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Old 08-16-2019, 05:28 PM   #1
Dee
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Batteries not Charging w/Shore Power

Hello all you fountains of knowledge and experience,
We are 3 weeks into our 8 week trip from Vancouver Island to Tuktoyaktuk and back. Thankfully I have 2 bars of cell service so I can seek your advice.

Currently we are plugged into shore power at our Dawson City campsite.
Every thing is working fine - fridge is on AC, microwave lights are on, outlets are working. However, I just noticed that our batteries are down to 1/3 full. I thought that they were charged by being plugged into shore power. What gives?!

We head up the Dempster tomorrow and may not have shore power for the next week so we’d like to leave here as full of everything as possible.
Thanks in advance.
D
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:39 PM   #2
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Is there a fuse/breaker between the batteries and the converter? my 2014 does. I'd also check the battery terminals, and might as well check the battery fluid while you are in there. Do you have a multimeter with you?
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:25 PM   #3
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All the breakers are fine. I will check the battery terminals and fluid but the trailer is new so I’d be surprised if they were the problem. Thanks for your reply.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:27 PM   #4
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What about the main battery switch is it on....
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:31 PM   #5
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Look for a circuit breaker similar to this in the line between the batteries and converter. If there is one, check the voltage across the terminals with a multimeter to see if it is passing power through...if you get zero voltage it is flipped or blown. Often this type of breaker is self-resetting but will continue to trip if there is a fault.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:45 PM   #6
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Thanks. Will check this out when hubby gets back from his errands. Apparently be did bring multi- meter along.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee View Post
Hello all you fountains of knowledge and experience,
We are 3 weeks into our 8 week trip from Vancouver Island to Tuktoyaktuk and back. Thankfully I have 2 bars of cell service so I can seek your advice.

Currently we are plugged into shore power at our Dawson City campsite.
Every thing is working fine - fridge is on AC, microwave lights are on, outlets are working. However, I just noticed that our batteries are down to 1/3 full. I thought that they were charged by being plugged into shore power. What gives?!

We head up the Dempster tomorrow and may not have shore power for the next week so we’d like to leave here as full of everything as possible.
Thanks in advance.
D
There should be a fuse between the pos battery terminal and the wire feeding the 12v panel in the converter. It is located under the battery cover. Below is a pic of my batteries. The large gauge red wire goes to the inverter and has a 200 amp fuse. The smaller red wire goes to the emergency cutoff switch / converter 12v panel and has a fuse holder with a 40 amp Maxi fuse.

Check the Maxi fuse and see if it's blown.
https://www.amazon.com/Bussmann-BP-M.../dp/B000IYABFM

You might want to take a look at this thread.
12V issues
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:50 PM   #8
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Well it seems to be working again so maybe it has self-corrected like you said. If we have further trouble we will use the multi meter to check it. Many thanks! You guys are such a great resource.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
Look for a circuit breaker similar to this in the line between the batteries and converter. If there is one, check the voltage across the terminals with a multimeter to see if it is passing power through...if you get zero voltage it is flipped or blown. Often this type of breaker is self-resetting but will continue to trip if there is a fault.

David, it will be zero volts across the breaker terminals if all is OK, it will be 12 V if the breaker is open..........
Kirchhoffs second law....
https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws...its/dcp_4.html


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Old 08-16-2019, 09:04 PM   #10
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David, it will be zero volts across the breaker terminals if all is OK, it will be 12 V if the breaker is open..........
Kirchhoffs second law....
https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws...its/dcp_4.html


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Oops, my bad, thanks for setting me straight on that!
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:29 PM   #11
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Oh, wow, you're going to Tuk! You'll have to tell us all about it.


Good luck with your batteries (and everything else) on your interesting trip!
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:58 AM   #12
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About a year ago one of my cables connected to the battery vibrates loose and I had to re-crimp it. Check that
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:45 AM   #13
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Oops, my bad, thanks for setting me straight on that!
I agree with David, because this Kirchhoff's Law seems counter intuitive, if the fuse is not broken then you have current flowing, if the fuse is blown the current stops, so no measurement, correct?
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:21 AM   #14
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We’ve learned through experience to carry a spare Maxi fuse. We’ve had to plug in to posts that did not have breaker switches and have destroyed that fuse disconnecting the trailer. A spare fuse in the tool box may save you aggravation.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:53 AM   #15
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... if the fuse is not broken then you have current flowing, if the fuse is blown the current stops, so no measurement, correct?
If you're measuring current through the fuse, that makes sense... but is rare to measure current in this sort of troubleshooting.

What you normally measure is voltage. You can only measure a voltage difference: the number of volts between two points. Voltage is the (electromotive) force which drives current. How much voltage is required to drive an amount of current depends on the resistance between the points.
  • If the fuse is good and you measure between the two sides of the fuse there is almost no resistance to flow so there is almost no voltage difference.
  • If the fuse is blown and you measure between the two sides of the fuse there is infinite resistance (an open gap) so no current flows and you see the entire battery voltage trying to push current through the circuit (assuming that the load side of the fuse is connected to the battery negative through something connected to the circuit).
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:29 PM   #16
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Still working on the issue. Our batt charge is still low despite being plugged int shore power.
Multimeter reading is zero across the breaker terminal as in David’s photo, which I gather means that it is ok. Any other suggestions?
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:40 PM   #17
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The local Napa guy suggested getting a trickle charger and use that if we need to. Does that make aense to you?
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:49 PM   #18
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Check the actual voltage level between either side of the breaker and ground, should be something like 13.3 - 13.6 vdc with the converter running. Check the voltage across the battery terminals. Check the connections on the breaker and the battery for tightness and that the wires aren't loose in the crimps.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:35 PM   #19
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Thank you for all your advice but we are not managing to sort it out because we are so unfamiliar with the electrical equipment. Here’s a summary of where we are at. We will try to get on the phone with ETI next time we are within cell range and it is a weekday.

Something I forgot about to mention that may be helpful- the day before we noticed that the battry charge was low we had an odd event withe ceiling fan. It started beeping and turning on and off. Then it stopped and worked properly so we thought no more about it. Is that a clue maybe?


1. We are having trouble locating the 40 amp fuse you are all referring to. The amazon link shows an orange fuse There is nothing like that. There is a little metal box with 2 posts a “circuit breaker” as in the photo thatDavid posted. Robin checked the voltage across those posts and it was zero.
2. We have checked all the connections and the fluid
The EMI is cycling through its messages:
124
3A
60H
E0

3.The power is coming into the trailer (the AC works)
4. The solar panel seems to be working as the sun is out and we are now up to 60% battery.
5. The 200 amp fuse seems fine (it looks like a large bead of solder- is that what it’s supposed to look like?)

(Meanwhile we are Waiting in Dawson city for the snow to clear on the Dempster highway so that we can carry on to Inuvik and Tuk. )
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:41 PM   #20
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Snow? Send some down to the lower 48 please....
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