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Old 07-20-2013, 06:35 AM   #1
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House Battery Drain

We just bought a used 2004 Winnebago 38g from La Mesa RV and are having difficulty with them in getting it fixed. They are saying it is good but there is something wrong that it keeps draining to the point we have no power and need to start the engine to reboot the battery. Since this started right after we bought it, the repair should be covered but they keep coming up with little fixes. Can anyone give us ideas or where we can take it to get fixed without getting ripped off? We are in Sanford Fl right now by their dealership. Thanks for your help!
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:52 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum
sorry to hear the dealership not doing right.
Tell them your taking it some where else to get it fixed
and your bring the bill back to them.
Do you have Good Sam, if your a member they have it
where you can file a complaint with them and they will call
the dealership as arbitrator.
Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:54 AM   #3
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You have two sets of batteries - house and chassis. Chassis battery(s) are used to start your engine normally. The chassis batteries are not charged by your inverter/converter when you are parked and plugged in or running on your generator unless you have a trickle charger installed.

Your house batteries (usually 6V) run your interior lights and, if you have an inverter, they can run 110V circuits. House batteries are charged by your inverter/converter while parked or on generator and are also charged by your alternator when the engine is running. They can be, in most coaches, be connected to your chassis battery(s) to provide extra starting current for your engine.

If your house batteries are not holding a charge, you have lots of things that could be causing the problem:
1. The batteries are old and need to be replaced
2. Your inverter/converter isn't charging them (check your battery voltage while on shore power or your generator. Your batteries should read 13+V if the inverter/converter is charging.

If the inverter/converter is charging, then it is time to get new batteries. The current ones can no longer hold a charge.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
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So many things could be draining the battery. On mine the inverter was trying to power the refrigerator from the batteries. Do you have an inverter on this unit?? Turn it off at the inverter, not just the wall switch.
Also google RV SERVICE REVIEWS for a good shop in your area..
Good luck
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:44 AM   #5
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Thanks. We took it home about 130 miles. Parked it out front and the house battery drained over night. Thought we did something wrong. Started it up and the battery recharged back up. We moved it about 2miles and plugged in and again it drained so we put a battery charger on it, took it off and it drained again. Called dealer and tried to get an appt, got one after their big 15 day warranty. Service Rep assured me he would note it in file and they would take care of it. Little over amile down the road the belt went, dry rotted - oops they must have missed it don't know what could have happened. Got here late for our appt so we got bums rush as they looked over everything, they could no find our file. At that point the battery was charged after our 130 mile trip so they thought it must have been the belt. We stayed close by to be sure and again we lost total power. My husband switched the aux battery switch off and on to see if that would help. It would not come back on. Friday we went in and the service rep said he'll look it over but not sure if they would cover anything. He came back couple of house later said the problem was the battery switch was turned off. He acts like we are really stupid. Said everything is okay now and they had changed the selonoid to the invertor so we would not have any more problems. Not sure, we stayed another night. Again lost power and spendt the night getting up and starting the engine to bring it back. Stuck here until Monday and am not sure they will take care of it. Going to get a battery charger so we can function. I sent an Email to La Mesa Customer Relations but it is the weekend. They have a good reputation here, so we shall see. Thanks for all your help. Not sure why the battery is not being recharged while we are plugged in.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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Say, pst200, are you able to do some measurements for us so we might be able to help? Like with a voltmeter?

From reading your postings it sounds like you have a built in inverter (inverts 12Vdc to 120Vac) or an inverter/converter and the inverter is powering something like your refer...that would draw 80AMPs or so from your house batteries and could easily deplete your battery charge overnight. The converter would barely be able to keep up with a draw like that (but it should)...and, if the converter is off line, like if it had a blown fuse, that could account for the issue.

As you know, when plugged into shore power, the converter (converts 120Vac to 12Vdc) is designed to keep up with any 12V loads you may have. Since it's not, after checking the batteries themselves, I would concentrate on the converters output. It should be delivering 13V+ when you're connected to shore (or on generator).

Just thought of a possible issue. If the previous owner didn't have a good grasp of things, s/he may have mis-wired the inverter to power the converter. This is called chasing it's own tail and will deplete the battery overnight. I've read of people accidentally doing this so you might have the shop make sure those devices aren't interconnected. The inverter should only power low wattage devices, and only a few outlets in the house, like the TVs, the VCR and the like, maybe an outlet or two in the bedroom or LR.

You don't have a residential refer installed do you?
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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Hi pst2000,
If you could help by answering a couple of questions, it might help us help you.
1. Are you connected to shore power and the batteries are going dead?
2. There are two sets of batteries, coach and chassis. Chassis is for the engine. Coach is for the house part of the RV. Which batteries are going dead, coach or chassis?
3. Can you check the water in the coach batteries? The chassis batteries should be sealed.
4. When you check the coach batteries, how do the tops of the batteries look? Are they clean (batteries and terminals) or are they cruddy?
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:03 PM   #8
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Ah, La Mesa RV... we purchased our first coach from them, a 1999 Safari Serengeti... the first night in the coach we started losing all the DC powered lighting... It was the batteries! Unless things have changed, which I doubt, La Mesa does NOT keep up with battery servicing while coaches sit on their lot!! Have you verified the battery servicing? If they allowed the cells to become exposed to the air, the battery will short within itself and drain the battery with no load!! Have you also checked the open circuit voltage of the batteries? Having dealt with La Mesa and knowing their lack of coach up keep, I would vote for defective batteries!!
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:55 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback. We do not have a voltage meter, but we did go buy a new battery charger that is indicating thatthe battery is not holding the charge. So after all thatwe have read and heard, we are going to go buy new batteries and see what happens after that. The batteries will need to be replaced anyway so we shall do it now and see. Other than that it would probably be the converter/inverter. We'll try one more time with La Mesa to fix it. If they don't, we'll try to get them to reimburse us with Good Sam's help and we definitely will be spreading the word on how poorly we were treated/shafted. Thanks for all your help. RVers are the best source of info and most helpful. We are looking forward to full timing again. There will always be problems with RVs new or used, just part of the RV life!
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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I suggest having the batteries load tested. Most places will do it free of charge. If they are the originals, they probably need replacing, 9 years old.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:16 AM   #11
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Thanks. The dealership said they tested them and they are good. They appear to be 6 yrs old and may not have been taken care of properly so we are going to replace them and see if that is the problem.

Wish us luck and more importantly lots of prayers that this works!
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pst2000 View Post
Thanks. The dealership said they tested them and they are good. They appear to be 6 yrs old and may not have been taken care of properly so we are going to replace them and see if that is the problem.

Wish us luck and more importantly lots of prayers that this works!
WHAT? first you said they were not taking or holding a charge. Then you stated the dealer tested them and they were fine. It can't be both.
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Old 07-21-2013, 01:18 PM   #13
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Thats what they told us. I do not believe La Mesa RV tested them. We put new ones in a while ago and they seem to be holding. Will see as the day goes by. The old are swollen and we are going to take them to be tested now at the place we bought the new ones. I m really annoyed that we have wasted 4 days here but happy that it may be the end of the problem. Unfortunately, we were supposed to be at a family camp in Maine for a week of camping with the grand kids. We'll get to spend the r est of the summer with them so all is good.

Its holding the first hour better than it has done. So keeping our fingers crossed.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:11 AM   #14
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Yeah, but you don't want to trust a dealer to tell you the truth. Suggest you go to a battery shop and ask for a second opinion on the battery health. They should do both a specific gravity test and an load test.
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