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  #1  
Old 08-04-2010
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Default Charging batteries

Should the gauge on the dashboad that reads the amount of charge going into the battery while the engine is running be above 12 volts? Should there be an output of currrent reading on the amp meter all of the time
when the engine is running?

We just installed new batteries and the gauges showed an output of between 12.5 - 13.5 volts. Now three days later the gauge shows 12 volts is this typical or should the engine alternator always be putting out a charge above 12 volts?
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2010
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I wonder if you threw a belt?- or they need to be tightened
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2010
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Hi Chuck (and Kathy),

I usually do not trust the dash gauge for accuracy, but it definitely should exceed 13 volts when the engine is running- especially on high idle. Can you check the volts with a digital multimeter? Have Kathy rev the engine up to around 1500 RPM's and hold it there. Let us know what the volts are across the engine batteries and the genny battery. That should tell us something.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2010
Don Meyer Don Meyer is offline
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On my PT I found the dash gauge does not read the full amount of charge putting out by the alternator. With a digital meter I show 12.5 to 13 volts up front. I've talked with several auto electricians, and had the system checked. Apparently because of the distance from the alternator and shunt located in the rear, to the gauge in front, it's normal to drop a few volts along the way. I've never had a problem so I suppose the electricians and testing shop are correct. Makes sence to me.
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Old 08-04-2010
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is the bat. voltage your talking about the engine battery ? if it is - mine was doing the same thing with new batteries, untill i replaced bad "aux. battery solinoid" then bat. voltage went to 13+. when engine is running. mike
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Old 08-04-2010
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From what I understand, your losing voltage over time, which makes me think it's not a gauge issue but a charging problem.
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Old 08-04-2010
Don Meyer Don Meyer is offline
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Default more charger info

I recently read a post where Randy talked about installing multiple battery chargers. So I guess this question is mainly for him. Unless others know the answer.

Back in 05 I installed a Xantrex 458 series inverter/ charger. It is 2500W output with a 3 stage 130Amp charger. It works very well and I've had no problems. I installed all new batteries in May of last year. Including the generator battery (12 volt). I also increased the number of 6 volt batteries in the rear to 8 total. This gives me 880 amp hours. I used all flooded cell golf cart batteries.

In June of 07 I was traveling on I-95 in Florida and stopped at the Camping World near St Augustine. They had a "sidewalk" sale going on and had a 2000W Xantrex inverter/charger on sale for $1000. Normaly about $1200. I offered the manager $700 for it and he took it. It's identical to my current 2500W unit except for the slightly lower wattage and 100Amp charger. I bought it just as a back up in case I ever needed it.

So now my question is: Is there any problem installing it in a multiple charger arangment. That is hook, it up to the shore power/generator 120 volt input and then to the batteries. Is it OK to have different amp output chargers going to the same battery bank. Also, since I have a giant 300Amp Leece Neville alternator, would one of the inverters work hooked up to one of the rooftop air conditioners. That way when it's not too seriously hot outside and we just need a little cooling off while I'm driving, I could run one roof air off the alternator via one of the inverters. I met a guy at a RIV that had one AC hooked up this way. He said it worked great and did not have to run the generator while driving unless it got too hot outside.

Thanks for any input.
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Last edited by Don Meyer; 08-04-2010 at 08:02 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C&Knewbirds View Post
Should the gauge on the dashboad that reads the amount of charge going into the battery while the engine is running be above 12 volts? Should there be an output of currrent reading on the amp meter all of the time
when the engine is running?

We just installed new batteries and the gauges showed an output of between 12.5 - 13.5 volts. Now three days later the gauge shows 12 volts is this typical or should the engine alternator always be putting out a charge above 12 volts?
Hey Chuck & Kathy,

Did you get an answer?? Or is the issue resolved??
There may not be a problem , could be normal operation.
If the batteries were run down to 12 volts it may take some driving time to recharge all these new batteries, ( several hours), as the batteries recharge the Voltage should increase and the Current decrease,
If I understand your question , Yes there is always a charging current reading when driving.
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2010
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As far as the use of two Xantrex units at the same time, it is theoretically OK, however, I think a call to Xantrex would be a good idea to check with them.

With the single Xantrex, the gennie running, and the 300 amp alternator, you already have two devices sharing the charging load. The regulators should adjust to the demand and keep the total charging current under control. Adding a third unit should result in all three adjusting to the load. The only caveat is do they play well together. It is possable that different units may not play well and cause ocillations (the units raising and lowering the charge rate and not coming to an equilibrium state)

I don't know for sure if you can do this without risk, perhaps others have done it and can add comments.
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2010
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When I got my bird it had what I believe were the 2 original battery boilers plus a separate 1500 watt Pacs inverter. One of the battery boilers was not charging. I removed it and acquired a Xantrex 458 charger which I mounted in a spare compartment. I wired a fridge/freezer timer with a 110V convenience outlet and a Perko switch for battery charging. This arrangement gives me several options. I can select either or both chargers to operate full time or at selected intervals whenever 110V is available. The Xantrex is currently plugged into the timer which I set to charge 1-1/2 hours every 6 hours. This seems to be working fine. Batteries stay charged and electric bill reduced. There doesn't appear to be a need to have both units charging together and I HAVE NOT TRIED IT. (I can only assume it will work if necessary). I did wire 2 separate female plugs to the Xantrex 110V taps which are now spares and available for anything I wish. The original inverter is still in place and operating without any issues.
Yes I know I am probably flooding the forum with useless information - BUT IT'S FREE.
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