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Old 09-22-2006, 06:46 PM   #1
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Hi,
Would appreciate any help you folks could provide me concerning my batteries. I have an 03 Alpine Coach, 36', with 37K miles on it. I replaced the six house batteries a year ago today with Trojan AGM's -- they were installed at Alpine's service center in WA.

I put the coach in covered storage in AZ on June 15th (turned off the chassis and coach disconnects), went back to it 10 days later and had the water pump replaced. When I left the coach this time I turned off the coach battery disconnect only (duh?) and when I returned 3 weeks later the coach was dead and mobile service told me they were all shorted out. The chassis batteries (Delco) were replaced a year ago in April and should have been fine.

Any thoughts where I can take her in the Phoenix area? I need someone who knows electrical or any help you could give me in trying to troubleshoot it.

Thanks and regards,
Granny
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:46 PM   #2
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Hi,
Would appreciate any help you folks could provide me concerning my batteries. I have an 03 Alpine Coach, 36', with 37K miles on it. I replaced the six house batteries a year ago today with Trojan AGM's -- they were installed at Alpine's service center in WA.

I put the coach in covered storage in AZ on June 15th (turned off the chassis and coach disconnects), went back to it 10 days later and had the water pump replaced. When I left the coach this time I turned off the coach battery disconnect only (duh?) and when I returned 3 weeks later the coach was dead and mobile service told me they were all shorted out. The chassis batteries (Delco) were replaced a year ago in April and should have been fine.

Any thoughts where I can take her in the Phoenix area? I need someone who knows electrical or any help you could give me in trying to troubleshoot it.

Thanks and regards,
Granny
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:03 AM   #3
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Granny, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy the forum. You will find we are a group of fun loving RVers that like to help each other where we can.
Sorry to hear of the batteries draining out on you. Have you tried to recharge them? I would try to recharge them and then have a competent service technician diagnose the condition of the batterries then. THere are a number of RV repair places in the Pheonix area. You should even be able to find a Battery Store who will check them at no coast. Good luck and take care.
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Old 09-24-2006, 05:10 AM   #4
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I totally agree with RV Wizard. The term "shorted out" is hard to believe under the circumstances. Follow RV Wizards advise.
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:45 AM   #5
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Thank you for your input. My batteries were removed from the coach and taken into a battery shop and checked. All the cables were hooked up according to the schematic in the battery bay area. They were all shorted out. I need to find a competent technician in the Phoenix area. I have since replaced the chassis batteries so the engine will run, however, I need the coach batteries to open the generator door to fill up with gas.

I wish there was a wizard somewhere close.

Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:27 AM   #6
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Just another quick question, there was a recall on the ground fuse -- had 250 and should have been 300. I had the technician check the fuse and he said it came in at 326. Could that be part of the problem?

Thanks -- and sorry if my questions appear elementary.

Regards, Granny in Phoenix
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:27 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Originally posted by granny:
...mobile service told me they were all shorted out. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think RV Wizard will agree with me... batteries do not short out! There is one exception, if the water level in each battery was almost zero (due to over-charging and boiling out).

You most likely have a significant short circuit somewhere in the coach that caused the batteries to be electrically drained (not drained of water). Such a short could damage the batteries by buckling the plates. The point of my comments is that you need to have the coach electrical circuits thoroughly checked by a competent RV service center before you buy new batteries.

The Wizard's advice was solid... have those batteries checked (filled with water and checked with a hydrometer) to verify the condition of each battery.

Camping World is located in Mesa (800) 874-3326.
Earnhardt's RV Center is located in Avondale (888) 343-2497.

Hopefully, you'll get to the source of the problem without breaking your wallet wide open. Best of luck.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:40 AM   #8
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The six absorbed glass mat batteries should be charged and then checked. If you turned the house batteries off the last time you stored the coach they should be ok. I would get another opinion before replacing these high priced batteries. Charge and recheck again.
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:06 PM   #9
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thank you for your input. The batteries are sealed batteries -- never have to check water level, etc. (Trojan AGM's). That is why I asked about the ground fuse registering 325 instead of 300 per specs.

I will give camping world a call -- I am really having trouble finding service technicians that are familiar with the Alpine chassis.

Regards.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:15 PM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by granny:
The batteries are sealed batteries -- never have to check water level, etc. (Trojan AGM's). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I apologize for the mis-information. I missed the part about the AGM's. Should have read it again, and understood the type of battery.

I hope you find the problem soon without too much trouble or cost.
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:58 AM   #11
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I suspect that your battery coach disconnect does not really totally disconnect the batteries. For instance, on my coach, the propane alarm remains active. When I use the battery disconnect switch, the batteries will still dischrage at a slow rate until dead. A knife switch at a main battery junction will truely disconnect the circut.
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:45 PM   #12
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Hi -

Not having an Alpine, I apologize for not being familiar with the specifics of your coach or any of the recalls, but the mention of a ground fuse being "200" or "300" or "325" caught my eye.

What did the tech mean by that? 325 'whats'? And how did they 'measure' a fuse? I've always thought a fuse was there to protect another device, and testing it was kinda like testing a match... "well, that one lit so it WAS a good one"

HTH,
Ron
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:51 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by granny:
That is why I asked about the ground fuse registering 325 instead of 300 per specs.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Fuses are rated to "blow" (open if a circuit breaker) when they reach the amperage (amps) rating of the fuse so the current stops flowing and prevents damage from occuring. A 300 amp fuse will pass 299 amps, but blow (open) if the load is more than 300 amps, even for an instant.

If someone put in a 325 amp fuse (seems high to me for any application other than a house) a 300 amp short would not blow the fuse, but could fry a lot of accessories in the unit.

Since your "shore power" is a 50 amp circuit, this fusing must apply only to the circuit(s) supplied by the batteries.

It is important to not put a fuse of higher amperage rating than the manufacturer of the device recommends, that starts out with those applications that take a 1 amp fuse... don't put a 5 amp fuse in its place to keep it from blowing... you'll burn up the device!
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:47 PM   #14
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Just to answer your fuse question. A 325 amp fuse in place of a 300 is not your problem. Fuses are safety devices that disconnect the batteries if the load becomes excessive by burning out. A higher value fuse will carry more current than the lower rated fuse and may be a safety issue but not one that would open the circuit too soon.

I agree with Wizard. Trojan AGMs are deep discharge batteries and should not fail shorted when fully discharged. If they are truly shorted, not just zero voltage, I would contact Trojan. At their age they should not fail in this manner.
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