RVAmerica.com Forums
 
RVAmerica ForumsRVAmerica ForumsBulletin BoardBulletin BoardGeneralGeneralRookie mistake!Rookie mistake!
Previous Previous
 
Next Next
New Post
 4/7/2013 7:55 PM
 
 Modified By RVA  on 4/7/2013 10:46:17 PM

Not long ago Mike Desch had us scratching our heads over a battery that seemed to check out OK, but wouldn't start the engine. That problem was eventually traced to a bad battery cable. Because it's time for my bi-annual smog test I decided I'd better make sure everything was in working order, including the batteries.

Even though we hadn't used the MH in almost a year I keep it connected to shore power with the coach and engine batteries shunted, so they're all kept fully charged (plus, it's my man cave!). To my surprise, after disconnecting from shore power and removing the shunt the engine battery (2 years old) wouldn't turn the engine over. If I pushed the Auxiliary Battery (emergency start) switch, which connects all the batteries together, the engine started normally. Suspecting a bad battery, I checked the voltage and it registered a normal fully charged 12.75 volts. Remembering Mike's problem, I then used an ohmmeter to check the continunity of the cables from battery post to their termination points, but everything checked out normal (continuity and low resistance).

Prior to removing the battery, which is a dirty job, I decided it would be a good time to top off the water on the coach batteries. The water level was surprisingly low, so I then decided to check the engine battery and 4 of the 6 cells were so low that I couldn't detect any liquid. Filling the cells and letting the engine charge the battery for a few minutes solved the problem. The lesson learned, aside from the need to regularly check the cells, is that just because a battery has plenty of voltage doesn't mean it can produce sufficient amps to turn an engine, and water is a lot cheaper than a replacement. RVing is a learning experience. Good luck. - Dave

New Post
 4/8/2013 10:08 PM
 

Yup. And we never seem to worry anbout the water levels until we are about to depart on a trip that we know will involve some dry camping.

Most converters in RVs are not "smart" and they often continue to charge the battereis even when it isn't really needed.

When I first bought our 2006 Itasca, I went thorugh three converters in three years. They would just die suddenly (usually during our annual Quartzsite get-togethers)

After the third failure, we purchased a smater converter that actually had a three-stage chargin algorithm built into it. Since then, we have not had a failure and have not had to replace the house batteries.

Thanks for sharing, Dave.

.


Cheers and happy travels, Mike www.backroadtravelers.com
Previous Previous
 
Next Next
RVAmerica ForumsRVAmerica ForumsBulletin BoardBulletin BoardGeneralGeneralRookie mistake!Rookie mistake!

Horizon Block
Progressive Insurance