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Old 03-28-2024, 06:56 PM   #1
Falcon
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Batteries only charge from shore power

I've noticed my house batteries don't charge from the truck or from the generator. My single solar panel will charge it because I see the volt meter going up with the sun, but it can't keep up. They will last about 4 or 5 days on solar only. It also stays fully charged when on shore power. Are they supposed to charge from the truck while traveling? I have a 30A recep on the gen and use a 50A adapter on the line. Is it only providing power to one of the 50A legs?
 
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Old 03-28-2024, 08:03 PM   #2
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Sounds like 2 problems, the truck charging is a direct connection to the battery. Is the gen built in? It sounds like a transfer switch issue.
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Old 03-28-2024, 08:56 PM   #3
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Portable quiet gen, uses the shore power input. My buddy just told me to check the big fuses under the hood. He had a 50A burned out and wouldn't charge his rig battery either.
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Old 03-28-2024, 10:46 PM   #4
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The truck only provides about 7 amp of 12V charging. Not really enough to charge a depleted battery.

Have you checked that the Red Key battery disconnect in the convenience center is in the correct position? Be sure the red key can NOT be removed from the switch.
The 12V flow from the converter to the batteries is pretty straight forward. Here are the places to look for 12V. All connections should have 13.5 +/- Volts if the converter is working.

  • The converter is part of the power distribution panel -Ensure the CB for it is On
  • There are Reverse Polarity Fuses on the converter which protect against connecting a battery backwards. - Ensure they are not blown.
  • Check the output voltage at the converter. - it should be in the 13.5V DC range.
  • The power then runs to the Disconnect Switch in the Convenience Center. - Ensure the Red Key is in the position where it can *NOT* be removed. If removed, this interrupts the power charging the battery. The Disconnect Switch is not know to fail, but you can remove it to check there is power in and out of it just to be sure.
  • The power next flows to the group of 50 amp self-resetting CBs behind the battery. We all know about the one that hiccups and interrupts the hydraulic system. That one also passes power to/from the converter and batteries. You want to check it and it's brother (it is in the current flow to the battery) to ensure there is 13.5V on *EACH* side of the CB.
  • The last connection is the one from the 50 amp CBs to the batteries. Ensure you have clean connections and the cables are not corroded (watch out for internal corrosion under the shrink wrap).
Somewhere along this path there will be the problem. A simple VOM should find it. I hope this helps.
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Old 03-29-2024, 02:22 PM   #5
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If your converter is charging the batteries on shore power but not on the genny you may want to check your dog bone that connects your 50 amp plug to the 30 or 20 amp plug on your genny. It may be only powering one side of the a/c circuit.
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Old 03-29-2024, 03:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
If your converter is charging the batteries on shore power but not on the genny you may want to check your dog bone that connects your 50 amp plug to the 30 or 20 amp plug on your genny. It may be only powering one side of the a/c circuit.
Good catch!
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Old 04-03-2024, 01:49 PM   #7
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Usually when using a 30 adapter, you are feeding both legs with 120 volts but they are from the same phase. When connected to a 50 amp shore power outlet, the coach is fed 220 volts, which is actually two 120 volt legs, that are 180 degrees out of phase. Measuring across the 2 legs of shore power will show 220 volts. Each leg to neutral is 120 volts.
If you are using a 30 amp adapter from your generator, then the adapter simply connects both legs to the 120 volt source. Not many coaches have 220 volt appliances so the 120volts works fine.
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Old 04-06-2024, 02:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for such a thorough reply! You really put a lot of thought into it. Converter CB, check. Can't find converter polarity fuses. I don't know where to check output voltage at the converter. Disconnect switch is on. Large CBs check good. Battery cables look really good, and I hate corroded cables. They wouldn't charge before and they wouldn't last when they were charged up on shore power so I just put in new batteries. Problem is the same before and after so I don't think the batteries were the problem. Very good trouble shooting process though, thank you so much for that!
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Old 04-06-2024, 02:13 PM   #9
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Continuity is good on all conductors through the adapters. The single hot 30A connects to both hots on the 50A recep. I always wondered how that worked, I guess it's just split inside the adapter.
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Old 04-06-2024, 02:23 PM   #10
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I'm getting power to both 120 legs, and the batteries charge fine on shore power, just not from the gen set or the truck.
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Old 04-06-2024, 03:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon View Post
Thanks for such a thorough reply! You really put a lot of thought into it. Converter CB, check. Can't find converter polarity fuses. I don't know where to check output voltage at the converter. Disconnect switch is on. Large CBs check good. Battery cables look really good, and I hate corroded cables. They wouldn't charge before and they wouldn't last when they were charged up on shore power so I just put in new batteries. Problem is the same before and after so I don't think the batteries were the problem. Very good trouble shooting process though, thank you so much for that!
Pat,

The easiest way to check if the converter is charging is to check battery voltage. You will see over 13v if it is charging and 12.5v or less if not. The best way is to use a voltmeter hooked to the batteries. Check it both on shore power and your generator.
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Old 04-06-2024, 05:29 PM   #12
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.... Can't find converter polarity fuses. I don't know where to check output voltage at the converter....
You probably have a Progressive Dynamics Power Center. It has the 12V fuses, 120V Circuit Breakers and the converter built into one unit.

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The converter portion parts you are looking for are in the lower right hand corner (assuming the old world's craftsman installed it normally). There are four 25 amp Buss fuses incorporated into the reverse polarity circuitry. The 12V charge lines are just left of the reverse polarity fuses.

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But you write the battery charges fine on Shore Power (lets ignore the truck charging issue for a bit). That tells me the converter is working fine. Assuming you use the same 120V power input connection for both shore power and generator power, then the same internal coach electrical system is used for both charging methods. The difference has to be the generator or the power cord/adapters you are using when connected to the generator.

Do you use your 50 amp cord for shore power and generator power (with a 30 amp adapter)? Or do you use a different power cord when using the generator? The problem has to lie outside the coach's wiring system. The question is where (generator, adapter, or cord).

Truck charging has different circuitry form the coach charging system. You get 12V from the 7-pin plug on the truck. It goes up through the umbilical cable to the pin box and then directly wired to the battery. Check pin #4 on the truck receptacle to ensure 12V is coming from the truck. You could also pull the cover on the junction box located on the pin box and check for the voltage of the 12V charge line there.

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Old 04-06-2024, 08:58 PM   #13
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It sounds like you have the solar system. Do you have a bonded neutral on your generator? The EMS systems see the generator as an open neutral. To test, disconnect your EMS and see if it works. If so, for about $3 you can make a bonded neutral plug.
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