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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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Old 06-12-2018
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Stick Miller Stick Miller is online now
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Default Dead Bird

When I went to pick up my coach this morning, the batteries were dead. This is not surprising since it hadn't been plugged in at the repair shop. We started the generator and that along with a boost from a diesel pickup truck got me started. The mechanic checked the generator output and he said it was functioning properly.

I had about an hour to drive it home. I ran the generator for air conditioning and of course, ran the coach. I thought that would have recharged the batteries.

When I got home and shut it down it would not turn over. The batteries are dead. It seems to me that:
1. Just driving home should have charged up healthy batteries.
2. The generator running should have charged healthy batteries.

I'm going to plug in tonight as usual, but if it doesn't start in the morning I suppose I have to consider that I'll need new batteries. I have 6 AGMs and I believe they are all wired together. There seems to be no dedicated starting battery. After I figure out what's wrong, then I'll considering isolating the starter battery from the house batteries.

I need advice here. AGMs are really expensive and probably not necessary for my use. What are some other alternatives? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2018
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Default Chapter 2

I plugged in to my house current (as usual) except that I am dead too far from the 50a plug to reach. I have 30a to one leg and the charger is running. However I have "reverse polarity" lights showing both in the cabin and at the place where the cord is attached to the motorhome.

I've shut down. The plug is one that I've used in the past with no problems with polarity. The cord is the same old cord.

The charging light is on inside the motorhome.

Other than genuine reverse polarity, what causes reverse polarity?
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Old 06-12-2018
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I think the reverse polarity thing is trying to tell you one "leg" is gone since you're only on one half. I didn't dig into it, but when I got mine that thing was weird all the time and liked to trip a ground fault, too. It's gone now, but FYI.

On the batteries - how old are they? What was their voltage when you picked up the bus? If they were healthy and then discharged completely for a day or two they should recover and be useful, but many cycles will be gone. It might be good to run an equalization charge (15 volts or more for some!) if that's something you are able to do.
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Old 06-12-2018
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OK, I'm a big guy. I admit the reverse polarity thing was operator error. I remembered replacing the end on that cord with a water resistant plug. After plugging the tester into the wall jack and finding it good, it had to be the cord. All fixed and plugged in and charging. We'll see.

As to the age or the health of the AGMs I have no idea. I suspect they are about 5 years old. I didn't check them when I bought it. They did what they were supposed to do and I let them do it.

This thing has been dead before after sitting unplugged. It's been in the shop for about 2 weeks and although they have probably cranked it, it's not run for very long.

I'm going to give it till morrning before I panic. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-12-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick Miller View Post
OK, I'm a big guy. I admit the reverse polarity thing was operator error. I remembered replacing the end on that cord with a water resistant plug. After plugging the tester into the wall jack and finding it good, it had to be the cord. All fixed and plugged in and charging. We'll see.

As to the age or the health of the AGMs I have no idea. I suspect they are about 5 years old. I didn't check them when I bought it. They did what they were supposed to do and I let them do it.

This thing has been dead before after sitting unplugged. It's been in the shop for about 2 weeks and although they have probably cranked it, it's not run for very long.

I'm going to give it till morrning before I panic. Thanks for your help.
I guess I wouldn't "panic" but my money is that they are toast. 5+ years on those and you have at least totally discharged them a couple of times might mean a new set of batts. Sorry, but you gotta have juice to start that beast
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Old 06-12-2018
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6X$325 for AGM GPL4CT which is in the coach. What are some good alternatives?

Also, I want to look into isolating the starting batteries from the house. Good idea?
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Old 06-12-2018
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The batteries are toast as Jim stated and nothing you do will get them back. Be carefull as they could be large resistors at this point and will load your charger/alternators to their max and could burn them up.
Or worse yet, you could force the plates to off gas, warp and short causing the tops to blow off.


I would disconnect them and replace.


I always tell and ensure the service manager as well as the mechanics all know they must turn off the battery switches or they are responsible for replacemnet costs of all batteries.


Better check you generator battery also, as sometimes it will die also when this happens.
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Old 06-12-2018
markusfmeyer markusfmeyer is offline
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One hour charging isn't enough to bring the batteries back. I'd do it overnight, maybe have them load tested after to see if they are still good or not. You might get lucky.
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Old 06-12-2018
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Dead as a door nail.


Keep trying to charge them with a heavy current and you risk starting them off gasing hydrogen gas moist with sulfuric acid residue and You will smell the stink quickly.
I would not want a spark near by either.
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Old 06-12-2018
Dave Stokes Dave Stokes is offline
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I am sure you have done this but it wasn't mentioned above. You have verified that the batteries are connected/grounded. My coach was in the shop recently and the mechanic had to do some welding so he disconnected ALL my batteries to be safe. 3 start batts, 6 house and 1 gen. Seems it is standard practice for diesel shops.
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