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Old 08-25-2015, 12:34 PM   #1
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Troubleshooting Chassis Battery Drain Questions

Hello All,

We have our coach parked out at the Colorado river for the summer and are plugged into shore power.

We've noticed lately our chassis batteries are slowly draining -- the last couple of trips I've had to use the 'battery boost' to deploy the slideout.

I presume the inverter/charger would keep the chassis batteries 'topped off'.

Should I be looking at the inverter? The Big Boy solenoid? Or?

I ran the engine last weekend for about 20 minutes and it brought the batteries up a little (enough to run the hydraulics).

We will bring it home after next weekend (our last trip of the year) and I plan to take a Battery Tender out and bring the batteries up over the weekend to make sure we don't have an issue driving home. I'll have it at home to work on after that.

BTW, the coach is a 2000 36' mid-door; we've owned it for about twelve years now and really haven't had too many issues (except the brakes.) All the batteries are about two years old...

Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:43 PM   #2
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In 2000 WRV used an echo charger on the Alpine. It is supposed to charge the house batteries and then switch to the chassis batteries and charge them.

I would also have the chassis batteries checked as one of them may gone bad. They should also check for voltage drain while parked to see if something is causing the batteries to go down.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Fernandez View Post
In 2000 WRV used an echo charger on the Alpine. It is supposed to charge the house batteries and then switch to the chassis batteries and charge them.

I would also have the chassis batteries checked as one of them may gone bad. They should also check for voltage drain while parked to see if something is causing the batteries to go down.
Thanks Dave.

Shouldn't the Echo charger maintain the battery charge level while the coach is on shore power? (Assuming the batteries are good in the first place.)

The suggestion to check the chassis batteries is a good one; I know a bad battery will pull the whole bank down. They aren't very old, but not every battery is perfect!
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Old 08-25-2015, 03:36 PM   #4
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If the echo charger is defective it may not maintain the coach batteries.
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Old 08-25-2015, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Fernandez View Post
If the echo charger is defective it may not maintain the coach batteries.
Makes sense. Is there a troubleshooting procedure for the Echo charger? The library perhaps?
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:12 PM   #6
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Start with the two in-line fuses on the roof of the battery compartment that feed into the battery isolator [blue "thingy" with cooling fins] on the rear wall of the bat compartment. Early Alpines use the echo charger to trickle charge the chassis bats from the house bats that are being charged from shore power thru the inverter. The E/C on early Alpines was located in different positions from year to year but it is about the size of two band-aid boxes and should have a green light glowing internally.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:30 PM   #7
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I got this from the Troubleshooting chart in the Echo Charger Owners manual.

PROBLEM THINGS TO CHECK

LED is red. Thermal shutdown
1. Check to see that the Digital echo-charge has sufficient air flow and ventilation around it.
2. Check the battery connections.

Starter battery is not charging
1. Check the difference in voltage between the house battery and the starter battery. If the difference is greater than 2 volts, the Digital echo-charge will reduce the charge current. If the difference is greater than 10 volts, the Digital echo-charge will shut off and the green LED will blink.
2. Check the connections to house battery bank and starter battery. Check the fuses. Check the ground connection.

LED is off
Check fuse in the red wire. Check the ground connection.

LED is flashing green
1. House battery voltage below 13.0 volts DC or above 17 volts DC.
2. The difference between the house battery and the starter battery is greater than 10 volts DC.

I hope this helps
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Echo-charge-OwnerGuide(445-0204-01-01).pdf (614.8 KB, 22 views)
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:19 PM   #8
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I have worked on two 2000 Alpines that had the Echo Charger wired backwards/reversed, I just exchanged the wires at the fuses in the top of the battery compartment.

Al
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:33 AM   #9
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Troubleshooting Chassis Battery Drain Questions

I know WRV loved to change the way they did things, so ignore this if my '05 is different from Mark's '00, but on ours, the HWH system runs off the house batteries. While the chassis batteries need to be viable (the ignition must be "on"), the house batteries run the pump. Are we chasing the wrong bank/issue in the chassis batteries/echo charger?

Additionally the HWH system is a real power hog, I would expect after running the slides out the inverter/charger would be active.


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Old 09-01-2015, 07:46 AM   #10
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Any more feedback???????? Most Alpines from year to year have some degree of battery drain and shutting off the main battery switches wont kill all of the draws--some things are hot-wired to the bats. Your post suggests that the bats recently started going down, so in the past, the echo charger was keeping up, and now it doesnt. Unless the terminals are really wet and corroded [eg shorting across the metal hold-down straps]--I doubt if the draws have increased.
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:53 PM   #11
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Just got the coach home on Sunday and haven't had any time to look at it. Another issue cropped up as we were leaving -- no power from the genset. (Generator runs fine.) I reset all the breakers and still no power to the circuits from the generator. Shore power was fine.

About an hour after we left, the microwave display lit up (I had the generator running) and my wife started the AC units to help mitigate the 112 degree temps outside. They ran about ten minutes and we lost power again. Leads me to believe I have a loose connection in the TS -- don't know that it's related to the charging issue, but another thing for me to look at.

So glad I went and drove a new Ventana a last month -- made me realize how nice our Alpine rides and I could still sink quite a bit of money into the Alpine to update the outdated A/V, etc. and still be way ahead of the game!
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:55 PM   #12
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WRV has had problems with the cabling from the generator to the TS. There is a connection box stuck to the ceiling/floor between the generator and the TS, I would check there.


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Old 09-02-2015, 07:39 AM   #13
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Yup--junction box on ceiling above genset and TS wires are both good places to start looking...could also be surge protector if installed after TS but not sure why it would like shore power but not genset, unless genset is having issues????
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:51 PM   #14
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Our surge protector is installed before the TS.


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