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Old 11-20-2019, 06:51 PM   #1
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Batteries died again

Hi all,
Well, here I go again. In my 2015 DS my new chassis batteries have died yet again. My rig is stored indoors at my shop with full hookups including 50 amp power.

Leaving for vacation I had to use the “boost” function to start both the engine and generator. I explained the problem to Newmar and they were very helpful and diagnosed over the phone a bad battery isolation manager or “BIM”. I replaced the “BIM” and both chassis batteries and everything worked great on our two week vacation.

Now back at the shop for a little over a month and hooked up to 50 amp power I tried to unlock the bay doors and nothing happened, so I tried to start the rig and once again, both batteries on the chassis side are dead. House batteries are fine. I checked the power supply and it is all good. The 1st set of batteries were new and I again replaced them just prior to our vacation with new batteries yet again. I must have a fantom draw somewhere but by being on 50 amp power it should not matter.

Other than the “BIM” is there an actual battery tender of some sort that may go bad on the chassis side? Or one that charges both sets but just the chassis side is bad?

I called Newmar and they suggested I take it to Freightliner.

I have an appointment for next week but hopefully you experts can help me out with this one. I was thinking a loose ground but they are hard to find and everything appears to be tight.

Thank you in advance
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:20 PM   #2
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I don't know your specific coach, but I suspect the chassis battery charging function may be turned off in your EMS system. Check the manual for your EMS on how to turn it on.

TJ
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:16 PM   #3
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Do you turn the 12v off or the inverter off when you leave the coach?
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Old 11-21-2019, 04:20 AM   #4
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Lenny, please let us know how you make out and repair shops findings.

CC
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:31 AM   #5
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Is your inverter/charger reaching 13.4 volts while in storage ?

If not, you need check the float voltage settings and battery temp sensor on the inverter/charger.

If one or the other not set, or working properly, they will not let the house batteries float at 13.4 volts. If they are not at that voltage, the BIM will not close to maintain the chassis battery.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:15 AM   #6
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Wow...sorry to hear about this.

I consider myself very lucky... knock on wood...my BIM has performed flawlessly thus far.

No...the coaches do not have a Battery tender, unless you count the 10w solar panel on the roof. Plugged in, with proper charge parameters set...the BIM should be kicking on to keep the chassis batteries charged while the Inverter is charging the house.

I frequently check my digi-level panel to compare house and chassis voltages. I frequently catch them both at 14.1...so, I can see the BIM working.

Water (if not Mx free), clean connections, proper charge parameters... you know how to test the BIM...I would check to see if another has failed.

I have three dc capable Clampmeters. The last one Inourchased off Amazon has Bluetooth...so, I can record data in my Smartphone app. I would invest in a dc capable Clampmeter. You could go back to the chassis bank and clamp onto each wire coming out of the chassis bank and see what the current draw is...and chase that.

Two big wires go all the way to the bay under the drivers seat...and power tons of items.

I would check things like mirror heat...to see if it was accidentally left on. Or cargo bay lights...more than a few of those were incandescent on our coach...I switched them over to LED. I would hope no load takes the chassis down so quickly that it doesn’t click the BIM.

Haven’t heard of anyone having a problem before...but you might try multi vs float in the house Charger... I wonder if the float voltage isn’t triggering a BIM closure...so House is continuously floating, and chassis isn’t getting anything. Like Twinboat was pointing out. You could try Custom vs Lead acid for battery type...and plug in your own custom charge parameters. If you are in multi...the charger cuts out and will rebulk at some point. This could at least be enough to close the BIM.

Lots of little things.

Some folks do like to have a separate battery tender for the chassis, while in storage.

I think we’re all interested in knowing what you find...Voltages, BIM, static loads on the chassis??? It no fun when the magic doesn’t keep everything maintained. After all...you’re feeding it 50A.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:43 AM   #7
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BTMETER BT-570CAPP Digital Clamp... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CFWL3SY...p_mob_ap_share

That's the meter I bought for recording.

Just went out to the man cave for coffee...

