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Old 03-10-2008, 10:23 PM   #1
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No Power At All

Could have sworn I posted this before...

My Starter batteries have been on their last legs and after finding that shore power wasn't charging them I left something on and they were dead flat. I started with the house batts a few times and tried to charge but they just wouldn't hold.

So I left it in the garage for a month and now the house batteries are dead as dead too. The BlueSky panel is barely on and reading 7ish volts.

I tried to get an odometer reading today and there was nothing. My house batteries are twin 4D AGMs so there is 400 amp hours that disappeared into the van over the last month or so. That's roughly ½amp per hour.

Does the BlueSky/Invertor panel (asleep)/CO sensor/propane sensor really pull that much?

I feel like I've got a more serious problem because a 400 amp hour system should last longer than that.

So how to get on my feet again-
Trickle charge?
Shore power (house only and might not charge that low)?
or buy new Starter batteries?

I'm thinking at this point I should take it to an RV shop and let them examine the system and components. Thoughts?
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:08 AM   #2
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Batteries

jage


Those batteries are toast, all of them.

Get new ones and test, test and retest the system...


My van sucks more power than I think it should also.


Jeff
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:13 PM   #3
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Aren't at least one of the 4Ds fairly new, Jage? Don't I remember you having it installed since buying the van?
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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Yes not 8 months old. And the other was supposedly tested by SMB... the PO admitted to killing the other 4D several times so I was suprised it passed the test. I think shore power and the alternator has been life support for the van...

Today I hooked it up to shore power and also to the F250 with jumper cables. Got the odometer to show up but as soon as those glow plugs kick in, any ground is lost. I'm going to try trickle charging to see if I can get it started otherwise it's new starter batts and off to the mechanic to start having the electrical tested.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:26 PM   #5
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Not to hijack the thread, but how do they test a battery like that? I assume they just check if it'll hold a charge over time. How long do they give it?

Is there more than the usual culprits drawing power in the van?

I don't recall you having solar. How often do you put it on shore power?
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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In AZ I kept it on shore power 24/7 here I've only done it once because the garage isn't grounded and the Xantrex won't charge on an ungrounded circuit, therefore it involves going through the open kitchen window.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:52 PM   #7
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One thing everyone needs to be aware of. If you have more then one battery in a circuit you "should" replace all of them when one goes bad. This is mostly solar power info, but applies to all battery systems. As those of us with diesels are aware, we have two starting batteries, so that applies to the starting system too. What happens is that the weaker battery will draw down the new one to its level. Kind of like a chain only being as strong as it's weakest link
The rule of thumb is if the other battery is less then one year old, you're OK. Otherwise, replace all. I'm sure this is policy has been started by the battery manufactures, but I've had lots of experience with it myself and it's true. If you don't mind shortening the life of your new battery, take a chance. All I'm saying is that just because one of your batteries is pretty new, doesn't mean it will all work like new.
Just another place to spend money you have a better use for....
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:40 PM   #8
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Well I've shore powered up to 8.67 volts but the Xantrex keeps faulting, and the house batteries have nothing still. I'm thinking that the Xantrex (Or the Battery Seperator) is changing over to the starter batteries and the Amp draw to try to charg them from zero (think I read that somewhere) is faulting the system.

I have a "Battery Seperator 1310" under the seat... is that the isolator? Or my van's version of the isolator? If I unhook the starter batts will the house batts maybe charge?
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:03 PM   #9
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Quote: Does the BlueSky/Invertor panel (asleep)/CO sensor/propane sensor really pull that much?

Most likely. Per the SMB manual, the CO2 and LP detectors each draw 4.8 amp-hours per day. 30 days = 288 Amp Hours, just for the detectors. I don't have an inverter, so don't know the draw on that, but if it draws around the same as one of the detectors, that easily accounts for the drain.

SMB suggests pulling the detector fuse when the vehicle is inactive for a while. They make a serious point of warning you not to install a switch between the detectors and the fuse panel, which of course would otherwise be the obvious solution.

J.P.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:51 AM   #10
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Switch? What switch....

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