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AGM batteries not charging


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Just picked up #762 on Friday I’m back in Texas still driving.  Camped last 3 nights everything good, but today batteries showed 11.5 volts trailer been in full sun and on shore power every night. I’ve been driving all days stopped for night at 12 volts now. Jason supposed to call me. Question am I missing something stupid? Probably still trying to figure everything out. Nothing in trailer is drawing power. If I’m crazy let me know lol

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I'm sure you've checked already, but . . . . . . what mode is the fridge running on?  Running on battery would quickly draw them down.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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Wow, I am having a really hard time me coming up with a problem that would affect three different charging sources. Does your solar controller show any current going to them in sunlight? The panels should put out nearly 20 amps on a bright day. Have you seen any indications on the basic voltmeter that anything is happening? Do the volts go up when you plug in the truck and start the engine?

Do all your 12 volt systems work right? Lights, jacks, fridge, etc....?

All I can think of is a failed battery or batteries. It is unlikely, but if you can figure out a way to charge them, say from a portable charger or a generator using alligator clips, then a repair shop or battery store can load test them to see if one or more is kaput. The only way to test an AGM is when it is charged, using a load tester. I had mine tested today and there was one failed one and three close to failed. They are 42 months old though, so that was not a surprise...
 

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Flattened lead acid batteries are a very bad thing, in terms of their life span. I would want a complete new replacement set from Oliver when the problem is found.

Good luck, and please keep us updated.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Thanks everybody. Fridge is on LP, everything is currently working lights, etc., but I’ve been on shore power every night no idea how they could drain, I’ll let you know

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Forgot this important fact, if you do have a dead battery, you can disconnect it and one more battery, and connect the remaining two good ones to make a single 12 volt source, essentially you have half a battery bank. It will work perfectly fine, but you shouldn’t try to run your inverter with a high draw device like the microwave or a hair dryer with this setup. It might be enough to get you home safely, without curtailing your vacation trip.

Maybe find an RV shop or mobile RV tech, to check things for you....

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I’ll let you all know, I tried running the truck and volts didn’t move hardly.  In 10 hours of full sun and driving 6 hours it went from 11.5 to 12.3 but quickly dropped 

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Posted (edited)

Just a few thoughts.

Have you actually gone out and measured the voltage of each individual battery?

Have you checked all the battery terminals and made sure they are not corroded or loose?

Are the lights dim?

Will the tongue jack lift the trailer when plugged in vs not plugged in?

I am not familiar with the current wiring layout, but I believe that the problem will turn out to be a connection issue.  This one reason I've never been a fan of the Zamp system. What are the amps doing? With no shunt and no way to monitor anything other than volts, it's very difficult to tell what's going on.

Edited by ScubaRx
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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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Been without service in woods lol okay so Monday when it got to 11.5 I did turn the fridge off, even though it was on LP, stayed in motel, in morning it hadn’t gone down anymore. Sw Jason he went through all the possibilities. Best guess he came up with is that fridge must be defaulting to DC.  Well Tuesday after driving all day in sun, batteries were back up to 13.5, so Jason is going to find me a place to get it checked.  Since then they’re showing a full charge everyday. I’ve been staying at Red River Army depot  outside of Texarkana

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Sorry about your battery issues but it sure looks like you could be in a worse place for them to happen.  If Jason has helped you locate the issue (maybe) then that is great.  Certainly I'll be interested in hearing what happens from here in that this is the first time I've ever heard of a fridge defaulting to the DC mode - bad switch, bad board?  Interesting.

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Dennis1 said:

...Sw Jason he went through all the possibilities. Best guess he came up with is that fridge must be defaulting to DC...

 

 

If the refrigerator was indeed accidentally running on DC, that may well be the cause of the "problem" with the batteries not charging. They may have been charging normally all along and the fridge was simply using more amps than were coming from the panels and truck combined with the end result being depleted batteries. It can easily draw 16-17 amps. If this be the case, you can claim to be the poster child in the campaign to not ever run the fridge on DC. Most of us have be preaching this for years.

