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Old 01-05-2019, 01:39 PM   #1
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4 wks storage - battery voltage now 11.6 & 11.4

Question from Seattle area. I am storing my Journey 36DL at a facility without electric hook up. It has dropped to freezing a few nights, but generally 38 to 50 degrees. After 4 weeks, the house battery had dropped to 11.6 v and chassis 11.4, and would not start the 330 Cat even when combining both chassis and house at same time. Bought coach this summer, this is first winter and the (2) grp 31 chassis batteries look quite old.

Questions:
1) is this common for voltage to drop that much in 4 weeks? (I had even pushed the chassis disconnect button to eliminate fandom discharge)

2. I started gen set to start the engine and it started fine. Do other people do this? Will it damage anything?

Thanks in advance for any tips.
Jim
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:05 PM   #2
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Yes, Yes, and No.

With the "chassis disconnect" off so was the charger/converter, so there was no charge to the battery.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:07 PM   #3
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What you have experienced is not abnormal. If you plan to park the coach for longer than say a week, you should remove the Neg cable from both he House Battery bank and the Chassis battery. There are parasitic draws on both the house and chassis batteries that remain active even after you use the disconnects.
If you have wet cell house batteries, have you checked the water level? If you need to add water it is imperative to fully charge them after adding water so they do not freeze.
In order to fully charge the batteries at this point, you will have to run the generator for at least 4-6 hrs. or longer to get to fully charged state.
Once you have the batteries back to fully charged and the neg cables removed they will sit for a couple months at least without discharging or freezing. If they are in good condition that is. The only way to determine condition is to have them individually load tested.
Excercising the generator every couple months with at least half load for and hour or two is not a bad idea. Especially if you are in a humid climate. Plug in a couple of 1500W heaters for a good load.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
What you have experienced is not abnormal. If you plan to park the coach for longer than say a week, you should remove the Neg cable from both he House Battery bank and the Chassis battery. There are parasitic draws on both the house and chassis batteries that remain active even after you use the disconnects.
If you have wet cell house batteries, have you checked the water level? If you need to add water it is imperative to fully charge them after adding water so they do not freeze.
In order to fully charge the batteries at this point, you will have to run the generator for at least 4-6 hrs. or longer to get to fully charged state.
Once you have the batteries back to fully charged and the neg cables removed they will sit for a couple months at least without discharging or freezing. If they are in good condition that is. The only way to determine condition is to have them individually load tested.
Excercising the generator every couple months with at least half load for and hour or two is not a bad idea. Especially if you are in a humid climate. Plug in a couple of 1500W heaters for a good load.
When my house batteries were dead, the genset wouldn't start. It appears to use the house batteries to start so we were SOL until we could connect to shore power.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:17 PM   #5
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When my house batteries were dead, the genset wouldn't start. It appears to use the house batteries to start so we were SOL until we could connect to shore power.
Below is your point #2 from your original post. Not sure I'm following.

If the engine starts, it will charge both the house and chassis batteries.
If the generator starts, it is the same as shore power and will charge both sets of batteries.
The Boost Button connects both sets of batteries together if one or the other looses charge.
The house and chassis Disconnect switches must be turned On in order for charging from either the engine, generator or shore power to take place.


2. I started gen set to start the engine and it started fine. Do other people do this? Will it damage anything?
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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If you are storing your motorhome without power , the batteries have to be totally disconnected by removing the negative cables. Most factory disconnects do not totally disconnect the batteries. Make sure your batteries are fully charged before you disconnect them. They will be good for at least 6 months without the need to charge them. When you return , connect the batteries and your coach will start.
I installed disconnects on both the house and chassis batteries so I don't have to remove the cables. I disconnect my batteries if the motorhome will be sitting for mor than a couple of weeks without shore power.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:36 PM   #7
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Sounds pretty normal to me. I have diesel and gas. Im up in the mountains in Colorado and no power at my storage. I set my calendar for every 10 days to do a start and exercise. I crank the engine, then the genny. I run the engine to warm up and put a space heater load on the Gen for 20 minutes. Then go home. I have doing this for 3 years with current coach and so far everything is good. Also, I service my batteries about 4 times a year. I really on the disconnectnswithc, I do not disconnect the cables, since I exercise the coach.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:34 PM   #8
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Do you have auto start on gennny? You can set the low end voltage, have it start and run. Charging batteries puts some load on it and generally it will run minimum 20 mins.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:11 PM   #9
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Thanks folks. In the future, I will disconnect the batteries when not using for a few weeks, and sorry but do not have a gen with auto run. I have somehow popped a breaker or something when I was charging today and canít find any fuse r breaker to reset. I will start a new thread.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Below is your point #2 from your original post. Not sure I'm following.

If the engine starts, it will charge both the house and chassis batteries.
If the generator starts, it is the same as shore power and will charge both sets of batteries.
The Boost Button connects both sets of batteries together if one or the other looses charge.
The house and chassis Disconnect switches must be turned On in order for charging from either the engine, generator or shore power to take place.


2. I started gen set to start the engine and it started fine. Do other people do this? Will it damage anything?
This is not always true.
To verify this you need to look and see if the proper equipment was installed by either the MFG or some body else. Unlike the newer Winnebago's that have the cross connect electronics to charge the house batteries from the motor and vise versa, some of the older units did not have this.
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