House batteries

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ChuckWmson

Active member
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Posts
25
I have a 99 Safari Trek.  Over the years I have always been concerned with the batteries in the house portion of this unit.  So much so that I have gone so far as to install 4 6 volt golf cart batteries using a Perko switch to separate the battery banks.  I replaced all batteries in July and again in December because they will not hold a charge.

Yesterday I returned from a trip about 230 miles from home and the battery control module showed that both banks were at 100% using the engine charger for there charge.  I switched it to bank 1.  All appliances were turned off and I came back about 30 minutes later and noticed that bank 1 was at 80% charge.  A few minutes ago I looked at the meter again and it reads at 50%, again nothing turned on that I noticed.

I have a clamp-on amp meter and want to check for amp flow.  First thing I think I should do with the meter connected is start removing fuses at the fuse box, one at a time between meter checks to see if a circuit is drawing power. 

Next thought I have in mind is it possible to have the inverter drawing current or some other malfunction?  The unit came with a Heart 1000.  Several years ago when my wife was a total invalid requiring 24/7 care, I could leave the TV on all day with sometimes a fan, using one bank and it would power these items all day and evening.  I do have solar panels, a 20 and a 42 watt unit.  They are producing 20 volts the last time I checked.  Later in the evening I would switch to the 2nd bank go through the same process the next day with the solar panels charging both banks.

If anyone can suggest anything to get my problem resolved, I would appreciate it.  I don't like having low batteries!!!!!  And I don't know anyone who does.

Chuck
 
Obviously you have a major power draw somewhere, maybe even a high resistance short to ground. As you said, you need to start pulling fuses to isolate which circuit(s) are causing the problem.
 
It takes a pretty healthy current draw to draw down batteries that quickly.  I would suspect the inverter first, and disable (disconnect) it to eliminate it as the culprit.  Also I would check that ALL cable connections, from frame ground to loads, were clean, tight and electrically sound to ensure that the batteries were, indeed, being fully charged.
 
Just a thought, but I would disconnect the solar panels while I was troubleshooting. If they are wired incorrectly they can discharge a battery rather quickly and if there internal diode is shot they might be drawing power out at night.  I would think with that kind of power draw you would be able to smell something overheating.
 
An update of what I have done to so far.  I put the clamp-on meter on the battery cable, removed one fuse at a time and didn't note any change in the amp usage after removing and reinstalling the fuse.  Did disconnect the solar panels and connected to shore power over night to charge the batteries fully.  I disconnected the shore power and checked each bank and they each showed 100% charge.  Later in the day with the Perko switch on bank 1 and nothing on, the battery control meter showed 80%, about 5 hours.  Later it was down to 70% on bank 1.  Bank 2 is still showing at 100%.

Chuck

 
Well, I hate admit it, but pilot error sometimes gets in the way.  Guess I could blame it on eye sight or age.

Like, check everything first before anything else.

Can you believe I had the switch for the side view mirror heaters in the on position.  With amp on it was drawing about 5 amps.  Turn the switch off and no draw.  Duh!!!!!!!!!

Chuck
 
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