Maybe It’s Jealous

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 082017

Thanks to everybody for your suggestions about the problem with our bedroom slide out. Yesterday morning I went outside and ran the living room slide in and out with no problems and tested the leveling jacks, and they worked fine. But the bedroom slide still wouldn’t do anything. Then, just to see, I started the engine and the bedroom slide worked. Problem solved!

I’m still confused, though. In the past, when we arrive at a campground and plug into shore power, I use the leveling jacks and run out the slides. I’ve never had to have the engine running to make the slides and jacks work before, and I didn’t yesterday for the jacks and living room slide. But I do for the bedroom slide. That doesn’t make a lot of sense because the living room slide is larger and heavier and the jacks pull more power than the bedroom slide and they still work with the engine off. Just not the bedroom slide.

Another problem we have is that our Lifeline AGM house batteries aren’t holding a charge. I disconnected them when I parked the RV back in October, and they had dropped down quite a bit between then and now, but in the past AGMs have always come right back up. As I mentioned before, when we were building our MCI bus conversion, Lifeline gave us a set of batteries to use and abuse, and told us they wanted us to put them to the torture test, which we did for years with no problems.

But not these. With the rig plugged in, the batteries show 12.4 volts, but as soon as we turn on even one of our LED lights they drop down to 11.7 and continue to drop as long as any lights are turned on. Rather than depend on the charger built into our motorhome’s inverter, last night I hooked a three stage smart charger to the house batteries and let it run. Hopefully that will that give them enough juice to charge up fully. Then it’s just a matter of whether or not they will hold that charge

I talked to Phil Botnick, who as far as I’m concerned is the best RV tech in the business, and the guy who installed our Lifeline batteries back in March of 2015. Phil said to contact the company, because they have a five year warranty. So that will be one of the things I need to do today.

And as if that wasn’t enough to deal with, our basement air conditioner runs fine, but the fan will only work on manual mode, not auto. It’s amazing how many things can get messed up just with the RV being in storage. One of my author friends suggested that maybe the RV is jealous because we left it in a storage yard and spent all our time with the house the last few months, so this is payback. It could be, I guess.

Something else that we are finding strange, and laughing at ourselves about is that we spent over 17+ years living fulltime in an RV, seven of those years in this one before we bought the house last October and put the Winnebago in storage. But while we have been getting it ready for our summer travels we are amazed at how much we have forgotten about it, such as which switch turns what on and off, where certain switches are, where we kept things in the cabinets when we lived in it, and things like that. Somebody said when we come home it will be the same way readjusting to the house. I don’t doubt it.

As it stands now, we are still on track to leave on Friday. However, if the house batteries are not going to come back I need to figure out somewhere to have Lifeline ship replacements to me and get them installed. That could throw a monkey wrench into our plans to stop at the Escapees Lone Star co-op in Hondo, Texas on our way to Arizona. I hope not, but if that happens we will just have to make arrangements to stop there on our way back to Florida in the fall.

It’s Thursday, and you know what that means. It’s time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel by my friend Suzie O’Connell. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Half of our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. – Will Rogers

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  10 Responses to “Maybe It’s Jealous”

  1. Welcome to seasonal camping. When you were running the RV continually, your batteries were fully charged.if my Winnebago has been sitting, sometimes I have to turn the engine on to move the slide. They’re run off the engine batteries.

  2. I was wondering about the conductivity of the ground connections, but Mike having a similar problem with his slide might lead to something different. It is good to have a ground though…

  3. Seeing 12.4 volts with the rig plugged in suggests that the charger may be the problem. Charging voltage should be at least 13.8 volts with charged batteries. Voltage under charge comes up slowly as batteries charge.

  4. AGM Battery’s have different charging requirements vs wet cell batteries. You may have already considered that when the battery’s were replaced.
    In many cases the charging converters that come with a lot of RV’s are on the low end as far as capacity to correctly, fully charge AGM batteries.

    Is there the possibility that your bedroom slide out is powered by the House batteries rather then the engine batteries?
    Best wishes to you on your trip.

  5. Nick, in reading Thursday’s account, I think you’ll find your bedroom slide is electric and that your low batteries are the problem with it. As well, the anomaly with the air conditioning sounds like low batteries to me as well. I have big Monaco with 3 hydraulic slides yet the bed-slide is electric. I was told that under-the-bed slide units are almost always electric. Now, if your bedroom slide is the wardrobe–that’s another matter–it’s likely hydraulic.

    You need batteries. Just my thought.

  6. A light equalizing charge on the batteries might bring em back to life. That helped a few times on our old AGMs when they were nearing their end of life. But new batteries from Lifeline would be even better, of course.


  7. On my rig, the key has to be turned on to move the slides in and out. It’s weird, but when the bedroom slide doesn’t work, I turn the key off and VOILA … the slide moves. It happens maybe once a year. No idea why … it’s just a ghosty I guess!!

  8. Yes, I think they get jealous and act up. Or they just pout from being ignored! Either way, we keep finding things we never noticed before that seem to have materialized while in storage! Who left a sock in my shoe pocket? I’m thinking “haints” moved in while we weren’t here.
    Thankfully, all systems seem to have returned to their normal good working order! I guess she’s over it!

  9. I do have to add my two cents worth in. I worked on A/C for years (trained in military) and I would suggest that you look at the fan relay to see if you might have either a bad connection or possibly even the relay may have gone bad. As far as the battery problem I think that your problem is somewhere in your charging system as I agree if the batteries were trying to be charged you should get a lot higher voltage showing as it slowly drops as the batteries become closer to being fully charged. Low batteries show show closer to 14 volts coming from the charger not 12.4 !!!!!

  10. I forgot to add that it is very possible that your bedroom slide problem may also be linked to your low battery voltage and the fact that they aren’t getting charged properly, hence the problem with your DC system could be as simple as a bad ground (corrosion build up from being in storage) and nothing any more drastic !!!!

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