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Old 11-18-2015, 03:44 PM   #1
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Southwind Cranking

A week or so ago I went for gas and when I was ready to leave the pumps, the MH engine would barely turn over, then it stopped altogether. After 3-4 minutes I tried again and it started after slowly turning over a few times. Now in the driveway, it is doing the same thing. Showing about 12.4 volts. I got it cranked today with the aid of a battery charger, and let it run for maybe an hour, immediately after which it showed 13.4 volts. It would not restart at first, but did after 3-4 tries. While running, the battery voltage showed 14.45 volts, indicating the alternator is working. Using a cheapo battery acid tester, four cells showed in the Good range and two were Fair. The battery is apparently 3-4 years old according to the sticker on the top. Do I have a bad battery, or is there something else I need to look at? All of this started quite suddenly that day at the gas pump, with no starting problems before that. Major Concern: We have a trip planned for this Friday, so time is SHORT. HELP???

Ken, Judy, and the Angels--2005 Fleetwood Southwind--2008 Cargo Trailer--2003 EZGO Golf Cart
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:27 PM   #2
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Sounds like a bad battery. Go to Advance Autoparts or AutoZone and have it tested.

If you have time, charge it overnight first.

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Old 11-18-2015, 07:21 PM   #3
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A trickle charger should be able to bring a battery with no load on it up over 13.5v (or so) after a day or 2. If it can't/doesn't, your battery needs to be replaced - no matter it's age.

A hot big block Chevy can be a challenge to start anyway - due to the proximity of the starter to the exhaust manifold. Some have installed sheet metal baffles to help that scenario. Anyway, a questionable battery is just asking for trouble here.
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:11 PM   #4
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Dirty corroded wires and battery terminals can cause such problems. Wire brush connections and clean battery terminals with baking soda and hot water to remove corrosion. Don't forget the ground wire at the frame. This may not be the problem but it's a good place to start.

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Old 11-18-2015, 08:47 PM   #5
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Battery is toast so replace it.

When measuring a battery at the cell level by various means all cells should read the same as they all are in series.

All high, low or anything else would indicate all in similar state of charge.

Some high and others low indicate some not working properly.

The high ones could be sulfated resulting in smaller plate area so same charging current through all cells would have the smaller plates charged more than the other ones.

Or the low ones could have issues preventing them from charging.

At 3 years old it is likely past it's service life so replace with a good one.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:37 AM   #6
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I got the Southwind cranked yesterday and it cranked maybe 10-12 times over a half hour or so. I'm thinking the problem might be some dragging in the starter or possibly a starter relay beginning to go. I had THAT problem in my last MH. If it starts today, we're on our way. I will definitely keep an eye on the battery, especially since we will be in place for a week. Thanks for the ideas.
Ken, Judy, and the Angels--2005 Fleetwood Southwind--2008 Cargo Trailer--2003 EZGO Golf Cart
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:50 PM   #7
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After all these responses, did the OP ever get the battery tested with a load tester or hydrometer or do we just go with the fact that it cranked today for a few times?
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:35 PM   #8
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When it would not crank this morning...as we were supposed to be leaving...I did some testing on the starter and would up replacing it. Cranks now, every time. now we leave in the morning.

Have not yet done a load test on the battery.

Ken, Judy, and the Angels--2005 Fleetwood Southwind--2008 Cargo Trailer--2003 EZGO Golf Cart
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