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Old 11-16-2023, 12:38 PM   #1
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Coach Batteries Not Fully Charging

I have a 2015 Winnebago Via, model 25q with new Interstate coach batteries. I first noticed a problem when in an RV park plugged into shore power the batteries ran down overnight when running the furnace. This happened several times and I had to start the engine, let it run for a very few minutes and turn it off. The batteries would keep the furnace running for the rest of the night. This occurred at two different pedestals in one park and the same at a different park the next night. I located the converter behind the fuse panel under the foot of the bed and unplugged and replugged it in. This seemed to keep the batteries charged up to 11.9 volts but no higher. I tested both coach batteries and they showed the same voltage. I have reset all the breakers I could locate including the push button ones in a storage bay to no avail. I also tested all the fuses but found none defective.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2023, 01:16 PM   #2
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My guess is that something's amiss with your convertor and/or it's settings. If you don't have a manual for it you should be able to download one. Hopefully there's a troubleshooting section in it. Since you have new batteries, there may also be a loose connection between your batteries and the convertor.
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Old 11-16-2023, 01:29 PM   #3
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Is the battery switch on? It does sound like a converter problem or possibly a hidden fuse/circuit breaker is tripped. Figure out which converter you have and look up the manual. They usually have a trouble shooting tree/process in them. I have had a couple of WFCO converters crap out on me over the years.

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Old 11-16-2023, 01:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Is the battery switch on? It does sound like a converter problem or possibly a hidden fuse/circuit breaker is tripped. Figure out which converter you have and look up the manual. They usually have a trouble shooting tree/process in them. I have had a couple of WFCO converters crap out on me over the years.

Aaron
Some converters have an external plug-in automotive type fuse and/or possibly an internal fuse.
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Old 11-16-2023, 01:55 PM   #5
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I see two options. The converter is not putting out high enough voltage to charge the batteries and should be near 13 when plugged into power.
Or one or more of the batteries is defective in a big way! New batteries can be bad!

So if you do not get way above 12. 0 from the converter going to the batteries, look back to the converter to get the right output.
If you see 13 from the converter when not connected to the batteries, look for a bad battery.
Note that this voltage should show at the posts of the batteries almost immediately when they are getting good charge voltage. That doesn't mean the whole battery is charged but it does show it is getting to the post and should work it's way down through slowly.
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Old 11-16-2023, 03:47 PM   #6
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If your Via is like mine you probably have the Progressive Dynamics 45 amp converter. It is extremely easy to change, it's located in the bottom half of your breaker panel (load center) in it's own compartment.

After first verifying the new batteries are OK if you still are not getting any charging (13+ volts) check the two green 30 amp fuses on the upper right side of your load center at the foot of the bed. Those are reverse polarity fuses, if anything happened while the new batteries were being installed one or both of these fuses could have opened.

There is also a small button on the lower right (brown on mine, you can see it just above the brown Molex connector on the bottom right corner of the board) which is your "Charge Wizard" switch that changes the charging output, you can force it into other voltages (bulk, absorption and float) but they are all lead chemistry voltages. It doesn't seem likely there is a problem there as even float is 13.2-13.4V, and if the standard charge mode gets changed by the switch it automatically goes back to standard when you unplug shore power and plug back in.

You can also measure charging output by probing the black wire on the left labeled "BATT POS+" and the green one on the right labeled "NEG BATT"

Don't worry there is no exposed AC voltage in there unless you remove the cover that fits over the circuit breakers so you can do everything in the fuse section safely while plugged in.
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Old 11-16-2023, 04:01 PM   #7
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One more tip, the converter shares the circuit breaker with the fridge. There is a single pigtail coming off the breaker and it is twisted onto the converter black and the fridge black inside the breaker compartment behind the removeable plate. Check this wire nut for a good, secure connection. Use caution as you will have exposure to live AC in there. Unplug the shore power if you are not comfortable with that.

One thing that confuses me reading your post again is that you said you unplugged the converter under the bed. If so, you have a very different setup than my Via and disregard what I said. My converter is hard wired and the only plugs under the bed are the big blue plastic connector for the inverter 12 volt and the duplex outlet on the back of the inverter. See pics.

