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Old 09-23-2009, 03:27 PM   #1
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System's DEAD

We returned from a trip to the East coast 17 days ago and after I washed and unloaded the coach I pulled it into the garage and left it unplugged from the electrical. The batteries are about one year old and every indication is they were in great shape - water level maintained, etc.

Today I plugged the coach in and noticed the step wasn't out. I turned the main battery compartment power switch off-on, which usually fixes the problem, with no effect. Upon checking further the coach engine would not start, the Vansco is black - no lights and the Xantrex is running fine.

I reset the Xantrex (the charge level went from "Float" to "bulk" for a few minutes then to "adsorb"), checked several fuses (all OK), topped up the battery water. The interier lights work, the microwave is blinking, the voltage meter plugged into the outlet says we have power.

Not sure what to check next and only have a few minutes over today and tomorrow to play with it as I am leaving Friday for BC Moose hunting (not with the motorhome).

Ideas?

Harold
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:47 PM   #2
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Harold,

Are you saying that you have house power, but not chassis? If so, when the chassis batteries are dead, the Vansco will not power the solenoid that jumps both banks of batteries and allows the chassis batteries to charge. If you jump the positive terminals of both banks for a short period of time, then the Vansco will power up and operate the solenoid, allowing the Xantrex to charge the chassis batteries.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:24 PM   #3
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You're right Dale it was the CHASSIS batteries. I was concentrating on the coach batteries but they measures 14+/- volts. The chassis were 3.25 volts...Now I wonder WHY they went out. I didn't have anything on that should have discharged them.

I wonder why the jumper / crossover battery switch didn't let me start the engine?

I put the charger on but I put it on pos and neg terminals NOTthe two positives. The Vansco lit up and systems seem to be coming alive. I'll leave the charger on overnight and see how it looks in the AM. Thanks Dale I owe you a drink.

Harold
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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There are always things hooked up and discharging the chassis batteries

ECC (engine control computer) many of these have the ability to "Learn" the engine and vehicle and fuel and driver habitts, and then "Fine tune" themselves for best performance or economy or.. however they have been programmed to tune themselves.

These need power to maintain that memory

Radio.. The dash radio, if a chassis device (often is) needs power to maintain it's memory

Some sensors like seat belt alarms may draw power

And of course you could have a "Fault" such as a relay that's stuck.

Now.. SOME coaches, mine for example, if the house converter (the Xanterx) is workign,,, they charge the chassis batteries.

Some don't

If yours is a "Don't" then another Xantrex product (Echo Charge) or for a somewhat lower price the Trick-L-Start. should be on your shopping list

Both these devices hook up with just 3 wires (House Positive, Chassis Positive, Common ground/negative) and when the house batteires are near full.. it charges the chassis up for you.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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Harold,

Jumping just the two positive terminals on the 2 banks, was just to get power to the chassis batteries, the negatives are already jumped. This was to get power to the Vansco. Your jumper / crossover battery switch didn't let you start the engine for the same reason. The same solenoid is used for the "jumper" switch on the dash and to charge which ever battery bank needs charging when the other is being charged and it is controlled by the Vansco. No chassis battery power, no Vansco, no jump.

If the chassis batteries are new then I would be concerned why they ran down so fast.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:15 PM   #6
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The coach batteries are new Dale. The chassis batteries are the original 2005 batteries that came in the 2006 coach. I expected them to last longer than this.

I think I'll unplug the coach then do a load test right then, do another test in 24 hours, 48hours, 72 hours and record the results. That should tell me if the batteries are holding a charge.

Harold
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:55 PM   #7
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Harold- If you will be at Chula Vista, I can bring my Snap-on battery tester. Its the latest electronic type that uses some pulsed feedback magic and doesn't need any rest cycle(s) or high carbon-pile load to get a proper condition on the batteries. You'll only have to disconnect between chassis & house. I can't remember if battery capacity is self sensing on that gizmo or if you put in CCA, but it takes 15 seconds once you are clamped on.

I'll just throw it into a SmartBed regardless and anybody who wants to do battery tests @ Chula Vista can have some fun.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:16 PM   #8
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Once a battery gets below 10V the Xantrex won't charge it.
You will have to get it charged with a portable charger up to 13V before the Xantrex will start to charge it.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:28 PM   #9
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Here is another work-around for the dead-chassis stricken (maybe for dead house too) who have the Vansco:

take a 16ga wire w/alligator clips on ea end & jump from the good battery bank (+) to the charging solenoid's coil-positive wire (figure out which small post on the charging solenoid is ground w/an ohm meter, then connect to the other small post; if you wire hot to the grounded coil post you will get a nasty surprise). This should connect the charge solenoid regardless of the Vansco status. Now if the draw down on charge isn't so huge as to draw overall battery volts below 10, the Xantrex oughta go to bulk charge at a healthy rate and put you back in biz.
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