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Old 11-06-2015, 06:27 AM   #1
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2016 Bounder 35K Dead Chassis Battery and solar panel

Well, my new 35K had a dead chassis battery after just 2 weeks of non use.
I called Lazy Days and speak to a tech. Pretty knowledgeable fella. He tells me this is common. He asks if I shut the battery disconnects after the stairs went in the last time I left it? I say no, never had to do that on my Monaco before. If the coach is not in use regularly the battery disconnects need to be off.

So, after the stairs go in I need to close the screen door, reach my hand into the slide for the main door handle try and reach down to the battery disconnect buttons at floor level.
Do this each time you will leave the coach for more than a day or 2.

I vote for poor design. Never had to do that on my Monaco. But hey, that's just my opinion.

Apparently the steps draw enough current just sitting there it is what will kill the battery.

Oh, another thing, the solar panel on top (I know, it's only 5 or so watts, only works while the battery disconnects are on and are only connected to the house batteries.
So, the solar doesn't try to keep anything charged while it's in storage.

When my solar is installed I will be keeping my batteries charged even with the battery disconnects off. Yes, I will have a separate disconnect for the solar.

Just wanted to fill everyone else in in case they run across this issue. Still like by Bounder!

Cheers.
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerguy View Post
Well, my new 35K had a dead chassis battery after just 2 weeks of non use.
I called Lazy Days and speak to a tech. Pretty knowledgeable fella. He tells me this is common. He asks if I shut the battery disconnects after the stairs went in the last time I left it? I say no, never had to do that on my Monaco before. If the coach is not in use regularly the battery disconnects need to be off.

So, after the stairs go in I need to close the screen door, reach my hand into the slide for the main door handle try and reach down to the battery disconnect buttons at floor level.
Do this each time you will leave the coach for more than a day or 2.

I vote for poor design. Never had to do that on my Monaco. But hey, that's just my opinion.

Apparently the steps draw enough current just sitting there it is what will kill the battery.

Oh, another thing, the solar panel on top (I know, it's only 5 or so watts, only works while the battery disconnects are on and are only connected to the house batteries.
So, the solar doesn't try to keep anything charged while it's in storage.

When my solar is installed I will be keeping my batteries charged even with the battery disconnects off. Yes, I will have a separate disconnect for the solar.

Just wanted to fill everyone else in in case they run across this issue. Still like by Bounder!

Cheers.
I am a bit confused, the solar panel on top of the forward A/C unit only charges the chassis battery not the house batteries. (that is what i was told from fleetwood, and has no indicator that is is working or not, that i can find anyways) The battery disconnect is the big red switch in the bay beside the door, between my inverter and my converter. I recently had my rig in the shop for a week (CW, that's a whole other story) and turned both my AUX and MAIN switch inside the door near the floor off as directed by the CW tech and came back a week later and had no battery issues at all. I never used my battery disconnect in the bay with my inverter tho. It was on the whole time at CW sitting in there shop.
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Oh, another thing, the solar panel on top (I know, it's only 5 or so watts, only works while the battery disconnects are on and are only connected to the house batteries.
So, the solar doesn't try to keep anything charged while it's in storage.
The BCC used in the Bounder, for the last 20 years, does not require the batteries to be on for the solar panel to charge the house batteries. It's a direct connection to the house batteries via a 5amp fuse. I would be very surprised if that statement is true.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info. Sounds like I will be on the phone with FW this afternoon to try and get a different answer. Who knows, maybe this answer will be correct???
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:03 AM   #5
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Spoke to Ken at FW.
1)Many draws are now on the chassis battery with all the electronics present so that is why the disconnect is necessary.
2)Solar panel is 5 watts and connected to the BCC. The solar panel really doesn't charge but applies some voltage to minimize the loss. When plugged in or on the generator the house batteries need to come to full charge. The BCC will charge the house batteries first to full charge. Once they are fully charged the solenoid will open the circuit to the chassis battery and charge it. But only on the genset or while plugged in. The solar panel does not provide enough current to fully top off the house batteries and open the circuit to charge the chassis battery.
When using the battery disconnect switches it disables the 12v systems for each (Chassis and House separately). The red battery disconnect in the electrical bay disconnects the charger/converter/inverter from the batteries.

