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Old 06-06-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
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Hooking up battery in the spring?

We took our battery off the Battery Tender and hooked it up to the TT. It didn't initially work....No lights, etc. I hooked up to shore power--it showed the battery was full. I unhooked after about an hour, the battery seems to be working now. What would have caused that initial delay in power? Does Battery Tender just keep it at maintenance and you need to fully charge from shore power?? This is the first year we've used a Battery Tender.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
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Nancy,

The battery tender is designed to maintain your battery at peak charge level. If your coach battery was unable to turn on any lights, the battery tender may not be working. I had our coach battery on the battery tender all winter and it was all juiced up and ready to go.

You may want to charge your battery overnight and then unhook it for a couple of hours. Check the voltage with a digital volt meter. You should have between 12.6 and 12.8 volts, if the battery is still good.
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:08 PM   #3
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We don't have a volt meter at this point...... What would make the inside gauges say the battery is full? All winter it was on the battery tender with a steady green light. Could we have hooked it up incorrectly?? (That's hard to do., I suppose...) or blown a fuse? Should I hear the converter running?? It won't matter this weekend, but it's got me baffled!
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:23 PM   #4
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You can tell if your battery is working without a voltmeter.

Once hooked up to shore power you can not tell if your battery is functioning because the converter will supply the necessary power.

Here's a simple test that will tell you if the battery is good. Plug into shore power for a few hours or even a day. This should charge the battery.

Now for the test. Disconnect from shore power. If your lights and other 12 volt items work for a while, the battery is probably good.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:09 AM   #5
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Sounds like it's not good--I get nothing when I unplug..... Why would the Battery Tender say it's at full charge then?? Shouldn't it tell you somehow that this battery can't be charged??? Perhaps it's a connection problem? Will this affect our camping at Buttonwood (it's unlikely we'll get it solved before Thursday)?? I'll have to hunt up some helpful SOC members to give us a lesson in 12v. living!
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:25 AM   #6
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I've had battery tenders in the past that never shut off and end up boiling all the water out of the battery over the winter.

Pry off the caps with a screwdriver and look inside with a flashlight. If you see very little or no water, then the battery is probably toast. There's a chance you could refill the cells with some distilled water, but you'd be lucky to get it to hold a charge after it's been re-charged, and if you did, you may have only bought another couple weeks out of the battery is all.

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Old 06-08-2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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If you don't get it fixed before you get to Buttonwood, come find me and I'll take a look at it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #9
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A voltmeter would help. They are selling a digitial one for $1.99 now at Habor freight that will trouble shoot anything in your camper just about dealing with voltage.

IF the battery is good, and nothing in the camper works when you are not on shore power, then

On your year camper, (2004 models and forward) there is a circuit breaker in this box on the front A frame header behind the battery.



In that box is burried a self resetting cicuit breaker. If it is corroded and not wokring you will not get any power from the battery to the camper. Or from the convertor back into the battery.





Taking that black cover off is a royal pain. Dirt gets in the screw holes and it takes a really thin philips screw driver to get them out. I converted the screws....

Before you dig into that pain to get into box, ideally you test that the battery has some kind of power.

They is one way to test the battery that it has some kind of life on the TT in your case as this bypasses the circuit breaker. With the 7 wire unpluged from the truck, Pull the breakaway switch and see the the brakes activate.

If you cannot hear a hum at the brakes as some times happens then hook up to the truck , Make sure you PULL out the 7 wire plug from the truck. This is a must as you can back feed the brake controller on the truck. Pull the breakaway and then slowly try to drive/roll foward. If the brakes are locked on the TT, then you have some level of voltage in the battery and need to check that circuit breaker.

A volt meter or a 12 volt test light will go a long way in helping sort this out

Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:05 AM   #10
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Did you remember to turn the battery disconnect on?
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:46 AM   #11
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There is water in the battery. We'll borrow a voltmeter later today. Maybe take a look at the circuit breaker, but probably no time. Thanks everybody. I'm just glad my fridge works without the battery--for some reason I thought I needed it to start some appliances, but I guess that's just dry camping......
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:52 PM   #12
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IT WAS A LOOSE FUSE!! Pat and his buddy checked the battery and it was good. Looked at that black box and saw a fuse hanging out of the box! He took the fuse out, tested it, put it back in without even opening black box, hooked up the battery again and it works!!!! We don't know why the fuse is outside the box--maybe former owner put it there so it would be easy to access? Any problem with having it in the elements? Anyway, I feel better..... Off to PA in the morning.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy G. View Post
IT WAS A LOOSE FUSE!! Pat and his buddy checked the battery and it was good. Looked at that black box and saw a fuse hanging out of the box! He took the fuse out, tested it, put it back in without even opening black box, hooked up the battery again and it works!!!! We don't know why the fuse is outside the box--maybe former owner put it there so it would be easy to access? Any problem with having it in the elements? Anyway, I feel better..... Off to PA in the morning.
Nancy

The orange wire fuse "originally" from Sunline was in the 7 wire plug circuit from the truck to protect the truck from a short/overload and was inside the black junction box.

If you wiggled that fuse hanging out side the black box and now all works, then someone has rewired the system. They may have had issues with the circuit breaker and put a 30 amp fuse in it's place. There still may be one inside for the truck charge line. Using a fuse in place of a circuit breaker is an acceptable change if that is what they did. It is the older way they use to protect the system.

I have seen before folks wire that fuse to hang outside the black junction box before so you can change it and not deal with that pain in the neck cover.

Now does it hurt anything. There is "normally" a black rubber cap on the top of the fuse holder. The cap help's keep water out but my not be 100% moisture proof.

If you want to add a layer of protection, wrap up the cap in electrical tape to help seal it better or this problem you had with a little corrsion may come back.

Glad this worked out and was so simple.

John
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