Generator cut my battery power

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blsmith25

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Posts
70
Location
Santa Clara, CA
Hi everyone,

I just got my new PleasureWay Plateau on Saturday and I've had it parked not connected to power for a couple of days and using a few things. The battery was getting low, so I started to generator to charge it up. When I turned the generator off, EVERYTHING went off. I can't even check the level of my tanks. Nothing works. I'm not even sure if the propane is working for the fridge.
I've checked the battery disconnect and it hasn't moved, although I switched it off, then on again. I've checked the propane switch and it's still on, although I switched it off, then back on again.
I thought about fuses, but haven't checked them yet.
Did I do something wrong? Isn't the generator supposed to charge the battery? How long should that take if it does? I had it running for maybe 20 minutes or so.
Please help. I've got a fridge full of food that I don't want to go bad. This should be separate if I've got the switch on propane, right? The LED for the propane flickers. I don't believe it was doing that before.
This is the coach battery, right? Not the vehicle battery so I should be able to start it, right?
What to do?

Thanks,
B.L>
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
It would take much longer than 20 minutes to charge a battery from the generator (or shore power).  A 50% discharged battery could take several hours to charge to even 80% depending on the charger output.  I had a similar problem with a complete loss of 12VDC and it turned out to be the battery disconnect switch failing in an open condition.  I bypassed the switch completely to restore power.  Although that's an unlikely possibility, it's worth checking.  Use a voltmeter and start at the battery terminals and work out until you find where the power is lost.  But do get the battery charged first.  Use an external charger if you have to, but get the battery up to a usable level before checking any further.

The refrigerator does need 12V for the controller to work.

Yes, you should be able to start the vehicle if the chassis battery is charged.
 

blsmith25

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Posts
70
Location
Santa Clara, CA
I don't have the option of plugging in somewhere.
So, that means my fridge is not really working? Is my propane being wasted while it's on the propane setting?
If I take it for a drive, how long would I have to run the vehicle to charge it up again?
 

King

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Posts
354
Location
MA
I have a '98 Pleasureway with a Magnetech converter.  On shore power or the generator, the charge rate from the converter is so low that it will never fully charge the house batteries. With the house batteries nearly full charged, the current is only 1.5 A, not enough even to maintain the batteries.  Driving for an hour or so probably would bring up batteries in good condition, but if the batteries are completely discharged, the high charging current may trip the circuit breaker.  Get a separate battery charger to plug into the ac outlet while you run the generator.  Check the batteries with a hygrometer.
Art
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,948
Location
Davison Michigan
A thought occures to me:

Some rigs, the generator starts off the House battery, some, it starts off the chassis battery, I'm guessing yours is the first kind.

If the batteries were low, then the enegery needed to start the generator may have been enough to cause an "electronic" type battery cut off switch to, well, cut off.  All rigs have some kind of battery shut off or cut off for the hosue batteries.

If this were to happen. then the 12vdc systems would have continued to run, no the converter, while the generator was operating but when you killed the genny, you would have lost everything.
'
Check your battery cut-off switch..
 

blsmith25

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Posts
70
Location
Santa Clara, CA
I can't confirm either case. I'm not sure what it runs off of, although running off the house battery does make sense since just starting it must have finished the battery off.
Would you know where the battery cut-off switch is or where it should be?
I've got a global disconnect switch located under a bench where the electrical fuses and such are. It's a red key-type of switch. I did switch that off, then on again, but if there's some other switch, I don't remember where it might be...  ???
 

blsmith25

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Posts
70
Location
Santa Clara, CA
Ok, problem solved! Woohoo!
There are some switches or breakers of some sort located with the red key global battery disconnect. I had to reset the 30A Converter switch. There's a little black button and I just pushed it and heard a click and the pump come back on and I had power again.
Now, I was also running the engine for about 1/2 hour to see if that would charge it or not.

So, even though I found the solution to that problem, I really don't know how much the generator charged it, if any; nor do I know how much running the engine charged it, if any.

So, at the moment, the indicators say that my battery is fully charged. How it got fully charged, I'm not exactly sure.

Test #1 - passed.  ;D Grade: A?  8)

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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