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12 V problems

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  • atdnr
    Here are the symptoms.... with a brand new and fully charged coach battery, everything seems to work fine. even with everything off, the battery will discharge
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 20 7:47 PM
      Here are the symptoms....

      with a brand new and fully charged coach battery, everything seems to
      work fine.

      even with everything off, the battery will discharge over night.

      shore power wont charge battery or power 12 V system

      generator wont run 12V system or charge battery.

      with generator running, if I disconnect the coach battery, the
      generator will die. So, generator is getting it's electricity from the
      battery

      alternator doesnt charge coach battery



      Anybody have any ideas?
    • Jerry Noone
      Likely a converter/inverter issue BUT try charging the battery to full capacity and leaving it disconnected overnight and check the charge after that.
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 21 10:11 AM
        Likely a converter/inverter issue BUT try charging the battery to full capacity and leaving it disconnected overnight and check the charge after that. Remember, of course, not to leave the battery sitting on concrete as that wil quickly drain it and-or ruin it - set it on a chunk of lumber if needed.
        If you find it to have a lower charge after sitting overnight or even a couple days, you likely have a bad battery - Yes, new ones can be bad too.
        Beyond that, the most probable cause would be the converter/inverter not allowing power into the battery - however, you say that it discharges overnight with everything off. If it stays charged when not connected, you obviously have something still on or a slight short that drains the battery overnight.
        Anyway, the first step is to see if holds a charge when completely disconnected.
        Post to let us all know what that does for you and we'll see what suggestions are next.
        Jerry
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: atdnr
        To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 7:47 PM
        Subject: [classicrv] 12 V problems



        Here are the symptoms....

        with a brand new and fully charged coach battery, everything seems to
        work fine.

        even with everything off, the battery will discharge over night.

        shore power wont charge battery or power 12 V system

        generator wont run 12V system or charge battery.

        with generator running, if I disconnect the coach battery, the
        generator will die. So, generator is getting it's electricity from the
        battery

        alternator doesnt charge coach battery

        Anybody have any ideas?



        #ygrp-mlmsg { FONT-SIZE: small; FONT-FAMILY: arial,helvetica,clean,sans-serif}#ygrp-mlmsg TABLE { }#ygrp-mlmsg SELECT { FONT: 99% arial,helvetica,clean,sans-serif}INPUT { FONT: 99% arial,helvetica,clean,sans-serif}TEXTAREA { FONT: 99% arial,helvetica,clean,sans-serif}#ygrp-mlmsg PRE { FONT: 100% monospace}CODE { FONT: 100% monospace}#ygrp-mlmsg { LINE-HEIGHT: 1.22em}#ygrp-text { FONT-FAMILY: Georgia}#ygrp-text P { MARGIN: 0px 0px 1em}#ygrp-tpmsgs { CLEAR: both; FONT-FAMILY: Arial}#ygrp-vitnav { FONT-SIZE: 77%; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 10px; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana}#ygrp-vitnav A { PADDING-RIGHT: 1px; PADDING-LEFT: 1px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px}#ygrp-actbar { CLEAR: both; MARGIN: 25px 0px; COLOR: #666; WHITE-SPACE: nowrap; TEXT-ALIGN: right}#ygrp-actbar .left { FLOAT: left; WHITE-SPACE: nowrap}..bld { FONT-WEIGHT: bold}#ygrp-grft { PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 77%; PADDING-BOTTOM: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 15px; FONT-FAMILY:
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      • Charles S Osborne
        atdnr, Sounds like possibly the AC:DC charger isn t being automatically switched to charge the coach battery. In mine (1985 34ft Itasca Windcruiser) a big
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 21 10:30 AM
          atdnr,

          Sounds like possibly the AC:DC charger isn't being automatically switched to
          charge the coach battery. In mine (1985 34ft Itasca Windcruiser) a big relay
          pulls in whenever you are plugged into AC. That applies the DC power supply
          to both the light circuit and the coach battery.

          There's also usually a diode network somewhere which keeps the coach battery
          from pulling power from the engine's battery. However the diode does
          (should) allow the coach engine via its alternator to charge both coach and
          engine batteries at the same time thru the diode.

