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Author Topic: Batteries both house and chassis  (Read 359 times)

Catsmeow

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Batteries both house and chassis
« on: July 17, 2017, 04:44:26 AM »
I have a Winnebago brave 1983.
I have 10 batteries and all seem to be draining down in a short matter of time like 2 hours. What all would make all my batteries do this?
5 chassis 5 house. What size alternator should be using to charge all batteries and keep them charged?? 

Also when I got my mh last August the hot water from the kitchen worked only after kicking on a switch to the thermal couple. It had to be flipped on everytime I needed hot water. It went out and now I have to boil water to wash my dishes. What part do I need to get the hot water going again? By the way we have a new water pump. And if you don't mind I have one more question,!? My onan generator 4.0 gin set. Keeps going up and down and won't keep a steady idle, I'm constantly having to turn the idle screw to correct it. Why is it doing that? And if anyone knows what part i need for that to I'd appreciate it very much..

I definitely have other concerns but I don't want to ask so many questions since I'm new here at the Rv forum, and learning how to Rv 101 !!!!
Thank you for your time in reading my post.
Catsmeow

edit by staff to strike multiple questions
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 07:46:54 AM by John Canfield »

Catsmeow

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Generator and charging of batteries
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 04:57:36 AM »
Does the generator my 4.0 gin. Set onan 1983 suposed to charge both the house and chassis batteries when running???

John Canfield

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Re: Batteries both house and chassis
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 07:45:24 AM »
Welcome to the forum! It would be much better if you start a new topic in the appropriate board for each issue. For example, start a new topic in the Tech Talk board your gen set problem. I would also start a new topic for your water heater issue.

So let's dive into your battery problem.  We have many, many threads about batteries you should review. First question is how old are the batteries?  Oh, forgot to ask if the batteries are 6V or 12V.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 07:48:19 AM by John Canfield »
--John
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John Canfield

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Re: Generator and charging of batteries
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 07:55:06 AM »
Does the generator my 4.0 gin. Set onan 1983 suposed to charge both the house and chassis batteries when running???
Only if you have a device that shunts some of the charging voltage from the house battery bank to the chassis bank like a Trik-L-Start or a Xantrex Echo~Charge installed. (And this is assuming you have a battery charger installed and not just a 'convertor', a convertor is designed to power the 12V loads in the house and not charge batteries.)
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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Mile High

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Re: Batteries both house and chassis
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 08:13:44 AM »
Seems really unusual in my mind to have 5 chassis batteries.  That is a lot of starting power!
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
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Denver, CO

Alfa38User

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Re: Generator and charging of batteries
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 08:52:17 AM »
Quote
(...a convertor is designed to power the 12V loads in the house and not charge batteries.)

I would have to partially disagree here John :) Most converters do both supply the house system AND charge the house batteries but not necessarily the chassis (engine) battery. A little finger trouble John?? heh heh.


Does the generator my 4.0 gin. Set onan 1983 suposed to charge both the house and chassis batteries when running???

The generator does not charge anything. It supplies 120V AC current and that will supply a converter. The converter then charges only the house batteries unless someone has added an aftermarket Trik-L-Start or other similar unit as John mentioned, and that would let the generator (or the plugged in power source) charge the engine batteries at the same time. There is no way the normal engine alternator could handle that number of batteries well.**

10 batteries?? You will have to look into that a bit more. How old are they? 6 volt or 12V, and wired how? I would be very surprised you would even have room for that number of batteries if they are the normal car-sized units.

** The engine alternator should charge both the house and the chassis batteries while underway but....
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 09:20:14 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Batteries both house and chassis
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 09:30:33 AM »
I share the battery questions/comments that the others have already raised:

Having 5 chassis batteries makes no sense at all. Even 5 house batteries seems highly unusual for an '83 Brave. Not even sure where that 10 batteries could be carried, and the weight (600+ lbs?) is huge for that coach.

Battery type, age & condition is the next major question.  They may simply be unable to take much charge due to age or abuse, or they may just be low on electrolyte and need some distilled water added. Need to know much more about this highly unusual battery set-up.

If the '83 Brave has the original converter/charger, it is indeed a wimpy charger and, totally inadequate for 5 (or 10) batteries. I'm pretty sure it has the ancient Magnetec design that can only produce a few amps for charging. Replacing it with a modern power center would be the right move.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 09:36:02 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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Catsmeow

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Re: Batteries both house and chassis
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 10:56:21 PM »
Thank you all for answering and talking about some of my problems. To answer your questions, all my batteries are bran new, 12v ever start deep cycle, only 2 are not. They are 12v 1000 cold cranking amps starting battery.
I'm trying to save on fuel and use the batteries for the entertainment center , lights, computers, and other items. I have 5 in the compartment on the outside slide and the others under the couch. There draining down in the chassis batteries, and there set up in a parallel series. Like a battery bank. I want to get solar for charging everything eventually.
I'm useing a battery charger with slow trickle that charge all 5 at one time . I think I have a alternator that's to small for all these batteries. Should I get high output alternator and if so can anyone suggest what kind i should get, or keep charging with the charger I have ?
Mostly I have extra batteries for emergency back up. I like to try to keep all charged at same time if possible.
And the weight of all is around 500.
I know that's alot of weight, just trying to figure a way to use alternative energy sources other than fuel. But my batteries are still draining quickly, I can't figure it out. Driving me nuts, and getting pricy . Plus I might ad, we live in this motorhome, day in day out. But because we have to move around everyday so we don't seem to be homesteading I use alot of energy from my batteries. I can't wait to go solar, I think it will cure alot of my problems.

Kevin Means

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Re: Batteries both house and chassis
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2017, 02:05:31 AM »
I have to admit that I'm at a loss to understand the need for five chassis batteries in an '83 Brave. Our 8.9 Cummins only has two 1100 CCA chassis batteries and they have no trouble starting the engine.

In any case, I'd say that your battery problem is almost certainly due the fact that your batteries are never getting fully charged. I don't know what the amp output of your converter (charger) is, but I'm quite certain that it's not capable of fully charging 10 batteries simultaneously - nor is your alternator. And I seriously doubt that the alternator's wiring harness could handle the current that would be needed to charge that many batteries, even with a 200 amp alternator.

If you're relying on a typical RV battery gauge, or light, to tell you the condition of your batteries, you shouldn't. They're notoriously inaccurate for indicating a battery-bank's true state of charge (SOC.) If your batteries aren't getting a full charge, they'll become sulfated to the point where they may never be able to be recharged.

So unless you've installed a much more powerful aftermarket converter, I'd recommend having only one healthy chassis battery, and three, maybe four (tops) house-batteries. A stock '83 Brave's converter will still struggle with even that.

Kev
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 02:28:18 AM by Kevin Means »
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

 

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