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 06-26-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Starting batteries

We've been plugged into shore power for 2 weeks (50amp) and something is draining our batteries, therefore, they're dead. Help (We're newbies). We have a 2004 Alpine Avalanche 40' diesel. Is it possible that the batteries are connected the wrong way?

Willingtoser 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 06-27-2011, 08:18 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sonora, CA
Posts: 125
At least on my 2001, the starting batteries do not charge when you're plugged in, it's not wired to. This is common on many motor homes. I use a separate charger, but you're starting batteries I would think would not normally discharge in two weeks.

2001 Alpine Coach 36'
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Towed
GMDavidson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2011, 09:39 AM   #3
Senior Member
bcbowers's Avatar
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Surprise, AZ
Posts: 646
I believe that WRV started incorporating an "Echo Charger" designed to keep both battery banks charged from a single source. My year (2003) has one so WRV must have started using it in 2002 or 2003.

FWIW - If my coach did not have an Echo Charger I would definitely add it ASAP.
Bob Bowers (Surprise, AZ)
2003 Alpine Coach 40' FDTS
2014 Jeep Cherokee Lattitude
bcbowers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 933
I posted this before but: Mine drove me crazy. Same thing. I got an amp meter, hooked it up to the chassis battery and saw a draw on it. I then had the wife watch the meter while I pulled out the fuses 1 by 1 until the draw went away. It was the air conditioner circuit. I found the air conditioner switch was burnt on. It was draining the battery overnight. Good luck
Billieg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2011, 07:57 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,263
Willing- the Avalanche probably did not come w/an Echo Charger as original equipment. Would be a good addition for your situation.
You may have a momentary boost switch on the dash that will jump the start batteries off the house bank. If so you may get the coach started that way. Not good for deep cycle batteries, but works in a pinch.
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2011, 08:58 PM   #6
Senior Member
Jim A's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,409
Another consideration is that if the chassis batteries are original, that would make them 7 years old, and they might be giving up the ghost.

Since you mentioned some concern that they might be wired wrong (hopefully not), the 12 volt starting batteries should be connected in parallel, giving you the same 12 volts but double the amps of a single battery. Negative sides connected together should go to ground somewhere. I don't remember where, and an Avalanche might be different anyway.
Jim A
'04 Alpine Coach 36' MDDS
Jim A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2011, 01:26 AM   #7
Senior Member
Rick J Fisher's Avatar
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Chatsworth CA
Posts: 177
My '07 with 30k miles is on its third set of starting batteries. One of the pair will fail to take a charge and of course both have to be replaced. Once a twelve volt battery fails, it is history. Interstate has a very short warranty because they consider RVs "commercial use".
Rick J Fisher, BW is Judy
2018 Tiffin Allegro 36LA
2003 Jeep Rubicon or a 1995 Toyota Tacoma
Rick J Fisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2011, 07:02 AM   #8
Senior Member
Old Scout's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,226
Recommend you do a search on "chassis batteries" or "batteries" on this forum. You will learn a lot about Alpines and battery use/maintenance. The problem for you is the Avalanche was a very limited production run, so very few of us on the forum have first-hand knowledge with your model. So far, all of the suggestions are good--old chassis bat wont hold a charge, old house bats wont allow full charge so echo charger [if you have one] wont share charge from house to chassis bats, the newer solenoid charger set-up can fail too. Trust me--even the simplest of things like: is your inverter/charger even charging?--have to be verified.

On Alpines, small but persistant drains on the chassis bats are an on-going issue. It will be hard to isolate and fix the cause[s] for these small drains [whereas a larger drain like a short-out would be obvious in a day or two]. Solving the charging issue is the key.
Old Scout
2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
Old Scout is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2011, 06:30 PM   #9
Senior Member
Mike & Mike's Avatar
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Home is between Salinas and Monterey, CA
Posts: 224

I've learned how to deal with this both with and without a Xantrex Echo Charge. I liked the Echo Charge we I installed it on another coach but I've been trying something different on our Alpine.

