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Old 09-27-2016, 10:08 AM   #1
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Chassis Battery / Low Voltage Warning

Hi everyone -

On a trip of course and I'm getting Low Voltage dash warning on my 2014 Itasca Solei. Here is what I've observed:

-Starts no problem.
-As soon as I add load (e.g. level the coach) it drops to low voltage and the engine idle increases to charge the batteries.
-Drive it for a bit and the error clears.
-Analog voltage meter on dash reads, "13 Volts" while driving.

Recently, I arrived at a spot and had to move and level twice. The second level failed in conjunction with the low voltage coming on. The engine was running of course. Had to let it run a bit and I was good to go.

Two thoughts/questions:
1) One or both of the sealed, maintenance free group 31 batteries is not holding a charge and under load it drops way too low thus creating the cascading issues. So I'm thinking just to replace them both.

2) Do these batteries charge when plugged into shore power? I thought about doing an exterior trickle charge but there is a sticker next to the batteries that reads, "disconnect batteries before applying an external charger to avoid damage to sensitive electronics"...

Anyway, input welcome. Thanks all.

Steve
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:15 PM   #2
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13 volts with the engine (alternator) running is too low to charge the batteries. Using the leveling jacks twice, without adequate charging, would give you a low voltage reading. Before replacing batteries, I'd start by removing and cleaning all battery connections. (Do it one at a time so you get them back correctly) Also remove and clean ground cable connection to the frame or engine.

You can easily check if shore power and converter/charger is charging, use a multimeter to check voltage after batteries have absorbed all surface charge. (about an hour after engine has stopped and not hooked to shore power) Check house and chassis voltages at the battery terminals. Then start engine and after 5 minutes take another reading of voltages. Shut down engine and hook up shore cord, take a third reading of voltages. At rest a good battery should show ~12.6 v. To charge a 12v battery, or two 6 v batteries in series, voltage must be greater than 13.7 v.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:49 PM   #3
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Thanks! All terminals are clean and tight. Will put my meter on it later today. Appreciate the quick reply. Will let you know what I figure out!
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:05 PM   #4
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You should be seeing 14.3 VDC or so when the alternator is charging your chassis battery.

Use a meter directly on the chassis battery and do not rely on the dash gauge.

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Old 09-28-2016, 03:10 PM   #5
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What I have noted is that some MHs do charge the house and chassis batteries while plugged in to shore power while others do not.
You can always remove the batteries and have a LOAD TEST done on them because just having correct voltage at the battery terminals do not mean that the battery is GOOD.
Most automotive parts stores should be able to load test your batteries for you free of charge.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottyBye View Post
What I have noted is that some MHs do charge the house and chassis batteries while plugged in to shore power while others do not.
You can always remove the batteries and have a LOAD TEST done on them because just having correct voltage at the battery terminals do not mean that the battery is GOOD.
Most automotive parts stores should be able to load test your batteries for you free of charge.
This is not true of the 2014 Itasca Solei. Section 6, pg 7 of the owner's manual shows the BIM (Battery Isolation Manager) connects both battery groups together when a charging current is detected. The BIM does prevent connection under special conditions, read the manual for details.

If removing batteries for a load test, be sure to label all connections and take a photo too, so the batteries get installed properly.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:11 PM   #7
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Aux Starter Solenoid issues

Can anyone help me regarding the Aux starter solenoid getting and staying hot.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daletcummins View Post
Can anyone help me regarding the Aux starter solenoid getting and staying hot.
dale
Are you sure it's the start solenoid and not the battery isolator solenoid.

Isolator solenoid stays energized when charging system is working.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:31 PM   #9
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I have a 2016 Winnebago Forza (same as Itasca Solei) 36G. From reading the manual about charging the house batteries (4 of them) and the chassis/engine starting batteries (2 of them) is that the battery isolation manager will only connect all 6 batteries together for charging if BOTH the following are true: 1. charger is charging either the house or chassis batteries and 2. isolation manager senses that the other batteries are below 80%.

The isolation manager will disconnect both from being charged if it senses either the house or chassis batteries are at float level for more than 1 hour. This prevents overcharging according to the manual. Assuming all of this is all true, the charging system and isolation manager should keep all the batteries in good charge state as long as either you are driving or parked and hooked up to shore power/generator.


On a side note, the 4 house batteries that came OEM (Napa branded) ARE NOT sealed maintenance free or AGM battery. They are the regular flooded lead acid type. If you clean off the piece of peel off plastic off the top of the battery which covers the round screw off fill ports, you will see so. To check and fill them is a real bear when installed as either the cabling or hold down bars cover some of the fill ports and there is not a lot of over the top clearance to fill. I disconnected everything, pulled all 4 batteries out and checked all 6 cells in each of the 4 batteries. Fortunately every cell was covered with the water/acid by about a 1/4 inch. I added distilled water to each cell to bring them up to the recommended full line. Took about 30 ounces for each battery or about 5 ounces per cell.


The cells were all pretty uniformly low. So I plan on monitoring the cells monthly by pulling the front cell cover off which is the most accessible without removing the batteries and monitoring water level. Hopefully they will use little water since removing/adding water is about a 1 hour job if you have to do it to get into every cell. The chassis batteries do appear to be the maintenance free flooded lead acid type. They are not Napa but from Alliance Truck, whoever makes those I have no idea. But I plan on making sure of that soon that they truly are maintenance free. Batteries are just to damn expensive to let dry out and ruin them.


I have heard other people post that the sales people will tell you that the batteries are AGM, maintenance free or whatever. DO NOT believe them on their face. Verify yourself or you might be sorry.
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