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Old 03-05-2016, 07:44 PM   #1
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Proper Battery Voltage/Monitoring

The house batteries were depleted this morning. i had to run engine battery for 15 min to charge. I also ran the Gen for 1/2 hr to charge.. What is the proper reading I should get from Panel., when I press Main and aux?? I just check 5 hrs later, getting a reading around 11.4ish. How will I know if house batteries are bad?? Any tips on how to monitor the batteries would be appreciated.
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:54 PM   #2
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It is hard to say what the right voltage is until the batteries are fully charged - bulk, absorb, then float modes. This is best done on shore power. Then wait a few hours for the batteries to stabilize, with everything tuned off. Should be about 12.8 V. I don't know what is not turned off on a 2015. On my 2013 the manual disconnect turns nearly everything off. Others report some things still having power.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:02 PM   #3
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Even though your panel may have indicated 12.8 or so it likely wasn't fully charged by running your engine for 15 minutes and your generator for 30 min.
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Old 03-05-2016, 11:27 PM   #4
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The house batteries were depleted this morning. i had to run engine battery for 15 min to charge. I also ran the Gen for 1/2 hr to charge.. What is the proper reading I should get from Panel., when I press Main and aux?? I just check 5 hrs later, getting a reading around 11.4ish. How will I know if house batteries are bad?? Any tips on how to monitor the batteries would be appreciated.

At 11.4V your batteries are dead. What do you have on when they read 11.4v? You need to get plugged in at least for a full day to get those batteries back to fully charged.

How often have the batteries been run this low. Your batteries may be damaged. You have a new coach that is still under warranty. Might need to get those batteries checked by the dealer.


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Old 03-06-2016, 02:16 AM   #5
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At 11.4V your batteries are dead. What do you have on when they read 11.4v? You need to get plugged in at least for a full day to get those batteries back to fully charged.

How often have the batteries been run this low. Your batteries may be damaged. You have a new coach that is still under warranty. Might need to get those batteries checked by the dealer.
Some of your electronics might be damaged by the low voltage as well. Some items shut themselves off if the voltage drops too low, but others might not have that low-voltage cutoff. Solar charge controller is one item that does shut off if the battery voltage drops too low— leading to the catch-22 that if your batteries drop too low, you have to charge your batteries before the solar panel can charge your batteries!

I don't recall exactly what the cutoff point is for the solar charge controller, but when it happened to me for the first time (back when I was a new owner) that's when I learned that the charge controller is powered by the batteries that are being charged, and not powered by the solar panel itself.

By the way, if your batteries were that dead, how did you even start your generator? The generator starts from the house batteries, so if they're zombified like that, not enough power to the electric starter. Whatever trick you used, share it with the class in case it happens to us!
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:24 AM   #6
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Two ways to start the generator with dead house batteries:
1) Start the engine and let the alternator charge the house batteries through the BIM - to the level that they are no longer dead.
2) On mine there is a push button on lower dash (above the accelerator pedal) that temporarily connects house and engine batteries. I think this works in both directions - to let engine battery start the generator or to let house batteries start the engine.

What electronics do you think might have been harmed? TV and microwave would not work because they need the invertor - which I think would not work at that low voltage. Presumably the radio is protected because dead chassis batteries should be expected on occasion, and protected against. (Wishful thinking?)
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:59 PM   #7
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Titus - I think you are correct. Just starting the engine with dead (11.4V) house batteries should cause the BIM to connect so that the alternator voltage at about 14V will be on the house batteries and available to start the generator.

If needed yes you could also push and hold the battery boost button, but in this scenario it should not be necessary.

I don't think the radio would be damaged. Most stuff has a cutoff at about 10V. but if the batteries are at only 11.4V with no significant load on them then they are pretty dead.
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:20 PM   #8
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Started the chassis battery for 20 min, which charged the house batteries.., to start gen.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:51 PM   #9
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With dead batteries all equipment should be protected by self-disabling so I don't think any of electrical components may be damaged.

Rickbetty, change house batteries, and forget for several years. You will replace them anyway very soon, even if you will fully charge them now with an external charger. Mike is right, 11.4 is too low and it is damaged the cells.
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