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Old 08-18-2015, 12:12 PM   #1
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Starting or deep cycle and starting battery

Looks like my 2015 Coachmen chassis battery bit the dust. The unit sat for 3 weeks after it got back from the factory service department. When we got it home we plugged it in and ran the slides out. The slides and awning only work when the engine is off. I found out that Coachmen wired the awning to the chassis battery, not the house batteries. That has been corrected. It now seems like the slides are also wired to the chassis battery but Coachmen says they are not. I just got the wiring diagrams for it so I'll be able to double check.
We had a trip out west planned via airplane so I put the slides in before we left. When we got back I put them back out. We are packing for a camping trip this coming weekend. Yesterday I wanted to check the fuel level and when I turned the key on the dashboard was dead. I tried starting it and the battery was dead. I used the battery boost switch to get it going. The alternator is putting out 14 volts but the battery only had 11.96 volts before starting. I put my Battery Tender on it and by this morning it was still showing that it was charging, it hadn't charged overnight.

Still trying to figure out what caused it to go dead. I may pull the battery and take it to Autozone for a test. If it's bad I'd hope that Ford would cover it without me bringing in the entire RV. If they don't should I take it in, which I don't know where that would be or just replace it myself?

That leads to the main question. Should I just get a starting battery, maybe a slightly bigger one or get a marine starting and deep cycle battery? The combo batteries have a shorter warranty but would be able to take care of any draws other than starting. Plus I plan to add a Trik-L-Charge to the system.

Thanks for the help
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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First: The battery may be 100% (More later)
For a motor home chassis battery Pure Starting is the kind you want

For a Motor Home HOUSE battery pure DEEP CYCLE is what you want

MARINE/Deep cycle are for use on boats and truck campers where there is only the one battery.

Now: When my 2005 was about a year old more or less it gave me "Dead Battery" symptoms.. I crawled under it where the battery lives and removed the cables,,, observed some corrosion on the lugs,, and load tested.. 100% flying color (Green).

Cleaned lugs and hooked it back up

Recall I said this was in 2006 and the rig is a 2005.

I replaced the battery last year.. Yup it lasted 8 more years. I did have to do a few more cleanings.. When I replaced it I changed the lug to the proper one for the type of battery and hopefully won't have to clean as often.
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:46 PM   #3
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Have you checked battery connections and grounds? A bad connection could explain many of these issues. If you have it plugged in to shore power, the on board charger should restore the battery overnight. Rather than buy a new battery for a new RV, I'd try cleaning all connections and verify charging by converter/charger.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Have you checked battery connections and grounds? A bad connection could explain many of these issues. If you have it plugged in to shore power, the on board charger should restore the battery overnight. Rather than buy a new battery for a new RV, I'd try cleaning all connections and verify charging by converter/charger.
That would be too easy

I'd hope that a 2015 coach wouldn't need it's battery cable connections cleaned and tightened. Then again, why should I be having battery problems. The chassis is a 2014 so it's a possibility. I did get the wiring diagrams to help me follow the wires. I don't have an on board charger for the chassis battery. Coachmen didn't put a converter/charger in this one, it has a load center and an inverter/charger. It charges the house batteries but not the chassis battery, that's the reason I'm adding the Trik-L-Charger.

I was able to recharge the battery. It took over 30 hours but it's back to where it should be. I haven't had it tested yet. I'm going to watch it for a bit and see what it does. I want to check the wiring and what's wired to it.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
First: The battery may be 100% (More later)
For a motor home chassis battery Pure Starting is the kind you want

For a Motor Home HOUSE battery pure DEEP CYCLE is what you want

MARINE/Deep cycle are for use on boats and truck campers where there is only the one battery.

Now: When my 2005 was about a year old more or less it gave me "Dead Battery" symptoms.. I crawled under it where the battery lives and removed the cables,,, observed some corrosion on the lugs,, and load tested.. 100% flying color (Green).

Cleaned lugs and hooked it back up

Recall I said this was in 2006 and the rig is a 2005.

I replaced the battery last year.. Yup it lasted 8 more years. I did have to do a few more cleanings.. When I replaced it I changed the lug to the proper one for the type of battery and hopefully won't have to clean as often.
I was looking at the Optima Blue top Marine Starting/deep cycle battery. They said it was good for RV use also. Lot of $$$$. Same CCA, was hoping to go with more if I went this way.

Luckily my battery is a bit easier to get to. I have to bend myself a few different ways through the engine opening. The terminals were clean, very clean in fact. They had covers on them too. I usually only see one on the positive terminal but this one had it on both of them. I'll have to see where the cables go and check those connections.

The Battery Tender did bring the battery back to life. I'm going to add the Trik-L-Charger to keep it charged.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:32 PM   #6
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A 2014 chassis could have been sitting in a field behind Fleetwood for almost a year before the the house was put on. You know what they say about not ASS-U-ME-ing anything. Immediately after charging, a battery will show a false high reading until the 'surface' charge is absorbed by the plates. A more accurate voltage reading would be after it's been charged and left undisturbed for a couple of hours.

I'm not a big fan of the 'combination' batteries. A starting battery needs to be discharged quickly to start the engine. A deep cycle battery is so it can be slowly discharged over a long period of time. The two battery types require different plates and design. A combination battery is a compromise of the two, not doing either as efficiently as a dedicated start or deep cycle battery. Most of the time you won't uncover the compromise design, until a dark and stormy night....
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
A 2014 chassis could have been sitting in a field behind Fleetwood for almost a year before the the house was put on. You know what they say about not ASS-U-ME-ing anything. Immediately after charging, a battery will show a false high reading until the 'surface' charge is absorbed by the plates. A more accurate voltage reading would be after it's been charged and left undisturbed for a couple of hours.

I'm not a big fan of the 'combination' batteries. A starting battery needs to be discharged quickly to start the engine. A deep cycle battery is so it can be slowly discharged over a long period of time. The two battery types require different plates and design. A combination battery is a compromise of the two, not doing either as efficiently as a dedicated start or deep cycle battery. Most of the time you won't uncover the compromise design, until a dark and stormy night....
Well, I went looking. The positive side looks OK. All the connections are in the stairwell with the batteries. The ground was more interesting. I followed the cable from the negative terminal down to the unknowns. I was expecting to get to the end and find a terminal on the cable or cables that is bolted to the frame.

Not exactly. Followed the cable down the frame past a clamp holding the cable to the frame, down to where it returned onto itself again and again. There was no end terminal. Remember the clamp we passed? They broke the insulation on the wire as it passed and clamped the bare wire to the side of the frame. It needs cleaning at the least but it needs to be improved. There are other grounds attached to this mess so I can't just cut it, add a terminal and screw it down. Any ideas?

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Old 08-18-2015, 07:36 PM   #8
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You could still cut it, add terminals to both new ends and bolt those to the frame.
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