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Old 10-27-2014, 04:20 PM   #1
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Chassis Battery Issue

I went to my coach a coupe weeks ago after it had been unattended for about a month. All batteries were well below 12 volts, chassis and house. I couldn't get the engine or generator started (or even raise shades). Resorted to jumper cables in the chassis battery then Battery Boost to start the generator. Brought it home and plugged it in to 15A service for 7-10 days. All batteries were showing 13+ volts. Took it back to storage, when I left it chassis battery showed 12.7 volts with engine off.

I went back today. Chassis battery showed 12.4 volts, house batteries showed 12.5 volts. Tried to start the engine and it wouldn't turn over. Hit Battery Boost and it started right up. Brought it home and plugged it in (I'm going to Industrial Power tomorrow to get the TCM re flashed).

Called Spartan about the chassis battery performance. Charlie said 12.4 volts should have started the engine without issue. After IP I will take it to Holt to get the charging system checked and a load check on batteries. If they find a charging system issue and a battery issue Spartan will replace the batteries. If they don't find a charging system issue and do find a battery issue I will have to pay for new batteries, battery warranty is 1 year! My coach is about 15 months old. Charlie feels there is a loose connection somewhere that created a dead cell in a battery. Fingers crossed, I could use some good luck for a change!
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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Vance, you know I will be wishing you good luck! Let us know what you find with the battery/charging issue. It seems like you are not alone the past couple of days with charging issues.

Thanks for the one year on the battery warranty heads up. I think I will unplug mine for a couple of days and check the batteries to see if they are staying charged.
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:29 PM   #3
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I was shocked when my chassis battery went down, especially this last time.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:11 PM   #4
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I was shocked when my chassis battery went down, especially this last time.
I was talking with the Spartan Engineer that was sent down on the rear end issue last week and he was telling me that the camera left on can zap the chassis batteries overnight. That surprised me that that little camera and screen could zap two big group 31 batteries so fast.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:25 PM   #5
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That is really interesting, guess I have been lucky. I am so forgetful that I have left the rear camera on (sometimes even intentionally) several times when boon docking and have never had the chassis batteries run down.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:40 AM   #6
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That is really interesting, guess I have been lucky. I am so forgetful that I have left the rear camera on (sometimes even intentionally) several times when boon docking and have never had the chassis batteries run down.
Gene, you probably have the older LED rear view camera! Noel
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:56 AM   #7
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Having 12.4 volts is fine for cranking the engine but if the 12.4 volts is only under a no load condition it doesn't matter. If the voltage drops off significantly when a load is applied (such as cranking the engine) it's no good. The voltage indicates the state of charge but not the ability of the battery to put out a given number of amps. That is determined with a carbon pile load tester.

Phantom loads can add up. I don't believe that Entegra uses a chassis battery trickle charger of any sort to keep them up when plugged into shore power. Add a Trik-L-Start would correct that. The Trik-L-Start is a battery "thief" in that it steals house battery power to charge the house batteries. A simple three wire connection - one to the house battery side of the charge solenoid, one to the chassis battery side of the solenoid and one to ground. It senses battery voltage on the house battery side. When plugged into shore power the inverter/charger will put out in excess of 12.6 volts. As long as the Trik-L-start sees 13.2 volts or more it will open the circuit to allow the charger to charge the chassis batteries. Once shore power is removed the module breaks the circuit to keep the two battery banks isolated. It's inexpensive and an easy install. Note that LSL Products also makes Amp-L-Start, which is a higher capacity unit. However, I've seen a few failures with this unit while the Trik-L-Start seems to be bulletproof.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:08 AM   #8
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This is what I just bought explicitly for the chassis batteries.

It's the NOCO Genius 7200. Its a 12 step - 7.2 amp charger. I also bought the 10' extension so I could put the charger in a waterproof bay.

All the reviews I read were 5 out of 5 stars. Fair price at $76.00 at Amazon.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:09 AM   #9
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Check your starter and its components too.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:10 AM   #10
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Whether I have a charging system issue or not I do have a battery issue. Could be dead cells in a single battery. As we all said, it shows sufficient voltage to start the engine but doesn't have the amperage to get it done.

I don't know about other Entegra models but a 2014 Anthem charges the chassis battery when plugged in to shore power; house batteries get charged first, when they are topped off it starts charging the chassis battery. I saw that in application last time I had the coach home.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
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This is what I just bought explicitly for the chassis batteries.

It's the NOCO Genius 7200. Its a 12 step - 7.2 amp charger. I also bought the 10' extension so I could put the charger in a waterproof bay.

All the reviews I read were 5 out of 5 stars. Fair price at $76.00 at Amazon.
Our last coach came with a BatteryMinder, which is a 120 volt pulse mode battery charger. It was a good charger but the 12 volt leads were hard wired to the batteries, which is good. But whenever the coach was parked without power the charge would allow battery current to backfeed and drain the batteries. When it failed I replaced it with a Trik-L-Start.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Our last coach came with a BatteryMinder, which is a 120 volt pulse mode battery charger. It was a good charger but the 12 volt leads were hard wired to the batteries, which is good. But whenever the coach was parked without power the charge would allow battery current to backfeed and drain the batteries. When it failed I replaced it with a Trik-L-Start.
How does it do that?
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:12 PM   #13
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How does what do what?
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:24 PM   #14
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How does what do what?
Your comment that whenever the coach was parked without power, the charger would allow battery current to backfeed and drain the batteries.

How does the charger back feed and drain the batteries?
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