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Old 02-03-2017, 07:40 PM   #1
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House Batteries Discharge

Tried searching the forum but no results so new thread. MH is 2014 Itasca Meridian 42e. Started storing MH in covered storage in Oct 2016. Unit has been used several times for short periods, and has been visited every several weeks, engine run,etc. There is no power available in storage. Even though both house & chassis battery switches were disengaged when I leave the mh, the house batteries have now run down. Chassis batteries are fine. Alternator is working as power control panel display shows voltage is 13.8v on house batteries, but when engine is turned off, battery voltage drops to 7.8v & slowly keeps dropping until display slowly dims & goes off. When engine is restarted, 12v house items are nonoperational for a minute or so until things come on (lights & power control panel including display) & display shows house batteries are being charged to 13.8v. Ran engine 20 minutes hoping to charge house batteries (don't know how long it should take) but results remained the same. Any thoughts or help?
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:46 PM   #2
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At the point your batteries are at, you are going to need 4 to 6 hours of generator time to bring the batteries up to full charge.

The volts need to reach 14.2 and then fall back to 13.6. Only then are the 80 to 85 % charged.

Starting things and running them 20 minutes is taking more power out of the batteries then you put back in that time.

If your going to start the engine, drive it somewhere.

If your going to start the generator, let it run for at least 1 hour.
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Old 02-04-2017, 08:00 AM   #3
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Some house loads NEVER get shut off, even if you use the disconnect...

First, You need 6-8 hours of Power to recharge them to full (Depending on the ratio of converter size to battery capacity and the type of converter)

I would charge them, even if it means using the generator (See note below) Then While they are charging, Paint any wires connected to the POSITIVE terminal that run off to who knows where (not to another battery) RED.. (Optional black on the negative wires) Finally, when you shut down the generator. Disconnect all the NEGATIVE wires that run off to who knows where.. If there are more than one, tie them together with string and tie off to anything handy.

That WILL turn off everything.

the NOTE

One thing I actually own but alas it walked off is a Genrac 1000, This is a true 1,000 watt generator actually made by Briggs & Stratton.. it is JUST big enough to power my converter and will run 8 hours on a tank of gas.

The long term plan is to replace it and carry it for boondocking and overnighting, it is quite (About the same as a Honda 2000i) and fuel consumption is also close to the Honda 2000 as well
A "2000i" be it Honda or a competitor is also an option... (Alas a Honda 1000i will NOT run my converter).

I have the ability to 'Break out' my converter and power ... JUST IT.
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Old 02-04-2017, 08:23 AM   #4
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Some other notes: it is not good to run the engine for short periods. Unless your going to take it out on the road for an hour or so, leave it alone. The engine can sit for several months without any problems.
The generator, however should be run monthly, not because or the genny's engine but to excersize the actual generator itself; windings, coils, etc.
Since your batteries have been drained so low several times they are probably going to need replacement.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:13 AM   #5
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If after a really good charging session your voltages don't improve and hold over time recommend you start isolating and testing each battery. Might have one (or more) bad ones in the series dragging down the whole group. If you're in doubt about a battery pull it out and have a local battery place 'load test' it ...
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickFox View Post
Tried searching the forum but no results so new thread. MH is 2014 Itasca Meridian 42e. Started storing MH in covered storage in Oct 2016. Unit has been used several times for short periods, and has been visited every several weeks, engine run,etc. There is no power available in storage. Even though both house & chassis battery switches were disengaged when I leave the mh, the house batteries have now run down. Chassis batteries are fine. Alternator is working as power control panel display shows voltage is 13.8v on house batteries, but when engine is turned off, battery voltage drops to 7.8v & slowly keeps dropping until display slowly dims & goes off. When engine is restarted, 12v house items are nonoperational for a minute or so until things come on (lights & power control panel including display) & display shows house batteries are being charged to 13.8v. Ran engine 20 minutes hoping to charge house batteries (don't know how long it should take) but results remained the same. Any thoughts or help?
RickFox
I don't know why your batteries are discharging when you have the house & chassis battery disconnect switches in the off position....but I know that it can take many hours to recharge depleted batteries using the engine alternator.
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:35 AM   #7
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Lots of suggestions here but really no definitive answer. I have the same storage issue - no power. Fortunately, mine is stored outside and to counter the battery issue, I added four 100 watt solar panel to the roof. Cost was about $800 when I put them in in 2013 so should be lower now. It was a simple diy job and took more time planning than installing. I get up to 25+ amps from the panels that keeps both the house and the chassis batteries - via the Trik-L-Start - fully charged and is great for boondocking!
There is no real solution to keeping the batteries charged off season in your circumstance so I suggest you evaluate the merits of solar and outside storage. Fully and repeatedly depleting batteries dramatically shortens their life - especially
chassis batteries and brings with it significant cost and inconvenience. Good luck,

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Old 02-04-2017, 01:15 PM   #8
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Rick
Lots of suggestions here but really no definitive answer.
I have the same storage issue - no power.
Fortunately, mine is stored outside and to counter the battery issue, I added four 100 watt solar panel to the roof.
Cost was about $800 when I put them in in 2013 so should be lower now. It was a simple diy job and took more time planning than installing. I get up to 25+ amps from the panels that keeps both the house and the chassis batteries - via the Trik-L-Start - fully charged and is great for boondocking!
There is no real solution to keeping the batteries charged off season in your circumstance so I suggest you evaluate the merits of solar and outside storage.
Fully and repeatedly depleting batteries dramatically shortens their life - especially chassis batteries and brings with it significant cost and inconvenience. Good luck,
Bob
One inexpensive solution to the OP's problem is to remove the batteries and take them home with him... where they can be stored connected to good 120VAC battery charger/maintainer.
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Old 02-04-2017, 01:34 PM   #9
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A. Your house batteries are dead and gone, replace them
B. You have to physically disconnect the batteries at the battery terminal, or the things that are still draw power will run the batteries down. The battery switch does NOT disconnect all loads.
C. Storing indoors prevents solar from working.
D. Get a battery monitor so you know what is going on, like a trimetric or victron.
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:21 PM   #10
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A. Your house batteries are dead and gone, replace them
B. You have to physically disconnect the batteries at the battery terminal, or the things that are still draw power will run the batteries down. The battery switch does NOT disconnect all loads.
C. Storing indoors prevents solar from working.
D. Get a battery monitor so you know what is going on, like a trimetric or victron.
So does snow on the solar panels.
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:54 PM   #11
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So does snow on the solar panels.


