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Old 09-22-2006, 05:55 PM   #1
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I am experiencing a "low battery" light mid way through the auto levelling process. The system slows down and stops before completing the leveling process. So far, I have replaced the battery clamps, removed and cleaned the ground stud in the hydraulic compartment, removed and cleaned the 12v supplies to the solenoids. The batteries have checked out as good. The 40 amp fuse blades were cleaned and the holder was lubed with CRC. The HWH tech gave me a few ltems to check which I did (see above). Has anyone else experienced this problem? Have I missed something?
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:55 PM   #2
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I am experiencing a "low battery" light mid way through the auto levelling process. The system slows down and stops before completing the leveling process. So far, I have replaced the battery clamps, removed and cleaned the ground stud in the hydraulic compartment, removed and cleaned the 12v supplies to the solenoids. The batteries have checked out as good. The 40 amp fuse blades were cleaned and the holder was lubed with CRC. The HWH tech gave me a few ltems to check which I did (see above). Has anyone else experienced this problem? Have I missed something?
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Old 09-23-2006, 07:00 AM   #3
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I had this problem and it was eventually solved by replacing worn coach batteries.

I think you're on the right track. I understand the HWH pump pulls a lot of current, so weak batteries or any bad connection to the pump are the suspect problem areas.

It's hard to verify batteries are good at high load, the typical coach battery testers don't do it. You might consider their age and check to see if they've "swollen" or are showing a bulge, indicating their imminent failure and inability to carry the HWH load.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:50 AM   #4
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gary85: Please re-consider how the batteries were tested. Expanding on Jim's post, the only way to load test a battery bank is to conduct an actual load test on each battery one at a time, while it is disconnected from the other batteries, using a load tester (which any automotive shop will have).

Hydraulic pumps take a lot of "juice" so it may well be that one bad battery (especially one with a short across the plates) will downgrade the load capacity of the entire bank so as to result in the symptoms you have described.

Norm
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Old 09-23-2006, 10:31 AM   #5
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I would suggest measuring the voltage at the battery terminals when the HWH pump is leveling. I don't know what the minimum HWH voltage spec is but I would guess less than 11.5 V would indicate defective batteries. If OK, than measure the voltage at the HWH pump motor terminals. Then start looking for excessive voltage drops across any inline connections or relays.
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:16 PM   #6
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I'll throw my hat in with Jim.

We are in need of new coach batteries (6 years on the originals). If the batteries aren't all the way up, I'll get a low battery light. To solve this, until I decide gel or wet, I run the generator or get plugged in before leveling and running the slide out.
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:30 AM   #7
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Tom, If you have gotten six years out of your batteries, I would consider that phenomonal. When we boated we would automatically change all of the batteries every three years. Granted, this is expensive but re-assuring.I feel that I will continue with that procedure with the motor home.

Let me know what type of battery you use for replacement. I have always been interested in the gel batteries but you hear so many pros & cons one never knows which way to go.
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Old 09-25-2006, 06:37 AM   #8
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If you use Gel, don't forget to chnage the Xantrex setting for the different charge cycle. Good time to check all the settings, mine were wrong

I went wet and added a battery water system system from Camping WOrld. I'm determined to get 6 years this time.

Bought Costco Golf Cart batteries for ~$60. each. Do A search on this forum if you'd like the specs I posted...
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:46 PM   #9
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One more quick note on batteries.

First, if it isn't already obvious, I'm an admitted "Costco bargain junkie".

Decided to replace my chassis batteries yesterday; wanna guess where I found them...

Anyway, $68 each Marine/RV deep cycle (Group 31 I recall) with cranking specs pretty close to the original Interstate batts.

I think all my batteries suffered premature expiration due to the extended time my coach sat on a dealers lot (04 bought "new" in 05), without battery maintenance...
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:23 PM   #10
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Hey Jim:

................You're fortunate, YOU always have the option of using "Jumper Cables" back to that Scooter hung off the back of the coach to get a start in an emergency situation.

Walt
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:40 AM   #11
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Thank you for your replies. I had a "tech" at an RV shop check this problem while we were on the road. I don't think he did a load test.The chassis battery measured 13.8 volts. He did say the available voltage at the HWH pump was approx. 6v. I am in the process of checking ALL the connections, cleaning, and coating with NO-OX. I replaced the coach battery in the spring (it was boiling) and don't know the age of the chassis battery. I assume it is old enough to replace, but I want to be sure of the cause of my problem first. My local mechanic says he can load test the 8D in the coach without disconnecting the terminals. Does this sound right?
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:50 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">My local mechanic says he can load test the 8D in the coach without disconnecting the terminals. I ask your advice on this comment. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes he can, but the engine must be off (alternator not charging).
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:39 AM   #13
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The best test on a suspect 8D (or any other deep cycle) is to fully charge it (to the best of your knowledge), then pull the caps & take hydrometer readings on each cell. Should be same within a small percentage, and near 1.265 Specific Gravity. A bad cell will be low in SG. You can do the SG test immediately when charging is done, whereas voltage will read erroneously high for 30 min or an hour due to phony "surface charge" that comes from the over-voltage of the charging cycle (the chassis batt @ 13.8 is either still on the charger or is reading surface charge; fully charged competent battery will be 12.7V plus a bit).

Most battery testers at parts houses & the like are now electronic and therefore programmed w/test parameters for batteries they can handle. Gary, let us know if the tester has load testing parameters for the 8D, and if not how the tech is doing his test.

Here is a great disertation on the 12 Volt Side of Life that has been on the internet for a while.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:05 PM   #14
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Gary85 said "battery" and not "batteries". I thought all Alpines use 6 (or 8) 6volt house batteries, series wired in pairs to get 12v, and that the house batteries power the hydraulic pumps. Or am I experiencing a brain meltdown, speaking of short-circuits (no comment Ted III).

Did Gary85's '99 have just one 12v house battery when it came from WRV? That just doesn't sound right.

Norm
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