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No power - Suggestions helpful


Adam_C
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I've got a 2003 Holiday Rambler Imperial 40PST. Unfortunately I managed to let the house batteries die (currently read around 5V from the distribution bay). Discovered the issue today. Plugged the coach into a 20amp outlet to charge the batteries, but....nothing. Things I've checked so far:

I tried a couple outlets in the coach and there's no power while plugged in. 

For whatever reason the house battery disconnect switch doesn't appear to work, either plugged I or not. 

Verified the outlet is on and providing power. 

Verified no circuit breakers are tripped. 

Bypassed the salesman switch to ensure that's not an issue. 

Inverter circuit breaker is not tripped. The inverter (RV2012) is flashing a charge fault code. I can't find any information on what triggers that. 

Can the house batteries get so low that the inverter won't charge them? Any suggestions for what to check next? 

Thanks for any help. 

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I don't know for sure, but will hazard a guess that they are indeed too low for the inverter to charge.

I'm not familiar with that coach, but my 2000 Endeavour has a switch on the dash that connects the chassis and house batteries together as long as it is held down. Hold that switch down and start your generator and let the generator charge the house batteries. You may have to hold the bypass switch down for a few minutes to let the generator bring the house batteries up enough for the generator to stay running but that's better than running around trying to find a battery charger. Keep checking the inverter to see if the charging error clears, after which you can probably kill the generator and let it take over the rest of the job.

Good luck!

 

 

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Adam if you have an xantrex inverter converter,on the side of the inverter towards the back there are 3 little black reset buttons,you might have tripped one of the relays if so you won’t get power to coach and you will not be able to charge house batteries.Check to see if one of those breakers popped out,if so push it in and that should power you back up.If that doesn’t work might be your automatic transfer switch.

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Put a separate battery charger on the house batteries and let them charge up fully until they reach Float SOC.

Then setup your RC7-GS (if you have one) so the generator will start whenever your house batteries get to about 12.1 - 12.2 VDC. Then you will never have to worry about discharging the house batteries TOO deeply. If you discharge them that much too often then you will be buying a new set of batteries very soon or possibly now if you can't resurrect them.

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Adam:

You should check to see if the 120 volt power is getting into the coach.  That is make sure power is getting past the transfer switch.

If you know what you are doing and if you are careful, you can open the transfer switch and test to find power on the shore side of the transfer switch AND the house (motorhome) side of the transfer switch.

Dwight

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Yes, one of the two contactors in that transfer switch should be pulled in. One pulls in when connected to shore power, and the other would pull in when connected to generator.  They are mechanically and electrically interlocked so they can’t be picked up at the same time and cause a big boom. 

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I don’t recall how the xantrex behaves when the batteries go dead. But I’ve let the house bank go dead couple times with the new magnum and it’s kind of aggravating …

If the house batteries are dead (or in my case lithium BMS low voltage disconnect) the inverter doesn’t want to charge them. It also won’t reconnect the pass-through AC power. And my battery boost solenoid is powered from the house bank, so to get the charger to come back online, I need to physically jumper the house to the chassis. 
I can’t recall if the xantrex works similarly. But I would agree with the previous post about putting an external battery charger on the house bank. That might bring the inverter back online.  
Cheers,

Walter

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I was able to confirm that the transfer switch had power on both shore and house sides. I've currently got the house batteries disconnected from the coach and each pair is on two battery tenders I happened to have around. Both tenders have lights indicating they are charging. I will check on them again in a few hours. 

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Adam, a battery tender may not provide enough current to charge your house batteries. They are typically used to keep a charged battery charged. The tender may also have lights on but it really isn't doing anything for a deeply discharged battery. Most new battery chargers will not begin to charge on a mostly discharged battery - a safety measure. Not sure about the xantrex if that's what you have. BTW, that 2003 xantrex does work but it is a relatively weak charger/inverter/boat anchor compared to what is available today. Unfortunately it will be difficult to replace it and maintain the gen auto start, etc capabilities your coach once had. Others may have more information on this as I (on my 2003 Sceptre) elected to give up some of the automatic functions to get a better inverter and charger.

Also, deeply discharging those house batteries, as you have, will have already damaged your batteries. If it were my coach I would seriously consider swapping your house and start batteries to get maximum house battery capabilities going forward.

Cheers, 

-Jamie

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Most tenders these days will charge at 2-4amps when the voltage calls for it, then move to tending mode. 

3 out of the 4 of my batteries are steadily increasing in voltage. The fourth may be a lost cause as it's only reading ~300mV.

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In case anyone else has this problem in the future and sees this:

Battery tenders for a few hours did the trick. Afterwards I was able to plug the coach in via the main power cable and finished charging the batteries that way. All batteries are now reading ~6.5 volts. In the future I'll have to educate myself on how to properly test the health of the batteries but the info I currently have is good enough for today's problem. 

The house disconnect switch not working was unrelated. That switch just went bad. Never would have thought those things are $50, but that's the world we live in I suppose. It's on order. 

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Nothing is installed right now. I took a random bolt/nut I had and joined the wires together until a replacement comes in. Went with what was there originally, Guest part number 2102. Not my RV but here's a picture of someone else's with the same disconnects. (Took mine to get the generator worked on, so can't take pictures) 

FD5B79B0-A414-49AC-81D5-3C1878B205FB.jpg

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