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Old 09-29-2014, 04:15 PM   #1
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THOR #921
Chateau 35SK - Battery Charging Question

I have a 2015 35SK that has the residential refrigerator that runs off the inverter using power from the house batteries. The refrigerator will only run 5-6 hours before the batteries get low requiring generator usage.

I understand that when the generator is running, the 12 volt converter will re-charge the house batteries. I don't know at what rate it will recharge them. I was told that it is only recharging at a 1-2 amp rate. In order to charge the batteries faster, is it possible to run a 120 volt battery charger to the house batteries as well? Is it advisable?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:12 PM   #2
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Modern converters are multiple stage chargers
they charge at different rate depending on the state of charge
faster at first slowing to a trickle for maintaining charge

Look in your converter's manual (should be available online). it will explain the charging functions.....

One things almost certain, if your batteries are seriously low, you need to run the charger for a long period of time for a full charge..... like many hours to a day.....

Oh, and be careful to not discharge your batteries too low. Most folks say don't depelte them lower than the 50% mark, but this depends a bit on the type of battery. 50% is a good rule of thumb.
here's a good read
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

I'm no electrical expert, but I don't think it will be helpful to connect a second charger at the same time. Some higher end chargers would likely charge faster than your converter, but since the chargers work off of their sensed voltage I'm thinking it won't work.
What I mean by that is
your converter will be trying to charge your battery so the voltage applied to the battery will be high.
the external charger will sense that the voltage is high and will not charge, or will step down to a trickle mode.
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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THOR #531
Your converter should charge your batteries at higher than 1-2 amps if they need it. That is not even to the level of a trickle charge.

And when your engine is running, it should be charging your house batteries at a higher rate. My coach has a battery charge circuit that runs off the engine... I'd be surprised if yours didn't.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:01 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=FW28z;4712][Your converter should charge your batteries at higher than 1-2 amps if they need it. That is not even to the level of a trickle charge.]

FW28z is correct. If you want to know which charging stage your battery's are in, you can test them with a multimeter or turn on you Xantrex remote monitor and see what the voltage rate is at your battery's. Around 14.2 V would be the Bulk stage, around 13.6 V would be the absorption stage and around 13.4 V would be the float stage. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:36 PM   #5
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I have the 33SW, and I'm assuming you have the same Xantrex XM 1800 as I do. The manual states in several places that a good battery charger needs to be used with the inverter. It goes on in section C regarding the different types of chargers available. I'm totally confused how the house batteries are charged when on shore power. Anybody figure this out?
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:34 AM   #6
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THOR #1503
When you are on shore power, your convert provides power for the 12 system in your coach and it also charges your house batteries.

Bruce


Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
I'm totally confused how the house batteries are charged when on shore power. Anybody figure this out?
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:41 AM   #7
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My apologies, I wasn't clear. I know that the batteries charge on shore power, but I don't know HOW they charge. And, I don't know how the charging system works. Does it have bulk, absorption and float stages? From what I've seen, it does not.

I do find it odd that the Xantrex manual says I need a charging system.
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:44 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of the replies. This summer I am going to install a bank of 4 - 6 volt batteries. The two 12 volt batteries would not get the refrigerator through the night without seriously draining the batteries and causing the low voltage alarm to sound.

RobbieH - When you are on shore power, the converter provides 12 volt power to those things in the MH that needs it and also charges your house batteries. In my coach the converter is a WFCO and puts out 55 Amps.
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:56 AM   #9
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So if it never goes on float, that 55 amps is going to be hard on the batteries when they are charged, don't you think?
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:05 AM   #10
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If you go to the wfcoelectronics dot com web site and click on converters, then spec sheet, it will describe the three stage charging. Once it goes into float mode, it is only putting out 13.2 volts dc. A three stage charger is also what I use on boat batteries during the winter and it keeps them in great shape.
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:07 AM   #11
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OK, I see what you mean, unfortunately my 33SW has a different inverter. I'm calling Thor tomorrow. Thanks for the replies! I have a huge list of issues with this RV, after only 15 or so months of ownership. It has been in the shop for 4+ months and interrupted several trips with breakdowns. The house batteries and/or charging system are my latest issue, on top of the other issues I'm trying to deal with right now.
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:35 PM   #12
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Robbie we have the four winds 31W which has the same inverter and residential fridge... we installed 400 watts of solar panels and a second pair of house batteries... and it takes care of our needs just fine... handles the fridge during the day, keeps the batteries charged when the rv is sitting in the driveway....
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:56 PM   #13
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I was fine with the house batteries the way they are until recently. Now I have this issue where the inverter is showing 11.5 and blinking E02. Status light is GREEN, not red, so there's nothing in the inverter troubleshooting page that covers this. I've tried pulling the batteries and charging them on the bench, but when I put them back I still get 11.5 and E02. I am trying to understand the whole system so I can figure out how these batteries are kept charged when on shore power. I have an RV pad at my house, it stays on 50 amp when at the house. We don't boondock, honestly the only time the batteries get used is when we are traveling, but my understanding is when on the road the engine's alternator keeps the batteries charged, so I guess it is really only when we park.