Solar is starting to charge, and I can see by the matched voltages... the BIM relay has closed, so both banks are recieving the solar.
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquil Jim View Post
I don't know your specific coach, but I suspect the chassis battery charging function may be turned off in your EMS system. Check the manual for your EMS on how to turn it on.

TJ
I have never seen that option but will check
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lenny-shawna View Post
I have never seen that option but will check
If your Shore IN amp is set too low, and your coach senses other demands, it can cutback charging...but if your PCS panel is displaying 50A...that isn't likely. Still make sure the Shore-IN amp is equal to the Inverter's supply breaker...=30A.

Here's a cheap gizmo if you have a wifi signal where you store the coach. Haven't used it...but this might be able to warn you early enough to take action, for not a lot of money...

Battery Tender Wireless Battery Monitor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5IHLBG..._AIO1DbH3X27J5

I use Venus GX along networked to a BMV-712 which allows me to check on things remotely...but it is part of my Solar install. A chunk of change, if all you want to do is keep tabs on batteries.
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 10 fan View Post
Do you turn the 12v off or the inverter off when you leave the coach?
I never touch the inverter, it should be on
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:04 AM   #11
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Lenny, please let us know how you make out and repair shops findings.

CC
I will
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Is your inverter/charger reaching 13.4 volts while in storage ?

If not, you need check the float voltage settings and battery temp sensor on the inverter/charger.

If one or the other not set, or working properly, they will not let the house batteries float at 13.4 volts. If they are not at that voltage, the BIM will not close to maintain the chassis battery.
I am out of town but will check when I return but just before I left it said “float charging or fully charged” something like that.
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
Wow...sorry to hear about this.

I consider myself very lucky... knock on wood...my BIM has performed flawlessly thus far.

No...the coaches do not have a Battery tender, unless you count the 10w solar panel on the roof. Plugged in, with proper charge parameters set...the BIM should be kicking on to keep the chassis batteries charged while the Inverter is charging the house.

I frequently check my digi-level panel to compare house and chassis voltages. I frequently catch them both at 14.1...so, I can see the BIM working.

Water (if not Mx free), clean connections, proper charge parameters... you know how to test the BIM...I would check to see if another has failed.

I have three dc capable Clampmeters. The last one Inourchased off Amazon has Bluetooth...so, I can record data in my Smartphone app. I would invest in a dc capable Clampmeter. You could go back to the chassis bank and clamp onto each wire coming out of the chassis bank and see what the current draw is...and chase that.

Two big wires go all the way to the bay under the drivers seat...and power tons of items.

I would check things like mirror heat...to see if it was accidentally left on. Or cargo bay lights...more than a few of those were incandescent on our coach...I switched them over to LED. I would hope no load takes the chassis down so quickly that it doesn’t click the BIM.

Haven’t heard of anyone having a problem before...but you might try multi vs float in the house Charger... I wonder if the float voltage isn’t triggering a BIM closure...so House is continuously floating, and chassis isn’t getting anything. Like Twinboat was pointing out. You could try Custom vs Lead acid for battery type...and plug in your own custom charge parameters. If you are in multi...the charger cuts out and will rebulk at some point. This could at least be enough to close the BIM.

Lots of little things.

Some folks do like to have a separate battery tender for the chassis, while in storage.

I think we’re all interested in knowing what you find...Voltages, BIM, static loads on the chassis??? It no fun when the magic doesn’t keep everything maintained. After all...you’re feeding it 50A.
Wow, thanks for all that. The last time it happened I replaced the BIM and the batteries but we were on vacation so I left it at that.

When I return this weekend I will trouble shoot what you suggested and hopefully figure it out before I take it to Freightliner as if it is in the programming they will never figure that out. They are probably going to search for a bad ground or something.

I’ll keep you posted and thanks
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
BTMETER BT-570CAPP Digital Clamp... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CFWL3SY...p_mob_ap_share

That's the meter I bought for recording.

Just went out to the man cave for coffee...

Solar is starting to charge, and I can see by the matched voltages... the BIM relay has closed, so both banks are recieving the solar.
I will definitely look at that and I feel confident I can figure it out now. Thanks again for your help
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