A Poser for you.. Help...

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by old-mo, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Dont know where to start but here goes..

    Went out and refueled yesterday got home locked up did not conect the electric,, (Solar seems to keep all battery`s topped up) ..

    Went out this morning and the auto step did not come out,, looked at the solar panel read out and all the lights were showing red,, switched on an interior light and hardly a glow,,

    gathered the batterys were flat,, thought I would start genny,, "No nothing" started the main engine and lights all came on,, step came out and solar started to show a charge..

    Stopped engine and back to the first sinario,, "Nothing"..

    Plugged mains in and everything ok,, solar charging,, plenty of lights,, solar showing (permanent green) which I belive is fully charged batterys.

    The only thing I did notice,, I had left the reversing camera switched on and it is a big clunky black n white one,, (but a superb camera with long range and wide angle) would this being left on flatten two (2) leisure batterys?

    But saying that why when plugged into mains does the battery indicator go from red flat and no charge to showing fully charged??? :Sad:

    I have checked the battery terminals and they are tight and clean,, and on my batterys there is a little round window and on the top of the battery it says if these are green the battery`s are ok.. :cry:

    The only time this has happened before is when I inadvertently left all the "Belly Locker lights on".. which consisted of approx eight (8) fairly large bulbs for approx 16 hours.. :Doh:

    Hope I have explained this ok, and would appreciate any help.. :thumb:

    I am a bit thick when it comes to electrics,, :Wink: And any thing else really..

    Thanks.
     
  2. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Our first RVs reversing camera, a Kress & Bohl (if memory serves) would flatten the battery quickly even if it wasn't switched on! I did have to wire it to the leasure battery because the engine battery/alternator (32 year old 'van) couldn't sustain a picture on tickover with stop and reverse light running. I also had to put an isolator in to fully switch off as as said it flattened the battery even when of so, that would be my, err, confirmation, it's down to leaving the unit on.

    As to all looking good with engine on/EHU connected either generally will stick approx 14volts accross the battery so everything works OK and you solar charger will think the batteries are fully charged as it sees the approx 14 volt. Our Winne does it, EHU gives us 13.8 steady and green light on solar widget.

    Give 'em a good charge, I guessing you've got 2+ batteries so give it a good 24hrs would be my suggestion, and then unhook and see how you go. Ideally monitor witha multi meter, you should see a steady drop down to around 12.6 volts and then stay steady at that unless there is a load on, like the reversing camera?
     
  3. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Give 'em a good charge, I guessing you've got 2+ batteries so give it a good 24hrs would be my suggestion, and then unhook and see how you go. (quote)


    Thanks for that "Dodgey",, yes I have got two leisure battery`s,,

    I unplugged the mains and put every light on in the RV for half hour or so after 4-5 hours on mains and all seem pretty bright.. Am I correct in thinking your suggestion about charging would be done with the onboard charger and plugged into the mains,, I presume it has one !!! Or would I have to put my trickle charger on??

    hooked up to the mains the solar meter thingy is showing 13.7 volts and the solar 2.4.. It is not very sunny,, pretty cloudy.. at the moment and when I looked at the read out..

    Thanks.
     
  4. do1977

    do1977 Read Only Funster

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    on my old rv when i got it the camra was not fitted propely and flatened the battery
    i stopped this by conecting it to the egnition live and that sorted it out
     
  5. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Cheers,, mine comes on when reverse is selected or I can switch it on manualy..

    Unfortunately I had switched it on manualy but just forgot to turn off when parking up.. :Doh:
    I have done what dodgey suggested and left it on mains and the battery is showing full on lights on solar panel read-out,, :thumb:

    Thanks.
     
  6. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Am I correct in thinking your suggestion about charging would be done with the onboard charger and plugged into the mains,, I presume it has one !!! Or would I have to put my trickle charger on??

    hooked up to the mains the solar meter thingy is showing 13.7



    If converted correctly the on EHU it should charge and, I know ours does and she shows 13.8 (close enough to your 13.7) when on hookup and stays stable at that, ie, I would guess yes you are charging on EHU and sounds like you've got it sorted:thumb:

    It does sound like your camera is accross the leasure batteries and as said above reconnecting to an ignition feed of the engine battery (do1977) would be better, but make sure it is ignition controlled or else flat engine battery.