The other electrical issue I'm having is the auto gen start isn't working. I don't think it ever has, but I've never remembered to tell the service department when I take it in for service. Of course now, it's out of warranty. If I run a test, you can hear the genny getting ready to start, then it'll click, and does not start. I can start the genset at the control panel just fine.

I'm a problem solver in my daily job, so my goal is to fully understand how all the systems work in the RV so I can determine the root cause of my issues. It's habit. But just a solution would be nice.

I've been reading about house battery upgrades. If I have to spend $300-350 on two new batteries, I might as well look at upgrading the system so this doesn't happen again.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:30 PM   #14
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THOR #921
OP here. I removed the two 12 volt house batteries and had installed four 6 volt golf cart batteries in one of the storage bays. I ran the refrigerator for 12 hours and there the volt meter still showed 12.4 volts. I think this is going to work for my dry camping issues.
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:02 AM   #15
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THOR #711
dnhill, I was wondering if you needed to beef up the storage bay to hold the extra weight of the four 6 volt battery's ?
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:11 AM   #16
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THOR #921
A slide out battery tray was welded to the frame. It was placed in the storage compartment on the passenger side just behind the inverter compartment. In addition, a larger converter was used to lessen the charge times.
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:21 AM   #17
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
I was fine with the house batteries the way they are until recently. Now I have this issue where the inverter is showing 11.5 and blinking E02. Status light is GREEN, not red, so there's nothing in the inverter troubleshooting page that covers this. I've tried pulling the batteries and charging them on the bench, but when I put them back I still get 11.5 and E02. I am trying to understand the whole system so I can figure out how these batteries are kept charged when on shore power. I have an RV pad at my house, it stays on 50 amp when at the house. We don't boondock, honestly the only time the batteries get used is when we are traveling, but my understanding is when on the road the engine's alternator keeps the batteries charged, so I guess it is really only when we park.

The other electrical issue I'm having is the auto gen start isn't working. I don't think it ever has, but I've never remembered to tell the service department when I take it in for service. Of course now, it's out of warranty. If I run a test, you can hear the genny getting ready to start, then it'll click, and does not start. I can start the genset at the control panel just fine.

I'm a problem solver in my daily job, so my goal is to fully understand how all the systems work in the RV so I can determine the root cause of my issues. It's habit. But just a solution would be nice.

I've been reading about house battery upgrades. If I have to spend $300-350 on two new batteries, I might as well look at upgrading the system so this doesn't happen again.
Somebody else had an issue with the AGS with a new coach during the beginning of the year. I believe the issue was tracked back to a short in the wiring harness. His issue was found during his PDI.
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:07 AM   #18
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THOR #1450
Four Winds 35SK Inverter Error Code

When on battery power alone, the inverter will shut off when the batteries get low and will display an a low voltage and EO2. If you plug into shore power and then try to clear the error code, it will not clear even if the batteries are fully charged up. To clear this error code, unplug from shore power and then clear the code, then plug back into shore power. This is described in a footnote in the inverter manual.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by jwhalen457 View Post
When on battery power alone, the inverter will shut off when the batteries get low and will display an a low voltage and EO2. If you plug into shore power and then try to clear the error code, it will not clear even if the batteries are fully charged up. To clear this error code, unplug from shore power and then clear the code, then plug back into shore power. This is described in a footnote in the inverter manual.
Jwhalen - Good stuff. Please elaborate how you clear the code after you hook back up to shore power?
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:34 PM   #20
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THOR #1450
Inverter Display clear

I am not at my motorhome now so I will have to rely on my fading memory. My Xantrec 1800 inverter control panel only has two buttons, one is off/on the other is the button I pushed to clear the fault display. Push this button when not connected to shore power to clear the fault message in the display.

Regards,
Jim
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