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My Progressive Dynamics Charge Controller is not charging the batteries


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Leaving to go camping four days ago I was hooking up the trailer to the tow vehicle and discovered the tongue jack was not working and I first thought it was the jack itself, well it didn't take long to see it was the batteries were dead as well as all other 12v functions on the trailer. When I plugged the power 30amp cord back in to the trailer all works as it should and even worked on the 12v trailer cord just fine. I did check the batteries with a meter and they did read 4.6 volts at the battery, but with the power cord plugged in they did read 12.6. I'm now thinking that my charge controller is not charging the batteries, plus I did not hear the charge unit click on and off as I think it's supposed to do to keep the batteries charged, note my trailer is plugged in all the time when not in use. My trailer has the standard batteries that Oliver puts in them, but I don't think both batteries would die at the same time, plus just from past experience I don't think the charger is turning on and charging, I guess my question is, where should I start looking first, second, third, etc. Any ideas on this would be appreciated where to start looking. 

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Replace the batteries. One bad one will drag down the other. Since you’re reading 12.6 V when plugged into shore power, the converter is outputting and likely okay. Also, it doesn’t click when turning on or off.  Maybe you’re  thinking about the transfer switch?

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Did you check the breaker on the charger under the dinette seat?  I agree that it should be working if you got 12.6V when plugged in.  I’d replace the batteries, too.  MIke

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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If you’re reading only 4.6 volts at the battery as no load voltage when not connected to shore power, then at least one of the the batteries is probably shot.  You didn’t mention if you have 12volt lead acid or the 6volt AGM, but either way a voltage reading of only 4.6 volts is essentially a dead battery, way less than 10% charge level.   And frequently letting the batteries drop to less than 50% charge level will shorten their useful life. 

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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Thanks for the info, I will remove or unhook the batteries today and charge each on separately on my charger. This is just to see if they even charge and which one is dead, but I will replace both batteries even if one still checks good. The batteries are the stock batteries that Oliver puts in the trailer when new, I did not pay for any upgrades for batteries. I will say here that we don't use battery power very much, probably only when on the road for fresh water for bathroom use, or when hooking up the trailer and power for the tongue jack. Thanks for the post, I will start with the batteries and go from there, any other ideas will be welcomed, thanks.

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Trainman, I  think you're wise to also troubleshoot the pd charger/converter. If you have the manual, there's a troubleshooting guide in it. If not, you can download it on the progressive dynamics site. PD will answer any questions you have if you call their technical support line.

We had a problem with ours not charging last year. Turned out to be low power from the 110 connection.  The charger won't charge below a certain level (I 104 or 105 volts, though pd tech told us it might probably still charge down to 102 or so.) You might just start by checking what voltage you're actually getting from your 30 amp plug, so you can rule that out.

Another time, I think Paul found a loose connection somewhere, but that's so long ago, I don't remember. 

We are on our second pd charger/converter. First died after about 10 years.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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If you have left your batteries plugged in constantly  via the charger converter most likely you have boiled those batteries dry, assuming they are lead acid. If so they surely are DOA. 

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Legacy Elite II #70

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Another question, why do I need two batteries when we really don't ever use the battery power. We don't Boondock and like I said before, only battery use might be using the tongue jack, or water pump when traveling on the road. We traveled with our Casita with only one battery and never had a battery problem over the years we owned it, so I see one good battery as all we probably need, plus you are plugged into the vehicle power plug which takes care of what little power you would need, but I do want the battery system in operation, it could disrupt the system in general without a battery in the system.  This is not because of two battery expense, it just make good sense to me when we really didn't get much use of the two battery system. I know the  hotel option as always there for a nights stay if things become unbearable.

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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That's an interesting thought @Trainman, as we're much more likely to see discussions here on increasing available amp hours.

Since you always camp with hookups,  I don't know why you couldn't manage with one 12v battery. (I wouldn't run the fridge on dc while traveling, though, and maybe lift the jacks while you're still plugged on to the campsite.)

One of my best friends owns a Casita, and camps with us without power, with one battery. She just has to plug in to the generator every 2 or 3 days, or use her portable solar panel to charge up on sunny days.

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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As some of you said upon removing the batteries they were totally dry in the cells. I did fill them with distilled water, but so far they have not taken a charge and are totally dead. This was probably my fault as I did not check them as I was thinking they were like automobile batteries in todays vehicle and were a sealed battery and you couldn't add fluid to them, I was wrong on that. So I will be buying new batteries this week. Thanks to all who gave input on this matter, trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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