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#31 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 01:57 PM

It's time for two new AGM batteries, and time to find out if your charging system is working properly. If it is not, a good multiple stage converter would be a good investment.

Yes, it's normal for your refer to continue to run on gas as long as you have sufficient battery power to run the circuit board.

You could flip the circuit breaker on your converter if you want to keep AC on. I suspect your batteries are not going to hold a charge long.
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#32 Volvo73

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 02:26 PM

Probably a shorted cell in one of the batteries. Remove them, charge them separately and check them with a multimeter if the voltage is in the correct range.


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#33 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 02:48 PM

Probably a shorted cell in one of the batteries. Remove them, charge them separately and check them with a multimeter if the voltage is in the correct range.


With batteries in parallel, I replace both at the same time so that I have batteries in the same condition, that will charge/discharge at the same rate. One older battery can drag down a newer one.
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#34 Volvo73

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 03:01 PM

With batteries in parallel, I replace both at the same time so that I have batteries in the same condition, that will charge/discharge at the same rate. One older battery can drag down a newer one.

 

Yes, i would do that too. Except maybe if the batteries are like a year old, the expensive solar type and died due to a faulty charger. Happend to me with a 3 battery setup. I threw out the faulty one, reduced the setup to two batteries and they work fine so far. I bought the cabin used and it had an odd 24V and a 12V system.


Edited by Volvo73, 17 May 2015 - 03:09 PM.

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#35 wodpof

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 04:34 AM

It's time for two new AGM batteries, and time to find out if your charging system is working properly. If it is not, a good multiple stage converter would be a good investment.

Yes, it's normal for your refer to continue to run on gas as long as you have sufficient battery power to run the circuit board.

You could flip the circuit breaker on your converter if you want to keep AC on. I suspect your batteries are not going to hold a charge long.


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#36 wodpof

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 04:35 AM

Where do I start for trouble shooting the converter? Do I go ahead and purchase two brand new batteries and go from there?
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#37 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 06:33 AM

It sure sounds like you need to replace the batteries to me, but have them tested. As they are in the camper, I'd get good quality AGM replacements. It could be the batteries are the only issue, but test the converter as well.

To trouble shoot the charging system, I would go to the documentation and read their instructions. If you don't have it, you might find it on line, or call the vendor/manufacturer. If you're not comfortable with trouble shooting, then I would see if there is a reputable RV repair shop in your area.

Typically, a multi stage converter is going to have an initial output of 14.0 to 14.7 VDC. Some can be set to the type battery you have (AGM or flooded cell). As the battery reaches a fully charged state, the converter senses the battery state and reduces the output voltage so that a trickle charge is left as a maintenance charge that will replace what naturally discharges. The trickle will be in the range of 20ish milliamperes. Ohms law is E=IR, where E is voltage, I is current (amperes) and R is resistance. Unless I'm wrong, voltage is the variable that controls the amount of charging current.

I'd like to hear the thoughts of some other folks to, to make sure that I'm not sending you on an expensive goose chase.
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#38 Stalking Light

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 12:09 PM

I had my batteries load tested and found that one of them was bad. I never had a rotten egg smell but I was having the CO/Propane detector go off when charging with shore power. That problem seems to have gone away with the new battery.


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#39 Old Crow

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 12:28 PM

I wouldn't go buy batteries quite yet.... at least until I had a better idea what's wrong.  If the problem is a bad battery, replacing them would indeed make the problem go away.  But if the converter's bad, you'd be turning it loose on the new batteries once you do the exchange. 

 

So..

 

1.  What converter do you have? I see from another of your posts your Hawk hardside is a 2012. I don't know when FWC started using them but at some point they started using Iota DLS-30 converters. According to the video below (at 3:48), those have a port for a jumper wire to make the charger do a fast-charge. That wire will prevent your converter from going to float mode.   I know the camper is new to you so I'm thinking perhaps the previous owner had occasion to plug in that jumper for some reason.  It seems like a long shot but would explain overcharging.

 

 

 

2. Speaking of the previous owner, I'd give him a call and ask if he had noticed the problem.  And if that jumper wire's there, you will want to know why.

 

3. You might also do some Google searches for your converter model and the word 'overcharging' for more hints. I've got to go but on a quick search found the following post where a guy had a similar problem which turned out to be the converter....

 

http://www.rvforum.n...p?topic=27824.0

 

4. If nothing comes of that, I'd disconnect the batteries and test them individually.  If you don't have any test gear you could take them to an Autozone, Advance Auto, Pep Boys, etc and take them up on their free testing offer.

 

Gotta go...

-OC

 

Edited to add:  

 

The video above has troubleshooting info. There's a visual representation starting at 7:35 in the video above.  And here's another version which presents the info a bit differently: http://www.iotaengin...roubleshoot.pdf  That last one also says you can get inconsistent voltages if the unit overheats (typically because of air-flow blockage-- something else you should check)

 

Other info- If you do indeed have a DLS-30 converter it may or may not also include the IQ4 add-on PaulT speaks of in post 40. Iota sold two versions, one without an IQ4 and one with an internal IQ4.  If the paperwork that came with your Hawk doesn't tell you I'd think a call to FWC with your serial number could clear that up.

(Note: If, after reviewing the troubleshooting info, that looks like it's beyond your experience level, it's probably time to take it to a pro.)

 

Edited on 5/29 to say....

 

My post above is probably making this too complicated. 

I think I'd try this more simplified (and generic) approach first:

- plug a digital voltage display into one of the 12V outlets and record current voltage (presumably full charge)

- double-check the converter isn't on shore power

- use the batteries to discharge it/them down to something like a 12.5 reading on the display or lower

- plug in to shore power

- watch and record voltages as the converter charges - discontinue if voltage is above 15

- monitor battery temperature while charging- discontinue if battery gets hot or smells

- watch for voltage to drop out of the 14s to float voltage (probably something like 13.5) published for the converter 

- if charging behavior seems ok, suspect a battery problem.  Disconnect and take batteries for testing.

 

Note- this is just how i would approach it. I don't even HAVE a converter!  If anyone with more experience at this sees anything wrong with the approach, please comment or send me a PM


Edited by Old Crow, 29 May 2015 - 01:03 PM.

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#40 PaulT

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 04:49 PM

Check your Iota DLS-30 to ensure that it has an IQ4 smart charger module installed. If it does not, it is the best $25 bucks you will spend. It installs by plugging its RJ11 phone plug into the socket on the DLS-30 and mounting the module somewhere convenient.  

This module changes the DLS-30 from a simple DC power supply at a constant 13.7v into a multiphase smart charger. There are several threads here that discuss it in detail. 

 

Paul


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