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Old 09-20-2016, 07:19 PM   #1
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House Battery Issue

I have a AI 2011 and now on an extended cross country trip. My house batteries not staying charged and have noticed a clicking sound in rear curbside rear corner and assume this is related to my issue. Has anyone had a similar problem?


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Old 09-20-2016, 07:49 PM   #2
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Do you have a way to measure DC voltage? If you are plugged into shore power, you can measure the DC voltage right on the DC fuse board Pos and Neg lugs. Should be 13.8 volts if you have a Parallax and you likely do. If you have that voltage, you know the converter is working and your problem is elsewhere. Also, you should be getting charge from your alternator if you are connected to tow vehicle and the engine is running.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Overlander View Post
Do you have a way to measure DC voltage? If you are plugged into shore power, you can measure the DC voltage right on the DC fuse board Pos and Neg lugs. Should be 13.8 volts if you have a Parallax and you likely do. If you have that voltage, you know the converter is working and your problem is elsewhere. Also, you should be getting charge from your alternator if you are connected to tow vehicle and the engine is running.
Randy,

The Interstate vans do not use a converter. Steve's 2012 has a TrippLite inverter/charger, which is a better burner in it's own right!!!!!! Another piece of garbage brought to you by Airstream! They have intelligently replaced them with the Magnum MMS-1012 units.

Back to the problem.

I have a AI 2011 and now on an extended cross country trip. My house batteries not staying charged and have noticed a clicking sound in rear curbside rear corner and assume this is related to my issue. Has anyone had a similar problem?

It is entirely possible that the TrippLite has fried the batteries, which IIRC are mounted vertically in a metal box under the lounge on the passenger side. Randy's suggestion of using a volt meter to ascertain the battery voltage is a good one, as you really can't rely on the on-board voltage readings.

Do you have 120VAC in the coach when on shore power or generator? If not your inverter/charger might not be getting the 120VAC into it's charging section to charge the batteries. What type are they and how old?

That clicking sound might be your Battery Isolation Solenoid trying to connect the 2 battery banks if your house batteries are low and you are running the engine. Very difficult to determine where the sound is actually coming from.

You might need to remove the rear section of the electrical area (6 screws) to see the exact location.

Your lack of charge might be inverter/charger related. Only way to test this is with shore power/generator connected and use a DC volt meter to see if the batteries are getting any charge.

Check it out and report back.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:38 PM   #4
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Thanks Lew! I didn't catch that, just saw year.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:20 AM   #5
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Thanks all for these suggestions. I'm going to live with it until back home in NC.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:43 AM   #6
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I have had a similar clicking sound where you describe (twice) and each time it was the solar panel charge controller in failure mode. Each time replacing it solved the problem until the next failure. I won't replace it again after reading the thread about the solar panel voltage tricking the system into not allowing the chassis elec system to connect to the house batteries through the battery separator.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:03 PM   #7
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Let me tell you what I think based on my own experiences.....

For a while I was running around with a couple of ruined Lifeline 24T's, the original 12V batteries from new. When I plugged into shore power they showed 100%, when I unplugged they show 80% and discharged from there.

Now, I've noticed that the solar charger, the original Atkins in my case, starts charging when the power drops to between 80-85% - and it comes on with a click. But with my bad batteries "with nothing up top" it thinks it can get to 100% in very little time, and it clicks off again. So in my opinion this is the reason for the frequent clicking from the solar charger.

Now, with grateful thanks to Lew, I have 2 new 6V Lifelines, and I very rarely hear the clicking from the solar controller since it takes a long time for them to get anywhere near the 80-85% threshold for the solar charger to come on.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:52 PM   #8
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The clicking is the solar controller disconnecting the panels from the batteries every four minutes to see if their voltage is below the batteries (i.e. battery pushing current into it rather than the other way around). Its frequency does not signify anything.
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
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I had a similar problem. The clicking was the solar controller panel. We switched that out and had no more clicking. The batteries however, were shot and I purchased the Interstate brand AGM batteries. I had debated between the lifeline brand and Interstate. We settled on the Interstates as there are stores everywhere and they came with a 4 year replacement warranty. Cost $500 but batteries and crank power have been amazing since.
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Old 10-07-2016, 02:11 PM   #10
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I'm still convinced the solar controller clicking is compounded by bad batteries - see my previous update in this thread.


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