          I was having trouble with the coach battery getting discharged on mine if I
          left it sitting in the yard unplugged for a week or so. So last weekend I
          measured the drain on battery with everything off. I measured 250 milliamps
          ( 1/4 Amp). That would take about ten days to discharge a 100 amp-hour
          battery. Your drain is at least ten times as much to do it overnight.. or
          2.5 amps. A single overhead light draws more than that.

          I'd take the battery cable lose, put a meter in series, and measure the
          drain with an amp-meter. Most digital voltmeters have a 10Amp scale that
          will at least give you an idea how big the leak is. Then pull fuses or
          breakers one by one till the current goes to zero. Closet light, clock,
          monitor panels all could be a logical culprit.

          Or that diode circuit I mentioned might be shorted. That would allow
          something on the dash power side of the circuits to potentially be the
          current drain. If that was the case though, the engine start battery would
          be drained overnight just like the coach battery.

          I don't think the generator charges the battery, except by powering up the
          AC:DC converter which sounds like its not working in your description. And
          many of the power converter scheme's only provide a few amps to trickle
          charge the coach battery. So you'd have to run the generator for a day just
          to charge a 100 AH battery. Very inefficient. Newer power converters can
          raise that to 30Amp or more battery charge rates. However anything like
          lights on in the coach at the time subtracts directly from that charge
          capability.

          The main engine's alternator can do 50~60amps charge rate, though sitting
          there idling it may not do quite as well. And if you have multiple batteries
          double or triple the time to full charge. If driving a couple of hours, the
          alternator system should be capable of putting 80~100 amp-hours into the
          battery system.

          Deep cycle batteries' lifetimes will be shortened by running them down to
          below 10volts and then pumping in 50amps of charge for long periods of time.
          If on AC, newer charge controller circuits manage all that better and will
          automatically cycle thru "bulk", "maintain", and "equalize" cycles that
          extend the life of the battery. Some even automatically disconnect the
          battery when voltage is drained down to a danger point like 10 volts, so
          permanent damage isn't done. Keeping a load on the battery till its dead
          dead takes a lot of life out.

          Charles Osborne
          Brevard, NC
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "atdnr" <atdnr@...>
          To: <classicrv@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 10:47 PM
          Subject: [classicrv] 12 V problems


          > Here are the symptoms....
          >
          > with a brand new and fully charged coach battery, everything seems to
          > work fine.
          >
          > even with everything off, the battery will discharge over night.
          >
          > shore power wont charge battery or power 12 V system
          >
          > generator wont run 12V system or charge battery.
          >
          > with generator running, if I disconnect the coach battery, the
          > generator will die. So, generator is getting it's electricity from the
          > battery
          >
          > alternator doesnt charge coach battery
          >
          >
          >
          > Anybody have any ideas?
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • atd nr
          Thank you for the reply, Dosconnected, the battery holds a charge great. It s been about a week since I charged it last and every time I connect it, it s fine.
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 21 10:33 AM
            Thank you for the reply,

            Dosconnected, the battery holds a charge great. It's been about a week since
            I charged it last and every time I connect it, it's fine. Checked it with a
            multi meter yesterday and it's at 12.5 V without having been charged in,
            like I said, a week.

            I've checked and re-checked and it seems as if everything is either turned
            off or disconnected, but still the drain.


