldn't start the engine all combined. When the power came back the shore line, 50amp, would show as being connected and the batteries would not recharge. I hooked a battery charger to the batteries and the 50amp lit up and charged the batteries in a few minutes. What happened?
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Old 04-24-2020, 07:43 PM   #2
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More details on what equipment you may have to charge batteries will be needed to get closer to the answer. Do you have equipment to charge both the coach and start batteries when on shore power? some RV have it built in, some have added something like trikl-charge and some don't have anything to do the start battery charge. Odds are good that you are being mislead on how quickly the charge was restored as that is a slow process, even though one can get a high voltage reading right away, it is more likely to be just a surface charge rather than the whole chemical reaction that does a deep charge.
Other than that , I might say the converter which changes AC to DC did not come back online after the power failed until there was enough battery restored for it to react and switch or transfer correctly.
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Old 04-24-2020, 11:17 PM   #3
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rverosloff1, we have essentially the same rig as you. You likely have a Magnum ME-RC remote control for your inverter, located on your OneStop panel. You likely have a Trikl-charge module mounted in the breaker panel above your generator.

If so.........

We have been in locations where the shore power supply starts and stops. Not every time, but occaisionaly the ME-RC will require a manual reset.

Don't know why, can't find an explanation in the manual. Morich might be on to something. Don't know if he is referring to your (our) ABT - Automatic Bus Transfer switch. That is my suspicion. Although relatively foolproof, contacts have been known to arc burn and stick a little. I would blame shore power spike, but we have a SurgeGard hardwired in.

Be interested to see if a real electrician - as opposed to an old shade tree - chimes in with a better explanation.

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Old 04-25-2020, 02:56 PM   #4
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Needs to see polarity

Your symptom is very normal for a decent battery charger. They must be able to sense polarity and a charge to turn on. It's a built-in safety. When you put the second charger on it, undoubtedly a cheaper one, it started charging. This charge allowed your big battery charger to sense polarity and turn itself on. You could have achieved the same result by taking a little battery jumper box and hooking it up to your batteries for a few minutes.
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Old 04-27-2020, 08:57 AM   #5
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GaryKowal1, nailed it. Your inverter charger needs 12V from at least a partially charged battery to work.

I am a little surprised that your chassis (engine) batteries died in only 2 days though. I may be worth while to have them tested. If they are more than 3-5 years old they could be coming to end of life.

Keep in mind the trickle charger does a very good job of keeping the chassis batteries well charged. So even if the batteries are old and perhaps weak, they will still start the engine until they just don't have the power to start the engine.

If you run into a situation again where you don't have shore power, be sure to monitor your house batteries voltage with your OneStop panel. When the voltage gets down to about 12.2V or lower, start the generator and run it for an hour or two to charge the batteries. Probably once a day would work well unless you are using your microwave or gas/elect fridge on elect.

Also keep in mind that if your gas/elect fridge is in auto mode and the inverter is turned on, the inverter will be powering the fridge in elect mode unless you turn the fridge to gas only mode. Running your fridge off the inverter will kill your house batteries in 24 hours or less.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:20 PM   #6
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On our Journey, if the shore power goes out, the refer automatically switched to propane, as the inverter did not power the refer on ac power. When we had an alternator going out, over a year, I kept thinking the chassis batteries were not good, and at the 7 year old point, got new ones. Seemed better for a while until the alternator quit altogether.

And the perfect storm so-to-speak, about that time, our 6 year old house batteries were almost dead, took a while for the symptoms to register with me, the converter seemed erratic, the charging seemed odd, 12v lights would dim every now and then, everything was off. Finally manually tested the house batteries, yep, couldn't hold a charge under load more than a few minutes. Replaced the house batteries, and all the problems were gone.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:25 PM   #7
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It takes on long time to trickle charge multiple batteries. Whether it's 2 starting or 3,4 house. We just went thru it. Our onboard only charges at 1.5v......
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:29 PM   #8
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You never want to take your house bank below 10.5 volts as it ma.
y not get recharged by your charger. If this was your first experience with batteries, you may want to check the condition of the batteries if they are older than 2 years. Fully depleting a battery can reduce or end its life. Your best bet to keep your batteries in good shape is to add 200 watts or more of solar to your coach. Solar is relatively inexpensive, easily installed and should significantly extend your battery life particularly when you store the coach outdoors. Good luck
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