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Problems Keeping House Batteries Charged
Total Views: 1043 - Total Replies: 2
Nov 30 2011, 5:58 am - By copperdog

Hi, we are (extremely) new to RVing and my husband is taking our 1990 Barth Regal cross country as we speak from CA to FL to store until next summer when we plan on becoming full-timers. He is finishing Day 2 of the trip. Day 1 was fine, they had coach heat, radio and once they stopped at a truck stop (no hookups) they charged the phone and had a few lights on. Didn't use the generator. Day 2 the interior lights were dim, no coach heat or radio and the gen wouldn't start. They got a charge from someone which was enough to start and run the gen for about 2 hours but the radio and heat quicky petered out and once they stopped in NM the gen wouldn't start again. They aren't staying at parks, simply getting from A to B. Any ideas on what's being done wrong? They need to make it to FL by end of day Fri. Thanks!
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Nov 30 2011, 3:46 pm - Replied by: Technomadia

Sounds like the batteries are at the end of their lifespan and might need to be replaced.    Most lead acid battery types are only good for a few years even if properly maintained... and they greatly loose their capacity to hold a charge for long as they age.  The dimming in the lights they're seeing is from the batteries loosing voltage from them getting drained.  


If they're flooded lead acid (as opposed to gel or AGM), they might try topping them off with some distilled water and do a good equalizing charge - that could extend some life back into them if they're not too cooked already.  


Is there only one battery system in the entire coach?  It sounds like everything (coach stuff - dash heat, radio; house - lights, outlets; generator start) are all running off the same system?   That's a bit odd of a set up, if so.   Generally there's at least two different battery systems - one for the coach stuff (starting the engine, headlights, dash stuff, etc.), and one for the house stuff... and perhaps one for the generator start.  But, these vintage RVs of ours are also quite wonky in their setups. 


Best wishes..  sound like the coach is working fine, and might just need some electrical system TLC once you get it to FL.  If electricity is needed while parked, they might just need to splurge for hook-ups along the way.  Or, do like they're doing and bumming electrons along the way to keep phones charged, etc. 


Best wishes!

 - Cherie

 (Currently wintered in Melbourne, FL) 




Cherie and Chris / Technomads / www.technomadia.com
1961 GM 4106 - Vintage Bus
On the road since 2006 

Nov 30 2011, 9:06 pm - Replied by: copperdog

Thanks Cherie, I'll let him know. If I remember right there are 3 batteries: a chassis battery that basically only starts the engine, and 2 house batteries, side by side, that evidently power everything else. I can't remember for sure so I might be making this up ;) They've made it to TX alright anyway. We'll have as long as we need to get it up to snuff this summer once we are in FL.
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