            if it helps any, it's a 1984 30' Winnebago on a Chevy P30 with a 6.5 Onan





            >From: Jerry Noone <rjerryc01@...>
            >Reply-To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
            >To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: Re: [classicrv] 12 V problems
            >Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 10:11:13 -0700 (PDT)
            >
            >Likely a converter/inverter issue BUT try charging the battery to full
            >capacity and leaving it disconnected overnight and check the charge after
            >that. Remember, of course, not to leave the battery sitting on concrete as
            >that wil quickly drain it and-or ruin it - set it on a chunk of lumber if
            >needed.
            >If you find it to have a lower charge after sitting overnight or even a
            >couple days, you likely have a bad battery - Yes, new ones can be bad too.
            >Beyond that, the most probable cause would be the converter/inverter not
            >allowing power into the battery - however, you say that it discharges
            >overnight with everything off. If it stays charged when not connected, you
            >obviously have something still on or a slight short that drains the battery
            >overnight.
            >Anyway, the first step is to see if holds a charge when completely
            >disconnected.
            >Post to let us all know what that does for you and we'll see what
            >suggestions are next.
            >Jerry
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: atdnr
            > To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 7:47 PM
            > Subject: [classicrv] 12 V problems
            >
            >
            >
            >Here are the symptoms....
            >
            >with a brand new and fully charged coach battery, everything seems to
            >work fine.
            >
            >even with everything off, the battery will discharge over night.
            >
            >shore power wont charge battery or power 12 V system
            >
            >generator wont run 12V system or charge battery.
            >
            >with generator running, if I disconnect the coach battery, the
            >generator will die. So, generator is getting it's electricity from the
            >battery
            >
            >alternator doesnt charge coach battery
            >
            >Anybody have any ideas?
            >
            >
            >
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          • Ron Mitchell
            Jerry, I have always followed that procedure, never set a battery on bare concrete or ground for any length of time. We must both date back a ways, as that is
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 21 12:01 PM
              Jerry,
              I have always followed that procedure, never set a battery on bare
              concrete or ground for any length of time. We must both date back a
              ways, as that is apparently a holdover myth from days of old. Modern
              batteries with their thermoplastic cases will not discharge through
              the case, if they get damp on the bottom, like from condensation when
              sitting on concrete or on the ground. That's the latest that I have
              read on batteries.

              Here's another reference that also has links to a world of other
              information on batteries (including Deep-Cycle), chargers and other
              electrical systems:

              http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_battery.html

              Ron
              76 Coachmen

              At 01:11 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:
              >Remember, of course, not to leave the battery sitting on concrete as
              >that will quickly drain it and-or ruin it - set it on a chunk of
              >lumber if needed.
            • Jerry Noone
              Ron, Thanks for that info - however, only last year I managed to destroy a 2 month old battery by putting it on my concrete garage floor for about 2 1/2
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 21 12:31 PM
                Ron,
                Thanks for that info - however, only last year I managed to destroy a 2 month old battery by putting it on my concrete garage floor for about 2 1/2 months. It would not hold a charge after doing that - fortunately, the place I bought it gave me a nice new one under the warranty. Of course, I didn't mention that I stored it on concrete. Then again, maybe it was just a bad battery when I bought it - that happens too.
                Jerry
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Ron Mitchell
                To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 12:01 PM
                Subject: [classicrv] Batteries on concrete



                Jerry,
                I have always followed that procedure, never set a battery on bare
                concrete or ground for any length of time. We must both date back a
                ways, as that is apparently a holdover myth from days of old. Modern
                batteries with their thermoplastic cases will not discharge through
                the case, if they get damp on the bottom, like from condensation when
                sitting on concrete or on the ground. That's the latest that I have
                read on batteries.

                Here's another reference that also has links to a world of other
                information on batteries (including Deep-Cycle), chargers and other
                electrical systems:

                http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_battery.html

                Ron
                76 Coachmen

                At 01:11 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:
                >Remember, of course, not to leave the battery sitting on concrete as
                >that will quickly drain it and-or ruin it - set it on a chunk of
                >lumber if needed.



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              • Ron Mitchell
                ... OK, it doesn t appear to be the battery. Try connecting a headlight to it and watch the voltage. If it drops quickly, there s an internal problem. If it
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 21 1:07 PM
                  At 01:33 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:
                  >Disconnected, the battery holds a charge great.

                  OK, it doesn't appear to be the battery. Try connecting a headlight
                  to it and watch the voltage. If it drops quickly, there's an internal
                  problem. If it holds voltage and only goes down slowly, it's OK.

                  Next, get a digital ammeter or VOM, with at least 10 Amps DC
                  capacity, which should be easy. Most of even the cheap ones will do 10A DC.
                  1. Set the ammeter up for 10A DC, be careful, you may need to use a
                  specific connector and switch setting on the ammeter.
                  2. Disconnect shore power and turn off the generator (disconnect, if
                  possible or shut it off at the breaker panel, whatever). Turn off
                  everything in the coach, including refrigerator, if it's connected to 12v.
                  3. Connect the battery to the coach on the positive side (leave the
                  negative cable disconnected.
                  4. Connect the black ammeter lead to the negative terminal of the battery.
                  5. Touch the red lead to the negative cable or a good ground point
                  on the frame, but be prepared to disconnect quickly. Look at the
                  meter to see what you get. Bear in mind that the leads may not carry
                  10A for very long without overheating. We just want a reading on the
                  meter. It should be near zero, certainly way under an amp, unless you
                  have a short or something is still connected somewhere.

