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Author Topic: shore line battery charging  (Read 4538 times)

Mags61

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shore line battery charging
« on: June 09, 2009, 07:34:33 PM »
when plugged into shore  line,my charger kicks in every3-4 minutes.First cell from positive terminal seems to lose water before others.Battery is within 2 yrs. new. Is this a battery problem or charger problem? we have a 1986 Winnie Chieftan 23 ,and we have her parked at a camp site for the summer.do not feel comfortable leaving it plugged in while we are away for the week.Any input would be appreciated.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 07:52:34 PM by Mags61 »
1986 Winnebago Chieftan

John Canfield

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2009, 09:15:44 PM »
Hey there - welcome to the forum!

Not sure what you mean when you say your line charger kicks in every 3-4 minutes.  My charger runs 7x24x365 but it has a float mode.  If you are losing water, it sounds like you could have a bad cell(s) forcing the charger to pump too much current into the battery or bank.  I would check each cell with a hydrometer or let a shop check the batteries for you.
--John
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Mags61

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2009, 05:09:01 AM »
Thanks for the info John and we're finding this forum quite interesting and helpful.  I'll check out the battery cells as you advised, once I get back to our little place of paradise this weekend!  Will keep you posted... :)
1986 Winnebago Chieftan

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2009, 07:23:55 AM »
It sounds to me like the old single, or two stage charger in this 1986 coach is detecting an overload and shutting itself off for a few minutes. Then it tries again.  Coupling that with the cell losing water and I would say "bad battery".  Two years is not an unusually short life span for the marine deep cycles typically sold as RV batteries in chain stores and RV dealers. A top quality, true deep cycle like a Trojan will last several years longer, but also costs a lot more up front.
Gary
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John From Detroit

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2009, 09:10:57 AM »
I agree, sounds strange.

Test the battery, first test is a Hydrometer, measure the specific gravity of each cell and note the results, post to this thread

Then load test the battery if you can: I anticipate failure

Next, (Actually in the same post) give us the make and model of your converter/charger.

Thank you
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Mexray

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 02:28:28 AM »
I believe it's time to visit your new battery supplier....

Excessive water loss in one cell indicates that there are 'shorted' plates in that cell...which give a 'signal'  to your converter/charger that the battery is in an 'under-voltage' condition (10 volts), hence it's trying to charge up the battery constantly...cycling on and off...

If you can find someone with a Load Testor, you will see that same 'shorted' cell, bubbles profusely as the load is increased...'shorted' cell's are detected easily in this manner...

Common RV and Automotive, lead acid batteries have about 2.2 volts per cell, hence, when one cell is 'shorted' inside, you now have a 10 volt battery - the charging system keeps trying to charge the battery back up to 12 volts (12.75 volts +,-)...this condition can lead to damage to the charger, or the alternator in an automotive system, if not fixed at the first opportunity...

Make sure you get the heaviest 12 volt, deep cycle battery you can find...then keep it fully charged when stored, to get the longest service life...NEVER store your RV batteries in a discharged condition!
Ray & Pat near Lodi, CA...

Pubtym

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Battery Tutorial
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009, 07:20:52 AM »
Pubtym
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John Canfield

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2009, 07:59:01 AM »
Charlie - great resource!!
--John
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The Scientist

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 08:18:44 AM »
Just as a matter of interest, Walmart now carries a Schumacher battery charger that does everything for you.  It tests the battery, charges the battery, will try to clear a bad battery, and when and if the battery is fully charged it will continue with a "float" mode that keeps the battery charged.  I have one in my motor coach across the vehicle batteries all the time.  However, if you lose AC power, you must reset the unit to the previous charge setting otherwise it stays at the 2Amp setting.  I have the 2Amp/8Amp/12 Amp model and I find it to perform wonderfully at the 12Amp setting.  It costs about $50.  Best one I've seen with a CPU control.

The Scientist

Pubtym

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2009, 08:32:19 AM »
Just as a matter of interest, Walmart now carries a Schumacher battery charger that does everything for you.  It tests the battery, charges the battery, will try to clear a bad battery, and when and if the battery is fully charged it will continue with a "float" mode that keeps the battery charged.  I have one in my motor coach across the vehicle batteries all the time.  However, if you lose AC power, you must reset the unit to the previous charge setting otherwise it stays at the 2Amp setting.  I have the 2Amp/8Amp/12 Amp model and I find it to perform wonderfully at the 12Amp setting.  It costs about $50.  Best one I've seen with a CPU control.

The Scientist

Thanks, I saw that same model in another Walmart yesterday and wondered about feedback. Yours is appreciated. :)

Does it have Operator Manual instruction for..can it perform a "battery load test"? ???

Re: "I have one in my motor coach across the vehicle batteries all the time"...please explain to a fat fingered Fred (Me). ???

Charlie
Pubtym
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The Scientist

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2009, 09:46:45 AM »
Charlie,

I keep the charger plugged into the AC line and the output cables connected across the 12 volt vehicle batteries all the time.  I do this so the charger is on anytime the AC is connected to the coach or I run my generator.


Pubtym

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2009, 11:30:49 AM »
Charlie,

I keep the charger plugged into the AC line and the output cables connected across the 12 volt vehicle batteries all the time.  I do this so the charger is on anytime the AC is connected to the coach or I run my generator.



If your house batteries (2 ) are like mine..they are wire in parallel ...so how do you connect the two clamps to achieve charge maintenance-battery balance in parallel?  ???

Charlie
Shocked Founder of Electrics For Dummies  :o
Pubtym
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Mags61

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2009, 08:49:31 PM »
I agree, sounds strange.

Test the battery, first test is a Hydrometer, measure the specific gravity of each cell and note the results, post to this thread

Then load test the battery if you can: I anticipate failure

Next, (Actually in the same post) give us the make and model of your converter/charger.

Thank you

John,after checking the cells with hydrometer,I have four cells at 1,000 one at 1,225 ,and one at 1,325. The unit is made by B-w manufacturers.Model#6332.I have not done a load test,but by these results I do not think i will have to.Do you concur? Thanks much.
1986 Winnebago Chieftan

Ned

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2009, 08:55:33 PM »
A specific gravity of 1 means that cell is dead, no electrolyte at all, just water.  Also, hydrometer readings should not vary more than .05 difference between cells.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 08:58:35 PM by Ned »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2009, 09:40:01 PM »
No doubt about it - that battery is a goner if even one cell showed 1.0.

I assume you repeated the tests a couple of times to make sure the results are right.
Gary
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Mags61

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2009, 08:51:18 AM »
Thanks much. On our Winnie,we have 1 chassis battery and 2 aux. batteries.Does this charger charger all three at once? Bothaux batteries have 1 cell that read 1.0 and1.1.       On the dashboard there is a switch (Dual/mom.). According to owners manual while driving pressing Dual will charge aux. batteries.should not be left in dual when parked,as will discharge batteries. Mom. (momentary)switch will give additional power to starter if chassis  battery is low. Oh, and yes all three batteries are Walmart batteries.Behind the battery bank there are a series of small cube shaped electrical boxes crossed over with flat metal bars.What are these?Should I clean all these connections?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 09:15:28 AM by Mags61 »
1986 Winnebago Chieftan

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: shore line battery charging
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2009, 03:08:15 PM »
I could only guess whether an 86 Chieftain has a controller for charging both house and chassis batteries.  Newer Winnies do so, but an 86??? Best way to find out is to plug her in and put a voltmeter across the chassis battery. If it's about 13.6v it is charging.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL