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Old 01-24-2016, 08:46 AM   #1
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House batteries draining in 3 weeks

I have a 2014 Bounder. Is it normal after a couple years to need new house batteries?

There are switches to cut the batteries off completely and I always do that. When I fire the MH back up though they are borderline dead. Can't even turn the lights on until I let it idle for about 10 minutes.

I don't mind that I need to replace them so much. Just wondering if it's normal. I guess they could be about 3 years old at this point.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:41 AM   #2
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Unless they have been cycled to near empty multiple times, three years is a bit young for batteries. Have you checked the water level in them? What type of batteries are they?
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:51 AM   #3
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Although you cut them off, are they fully charged before you do that ?

Sitting in a low state of charge or dead, three years life are better then expected.

Turn off your disconnect, pull off a cable and place the probes of a volt meter between the cable and the post.

Any reading tells you that they are not completely disconnected. If that's the case store it with the cable off.

Always store batteries fully charged.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:59 AM   #4
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It is "normal" for the house batteries to lose charge while sitting, even with the main switch off. Not everything is disconnected that way (e.g. the LP gas alarm), and even a totally disconnected battery will "self-discharge" into the air.

Whether 2-3 year old batteries need replacing is dependent on several things, starting with the type of battery. I think your Bounder came with "golf cart" deep cycle batteries, and 2-3 years is quite young for those, but frequent deep discharging can still wear them down. However, a more likely explanation is that the cells are low on electrolyte and need to have some distilled water added. Remove the top caps and make sure the fluid level is up near the lower edge of the opening. Add distilled water if not. If you can see the internal lead plates and they are not well-covered with liquid, that is your problem.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:01 AM   #5
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I assume the house batteries are deep cycle, made for long periods of low to moderate drain, so they do well being deeply drained and recharged. Your chassis batteries are starting batteries, thin plates made for short bursts of high current, they don't do well when deeply cycled from full charge to low voltage. Three years on a new set of deep cycle batts is not much, they should laast twice that. I never let my alternator recharge my batts, either the chassis or the house, I have a batt charger do that for me as alternators are designed to keep the batts charged, not really to recharge them, just top them off from normal drain. If your batts are draining too fast, you may have one bad batt that is taking the rest down. Recharge them all, disconnect them from each other, check each batt's voltage, let them sit overnite, then check the voltage again. Good time to clean all the connections too, and top off the batts with distilled water while you're there.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:04 AM   #6
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Unless they have been cycled to near empty multiple times, three years is a bit young for batteries. Have you checked the water level in them? What type of batteries are they?
It's this one http://usbattery.com/products/6-volt...s/us-1800-xc2/

Just checked water level it's very low. I'm guessing that's my issue. Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:34 AM   #7
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Yes, it's probably normal. Just disconnect the ground leads at the batteries if you're going to let them sit for more than 3 days. I would use a current meter and measure the current too. If it's more than 2 amp then I'd look for a problem.

Even with the salesman's switches off there are many parasitic loads still drawing off the batteries. Some rigs even wire up the step circuit so it's live all the time. And for sure the CO and propane detectors are still on. Newer RVs have 30 or so computers and many of those stay live too. Engine, tranni, radio, etc. all have memory these days and retain dynamic settings so they stay powered too. (But it doesn't hurt anything for them to lose their memories).

The small optional solar panel on the roof isn't big enough to keep them charged either.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandonrv View Post
I have a 2014 Bounder. Is it normal after a couple years to need new house batteries?
There are switches to cut the batteries off completely and I always do that. When I fire the MH back up though they are borderline dead. Can't even turn the lights on until I let it idle for about 10 minutes.
I don't mind that I need to replace them so much. Just wondering if it's normal. I guess they could be about 3 years old at this point.
Brandonrv
That is not "normal" on my coach.
The house batteries in my 20 year old coach have been replaced only twice in 20 years.
However:
1.) I never use the switches to "cut the batteries off".
2.) My coach is always plugged in to a minimum of 15A shore power, (unless I'm boondocking, overnighting or traveling).

