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Author Topic: Battery Question  (Read 1180 times)

mudshark

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Battery Question
« on: December 20, 2017, 08:20:01 AM »
Hi All
In my Class A, the chassis battery reads 13.5 volts.
The deep cycle coach batteries read 12 volts. I don't know that much about deep cycle batteries.
Is 12 volts normal for a charged deep cycle? Or do they need to be topped off and for how long?
Thanks
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

AStravelers

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 08:35:42 AM »
No, 12.0 volts is not a fully charged battery. 

With your RV plugged into shore power, whatever charger you have should be supplying at least 13.4-13.5V.  If you have a 3 stage charger you may see charge voltages in the mid 14 volts for 1-3 hours and then taper off to the 13.4V range.

Once you disconnect from shore power and let the batteries sit for a few hours, not powering anything in the RV they should drop to about 12.6-12.7V, which is the fully charged voltage. 

Same goes for your chassis battery.

Here is a link to more detailed info:  http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

It would help to know which Class A RV do you have, the number of batteries and what converter or inverter/charger you have.
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 10:52:51 AM »
Hi AStravelers
Thanks for getting back to me so soon!
I have a 2000 Fleetwood Bounder. There is one chassis battery and two deep cycle coach batteries. They are all new as of last year. We are waiting to sell my house and then spend a year traveling the country. As such, we didn't use it last year. I will find out what we have for an inverter.
Thanks for the link. I will check it out.
Jim
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 12:01:25 PM »
This Bounder has an Intelipower PD9155A power converter.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 12:08:35 PM »
If your coach is plugged in but the house batteries are not being charged, either the PD 9155 is without 120v power or defective. Or perhaps you have the battery disconnect switch off, which disconnects the charger from the battery in most rigs.

If it's not plugged in, well that why it isn't charging...  The battery will lose power over time, even though you know about have everything switched off.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 12:10:11 PM 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: Battery Question
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 01:05:49 PM »
Hi Gary
When I plug into shore power I turn both disconnect switches to ON.
When I take it off shore power I turn the switches off. I read the article linked above. I am thinking the the low temps up here may be giving a false low reading. I really have to get a digital volt meter. My little analog is not right for this.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 03:36:20 PM »
How much water is in the batteries?
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 90,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 03:47:16 PM »
Hi Arch
Yesterday when I was checking voltage I popped the covers on all batteries. The coach batteries needed water in each cell but not much. The plates were nowhere near being exposed. Down about a 1/4 inch each cell.
The chassis battery only needed a little in two cells. I hooked the bus to shore power over night.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

John From Detroit

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 06:07:35 PM »
Down about a quarter inch is "Full up" the proper level to fill to is aout 1/4" below the bottom of the filler tube.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 10:02:25 PM »
The Progressive Dynamics converters have two fuses on their output.  They are to protect the converter and wiring against damage in case the battery is accidentally connected backwards ... even for an instant.  The converter looks like a dead short to reverse polarity, even if it's off.

If they're blown, you won't get any output from the converter until they're replaced.

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 05:59:44 AM »
Thanks Lou
I will check them today.
Jim
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Old_Crow

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 08:11:44 AM »
Thanks for confirming your converter, Mudshark(really like the screen name, BTW). 
Same coach, same year, same converter.
Guess this semi-answers the question raised in your other thread on whether or not my converter had at some point been changed.

With this setup, as I understand it, you can leave everything plugged in and turned on pretty much indefinitely, as long as you check the battery water levels periodically.  I live in mine, so it's never turned off anyway.  I haven't done much boondocking, except while traveling, so haven't paid that much attention to battery charge levels.  I did find, while researching the other thread that the batteries all connect to lugs on the outside of the Battery Control Center(Driver's side firewall, below the master cylinder).  Make sure those connections are clean and tight, also, as that's where the charge voltage from the converter is routed to the batteries.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 10:46:07 AM »
Thanks Old Crow
Things are getting really weird!
I bought a cheap digital multimeter this morning. The chassis battery read 11.8 volts. The coach batteries read 12 volts. No power drain I can see.
Went to start the coach, chassis battery practically dead. Had to kick in the coach batteries to start. The bus is running right now. With both meters, (one digital and one analog), I get 14. 3 volts at the chassis battery and 14 volts at the coach batteries. So the engine alternator is doing it's job.

THIS IS STARTING TO DRIVE ME NUTS!!
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 11:07:26 AM »
OK, so the alternator works as expected. What about the voltage with engine off and shore power or genset active? That will verify your converter/charger operation.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2017, 11:36:43 AM »
Hi Gary
That was my next move. I shut the bus down and had lunch while things equalize.
I plan to go back on shore power and take voltage readings before and after to see where we're at.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

AZgl1800

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2017, 01:15:01 PM »

My RV deep cycle battery is floating at 13.55 volts.