                  Other thoughts: You said the generator dies if the battery is
                  connected? Is there a switch for generator vs shore power? You can't
                  do both at the same time. I also have a manual isolator switch (some
                  are solid-state automatic ones) to separate the chassis and coach batteries.

                  Ron
                  76 Coachmen
                • Ron Mitchell
                  I m still using a piece of wood. One other thing I ran across is that when a battery is discharged (totally) and doesn t appear to be charging, it said to
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 21 1:10 PM
                    I'm still using a piece of wood. One other thing I ran across is that
                    when a battery is discharged (totally) and doesn't appear to be
                    charging, it said to leave it connected to the charger for 24hrs.
                    Apparently it will eventually overcome the resistance and begin
                    charging. I haven't really tested that one.

                    Ron

                    At 03:31 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:

                    >Ron,
                    >Thanks for that info - however, only last year I managed to destroy
                    >a 2 month old battery by putting it on my concrete garage floor for
                    >about 2 1/2 months. It would not hold a charge after doing that -
                    >fortunately, the place I bought it gave me a nice new one under the
                    >warranty. Of course, I didn't mention that I stored it on concrete.
                    >Then again, maybe it was just a bad battery when I bought it - that
                    >happens too.
                    >Jerry
                    >----- Original Message -----
                    >From: Ron Mitchell
                    >To: <mailto:classicrv%40yahoogroups.com>classicrv@yahoogroups.com
                    >Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 12:01 PM
                    >Subject: [classicrv] Batteries on concrete
                    >
                    >
                    >Jerry,
                    >I have always followed that procedure, never set a battery on bare
                    >concrete or ground for any length of time. We must both date back a
                    >ways, as that is apparently a holdover myth from days of old. Modern
                    >batteries with their thermoplastic cases will not discharge through
                    >the case, if they get damp on the bottom, like from condensation when
                    >sitting on concrete or on the ground. That's the latest that I have
                    >read on batteries.
                    >
                    >Here's another reference that also has links to a world of other
                    >information on batteries (including Deep-Cycle), chargers and other
                    >electrical systems:
                    >
                    ><http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_battery.html>http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_battery.html
                    >
                    >Ron
                    >76 Coachmen
                    >
                    >At 01:11 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:
                    > >Remember, of course, not to leave the battery sitting on concrete as
                    > >that will quickly drain it and-or ruin it - set it on a chunk of
                    > >lumber if needed.
                    >
                    >#ygrp-mlmsg {FONT-SIZE: small; FONT-FAMILY:
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                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • atd nr
                    you made me think of something..... there is a switch mounted near the distribution panel in the coach. The label is long gone and I m not sure what exactly it
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 21 1:51 PM
                      you made me think of something.....

                      there is a switch mounted near the distribution panel in the coach. The
                      label is long gone and I'm not sure what exactly it does. I'm sure it's part
                      of the battery system, but not sure how.

                      When dealing with electricity, I dont like to switch things when I'm not
                      sure what that switch does. Dont wanna fry a battery, charger, alternator,
                      inverter, etc.


                      It's a rotary type switch with two positions, I believe.

                      Any thoughts?





