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Old 09-27-2015, 01:07 PM   #1
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Chassis battery suddenly too low to start ignition!!!

I am starting to feel like Lt. Colombo--"one more thing"...HELP!

We are in a resort park on shore power. Have checked coach and chassis battery voltage every day, all good. This afternoon chassis battery voltage is so low (3.9-4.1) we cannot start the coach engine, even with Battery Boost. Started the generator no problem.

Any idea what happened and what we should do, other than have someone jump us off to get the engine charging the chassis battery? We are scheduled to head home tomorrow.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:16 PM   #2
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Your battery boost may not be working. Since you seem to know how to check the voltage just prop the boost button so it stays on and see if the voltage slowly creeps up. If it does start to come up keep an eye on things such as boiling batteries. That low of a voltage probably means those batteries are toast.

It is not uncommon for boost relays to fail. If the voltage does not start to come up then grab a set of jumper cables and use one to jump your own battery positives.

BE VERY CAREFUL: With the one battery so low you could get a big spark so be sure to vent the area and even use something to fan the air to clear any gases that may be hanging around.,
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patti Brown View Post
I am starting to feel like Lt. Colombo--"one more thing"...HELP!

We are in a resort park on shore power. Have checked coach and chassis battery voltage every day, all good. This afternoon chassis battery voltage is so low (3.9-4.1) we cannot start the coach engine, even with Battery Boost. Started the generator no problem.

Any idea what happened and what we should do, other than have someone jump us off to get the engine charging the chassis battery? We are scheduled to head home tomorrow.
Sounds like you are reading voltage from your panel indicator. Do you have a voltmeter that you can use to check the battery voltage at the battery? If everything read OK yesterday, I don't think the problem is with actual low battery voltage as much as possibly bad connection somewhere.
First thing is to check both the house and chassis battery voltage with a voltmeter.
Next, did you possibly turn off the House Power Disconnect Switch, commonly known as the Salesman Switch?
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:51 PM   #4
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First thing is to check both the house and chassis battery voltage with a voltmeter.
Next, did you possibly turn off the House Power Disconnect Switch, commonly known as the Salesman Switch?
Voltmeter on battery reads same as panel indicator, so that is reading true. Battery is new (manufacture date 04/15).

Have no idea what the Salesman Switch is, but house batteries are still charged.
Problem is chassis battery only.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:05 PM   #5
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Voltmeter on battery reads same as panel indicator, so that is reading true. Battery is new (manufacture date 04/15).

Have no idea what the Salesman Switch is, but house batteries are still charged.
Problem is chassis battery only.
The Salesman Switch is located in the panel and labeled Battery Disconnect. (At least on my old DS, yours is likely different). If your house batteries are full, forget the switch comment.
I cannot think of anything that would cause your chassis battery to go completely dead overnight. Could be a problem with the battery itself. Can you get it load tested?
Or, search out a good RV Mobile Tech and go from there.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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Although the battery is new, check the cables for tightness.

A quick test is to try starting for a few seconds and then go out and feel the posts. If one is hot, It's loose or dirty.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patti Brown View Post
I am starting to feel like Lt. Colombo--"one more thing"...HELP!

We are in a resort park on shore power. Have checked coach and chassis battery voltage every day, all good. This afternoon chassis battery voltage is so low (3.9-4.1) we cannot start the coach engine, even with Battery Boost. Started the generator no problem.

Any idea what happened and what we should do, other than have someone jump us off to get the engine charging the chassis battery? We are scheduled to head home tomorrow.
Even a new battery can suddenly "die", so only a charge and then load test will tell if that is what is wrong.

Not trying to be insulting, but you do know that the battery "boost" switch, sometimes called the emergency start button, must be held in to provide the juice to the chassis battery while you try cranking. If the coach batteries are fully charged, holding the boost switch should get you going. Good luck !
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:53 PM   #8
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Even a new battery can suddenly "die", so only a charge and then load test will tell if that is what is wrong.

Not trying to be insulting, but you do know that the battery "boost" switch, sometimes called the emergency start button, must be held in to provide the juice to the chassis battery while you try cranking. If the coach batteries are fully charged, holding the boost switch should get you going. Good luck !
Not insulted at all. Yes, we know the Battery Boost switch must be held. Doing so did not work, even though coach batteries are well charged. We are fortunate someone here has a battery charger he could loan us. It will be the next piece of equipment we purchase for the coach! Will have to get diagnostics done when we get home. BTW, we also have a solar panel for the chassis battery, so there should be no normal reason for such a sudden voltage drain...
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:38 AM   #9
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Not insulted at all. Yes, we know the Battery Boost switch must be held. Doing so did not work, even though coach batteries are well charged. We are fortunate someone here has a battery charger he could loan us. It will be the next piece of equipment we purchase for the coach! Will have to get diagnostics done when we get home. BTW, we also have a solar panel for the chassis battery, so there should be no normal reason for such a sudden voltage drain...
Something is strange here. The Boost switch is in effect like using jumper cables. If your house batteries are fully charged, holding the boost button for a few minutes, then starting the MH should work. If the chassis batteries are very dead, you may have to continue to hold the boost button for a few minutes after the engine starts.

I've used my boost button a few times on past coaches after sitting all winter. But those coaches weren't Newmars which also charge the chassis batteries when plugged into AC via the BIRD or BIM system.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:08 PM   #10
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Something is strange here. The Boost switch is in effect like using jumper cables. If your house batteries are fully charged, holding the boost button for a few minutes, then starting the MH should work. If the chassis batteries are very dead, you may have to continue to hold the boost button for a few minutes after the engine starts.

I've used my boost button a few times on past coaches after sitting all winter. But those coaches weren't Newmars which also charge the chassis batteries when plugged into AC via the BIRD or BIM system.
That was my thought as well. Perhaps their Boost solenoid isn't connecting the house battys. ???
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:04 PM   #11
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I'm grabbing at staws...

Did you by any chance have the key in the ignition with the Generator on? That isolates the batteries...otherwise you Battery Isolation Manager should have tied both banks together to charge on converter while connected to shore power.

I read the Relay on the Battery Isolation Manager needs at least 4.0 vdc to close. If you're reading 3.9...even pushing the start assist button might not work. Newmar has a paper on the 12v system on Com Net... They basically state a battery that's down below 10.8 v will probably never recover. You could try to recharge your chassis batteries...disconnect the leads...hook up a stand alone battery charger. If that doesn't get them charged up enough to start the coach....I would be replacing them...and keep an eye on what loads could have drained your batteries to such a low voltage state.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:30 AM   #12
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I had the same problem last year. The generator would start but not the engine.

See my thread about a problem in the Battery Control Center. Click here. My battery was good and the reading on the volt meter seemed ok at the connector going to the BCC. But inside the BCC there was no electricity on this same connector. There was a spacer plastic ring that melted because of heat. The heat probably came from the corroded connector.

See also this thread about many problems about the wiring.

Since your RV is a 2014 I suppose there is some kind of a loose connection.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:08 AM   #13
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I had this problem when we took delivery of our Canyon Star last year. While plugged into shore power the chassis battery would not charge and the battery boost would not work. It was a blown 7.5 amp fuse. Under the front hood against the upper portion of the firewall there is a large black plastic box with a clear plastic cover. This is where the BIRD system and relay switch are located. They regulate the charging system. In the lower portion of this box you will find a couple of fuses. Hope this is your fix.
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