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Old 11-22-2017, 09:39 PM   #1
masterdrago
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Battery Voltage Issue on New 3791

We did our first shakedown camp not far from the house this last week. We had an interesting experience doing the level up due to the pad being heavily tilted towards the lake. I ended up pulling out and backing onto a couple of 2x8 to raise the wheels so the "grounding jacks" operation could sense near level during the first step. It would not do it without being closer to level at beginning of the process.

The other bigger issue was that the battery never showed more than 12.3 volts unless hooked to the running truck. I was somehow under the impression that when hooked to land-line that the battery got charged somehow. I'm good with most things electrical but the new to me rv electric stuff is just weird - inverter, converter, 12vdc for this, 120vac for that just rocks my understanding. No wiring diagram supplied anywhere I could find. Do these things charge the battery?
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:52 PM   #2
h2ojocky
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When you are hooked up to shore power your batteries should be charging. If you have a battery cut off switch make sure it is on. One way to check and see if the batteries are charging is to use a multi meter and check the voltage at batteries without being hooked up to shore power. Then after hooking up to shore power check the voltage at the batteries. The reading should be higher when on shore power.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:04 PM   #3
masterdrago
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That's the issue. The battery voltage is the same (12.3) with and without shore power. I see two switches. One near the battery like
http://www.bepmarine.com/en/701 which goes to inverter
and one in the wet compartment with some sort of key. Not sure about it??
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:16 PM   #4
carl n susan
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The switch in the convenience center disconnects much of the 12V power which includes the wiring from the converter to the batteries. If you can remove the key, it is disconnected and stopping the flow of 12V.

If the switch is on, then you need to check the output of the converter. It should be producing 13.4 volts or so. Did someone work with the battery and hook it up backwards? If yes, the converter has fuses to prevent it from being fried. You should check them to ensure they are still working. A voltmeter at the converter will answer these questions.
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:47 AM   #5
Phil P
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Hi

All of the above are good recommendations. However 13.4 is a low figure for a charging battery but acceptable. 14 V is borderline too high.

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Old 11-23-2017, 06:34 AM   #6
masterdrago
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Originally Posted by carl n susan View Post
The switch in the convenience center disconnects much of the 12V power which includes the wiring from the converter to the batteries. If you can remove the key, it is disconnected and stopping the flow of 12V.
<snip>
I suppose it must be disconnected since the "key" has been hanging on a tether since we did the PDI on Oct. 31. She mentioned what it was for but nothing else. Funny thing is, everything 12 volt seems to work - at least when connected to truck or shore power. I'll get out the meter sometime this afternoon and poke around. Sure would be nice to have a wiring diagram of this mess.
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:23 AM   #7
Lenny K
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Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Hi

All of the above are good recommendations. However 13.4 is a low figure for a charging battery but acceptable. 14 V is borderline too high.

Phil P
Are you saying Phil that batteries should never be charged over 14 volts?
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:31 AM   #8
Lenny K
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Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
I'm good with most things electrical but the new to me rv electric stuff is just weird - inverter, converter, 12vdc for this, 120vac for that just rocks my understanding. No wiring diagram supplied anywhere I could find. Do these things charge the battery?
Here is a must read that has been around for a long time. It will answer a lot of your questions.

http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:07 AM   #9
carl n susan
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Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
<snip>.... Funny thing is, everything 12 volt seems to work - at least when connected to truck or shore power....
</snip>
12V items work on shore power because the converter is providing 12V for you. When connected to the truck it provides 12V to the system. With the key "out" there is no power to or from the the battery.

Insert the key, turn it "on" and life will be much better.
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lenny K View Post
Are you saying Phil that batteries should never be charged over 14 volts?

Hi

The minimum voltage for charging a 12V lead acid battery is 13.8 and the maximum voltage for charging a lead acid battery is 14.4. 14.5 volts you start boiling the acid and will eventually damage the battery.

So 14V is approaching the limit 13.4 is below the normal charge rate but because these batteries are commonly charged all the time the trailer is being used or towed 13.4 would probably get you by but would never get the battery to the fully charged voltage of 12.7V.

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Old 11-23-2017, 07:11 PM   #11
artfuldodger
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there is a system in the converter called the wizard. It controls the voltage put into the battery by the converter at various stages of operation. This is covered in the Montana user guide. One of those automatic settings notices little or no use for several days and trickle charges the batt. Another setting which comes on (when the trailer is in use) cranks the voltage up high for 3 hrs a day to desulphate the batt plates. Another setting is for regular charging. If you look closely at the front of the converter, you will see a green button. The frequency of its flash will tell you what setting it is in. Also, there is a small button beside it which allows you to move from one setting to another manually. Try pushing that and see if your voltage changes.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:30 PM   #12
Lenny K
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Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Hi

The minimum voltage for charging a 12V lead acid battery is 13.8 and the maximum voltage for charging a lead acid battery is 14.4. 14.5 volts you start boiling the acid and will eventually damage the battery.

So 14V is approaching the limit 13.4 is below the normal charge rate but because these batteries are commonly charged all the time the trailer is being used or towed 13.4 would probably get you by but would never get the battery to the fully charged voltage of 12.7V.

Phil P
If you look at Interstate and Trojan they recommend 14.8 volts and Crown recommends 15 volts for charging their flooded batteries. This prolongs the life of the battery by getting then fully charged.
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:32 AM   #13
Phil P
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Originally Posted by Lenny K View Post
If you look at Interstate and Trojan they recommend 14.8 volts and Crown recommends 15 volts for charging their flooded batteries. This prolongs the life of the battery by getting then fully charged.
The OP is referring to the battery that came with the unit. Charge that battery at 14.8 and you will be purchasing a new battery every 6 months. The batteries you refer to are deep cycle designed for use in mobile equipment like golf carts that frequently are operated at steep angles.

