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Author Topic: Brrrrrrrr!!!  (Read 1102 times)

mudshark

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Brrrrrrrr!!!
« on: December 13, 2017, 12:47:24 PM »
Hi All
Here in southern New England it is 22 F. today with a 20 mph wind.
I am concerned about keeping my RV batteries up to snuff. I hooked the bus to shore power and turned both disconnect switches to "ON".
Will this keep a charge going into both the chassis and coach batteries? How long should I stay connected?

2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
All batteries new last year but the chassis battery was drained to 5 volts due to my CB radio.
The battery shop where I bought it recharged it for two days and checked for damage. Seems OK now.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Jim

rls7201

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 04:32:59 PM »
Yes both batteries will be charged when on shore power or generator. You battery control center will close the battery isolation relay when either battery bank reaches 13.3 volts.
That has been a Fleetwood standard since the mid 90s.
If you have a smart charger/converter ( 3 stage) you can stay plugged in all the time. If your charger/converter is single stage, then put it on a timer for 2-3 hours a day.


Richard
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 04:35:07 PM by rls7201 »
Richard  & Michele Shields
& Eg the Bounder Cat
Gladstone, MO
95 Bounder 32H F53
460/528 stroker

mudshark

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 05:09:02 PM »
Thank you Richard!
That's what I needed to know!

Old_Crow

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 06:55:58 AM »
We full time in a '00 Bounder 36s, and I'm here to tell you that being plugged in to shore power will not charge the chassis battery.  I ran mine down because I thought the travel/park switch for the radio caused it to draw power from the house battery when in the park position(wrong!).

I bought a cheap little battery maintainer from Harbor Freight, plugged it into the outlet by the passenger's feet and ran the wire into the engine compartment through the dog house opening.  We don't use the radio all that much, so the little charger has no trouble keeping the chassis battery topped up.

We stay connected all the time when we're someplace with power.  In fact, it's plugged in right now in Arkansas while I'm in Vegas.  Mine has the PD9155 converter, to which I've added the "charge wizard".  With that setup, I've found that I don't have to add water to the batteries but once every 6 months or so(still I check them monthly).

Here's the link to the charge wizard:  https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/charge-wizard/
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 07:02:07 AM by Old_Crow »
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 09:14:42 AM »
Quote
We full time in a '00 Bounder 36s, and I'm here to tell you that being plugged in to shore power will not charge the chassis battery.

If yours does not, it is because something isn't working properly.  Fleetwood's electrical systems do provide chassis battery charging from shore power. Some other brands do not, but Fleetwood does. 

There is one wrinkle though. The house battery(s) get charged first and if they do not reach full charge, the chassis battery won't get any at all. If a house battery is on poor condition or low on electrolyte, it may never reach the charge level needed to engage chassis charging.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 09:18:15 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

mudshark

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 09:15:52 AM »
Thanks Wally!
Will shore power charge the coach batteries?
Is Charge Wizard a "plug n play"?

mudshark

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 09:18:38 AM »
Thanks Gary
I think I have the original converter.
How long can I safely keep plugged into shore power without frying the chassis or coach batteries?

Old_Crow

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2017, 08:39:09 AM »
Gary, my house batteries are 2 GC2's that were 6 months old when I bought the coach last Christmas.  Not sure about the engine battery.  I'll unplug the maintainer when I get home from Vegas and see what kind of voltage I have at the engine battery. It's been plugged in where we're staying for 2 months, and the only thing that's been running for the last week are the furnaces.

Mudshark, yes, the converter will charge the house batteries, and if you have the PD9100 series converter, yes the charge wizard is plug and play. I've left the coach plugged in for 5 months at a time when we're hosting at the Grand Canyon.  Just check the water in the batteries occasionally.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2017, 09:49:53 AM »
Quote
I think I have the original converter.
How long can I safely keep plugged into shore power without frying the chassis or coach batteries?

What converter/charger make/model is it?  Chances are in a 2000-vintage coach that its  a single stage charger, so I would not leave it on for more than a week at a stretch without checking the electrolyte level in the cells. Older chargers tend to overcharge after awhile and boil away the water form the electrolyte. That's when the damage starts.

If you have it plugged to a home outlet, you can get an appliance grade (heavy duty) timer and plug the RV through the timer. Then set the time to be on something like 2-4 hours/day. That keeps power on enough to keep the batteries charged up but shouldn't ever overcharge. Any timer rated for 15A/120v or better is fine.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2017, 09:58:21 AM »
Old Crow...
I'm a bit confused - you appear to have given conflicting answers...

Quote
We full time in a '00 Bounder 36s, and I'm here to tell you that being plugged in to shore power will not charge the chassis battery.

Quote
Mudshark, yes, the converter will charge the house batteries,


I wonder if the replacement of the original converter/charger with the PD9155 might have lost the connection to the chassis battery cross-connect relay?  The converter itself doesn't do that - there has to be a bit of extra circuitry to enable chassis charge when appropriate.  I'm not familiar with the 2000 Bounder so can't suggest what & where that is, but to the best of my knowledge Fleetwood has always provided the functions.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2017, 10:03:22 AM »
Quote
Is Charge Wizard a "plug n play"?

