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Old 08-19-2016, 05:37 AM   #1
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Service Life of Chassis Batteries

Just before we are to leave for the western trip towards Pueblo I couldn't start our 2014 DSDP 4018. Had to jump it from the coach batteries. Was getting check engine lights and many codes. Drove it to my local RV service shop and they put the computer on the coach and found many of the faults were caused by low voltage from the chassis batteries. We checked the batteries and they were shot. Sides bulging, etc. Replaced them. Also had to do a ReGen as part of the service. My question is two part. First, does anyone think that the location of the chassis battery compartment, just above the environmental/muffler heat, would cause a shorter life span? Second, is 2 1/2 years normal for chassis batteries?
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:46 AM   #2
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Our 08 chassis batteries went after 6 years - which I think was not too bad. ONE time the batteries went down to almost nothing because the heat seat switch was left on accidentally when storing the coach. The house storage switch was off but that has nothing to do with the chassis batteries. I know that took a toll on the batteries but that time they did come up to starting power after a couple of days plugged in. I thought it was strange that they would tie the seat heaters to the chassis bats but they did. good luck mark
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:10 AM   #3
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2 1/2 years does seem like an extremely short service life. While I'm not familiar with the location of your batteries I do know heat is one of the major factors in the life of a battery.
I was in the service business many years and my experiences were that batteries located in engine compartments or near exhaust systems had a much shorter lifespan than those located in areas where cool fresh air could pass over them. Many truck manufacturers locate the batteries either under the cab steps or behind the cab to keep them away from the engine heat.

While I do not currently own any diesel powered equipment several of the pieces of equipment I do own have remotely located batteries. The batteries in these pieces seems to have more than double the life of those near engine or exhaust heat sources.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:07 AM   #4
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I had to replace the Chassis battery on mine about 6 months ago. I was having the same issues as you did. I think the problem is, even though we bought new, you don't know how the batteries were treated prior to the MH being shipped to the dealer, or how they were maintained at the dealership. I did let the battery go way low when we were on a 6 week trip without the MH, about a year ago, but the battery took a full charge and seemed to be ok. Then I started having the same issues you did, so I just replaced the battery and everything went back to normal. I'm just starting to see my house batteries acting up, so it may be time to replace those too. Just an FYI, you can buy the same batteries at Costco, for about 1/2 the price of an RV shop/Sears ect., and they have a free replacement warranty for 4 years, with an extra 2 year prorated warranty. They don't care what you put them in, and the warranty does not change just because they are being used in an RV. Many places cut down the warranty period to 18 months if being used in an RV.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:52 PM   #5
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Hi LongRanger,
Chassis batteries should last many years (6 to 8+) years. You are correct, the batteries being located directly above the heat source contributed to their demise. Consider having your BIM checked out.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongRanger View Post
Just before we are to leave for the western trip towards Pueblo I couldn't start our 2014 DSDP 4018. Had to jump it from the coach batteries. Was getting check engine lights and many codes. Drove it to my local RV service shop and they put the computer on the coach and found many of the faults were caused by low voltage from the chassis batteries. We checked the batteries and they were shot. Sides bulging, etc. Replaced them. Also had to do a ReGen as part of the service. My question is two part. First, does anyone think that the location of the chassis battery compartment, just above the environmental/muffler heat, would cause a shorter life span? Second, is 2 1/2 years normal for chassis batteries?
Do you leave the coach sitting for more than a few days without AC power connected? The BIM should keep the chassis batteries charged (AFTER the house batteries are charged up). It wouldn't take more that a few days for the parasitic loads to discharge the chassis batteries to a low enough level that would cause a shortened life, especially if done multiple times. Lead/Acid batteries do not like to be discharged.

I would say 2.5 years is short if the batteries were always cared for.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:29 AM   #7
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The coach is stored in a fully enclosed garage and is always plugged in to 50 amp service. The batteries that Newmar puts in the 2014 DSDP are the sealed mat type, so no service can be done except cleaning the exterior and the connections. I keep the setting on the Magnum at the connected amps and the charge set to on. It is always float charging. I think this failure was caused by the excess heat from the muffler system being just underneath or lousy batteries.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:08 AM   #8
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LR, I believe if you DO have glas-mat batteries, it was an option on that '14. Nevertheless, I had the same ones in my Essex and a couple were bad from almost day one. After fighting the battle for a couple years, I bit the bullet and replaced 'em with Lifelines. BIG improvement.

A number of owners have the same complaint...just a bad product.
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:08 AM   #9
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I had virtually the same question about the life expectancy of chassis batteries when the ones in our last coach (2011 AC Revolution) died after 4 years. The dealer tried to tell me that was at least twice as long a "normal", claimed they have many customers that have them replaced every year during regular maintenance to avoid future problems.

I think two years is way too short, but I have no doubt that the extra heat of both living in the south and from the new pollution controls, routed right under the battery compartment, contributed to a shorter life span.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:15 PM   #10
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One of my chassis batteries died exactly 5 years after the manufacturing date of the motorhome. The bad battery developed an internal short and started out-gassing like crazy,fed by the other parallel battery and the converter.
Replaced both batteries with like DEKA from NAPA, about $ 120 each.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:47 PM   #11
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The chassis batteries are regular maintenance free and not deep cycle or AGMs. Discharging them below 50% capacity will drastically shorten their life. If the batteries were not deep cycled, 2.5 years is too short life for those. My OEM chassis batteries lasted 6 years on my previous coach in spite of being located above the cat converter and DPF. Check your charging system to make sure it is working properly.


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Old 08-20-2016, 02:57 PM   #12
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Batteries in our '02 DSDP lasted just one month short of 10 years.
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:25 AM   #13
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Chassie Batteries

LongRanger- what brand were your batteries? I had (8) Discover AGM house batteries go bad after 23 months in service. Slabman & I both replaced them with Lifeline AGM's and the problem was solved. On my next coach I will specify Lifeline AGM batteries all around or there won't be any purchase made.

DISCOVER BATTERIES ARE MADE IN CHINA JUNK! Can you spell CHEAP! Shame on Newmar for putting these inferior batteries in their high-line coaches!
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:07 PM   #14
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Check the links below in my signature, QT's # 3 has battery and wiring links that explain your charging systems in your coach, as Gary stated check the type charging system you have all explained in link.
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