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Charging issues?

Darklock
Explorer
Explorer
Let me start by saying, it may be a while before I actually go out and look at the issue. Depends on current weather.
I use my TT a couple times each year. I always plug it up to the house for a day to get the fridge cool before any trip. Last few trips I noticed that once I unplugged, the 12 volt stuff did not work. Connect to truck and they do. After a short drive everything seems to work as it should, and continues to do so for the entire trip. These trips were anywhere from one to four weeks in duration.
What do I need to look at? Like I said , it may be a while before I can actually work on it, so follow up questions could be a ways off.
32 REPLIES 32

vjswhippet
Explorer
Explorer
I might note that it's a Coachmen Leprechaun 260 DS
Vickie Smith
Kansas City area
2020 Coachmen Leprechaun 260DS

vjswhippet
Explorer
Explorer
this has been a great thread and help to me. My batteries don't seem to hold a charge but I just bought it from a dealer that used it as a rental. It could have been sitting with no trickle charge for quite a while and I assume since it's a 2020, IF it came out in 2019, they could have used it 2 years and it sit thru last winter with no trickle charge. I've had them charged 100%, flip the kill switch, and 3 days later check them and they are at 75%.
Vickie Smith
Kansas City area
2020 Coachmen Leprechaun 260DS

wopachop
Explorer
Explorer
Land Yachters wrote:
Not wishing to highjack this thread, but I have related question and thought it would be better to put in this thread instead of starting new one.
Thanks
If you need to buy a multi meter to read the voltage i extra highly recommend buying a "clamp meter." It allows you to clamp the device around a wire and read how many amps are going through it. I use that feature often it really comes in handy.

For your situation you would turn everything off in the trailer like normal. Then go to your batteries and find the main positive wire. Clamp the meter around it and see how many amps are being used.

Sounds like your RV was still powering things. Ive seen people talk about Propane detectors staying on.

Darklock
Explorer
Explorer
Is this where the grumpy old man yells "get off my thread"? Just kidding of course. Sounds like the same issues.

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
Land Yachters wrote:
Not wishing to highjack this thread, but I have related question and thought it would be better to put in this thread instead of starting new one. Stored my Tiffin for 30 days in Georgia and was very careful to make sure both chassis and house batteries were shut off. Inverter off. Was unable to get any electricity for charging due to storage facility. Coach started right up, but NOTHING worked off house batteries. (4 6v, golf cart batteries). Not even dome light would light. Had to use emergency "jump" from chassis side to get generator going and charge house. Drove straight to campground. Have not checked battery charge since plugged in. 2 questions;

What the hell killed my house batteries? Any idea what could bleed them to death in 30 days?
Will they have useful life for a little while? They are original in coach and probably 2 yrs- 3yrs. old.

Thanks
Healthy battery should be fine for 30-90 days if truly disconnected and fully charged. Unfortunately it will be up to you to discover if the "disconnect" switch actually disconnects everything, verifying the state of charge before and after, and how they perform after the fact.

As a very minimum we would need some actual voltage readings...

Nothing wrong with starting a new thread no matter how trivial. Copy-paste your post into a new thread is fine.

Land_Yachters
Explorer
Explorer
Not wishing to highjack this thread, but I have related question and thought it would be better to put in this thread instead of starting new one. Stored my Tiffin for 30 days in Georgia and was very careful to make sure both chassis and house batteries were shut off. Inverter off. Was unable to get any electricity for charging due to storage facility. Coach started right up, but NOTHING worked off house batteries. (4 6v, golf cart batteries). Not even dome light would light. Had to use emergency "jump" from chassis side to get generator going and charge house. Drove straight to campground. Have not checked battery charge since plugged in. 2 questions;

What the hell killed my house batteries? Any idea what could bleed them to death in 30 days?
Will they have useful life for a little while? They are original in coach and probably 2 yrs- 3yrs. old.

Thanks
Land Yachters
Griff, Ali and Coco
Philadelphia, PA
2018 Tiffin 33AA
2018 Grand Cherokee

opnspaces
Navigator
Navigator
Darklock wrote:
This may be a dumb question, but when on shore power do the lights still work off battery or the 120? I assume battery or inverter.