                      >From: Ron Mitchell <rmitchel@...>
                      >Reply-To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
                      >To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
                      >Subject: Re: [classicrv] 12 V problems
                      >Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 16:07:12 -0400
                      >
                      >At 01:33 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:
                      > >Disconnected, the battery holds a charge great.
                      >
                      >OK, it doesn't appear to be the battery. Try connecting a headlight
                      >to it and watch the voltage. If it drops quickly, there's an internal
                      >problem. If it holds voltage and only goes down slowly, it's OK.
                      >
                      >Next, get a digital ammeter or VOM, with at least 10 Amps DC
                      >capacity, which should be easy. Most of even the cheap ones will do 10A DC.
                      >1. Set the ammeter up for 10A DC, be careful, you may need to use a
                      >specific connector and switch setting on the ammeter.
                      >2. Disconnect shore power and turn off the generator (disconnect, if
                      >possible or shut it off at the breaker panel, whatever). Turn off
                      >everything in the coach, including refrigerator, if it's connected to 12v.
                      >3. Connect the battery to the coach on the positive side (leave the
                      >negative cable disconnected.
                      >4. Connect the black ammeter lead to the negative terminal of the battery.
                      >5. Touch the red lead to the negative cable or a good ground point
                      >on the frame, but be prepared to disconnect quickly. Look at the
                      >meter to see what you get. Bear in mind that the leads may not carry
                      >10A for very long without overheating. We just want a reading on the
                      >meter. It should be near zero, certainly way under an amp, unless you
                      >have a short or something is still connected somewhere.
                      >
                      >Other thoughts: You said the generator dies if the battery is
                      >connected? Is there a switch for generator vs shore power? You can't
                      >do both at the same time. I also have a manual isolator switch (some
                      >are solid-state automatic ones) to separate the chassis and coach
                      >batteries.
                      >
                      >Ron
                      >76 Coachmen
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Charles S Osborne
                      The batteries on concrete myth is covered on hundreds of websites. It dates back to when batteries were made from asphalt lined wooden boxes. Here s a handful
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 21 2:30 PM
                        The batteries on concrete myth is covered on hundreds of websites. It dates
                        back to when batteries were made from asphalt lined wooden boxes.

                        Here's a handful of links covering that and lots of other good battery
                        technology info. The solar power folks also have tons of info online that
                        pertains to us RVers if "boondocking".

                        http://www.interstatebatteries.com/www_2001/content/about_us/current/december_1999/1199_techtalk.htm
                        http://www.powerstream.com/Storage.htm
                        http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/carfaq14.htm#concrete
                        http://www.f150online.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-41860.html
                        http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm
                        http://www.pacificpowerbatteries.com/aboutbatts/Car%20Battery%20FAQ/carfaq14.html

                        Today the biggest issue with concrete is its heat conduction. A cold battery
                        loses up to 50% of its capacity. But if charged to >12.6vdc they won't
                        freeze till way below zero. If discharged, they'll freeze and break at much
                        higher temperatures. And they don't out gas significant hydrogen unless
                        being charged, so could be stored in a basement or garage.

                        I still store them in a plastic Walmart battery box.. just to try and be
                        sure I don't lose another pair of jeans to a stray drop of sulfuric acid. We
                        use dozens of 100AH deep cycle batteries with computer UPS systems where I
                        work, and have some battery solar systems online.

                        The biggest reason batteries go bad is sulfation from being discharged too
                        deep and allowed to stay at that discharge level for a period of time till
                        sulfate crystals form. These crystals are hard to reabsorb into the acid and
                        basically take the portion of the plate they formed on out of service. Once
                        enough of the plate area is covered this way the battery will have almost no
                        capacity and will drop to zero volts the instant any significant load is
                        applied. They will also self discharge, but that usually takes a few months.

                        At work we use a neat computerized battery analyzer [
                        http://www.westmountainradio.com/ ] which tells the capacity of the battery
                        by running it thru a discharge cycle under constant load. Without that, the
                        typical $30 high current Walmart load tester will show "good" to "fair" on
                        many batteries that have lost 2/3rds of their capacity. The headlight idea
                        is great low dollar test providing a constant load for a long period of
                        time. Measure the headlight current in amps and multiply by the hours it
                        will run the headlight and you have a fair measure of amp-hours test.

                        Bottom line is knowing how many amp-hours you really have, before you need
                        three times that many amp-hours boondocking. That way ou don't have to
                        struggle, unecesarily conserve, and improvise.

                        Charles S. Osborne
                        Technical Director

                        Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
                        1 PARI Drive, HC 73, Box 638
                        Rosman, NC 28772-9614
                        http://www.pari.edu
                        828-862-5813 direct
                        828-862-5554 main
                        828-862-5877 FAX
                        cosborne@...
                      • Charles S Osborne
                        Sounds like yours is very close to the same as my 85 Itasca (Winnebago) Windcruiser. Is yours a Southwind? My guess is that the switch is an Air Conditioner
                        Message 11 of 16 , Sep 21 2:44 PM
                          Sounds like yours is very close to the same as my '85 Itasca (Winnebago)
                          Windcruiser. Is yours a Southwind? My guess is that the switch is an Air
                          Conditioner selector to power the front or rear unit. On 30A service you can
                          only power one airconditioner and have any leftover for other things.

