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Old 12-12-2019, 07:56 AM   #1
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Chassis Batteries Tour or Journey

For those with Tours or Journeys do you know what the original batteries on the chassis might have been?

Mine has had the batteries replaced the original coach batteries are agm but i am wondering about the chassis batteries i am wondering if they also were agm or normal wet cell batteries.

I ask because my motorhome seems to think the batteries are low voltage but and they are wet cell. I had them tested and they tested ok but i am wondering now if they should have been agm?
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:13 AM   #2
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Are you saying that you are getting a bad reading from your chassis batteries? If so and the batteries tested good than it's likely you have something else going on. I would think that any battery with proper cranking amps would work perfectly as a chassis battery.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:31 AM   #3
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According to the Built On Freightliner info for your coach the OEM chassis batteries were "Two 950 CCA @ 0oF (-18oC); maintenance-free" presumably Freightliner's 'Alliance' brand. This thread might have some useful info: Time to change chassis batteries
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:52 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply i think likely they are wet batteries originally the replacements that the previous owner put in are only 735cca which is what i wondered that seemed small compared to my 2002 Winne batteries.

The coach reports low voltage after startup on very cold days but the batteries test fine the low voltage is because they simply do not have enough CCA. It goes away after a few seconds but i wondered if a battery was weak it actually is not or if they are undersized and yes they are.

Easy enough to replace thank you for the original specs.
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:28 AM   #5
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Traditional Lead acid vs AGM (Abosorbant Glass Matt) Lead acid (yes they are both Lead Acid) function identically. No difference in charging needs, monitor settings, etc.

Lithium Ion on the other hand would require some modifications.
We use Lithium in our race cars and they have amperage limits and voltage requirements from the alternator.

IE, you have an issue either with the battery (one most likely) or the gauge indicating low voltage. I'm betting one of your batteries is going and it's slowly taking out the other. FYI, once both batteries go it's common for the alternator to take a dump from over working trying to charge batteries that will not take the juice.
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ShaunAED View Post
Traditional Lead acid vs AGM (Abosorbant Glass Matt) Lead acid (yes they are both Lead Acid) function identically. No difference in charging needs, monitor settings, etc.

Lithium Ion on the other hand would require some modifications.
We use Lithium in our race cars and they have amperage limits and voltage requirements from the alternator.

IE, you have an issue either with the battery (one most likely) or the gauge indicating low voltage. I'm betting one of your batteries is going and it's slowly taking out the other. FYI, once both batteries go it's common for the alternator to take a dump from over working trying to charge batteries that will not take the juice.
You know i though this for AGM but i was quickly corrected by the battery guy at interstate AGM takes close to the same charge as wet but not exactly it is preferred at a lower rate over a longer period of time. It also hold a higher voltage at 100% 75% and at 50% level about the same etc.. They are not very tolerant of overcharge. In more normal cases they are close but not the same
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:14 PM   #7
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You know i though this for AGM but i was quickly corrected by the battery guy at interstate AGM takes close to the same charge as wet but not exactly it is preferred at a lower rate over a longer period of time. It also hold a higher voltage at 100% 75% and at 50% level about the same etc.. They are not very tolerant of overcharge. In more normal cases they are close but not the same
Yes, now that I think about it I have a few battery chargers with 'AGM' settings.

However, the alternator on any vehicle will simply pump out as much AMPS as necessary to bring a battery up to the proper voltage. 200, 300 amp alternators will give a TON of juice to a battery. We've not seen issues with AGM's taking it, only Lithium Ion.

Voltage is controlled by the regulator (or ECU) and I do not know why there would be a difference for traditional Lead Acid vs AGM, especially in this case where a traditional battery replaces an AGM.
Attached is a screen shot of a traditional ECU controlled voltage regulator on a vehicle with a traditional Lead Acid battery. As you can see it's scaled as voltage vs Temperature (of the alternator). The lower the temp, the higher the voltage. The other tables (low and high settings) are 12.4 and 13.3 respectively at higher temps.
In race applications we dramatically increase the voltage to ensure enough 'juice' for the ignition systems. 14.5-15v is the norm.

For Lithium we MUST increase voltage, but ensure we do not give the battery too much amperage.

And just an FYI, the amperage a battery can take is all about the size of it. Since we have 2 chassis batteries in series, and Coach batteries on the system as well, these things can take a LOT of amperage from the Alternator.
If there is a charging voltage discrepancy for AGM vs Traditional.....that would be news to me.

I still think there is something else going on.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:04 PM   #8
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If you get a low voltage warning for a few seconds, it is the intake grid heater drawing so much. This can be normal. Watch the amp meter and you will see what I mean. I also wait until the intake heater stays off to bring in the slides or shift the transmission to allow full voltage for operation. The original chassis batteries were maintenance free flooded.
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Old 12-13-2019, 02:33 AM   #9
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As mentioned, there is nothing wrong with the batteries.

The intake air grid heaters draw a few hundred amps when active and are active longer in colder weather.

Your alternator, at idle speed, will not keep up with that high amp draw so your batteries carry the load for a short time. That's what they are there for.
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Old 12-13-2019, 02:54 AM   #10
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Agree. It's likely the intake grid heaters (takes the place of glow plugs in other engines).

Normal and expected behavior to sometimes get a low chassis battery indication on startup. The grid heaters current draw sag the batteries. Should clear soon, as the alternator recovers the batteries.
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Old 12-13-2019, 07:39 AM   #11
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Is interesting intake heaters versus glow plugs. I will have to read more about this it does show the glow plug indicator on the dash at pre start up on cold days after engine is warm and turned off it on shows this momentarily.

I did go to Freightliner in Indy to get new Batteries as i know these are the smaller batteries napa 7238 which are 760 cca and 170 reserve 935 ca versus what was originally in the motorhome which according to them was 925 cca 170 reserve and 1110ca. I had them disconnected and test them again myself and one was weaker than the other which is likely more the root cause.

Plus I have not told the motorhome that she is no longer going to live in AZ Indiana is her new home so she is going to need to get used to the cold kind of waiting to break that news.

I asked about the battery voltage low indicator they said yes could do this upon occasion but should not do it often or every time if it does it more likely is a weak battery which is why i went back and tested the batteries myself.

Now the good news is these Batteries at Indy are only $75 each that is at stoops freightliner in case anyone needs any this is much less than anywhere else i priced.
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Old 12-13-2019, 07:51 AM   #12
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...Plus I have not told the motorhome that she is no longer going to live in AZ Indiana is her new home so she is going to need to get used to the cold kind of waiting to break that news......

I would be very, very careful with this news. They have been known to put up a fight. If the furnace doesn't fire up in the next couple of days you'll know the word is out.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:22 AM   #13
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Found this AGM voltage charging chart for anyone interested:
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