Jump to content

Generator charging and no power


mesa

Recommended Posts

Good morning all, Have a question for you. We went out this week in 2014 Gulf stream TT, Have put 2 T-105 6 volt batteries in awhile ago and everthing was great. This trip as battery's wore down some I started charging with newer Honda EU 1000 ,after charging and turning off generator no power to anything, checked breakers all fine plugged my into truck and power on then unplugged truck and all was fine. Batteries showing a charge and everything back to normal. This happened twice. Any thoughts?Am new to all of this so bear with me Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your circuit breakers are 120V-ac power so those would have no impact upon the battery supply. I assume that you connected the Honda to your shore power cord and used the converter to charge the batteries? If so, how long did you stay connected? Keep in mind that the converter you have must supply all of the 12V power being used and whatever is left can then go to recharge your batteries. It will typically take several hours at least to recharge and over night is a better bet. When you connected to the truck, was the engine running to charge the batteries? Did you check anything with a volt meter to know what you actually were getting? When you lost 12V power, did it also mean that you had no lights, appliances or anything that uses 12V power?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep Kirk we lost all 12 v power once gen. was turned off, when we plugged into the truck it was not running but then 12 volt power came back on. We stayed connected to gen for awhile and it seemed to have a enough charge,just the complete loss of 12 v power until plugging into truck. These are new batteries and newer gen. I tightened up battery cables which were not loose. Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would 'force' it to act up again and before plugging it into the truck start going through things with a meter or at a minimum with a test light and see where the power stops. What does your 12V do when you are plugged into an outlet at home or a pedestal?

When I am unplug from outlet power at home everything all 12 v works as it should, I will try generator again to day when i get a chance as going out of town Sun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mesa, Do you believe the batteries get fully charged by the generator but the system just shuts down. In other words when you connect to the truck do you leave it connected to the truck for a long period to charge the batteries or do you just plug into the truck and everything starts working again? Also,as someone else asked, do things work okay when you plug into a pedestal to charge?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mesa, Do you believe the batteries get fully charged by the generator but the system just shuts down. In other words when you connect to the truck do you leave it connected to the truck for a long period to charge the batteries or do you just plug into the truck and everything starts working again? Also,as someone else asked, do things work okay when you plug into a pedestal to charge?

Things work fine when plugged into pedestal , I just plugged into truck for a about 30 secs then unplugged and all 12 v power was back to norm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I could be off on this since I understood this to be a problem only on the 120 V side but it sure does sound like the generator is triggering a fault and things reset when you plug into the truck. They do this because neither the generator or trailer are grounded. This usually is a problem when people add protection devices but your trailer may have some protection. Just a theory...Please rip me apart electrical experts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intermittents are hell. As Mntom said you will have to catch it acting up and then trace both positive and ground side to find where you've lost it. Shouldn't really be too hard as these RV circuits are pretty simple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would echo Kirks advice - get a multimeter and start checking battery voltage at the battery terminals when generator is charging and then when you turn it off. I would expect 13.5-14.5 when charging and 13 just after you turn gen off that will slowly reduce to 13.6 or so as the battery sits with no load. Once you get the battery back online how does its capacity seem? Will it run everything in the TT for the expected time? Did the battery get completely discharged at some stage? I had a problem with 2 450AH batteries that I let get completely drained and then tried to charge them with a 10 amp charger. They filled really quickly but had no capacity at all. Thought I'd killed the-40m but they just needed at 30-40 amp charge rate to bring them back to life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a faulty converter relay to me. Without getting too technical.. there are actually 2 "converters" inside your converter. When AC current is present it holds the relay/solenoid "open" (for reasons that will get technical in a hurry.. but it's necessary).. but when no AC is present it closes to apply battery power to your 12v loads.

 

Two conditions may be at play.. although this shouldn't be happening at all since the relay should be closing fully on it's own once AC is no longer being applied.

 

1. The relay is failing.

2. You're batteries may "appear" to have a full charge on (lights don't appear to be dim, etc), however, they are in a "lower" voltage state that is insufficient to fully trip the relay connection. The reason I would assume that is that when combined voltage from your batteries + your truck is applied.. it is 'then' sufficient enough to trip the relay all the way closed.

 

So #1.. you're probably going to be looking at a converter replacement. That is probably more cost effective than paying a tech to diagnose and repair the existing converter. #2.. I am going to guess that when you are charging with your generator.. charge is not being applied long enough to fully charge your batteries. If you don't already have one, I would strongly suggest installing a proper battery monitor. Ie., Trimetric.