At any rate please let us know what you have and what your charging voltages look like.
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Old 11-16-2023, 05:56 PM   #8
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After looking up the 2015 Via I see that the converter has changed, it is a PD9145 and it is mounted independently of the load center, I should have checked that first.

The troubleshooting will still be the same, measure the charge voltage, but the reverse polarity fuses are not located like the ones in my pics. I attached a link to the manual for your converter, if it is still the original one. Please let us know about those voltage measurements and like Richard said verify that the batteries are OK.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/wp-co...5n-english.pdf
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Old 11-16-2023, 07:23 PM   #9
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I don't think we are getting a good full story on what is happening with the batteries.
Sometimes the answer is in the details we are missing and one would seem to show if we read the first post?

They state that the battery ran down while running the furnace and while plugged into shore power. NOPE! doesn't work that way as the battery is simply storage and when the power is on, the converter will keep the furnace running even if there are no batteries!

Then they state that if they run the RV engine for a few minutes, the batteries will run the furnace the rest of the night?
NOPE! It takes hours for a fully rundown battery to get recharged enough to run a furnace even for a few hours!

Then there is some confusion showing on the way the battery voltages were taken. The only way I see to get two batteries to measure exactly the same is if they are connected together, so this info is not of any value.

I don't feel it will be any sort of tripped breaker or fuse as I never see them pass low voltage. I find most fuses or breakers pass it all or none!

The hit or miss, on again/ off again seems more like dirty connections than actual failed equipment.

If we think of the batteries as just a place where we store power, we can compare them to barrels of water?

If we find we can't get water out of the barrels when we think we have been filling them, we have two things to check.
Is the water getting to the barrels and are the barrels holding that water!

Any other searching for answers is just making life difficult!
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Old 11-17-2023, 06:15 PM   #10
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According to the sales brochure this year MH came with a 1,000w inverter instead of a converter. Regardless, the charger portion appears to be malfunctioning. The first thing I'd do is unhook the inverter battery cables overnight to do a total reset JIC anything internally is throwing a fault code that cannot be cleared via the remote panel.
When the inverter/charger is turned on the voltage at the battery terminals should be over 13 VDC or the charger is not functioning.


What brand and model is your inverter/charger?
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Old 11-17-2023, 07:35 PM   #11
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I think this is one of those "in- between" cases where we have an inverter in front but also a converter in back for the two separate operations instead on built in one box together.

I did not see a converter at first but did find an inverter 1000 watt as mentioned.
But a closer look as inverter stand alone may not get the converter part done?
So I find these two different parts in the list?
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Inverter nearer front on passenger side.
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Drilling in close, we can see the Progressive Dynamics logo, so that says converter to me! But they did not list it that way. Maybe they like to confuse us??

Inside, they show a big open space but I'm betting there is a converter in there!
Then if we turn it around we might find a point to check as it does have a point to plug a cord! Maybe as simple as loose cord?
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Old 11-17-2023, 07:54 PM   #12
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The converter is the yellow box in the forefront, part 31, under the bed (bed not shown). The load center is where the grayed out box is, on the face of the bed frame. It's totally different from my 2011 which has the PD converter under the circuit breaker section.
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Old 11-17-2023, 09:17 PM   #13
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Good catch there, Brian!
I totally slipped a gear, missed a year or something. I may have been in a different decade or totally lost in the woods but what you show is spot on!

CORRECTION!!
I see where I went wrong! I was thinking of the converter as taking in 110 to make 12VDC, so looked at the 110 section. Wrong again, as they list the converter as a 12Volt DC item and not on the 110 drawings!
I have a hard time keeping straight how they split that hair! I had run into it looking on the schematics but not gotten caught when looking at the parts!

