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Old 10-20-2021, 07:22 AM   #1
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House Batteries & controller: dead

I went out in my van last night and discovered that the house batteries were totally dead, or at least disconnected/switched off. All interior lights and fridge were off.

Last trip (1.5 weeks ago) I used the propane heater. When we left for home, I closed the valve on the propane tank BUT forgot to turn the thermostat switch to off (doh!)

Over the week while it was mostly sitting it was quite cold at night, even had some snow.

So, the thermostat was triggering the heat to come on. But as there was no propane, Im guessing the fan was running and running and running. With no way to warm up it wouldve stayed on. Like for days at a time.

Now, the controller read-out is blank. When I start the engine and reset the little switch under the hood to isolate the starting battery from the house battery, the controller read-out turns on, the green light comes on. But after a few seconds I hear the switch under the hood pop off, and the controller goes blank again. At first, the house lights, fridge and heater-fan all turn on, then the isolator switch trips and everything goes dead. .

The van starts and runs off the starting battery no problem.

Thoughts?

What could it be?
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Old 10-20-2021, 07:44 AM   #2
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You have drained the battery, so the load for charging is high. I would suspect that the current that you are pulling through the circuit breaker is to high. You can try making sure you have no additional loads when trying this, turn off lights, heater, fridge, to just allow the battery charge current. This may allow the current to be below the circuit breaker rating (I believe 50 amps).

You can try plugging in and use the shore power charger, although many of these units can not charge a completely dead battery.

-greg
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Old 10-20-2021, 08:15 AM   #3
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I as told by Van specialties and have found it worked to tie the completely dead batteries to known good ones that are on a charger. They are able to bring the dead ones back to life if they are not totally destroyed.
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Old 10-20-2021, 08:42 AM   #4
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This is essentially what he is doing by starting the van and charging through the isolator. The problem being that the circuit breaker on the house path is shutting off. With the isolator, not a Separator or ACR, he can not force them to connect.

Paralleling with a good battery doesn't do any magic to the battery just allows the level to go high enough to accept a charge from a charging source. One complete discharge will not necessarily kill a good house battery (it will remove some life no matter what, it really depends on the condition the battery was in).

-greg
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Old 10-20-2021, 02:44 PM   #5
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Greg I like to think of it as special voodoo. Im glad your always able to explain the electrical intricacies in these vans.
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