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Old 12-26-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
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No volts to coach batteries when running or idling........

I have a xantrex battery monitor and solar boast battery monitor and I've noticed that when I start my SMB the volts on both monitors do not go up. When I am parked in the sun the volts do go up so I know the solar panels are hooked up. Any idea what's going on?
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:53 PM   #2
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After starting the engine does the voltage come up after about 30 seconds or so? That is normal.

I usually read about 13.3 to 13.8 coming off my alternator and it varies all over the place if the batteries are full. Check your amps. If the separator is stuck open you might want to pull the ground of and see if you hear it click on and off when you open and close the ground wire. You can jumper over the separator to see if the voltage will change also.
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:32 PM   #3
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Dave,
Thanks for the input. After starting the engine I get nothing after 30 seconds. No change whatsoever.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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The separator closes at a certain voltage, so your van batteries have to top off from starting and possibly then some before it will close and start charging the house batteries.

Same with shore power/solar, it will be open (disconnected batteries) until the house reach that voltage and then close connecting the batteries.

At the point both sides are fully charged the charger should go to float, so you could also be going into float mode if both are fully charged when you're watching.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys.

Both don't seem like they are getting any juice from the alternator. I drove to Utah (10 hours) this week for the holidays and the coach batteries were reading 12.10 when I got here. When I plug in the van to 110 or hook it up to the generator the xantrex panel and the Blue sky solar boost panel show an increase in volts immediately. But like I said, the panels show no increase when I run the van.
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:22 AM   #6
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You can check your voltage in the starter batteries via the accessory plugs in the dash. You can also verify the reading of the house batteries via the accessory plugs in the wall or anywhere in the house side.

Don't discount that your separator or isolator might be fried or connected improperly. My PowerSure was locked in engaged so my batteries were connected at all times. I'm not sure all the manners in which these can fail, but failing permanently open doesn't seem out of the question. Of course a ground wire or something else disconnected could also cause problems not allowing both batteries to join.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:50 PM   #7
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I had a similar problem while zippin around Colorado during July this year. On the way down to Fort Collins the separator took over 1 hour before it closed. I never found the problem. It seems to work properly now but it had a session where it open and closed rapidly for a few minutes. These things sample voltages and open/close depending on an electric circuit that checks the van and house side of the relay. I found if I started the microwave it would force the separator to connect. I bought a switch in Fort Collins to manually by-pass the relay but it has worked flawlessly the last part of this year. I would try pulling the ground wire like I said to see if it’s working. Sometimes you can rap on the solenoid and it will start to work but you need to determine if your voltage is making it to the separator. Be aware there is a wire that comes from the ignition that must be hot (the key in the on position) before it will operate. If the ground or the ignition wire is compromised it will not work but I’m not sure if it will stay in the open or closed position. Good luck and tell us what you find.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:16 PM   #8
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The starter wire is hot when you start the van, automatically joining the house batteries to the starter batteries. I disagree with this setup, because it hides problems with the starter batteries. I upgraded to a BlueSea separator which has On/Off/Auto on a switch and only joins on voltage, or when it's manually switched to On.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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I would be more worried about the wire being cut or dissabled because it only needs something like 3 volts to work so I don't think starting batteries would ever drop that far to affect the operation, but being able to manually bypass or operate the separator would be a big advantage.

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Old 01-01-2009, 10:45 AM   #10
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Veg Head,

I see that your rig is a 2000 model. I a not sure that Sportsmobile was using the sure power separator then. I believe that came around in 2004, so it is possible that you have a battery isolator.


Here is a link that describes testing the surepower But I would check that you actually have a separator and not an isolator.

http://sportsmobileforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1023



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