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Old 05-12-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
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Chassis Battery reading .2V on monitor panel

The chassis battery monitor panel reading on our 2013 Baystar 3209 always reads .2V even when fully charged. I has been that way for as long as I can remember and we really didn't worry about it because we had never had any starting problems. Now that we are just out of warranty the battery is going completely dead even when hooked up to shore power. We have taken it to a Ford dealership for testing and the battery tests out fine and will take a charge. We had the same original Motorcraft battery in our previous RV for over 9 years.
The only input we've gotten from Newmar is that it could be a faulty panel, but that doesn't explain a dead battery. Any thoughts out there on what might be going on?
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:13 PM   #2
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JMHO: 9 years out of a battery is the exception , not the rule.
If your not using the RV every day or week for that matter. Fully charge the chassis battery, let it sit; unhooked; for a week >10 days then carry it in to have it tested. If it tests ok then you have to concentrate on draws on the battery. Or something changed in the coach that the chassis battery isn't being charged when on shore power.
Some onboard charging systems will prioritize the house batteries and if they are low never switch over to charge all the batteries.
There are constant draws on a chassis battery, and vehicles on car lots require charging or running every 2 weeks to prevent the battery going dead. You didn't say how long yours was taking.
This is no help for your panel reading, for that I'd track down where it is hooked up to the chassis battery and check for a poor connection.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:24 PM   #3
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Hi hookup,
A Ford dealer will not solve this problem unless another automotive part is defective. Consider the following steps in order:
1. Contact Newmar and determine if your coach has a BIRD (Bi Directional Isolator Relay Delay) feature. My assumption is it does, but you need to make sure. The BIRD decides which batteries to charge, when connected to shore power. Also for the chassis batteries when traveling down the road. The power source for the BIRD is the engine alternator or the generator or shore power.
2. There is a 5 WATT solar panel on the roof that will keep the chassis battery in the state it was in when the engine was turned off. This is good when no shore power is being provided to the coach. It will not charge the battery but maintain it.
3. If Newmar says you have a BIRD feature, then that feature needs to be checked.
4. If the BIRD is working, the chassis battery needs to be disconnected and fully charged with an external charger. Once fully charged, let it sit for several hours. Load test the battery. Any automotive parts store has a load tester. This will provide a good status of the battery. If you do not own a load tester, consider having Santa bring you one. Over 100 AMP is a good size. My tester is rated at 130 AMPS.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
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JMHO: 9 years out of a battery is the exception , not the rule.
Skip426
Right on!
My 1st set of batteries lasted 11 years.
Mel
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:54 PM   #5
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Just for clarification ... the battery that is going dead is in your 2013 Baystar and is about 1 year old ... right?
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:59 PM   #6
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Hi Hookup,
Chassis battery has constant draws from the on board computers, etc. I did notice if you disconnect the battery you have to retrain the computer( on my ford chassis) so check the OM on how to do it, I didn't do it the first time and my tranny shifted wired for a while.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bruceisla View Post
Just for clarification ... the battery that is going dead is in your 2013 Baystar and is about 1 year old ... right?
Yes the battery is in our 2013 Baystar.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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Not sure where your reading your .2 volts from if its the BDC panel that reads your house batteries only. If your reading it while coach is plugged in to shore power you will read 13.7 volts approximately the charge to your house batteries from your converter.
When plugged in to shore power the BDC switch needs to be on so all your batteries will be charged by your BIRD System which includes your house and chassis batteries.



PICTURE OF BIRD

Wiring for Bird.------------12v battery system for reference only

12v wiring and fusing with solar panel at end of link.
The Bird system also charges all your batteries while your driving your coach by the alternator.
So as long as you BDC is on when ever you use your coach all the time, your batteries should always be fully charged.
You have how everything is to work now you need to figure what is wrong with the systems if they do have a problem.
For your chassis battery right now it needs to be charged with a 12v battery charger by itself and your Ford Dealer has nothing to do with you Bird system charging a Newmar dealer has that responsibility.
You also need to check your ground cables to chassis frame for good tight and clean terminations to chassis frame both the chassis battery and your house batteries and converter ground to chassis frame.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:40 PM   #9
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Went through a similar problem with my coach. Battery was not even a year old. Replaced the Chassis battery and the problem solved. The battery apparently had a "Soft Short". Whenever the Chassis battery was tested it tested OK. Test numerous times at a RV shop, Truck stop and my own test. Many thought there was a parasitic drain on the battery which was drawing it down. I added a a Battery Prog Brain to eliminate a drained battery. Next time out Battery was Dead! So it was the battery.

Prog website below
http://www.batteryprogbrain.com/
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:18 PM   #10
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Your chassis battery feeds the ECM, TCM, RADIO possibility the LP Detector , steps and so forth, so if you have no power when in storage than maybe you need to disconnect the chassis battery ground cable, the house batteries will be disconnected when BDC is operated.
If you parked outside the solar panel is suppose to keep chassis battery charged.
If your Bird system is functioning correctly you do not need any add-on's to battery systems.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "007" View Post
Your chassis battery feeds the ECM, TCM, RADIO possibility the LP Detector , steps and so forth, so if you have no power when in storage than maybe you need to disconnect the chassis battery ground cable, the house batteries will be disconnected when BDC is operated.
If you parked outside the solar panel is suppose to keep chassis battery charged.
If your Bird system is functioning correctly you do not need any add-on's to battery systems.
Just a FYI.... I used the Battery Prog Brain to PROVE it was a Bad battery not as a add on. I had a 7 month old coach that Would not start. Various shops across from Missouri to the East Coast, Tested the battery OK. When the coach would not start the battery showed around 4 volts. It was so depleted that the Aux. Start would not start the coach. With the Battery Prog Brain in place the battery would still go dead, proving it was the battery. After I replaced the Battery I had NO Problems. This is about the fourth posting I have seen with a similar issue. Maybe Ford has a bad batch of batteries.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:04 AM   #12
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Thanks for that follow up info CC, you could be right Ford has a problem.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:52 AM   #13
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Just for clarification ... the battery that is going dead is in your 2013 Baystar and is about 1 year old ... right?
I think I misquoted last time. Yes indeed the battery is just over 1 year old.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:02 PM   #14
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Many thanks to everyone for their input.
We have contacted Newmar regarding the BIRD and have not received an answer yet.
On the road right now and will try some of the suggestions on testing when we get home.
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