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Old 04-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #1
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Charging problem

I've got a 2008 Safari SE with a 115 Watt solar charging system. We left yesterday after picking up from storage and battery charge was 70. We figured that with a 250 mile tow, it would charge back to 100, as usual. It was checked twice during stops and max was 85. We got to our location and plugged in, battery back down to 65. We were plugged in all night, got above 90. All day again in full sun and plugged in, battery monitor would fluctuate from 65 to 85.

During our previous trips and while in storage plugged in, the battery monitor would get to 100% in a couple of hours. We never ran it down below 75%.

This time we've run the AC due to 85 deg in full sun.

What could be our problem?

I checked breakers and none were tripped. Fuses look OK but haven't pulled any.

Please give me giudance.


BTW, not the AC is dripping inside, blew out the drain hose but still dripping. Could be the pan is clogged flowing to the drain.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:23 PM   #2
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How old are your batteries?
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:50 AM   #3
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If you are plugged into shore power your solar power monitor should be reading 100%...it only shows a lesser percentage when you are not plugged into shore power or a generator. I'd check your converter. We have friends who have a 2007 23' and their original factory converter failed...they realized this when their solar monitor showed less than 100% when plugged into shore power. In essence their converter was not properly charging the batteries — that meant they were relying entirely on solar with no additional charge coming through the shore connection. If that's it and you are still under warranty it would be covered. If it fails it's a good opportunity to upgrade your converter...that's our plan when/if ours fails...
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
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Thanks all,

6Pack, My batteries I assume are factrory. I'll check for a date.

TBRich, I'm running my AC so just on batteries, can the AC still be working?

This morning the monitor is showing 80%.

Yes, as usual, when plugged in the monitor use to show 100%. But plugged in and mnitor is still fluctuating between 65 and 90, still never 100.

I will have the inverter checked or is there somethng I can do now? I have some elec check knowledge, but don't have an Ammeter with me.

The warranty went out the week before I purchased it.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:22 PM   #5
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...>snip<...

TBRich, I'm running my AC so just on batteries, can the AC still be working?

This morning the monitor is showing 80%.

Yes, as usual, when plugged in the monitor use to show 100%. But plugged in and mnitor is still fluctuating between 65 and 90, still never 100.

I will have the inverter checked ...>snip<...
If you are running your AC you must be plugged into shore power...you can't run AC on your battery power... The shore power (or generator) provides the electricity to run the AC... You can have 120 service in the rig but still have an issue with your converter not be charing your batteries properly...something has to be going on there... Hope this helps...
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:28 PM   #6
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Hi, Your problem is...When you think your running your AC...You are not....You are running only the fan. That is bring down the battery. Motors are big users of Electricity. The AC only works off shore power.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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Hi, Your problem is...When you think your running your AC...You are not....You are running only the fan. That is bring down the battery. Motors are big users of Electricity. The AC only works off shore power.
Neither the A/C compressor nor the fan in the A/C will work from battery power as they are BOTH powered by 120VAC. The only way to get 120VAC to the A/C unit is to have a powerful battery bank and large inverter or be connected to a generator or shore power.

There are several diesel motor homes that actually will run the front roof A/C from the batteries thru one of the inverters (there are usually 2 X 3000 watt inverters on these babies) while traveling, but the large battery bank (think at least 880 amp/hours or 8 golf cart batteries) is constantly being re-charged by the 300-400 amp alternator powered by a 500+ horsepower diesel engine.

Obviously, this is NOT stuff for Airstream trailer use!
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBRich View Post
If you are plugged into shore power your solar power monitor should be reading 100%...it only shows a lesser percentage when you are not plugged into shore power or a generator. I'd check your converter. We have friends who have a 2007 23' and their original factory converter failed...they realized this when their solar monitor showed less than 100% when plugged into shore power. In essence their converter was not properly charging the batteries that meant they were relying entirely on solar with no additional charge coming through the shore connection. If that's it and you are still under warranty it would be covered. If it fails it's a good opportunity to upgrade your converter...that's our plan when/if ours fails...
Well said, TB... and thanks for mentioning our similar problem that turned out to be a failing OEM converter, which I documented on my thread "Batteries at 45% even though connected to shore power".

And I like your positive spin by pointing out that it presents an opportunity to upgrade the converter [to a 3-stage one].
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:44 AM   #9
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Yes the AC compressor is definitely on, We could hang meat in here if we wanted.

I pulled the fuse yesterday and it was good. I also found the battery terminals were slightly loose and tightened them up. Looks like that could be part of the problem. Solar battery monitor now showing 100 and battery volt at 13.4.

I also checked BestConverter.com and they do not have the Xantrex XADC 60 offered any more. They offer Iota or Progressive Dynamics. I still think I need to watch the converter and make the upgrade. If these new ones offer 3 stage.

Thanks all!
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