That is consistent to what I experienced on my '16. Different than what Old Bounder described above. But maybe if I call back I'll get a different answer???
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:41 AM   #6
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Well I open the door on mine so steps come out then turn switches off so steps stay out. But u could get a bigger portable solar charger and hook it up if your rig is outside to keep batteries up if u wanna leave main switch on all the time
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerguy View Post
Spoke to Ken at FW.
1)Many draws are now on the chassis battery with all the electronics present so that is why the disconnect is necessary.
2)Solar panel is 5 watts and connected to the BCC. The solar panel really doesn't charge but applies some voltage to minimize the loss. When plugged in or on the generator the house batteries need to come to full charge. The BCC will charge the house batteries first to full charge. Once they are fully charged the solenoid will open the circuit to the chassis battery and charge it. But only on the genset or while plugged in. The solar panel does not provide enough current to fully top off the house batteries and open the circuit to charge the chassis battery.
When using the battery disconnect switches it disables the 12v systems for each (Chassis and House separately). The red battery disconnect in the electrical bay disconnects the charger/converter/inverter from the batteries.

That is consistent to what I experienced on my '16. Different than what Old Bounder described above. But maybe if I call back I'll get a different answer???
This is NO different from what I stated earlier. I probably just used the wrong words. I did use the word charge from the solar panel, but we all know that that little sucker couldn't charge a D-cell flashlight.

You accurately described what conditions must exist in order to close the solenoid, and charge the various batteries from the various sources, but there is a lot of salesman speek in how fleetwood describes how/when that happens.

The BCC is NOT that complicated or sophiscated.

With all switches ON...
  • When on shore/gen power, the connecting solenoid to add the chassis battery to the converter output for charging, will close when the house batteries allow the charging voltage to rise above 13.2vdc. This usually happens within seconds, unless the house batteries are very nearly discharged. They do not have to be fully charged, but simply charging, for this to happen.
  • When the engine is running and the chassis battery is being charged from the alternator, the solenoid will close the connection to add the house batteries, when the chassis battery allows the alternator voltage to remain above 13.2vdc. Again, this usually happens within seconds/minutes of starting the engine, unless the chassis battery is weak, or the engine especially hard starting.

It's a very simple, but effective, control system. It is identical to the logic employed in the Intellitec BIRD systems.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesimmons View Post
Well I open the door on mine so steps come out then turn switches off so steps stay out. But u could get a bigger portable solar charger and hook it up if your rig is outside to keep batteries up if u wanna leave main switch on all the time
The main switch would NOT have to be left ON in your scenario. If the charger you suggest has a voltage output above 13.2vdc and is hooked directly to the HOUSE batteries, it will ALSO charge the CHASSIS battery with ALL disconnects OFF. (That is the Disconnect Switches by the door)

The BIRD circuitry inside the BCC bypasses the disconnects to close the charge solenoid between the battery banks.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerguy View Post
Spoke to Ken at FW.
1)Many draws are now on the chassis battery with all the electronics present so that is why the disconnect is necessary.
2)Solar panel is 5 watts and connected to the BCC. The solar panel really doesn't charge but applies some voltage to minimize the loss. When plugged in or on the generator the house batteries need to come to full charge. The BCC will charge the house batteries first to full charge. Once they are fully charged the solenoid will open the circuit to the chassis battery and charge it. But only on the genset or while plugged in. The solar panel does not provide enough current to fully top off the house batteries and open the circuit to charge the chassis battery.
When using the battery disconnect switches it disables the 12v systems for each (Chassis and House separately). The red battery disconnect in the electrical bay disconnects the charger/converter/inverter from the batteries.

That is consistent to what I experienced on my '16. Different than what Old Bounder described above. But maybe if I call back I'll get a different answer???
Thanks Computer guy, that is how FW explained it to me as well, sorry if I mixed up what they said. They did tell me that there may be a red light indicating the solar panel was working, it is in the A/C unit somewhere, I haven't found it either in the outside cover or the inside cover. He said the 15's had it but wasn't sure if they did it for the 16's. Its kinda a mute point as it is just designed to provide a trickle charge at best.

Thanks OLdbounder, I honestly did not even realize there was two switches for the AUX and MAIN in my unit. LOL I think I now understand what they do but only see them as an item to be concerned with if I am either in a situation where my bounder will be without power for a week or more. Since I have a 20AMP service at my house where I store it, I keep my bounder plugged in all the time. Good to understand the electrics better tho. I have found the newer systems to be something you should understand well to maintain the coach in optimum ready state. Especially if I add further Solar capability in the future.
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