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Old 09-07-2015, 05:39 PM   #1
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Coach Battery Mystery - Please help!

OK, I would like to see if you guys could assist me with a coach battery dilemma.
First of all let me say I have 2 coach 12v batteries wired in parallel. They have worked fine for the last two years. On my trip this weekend, I could not get the coach batteries to work at all when I turned them on from the kill switch. I checked them both with a multimeter and they read 12.58 volts each. I went back inside and turned the batteries on - nothing.

Several years ago I installed a lever that I could drop from my chassis battery to the coach batteries in case I needed an extra boost starting the engine. I dropped the lever, went in side turned on the chassis batteries and voila they work fine and read full charge on the info station. I go back outside and lift the chassis lever and when I come back in no battery power at all.

I start the engine and drop the lever. I have coach battery power again. Voltage on Chassis battery 14.28 (alternator is going), so with the lever down the coach batteries should charge as well, but they read 12.58 volts as before.

Do I have a bad cell in the coach batteries that is keeping them from functioning? Marine batteries sealed so I can't add water. Thoughts??
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:26 PM   #2
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I think your 'kill switch' is operating the battery isolation solenoid. If that solenoid is bad, due to arced contacts or burnt electromagnet, it won't connect the batteries. Not sure what you are referring to with your 'lever,' is it a switch or something else? I don't think your house or chassis batteries are bad, just not connecting. Make sure the Battery Isolation Relay is working and remove and clean all battery cable connections, including ground connections.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:24 PM   #3
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I recently lost house battery & charging power... was working fine, then not......after pulling out some of my remaining hair, I discovered that the main ground cable connection to the chassis had a broken(failed) terminal..... replaced that, reconnected, all ok... Look at all ground connections, clean all terminal points, follow each cable from/to your batteries...........
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:42 PM   #4
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Beach has it right. You've got a bad connection somewhere.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
I think your 'kill switch' is operating the battery isolation solenoid. If that solenoid is bad, due to arced contacts or burnt electromagnet, it won't connect the batteries. Not sure what you are referring to with your 'lever,' is it a switch or something else? I don't think your house or chassis batteries are bad, just not connecting. Make sure the Battery Isolation Relay is working and remove and clean all battery cable connections, including ground connections.
I have three batteries side by side. 1 for engine and 2 for the coach. I have a connecting lever between the engine battery and 1 of the coach batteries where I can connect them all if I need extra starting power for the engine. Everything works and passes through the solenoid if I drop the lever, but if I raise it nothing.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:36 AM   #6
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Thanks, I will go through and check all of the connections today.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:49 AM   #7
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Start with the batteries in question with a voltmeter. Do not tug or pull on wires as you go. You might accidently fix the problem. Carefully follow the wires from the positive side. Measure anywhere you can. As suggested, if you come to a solenoid post, measure the other large post. If the voltage is not the same, then measure the voltage on the small terminals. If there is 12 volts on one small terminal and zero on the other then the solenoid is bad.

Post a picture of any questionable areas. This is like finding a leaky hose. You just need to follow the hose.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:57 PM   #8
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Be sure to remove the cable terminals from the batteries and clean the battery posts and inside the clamp terminals. Scuff them good and shiny and then reassemble. Coarse sandpaper works well.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
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"creativead".....What kind of battery kill switch are you talking about. If it's just a small toggle switch, it typically powers a solenoid that actually turns the batteries on. You need to check the solenoid.

If it's a large mechanical switch, it's not uncommon for them to go bad internally and fail.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:59 AM   #10
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Thanks, If it will ever stop raining in GA long enough for me to clean all the contacts I will check the connections and solenoid. Hope it's just the connections as the thought of finding the solenoid part for my 23 year old coach is daunting.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativead View Post
Thanks, If it will ever stop raining in GA long enough for me to clean all the contacts I will check the connections and solenoid. Hope it's just the connections as the thought of finding the solenoid part for my 23 year old coach is daunting.
Battery isolation solenoids haven't changed much in many decades. You just need to make sure your new one meets or exceeds the requirements of your application. A starter solenoid is only rated for short time use, the solenoid you need is for 'continuous duty' since it's switched on and continues to conduct power for long periods of time.

This is a continuous duty solenoid:

http://www.amazon.com/SOLENOID-GOLF-...iglink20599-20

But this is more commonly used in RVs:

https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/...ers/002733.htm
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:36 AM   #12
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Sounds like he's using a standard knife type battery disconnect switch between the house and chassis batteries.

http://www.amazon.com/WirthCo-20109-...connect+switch
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:04 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for your help. It was indeed a loose negative on the battery way in the back of the compartment. Got all the contacts cleaned and it works like a charm. Thanks again!
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:56 AM   #14
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Suspect list:
1: Bad connection, Most likely one end or the other of the negative but do not discount the positive

2: Blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.. There is SUPPOSED to be one or the other in the Positive battery lead.
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