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Old 12-21-2014, 08:45 PM   #1
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How long to charge?

Brought home a new International 28 friday night and left it in driveway disconnected from shore power but with battery switch in "Use" position (clicked up last). Lights, furnace, fridge and everything were turned off.

In morning, battery was so dead that interior lights would not come on. Surprised me actually. Guessed that dealer must have given it to me with very little charge on battery. Not sure what would have discharged it over night. But regardless, saturday morning I plugged into shore power.

Tonight, Sunday (so 35 hours later) I went to check state of charge. Battery V indicates 13.4V (but while on shore power). But when I unplug it it says only 12.2V. Batteries should have more charge than that. There has been nothing on to consume any power.

So how long should it take to charge batteries to 100%? Over one night should be plenty. Feels like something is wrong.
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:26 PM   #2
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You are not reading the battery voltage when plugged in to shore power. You are reading the output of the converter.
The batteries are either not charging or they are shot. 12.2 volts is a DEAD battery.
Not sure if you have a multi stage converter in your coach.
Have you checked the water level in the battery(s)?
Do you have a CO detector in the coach? It draws power all of the time. There are probably a number of things drawing power when you are in the "use" mode. While the draw will be minimal. It is constant. Anything with a 12 volt control board will draw some power. Refer, furnace, water heater etc.
Under normal conditions, this should not be a problem in an overnight situation.
If after 24 hours of being plugged in. The batteries are still at 12.2 volts.
I would first check the water level. If it is OK I would pull the batteries put them on a charger for a day then have them load tested at an auto parts store. If they pass the test.
Then I would look for the reason they are not charging.
Have you checked all of the fuses?
The converter must have power since the lights work when on shore power.


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Old 12-21-2014, 10:14 PM   #3
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> You are not reading the battery voltage when plugged in to shore power. > You are reading the output of the converter.

Yes. I was trying to show that when the converter is on, a higher V is presented to the batteries. But they don't seem to take the charge. I'll check the water in the morning. Would be disappointed if that's it.

Thanks for the other ideas. Will check.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:02 PM   #4
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It does sound like your batteries, even though it is a new rig, are shot.

I think this is a dealer issue to be resolved and repaired under warrantee. Sorry that you have the problem and will need to take it back right away
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:14 PM   #5
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A 2015 could actually have sat on the dealer's lot for several months - and unfortunately they are not generally plugged in at a dealer's lot. Someone locks one up over a long weekend with a few lights left on inside, or someone turns on the refrigerator to test it... no propane, and it tries to light until someone else notices it and turns the switch back to off. The batteries sit discharged for a month or two and get completely ruined.

After the local shop does the load test - if they say the batteries are goners - just call the dealer. They MIGHT pay for your replacement batteries without you having to go back to the dealer. Hope it isn't too big of a haul if the dealer wants you to come in.

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Old 12-21-2014, 11:49 PM   #6
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Put your batteries through a normal charge cycle, and then see if they hold up under load. If they've been damaged on the dealers lot from either overcharging or multiple total discharges, I'm sure the dealer will step up to the plate.

In my opinion, a dealer selling a brand new trailer with faulty batteries will come to you with the replacement batteries and install them for you ASAP, if you're within a reasonable distance. To do otherwise would risk their reputation, and a set of batteries aren't worth that.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:13 AM   #7
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You may have to remove them and use a tickle charger, charge overnight and load test,(most auto stores will do it).

Our batteries were shot when we got our Classic home, 24/7 on shore power while on the lot burned them out. Seems as though not much has changed.

The first up-grade quite a few new owners do is to replace the Parallax converter with a more modern 3 or 4 stage unit to prevent overcharging.

POI....I had to go to an Interstate dealer for warranty replacements.
I try to re-charge at 12.2v- 60% and don't go below 12v.








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Old 12-22-2014, 07:47 AM   #8
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Make sure that your battery switch was NOT set to Store when you tried to charge the batteries. You indicated that you had set it to USE the first time, but not clear the second time. If you did have it set to USE, then try trickle charging the batteries directly using a trickle charger (disconnect from the coach while you do this) and see if the batteries will take a charge (you could have a bad charger.) If that does not work, you likely have bad batteries which as indicated previously is not all that uncommon on new coaches (sadly.) In that case, it should be a warranty issue.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:06 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the information. Here's the latest, and some clarifications.

AnnArborBob: Saturday morning I read up all about the Battery Disconnect switch as it's behavior was making no sense. (I'm an electrical engineer, digital logic designer). Learned that when Shore Power is disconnected the light next to the wording "Battery Disconnect" will be On when the battery is Connected, and off when battery is Disconnected. My first thought was that's just backwards - the light should be labeled "Battery Connect".

