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Old 11-04-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
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ShullsinUtah's Avatar
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Draper , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 82
Help with Battery/Converter/Solar "issue".

Hi everyone,

I thought maybe the collective could help me run down what's going on with out '06 Safari FB. She's new to us as we picked her up around the end of September.

We took the trailer out last weekend for a boon-docking trip and had a great time. It got pretty cold while we were out, and the first night the batteries had a hard time keeping the fan on the furnace going all night and in the AM I was reading about 10 volts or so. We have a 2000 watt portable generator and as soon as I fired it up, all was good.

So based on that, I thought the batteries might be suspect. So over the weekend, I pulled them out and took them to autozone (they were duralast's AZ house brand), and as suspected one of them was dead. We've been connected to 15 amp shore power all week, so that and with our solar panel on top, there was no reason it should have been discharged. So I replaced the batteries, no problem. I checked my solar controller/charger/volt meter after I was done and it indicated it was charging.

After I switched them out, I accidentally left the hall lights on in the camper. When I went to check on things last night before bed, I found my "mistake" and noticed that the volts on the sloar charger/volt meter were reading between 10-11 volts. Not good. Double checked my connection to shore power and figured I'd let them charge overnight. (In my haste, I didn't check to see if the "charging" light was on last night before I went in). The batter indicator level on the left side of the display was reading at the top of the green when plugged into 15A shore power.

This morning I get up and I'm still low on volts at the on board meter. So I pull out my real volt meter and check the new batteries up front. (yes, I isolated both batteries and checked them individually). Both were reading 13 volts. I would have liked to seen higher, but that was radically different than what I was seeing at the controller panel. I also noticed, that the controller was now reading "charging". It was starting to get light, but I wouldn't really have expected to getting much of the solar panels at that point. I got this display when I was both connected and disconnected from shore power.

So if you were in my shoes, what would be your next step? My best guess at this point is I have a bad controller and it's not charging my batteries when connected to shore power. That or my solar controller isn't giving me a proper volt reading. But being so new to the game, I'm not really sure. I'm open to ideas/suggestions.

Thanks in advance.


FWIW, here's a pic of the solar controller/monitor (not my photo from the ad where we bought our AS).

Edit: Yes, I checked the two fuses on the controller. Both were good to go.


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Old 11-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #2
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2003 28' Safari S/O
Atlanta Burbs , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Sometimes it is the simple things like poor connections at the batteries that catch you.

You mentioned you checked the batteries individually, but did you check voltage level at the battery end of the wires with your meter? The posts are new, but the interior collars may need to be cleaned to ensure a solid connection.

You can disconnect the 12v wires at the converter, power up and check output of the unit. If you have appropriate output and solid connections at the batteries, then the hunt begins.

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Old 11-04-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Draper , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 82
Thanks SeeMore.

My better 1/2 called and she said the display is reading between 12.9V-13.4V right now, with no load. Something is charging something....
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