    As I said earlier I had to connect accross leasure in the old Dodge to keep the supply steady enough for the camera to function but fitted with an in line switch so it was totally isolated (OFF) when not in use.
     
  7. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Thanks for that "Dodgey",, I think the old saying,, "Once bitten twice shy" will work now and that will be the second thing I will turn off after the engine.. when used.. :thumb:

    Every thing seems ok this morning.. Just a bit gob smacked that a reversing camera can pull two batterys down in such a short time,, but as I said it is a big old lump, in comparison , similar to the old TV`s with a big lump at the back and todays ultra thin things.
    Thanks again.
     
  8. bashers

    bashers Read Only Funster

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    personally i doubt that that camera could pull enough current to flatten a decent pair of batteries in 12 hours.
    Assuming you have 80-110 batteries in parallel, thats at least 160 amps.
    If you used 80% of that your talking 130 amps so your reckoning on your camera pulling over 10 amps or 120watts.

    I'd reckon that your batteries are shot or not charging to full capacity.

    I found this out when my laptop charger flattened my bus batteries.
    Thats 60watts (5 amps) for four hours.
    My house bateries were only supplying 20 odd amp hours instead of 320!

    More investigation is needed....here's a very simple way of getting a very rough estimate of your capacity.
    Once fully charged, see how long the batteries last running a pair of interior lights and you can calculate how many amp/hours you have left in your batteries.

    Time how many hours it takes till your gauge says "low".
    A pair of 25 watt bulbs draw around 5 amps so multiply the hours by 5 and you have your available amp/hours. Use two or three lights if you want a quicker test but not too many as it will skew the effect.
    DO NOT let the voltage get too low though in your test or you'll do even more damage

    If your batteries are good this might take tens of hours so you will need more lights, but if they are shot it could be that you could flatten the batteries in just a few hours.

    Also, those onboard power supply for RVs, according to Progressive Dynamics who make them, take upto 80 hours to charge a pair of house batteries as they only hold 13.6 not 14.4 volts which is the correct voltage to charge most batteries
     
  9. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    I had to replace a couple of domestic batteries on my last RV. One showed black and the other green in the little window. My hydrometer showed a dead cell in each.
     
  10. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Hi Larry,, think I might put a couple of new ones on,, it did not seem long enough for the red flat battery light and then the amber half charged then the green fully charged to come on,, :Sad:

    I am a bit thick on electrics but I am pretty sure it would not have charged them up fully overnite even with a goodcharger,,

    , We will be on EHU the few months we are away so will it do any damage to anything if we left the old ones on ? What thinks you??

    Thanks
    Maurice.
     
  11. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    If the voltage is only ever getting to 13.8V with the mains charger on then it is likely that it is a converter to supply your 12V load when on hookup rather than a three-stage charger. It will stop a fully charged battery from going flat but not do a great job of actually charging the battery up in any reasonable time.

    The solar will top it up, but if the panels are small and the weather bad, that may take a long time.

    If your solar system is working OK, I'm surprised it would not keep up with a reversing camera load even if it was actually running.
     
  12. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Hi Tony,, it was left on from about 3pm till 9am, ish the next morning,, during the afternoon it was dull and then approx 10 hours of dark..

    I dont particularly want to buy new batterys if I can get away with it..

    Thanks.
     
  13. bashers

    bashers Read Only Funster

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    IF you have an intelli power 12 v converter, (note the use of converter rather than charger) it will not charge a battert effectively as Tony-Lee rightly says.

    You can buy a charge wizard for a few pounds from the states that plugs into its management port and will give it a little brain so that it will become a decent three stage charger.
    It can bulk chanrge the batteries at 14.4V for a while then drops to 13.6 volts
    It will also lower the float charge from 13.6 to 13.2 if you do not use it for a while which may help the batteries last through the winter and apply occasional desulfation voltage

    It costs me just over 20 pounds including shipping!!
     

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