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Old 01-30-2014, 06:16 PM   #1
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Phantom Draw

My chassis batteries are suffering from a draw. I'm currently dry camped and run the generator twice a day. The two 12-volt chassis batteries drop below 12.3V daily. The house batteries are holding up fine.

I pulled the negative cables on the chassis batteries and put my Fluke 87 inline to check for amperage. I see less than a milliamp. Apparently, whatever is causing the draw on the battery shuts down as soon as I disconnect the lead and doesn't draw while I'm measuring. I don't have an inductive pickup. I'm thinking a module isn't going into sleep mode or something.

Any thoughts on tracking this down?
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:45 PM   #2
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I would check the Echo Charger to make sure it's working and wired correctly while assuming that your house batteries are staying fully charged. The Echo Charger should siphon or share charge voltage from the house batteries to the chassis batteries IF the house exceed 13V. I've also seen where the Echo Charger was wired backwards thus negating its functionality. You should find the Echo Charger mounted on the ceiling above the Inverter/Charger in our year/model coach. Obviously, there could be a connection issue as well; i.e., corrosion, loose , etc.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
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Hi Mike,

Sorry to hear about your issue. I recently watched a youtube video (3 Ways Of Finding The Cause Of Key-Off Battery Drain (Parasitic Draw) - YouTube) (start watching at 12:55 in the video for this particular method) that shows different methods of measuring parasitic draw. One method that might help is for you to locate the offending circuit with the negative cable connected and the draw active. To do this, put your meter in the millivolt scale (DC) and place your meter leads across each fuse without taking the fuse out of the circuit. The plug-in plastic fuses have 2 little nibs on them and your meter leads can touch those for a reading.

If there is a reading, the video says it means there is a voltage drop across that circuit. A perfect "0" meter reading means no voltage drop and that circuit is not drawing power. The amount of the reading apparently does not correlate directly to AMPS. Maybe when you find the right circuit you could pull that one fuse and put your meter in AMP mode to measure actual amps in that one circuit.

Good luck!
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:10 PM   #4
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The echo charger was wired incorrectly by WRV on some coaches but I don't know if yours was one of these. I assume after 10 years this would have been corrected by now. I think you should get a clamp meter to help track this down. I have a Fluke 36 and you can get a used one on Ebay for not too much money.
FWIW I tested a friends coach and he was losing 4 amps due to a bad alternator.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:52 PM   #5
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FWIW ... My brother-in-law's 2000 coach was temporarily put on consignment at a dealer and then pulled back. The batteries got changed which apparently resulted in the Echo Charger wiring being reversed.

Just one explanation on how it could happen even though it may have been correct from WRV.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:45 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I've borrowed an inductive clamp and will test with that tomorrow. Also, I'm wondering about the Echo charger. The wiring doesn't match my schematic, but seems like it should work the same in practice.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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Sometimes there is a right tool for the job. In this case its the Fuse Buddy (see Amazon or eBay for sources).
Or you can use an aftermarket GM type fuse holder with male spade connectors on each lead, pull the fuse in question & put it in the remote fuse holder, plug the spades into the vehicle's fuse holder, & use the remote fuse holder's leads as a wire loop on which to put your amp clamp.

To check the Echo Charge, put the amp clamp on the E.C. leads to the batteries as well as check voltage on battery posts.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:04 PM   #8
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EM......Thanks for the heads up on "fuse buddy". I have never seen that before and its a great idea ! Just ordered one.

Jeff
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:50 PM   #9
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Thanks, the Fuse Buddy will be added to my tool box.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:46 PM   #10
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Cost me $20 bucks too.
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:44 AM   #11
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My electric brake controller was constantly drawing the batteries down. Put a on/off toggle switch and problem is apparently solved.

HAGD,
Alex
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