When we're plugged into shore power at home (but not paying any attention to the coach for weeks at a time), I've got two "smart chargers" (such as the Deltran Battery Tender, and putting out about 2 amps each-look on Amazon.com). One charger charges up my House bank of six 6-volt batteries. The other charges our two Starting (or Chassis) Batteries.

With all the little goodies that are always on in your coach (called parasitic loads) you've usually got a draw of a couple of amps at all times, even if you think everything is off, and that's probably how your batteries got to be dead.

While camping, and in-and-out of the coach on a daily basis, we monitor the battery panel up in the cupboard. That tells us the voltage of the batteries and reads in green (if the voltage is high enough) or yellow (if I should start getting concerned) or red LEDs (if I really need to be concerned. Then I will turn on the Inverter and the Charger. It takes the charger a few hours to go thru the cycle that is programmed into it (it is a tapering charge, starting with a bulk charge, then tapering off).

This Charger that is built into the Inverter is about a 100 amp charger. My thought is that this is too much to leave in automatic mode while the rig is stored and plugged into shore power and we are not paying attention to the rig for a few weeks. That's why I use the little 2 amp chargers. But, if we're around the rig while camping, I don't mind personally turning on the big charger and turning it off when the batteries are fully charged.

Welcome to the forum and I hope you enjoy your Alpine!
Mike and Mike (Michele)

2004 Alpine 34 FDDS
Mike & Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
Senior Member
Conquest102's Avatar
Gulf Streamers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 336
I would start by testing the batteries either drive it or pull them out take them to auto store have them load tested. Then check for fathom draws on the battery. If you own a volt meter it will be your best friend for this project. If the batteries are good then look into a small charger plugged in cigarette lighter make sure it is powered off the engine batteries not the house baterry.
1996 GulfStream Conquest 31feet May 2011
1984 SouthWind 27feet loved for 6 years
1 Wife 6 Kids
Conquest102 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2011, 07:00 PM   #11
Senior Member
Mr_D's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 31,258
Originally Posted by Rick J Fisher View Post
My '07 with 30k miles is on its third set of starting batteries. One of the pair will fail to take a charge and of course both have to be replaced. Once a twelve volt battery fails, it is history. Interstate has a very short warranty because they consider RVs "commercial use".
WOW!! Our 2002 DSDP still has it's original house and starting batteries and it's 9 years old as of June 26th We picked it up from the dealer on June 26th 2002.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
Mr_D is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2011, 08:17 PM   #12
Senior Member
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Olympia
Posts: 687
Another area to check is to make sure the chasis battery disconnect switch is in the disconnect position when you put the coach in storage for more than a few days. Hope this helps.
'99 Alpine Coach
Jeff and Cheryl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2011, 03:08 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 157
My first Alpine was a 2004 Avalanche, it did not have an echo charger and did have a tendancy for the chassis batteries to discharge. The only remedy for this without the addition of an echo charger is to use a trickle charger when plugged in for a longer period of time or add a relatively smaller solar panel connected to the chassis batteries.

It would be interesting to know, does your coach happen to have solid wood cabinets in the front and a very nice, solid wood surround on the main light fixture in the living area?

2006 Alpine Apex 40 FDQS
2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee toad
2000 Vette for the track
WeBrzn2 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
Batteries Robert T Class A Motorhome Discussions 9 03-06-2011 12:32 PM
Starting batteries question skigramp Class A Motorhome Discussions 8 06-20-2009 12:01 PM
Moved Batteries...did I just screw up? Mc2guy Class A Motorhome Discussions 9 05-22-2009 12:56 PM
Trojan batteries and lack of warranty Harry B Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 14 11-18-2007 06:20 AM
Batteries RV Wizard RV Industry Press 25 02-16-2005 06:00 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:53 PM.

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