Or a cover or or or what your point?
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:16 PM   #12
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Brought the MH to the house & connected shore power at 1pm Friday. It took approximately 48 hours to charge the 6 AGM house batteries with the on board inverter/battery charging system. According to Winnebago, this is the best way to recharge the batteries. It could also be done by running the generator for 48 hours. According to Winnebago the engine alternator is most effective at charging the chassis batteries and to float charge the house batteries. I have a solar panel but was of no use in the covered storage. The inverter/power manager system displays the house battery voltage so will monitor more often and see what happens.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:01 PM   #13
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Great work and glad you keep us up to date. What Winnebago stated is true, however the generator should have charged the batteries in about the same amount of time it would take Shore Power. Mainly because you weren't running anything else. Shore power goes thru the same circuits as the generator, they both go thru the Transfer Switch to MH and supply the same amount of amperage and voltage.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickFox View Post
It took approximately 48 hours to charge the 6 AGM house batteries with the on board inverter/battery charging system.

It could also be done by running the generator for
48 hours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGewl View Post
the generator should have charged the batteries in about the same amount of time it would take Shore Power. M
SuperGewl
That's what RickFox, (the OP), said.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:51 AM   #15
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My house batteries were reading 10.8 volt when I bought this RV from a consignment dealer. Was never able to restore them to proper operation. Your batteries were at 7.8 volts. I don't think it's practical to try to restore them. They're ruined, IMO.

As others have suggested, disconnecting the grounds is the easiest way to deal with all the parasitic loads on most RVs. Easy, and no question that it works. Fully charged (and healthy) batteries can last for months without the charge getting below 11 volts. Cold won't harm a healthy battery because the acid prevents freezing above -40F. I've stored my RV in Fairbanks, Alaska disconnected without problem over a winter.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:55 AM   #16
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Hi, I had a similar problem, I put an RV solar panel on the roof of the storage unit and ran it into my battery compartment with a quick disconnect plug. Get the biggest 4 ft solar panel or two. works great! mybatteries are always at 12.8 volts all the time..good luck Dave
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Old 03-06-2017, 02:20 PM   #17
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Just a note. If you have wet batteries and you discharge them in cold weather they will freeze. Probably not a great idea to charge frozen batteries. I would also inspect the case for damage.

I don't think the master kill switch kills everything. Pretty sure that the carbon monoxide and smoke sensors still operate and there may be a few other low current robbers, especially if some after market items were added improperly. Steps also don't work on the switch but IIRC most use the chassis batteries for steps.

If you are going to store inside with no power I would do it after batteries are fully charged and then remove the main power cable to the battery bank (or inline fuse if you have one). Should be able to last 6 months without a charge and removing them is not exactly fun.
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:37 PM   #18
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One thing you can do to charge faster, since you have 4 batteries, is swap out your converter charger for a larger one, this will reduce the "bulk" charge mode time.

Bulk charge is when the converter charger is putting out 14.4 volts to get the batteries their initial charge to 80%, and charge rate is limited by the maximum amps the converter charger output stage can put out.

Once to 80 % all good converter chargers drop to "absorption" charge mode, output of 13.6 volts. At 13.6 volts amps will drop to finish the battery charger more slowly to prevent battery gassing.

Winnebago OEM is typically 55 Amp max output. When I doubled the batteries as part of upgrading for boondocking, I also swapped out the converter charger to a PowerMax PM3-100, $ 169 , that has 100 Amp max output.

Another thing I did that you can do is place the converter charger very close to the batteries so you don't have any power loss between it and the batteries. You also have to size the wire between the converter charger and the batteries to handle the max current, for 100 Amp this is Wire Gauge 2 or better yet use Wire Gauge 0.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:23 PM   #19
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Be carefull to not get too big a charger.

This is from,
https://www.solar-electric.com/deep-...ery%20Charging

BATTERY CHARGING VOLTAGES AND CURRENTS:

Most flooded batteries should be charged at no more than the "C/8" rate for any sustained period. While some battery manufacturers state a higher maximum charge rate, such as C/3, higher charge rates can result in high battery temperatures and/or excessive bubbling and loss of liquid. ("C/8" is the battery capacity at the 20-hour rate divided by 8. For a 220 AH battery, this would equal 26 Amps.)

TheConcorde and some other AGM*batteries are a special case - the can be charged at up the the Cx4 rate, or 400% of the capacity for the bulk charge cycle for a short period. However, since very few battery cables can take that much current, we don't recommend you try this at home. To avoid cable overheating, you should stick to C/4 or less.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:44 PM   #20
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Rick Fox it is very helpful if you could tell us what model and year your coach is. It sounds to me you you have 6 AGM batteries you have a Tour. If so you need to check how your inverter charger is setup. You should be setup for AGM2 batteries and if you apply the C/8 you need to set your charger to 75%. If it took 48 hours to recharge them you were probably hooked up to a 15 amp or 20 amp source. I am sorry to say if your batteries were as low as you said they have been damaged and will probably need to be replaced. You can see how they are after the complete charge.
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