Help with charging issues

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SDGT3

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Jan 12, 2013
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Hi everyone, first post here.  I believe I have an inverter problem, but wanted to ask those with more experience than I.  My motorhome has been hooked for to a 50 amp at all times, but I've been gone for 2 weeks for the holidays.  When I returned tonight, the lights were dim and battery levels very low.  I checked connect with with power.  Then disconnected power and turned on the engine.  It wouldn't crank at first, but it finally turned on (brand new starter batteries changed out just 1 month ago).

By turning on the engine, the battery level went from low to 39% within 20 minutes.  I then turned off the engine and the battery level went down rather quickly.  I then turned on the generator, but it didn't raise the batteries levels and the % kept draining. 

So the 50 amp shoreline and generator won't charge the house batteries, only when the engine is on.  My first thought is the inverter, what do you think?  Thanks!
 
Little more info... this is a Newmar Ventana DP.  The inverter was changed out for a new one 2 1/2 years ago.  Do these things have a fuse or breaker I can check before taking it in for service?
 
Welcome to the RVForum, SDGY3

Yes, inverters do have fuses or a circuit breaker.  Be sure and look all around the inverter, even flipping breakers or resetting a fuse even if it looks good.

You should also check your electrical supply (where you are plugged in) you may have tripped a circuit breaker at that location which means you are not getting any electricity in order to recharge.

It takes several hours of the engine running to recharge batteries.  Just running the engine for a few minutes does not do much toward recharging.

BTW, I am moving this thread so that you may receive more replies.

Marsha~


 
If you haven't done it already, check the water level in the house batteries and the engine battery
 
It certainly sounds as though your house charging system isn't working. That's typically part of the inverter in a coach such as yours, so that's where to start looking. The inverter/charger itself will have a resettable circuit breaker, plus there is usually a major fuse (100-300 amps) on its DC output to the coach. There may or may not be a big fuse between the charger and the batteries, though.

There will also be a circuit breaker, typically 30A, that feeds 120v power to the inverter. That could be tripped.

The other place to check is the connections to the house battery, both positive and ground. Make sure they are clean and tight. However, since the engine alternator will charge the house batteries, I'm pretty sure those connections are ok.
 
Thank you for the replies.  The RV is currently in a heavy equipment shop for brake work and I can't get to it until the end of the week, but I took some photos of the inverter, pressed the breaker button, but I don't know if that is the same as the reset button??  Didn't see any noticable fuses.  When I went into the remote control panel, the LED info center said "Waiting for AC Power".  Does this mean it's waiting to be hooked up to shore power and all is good?  There is no 50 or 30 amp power at this repair shop to test this.... 
 

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Just to circle back on those that have replied, yes, checked house battery water level and they were a little low, but refilled with distilled water.  No problems.


As I couldn't hook up to shore power, I turned on the generator to see if it would charge the batteries, and it didn't.... 

 
I was under the impression my inverter changes battery 12v to 120v so I can run my TV and my converter takes 120v from the shore/gererator input and reduces it to 12v to charge the chassis and house batteries.  Am I wrong?

I had a simular problem and changed out the converter and all is well....
 
George Lewis said:
I was under the impression my inverter changes battery 12v to 120v so I can run my TV and my converter takes 120v from the shore/gererator input and reduces it to 12v to charge the chassis and house batteries.  Am I wrong?

I had a simular problem and changed out the converter and all is well....

That is what they are suppose to do when working correctly. My inverter has a 3 stage charger for the house battery bank. From bulk to float charge.
 
George,
SDGT3's inverter is also his converter and charger - all three functions in one unit. Yours apparently are two separate units, one a converter/charger and the other a separate inverter.

SDGT3: The button you pushed is a breaker reset and the only "reset" on that model.  If you want to see if it works now, you can plug your shore power cord into a 15A or 20A wall outlet with an adapter that is widely available - even Walmarts have them. Use a 50/30 adapter plugged to a 30/15 adapter and you are in business. You just have to limit power consumption to 15 amps, but that's plenty for testing.
 
George,
SDGT3's inverter is also his converter and charger - all three functions in one unit. Yours apparently are two separate units, one a converter/charger and the other a separate inverter.

Thanks, Gary.  Yes, I have one of each...at least I think I do.  My RV guy changed out my "converter" when it would not charge my house batteries when running my gererator but my shore power would charge them.  I was running my ac on geneator one hot night in Little Rock and ALL quit...all 12v coach systems stopped working....luckly my engine battery was strong enough to start the V10....changed out the converter and all is well.  This was the first time he had heard of this part of a converter going out....I will ask him if it is also an inverter....
Edit: Fixed quote.
 

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