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Old 05-22-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
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cause of battery drain

Who has an answer? I had to leave our motor home for 10 days so. I left is unplugged but kept the refrig operating on propane. I didn't use kill switch for coach batteries because refrig would turn off in propane mode so I assumed power was needed to operate refrig in propane mode probably for electronisc ignition. Right?v
When I returned 10 days later I wasn't surprised that the refrig had quit. Most food was emptied before I left
Also door keypad didn't work as well as all inside lights excepct for one door entry light. I didn't have battery power to start generator but I did have power to start coach engine. So chassis batteries stayed charged (maybe solar trickle charge???) But coach batteries drained. Also step went in when I started engine but didnnt go out when I turned engine off and opened door. Assuming that is also powered by coach battery.

Set me straight please. I want to understand how it works. Thanks.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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A typical RV refrig will draw 1/2 amp plus to run the control module (on propane or turned off). The only way I know of to stop this drain is to turn off the breaker (mine ckt breaker is inside the refrig between the freezer and food. You can get an owners manual on-line (and free) that may answer some questions. Also, my refrig is tied into the 12VDC system just prior to the cut-off switch relay (battery side) so if I turn the 12VDC off the frig stays on.
Yes, the house batteries are separated from the chassis (engine) battery, but when you start the engine both sets of batteries get charged. That's why the engine started, and the steps worked when the engine was running.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Tom.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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Hi enjoyrv,
The DADP has a considerable amount of parasite 12 VDC that could drain the coach batteries in 10 days. My assumption is the batteries are factory installed and are flooded (require water to be added). Consider:
1. Check the water in the coach batteries.
2. Fully charge the coach batteries and check the specific gravity of each cell.
3. With fully charged coach batteries have each battery load tested.

Why do steps 1, 2 and 3? With factory installed flooded batteries, always have a good/proven baseline of battery power before moving on to determine less than adequate coach 12 VDC power.

4. Use the coach storage switch and determine if the refrigerator will run if the coach disconnect switch is in the storage position.

5. When not connected to shore power the chassis batteries are separate (electrically) from the coach batteries.
6. The entrance door steps are powered by the chassis batteries. The steps should always be retracted when the door is closed and the ignition switch is in the "on" position. The steps should always extend when the door is open (regardless of ignition switch position). If this is not true, have a tech look at the situation.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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The invertor will stay on and power microwave and other items unless you turn it off. It is not controlled by the coach battery cutoff. When the coach batteries reach a certain voltage the invertor will turn off. This prevents the invertor from totally discharging the batteries.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:20 PM   #6
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Did ya turn the propane leak detector off? It has to turned off on the overhead switch. It's hot all the time if it's on. Also I believe the generator is tied to the chassis batteries. Why don't you leave the gen auto start on when you leave. It should be set to start the gen set when batteries get down to 11.4 volts.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
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My 2005 Dutch Star has a ghost load of 1.5 amps with everything turned off including the inverter. I have checked two other Dutch Stars and they also had 1.5 amp ghost loads to run circuit boards and relays. So 1.5 amps is 36 amps per day and 360 amps for a ten day period. That will basically drain four 6-volt batteries that were fully charged to begin.

The steps are powered by two separately fused circuits - one with the engine running (ignition on) and one with the engine off.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for all replies. I don't have auto generator start so can't leave it on. Don't see a switch to turn off propane detector. Main circuit breaker box has breaker for refrig so I could turn that off to reduce drain but I wanted to run refrig when I wagas gone (propane when land power not available). Gary, what do you mean gravity check and how do you do a load test on battery? I may have had invertor switch on.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:57 AM   #9
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I think most Newmars come with Auto Starts don't they? You should have a remote control or look in the cabinet in the bathroom for a mounted control.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enjoyrv View Post
Thanks for all replies. I don't have auto generator start so can't leave it on. Don't see a switch to turn off propane detector. Main circuit breaker box has breaker for refrig so I could turn that off to reduce drain but I wanted to run refrig when I wagas gone (propane when land power not available). Gary, what do you mean gravity check and how do you do a load test on battery? I may have had invertor switch on.
Hi Rich,
On my dutch star the LP detector fuse is located in the outside power bay behind a Velcro panel. It's a 1 amp fuse you need to pull to disable it. Not sure where it is on the DA.
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