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Old 01-11-2019, 06:00 PM   #1
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Dead Batteries

Our 09 Dynasty is over in Coburg at the REV service center. Got a call that our 8 month old Trojan 8D AGM batteries need to be replaced. There are 4 of these wired parallel, 4 12 volt batteries. Bought new last May '18. We have not been on any trips and the coach has been plugged in at the house. However, we had the coach in a couple shops getting some things done and not sure if these shops turned the battery cutout switches off or not, although we told them to. REV says the batteries are reading 12.2 and will not hold/take enough charge to start the gen. Any ideas where I should start to look for the drain on the batteries? Trojan may or may not warranty the batteries, hope they do. But I sure don't want to replace them without finding the cause of these things going dead, at least not until we have won the Power Ball Lottery. REV techs tell me that under normal conditions even with the battery switches off, the parasitic drain should be very minimal, just the ECM and the TCM, not enough to worry about. I've also been told that the inverter takes some power even with the battery switch off. Any thoughts? Thanks
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:43 PM   #2
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Trying to understand.
You have two 8D's for the house, and two 8D's for the chassis engine start?
Or, do you have four 8D's for the house?
Either way those are expensive batteries to replace so soon.
The house batteries should stay charged from the inverter when plugged in, or when the generator is run.

If they will not charge up fully you have no choice but to replace them but need to find what made them fail so soon.
It is a common problem for technicians to leave the master cutoff on and kill the batteries.
Was the inverter charge option turned on the remote inside?

If you do replace them, I like to replace each 8D with two Trojan T-105 6 volt golf cart batteries (this is for the house, not engine start). The T-105 is made for constant charge and discharge and can last up to 10 years if you keep the water topped off. You will need to add a short connecting cable in between each pair of 6v batteries pos to neg to make it a 12v.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:59 PM   #3
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AGM batteries require a different charging plan from lead-acid batteries. Was your convert/inverter adjusted for AGMs?
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:13 PM   #4
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First, FYI, our coach is an '06 Dynasty. I would not guarantee that anything built in '09 would be even close to how our coach was built, but it might be.

Actually, 12.2 volts would relate to about a 60% charged battery, which isn't all that low. And the house battery bank is likely NOT the battery that is used to start the generator. Unless your coach was designed with a significantly different energy management logic, the house battery wouldn't have anything to do with the ability to start the generator. I'm surprise that REV would make such a statement. The reason for this is that when you are relying on your batteries and your generator for your electrical energy such as when you might be dry camping, you need to have a good battery to start the generator using the AGS (Auto-Gen-Start) feature in your coach. That is why the chassis batteries are used for that purpose when the house batteries are already low.

And Vito is absolutely right. Shops just don't seem to understand the concept of keeping batteries removed from their loads when they aren't needed. If the house battery switch were left on, I would expect the battery to lose charge at a fairly steady rate, and over not too many days, at best.

A couple of places you might look for parasitic loads would be the CO detector and the propane detector. Either or both of those may draw an appreciable load, over time. I found that they did on our coach, and I actually defied all the safety gurus and pulled the fuses on those two loads. Alternatively, they could be moved to a board sources from the switched house battery supply. Also, on our coach, I changed the connection to the inverter so that it is on the load side of the house battery disconnect rather than the battery side. That way when the disconnect is opened, the inverter is completely off-line.

Finally, the TCM and ECM systems should be on the chassis battery bank, not the house battery bank. On our coach, we can survive quite a long time without charging on the chassis batteries. We do switch them off when our coach is in storage, and they hold up quite well.

Good luck! I also like Vito's suggestion of going with four, six-volt batteries in series/parallel over four 12-volt batteries in parallel for your house battery bank. I also think he is right about the most economical and reliable choice being the flooded cell golf-cart type batteries over the AGM's. I went with the AGM's because I was tired of the mess of wet cell batteries and the fact that my memory kept me from properly maintaining them. But I'm afraid that I pay a bit of a price for my happiness.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:39 AM   #5
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Before deciding that the batteries are toast, couldn't one or more be completely removed/disconnected from the system and charged with a battery charger?

There is a lot I don't understand about the system charging/discharging, so I'm not much help there, but reading these threads is helping---thanks! That just seemed like a simple way to determine the batteries overall condition. I would think they should still be good.

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Old 01-12-2019, 10:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for the thoughts. It is 4 8D AGM 12 volt batteries for the house. They replaced Lifeline AGM's that I believe were the originals. There are 4 Lifeline AGM's chassis batteries that are being replaced since they are dead also. A total of 8 batteries on this coach. I would need to review the wiring diagrams but two shops have told me that the house batteries start the gen. We are not the original owners, so have no history on the coach.
By the way, the coach is over in Coburg having the chassis multiplex repaired. They are the only shop within thousands of miles of us that have the CADET software to deal with the Kongsberg chassis multiplex system in case anyone is in need of help. I can't tell you how many shops told us this multiplex could never be fixed. We had a master and expansion switch go bad, both replaced now and fixed.
The battery problem was found due to having the techs at the REV center check out the Magnum remote panel which was no good according to a tech at Magnum since the Auto Gen Start was not working. REV said the remote panel was OK, the batteries were no good. So now just to get to the bottom of what killed the batteries so quick. Maybe something as simple as a tech not shutting the batteries off, but I think it's something more. Those Trojans had a ton of reserve capacity.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:03 PM   #7
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How many days have these shops had your coach? Sounds like one, or all of them have run your batteries near dead, and 12.2 is all they could get them charged back up to. If they had only dropped to 12.2V, there would be no issue charging them back to full charge. I would be livid ! Thats a lot of expensive batteries they have ruined!!

My coach came with the generator wired to the house batteries.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:29 AM   #8
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I would not trust Tev to do anything right. They have a horrible reputation.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:46 AM   #9
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Does your charger have an AGM setting that provides the desired charge profile for those batts? and is it set properly?
My understanding is AGMs don't like to be run down very low and left in that condition. Also they like to be brought up to FULL charge about every week or more frequently if there is any load (they store well if disconnected compleyely)
I agree w others that inverter and a possible AC load on it could be the culprit and worth checking.
Best to find as ll loads that remain w sales switch off and try to eliminate as many as possible or add a hi amp manual disconnect SW for inverter and/or any remaining parasitic loads.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:27 AM   #10
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Run Forest RUN. They may be good on Multiplex but I have my doubts about your batteries needing replaced. A one time discharge of your batteries is not a reason to replace. Sometimes you have to start the engine and let it get the batteries up to a point where the inverter/charger will take over. There is a 50/50 chance of which batteries start your generator. On my 08 Navigator the engine batteries start it but on my 04 Dynasty the house batteries did.

No starting is a common problem because of the long cable run to the generator....often I have to start the engine to get the generator to start while on the Dynasty using the boost switch would be enough...it was much better about starting without help but I never rely on the AGS to start the generator. Some add another battery in series at the generator with a high amp diode to keep it from discharging if they want to rely on the AGS.

The fact that the AGS tries to start the generator means they have that fixed too but no way would I replace batteries that new that you’ve had on shore power until now.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:52 AM   #11
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Days in a shop?? More than it should. I think the main problem is we get put to the bottom of the list since we didn't buy from any of the dealerships around here. We have one RV shop and one chassis shop that will/can work on a Roadmaster chassis. It is not unusual to be in a shop for a month or more. Not a big deal if we don't have a trip planned, but it gives the batteries a good time to run down if they don't turn them off.
Got to thinking about how the gen start circuit is run. It would make sense to me to have them start with the chassis batteries. If I understand it, the AGS is used to run the gen when the house batteries have been used to the point that they are running low on power. But, that being the case then there would not be enough power left to start the gen. I must be missing something. Maybe someone can chime in on Monaco's logic of using house batteries to start the gen.
Only bright side to this is Trojan should cover the batteries under their warranty. The inverter/charger should be set up right for the AGM's, two shops and Magnum have gone through it. The original house Lifelines were load tested and the best of the 4 could put out 47 amps, had to be plugged in or the engine running to start the gen. Definitely going to look into if the starting circuit for the gen can be switched to the chassis batteries.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:06 AM   #12
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Changing which batteries start the generator is only a matter of moving the large cable to the generator from the house batteries to the engine batteries BUT it may not be close to the engine batteries. Splicing in more cable is possible but you will get 10 different ways of doing it.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadmiester View Post
Definitely going to look into if the starting circuit for the gen can be switched to the chassis batteries.
I did just that, for the very reason your concerned about. House bank didn't have enough amps left for the AGS to crank the gen about 40' away.

All I needed was a portable ANL fuse holder, and a 12" length of 4 gauge cable. All done in the rear run cabinet. Once I had the needed parts, it was a 15 min job.
If you go this route, make sure you run the gen long enough so it will not only charge your house bank back up, but also put a charge back into the chassis batteries!
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:38 PM   #14
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96 Wideglide, Good to know. I have an extended warranty so I'll wait to convert once that runs out. Don't want to run afoul of the insurance company should something happen.
I had a 96 Electroglide Ultra, sold it some years back, we live in deer country, figured I pushed my luck keeping the rubber side up long enough, but I sure do miss it at times.

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