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Old 01-02-2012, 08:03 AM   #1
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Battery Help

Have a 2004 Winnebago Adventurer 38G. I have been keeping a close watch on house batteries while not being used. After being plugged in for a couple of days and bringing house batteries up to full charge, I unplugged coach and turned off the house batteries. I checked batteries 2 - 3 days later and they are still almost fully charged. Still unplugged, I turned house batteries back on, after 3 days, batteries are down below 8 volts which makes me suspect something is draining the batteries. I have checked everything and can not find anything left on. Any suggestions, or could it just be the cold weather
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:11 AM   #2
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Do you have a inverter,smoke detector,propane detector maybe a bay light on. If the batteries are original to the coach and you let them get below 8 volts it probably want take much to kill them. Dead batteries and freezing weather you have a good chance a need to replace them.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:12 AM   #3
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Perhaps an inverter (12 to 120 volt) is still on?
An AMP meter would give a clue what amount is pulled from your batteries.
Cold weather would only influence the capacity of the batteries, when no current goes they stay "full".

Gerard.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Checked all bay lights, nothing left on, do have a propane detector running, inverter is off. Where should I connect my amp meter to check for draw?
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:24 AM   #5
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If you disconnected your batteries, I take it you disconnected the ground wire to the batteries.
Again, disconnect it and keep the meter, minus to ground and plus to negative pole (or the disconnected wire if that is the end you disconnected from the pole....).

When it is very cold (0 F) the batteries have a low capacity and run empty quite fast. But measuring is the "proof of the pudding".
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:29 AM   #6
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If not using your Motorhome shut off the main and house batteries and if u live in a cold climate pull out your house batteries and put them on a battery tender and in the spring u will be all set to go. I have done this since my first year was a disaster. My 4 house batteries exploded. It was a costly mistake.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:32 AM   #7
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Gerald, I just use my battery disconnect switch to turn batteries off, leads are still connected, so I would just attach amp meter leads to battery post, correct ?
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:37 AM   #8
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Yes, disconnect the wire going from the chassis to the battery(ies) at the negative pole. (Safest as no wire can make a short then).
Then a meter (10 amps minimum reading capacity) between the wire and the pole and you see the current that is drawn.

If it is between 500Ma and an Amp, it could be a control panel that is using the current and with the cold empty your batteries quickly....

My Tioga is in Wassila AK and I remove all batteries and safe them in my frends garage on a trickle charger..

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Old 01-02-2012, 08:50 AM   #9
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Not sure I understand what your question is

You said:
Quote:
After being plugged in for a couple of days and bringing house batteries up to full charge, I unplugged coach and turned off the house batteries. I checked batteries 2 - 3 days later and they are still almost fully charged.
That sounds like the battery disconnect is doing what it is supposed to do in the OFF position.

Then you said:
Quote:
Still unplugged, I turned house batteries back on, after 3 days, batteries are down below 8 volts which makes me suspect something is draining the batteries.
Things like the fridge, monitor circuits, inverter in cockpit overhead, etc. will be drawing power with Battery Disconnect in ON position. So why would you expect the battery to not be drained?

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Old 01-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #10
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Dave, my question is, with the battery disconnect switch on, coach not plugged in, evderything I can think of turned off, fridge, all lights, inverter, vehicle radio, all bay lights off. The only thing I still see running is the propane detector, my batteries down down in 2-3 days, is this normal in cold weather, or is there still something running that is draining batteries that I need to look for. Just trying to make sure our first dry camping trip is not spolied by dead batteries in the morning.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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Just to be clear:
Do you have 2 battery disconnects? One for the "House" batteries and the other for the "Chassis/Engine" batteries.

If so, are you turning both of them off?

Also, how did you determine that your batteries were fully charged?

Lastly, are they the original batteries?
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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Then you are basically trying to perform an inventory of your coach. Here is a link to a video that describes how to isolate parasitic loads: Solar Panel to Maintain/Charge Battery.

Don't forget you monitor circuits (tanks, ESM, etc.) are also drawing power.

Dave
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:37 AM   #13
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Not sure if you need it, but here are the wiring diagrams for your coach: Table of Contents

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Old 01-02-2012, 10:51 AM   #14
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Dave, only 1 disconnect, house batteries. Use my onboard EMS to check battery voltage. Not certain, bought coach used, suspect they are not original batteries. Last dry camped in Oct. did not have any battery issues, plenty of voltage after sitting all night. Just thought batteries dropping to 8 volts in 2-3 days might be a problem
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