Mostly depends on the age of the RV. But most likely you do not need a battery in order to power the lights when on shore power. It's an easy test though.With Shore power disconnected, disconnect the negative battery cable and the lights should go out.

Now plug in the shore power with the battery still disconnected and see if the lights come back on.
.
2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton **** 2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH **** 1986 Coleman Columbia Popup

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
Darklock wrote:
This may be a dumb question, but when on shore power do the lights still work off battery or the 120? I assume battery or inverter.


RV interior lights are 12V not 120V, they work directly from the battery (IE no 12V to 120V inverter involved).

So, in theory, your interior lights are supposed to work directly from the battery when the RV is not attached to any shore or generator power through the shore cord provided you have a charged 12V battery attached.

When shore power is plugged in, the "converter" (which is a fancy name for battery charger) steps down the 120V AC to approx 12V DC (this in reality is approx 13.6V-14.4V depending on charging stage the converter is at).

With most RV electrical systems you have your 120V and 12V distribution center (120V breakers and 12V uses fuses) and at the bottom of the distrubution center (hidden from view) is the "converter" section.

Converter output goes to the 12V fuse panel, there will be a fuse for the converter..

The fuse panel will have a wire that goes to the battery and within 18" of the battery there will be a little silver box with two "studs", one side the converter wire is attached and the other will go to the battery.

That silver box is a circuit breaker to protect the wiring from an accidental short..

Those breakers are out in the weather and do go bad.

In case of accidental reverse polarity connection of the battery, there may be additional fuse at the converter that will blow..

enblethen
Nomad
Nomad
LED are polarity dependent.
Your battery could be connected with polarity reversed. Could have blown reverse polarity fuses.

Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow


2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker

Darklock
Explorer
Explorer
This may be a dumb question, but when on shore power do the lights still work off battery or the 120? I assume battery or inverter.

wopachop
Explorer
Explorer
Darklock wrote:
Battery has been disconnected since then.
I just went out and checked voltage on battery. Reading on volt meter was 12.3. I reconnected the battery and tried the house lights(LEDs). They would not light. When I pushed the power button for the fridge , its indicator did light up.
Does the water pump turn on? Sounds like the fridge is getting 12v.

Its so weird your lights are not working, yet work on shore power. My best guess is a loose connection. I think when i remove my control panel where the fuses and breakers are, a saw some of the small metal circuit breakers like you found under the trailer. Maybe you have some hiding behind the control panel and causing the issue. If your lighting fuse is good, then the problem must be wiring related between the battery and the buss bar. But it wont be the feed coming from the converter, since the lights work while plugged in.

Testing the voltage at the fuses like decribed above is a fantastic idea.

opnspaces
Navigator
Navigator
Yes the 13+ volts is a surface charge from the charger. A fully charged battery should be around 12.7v. Put it on the trickle charge for a day or so. Then disconnect it from the charger and let it sit overnight not connected to anything. Check the voltage in the morning it should be 12.6v or higher. If it's any lower I would replace it when the next camping season comes around.

Here's something else if you really want to dive into it.

Once you have a battery that is holding a fairly steady charge (ie 12.6 or 12.7v overnight, then take a voltage measurement on the battery terminals.
Write this number down and label it Battery Voltage.
Now check the terminals at the circuit breaker, thy should both equal battery voltage.

In the RV you will notice that the fuses have two little windows in them right next to the amperage rating. These windows are the opposite ends of the blades on the fuse. Poke the positive probe of your meter into one of the windows and find a good ground for the negative probe.


You should get battery voltage on each side of the fuses. If you read battery voltage on one window and 0 volts on the other window then the fuse is blown.
.
2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton **** 2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH **** 1986 Coleman Columbia Popup

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
3.5 years is fairly common for a combo Marine/RV battery.
With better care you will get a little more time although much better performance.

enblethen
Nomad
Nomad
It does not have to be sitting on the ball. Ground should be through the trailer connector.
Battery will drop to true battery voltage not charge voltage in short period of time, like 30-45 minutes.
Coat connections with an electrical grease before connecting. De-ox electrical grease will help connections stay clean and rust free.

Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow


2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker