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Old 01-02-2012, 11:27 AM   #15
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Unless your house battery system has been upgraded, your coach came with 2 Group 24 batteries. Typically, those only provide 70-85AH each. Thats 140-170AH total. For best performance and life, you should only draw them down to 50% capacity (70-85AH; 12.1VDC).
Unless the batteries are bad, in order for you to drop the voltage that low, you would have had to be pulling around 2 amps per hour over 3 days (140/72hrs=1.94 amps). For reference, one standard 12VDC overhead bulb pulls 1 amp.

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Old 01-02-2012, 11:44 AM   #16
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#1. If the batteries are good, AND they get fully charged (14.6 +/- 0.2 volts during absorption phase if you have a 3 stage charger) they should hold above 12 volts for many weeks IF they have no loads on them.

#2. Confirm that the battery switch actually is disconnecting by checking to see if any 12 volt equipment works with the switch off.

#3. Check the date codes on the batteries. If they are over 5 years old, consider replacing them.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #17
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Disconnecting the battery ground is the best way to test if the battery(s) are not keeping a charge or a load is draining them (disconnect both battery grounds and check each battery - one bad battery will pull down the other when connected together as a bank or a load is draining them). If the batteries hold up OK when the ground is disconnected, here are 2 things to consider during your next troubleshooting attempt:
1) If you are using the battery disconnect switch, there needs to be a solid 12V to move the solenoid. The battery disconnect switch is a solenoid that the mechanical On/Off switch hits with +/- 12VDC to change its state - so just because you select disconnect (or off) doesn't mean the solenoid actually moved to disconnect. If your coach monitor panel is still working after you selected ‘off’ the solenoid did not switch to disconnect. This may be why the batteries are good after the first 3 days, then drain during the next 3 days (on you 2nd visit the batteries may read good, but too low to disconnect). If you suspect a low battery voltage is preventing the solenoid from working, try selecting battery disconnect when the engine/gennny is running to provide the full voltage the solenoid needs to operate.
2) If you have a Dometic Refrig, there is a .5 Amp draw for the control board with the refer off. This will drain a 2 battery bank in 3 days, just as you describe (it took me a couple months to figure this out).
To power off the refrig control board and stop this drain, open the refrig door and look for a rocker switch near where the door seals. If you turn this rocker switch off the control board will be off.
I hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:52 PM   #18
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Do you have a digital VOM? If yes, use it, if not, buy one At Home depot. They run about 20$ for a cheap Chinese made one. Disconnect the negative lead, put meter in 10 amp reading mode and connect the leads between the battery and lead to measure current draw with everything you can turn off off. Alternatively, you can pull each fuse and with the meter set at 10 amps measure between fuse contacts and add up total of all fuses measured. That is your not in use battery draw. There are all kinds of phantom current draws like radio programming and CO detectors. Divide total battery amp hours by total current draw to find average draw life in hours.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:14 PM   #19
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If your batteries were reading 8 volts then they are shot. Lead acid batteries are completely discharged at 10.5 volts....
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:21 PM   #20
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I will second what WARDY said at 8V you have irrevocable damage done. You may still be able to use them but capacity is compromised.
One of the best sources of understanding and current (pun intended) knowledge is batteryfaq.org
Monitoring the voltage of your batteries is vital and part of that is load management and arguably one of the best ways is the use of a meter such as the TriMetric Battery System | Bogart Engineering
the cost of replacing batteries is considerable and keeping the deep cycle battery happy will pay off long run. I will be interested in seeing what you find using a meter.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:46 AM   #21
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Many "Vampires" on a MH, battery disconnect is the only way to kill them.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:50 AM   #22
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Hi Leary 54 just curious, why did your batteries explode, was it just because they got really cold? Hope it's ok to ask on this thread.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:23 AM   #23
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Thumbs up Thanks tomwalt

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwalt View Post
2) If you have a Dometic Refrig, there is a .5 Amp draw for the control board with the refer off. This will drain a 2 battery bank in 3 days, just as you describe (it took me a couple months to figure this out).
To power off the refrig control board and stop this drain, open the refrig door and look for a rocker switch near where the door seals. If you turn this rocker switch off the control board will be off.
I hope this helps.
Thanks! I didn't know that. I suspect my refer is hooked up to my starting batteries because I get 'Low Voltage' messages almost every time I start after sitting for only a few days. All of my batteries (4 6V and 2 12V) are less than 6 months old.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:52 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmpncrsaider
Hi Leary 54 just curious, why did your batteries explode, was it just because they got really cold? Hope it's ok to ask on this thread.
Yes was told that if they were fully charged that they should be ok but that was not the case.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:35 AM   #25
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May have found my problem. Hope I did this right, disconnected the neg lead from my house batteries, touched one lead from multimeter to neg battery post, the other to the neg cable and got a reading around 2.75, I guess this means even with everything off, I am still drawing 2.75 amps from the batteries, seems like a lot to me, but then again, I don't have much electrical knowledge. What I discoverd while in the coach, was that the radio in my outside entertainment center was on, guess that is what drained the batteries!
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #26
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Hi J Stemler,
With the meter connected, start pulling fuses and turning off breakers. Each time, check the meter. Eventually you'll find the offending circuit. Then you'll need to track down the offending appliance. I do not know if the radio has enough draw to pull down the batteries in the time previously mentioned.

If you turned off the radio and/or pulled the fuse for that circuit and the draw went away, then you have truly found the problem.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:57 PM   #27
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one sure way to know if something is draining batteries; disconnect the battery leads from the coach. Then check after after 3 days. what is the age of the batteries. are you taking specfic gravity readings?
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:32 PM   #28
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J Stemler,
You did the test correctly. This sort of stuff is actually rather simple. Sort of like water running through a pipe. Just do not let it scare you. At least now you are getting a better feel for how this all works.

After you turned the radio off, what was the amp reading? I would think there would still be a small number of gremlins there.

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