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Old 07-23-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
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Battery charging question

Okay, we bought '67 26' Overlander a couple of weeks ago now, and this whole thing is new to me. This is what I'm sure will be the first of many questions.

Are the batteries supposed to automatically charge when you're plugged into a home/campsite power source? Or do I need to manually charge them myself? There are two deep cycle marine batteries in the compartment that appear to be wired in series. If they're not self-charging (when the trailer is plugged into a power source), how do I charge them? Can they be charged in series by connecting a 24V charger to the proper posts to the first battery in the series?

Thanks! (now I'm off to continue watching the wife strip the clear coat off the Overlander)
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:36 PM   #2
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Your AS should be wired for 12 volts DC...you should have a converter/charger that will charge your batteries and run 12 volt stuff when you're plugged into AC 'shore' power...

Your two batteries would only be hooked in SERIES if they are 6 volt batteries - giving you then 12 volts...

If you have 12 volt batteries, they are hooked in PARALLEL to keep the DC system at 12 volts....

If the converter/charger is the original, it won't shut down the charger completely if you're plugged into AC for extended periods - and the batteries will be overcharged...

You might want to look into replacing the conv/chgr with a modern unit that has 3-stage battery charging to keep your batteries maintained properly...many of us check with Randy @ BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics for the proper unit to update your AS...

Ray
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for your help! So they're parallel then. Okay. It seems like they just aren't charging at all. In the meantime, if I want to charge them, I guess I'll just pull them out and do it manually.

I didn't see where the converter/charger was in the battery compartment. Would it be somewhere I'm not looking? I lifted up the bed area that covers up the batteries because it was so much easier than the side compartment.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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In order to know if you're charging at all you should take a volt meter to them. Take a reading before you plug in and another reading after. Not sure with your older univolt charger, but your charging voltage should be in the upper 13s/low 14s. Somebody correct me, if I'm wrong.

A fully charged battery should be 12.6v or higher (anything higher is usually a surface charge).
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenschen View Post
Thanks for your help! So they're parallel then. Okay. It seems like they just aren't charging at all. In the meantime, if I want to charge them, I guess I'll just pull them out and do it manually.

I didn't see where the converter/charger was in the battery compartment. Would it be somewhere I'm not looking? I lifted up the bed area that covers up the batteries because it was so much easier than the side compartment.
Look under the sink in the bathroom for the Univolt
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:47 PM   #6
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Awesome, thanks. I wouldn't have thought to look there. I took a picture of what I have. Seems to be getting power... ya know... I wonder... I have the AS hooked up to my home power, not through a special plug-in box or anything, but using an adapter with a regular extension cord. Could this be my problem? Its not getting enough power or something?
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:32 PM   #7
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What do you mean by an adapter? Dunno about your '67, but out '74 has a 30 amp plug, sorta looks like the AC plug on an electric clothes dryer.

It requires a 30 amp feed to make things on the trayla function as they should...
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:15 AM   #8
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Obviously the previous owner spent some bucks as you have a pretty current model charger with a Meter on it. And a 2 battery system was a modification for longer battery life away from shore power. There fore it would be strange that you wouldn't be getting a good charge or that things aren't working. Are both batteries identical and what is the date on them?
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:01 AM   #9
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"C-Chargers" are usually good, HD chargers...like mentioned above, use a multi-meter to see if the charger is working properly...

From your picture, it looks like the insulation is invading the charger's 'space' - those chargers need 'breathing' room where the hot air generated can escape for cooler air to enter the area...maybe you can move the insulation back and secure it in some way - also, are there slots or open areas for the air to circulate around the chargers cabinet?...just some thoughts...

Ray
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:04 AM   #10
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