I leave it on shore power all the time when we are home...
If I have to leave it w/o A/C power, I just turn the big handle on the big 12 volt power switch that I bought from NAPA.

It is the same thing I had on my airplane, if the plane is parked, you turn that battery off.

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2017, 01:25:51 PM »
OK Folks
I think I have it. I checked the house outside outlet that I had been using for the past two years. I got no power at the outlet. Checked the circuit breakers and found no problem. Switched to the outlet at the front of the house and it has a GFI with a tiny indicator light. Plugged the bus into that one. I took readings on all batteries before and after hooking to shore power and they did not change until I switched house outlets. Checked voltage in the bus and reading 120 volts now.

All three batteries are up .5 volts from this morning but I am not sure if that is because ambient temperature rose a bit from this morning or because I ran the engine for 1/2 hour before lunch or if the converter is putting out power now. What should I do going forward? Any suggestions?
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Kevin Means

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2017, 02:24:47 PM »
While plugged into the good shore-power outlet, use your VOM and measure the voltage of the house-batteries. You don't need to disconnect them - just take a reading right at the battery terminals. That'll tell us if your converter (charger) is working or not. Make sure your house-battery disconnect-switch is on (connected) when you take the reading.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 960 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2017, 02:47:35 PM »
Hi Kev
I just went out there and checked all 3 batteries. All are now up to 13 volts.
Looks like the back outlet was the problem all along. I have no idea when it crapped out although it reads 120 volts now on my plug in volt meter. I will no longer trust it. Especially when I can look at the front one and see the ground fault light on. I will keep the bus on shore power for a few days and see where the voltage is.

I want to thank everyone here who jumped in with advice! Without your help I don't know what I would have done!!
Jim

Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Old_Crow

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2017, 09:20:58 AM »
That's why I like these forums.  In the process of trying to help you learn something, I learned something about my own coach.
Glad you got it figured out.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2017, 10:51:43 AM »
Checked the voltage in the batteries this morning.
All 3 batteries are reading 13.3 volts. Looks like my problem has been corrected.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

CharlesinGA

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2017, 11:12:07 AM »
OK Folks
I think I have it. I checked the house outside outlet that I had been using for the past two years. I got no power at the outlet. Checked the circuit breakers and found no problem. Switched to the outlet at the front of the house and it has a GFI with a tiny indicator light. Plugged the bus into that one. I took readings on all batteries before and after hooking to shore power and they did not change until I switched house outlets. Checked voltage in the bus and reading 120 volts now.

All three batteries are up .5 volts from this morning but I am not sure if that is because ambient temperature rose a bit from this morning or because I ran the engine for 1/2 hour before lunch or if the converter is putting out power now. What should I do going forward? Any suggestions?

One of those forehead slapping moments.

If the non-working outlet is a standard outlet, there is a possibility that it is fed thru a GFCI elsewhere in the house, that is tripped. Could be an outlet in a store room or basement or some obscure place. If the outside receptacle is a GFCI and not working after a reset, it most likely has failed internally. You would need to pull it out and check for incoming voltage.

Charles
2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2017, 08:34:54 AM »
Morning Charles
Yes, when I switched to the front outside outlet I noticed that it was tripped out.
I reset it and after making sure all was well I took my plug in meter and the back outlet was now energized. It appears to be wired with the front outlet hence the lack of power. When the weather warms up I will check out that back outlet.

We had cold rain here all day yesterday. Sunny skies today. I will check on the batteries soon. I expect (and hope) all will be well.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

AStravelers

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  • Part time travelers, 4-8 months each year.
Re: Battery Question
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2017, 09:07:08 AM »
Checked the voltage in the batteries this morning.
All 3 batteries are reading 13.3 volts. Looks like my problem has been corrected.
Keep in mind that the 13.3 volts is just a surface charge left from the charging process.  You will want to recheck the voltage after leaving the batteries off the charging process for a couple of hours. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2017, 01:05:39 PM »
Hi Al & Sharon
The bus has been plugged in since Thursday. This morning's voltage reading in all 3 batteries is 13.43.
The voltage is coming up and I am sure it will take a few more days to really sock a charge in. I will keep the bus plugged in until I get at least 13.55 in the coach batteries.
With the converter we have I think we can leave it plugged for a long time.

I will not take a final reading without the batteries being off shore power and rested for at least a day.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

mudshark

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2017, 11:14:12 AM »
It has been 5 days now and all 3 batteries are holding steady at 13.4 volts.
Guess I am out of the woods.
Jim & Jan
2000 Fleetwood Bounder 36S
2006 Jeep Wrangler in tow

Kevin Means

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Re: Battery Question
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2017, 04:03:28 PM »
Great! Glad you got it resolved.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 960 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California