A Charge Wizard is an accessory device available for Progressive Dynamic 91xx series chargers and also some Iota DLS series chargers. It converts the charger from single stage to 3-stage, but cannot be added to other brands and models.

The PD 92xx converter/charger has the identical function to the Charge Wizard built right in. In fact, most all but the very cheapest converter/chargers are now multi-stage chargers. The tech has become inexpensive so is now included as standard.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

rls7201

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2017, 09:54:13 PM »
Old Crow...
I'm a bit confused - you appear to have given conflicting answers...


I wonder if the replacement of the original converter/charger with the PD9155 might have lost the connection to the chassis battery cross-connect relay?  The converter itself doesn't do that - there has to be a bit of extra circuitry to enable chassis charge when appropriate.  I'm not familiar with the 2000 Bounder so can't suggest what & where that is, but to the best of my knowledge Fleetwood has always provided the functions.

Gary, Once you get past the entry level Flair, the battery isolator in Fleetwood's gas line up is in the BCC, so that's where the two battery banks are joined. The battery disconnects share the came containment. Really great system.

Richard

« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 09:56:53 PM by rls7201 »
Richard  & Michele Shields
& Eg the Bounder Cat
Gladstone, MO
95 Bounder 32H F53
460/528 stroker

Old_Crow

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  • Former USAF F-4 crew chief
Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 08:28:48 AM »
Gary, I really wasn't expecting the converter to charge the chassis battery when I got the coach.  Back when I was working on motor homes as a tech(late 80's-early 90's)the majority of them did not. 
I bought this coach from the original owner and he never mentioned having the converter changed, so I just assumed(yeah, I know)that the Progressive Dynamics converter was original to the unit.  I added the charge wizard on the advice of some here on the forum.  I've also noticed no extra or chopped up wires, or anything like that.  Also no signs that a converter of different dimensions was ever mounted in that location.
Like I said, the coach batteries are just a little over a year old at this point, I checked them the weekend I bought the coach and monthly since then and they've never been low on water.  Connections always clean and tight.  I'm not sure, but I don't think we've gone more than 3 or 4 nights at a time in  the last year without shore power, and we would have driven the coach several hundred miles or run the generator morning and evening on those days, so they've never been run low on charge.

I got back to the coach from our trip to Vegas last night about 8pm, and disconnected the maintainer right away.  I've been running the radio all night, and if it stops raining this morning, I'll get my meter out and see if I can determine if the converter is charging the chassis battery for sure.
The way I read the operation of the wizard, I should be able to read between 13.2-14.4v at the batteries, depending on the mode the wizard is in.  It also seems that I should be able to manually change the mode to "boost" or "equalization" and see the corresponding voltage increase at the battery.  Does this make sense, or am I missing something here?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 08:30:56 AM by Old_Crow »
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Old_Crow

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  • Former USAF F-4 crew chief
Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2017, 08:42:27 AM »
Gary, Once you get past the entry level Flair, the battery isolator in Fleetwood's gas line up is in the BCC, so that's where the two battery banks are joined. The battery disconnects share the came containment. Really great system.

Richard

Big box on the firewall, drivers side with a circuit board and a bunch of fuses, battery cables hooked to big lugs on the side of the box? 
Just making sure I'm on the right page here.  I hate being the "old dog" when it comes to stuff like this.

Oh, that is the one thing the PO mentioned to me is that the circuit board in there had been changed, but as far as I can see it was a direct replacement.  I had the old, burned  board and visually compared the two before I pitched it.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Old_Crow

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  • Former USAF F-4 crew chief
Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2017, 08:27:21 AM »
OK, after further testing, I have to admit that I was wro...wro...wrong(whew, that was tough). 
On my '00 Bounder 36s, the converter will, indeed, charge both the house batteries and the chassis battery.  Since the connections to the batteries are at the BCC on the firewall, it shouldn't matter what converter is installed.
Thanks for setting me straight and letting me have one less thing to worry about.  Hope the OP got something out of our conversation, also.

Now, on to the leaking water heater, the broken drinking water filter, and the washer/dryer that won't dry.  As Rosanna Rosannadanna's father used to say, "It's always something".
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

mudshark

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Re: Brrrrrrrr!!!
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2017, 11:24:09 AM »
Yes Guys!
I did get a lot of good info from reading these posts. Now, if I may, pose one more question on this subject:

Since the battery outlet and I have determined the CB radio was draining the chassis battery I have disconnected it at the radio. I had the coach on shore power with both disconnect switches on. I believe this allowed the converter to charge both the chassis and coach batteries. Disconnected it a couple of days ago.
Now
Today I checked all batteries for voltage. The chassis battery is reading 13.5 volts by my old meter. The coach deep cycle batteries are reading 12 volts. Checking the electrolyte levels in all three, I had to add distilled water to all cells in the coach batteries but just a couple of cells in the chassis battery.

My question is, not knowing much about deep cycle batteries, should the coach batteries be reading higher than 12 volts at full charge? Do they take longer to charge on shore power? I have the coach back on shore power now with switches on.

 

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