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Author Topic: charging problem - help please  (Read 3246 times)

casey007

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charging problem - help please
« on: June 02, 2012, 12:15:19 PM »
Hello

I have a Tiffin 2010 35 QBA with 6,000 miles.  The problem is the chassis battery doesn't charge when plugged in and the coach batteries don't seem to either as the auxiallary start doesn't have enough juice to start the motor.  If I run the motor it does charge the batteries however drains over a day and I have to boost the batteries to start.

The coach has been to the dealer twice in the fall, they claim it was fine and they charged the batteries.  However I have to boost everytime to start, now thats its spring I brought it home and had plugged in overnight.  This morning the batteries were dead.  I took back to the dealer today and they tell me they can't look at it for 2-4 weeks.  This dealer is really useless and is the only Tiffin dealer around.  I would like to fix myself but don't know where to start. 

It seems like possibly two problems, 1. not charging when plugged in.  2. a draw on the batteries which I can't find, nothing is on and I have turned off the 12 volt system switch.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

SeilerBird

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 01:02:31 PM »
I would find a mobile mechanic on Craigslist and pay him to come out and look it over.
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George Lewis

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 03:40:43 PM »
I am not an expert.  However, I do not think your chassis battery will charge when plugged in.  The alternater does this when the engine is running.  Otherwise, you need to plug in a battery charger for your engine battery if not run for a period of time.  If your inverter is bad, your house batteries will not charge when plugged in....the inverter changes 110v to 12v to charge your house batteries (but not your engine battery, they are seperate).  I also plug in my house batteries to a charger when not in use.  I am told plugging in your mh will only charge your batteries to 80%...not sure why.  A low amp charger (2 amps) will maintain your batteries without boiling them and you just leave them hooked up.....  When charging with my chargers, I turn off my system switches, only turn them on when running.  I buy my chargers at Wal Mart made by Schumacher and have no battery problems. 

I, too, would get an independent RV guy to check out and replace the inverter as needed.  Good luck.
Boerne, TX
1999 Bounder 34J
Ford V10
USAF (ret) and Sony Corp. (ret)

Just Lou

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2012, 04:11:10 PM »
The problem is the chassis battery doesn't charge when plugged in and the coach batteries don't seem to either as the auxiallary start doesn't have enough juice to start the motor.  If I run the motor it does charge the batteries however drains over a day and I have to boost the batteries to start.

It seems like possibly two problems, 1. not charging when plugged in.  2. a draw on the batteries which I can't find, nothing is on and I have turned off the 12 volt system switch.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Neither of your battery systems will charge while plugged in if you turn the disconnect (12 volt system switch by the door) OFF.  It must be on.

'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Just Lou

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 04:23:07 PM »
I am not an expert.  However, I do not think your chassis battery will charge when plugged in.  The alternater does this when the engine is running.  Otherwise, you need to plug in a battery charger for your engine battery if not run for a period of time.  If your inverter is bad, your house batteries will not charge when plugged in....the inverter changes 110v to 12v to charge your house batteries (but not your engine battery, they are seperate).  I also plug in my house batteries to a charger when not in use.  I am told plugging in your mh will only charge your batteries to 80%...not sure why.  A low amp charger (2 amps) will maintain your batteries without boiling them and you just leave them hooked up.....  When charging with my chargers, I turn off my system switches, only turn them on when running.  I buy my chargers at Wal Mart made by Schumacher and have no battery problems. 

I, too, would get an independent RV guy to check out and replace the inverter as needed.  Good luck.

Your Bounder was designed to charge both the chassis and house batteries from the CONVERTER, (NOT inverter), while plugged into shore power.  If it is not doing that, you have a malfunction in the BCC (Battery Control Center) box.  Most likely a bad solenoid contact.  If you can read and understand an electrical diagram and follow written instructions.... Check out this document.

The converter will charge your batteries to 100% if given sufficient time.  The larger danger is that it will over-charge them if it is not one of the newer multi-stage chargers.  (A PD-91XX with charge wizard or equivalent).

I am not totally familiar with the Tiffin, of the original OP, but I do know that it has similar circuitry to accomplish the same result.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 04:27:31 PM by Just Lou »
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Sweet Hitchhiker

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 08:22:31 PM »
I would be looking for the reason the chassis batteries tend to drain in one day.  Something has to be drawing them down. maybe a bad battery?
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Marsha/CA

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2012, 09:40:59 PM »
I have a Tiffin Allegro Bus, like Lou said, you need to have the 12volt disconnect not engaged; it should not be turned off.  Most Tiffin products will charge the chassie battery along with the coach batteries when plugged in or when the generator is running.

You also need to make sure you have not tripped the breakers on the inverter/converter.  Often those breakers are on the inverter/converter somewhere.  If the breakers are tripped to off, you will not get charging through the inverter/converter.

Marsha~
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George Lewis

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 10:16:35 AM »
Your Bounder was designed to charge both the chassis and house batteries from the CONVERTER, (NOT inverter), while plugged into shore power.  If it is not doing that, you have a malfunction in the BCC (Battery Control Center) box.  Most likely a bad solenoid contact.  If you can read and understand an electrical diagram and follow written instructions.... Check out this document.

The converter will charge your batteries to 100% if given sufficient time.  The larger danger is that it will over-charge them if it is not one of the newer multi-stage chargers.  (A PD-91XX with charge wizard or equivalent).