 

The led "gauge" that is common in many RV's is not sufficient to determine state of charge of your batteries, and most folks lack the technical skills to use a voltmeter correctly when taking readings since it is merely a "snapshot", but may not necessarily be a true representation of actual state of charge. There's a whole a lotta factors that have to be taken in to account.

 

A monitor will also be able to track usage in/out which is extremely helpful in planning and maintaining a "healthy" state of charge that will ensure maximum life of your batteries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Yarome just nailed it. I am still confused as to why it would happen with generator and not otherwise. That could be just coincidence. But if the batteries are actually fully charged, which you can check with a multimeter and reliably long term monitor with a trimetric meter, then there is no reason why you would not have 12v power unless some relay is not coopoerating. I think yarome has the dx. I am just confused as to why this would only be problem with generator. This is an article about the generator issue I was referring too but it really only occurs when there is a voltage protection device. http://noshockzone.org/generator-ground-neutral-bonding/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am still confused as to why it would happen with generator and not otherwise.

 

Most likely due to the amount of current actually being applied to the secondary converter (the "littin" just "trickling" the batteries) and "sticky/faulty" relay. On generator, like Kirk was saying, the primary converter (the "biggin" rated for the full 12v load capacity of the rig) consumes the majority of the output of your genset. Keeping it simple.. think of it as shore power having enough "kick" to "throw" the relay.. whereas on genset.. it's just kinda "pushes" with the leftovers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yarome, you should be in education!! One of the qualities of a great teacher is the ability to present new information in ways (simplify or change the wordage) so that a student can understand it...unfortunately there is a shortage of good teachers in our system today...most just throw information out and hope some of it sticks...definitely not "teaching"...just giving lectures!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a faulty converter relay to me. Without getting too technical.. there are actually 2 "converters" inside your converter. When AC current is present it holds the relay/solenoid "open" (for reasons that will get technical in a hurry.. but it's necessary).. but when no AC is present it closes to apply battery power to your 12v loads.

 

Two conditions may be at play.. although this shouldn't be happening at all since the relay should be closing fully on it's own once AC is no longer being applied.

 

1. The relay is failing.

2. You're batteries may "appear" to have a full charge on (lights don't appear to be dim, etc), however, they are in a "lower" voltage state that is insufficient to fully trip the relay connection. The reason I would assume that is that when combined voltage from your batteries + your truck is applied.. it is 'then' sufficient enough to trip the relay all the way closed.

 

So #1.. you're probably going to be looking at a converter replacement. That is probably more cost effective than paying a tech to diagnose and repair the existing converter. #2.. I am going to guess that when you are charging with your generator.. charge is not being applied long enough to fully charge your batteries. If you don't already have one, I would strongly suggest installing a proper battery monitor. Ie., Trimetric.

 

The led "gauge" that is common in many RV's is not sufficient to determine state of charge of your batteries, and most folks lack the technical skills to use a voltmeter correctly when taking readings since it is merely a "snapshot", but may not necessarily be a true representation of actual state of charge. There's a whole a lotta factors that have to be taken in to account.

 

A monitor will also be able to track usage in/out which is extremely helpful in planning and maintaining a "healthy" state of charge that will ensure maximum life of your batteries.

Thanks will check it out,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I had an RV once that exhibited the same problem, I'm going to have to agree with Yarome on this one. I had good batteries but didn't have any 12 VDC in the coach unless I plugged into shore power. However, prior to this problem in full, I noticed when I unplugged my shore power cord there was a delay and later I heard a click like a relay closing, and ONLY AFTER that 12 VDC battery power worked in the coach. BAD RELAY................

 

Depending on your I'm assuming Converter/Charger capacity and condition (may just be a 20 to 30 amp and maybe just a "Dumb" Charger???) and the battery state of charge, when plugged to shore power or your Generator it may take a long time to bring your batteries up to a good full charge. However if plugged to your truck and its good heavy battery in parallel with your trailer batteries, you may possibly see a faster response and possible voltage rise.

 

Your Converter/Charger may be an old style more like a constant voltage source in the 13.4 to 13.6 volt range which can sure charge your batteries after enough time (depends on capacity and battery state) but if you're serious and may do some boondocking Id suggest a so called Smart 3/4 stage charger as an upgrade.