Maybe too much to ask it be shown on both AC and DC drawings?
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Old 11-18-2023, 01:00 PM   #14
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Thanks to everyone who replied to my post about my coach battery charging issue. I took your advice and did the following: First I disconnected the shore power line into the coach, then I isolated both coach batteries and discovered that each was 11.5 volts (by volt meter) as also shown on my coach battery levels monitor. I reconnected the two coach batteries into the system.

I then removed the fuse/breaker panel at the foot of the bed and located the converter. It is plugged into the panel via a regular 3 prong cable. With the shore power reconnected the converter did not show any voltage through the cord (although it may not when not plugged into the panel). When I re-plugged the converter cable into the fuse block and checked the batteries, they showed 13.4 volts immediately. I then turned on the furnace and every light I could locate in the coach and watched the meter drop to 12.5 volts. I left everything running for about 15 minutes then turned everything off. The voltage jumped back up to 13.4 volts!
Several hours later, I checked the house battery voltage and found that it had dropped to 12.4 volts. This morning after leaving it connected to shore power overnight I checked and found that the voltage had dropped to 11.5.
I suspect that the converter is bad but I'm looking for advise on what brand to buy if I do need to replace it. I hope that I can move the mattress from the bed to access the hold down screws and cable connections from the converter otherwise it is not gonna be fun trying to disconnect it through the hole where the fuse panel is connected to the base of the bed.
Thanks for any advice you can provide.
Dave
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Old 11-18-2023, 01:09 PM   #15
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It does sound like your converter may be giving out. In order to work under the mattress thru the trap doors I use https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-46170-H...DKIKX0DER&th=1 this to hold the mattress up as it is nearly impossible to remove it from the RV. It fits at an angle from the corner bracket to the mattress.
I also use it to prop the hood open since Winnebago expects us to hold the hood up on top of our head while checking the oil I guess. If telescopes down very short and stores nicely in the driver's door step.
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Old 11-18-2023, 02:10 PM   #16
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Meanwhile I would open up the step and get a battery charger going on those batteries, not good to leave them discharged.
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Old 11-18-2023, 05:29 PM   #17
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I would go back with a Progressive Dynamics unit, they are one of the better units available. I don't recommend WFCO.

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Old 11-18-2023, 09:17 PM   #18
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Coach batteries not charging

Thanks again for all your advice and tips. I ordered the support device to hold the mattress up because it sits on a sold sheet of plywood that Iím going to have to cut a hole in to access the converter. Iíll be able to check all the fuses/breakers when I can access the converter.
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Old 11-18-2023, 10:49 PM   #19
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According to the sales brochure this year MH came with a 1,000w inverter instead of a converter.
Ray, don’t make the mistake of thinking all inverters are inverter/chargers. These are two different devices. Inverters are available in both varieties. Smaller inverters are almost always inverter only devices with no charger functions. Larger inverters 2000w and up may be limited to inverting 12v DC to 110v AC only OR they may be inverter/chargers that do both inverting and battery charging.

So, many RVs can and do have both inverters and converters. But RVs with inverter/chargers are the ones with no need of a converter.

In this case the OP’s RV has a smaller 1000w inverter to power some smaller AC electrics and he has a converter to handle battery charging chores.
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Old 11-18-2023, 11:18 PM   #20
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Ray, don’t make the mistake of thinking all inverters are inverter/chargers. These are two different devices. Inverters are available in both varieties. Smaller inverters are almost always inverter only devices with no charger functions. Larger inverters 2000w and up may be limited to inverting 12v DC to 110v AC only OR they may be inverter/chargers that do both inverting and battery charging.

So, many RVs can and do have both inverters and converters. But RVs with inverter/chargers are the ones with no need of a converter.

In this case the OP’s RV has a smaller 1000w inverter to power some smaller AC electrics and he has a converter to handle battery charging chores.
My MH has both an inverter located in an outside bay and a converter located under the bed behind the fuse/breaker panel. It’s extremely hard to access so I have to prop the mattress up and cut a hole in the thin plywood that the mattress lays on. I ordered a device to help hold the mattress up so I can access the plywood. It’s supposed to be delivered tomorrow, so hopefully I can prop the mattress and cut the hole. I’ll have more information about model, etc after that.
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