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 > How many volts....

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CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 10/07/19 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

freewayrandy wrote:

Thanks for the replys and to 'set the stage' for the issue here, he went to the rig for something and when he closed the door the step would not retract all the way back in. Then he heard a clicking from near the steps, apparently from not enough voltage to retract them all the way. I went over and told him we need to check the batteries. The coach batteries, 2 6 volters, 1 was way low on water in all 3 cells the other was way low as well. We topped them off with distilled water then plugged it in to shore power. I checked the terminals with a multimeter and had only about 6.5 volts between the two. I thought there would have been at least 12 volts. Another issue here? Perhaps the batts. are toast?
Perhaps. If the water was below the plates their capacity is compromised.

Immediately charge the batteries using a auto charger of whatever and if somewhat OK they will reach the above posted voltage.

Then have the batteries load tested so he knows their condition and resolve the charging issue.


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Posted: 10/07/19 08:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BTW 6.5V is considered a dead battery and some chargers will not charge the battery when it's that low which is why I said do whatever it takes to get them charged.

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Posted: 10/07/19 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

Do the steps on a Class A operate from the house or engine battery?
Good question and implies that both banks should be load checked considering the history is unknown.

Some MHs do not charge the chassis battery from shore/gen power. I installed a trickle charger on the chassis batteries on my prior rig because they were not charged from shore/gen power.

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Posted: 10/07/19 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BTW Have your neighbor buy a $5 digital voltmeter from HF and show him how to check the battery voltages. Or about $20 elsewhere.

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Posted: 10/07/19 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

May as well post the brand and model of the trickle charger.
And as long as you are poking around with a meter... get the voltage right at the charger output.

Print a copy of this for each of you:
The 12 Volt Side of Life


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freewayrandy

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Posted: 10/07/19 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If we were to get the gen fired up, that should charge the batts. too, right?


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freewayrandy

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Posted: 10/07/19 09:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

May as well post the brand and model of the trickle charger.
And as long as you are poking around with a meter... get the voltage right at the charger output.

Print a copy of this for each of you:
The 12 Volt Side of Life


12 volt side of life.....great article, Thanks.

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Posted: 10/07/19 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

freewayrandy wrote:

I checked the terminals with a multimeter and had only about 6.5 volts between the two. I thought there would have been at least 12 volts. Another issue here? Perhaps the batts. are toast?


Yes very likely that new batteries are needed.
As a battery discharges, the voltage goes down.
Wait.....was that voltage measured with the shore power plugged IN ??

If so, then the batteries are beyond toast and might overheat and/or burn out the charger if left connected for a long time.

If the reading after 12 hours is still not above 12 volts, unplug and start shopping for new batteries.
And while you are helping him out, find the battery disconnect switch too.


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Posted: 10/07/19 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

freewayrandy wrote:

If we were to get the gen fired up, that should charge the batts. too, right?


No different than plugging into shore power.
The source of 120 VAC does not matter.

time2roll

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Posted: 10/07/19 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

freewayrandy wrote:

If we were to get the gen fired up, that should charge the batts. too, right?
The generator will power the charging system. So yes if all is working as designed, running the generator will charge the house battery and maybe even the chassis battery.

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