If your batteries are "draining in 3 weeks" methinks something needs fixing.

Mel
'96 Safari, 145k miles, (currently with the 3rd set of house batteries)
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:56 AM   #9
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It's this one U.S. Battery | Leader in Deep Cycle Batteries | US 1800 XC2 - U.S. Battery | Leader in Deep Cycle Batteries

Just checked water level it's very low. I'm guessing that's my issue. Thanks!
Low water level can cause permanent damage to the batteries. If the plates are not fully immersed the damage begins. The water level should be checked and adjusted regularly as needed. You should add ( only distilled ) water before the plates are exposed. Do not over fill because this will cause excessive gassing and acid damage to the battery compartment and cables. Keep the water above the plates but well below the split ring in the case opening.
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:00 AM   #10
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Brandonrv
That is not "normal" on my coach.
The house batteries in my 20 year old coach have been replaced only twice in 20 years.
However:
1.) I never use the switches to "cut the batteries off".
2.) My coach is always plugged in to a minimum of 15A shore power, (unless I'm boondocking, overnighting or traveling).

If your batteries are "draining in 3 weeks" methinks something needs fixing.

Mel
'96 Safari, 145k miles, (currently with the 3rd set of house batteries)

Thanks for that. Yeah it looks like the middle cell on one of the batteries needs water. I need to go get distilled water but I figured I'd fix that first and see if it helps. Their draining while stored has gotten worse over time this isn't exactly a new problem though before I'd get in it after about a month in storage and they'd be low, but not to where I couldn't turn on lights on the inside. Now I've had it in storage 3 weeks and they are dead. No power at all.
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:10 AM   #11
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Draining battery

Same thing happened to me. I called the Camping World about it, I will bring 2 batteries back for testing. These batteries were brand new 2 weeks ago, bought them at CW.

I found that the propane gas detector was on, even there is no green lamp. I switched it to off. I plan to replace this.

Also I found the switches by the door, one for lamp, porch lamp and step. The porch lamp switch was on. I turned all of them off, I noticed less draining power on the batteries. There might be parasitic that draining batteries, which I need to look more.
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Old 01-27-2016, 07:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
Brandonrv
That is not "normal" on my coach.
The house batteries in my 20 year old coach have been replaced only twice in 20 years.
However:
1.) I never use the switches to "cut the batteries off".
2.) My coach is always plugged in to a minimum of 15A shore power, (unless I'm boondocking, overnighting or traveling).

If your batteries are "draining in 3 weeks" methinks something needs fixing.

Mel
'96 Safari, 145k miles, (currently with the 3rd set of house batteries)
I'm with ya. There have been so many threads about both house and chassis batteries going dead in as little as a few days. I don't get it.
How much current does a propane detector use?
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Old 01-28-2016, 07:42 AM   #13
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My Winnebago Journey is the only MH I've owned that wouldn't drain the batteries in a couple weeks. That one had a disconect switch at the rear next to the radiator. It would kill everything, sit all winter and fire right up in the spring. All batteries were still holding a charge. On my Ventana I have to remove the battery cables, then it will stay charged just fine. I'm installing manual disconnects in the spring.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:20 AM   #14
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You might think about how cold it has been and for how long where you are... Really cold temps will decrease the effiency and the state of charge. If not fully charged they will flatten quicky in cold weather.

They need be fully charged. Fully. Charged.

You can bring a battery bank's state of charge (SoC) up pretty quicky with a short charging cycle but it may not be fully charged for several hours. Modern chargers will supply high amps initially and then taper off to low amps to avoid wrecking the battery. So getting 90% SoC may only take a shrt time.....its that last 10% that takes awhile. Like several (many) hours depending on the size of the battery (or battery bank) and its beginning SoC.
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