The converts commonly used by Keystone are the lowest price they can get. I would not rely on them to maintain my standard house battery.

The deep cycle golf cart batteries are different animal. Their plates donít go as far down as the standard batteries, space differently and use a heaver acid.

Progressive Dynamics converter is a very intelligent converter. I have installed that one I havenít had any problems. This one has the green blinking light. I installed ours so you can see the light thru the vents in the steps.

The Progressive Dynamics converter uses a float voltage between 13.4 and 13.5 this doesnít charge the battery this makes up for the natural current draw that happens across the top of the battery. The chemical reaction required to charge the battery doesnít start until 13.8V.

Progressive Dynamics converter will commonly not reach the float voltage for several days after the use of the trailer has stopped. When I first installed ours I thought it was not working correctly because it didnít seem to go to the float stage as soon as I thought it should.

My information comes from Progressive Dynamics, Power Stream, The Battery University and experience.

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Old 11-24-2017, 10:41 AM   #14
Lenny K
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You're right. I was thinking of deep cycle batteries. Since my primary source of power for the Montana is from solar I automatically think of batteries for that use.
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:41 PM   #15
masterdrago
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Okay. After looking at some of the notes here, this is what I know. The "key"was not in so assume disconnect was open. Got it in and it was not really clear which was the "key" was to point. I could point it vertically two ways (small flag up or down) and could not remove it. Had to turn a bit farther counterclockwise to remove. With the small flag up after several days, I made these observations - the little green lite was flashing on every 5 seconds, battery vdc was 13.25 (13.1 with small flag down - I now believe the small flag is the pointer). It now appears the battery in being charged by the charger inside the power center/converter.
And Lenny K, thanks for the link.
Pix too large to copy here. See links.

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Old 11-25-2017, 03:48 PM   #16
masterdrago
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Phil P, you mentioned not relying on the Keystone supplied converter to maintain the standard house battery. Would it be unwise to rely on it to maintain any battery (i.e. I changed them to a 12 volt pair of better quality deep cycle batteries in parallel? I have found on my boat the two batteries do not charge well when the switch has both connected - they are two different types (starting and deep cycle). If I changed the 5r batteries, both would be identical. Would that be best?
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:26 PM   #17
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My converter, installed by Montana, is the progressive dynamics converter with the intelligent Wizard technology and is doing a great job. My last rv(2008 Montana) also had a Pr. Dy. converter with the Wizard tech. and also did a good job. The rep at the Goshen rally said if it ever goes wrong, anywhere on our travels just call them and they will ship a new one by overnight delivery. They just want you to send the faulty unit back to them. Now that's service.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:08 PM   #18
Phil P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterdrago View Post
Phil P, you mentioned not relying on the Keystone supplied converter to maintain the standard house battery. Would it be unwise to rely on it to maintain any battery (i.e. I changed them to a 12 volt pair of better quality deep cycle batteries in parallel? I have found on my boat the two batteries do not charge well when the switch has both connected - they are two different types (starting and deep cycle). If I changed the 5r batteries, both would be identical. Would that be best?

Hi

The deep cycle battery is different than the standard automotive or marine battery. I have been using the AGM batteries for a lot of application that had the standard flooded battery including our Montana.

The deep cycle battery is of a different deign using a little different plate spacing and heaver acid. As Lenny K posted the manufacturer of those batteries recommend a higher charge voltage than the standard batteries.

I havenít used the 6V Trojan batteries in the 12V configuration only in the 36V configuration and always just relied on the golf cart battery charger. I havenít worked with any of the latter golf carts so I have no knowledge about the newer chargers the older ones used a timer to shut them of in a given number of hours.

I guess I should study up on the Trojans as our new fifth wheel will have the household refrigerator. I like the specs on the Trojan T-125 6v battery. 2 of those configured for 12V would give you 240 AH and for the weight and sizes I donít know of anything else that will deliver that kind of power. The charger would have to comply with the Trojan recommendations to give you that kind of service.

Phil P
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:45 PM   #19
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I have read the preeeding comments and see a lot of comments about the converter. i have had my 2007 3475 Montana for 9 years and full time in it. I have yet to see my converter. Where is it. i don't have any elect. problems but would like to know where it is.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Hi

The deep cycle battery is different than the standard automotive or marine battery. I have been using the AGM batteries for a lot of application that had the standard flooded battery including our Montana.

The deep cycle battery is of a different deign using a little different plate spacing and heaver acid. As Lenny K posted the manufacturer of those batteries recommend a higher charge voltage than the standard batteries.

I havenít used the 6V Trojan batteries in the 12V configuration only in the 36V configuration and always just relied on the golf cart battery charger. I havenít worked with any of the latter golf carts so I have no knowledge about the newer chargers the older ones used a timer to shut them of in a given number of hours.

I guess I should study up on the Trojans as our new fifth wheel will have the household refrigerator. I like the specs on the Trojan T-125 6v battery. 2 of those configured for 12V would give you 240 AH and for the weight and sizes I donít know of anything else that will deliver that kind of power. The charger would have to comply with the Trojan recommendations to give you that kind of service.

Phil P
Phil,
For what it's worth we have 4 T-105 6V batteries and they work great, I've only had to add water 3X in 2 years. I have gone 3-4 days without having issues. Maybe would've gone longer but we had to come home. ;-)

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