Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-10-2010, 12:06 AM   #1

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 69
Dead chassis batteries

I am a new owner of a 2008 Alpine Coach Limited SE 40MDTS. After not driving it for about a week I found that the chassis batteries were dead and I could only start with the boost from the house batteries. The next time I went to start it, again about a week, I found that I couldn't start it and there was no response from the boost switch to use the house batteries. I was able to get it to start by turning the middle knob in the battery compartment to the on position. (I've forgotten the labels for those 3 knobs)Two questions: What could still be on to drain the chassis batteries as I had everything shut down including the inverter? Secondly what would cause the boost from the house batteries to fail to provide any power to start the engine. Help!

Dave Weber
Wenatchee, WA

dwebcbceo is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-10-2010, 01:19 AM   #2
Senior Member
Dave Fernandez's Avatar
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ontario, CA USA
Posts: 1,305
Hello & Welcome Dave:

I would like to welcome you the IRV2 form and to Alpine Owners Form.

Even if you turn the battery disconnect switches to off the chassis batteries are still connected to the engine and Engine control module (ECM) so there is a patristic drain on the batteries.

If the coach was sitting for a period of time before you purchased it the batteries will loose voltage over a period of time to a point they will not start the engine and the coach batteries may also be in need of a charge. A short drive will not completely charge all of the batteries.

First I would take the coach to a battery shop or a good repair center and have the batteries recharged and load tested to insure they are not your problem. I would also have the Alternator checked to insure that it is working and able to charge the batteries.

After the batteries are charged and tested I would than look for something like a Light left on, radio etc. that will/can cause the batteries to discharge faster than normal from just sitting around.

Since you live in Washington State there are two Alpine Owners Clubs one in your area and the other an International club. NoWACA and the Alpine Coach Association (ACA) http://www.alpinecoachassociation.com/ .

ACA also has a technical library for its members. Both Clubs have Rallies and the next one is in Salem Oregon in August held by ACA. I hope you can attend and meet with other owners and they can be of great help.

Dave Fernandez
2001, 38ft FDDS, 350 ISC, Tow 2004 Yukon
Dave Fernandez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2010, 07:30 AM   #3
Senior Member
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,100
Dave W.

You can not completely shut off all of the power to the inverter without disconnecting it's large fuse. This would not affect the chassis batteries.

When the chassis batteries are too low, the Vansco will not operate and it is what activates the boost relay. You should not use the center (jump) switch to start the engine, the load is too high for it. Turn it on long enough to get the Vansco operating, turn it off and immediately use the dash boost switch to start the engine.
Dale Gerstel
Las Vegas, NV
Had: 2007 Limited SE 40fdts
dgerstel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2010, 07:47 AM   #4
Senior Member
Old Scout's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,233
I am not a post-Vansco coach owner but there is an extensive thread on this forum about post-vansco coaches, battery issues, and the likely causes--faulty bat charger relay[s]. Use the search option to investigate--good luck...
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
Old Scout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2010, 08:07 AM   #5
gordons1's Avatar
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 31
Send a message via AIM to gordons1
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

This is a great web site that will teach us all we will ever want to know about batteries for our rv's... Enjoy
gordons1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2010, 09:59 AM   #6

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 69
Good morning and thank you for all your helpful and quick responses. I sense a real community spirit of helpfulness among the forum members.

As an aside I have to say that, as a newby to motor coaching, I have learned a ton just by reading through the forums. I'm impressed with the huge knowledge base that is evident among owners.

Your responses are very helpful and I will begin to pursue the possible causes. I also ask if anyone has had experience with either of the 2 RV shops here in Wenatchee, All Seasons or D & L RV. We bought our coach from Guaranty in Junction City, OR and it's a 6-7 hour drive so I'm not anxious to go back for every small problem.

Thanks again. I truly appreciate your help.

Dave Weber
2008 Alpine SE Limited 40MDTS
dwebcbceo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2010, 10:54 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,263
Dave- NorCal Alpines have a rally coming up in Bend, OR July 8-12 and if there is room you will find out a lot about your coach. If you want the full-immersion/waterboarding introduction to motorhoming and all things Alpine, there is a large Pre-Rally/FMCA rally coming up August 5-10/11-14 in Salem/Redmond OR. IIRC there are 55 spaces reserved at Salem w/more coaches joining a caravan to the FMCA rally.

If you have a voltmeter with an amp-probe loop (and you should), you can loop it on the red chassis battery cable going to the red stud on the lower right of the panel at rear of battery compartment to check the actual amp drain w/key off (or key on, or engine running; ditto w/house batteries). Knowing the actual drain will tell you if there is something wrong or if the drain is ordinary (a coupla amps). If you have an ordinary drain, but the coach is going dead in a few days, the batteries are not getting fully charged. If the coach sat for long periods letting the batteries go flatline, they may have been worn out prematurely and not take a proper charge (see Dave's post above). The alternator check is precautionary (i.e. not likely a problem, but if you leave that out you don't know whether it will do its job and diagnosis isn't complete).

The boost switch lights LED 19 on the rear vansco (right hand bulkhead in battery comparment), but as Dale notes it takes voltage to run the Vansco and a minimum voltage to snap on the solenoid. So if the chassis batteries are too dead, you can't close the contacts on the solenoid. Once familiar w/the system, you can run a jumper from the house batt's to the coil on the solenoid to hot wire it (its the big black cylindrical gizmo on the back panel of batt compartment w/the two red cables on top; coil is run by the two small studs. Again w/your voltmeter (aka multimeter or ohmmeter) check the resistance from each small stud to ground. One stud should have zero resistance and the other about 100ohms or maybe a bit less. The 100ohm stud gets the jumper. If you connect the zero ohm stud w/12V and no in-line fuse you will melt the wire and maybe cause yourself some trouble, hence the WARNING about gaining some knowledge before getting this clever w/work-arounds.

You have a lot of great adventures ahead w/your new toy. Hope to see you in Salem, or at another rally soon. Welcome to the Big Beer Drinking Brotherhood of Kissing Goodbye to a Big Sweaty Wad of Money! and a lifestyle of adventure and relaxation.

Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chassis Batteries won't charge Alpine Road Warrior Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 7 04-02-2010 11:52 PM
Solar Panel for Chassis Batteries OldForester Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 3 08-15-2008 09:01 PM
Generator batteries go dead without anything running panacea97 Newmar Owner's Forum 10 01-27-2008 08:41 AM
Chassis batteries nutensteve Monaco Owner's Forum 3 03-02-2007 02:38 PM
Average life of chassis (cranking) batteries?? smlranger Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 6 01-01-2007 03:26 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.