Question about battery charge levels and monitoring

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I have 2 older house batteries.  After running the engine and generator for hours, I get a reading of 3/4 charge.  We recently got a new battery for starting the engine and generator.  At brand new it shows 3/4 charge.  After the engine runs it still shows 3/4 charge.  Why doesn't it show full charge?
 

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I'm reading it from the control panel inside that tells the levels of battery charge, lp gas, fresh water, gray water, black water.  When you turn on the key the dash shows the battery has plenty of charge, and the engine and generator will crank with no problem.  I'm just wondering why that panel doesn't show beyond 3/4 charge.  It will show the lp, water, and waste levels as full when they are.  We've had this mh for less than a month, so I'm still learning about it. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You are talking about two different batteries when you mention the dash gauge and the gauge in the house tanks/battery display. The dash display shows the engine (chassis) battery state and the other display is for the "house' batteries which provide house lighting and auxiliary power.

Both, however, should take a full charge.  The house system gauge shows battery level when the RV is not plugged into shore power or the genset running. Otherwise it shows the output of the converter/charger, which is continually charging the batteries and provide power to run things.  If your rig has not been plugged in for a few days, the house batteries are probably partially discharged and the gauge may be reflecting that.
 

Ned

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Are you sure that the house batteries are getting charged from the engine or generator?  Have you tried charging them from shore power?  Check the batteries with a hydrometer as the monitor gauge may be faulty.

As Gary says, the engine and generator are started from a different battery that's not monitored on the panel.
 

cuts_up

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Thank you!  I was thinking that (on the monitor) Battery 1 was the engine battery, and Battery 2 was the set of 2 house batteries.  That clarifies things.  I have haven't tried charging on shore power yet, but I know the batteries are old and we are expecting to have to replace them in the not so distant future. 

Yes, I'm sure the house batteries are getting charged from the generator, because I left some lights on for a few days  :-[ and the house batteries were so low it took several minutes for the steps to come down when I opened the door.  In fact, I had to climb in.  I checked the battery levels and before I got the generator started the steps went down since I had left the door open.  I ran the generator for a while and got recharged.  Now I'm more careful about making sure everything is turned off.


 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It's usual for the steps to run off the chassis battery rather than the house batteries, though some coaches are not wired that way. It's up to the coach manufacturer.

The generator does not charge separate from shore power - it merely substitutes generator output for the source the shore power plug conects to. In either case, 120VAC is providing the source and chagring is done by the coach's converter/charger.

I don't recall you mentioning the year/make model or RV you have - that information might let us be a bit more specific about how things work. Each coach is somewhat different...
 

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We have a '93 Southwind.  I am beginning to think all is well.  When I read water levels it reads empty, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, full.  I think it must only have 3 battery levels:  low, fair, good.  I was thinking it should say FULL for the batteries also.  I suppose I should pull out the manual.  :-\
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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We have some older Southwind and the very similar Pace Arrow owners here, so one of them should be able to help. The Gauge system should be pretty much indentical in all Fleetwood models of that era.
 
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