 

Id be checking voltages. A good full charged battery at rest and stabilized should be around 12.6 to 12.7 volts and under charge Id expect it to rise to at least 13.2 and 13.4 to 13.6 if an old style charger, but if a smart charger it may start out at 14.4+ (Bulk) then go to around 13.6 (Absorption) then once charge go to around 13.2 to 13.4 Float DEPENDS ON CHARGER AND ITS ALGORITHM.

 

CHECK BATTERY VOLTAGE AT REST AND WHILE UNDER CHARGE that will tell a lot. If you have a diagram or manual look into the Converter/Chargers Relay as it may have a problem like Yarome noted.

 

PS My current RV also has an isolation relay with a switch right by the entry door, which if in the OFF position cuts off ALL 12 VDC power to the coach. Do you have one of those?????? If its OFF or not working theres no 12 VDC in the coach regardless if on batteries on charger or shore power or not.

 

Its nothing money cant fix lol

 

John T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Distribution center is a WFCO Ultra 3 WF-8900 series. It has the 3 stage operation(absorption,bulk, float mode) for charging battery. I do not have my tester here so I am just looking at what it could be. If the converter is going because of relay what upgrade would you suggest or can you fix relay? We want to do a lot of dry camping. Thanks you guys are the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mesa, here is a copy of your owners manual.http://www.lancecamper.com/docs/manuals/Converter%20-%20WFCO%20Owner's%20Manual.pdf There is a portion giving guidance how to do diagnostic testing. While I think there is a high probability Yarome is right, I do draw your attention to this language

 

"Current Limiting Automatically shuts down power during overload or short-circuit conditions. Automatically returns to normal operation after conditions are corrected."

 

That describes exactly what you are describing to us. If the unit is detecting something wrong with the generator(no ground) your converter would shut down all electrical. I would try using one of the grounding plugs described in the article I attached and see what happens before replacing the converter.

 

If you decide it is a defective relay, I would call the manufacturer customer service dept to ask if you can replace a relay. I suspect it will be cheaper to replace the entire unit. If you are thinking of boondocking you may want to consider a combined charger/inverter and we can help you with your selection. If you have questions about the difference between converters and inverters look at Jack Mayer's site here http://www.jackdanmayer.com/Inverters_Chargers_Converters.html.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WFCO Ultra 3 WF-8900 series.

 

The technical term would be, "bleckkk!" I would go with a progressive dynamics w/charge wizard. There are a few different models, but basically 2 basic options. One is a direct replacement distribution panel with integrated converter.. like you have right now. Pretty much plug and play, but requires a full panel replacement. The other option is to go with a stand-alone converter. In that case you would need additional space to install it.. but would be a simple matter of just disconnecting the existing converter connections and attaching them to the new converter (the existing converter could remain in place as a back-up.)

 

Both options have pros/cons. Personally... I think the stand alone units are built a little better and would give you more model options and amp ratings. If you don't have any additional space conveniently available, then an integrated DP might be your best bet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Current Limiting Automatically shuts down power during overload or short-circuit conditions. Automatically returns to normal operation after conditions are corrected."

 

Could be, but in that event it is more likely that the shut down would occur while the genset is running.. not after shutdown (which would be "after conditions are corrected" if it's a genset or ground issue.). If you are unplugging the power cord from your rig with the genset still running.. and loads on.. I guess it's possible too that you could be creating an intermittent short if there is any issue with the plugs themselves.

 

In those conditions there would likely be no correlation with 12v being restored when plugging into your truck.

 

It is always wise to check ALL options before tipping your piggy bank,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't consider myself novice or expert either, but I do have considerable trouble shooting of electrical equipment and RVs in by background and it has taught me a few things. One of them is that with the information that we have at this point to say what is causing the problem is mostly a matter of guessing. The best thing is still to get a meter and start taking readings, if you have a meter and know how to use it. It is vital to know where the voltage is being lost to know what is causing it to happen. We can speculate, but not much more.What you have is clearly not a typical problem that is frequently seen and you could spend a lot of money replacing parts based upon what various ones of us think it may be. If you got lucky you might solve it on the first try, but maybe not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yarome, you should be in education!!

 

Me?? :lol: I wouldn't be a good educator. I tend to take the "grenade" approach.. throw out enough random information into the world and you're 'bound' to get something right sometime. B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...