When I plugged in I have ac power (tv ac) but the power panel is showing that the battery is low on juice. I have them on a charger right now, but I will pick up a meter after work. So let me understand this, when the rv is plugged in, it is charging the house batteries. what i'm trying to understand is does the ac power go to the converter and then to the batteries and then to the dc powered equipment? thanks for all the help so far
Exactly, but as tenbear said, you may have the battery disconnect turned off.
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Not all RVs have a converter. Some inverters are actually inverter/chargers. They function as a house battery charger when A/C power is available (either shore or generator power) and function as inverters when A/C power is not available.
I would suspect that if your battery disconnect switch was in the off position you would have no DC lights. Sounds like your house batteries are not being charged by the converter or inverter/charger. Whichever you rig has.
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Your "Converter", if you have one, has a built-in house battery charging circuit that is not charging your house battery, or house battery is shot. If it is connected securely to your house battery, and there is no fuse, circuit breaker or other thing interrupting continuity to the battery, you should read over 13 volts at house battery terminals when rig is plugged into "shore" power.
Set your meter to 20 volt DC range and touch red prob to positive battery terminal and black probe to negative to read voltage. It is good to remove battery cable connectors and clean away any corrosion on connectors and terminals then tighten securely for a good electrical connection. Check electrolyte levels in batteries and add distilled water to fully cover the plates. You need a rubber bulb type battery filler. A battery terminal cleaner/brush makes cleaning connectors and terminals easy. (I gotta go clean my own terminals) BTW, I have had a "Battery Minder" smart charger connected to my starting battery for over a week hoping to rejuvenate it with the BM's de-sulphating feature. My starting battery is original Ford 2004 vintage, may need to replace it and my two 6 volt series-connected Trojan house batteries for reliable performance. It "behooves" all RV owners to understand the terminology and "what does what" with the 12 voltDC and 110 volt AC circuits and devices in their own RV's. Batteries require routine maintenance and stock charging systems and batteries are just adequate for short term camping without "shore" power. Low voltage/poor connections from house batteries to the furnace, fridge water pump, and other devices may cause them not to work when needed.
* This post was
edited 04/04/12 10:46am by Bordercollie *
PS: I finally took the cover off the house battery compartment to clean the terminals and check the electrolyte levels. Most of the nuts holding the connector cables were invisible under mounds of white acidic powder. I used a wire brush to remove the powder from the nuts and vacuumed it up with an old Dirt Devil mini vacuum. I used my Dremel moto tool with sanding drum to clean corrosion off of the ring terminals, etc., and used fresh washers under all nuts. I used four large drinking cups of distilled water to get electrolyte levels back above the plates. Such wanton neglect is inexcusable. I had been lulled into thinking that the converter's charger did not cause electrolyte levels to drop much over time but house battery electrolyte levels should be checked and connections cleaned much more often. I checked battery voltage with converter charging and it read 13.4 volts. We'll see if the two 8 year old T-105's are healthy or need to be replaced during our "shake-down" camping trip during Easter vacation. This will be our first camping trip since 2006
So the batteries will charge when I'm driving, but do not charge when the Rv is plugged in.
Apparently that is what is happening. For some reason your converter is not putting out enough voltage. I would think the converter is bad. I would disconnect the battery and see if the lights look normal, or measure the voltage, should be well over 12v.
BTW, inverter/chargers are usually found in big DPs, not in class Cs.
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I just had the same symptoms as you experienced. My converter had no output. It was within the two year warranty and they replaced it free of charge. Then the batteries would not hold a charge. I had them tested and they were both bad due to being drained so low. I replaced the batteries and all is good now. Yes the engine will charge the house batteries. I can hear a click (relay) after the engine is running for a few seconds and everything lights up bright (when the batteries were bad). Now with the new batteries, everything stays bright.
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