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Baffled in battery land


Flyinhy
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First off I want to say thank you to all who haved helped me on this journey so far. It's been fun and frustrating at the same time and I'm probably going to need some therapy after I get all the bugs worked out of this coach. 🙃 

So.....after the coach being plugged in for several weeks at home. I decided to go weigh it and try to figure out what the actual weights were and to adjust my pressures accordingly.  I started my drive yesterday to get the motorhome closer to my work because my apartment lease is up at the end of this month. I turned on the invertor to run the fridge and nothing else.. About half way through my drive I stopped at a rest area and stretched my legs.....I took a picture of my gauges and noticed the volts were below 13. I figured it would go back to charging once started driving. I get about 40 miles from the camp site and I could see the gauge move. Lower and lower it went. I get off my exit and I was below 11 volts. I noticed the trans starting shift differently (low voltage) and hoped I would make it. I get checked in and get just in front of the parking pad.....no shifting. I used my jumper cables to connect house and chassis batteries and boom.....she shifted. I get her into the parking spot and hooked up shore power. Extended slides, and turned on the heat pump. I left and came back a few hours later and everything was dead. My charge controller showed no indication of charging. My xantrex invertor usually shows either bulk charge, float charge or absorption. I tried to turn everything back on but when I enable operation mode.....for whatever reason it says low voltage and shuts down.. I checked the reset buttons on the invertor itself. All seemed fine. There are 5 total.....two hidden on the back and 3 large black resets on the front. I turned everything off and went to the apartment to get some sleep and when I get back here this morning.......it's back on. Even my maintainer shows charging on the display now. I have my handy dandy fluke and I'm safe at this campsite until Sunday.  Then I have to move again. At the moment .....I have heat pumps working front and back. I have a lamp turned on , the water heater on, the TV and DVD player on. The fridge is on , the microwave has power and the floor heater is set at 78 and working. 

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Charles,  warning RV electrical problems can run you crazy.   At times they have run me crazy,  it appears I haven't recovered. 

My memory is not near as good as I would like so perhaps I need refreshing.  Was your alternator not charging?  How long was the trip?  Did you run the generator?

When I plug in there is a delay waiting for my coach electrical to power up, and then my heat pumps have their own delay.  I haven't timed the delays, they are not long and probably not your issue unless you left in a hurry before the heat pumps woke up.

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14 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

Charles,  warning RV electrical problems can run you crazy.   At times they have run me crazy,  it appears I haven't recovered. 

My memory is not near as good as I would like so perhaps I need refreshing.  Was your alternator not charging?  How long was the trip?  Did you run the generator?

When I plug in there is a delay waiting for my coach electrical to power up, and then my heat pumps have their own delay.  I haven't timed the delays, they are not long and probably not your issue unless you left in a hurry before the heat pumps woke up.

This has happened before but not to this extent. Before when I plugged it in the transfer switch started humming and within a few minutes it was charging and everything went back to working. I didn't pay that much attention to listen for the transfer switch. The alternator was working perfectly the night before when I went to weigh it and after i unhooked it from my house. The trip was only 200 miles. I did not run the generator after I unhooked from the house. I did run it the night before to make sure it ran. As of right now....everything is working as it should. 

It does have the surge guard just below the transfer switch. 

I've been trying to educate myself with the invertor and the control board as much I can.  

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I had a similar situation.  It could be a bad alternator or a connection issue or many other ...

The problem I had turned out to be the battery isolator was bad.  My coach is a 2002 Signature Centurion so I'm not sure if your coach as the same setup.  It is located in the engine compartment in an enclosed area on the right side.  The middle connector on the isolator is where the alternator connects.  You can see in the photo it is charred.  I replace it  with a 200 amp cole hershey unit I found on ebay and that took care of that issue.

JJ

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I can't determine if you have a 120v issue or if you left before the delays had turned things on.  I have a Progressive HW50C elect protector which has a delay much like your Surge guard.   It's possible you don't have a problem in those areas.   For instance I can select heat pump on my thermostat even though I am not plugged in or don't have the gen running and it will register on my thermostat all it needs is 12v but of course the heat pump will not operate until 120v appears.  Even after 120v      appears there is a delay.    I'm sure you will keep a close eye on things and let us know.

However, IMHO the alternator not charging on your trip is something you should address right away.   When I notice my alternator is not charging I start my gen,  this will usually allow me to drive pretty much indefinitely.   Your Executive should charge both battery banks.  Of course make sure the belt is good and the alternator is turning,  the belt also turns the engine water pump.  With a side radiator those things are in plain view.

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I had the alternator rebuilt as soon as I bought the coach. That's when it did this before. I ended up taking it back off and having it bench tested. About an hour ago I looked at the voltage readings.....14.1v I turned the key on the ignition to see if it said the same on the gauge.....the voltages immediately dropped down to 13.2v. I went to Walmart to get a few things for lunch tonight and when I returned the voltage was 13.0v I checked at the batteries and the house batteries are 13.2  and the chassis batteries 12.9. The maintainer screen says charging at .2 and green light is on

House is 13.6

Engine battery volts 13.1

I  turned off all DC voltage switches....13.8 as of right now. I have to go to work at 4

Maybe I damaged the batteries by running them so low???? They got down to around 10volts....

 

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On 11/15/2021 at 11:25 AM, Flyinhy said:

About an hour ago I looked at the voltage readings.....14.1v I turned the key on the ignition to see if it said the same on the gauge.....the voltages immediately dropped down to 13.2v.

If you just turned the key "ON" but didn't start the engine, it is normal for the volts to drop to 13 once a load is applied (for lead acid batteries), as you would have done by turning it on. Leaving it "ON" (again, without running the engine) for a period would also cause the battery to drain over time as the load is still applied.

I recently had an RV place leave my rig on "Accessory" over night by accident and that flattened my chassis battery to 10.5v.

 

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Based on the wiring diagram JJ posted above, I would start at that isolator, as it looks like the alternator output comes to it before going to the batteries.

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I go from one extreme to another. The alternator seems to be charging again.....now on shore power its showing 14.9v . I have to move to another spot in the campground tomorrow.....I should be fine just moving a short distance and after reading several posts from you guys, my next move is to swap out the BIRD and the isolator to the Blue Sea ML-ACR. Meanwhile I'm changing out all the electrical outlets. I've never seen push in wire connectors on electrical outlets like this before. 😳 

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22 hours ago, Flyinhy said:

I go from one extreme to another. The alternator seems to be charging again.....now on shore power its showing 14.9v . I have to move to another spot in the campground tomorrow.....I should be fine just moving a short distance and after reading several posts from you guys, my next move is to swap out the BIRD and the isolator to the Blue Sea ML-ACR. Meanwhile I'm changing out all the electrical outlets. I've never seen push in wire connectors on electrical outlets like this before. 😳 

If you are plugged into shore power & also have the main engine running, you can't say for sure that the alternator is working.  If it's not common that an alternator would fail and then fix itself, only to fail and fix itself again.  You likely have the alternator wired incorrectly - specifically the voltage sense wire, or you have a bad isolator, or you have bad batteries, or, you have a bad connection(s) in the charging circuit. 

  - Rick N 

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