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Old 02-04-2013, 09:13 AM   #1
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Batteries won't hold charge. Use emergency boost to start.

I visit the coach every couple of weeks or so. Auto stairs work for access, but coach won't start unless I use emergency boost. I do turn off the batteries when I leave.

Help please.

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Old 02-04-2013, 09:42 AM   #2
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It sounds like your are turning off your COACH batteries but your STARTING battery is alive and it is draining because of tiny draws and the two week interval.

You could install a START battery cut-off switch. Or there is a device that takes a bit of your COACH battery juice and sends it to your START battery to keep it charged.

My guess is there is no 120V where your coach is stored.

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
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Batteries won't hold charge

I'm a newby with this so please understand. Here's what I do to get things working. 1. Turn battery switch on, but it doesn't light up. I assume the coach batteries are drained. Then I start the engine by emergency boost. Everything is fine then. The time isn't enough to charge the coach batteries fully, an assumption. But, when closing up, I shut everything off. Exit after turning battery toggle off. Close door and stairs go up. I have. 36' 2004 Dolphin lx Sterling. I thought it has a solar panel panel that's supposed to charge the coach battery. It's on the roof, but maybe not hooked up? I'm in Tacoma, so you understand we don't get a lot of sun this time of year.

Thanks for your help, Scooter.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
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Are you turning off TWO switches when you store coach or just one? Usually you'll have two switches, one for house batteries and one for chassis. Since you have to use boost switch, it sounds like the chassis batteries are still connected and have enough parasitic draw to kill the batteries. Your steps are usually connected to the chassis batteries. You might wish to add battery isolation switches to chassis batteries.
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Connecting the house batteries to 'charge' the chassis batteries while in storage will result in all the batteries being discharged over time unless the parasitic charges are dealt with.

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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Batteries won't hold charge


One thing I turn off is the battery switch that powers the coach. I'll isolate the two and see how it goes.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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You need to disconnect the ground cable from the batteries. Parasitic loads will drain them in a couple of weeks. Just starting and running coach a few minutes won't charge your batteries. Takes a good run to do it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:42 AM   #7
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Hi Dawgguy,
coach battery(s) = 12 VDC power for the house part of the coach
chassis battery(s) = 12 VDC power for the automotive components

Batteries going dead during storage is a common complaint. If you have power, where the coach is stored, the easiest solution is to add a maintenance charger to the chassis batteries. If there is no power, consider an accessory that allows for quick removal of the negative terminal on the chassis and coach batteries.

If the battery(s) continue to discharge after either of the above mentioned solutions, the battery(s) are suspect.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:20 AM   #8
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By turning off the batteries do you mean a switch by the door or a manual switch in the battery compartment. If using a switch by the door things are still on. If off via a manual switch then the batteries, cables, and grounds should be cleaned up. Charge the batteries fully if possible then see what happens. How old are the batteries? If they are several years old they may be worn out.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:57 AM   #9
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Batteries won't hold charge

Thanks, YC1. I was only turning off the coach batteries by the door. They discharge. I'll turn everything off from now on.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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I had the same problem, and my battery would discharge almost completely in two/three weeks time. A good way to kill a good battery. You may want to have your batteries checked for condition regardless. I suspect they are not in great condition.

I store my rig in Fircrest with a cover on so the solar does no good. I visit every three to six weeks depending. I run the generator and put some load on while there to recharge. My batteries now are lasting (holding charge) very well between charging and my generator is getting the exercise it needs.

But I had to get new batteries to start fresh because mine died what was an early death. Even so this method is not as effective as removing them and putting the proper charger on when in storage.

They are difficult to maintain unless we remove them from the coach and put a maintainer on them or do it in the coach. But I also do not have electricity to my storage and I need a battery when I go to check on the MH.

So my method may be a second choice however it is increasing the life of my batteries.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:15 AM   #11
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They are new as of September. I'm just shutting the whole thing down now after giving them a full charge.

Mine's in Fircrest too. Orchard st. Storage.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:38 PM   #12
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What about the battery disconnect switch that mounts also to the battery post that has the green knob that you turn? Are they any good compared to the one in the link to CW with the bar disconnect?
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dawgguy View Post
...But, when closing up, I shut everything off. Exit after turning battery toggle off. Close door and stairs go up...
The fact that the steps go up AFTER you shut everything off is an indication that not EVERYTHING is shut off. The shutoff switch by the door typically only turns off the house batteries, not the chassis battery. You need to physically disconnect the ground cable from the chassis battery or install a disconnect on the chassis battery.

That being said, the chassis battery should last more than 2 weeks even if it is not disconnected. I would pull the chassis battery out and take it somewhere to be checked. It the chassis battery checks out OK, have the shop fully charge it before you reinstall it. If it still goes flat in 2 weeks, you either have current leakage somewhere (short) or the battery is shot.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:25 AM   #14
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How are you giving the batteries a full charge. Generator or just running the engine for a few minutes?? If the engine battery is getting close to flat, you will need to run the engine for a fair while to get it back to normal.

What size solar panel is on the roof. If it is just the small 4 watt unit that seemed to be standard a few years ago, it probably won't help keep both engine and house batteries charged.

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