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Author Topic: House Battery problems  (Read 2146 times)

08ItCam26A

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House Battery problems
« on: November 23, 2009, 07:54:00 PM »
I have a 2008 Itasca Cambria 26A. My house batteries are 2 - NAPA #8240 (BCI #24DC). Batteries were fully charged when left RV park according to the lights on level panel. I stopped to check out some sights. Turned on the over head fan and opened a window to more air for cats in RV. We were gone about 2-1/2 hours. Came back and fan was still running. Turned off fan and pushed button to start generator. Everything went dead. Generator would not start, level lights were very dim, no lights would come on, refrig went off propane. I don't know what happened. Did I drain the house batteries down that low? Drove back home. Batteries did not seem to charge. Check water level in batteries, OKAY. Took reading with multimeter across battery terminals with master battery switch OFF, reading was 12.4 volts. Plugged in shore power and left to charge for 3 days. Turn off shore power still the same, not a thing is working. The batteries are only 18 months old. Do you think that they are bad? I am going to get a Hydrometer to check the SG of each cell to see if I have a dead cell or two. What do I need to do?
My Power Center is Parallax Power Supply, Model 7345. I checked the breaker panel and no breakers were triped.

I need help. Thanks, RON

John Canfield

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Re: House Battery problems
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 08:49:59 PM »
Ron - first - welcome to rvforum!

12.4 volts is roughly a 50-60% state of charge.  What is the battery voltage when on shore power with the charger working?  First think that comes to mind is a bad (loose) connection somewhere in the positive or negative battery leads.

I'm thinking your batteries are probably okay, it sounds like a problem somewhere upstream of the batteries.  Check all of the primary 12V positive connections from the battery as far as you can trace to the house circuits.  If you have a house battery disconnect switch in the cabin somewhere, that operates a solenoid - the solenoid could be bad.

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wodnek

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Re: House Battery problems
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 08:53:16 PM »
To eliminate the batteries as the problem, charge them with an external battery charger.  Then load test the batteries.
If you dont have a load tester, many auto part stores do.
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DonTom

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Re: House Battery problems
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 11:15:12 PM »
Turned off fan and pushed button to start generator. Everything went dead. Generator would not start, level lights were very dim, no lights would come on, refrig went off propane.

If everything went dead exactly when you tried to start the genny and the lamps all went out and stayed out even after, I would be expecting a poor connection, perhaps right on the battery (the most common place to find such a problem, IMO).

A high load for even a fraction of a second can cause a slight movement in the cables if everything is not down tight to begin with, so then you can loose everything.

It sounds more like a bad connection than a bad battery. But it's even possible for a battery to be intermittent, but less likely than the connections on it.

-Don- SF, CA
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John From Detroit

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Re: House Battery problems
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 01:08:16 PM »
I too suspect a bad connection.. You will need: A digital voltmeter (About 10 bucks at Harbor Freight)

Hook it to the batteries themselves (Press the test probes against the posts) while your partner attempts to start the genrator.. If you see like a 0.1 volt change.. (Anything under a volt) the batteries are good and a connection is bad.

You then have two choices.

1: Clean everything (Best option)
2: Move out along the wires (Do negative firest)  On the negative lead go to the wire lug, then to the chassis.  (That's as far as you need to go)

on the positivfe lead wire lug. THen follow the lead to the next connector and continue from there.

But clean everything.. Or start with the battery connections themselves.. Then the chassis end of the negative cable.. Usually that's as far as you need go.

I have this same problem with my chassis battery every year or two.
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1joester2

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Re: House Battery problems
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 05:36:17 PM »
This can be done solo too...

Make sure the charger is off, and your power is from battery only

Turn on several lights to make a reasonable drain on the battery. Use the meter to read the voltage from post to connection, one at a time. A solid connection will read zero volts, a failing one will read anywhere from several millivots to a full 12V. Disconnect and clean as required.

You must have a reasonable load on the battery to do this.

Joe
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08ItCam26A

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Re: House Battery problems
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2009, 08:18:55 AM »
I found my very very loose connection on the Aux battery relay. I tightened it down. Checked everything and seems to all be working now. Thanks for your help.

Ron in Florida

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: House Battery problems
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2009, 10:48:38 AM »
Glad to hear you got it working ok again, Ron.
Gary
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