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Old 06-10-2024, 02:59 PM   #1
Rockstar48
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Battery, Converter, Inverter Question

We have a 2018 Montana High Country HM 375FL parked permanently at a lake RV park - always on shore power. Just experienced a battery issue - with one of the two batteries overheating / boiling. Old batteries were about 7 years old - regularly maintained for water levels. Found the issue, and ordered two new batteries (were out of stock) which came in after two days without battery back up service. No issue ó with no power outage experienced. Inverter reading before and after were 13.3V - which I assume that is the reading from the converter output / and charging circuit. (Please correct me if Iím wrong).

Installed the new batteries, engaged the battery shut off switch and then heard a fan running behind the wall in the compartment next to the conveniences center. Iím assuming this is the converter fan? If so, why would it run. - as we were leaving for home and had turned off all 12v circuits. Any thoughts from those out there that are more familiar with the electrical circuits?

Also - we normally leave the inverter on during the season - then turn off along with the AC plug circuit to remove power from the residential fridge over the winter and keep it from drawing on batteries. Correct in doing that?
 
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Old 06-10-2024, 04:33 PM   #2
Carl n Susan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockstar48 View Post
We have a 2018 Montana High Country HM 375FL parked permanently at a lake RV park - always on shore power. Just experienced a battery issue - with one of the two batteries overheating / boiling. Old batteries were about 7 years old - regularly maintained for water levels. Found the issue, and ordered two new batteries (were out of stock) which came in after two days without battery back up service. No issue ó with no power outage experienced. Inverter reading before and after were 13.3V - which I assume that is the reading from the converter output / and charging circuit. (Please correct me if Iím wrong).
I believe you are correct. The 13.3 is converter output charge level.

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Installed the new batteries, engaged the battery shut off switch and then heard a fan running behind the wall in the compartment next to the conveniences center. Iím assuming this is the converter fan? If so, why would it run. - as we were leaving for home and had turned off all 12v circuits. Any thoughts from those out there that are more familiar with the electrical circuits?
What does "engaged the battery shut off switch" mean??
If you can remove the Red Key, then the batteries are disconnected (sorta). It sounds like the Red Key was in the non-removable position (batteries are connected to the 12V system) and the converter was trying to charge them to full voltage. That, along with the usual 12V draw, is enough to cause the cooling fans to turn on.


Quote:
Also - we normally leave the inverter on during the season - then turn off along with the AC plug circuit to remove power from the residential fridge over the winter and keep it from drawing on batteries. Correct in doing that?
This are all good steps but be sure to disconnect the negative battery cable! There are parasitic 12V draws even when the Red Key disconnect is the removed position (batteries disconnected). Those parasitic draws can deplete a fully charged battery in a week or two.
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Old 06-10-2024, 04:55 PM   #3
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Thank you..

Thank you!

I meant to say that I switched the battery cut off (in battery compartment) to the off position, removed old batteries, reinstalled new ones, then switched the battery cut off to on.

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Originally Posted by Carl n Susan View Post
I believe you are correct. The 13.3 is converter output charge level.

What does "engaged the battery shut off switch" mean??
If you can remove the Red Key, then the batteries are disconnected (sorta). It sounds like the Red Key was in the non-removable position (batteries are connected to the 12V system) and the converter was trying to charge them to full voltage. That, along with the usual 12V draw, is enough to cause the cooling fans to turn on.


