Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-12-2018, 02:45 PM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 131
Default Help needed: Cabin battery not charging on shore power

Hi All,

1996 Roadtrek 190 issue:

I thought I had a bad battery until I bought a new one and the same thing was happening. When parked overnight on shore power, I would wake to find my battery wasn't charged.

I put a voltmeter on the battery and it read 12.3. I plugged the RV into shore power and it still read 12.3. I start the engine and it bumps up to 13.5 or so.

It seems as though the battery is not charging while on shore power.

Does anyone have any thoughts on something simple it might be?

-Pete
__________________

VTPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 03:48 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
eric1514's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ID AZ
Posts: 624
Default

Have you checked the breaker the converter is on? The one in the van and the one on the shore power cord?
__________________

__________________
"Il Travato Rosso"
2015 Travato 59g
eric1514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 07:53 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 131
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post
Have you checked the breaker the converter is on? The one in the van and the one on the shore power cord?
Yes, it was the first thing I checked. Sorry, I should have mentioned that.

Update: It started charging again. Then later it stopped. "What?!?! What am I doing?"

Here's what I think is going on: On my road-trek, there is a battery disconnect switch and an LED indicating its status. I think that it disconnects the battery. (Go ahead, laughing is ok.)

What's confusing is that the light indicating the battery is connected comes on when I connect to 110v *regardless of whether the battery is actually connected or not*.

What I believe this means is that in order to charge my battery, it is not sufficient to simply plug into 110v. I also have to flip the switch to "connect" the battery and begin charging. To make things more confusing, when the switch is off and I hit "test", the LEDs show the charging light lit... but I don't think it is unless the battery is connected. I think it's simply responding to a higher voltage in the system, like 14v.

Something new is now happening... a fan just came on from the area on the floor where the power system is! I hoping that means that the system is actually working to charge the battery now?

-Pete
VTPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 07:54 PM   #4
BBQ
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: East
Posts: 2,484
Default

.

What is the name of your charger?
model #?

Is it one of the combo units?

Do you know if it is a single stage charger? or multi-stage?

Do you have a pix?
__________________
BBQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 08:17 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 131
Default

Well, it seems to be what I would consider a combo unit since the 110 and 12 volt systems are managed by one black box.

I took some photos.
It's the MagneTek Series 6300 A model 6332.

It really feels like there's a big honkin' relay connected to the battery (Sorry, neglected to take a photo of this.) It has a nice ~kerchunk~ noise when you use the cabin battery disconnect switch. I believe it is completely removing the battery from all the circuits regardless of the charger status, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
.

What is the name of your charger?
model #?

Is it one of the combo units?

Do you know if it is a single stage charger? or multi-stage?

Do you have a pix?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_6440.jpg (156.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6441.jpg (278.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6442.jpg (219.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6444.jpg (259.5 KB, 12 views)
VTPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 09:14 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
jmai's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 126
Default

On my 2001 Roadtrek Popular 190 (Dodge chassis) the manual states that I have to turn on the battery switch before I plug into shore power in order for the batteries to charge.
__________________
Joe
jmai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 09:52 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 131
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmai View Post
On my 2001 Roadtrek Popular 190 (Dodge chassis) the manual states that I have to turn on the battery switch before I plug into shore power in order for the batteries to charge.
Thanks! The 1996 manual is definitely confusing as it says things like the battery will charge while plugged into shore power and while driving. It later talks about the battery disconnect switch.

If I think of the battery disconnect switch as simply disconnecting my battery, I can wrap my head around it. However, I don't think it's that simple as I have a suspicion the battery charges from the van's alternator while driving down the road regardless of position.

I'm considering making my own panel connected to an arduino that monitors the battery voltage constantly and updates LEDs with true states for charging and battery level. Would be simple to do!

-Pete
VTPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 10:06 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
jmai's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 126
Default

My batteries will charge by alternator (obviously while driving), generator, with my solar panel and shore power (but I have to turn on the battery switch before plugging into the 110V outlet).
__________________
Joe
jmai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 10:12 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
jmai's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTPete View Post

Something new is now happening... a fan just came on from the area on the floor where the power system is! I hoping that means that the system is actually working to charge the battery now?

