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Old 04-09-2019, 04:53 PM   #1
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Battery Question

Hi All,

Just came back from our second weekend with the kiddos. Great time in the San Mateo Memorial Park (California).

We spent 3 days and 2 nights. We arrive the Sunday at 4 pm and left Tuesday at 11 am. Why Am I giving these details? Because I want to understand if it is normal that this morning the fridge was not working and I had to start 3 times before the engine kicks off. Couples of questions :

- I thought the fridge was connected with the 2 deep cell batteries and not the one of the car? I am wrong?
- Is it possible that my car battery was out after 40 hrs of not driving?

The fridge is the regular fridge installed in all GTRV.

Thanks all

Attached pic of our setup

Bast
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bfolens View Post
Hi All,



Just came back from our second weekend with the kiddos. Great time in the San Mateo Memorial Park (California).



We spent 3 days and 2 nights. We arrive the Sunday at 4 pm and left Tuesday at 11 am. Why Am I giving these details? Because I want to understand if it is normal that this morning the fridge was not working and I had to start 3 times before the engine kicks off. Couples of questions :



- I thought the fridge was connected with the 2 deep cell batteries and not the one of the car? I am wrong?

- Is it possible that my car battery was out after 40 hrs of not driving?



The fridge is the regular fridge installed in all GTRV.



Thanks all



Attached pic of our setup



Bast


Outside really does not help. Take pictures of the wiring in the van and if you dc outlets in the back and on the dash you can get cheap voltage gauges and see if the voltage drops the same when the fridge comes on.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:45 PM   #3
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The two issues SHOULD be separate. The deep cell batteries should run the fridge. 40 hours is a long time to run a fridge without charging by either driving or having solar panels. I am not surprised that the fridge stopped running.

As for the starting battery, the fact that it started after 3 tries points to either a weak battery, a fuel pump issue or something else. If the battery was really drained, it would not start at all. However, the starting battery shouldn't be connected to the fridge in any way. Further, the fridge shutting off is proof that the battery that was running the fridge was drained and a drained battery like that wouldn't have enough power to run the starter anyway.

Obviously, these are some generalizations. However, the systems should be independent and I would have your starting system looked at. And you should get solar or plan to drive the van every other day to keep the batteries topped off.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:31 PM   #4
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First off, the top isn't a Sportsmobile top so I wouldn't try to guess how your vans electrical was designed compared to the typical SMB of the same year. Do you have any documentation on the build?
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:07 AM   #5
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Itís a gtrv, which is a pretty good company as far as conversions go. Hence my answer.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:47 AM   #6
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Need some more info...

Were you plugged in to shore power?

How many coach/house batteries do you have? Are they fairly new? What size are they (should be marked with a number like ďGroup 27Ē)?

Many vans come stock with one house battery, which is not enough to run a frig for several days without being recharged. It would be pushing it even for two batteries.

Iím guessing GTRV only has room for two in a standard build, and that they are fairly small like Group 27.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:11 AM   #7
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The two issues SHOULD be separate. The deep cell batteries should run the fridge. 40 hours is a long time to run a fridge without charging by either driving or having solar panels. I am not surprised that the fridge stopped running.

....
Thanks Grampswrx. I do agree with your analysis. It should be separated and I have 2 different issues here.

That being said, I also noted this issue a month ago when the kiddo left the water pump running for a week. I had to kick start 2 times before the Van starts. So, I know it does not make sense but just want to give you full background.

Also, when I started the van, the fridge directly kicked off. Does that make sense?

In terms of battery, as far as I know, it is 2 batteries 6v each. I need to check more for "Group 27".
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bfolens View Post
Thanks Grampswrx. I do agree with your analysis. It should be separated and I have 2 different issues here.

That being said, I also noted this issue a month ago when the kiddo left the water pump running for a week. I had to kick start 2 times before the Van starts. So, I know it does not make sense but just want to give you full background.

Also, when I started the van, the fridge directly kicked off. Does that make sense?

In terms of battery, as far as I know, it is 2 batteries 6v each. I need to check more for "Group 27".
The fridge came on because the house batteries are charged by the alternator. The system should be working by having the alternator charging both the starting battery and the house batteries. There is either a battery separator or isolator that dictates where the current from the alternator goes when it is charging. I dont really understand how electrical systems work, but I would guess that your isolator or separator isn't working perfectly so it's letting the starting battery get drained a bit by the house stuff. Or, and this is just a guess, the isolator/separator is bad and once all the house batteries are drained it becomes difficult to start because as soon as you hit the starter, all the electricity being generated is flowing to the house batteries (that are dead) and keeps you from starting. But once you have cranked it enough to get a small charge into the house batteries, there is enough juice left over for the van to finally start.

Again, I don't even know if the final scenario is possible, but the symptoms make it seem plausible. I had a separator go bad and I replaced it with an isolator and everything has been great.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:29 PM   #9
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Without any build documents, it's just a guess. At minimum I would load check the coach batteries and the starting battery. Are the 6 volt batteries the typical wet cell types and if so have you kept up the water levels? Again mostly guessing here.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:45 PM   #10
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I’ve had the same problems as long as I’ve owned mine. Still no idea what is draining the batts, but am
heading up to get it checked out now that it’s out of
storage. Good Luck.....
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