But then, even more confusing, when I plugged in Shore Power, the light was always on. Read up on the forum and learned that the light is always on when connected to Shore power so you can't tell if it is in Use or Store mode by looking at it, nor by feeling the position of the switch. (That's quite a lame design, honestly) So I was very careful to toggle it into “Use” position, listen for the click, and left it there so that battery would be charging. I read that when it’s in Store position the battery won’t charge on Shore power, so trust that’s the case.

I clicked it in the “Use” position and left on Shore power since saturday morning - 48 hours ago.

This morning, with shore power still connected, the stock battery indicator said 13.7 V, then I unplugged from shore power. The battery V started off at 12.8V. Then as I was pushing the button it changed to 12.7V. I turned on a few [LED] lights, nothing else, that’s very little load. Over about 2-3 minutes with repeated checks the V went 12.7 -> 12.6 -> 12.5 -> 12.4 V. Then I turned off all the lights and checked batteries to make sure all the cells were covered with liquid - check, okay. Went back inside, hit the battery check and it now read 12.3V.

I’m fairly convinced I just bought a new coach with bad batteries.

The dealer is about 1 hr away. Will call them this morning and see what they recommend. I really don’t want to drive back, but anything I do will take an hour, so that’s likely the easiest..
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:21 AM   #10
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Depending upon how your discussions with the dealer/interstate go, you might want to consider upgrading to AGMs at this point.

Group 24 AGMs should have the same footprint as the flooded lead acid batteries, and will fit in your battery box perfectly.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:34 AM   #11
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The dealer said to bring it back for more thorough testing. Now reading 12.1V btw..

My plan has been to get AGMs when the stock batteries need replacement, but I wasn't planning to fork out $600 or whatever it is right now.. If I was just paying the difference then sure would consider. Kind of silly to have to remove some battery cables to check the fluid level in the batteries, so will look forward to sealed batteries at some point.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
^
X2


You may have to remove them and use a tickle charger, charge overnight and load test,(most auto stores will do it).

Our batteries were shot when we got our Classic home, 24/7 on shore power while on the lot burned them out. Seems as though not much has changed.

The first up-grade quite a few new owners do is to replace the Parallax converter with a more modern 3 or 4 stage unit to prevent overcharging.

POI....I had to go to an Interstate dealer for warranty replacements.
I try to re-charge at 12.2v- 60% and don't go below 12v.








Bob

Handy table! The only comments I would add - read it someplace else some time ago somewhere - is that supposedly you should take the measurement only after the battery has "rested" about three hours since last charging. Obviously there should be no load connected as well.

As well, the article I read said that the measured voltage would vary from the table figures depending upon temperature, although it didn't give any info as to how you would factor that in - perhaps it is not all that significant.

Brian.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:45 AM   #13
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I don't understand why dealers just don't disconnect the negative lead of the batteries when the trailer arrives from the factory. I'm assuming all these trailers are towed by a contract service. By the time they get to the dealership they should be fully charged.

I don't believe Interstate would honor a warranty if they knew the batteries were abused. Is the dealer eating the cost?

But if the batteries were fully charged when delivered to the dealer, left connected, and slowly died off and then recharged when the customer picked their AS up and now they have failed it doesn't speak highly to the quality of the battery.

The LP Leak detector is always on even when in the Store position but its supposed to draw little. Also the subwoofer draws power even if the radio is off with Store/Use On. It will be off on Store/Use Off.

Yes the Store/Use switch is a goofy design but I suspect AS as well as other RV manufacturers can only use what vendors supply for the industry.

Notice how most RV manufacturers are now equipping RVs with High Point MW? They used to be Sharp and Panasonic and other name brands.

Good luck getting your issue sorted out. Maybe you can take the batteries out yourself and drive to the dealer without the trailer and exchange them.

Kelvin
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:26 AM   #14
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Sure sounds like your dealer owes you a set of batteries. If flooded batteries are left in a discharged state for more than a few days, they are toast.

If anyone is curious about how that happens, it's part of the physical process that goes on in the charge-discharge cycle. Then electrolyte contains sulfuric acid, and when the battery is fully charged, all the sulfur is fully dissolved in the electrolyte - that's what raises the specific gravity of the electrolyte, as measured with a hydrometer. As the battery is discharged, a layer of lead sulfate forms on the plates in the battery. It's kind of like felt, and it's porous, and as the battery is recharged, the lead sulfate is driven back into solution in the electrolyte.

If the battery is left in a discharged state, the lead sulfate "felt" will, pretty rapidly, start to harden into something like an eggshell. Once that has happened, charging current won't drive the "eggshell" back into solution, and the battery won't accept a charge. It's a non-reversible process. If you try to raise the amperage to the battery, the result will be overheating that will warp the plates and cause them to touch each other.

When I owned a marine electric business, we did some testing and found that standard flooded batteries will not recover if left in a discharged state for less than a week.
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