-Pete
The fan could be for your furnace. Check the heat thermostat to see if it is on and what temperature it is set at.
__________________
Joe
jmai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 10:26 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 131
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmai View Post
The fan could be for your furnace. Check the heat thermostat to see if it is on and what temperature it is set at.
Nope, the furnace is on the other side. This is coming straight from the base of the charging unit (and power distribution.) There are vents on the bottom. -Pete
VTPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 10:27 PM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 131
Default

Joe, do you have to turn on the battery switch for those other sources to charge the battery? And, if you did NOT turn on the battery switch and plugged into the 110V outlet, could you turn on the battery switch afterward and get charging?
-Pete


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmai View Post
My batteries will charge by alternator (obviously while driving), generator, with my solar panel and shore power (but I have to turn on the battery switch before plugging into the 110V outlet).
VTPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 10:44 PM   #12
Platinum Member
 
jmai's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 126
Default

I only have to turn on the battery switch before I connect to shore power. As far as I know, the other three charging sources are automatic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTPete View Post
And, if you did NOT turn on the battery switch and plugged into the 110V outlet, could you turn on the battery switch afterward and get charging?
-Pete
I'm not sure whether it will charge or not. I don't have an obvious way to check it.

My solar panel, 215watt, really keeps things charged up when I'm parked at home. I also have two batteries, AMG 150amp/hr. When I boondock, which is not that frequent, the lowest I have seen my battery go down is 95%. I have full LED lighting in my coach and really don't consume much energy when we camp.
__________________
Joe
jmai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2018, 03:05 AM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: CA
Posts: 1,612
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTPete View Post
I have a suspicion the battery charges from the van's alternator while driving down the road regardless of position.
Your suspicion is correct. However, shore side charging does require the switch to be on.
cruising7388 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2018, 06:10 PM   #14
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 1
Default

I suggest you check to see if the charger is getting power.
The batteries in my 2011 RT Simplicity also stopped charging while plugged into shore power. Upon investigation I discovered that the charger is plugged into a conventional 120 V outlet inside the RV using a standard three prong plug. The plug had fallen out of the outlet, most likely due to vibrations from driving. I gave the two flat prongs a slight twist to create a bit more friction . I plugged it in again and have not had a recurrence since.
Karl Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2018, 02:25 AM   #15
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 253
Default

Take a look at the instruction label from the factory right next to the control panel on my Roadtrek. The battery connect switch must be on prior to plugging in to shore power. AND, the connect switch (at least on yours and mine) makes that loud "kerplunk" and that is normal. Both of my Roadtreks (1996 RT 190 and 2007 RT 210) had the "kerplunk" and instruction label.



Paul
Doneworking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 03:07 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 131
Default

Paul, thanks! Mine doesn't have such a sticker, but I think I'm going to make one up!
I've also started creating a little battery monitor that will tell me what is happening at the terminals.

I've also started to leave the "porch light" on the side of my Roadtrek on at all times now. It's a great way of knowing if I accidentally left the battery on.
VTPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 03:21 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 253
Default

Someone probably removed the sticker earlier in the life of your RT.
Doneworking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 03:28 PM   #18
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 8,108
Default

Our 07 C190P Roadtrek had the sticker, but it was wrong. At least on the 190s, when they went to separators instead of isolators, they moved the shore charger to the battery side of the 12v relay, from the load side of the relay. With it on the battery side, the switch does not have to be on to charge from shore power. I think all the newer stuff, post 2007/2008? time frame are like ours, but with Roadtrek you never know.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 04:04 PM   #19
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 131
Default

I think it's now clear to me that I have to connect the cabin battery with the switch before I plug into shore power in order to charge the battery. What is unclear is what happens if I first plug into shore power and then flip the switch.

I'll do that test soon and report back... understanding things changed later than my '96. It's just a bit of a hassle to unscrew the cover to the battery box to measure the readings at the battery terminals. The next time I open the box, I'll be connecting my own (fused) voltmeter testing unit. The one I bought also has a little buzzer where you can set your high and low voltage warning values.

Won't be done until Friday though...
-Pete
VTPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 04:37 PM   #20
Bud
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: LA
Posts: 932
Default

"I think it's now clear to me that I have to connect the cabin battery with the switch before I plug into shore power in order to charge the battery."

Yes.

"What is unclear is what happens if I first plug into shore power and then flip the switch."

You simply won't charge, but the battery will power stuff as usual.

Bud
__________________

Bud is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×