This are all good steps but be sure to disconnect the negative battery cable! There are parasitic 12V draws even when the Red Key disconnect is the removed position (batteries disconnected). Those parasitic draws can deplete a fully charged battery in a week or two.
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Old 06-10-2024, 05:50 PM   #4
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The ON and OFF labels on the switch are a huge source of confusion. Hence we usually ask if the Red Key can be removed. That indicates the batteries are disconnected if it comes out.
As I recall, the ON position of the switch means the disconnect is in effect and the batteries are disconnected. The OFF position means the the disconnect is NOT in effect and the batteries are connected to the 12V system.
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Old 06-10-2024, 06:24 PM   #5
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Got it.. do you know the difference between the cut off key switch in the convenience center, and the battery cut off switch in the battery compartment? Not sure I understand why there are two switches..
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Old 06-10-2024, 07:43 PM   #6
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Got it.. do you know the difference between the cut off key switch in the convenience center, and the battery cut off switch in the battery compartment? Not sure I understand why there are two switches..
One is the battery and the other is the inverter.
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Old 06-11-2024, 03:40 AM   #7
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One is the battery and the other is the inverter.
Thank you. I normally turn the inverter off at the unit itself, but due to the way it is mounted, need a small mirror on a long handle to see the indicator. This is good to know. Thx again.
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Old 06-11-2024, 08:50 AM   #8
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Dourself a favor and install a battery disconnect switch at the battery. This will kill *ALL* the 12V power to anything including the inverter. Then you don't have to perform any gymnastics to reach that other cutoff switch.
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Old 06-11-2024, 08:58 AM   #9
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We have a switch at the battery compartment itself (along with the key switch in the convenience center). Do you know if the battery kill switch (not key switch) would affect the connection to the converter for battery charging?
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Old 06-11-2024, 12:43 PM   #10
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The switch on the back wall of the battery compartment is for 12V to the inverter. Turning it off only kills 12V power to the inverter. It does not affect the converter and its charging circuit to the batteries. The Red Switch in the convenience center *DOES* affect the converter charger of the battery.

Where you wrote " Do you know if the battery kill switch (not key switch)" I assumed it meant the switch on the back wall of the battery compartment.

I still recommend installing a new battery disconnect switch at the battery. This will disconnect *ALL* 12V draws including the inverter and the parasitic ones (Level Up, Propane detector, etc.). Plus you don't need to touch the disconnect for the inverter.
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Old 06-11-2024, 03:27 PM   #11
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Thank you again for all your help. You’ve cleared things up for me… if you have any suggestions for the battery disconnect switch let me know! Appreciate your help.
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Old 06-11-2024, 06:05 PM   #12
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There are lots of battery disconnect switches out there. Here is the one I bought a few years ago.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 06-11-2024, 06:42 PM   #13
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Thank you…. Appreciate your comments and help..!
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Old 06-13-2024, 01:32 PM   #14
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Many RVers do it, but if using shore power there is no reason to leave the inverter on.
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Old 06-13-2024, 01:37 PM   #15
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Many RVers do it, but if using shore power there is no reason to leave the inverter on.
The inverter must be on in order to pass shore power to the inverted outlets. Inverter has a built in transfer switch.
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Old 06-13-2024, 01:40 PM   #16
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Many RVers do it, but if using shore power there is no reason to leave the inverter on.
Thanks for your reply. If the inverter is turned off, and we are away from the trailer, how would the fridge get power if we lose the 120V shore power? In other words, would the inverter cut back on to run off the batteries - if we are not there to turn the inverter on?
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Old 06-13-2024, 01:42 PM   #17
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Thanks for your reply. If the inverter is turned off, and we are away from the trailer, how would the fridge get power if we lose the 120V shore power? In other words, would the inverter cut back on to run off the batteries - if we are not there to turn the inverter on?
See my post above. Inverter must be on for the inverted outlet to have power whether it's shore or inverted.
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Old 06-13-2024, 02:11 PM   #18
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See my post above. Inverter must be on for the inverted outlet to have power whether it's shore or inverted.
Thank you. That is what I was thinking. Our 5th wheel is located at a Marina / RV park on a lake. We typically leave the inverter on all the time - whether we are there or not doing the season - to ensure the fridge would maintain power - either from 120V shore, or via batteries in the event of a short power outage. Then… during the winter when we close down, we shut down the inverter and the circuit breaker that runs the inverted outlets - which then shuts the fridge down for the winter season too. That seems to work ok for our use - as other electronics on the inverted outlets re not necessary for winter season. I’m finally learning about this stuff - little by little. Appreciate all the help.
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Old 06-13-2024, 02:31 PM   #19
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The inverter must be on in order to pass shore power to the inverted outlets. Inverter has a built in transfer switch.
That's not true on my coach. My inverter is always off unless we're on the road. When turned on it powers the inverted circuits.
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Old 06-13-2024, 03:20 PM   #20
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That's not true on my coach. My inverter is always off unless we're on the road. When turned on it powers the inverted circuits.
I leave mine on in case there is a power outage, but like yours, my inverter does not need to be on for the inverted circuits to work.
I think Tony may be correct IF the inverter has a built in transfer switch. Mine does not.
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