                          Mine has that big Front / Rear switch just to right of the ac-dc power fuse
                          and breaker / charger unit ( a model 6300 if I recall) under the
                          refrigerator. Was working on that 6300 last weekend updating it from
                          cartridge to the new blade style DC fuses and replacing a failed ac main
                          breaker.

                          In theory the 6.5kw Onan should be able to power both roof air
                          conditioners.. but it will take some serious rewiring associated with that
                          switch that I have not scoped out yet. I have rewired my RV genset to put
                          out 220vac to power my home if we have an extended power outage.

                          Charles Osborne
                          http://campus.pari.edu/k4cso/rv/

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "atd nr" <atdnr@...>
                          To: <classicrv@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 4:51 PM
                          Subject: Re: [classicrv] 12 V problems


                          > you made me think of something.....
                          >
                          > there is a switch mounted near the distribution panel in the coach. The
                          > label is long gone and I'm not sure what exactly it does. I'm sure it's
                          part
                          > of the battery system, but not sure how.
                          >
                          > When dealing with electricity, I dont like to switch things when I'm not
                          > sure what that switch does. Dont wanna fry a battery, charger, alternator,
                          > inverter, etc.
                          >
                          >
                          > It's a rotary type switch with two positions, I believe.
                          >
                          > Any thoughts?
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > >From: Ron Mitchell <rmitchel@...>
                          > >Reply-To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
                          > >To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
                          > >Subject: Re: [classicrv] 12 V problems
                          > >Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 16:07:12 -0400
                          > >
                          > >At 01:33 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:
                          > > >Disconnected, the battery holds a charge great.
                          > >
                          > >OK, it doesn't appear to be the battery. Try connecting a headlight
                          > >to it and watch the voltage. If it drops quickly, there's an internal
                          > >problem. If it holds voltage and only goes down slowly, it's OK.
                          > >
                          > >Next, get a digital ammeter or VOM, with at least 10 Amps DC
                          > >capacity, which should be easy. Most of even the cheap ones will do 10A
                          DC.
                          > >1. Set the ammeter up for 10A DC, be careful, you may need to use a
                          > >specific connector and switch setting on the ammeter.
                          > >2. Disconnect shore power and turn off the generator (disconnect, if
                          > >possible or shut it off at the breaker panel, whatever). Turn off
                          > >everything in the coach, including refrigerator, if it's connected to
                          12v.
                          > >3. Connect the battery to the coach on the positive side (leave the
                          > >negative cable disconnected.
                          > >4. Connect the black ammeter lead to the negative terminal of the
                          battery.
                          > >5. Touch the red lead to the negative cable or a good ground point
                          > >on the frame, but be prepared to disconnect quickly. Look at the
                          > >meter to see what you get. Bear in mind that the leads may not carry
                          > >10A for very long without overheating. We just want a reading on the
                          > >meter. It should be near zero, certainly way under an amp, unless you
                          > >have a short or something is still connected somewhere.
                          > >
                          > >Other thoughts: You said the generator dies if the battery is
                          > >connected? Is there a switch for generator vs shore power? You can't
                          > >do both at the same time. I also have a manual isolator switch (some
                          > >are solid-state automatic ones) to separate the chassis and coach
                          > >batteries.
                          > >
                          > >Ron
                          > >76 Coachmen
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • Ron Mitchell
                          The only way to know for sure is to trace the wires. My isolator switch for the chassis/coach batteries has battery size cables connected to it. The shore
                          Message 12 of 16 , Sep 21 6:58 PM
                            The only way to know for sure is to trace the wires. My isolator
                            switch for the chassis/coach batteries has battery size cables
                            connected to it. The shore power/Genset "switch" is a pair of normal
                            30 amp breakers inside the breaker panel. There's a "see-saw" lever
                            between the two so you can't turn them both on at the same time. All
                            of that wiring is "standard" 14-3 or 12-3 wiring, like in a house.
                            I've heard of some gensets that must be disconnected before
                            connecting to shore power or a cable from the genset plugs in to the
                            same socket as the shore power does. Either way, only one at a time,
                            never both.

