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Old 11-25-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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Need help with batteries

I really need to be educated about a 05 newmar kountry star diesel pusher. Specifically batteries rite now. The motorhome has been in covered storage since May this yr...I normally go down every few weeks, crank it and let the batteries charge. This time circumstances did not permit that and now when I attempted to winterize it, the batteries were dead....no lites on dash, and the generator wouldn't even crank. So I googled, found if I had HD battery cables, I could jump off my toad (wrong info?) Well, it worked well enuf to crank the generator but not the house batteries...( I put the + on the only battery that was not in parallel, so now I've said all that to ask this question...is it a 12v or 24v system? None of my paperwork says....also, If I could get it from under storage, would the solar panel re-charge the batteries? Anyone willing to teach me what I need to know, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:09 PM   #2
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My rig has two 12V batts in parallel. You should be able to follow the the connections. If the + runs to the + of the 2nd battery then you have a 12 volt system like me. If the + runs to the - of the 2nd battery you have a 24 volt starter (doubtful). Still, putting a 12 volt jump across a 12 volt battery even in a 24 volt system will not cause harm. Unless you put your cables across both batteries in a 24 volt system, then you may damage the jump vehicle. But you would know by know...
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure they were +to+ and I jumped off the first battery in the series that only had one wire to each post. I let the toad run for 15-20 mins at 2.5-3 rpm's and the generator started rite up.....then I let the gen run for almost 2 hrs thinking it would charge the rest of the batteries but when I tried to crank the mh, the dash lites came on, turned over once and killed the generator. with the jumpers removed, tried to start the gen again and nothing no clicking sound, no start...only thing I had was the gen stop switch kept blinking....so now, are the batteries not charging from the gen? and if they are, was a couple of hrs not sufficient to at least turn the engine over more than once. Please forgive my ignorance....this the first mh I've owned, read every piece of information I can find, seems nothing to cover the problem I'm havin. Thank you from pj and buddy (my little 3# rescue yorkie)
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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Welcome pjnbuddy to irv2.
This link will explain your battery charging system in your Newmar.
You need to charge your batteries now with a 12V stand along battery charger, you can leave the batteries in place.
You need to charge your house batteries first or you can charge the chassis batteries to get the engine started placing the positive lead from charger on the positive of one of your chassis battery and negative charger lead on a good chassis ground, could be frame of chassis.
Once you have the engine batteries charged the engine alternator will charge both the chassis batteries than your house batteries.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:46 PM   #5
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Does your rig have an "aux start" or "emergency start" button on the dash? If your rig won't start because the chassis (aka starting) battery is dead, pushing that button lets your rig start off the house batteries. You could also try starting your gen by pushing aux start as well.

If your house batteries are also dead, then yes, a solar connection can help keep them charged. And yes, the solar panel would have to be uncovered to work.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
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If the batteries were stone dead, I doubt if a couple of hours woulld charge all them (hosue & chassis) to full.
The other problem you might have is freezing. Not sure where you are located but if a battery goes dead, the acid turns to water and of course will freeze. When this happens, it will displace the plates in the battery and in essence it is pooched and will not accept a charge.
If you boost the generator again and begin the charging process, check the water level of the batteries and top up with distilled water if necessary so the water is just above the plates. Then, keep an eye on the temperature of the Inverter/converter to make sure it is not getting hot due to overcharging as a result of shorted batteries. This could result in a fire if it gets hot enough,
If the batteries have froze, you will be able to see the side wall of the battery will be bowed out. If you see that, it is time to replace the batteries.
Word of advice, if you need to replace them, make sure to take a photo of the hookup and make a diagram before you unhook. There are a few threads on this forum on incorrect battery hook up after battery replacement.
Hope this helps.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:55 PM   #7
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pjnbuddy sorry your having problems. If your batteries were left dicharged for a long time they maybe no good now and will most likely need to be replace. How ever it does take a long time to recharge all of those batteries. You also have two set, 1 that starts the motor most likely two 12volt starting batteries, and 2 a set to run the house most likely 2-8 6or 12 volt batteries, The gen may only charge the house batteries by the charger/inverter and not charge the starting batteries. Hope this helps
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
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You may be OK with the location your at but temps will fall.
As Dennis said you need to check water levels and may need flashlight and a mirror to see the battery water levels on your DP shelves.
Once you get coach home leave the shore line plugged in the keep charging the batteries the BIRD System will do the rest.
If you always leave the coach plugged in you will not ever have a dead battery.
The small solar panel on roof is for just the peripheral loads off the chassis batteries such as the ECM,TCM,RADIO and your LP Detector if you forget to operate LP switch in your display area.
Also now that you will be charging batteries put your battery cut-off switch on and leave on when you have coach plugged into shore power.
When you put you coach in storage yard you will operate the battery cut-off switch off and also shut off your LP Detector while in storage.
If your water levels are good after checking and you can get a charge in your chassis batteries you have it made to get coach home.
If not and have to change batteries do take pictures of the position of all batteries as to where they are as far as the ++ and--- POSITION of batteries and tag the cables for all wires on posts they are on if not you will be in the same postion as the owner of the thread in link I have given you.

Here is a OWNERS GUIDE and a Brochure for you.

KEEP A COOL HEAD WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #9
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Diesels take a lot of current to crank. Even with HD jumpers I have never been able to jump a diesel. They need both starting batteries at a minimum charge. Try to charge them and hopefully they are not dead. But it may be worth the money to swap them out to assure you don't get stranded later. Good luck!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:22 PM   #10
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INstead of cranking the main engine every few weeks I suggest you start the genset to recharge the batteries every couple of weeks. Starting the main engine without running the motorhome several miles does more harm. When you start the fenset it should run for a minimum of an hour at at least 1/2 load
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:33 PM   #11
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Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
The table about 2/3 down the page gives the most basic table for checking check the battery state of charge using a VOM If they are at 11.31 V they have been irreparably damaged. If batteries are not brought to FULL charge (not likely running the gen) their life expectancy is very short. Care and feeding is Important.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowcatche View Post
Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
The table about 2/3 down the page gives the most basic table for checking check the battery state of charge using a VOM If they are at 11.31 V they have been irreparably damaged. If batteries are not brought to FULL charge (not likely running the gen) their life expectancy is very short. Care and feeding is Important.
If the genset (or shore power) powered battery charger won't fully charge the batteries then how would you suggest they be charged fully?
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:33 PM   #13
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It has a battery boost...(is that the same as an aux or emergency start? Anyway, I tried that but it did not help or I did not know how to use it one :-( Also, how do you know which is the chassis and which is the house batteries? Thank you for responding, I can use all the knowledge ya'll have to offer.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:38 PM   #14
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You have two chassis batteries usually in back of your four house batteries.
If you look at the link I provided it will have DP BATTERY PICTURES the FOUR TO RIGHT ARE THE HOUSE AND TWO TO LEFT ARE YOUR CHASSIS.
Battery boost will not work because your house batteries are dead.
Charge the chassis batteries as discribed, postive on one plus post of a chassis battery and negative on chassis frame.
Its going to take a few hours to get them charged.
You need to do some reading of links provided while batteries are charging, the links within the links.
You can not get batteries fully charged off the Gen or converter when they are discharged you need a good 12V battery charger.
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