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Old 09-06-2015, 01:10 PM   #1
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Discharged Chassis Batteries

Been gone two weeks from RV and had to use Emergency start to start engine when I returned to engage leveling jacks. Today it will not start at all or even turnover. I checked the batteries and they(2)were both bad but I am certain they were installed last March before I bought the coach.

When I started the engine I let it run about 10 minutes and shut it off after I leveled the coach. Afterwards I noticed my dash lights were circling from one light to next and finally stopped after about an hour. I was just too exhausted from our 24 hour trip from Alaska to begin checking for issues. Now I have to do some exploration as to why my batteries are dead.

This is a 2000 Sportscoach, cummins pusher about 40000 miles.

Any input would be appreciated. Have a nice day.
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Old 09-06-2015, 04:53 PM   #2
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All manufacturers wire things differently, but I had the same issue. On my set up, the charger must put out at least 13.3 volts when charging the coach batteries or the charge will not go through the coach batteries to get to the chassis batteries so they can be charged. The tech talked me through increasing the charge rate and the absorption time (based on the size of the battery bank) on the Magnum controller.
The problem appears to be fixed.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:04 AM   #3
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Batteries die from any number of reasons. They will also self discharge. Unless you disconnect the batteries, the coach will continue to draw current into various areas. Many people refer to this as parasitic draw, but can include the engine cpu, the inverter, TV's, smoke detectors, etc. Two weeks seems pretty quick, but if they were already weak, two weeks may be a long time.


Probably the most common reason bateries die is undercharging or overdischarging. If the batteries were not maintained in a high state of charge during your trip, they may be gone. Not maintaining proper water level may be another reason.


Running the engine for 10 minutes may have done more harm than good. Starting an engine requires a lot of power. Idling for 10 minutes may not have restored that power. Many alternators need higher than idle speed to reach their maximum power output. So simply idling for a few minutes may have done nothing good.


You should consider checking the water level in the batteries. A specific gravity check is a good thing, too. If you find weak cells, battery equalization may help. If the charger does not have this feature, new batteries may be needed.


I am jealous about the Alaska trip. Hope it was great!
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:22 PM   #4
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The Alaska trip was OK not great. But to see the children and grandchildren was great. Port Protection has no electric just generators and no vehicles, just boats, no stores either. I believe the children will move to Fairbanks within the next 2 years and that I understand is much better.
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:05 AM   #5
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The batteries have been charging for days now. They are still weak but not bad. I attempted to start the engine and nothing. The Intelllec disconnect will not show on for engine. The switch does nothing.
With emergency start on the engine would not turn over nor do I have obvious power to the dash or ignition switch. That's why I think the disconnect may be bad or possibly a bad fuse somewhere or bad connection on batteries. Even though everything appears OK. I'm open to suggestions....
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voncluck View Post
The batteries have been charging for days now. They are still weak but not bad. I attempted to start the engine and nothing. The Intelllec disconnect will not show on for engine. The switch does nothing.
With emergency start on the engine would not turn over nor do I have obvious power to the dash or ignition switch. That's why I think the disconnect may be bad or possibly a bad fuse somewhere or bad connection on batteries. Even though everything appears OK. I'm open to suggestions....
If the batteries have been "charging for days but still weak", THEY ARE BAD.
BTW running the engine for ten minutes will NOT charge the batteries.
You will need a volt/ohm meter and you will need to disconnect the chassis batteries or use the disconnect switch in the battery bay and get a voltage reading. A full "good" battery will read 12.8 volts after it has been taken off a charger for half hour. Anything less means the battery is going south. (BTW, if they are flooded batteries, be sure the fluid is topped off before charging).

Good luck!
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