Thanks, Lou.  I did not know this.  When in storage, I turn off both switches and hook the chargers directly to the batteries.  That being said, I will check my converter and BCC.  I was looking at a THOR diesel and they say it has a 2,000 watt inverter...what is the difference?  Another question...this THOR diesel only comes with a "residential refrigerator" which does not run on propane...only batteries or 110v.  They have four 6v deep cycle batteries due to this setup.  I like to have the gas option too.  Your thoughts please.  I went to your instructions, but could not make them large enough to read.  Could you send them to my email?  scoot62@aol.com  I would appreciate your help and thanks for your informative post.
Boerne, TX
1999 Bounder 34J
Ford V10
USAF (ret) and Sony Corp. (ret)

SargeW

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 11:08:59 AM »
George, there is no option to run a residential refer on propane. Installing the residential refer into RV's is the "new" thing in the industry, and generally works well but has some obvious drawbacks.  Keeping those four six volt batteries charged up is important if you are going to be dry camping for any length of time.
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George Lewis

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2012, 07:16:22 PM »
Yes, Sarge, I addressed this 110v frig on another post.  I can get a"standard" on a Fleetwood, but not on the Thor.  Any idea how long fully charged batteries would run the 110v frig while dry camped?  I realize I can run the gen to charge them, but does the engine charge them while driving?  I don't think it does on my '99 Bounder 34J....  I am kinda gun shy about running a 110v appliance on batteries while dry camped in deep west Texas....like I said in an earlier post...40 miles from a human and no cell signal....Thanks.
Boerne, TX
1999 Bounder 34J
Ford V10
USAF (ret) and Sony Corp. (ret)

SargeW

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2012, 11:56:50 PM »
Even though the newer refers are pretty efficient, you still won't be able to go several days on just batteries while keeping the 110V refer running. Most RV's will charge the engine batteries while running the motor, but to charge the house batteries you will need to plug in or run the generator.

If you run a search in the Tech forum you will find more involved discussions about the needs of 110V refers and the power requirements. However, if you want to go longer times while dry camping I strongly recommend a propane enabled refer. While it still needs some 12V input to run the circuit board, the overall power consumption of the refer on propane is way less than the 110V residential version.
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Jim Godward

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2012, 12:01:42 AM »
The 110 volt refers make a good argument to add a few solar panels and maybe even take the battery bank up to 6 6v golf cart ones.
Jim
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George Lewis

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2012, 05:00:54 PM »
Even though the newer refers are pretty efficient, you still won't be able to go several days on just batteries while keeping the 110V refer running. Most RV's will charge the engine batteries while running the motor, but to charge the house batteries you will need to plug in or run the generator.

If you run a search in the Tech forum you will find more involved discussions about the needs of 110V refers and the power requirements. However, if you want to go longer times while dry camping I strongly recommend a propane enabled refer. While it still needs some 12V input to run the circuit board, the overall power consumption of the refer on propane is way less than the 110V residential version.

Thanks, Sarge.  In another post the writer says the Thor Palazzo (and others) have the auto gen start which starts the gererator when voltage get low and recharges the batteries.  This is good info for me and additionally running the engine also charges the house batteries along with the chassis battery.
Boerne, TX
1999 Bounder 34J
Ford V10
USAF (ret) and Sony Corp. (ret)

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2012, 07:36:44 PM »
George,
How long is a string? Pretty much what you have asked.  You didn't tell us what refrigerator (how much power it uses), how many batteries are available for running the fridge, how hot is it inside the RV, how many times is the door opened and for how long, what other devices can draw on the same batteries as the fridge, etc. etc.

The better rigs typically dedicate at least 2 and sometimes 4 largish batteries to a residential fridge with its own inverter to drive it. Let's say there are 4 GC2 batteries for a total of 450 AH, dedicated to the fridge and its inverter. Those can produce about 5400 watt-hours of power. Losses in conversion reduce that to around 5000 watt hours, and battery life considerations mean that only about 50% of that is available. Let's say 2500 watt-hours are left.  According to fridge rating tests, a typical new residential fridge can probably operate for a full day on about 1400-1800 watt hours, but that is rather conservative usage. By that I mean the room is relatively cool and the door is not opened very often. The numbers change swiftly if those factors are changed.
Gary
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SargeW

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2012, 11:05:01 PM »
Yep, Gary pretty much nailed it. What it boils down to is that you would need something to recharge the batteries about every day. There are a variety of ways to do that, but you would still need the power.
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dan2

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2012, 06:35:33 AM »

Call Bob Tiffin, tell him your dealer is useless. Sometimes going to the top is the best! 

Good luck, Dan

George Lewis

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Re: charging problem - help please
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2012, 09:29:13 AM »
George,
How long is a string? Pretty much what you have asked.  You didn't tell us what refrigerator (how much power it uses), how many batteries are available for running the fridge, how hot is it inside the RV, how many times is the door opened and for how long, what other devices can draw on the same batteries as the fridge, etc. etc.

The better rigs typically dedicate at least 2 and sometimes 4 largish batteries to a residential fridge with its own inverter to drive it. Let's say there are 4 GC2 batteries for a total of 450 AH, dedicated to the fridge and its inverter. Those can produce about 5400 watt-hours of power. Losses in conversion reduce that to around 5000 watt hours, and battery life considerations mean that only about 50% of that is available. Let's say 2500 watt-hours are left.  According to fridge rating tests, a typical new residential fridge can probably operate for a full day on about 1400-1800 watt hours, but that is rather conservative usage. By that I mean the room is relatively cool and the door is not opened very often. The numbers change swiftly if those factors are changed.

Thanks, Gary.  You are getting a little over my head with watts/amps thing, but you folks have told me what I need to know.  The DP comes with four 6v deep cycle and if I run the generator at night for the a/c at night, that should take care of my charging questions.  And it has the auto gen start if batteries get too low.   I don't think I have any problem with the residential frig.  Thanks to all.
Boerne, TX
1999 Bounder 34J
Ford V10
USAF (ret) and Sony Corp. (ret)