                            Ron
                            76 Coachmen

                            At 04:51 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:

                            >you made me think of something.....
                            >
                            >there is a switch mounted near the distribution panel in the coach. The
                            >label is long gone and I'm not sure what exactly it does. I'm sure it's part
                            >of the battery system, but not sure how.
                          • btrbal21
                            ... to ... the
                            Message 13 of 16 , Sep 21 9:37 PM
                              --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, "atdnr" <atdnr@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Here are the symptoms....
                              >
                              > with a brand new and fully charged coach battery, everything seems
                              to
                              > work fine.
                              >
                              > even with everything off, the battery will discharge over night.
                              >
                              > shore power wont charge battery or power 12 V system
                              >
                              > generator wont run 12V system or charge battery.
                              >
                              > with generator running, if I disconnect the coach battery, the
                              > generator will die. So, generator is getting it's electricity from
                              the
                              > battery
                              >
                              > alternator doesnt charge coach battery
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Anybody have any ideas?
                              > did you check for any blown fuses or breakers.
                            • Doug
                              Hi, I m Doug, i just joined the group. since the battery will hold a charge when disconnected, it appears to have a drain on the system. i suggest
                              Message 14 of 16 , Sep 22 1:50 AM
                                Hi, I'm Doug, i just joined the group.

                                since the battery will hold a charge when disconnected, it appears
                                to have a drain on the system. i suggest disconnecting the coach 12v
                                from the chassis 12v and start with checking the chassis wiring.

                                In most vehicles of the vintage of these motor homes there are only
                                4 circuits that are not fused in the stock chassis electrical
                                system. while a drain on a fused circuit is possible, when it gets
                                to the point of draining the battery that fast it will blow a fuse.
                                the are:
                                starting system, charging system, headlights,ignition system.
                                usually there is a fusible link (especially on chrysler vehicles),
                                but it would take nearly a dead short to burn the link.

                                I can go into further detail on troubleshooting if needed, but first
                                try unplugging the alternator wire that goes back to the battery.
                                a shorted diode in the alternator will drain your battery when the
                                engine is not running, even though it will usually charge properly
                                when it is running.
                                Doug
                              • jeff hammers
                                My dad (and thousands of others) weren t stupid......just wrong. A battery stored on a concrete floor will not loose it s charge or otherwise be ill affected.
                                Message 15 of 16 , Sep 24 7:30 PM
                                  My dad (and thousands of others) weren't stupid......just wrong. A battery stored on a concrete floor will not loose it's charge or otherwise be ill affected.

                                  Ron Mitchell <rmitchel@...> wrote: Jerry,
                                  I have always followed that procedure, never set a battery on bare
                                  concrete or ground for any length of time. We must both date back a
                                  ways, as that is apparently a holdover myth from days of old. Modern
                                  batteries with their thermoplastic cases will not discharge through
                                  the case, if they get damp on the bottom, like from condensation when
                                  sitting on concrete or on the ground. That's the latest that I have
                                  read on batteries.

                                  Here's another reference that also has links to a world of other
                                  information on batteries (including Deep-Cycle), chargers and other
                                  electrical systems:

                                  http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower_battery.html

                                  Ron
                                  76 Coachmen

                                  At 01:11 PM 09/21/2006, you wrote:
                                  >Remember, of course, not to leave the battery sitting on concrete as
                                  >that will quickly drain it and-or ruin it - set it on a chunk of
                                  >lumber if needed.






                                  ---------------------------------
                                  Get your own web address for just $1.99/1st yr. We'll help. Yahoo! Small Business.

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • dxxx cxxxxx
                                  Jeff, he wasn t wrong ethier.(at the time) the old batteries that used tar cases would get discharges, and if left long enough would be ruined. this was true
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Sep 24 8:45 PM
                                    Jeff, he wasn't wrong ethier.(at the time) the old
                                    batteries that used tar cases would get discharges,
                                    and if left long enough would be ruined. this was true
                                    until the 70's when they went to plastic cases. Doug

                                    --- jeff hammers <roundedrvs@...> wrote:

                                    > My dad (and thousands of others) weren't
                                    > stupid......just wrong. A battery stored on a
                                    > concrete floor will not loose it's charge or
                                    > otherwise be ill affected.
                                    >
                                    >

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