If the fridge is operating properly, it will never "default" to DC. You always have to make it go to DC and the AUTO button must be OFF in order to do so. When the AUTO button is ON the refrigerator will automatically select between AC and LP, but never DC.

Edited by ScubaRx
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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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Which model Norcold is being installed these days? The 510.3 Norcold will default to dc if neither 110 nor lp is available, according to this manual. 

(This did not occur in our Dometic,  as I  recall. It was only 110 or lp in auto.)

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

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For what it's worth: To be on the safe side, we never run our fridge on auto mode.  If you switch it manually and it doesn't detect power, it should alarm to let you know.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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1 hour ago, Susan Huff said:

For what it's worth: To be on the safe side, we never run our fridge on auto mode.  If you switch it manually and it doesn't detect power, it should alarm to let you know.

That's good advice with the Norcold, which can unexpectedly end up in DC mode. Not an issue with the Dometic though where DC can only be selected manually.

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7 hours ago, bhncb said:

Not an issue with the Dometic though where DC can only be selected manually.

Maybe this is true of the Dometic installed by Oliver, I don't know.  We had a Dometic (model rmd8555) in our camper van that did have auto mode. The sequence of priority was: 1.) - Solar (12V DC)  2. -  115V AC  3. -  12V DC   4. - Liquid gas.  The user manual also says to "only use DC power while engine is running or batteries will be drained in a few hours".  I think it priority should be 1. - 230V AC  2. - LP  3. - Solar (12V DC) and 4. - 12V DC (in absence of solar).  The power source that is most rapidly depleted should be last in line.  Perhaps there is a reason it is not.  

By using manual selection, you can be certain of the power source and make adjustments as needed.

 

Edited by Susan Huff
correction of voltage

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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1 hour ago, Susan Huff said:

Maybe this is true of the Dometic installed by Oliver, I don't know.  We had a Dometic (model rmd8555) in our camper van that did have auto mode. The sequence of priority was: 1.) - Solar (12V DC)  2. -  230V AC  3. -  12V DC   4. - Liquid gas.  The user manual also says to "only use DC power while engine is running or batteries will be drained in a few hours".  I think it priority should be 1. - 230V AC  2. - LP  3. - Solar (12V DC) and 4. - 12V DC (in absence of solar).  The power source that is most rapidly depleted should be last in line.  Perhaps there is a reason it is not.  

By using manual selection, you can be certain of the power source and make adjustments as needed.

 

Don't you mean 115VAC?

Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

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5 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

For what it's worth: To be on the safe side, we never run our fridge on auto mode.  If you switch it manually and it doesn't detect power, it should alarm to let you know.

We always run ours on Auto mode.  If we’re plugged into shore power it goes to that.  As soon as I unplug it goes to propane.  I’ve never used 12V.  Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Mav -  you don't like North Dakota - or is white a color of record. Ha

 

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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29 minutes ago, BackofBeyond said:

Mav -  you don't like North Dakota - or is white a color of record. Ha

 

I assume your comment is from the map in which we have traveled in the United States; North Dakota is the only state we have missed.

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

States Visited Map

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

We always run ours on Auto mode.  If we’re plugged into shore power it goes to that.  As soon as I unplug it goes to propane.  I’ve never used 12V.  Mike

Our 2021 will have the Norcold fridge which includes 12v in auto mode.  We just feel safer knowing it won't mysteriously switch to battery power.  It would be nice if the fridges were programmed to not auto switch to battery if the tow vehicle engine isn't running, at least where a motorhome/camper is concerned.  I'm not certain, with a towable trailer, if the house batteries would draw enough charge from the engine alternator.   Comments???

At any rate, it is peace of mind, for us, to manually choose the fridge power source so batteries don't accidently get sucked dry as could have possibly been the issue that @Dennis1 experienced :classic_wink:

 

5 hours ago, Maverick said:

Don't you mean 115VAC?

Yes, sorry.  Was quoting text that referred to European specs  . . . . . oops!

 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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