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Old 06-02-2015, 08:14 AM   #1
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AFChap's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: ...hopefully on the road!
Posts: 4,774
Chassis batteries tee-totally dead in 3 days

Last week I took the coach to be inspected on Tuesday, then returned home, parked it and plugged in to shore power. On Friday afternoon I took something out the to the coach and when I opened the door, the steps did not come out. With my recent record, I figured they had broken themselves somehow. When I passed the monitor panel I checked battery level. New house batteries great, chassis battery panel tried to display but could not quite put readable numbers together. Charger panel read normal. Turned ignition on and got nothing. Battery boost switch would not work. I took a multimeter to the batteries and the chassis batts both were in the 6-7 volt range ...not good. Both batteries were cool to the touch, so had not cooked ... they are sealed batteries so cannot check water levels. Could not figure why the charger did not appear to be trying to charge the house batteries as it normally does, but I decided to disconnect them and charge with an external charger. As I walked around the back of the coach to get my tools I saw something out of the corner of my eye, backed up, and found the docking lamp on the driver side barely glowing. And passenger side light was doing the same thing. So I turned off the docking lights (which don't normally come on when I want them too ...I have never figured out the right combination of engine, tyranny gear, etc ...but now I know they will come on when the engine is shut down), disconnected the batteries, and got the portable smart charger out. It took each battery apex 10-11 hours each to get to full charge. I reconnected them to the mh and three days later all is still normal w/the chassis batteries continuing to read normal got on the panel and with a multi-meter.

Now some guessing ...apparently the amp draw of the two docking lights is high enough that in spite of being plugged in to shore power the charger could not keep up with the demand. I am guessing that the B.I.R.D. system saw the big draw from the docking lights on the chassis batteries and locked them off from the system so they would not drain the house batteries too. Is anyone familiar enough with the B.I.R.D. system to confirm that it would cut the very low batteries off and not allow them to be charged?

Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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Old 06-02-2015, 05:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
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The question is why did the charger allow the chassis batteries to get low to begin with. It should easily keep up with the load from docking lights are anything else.
Depending on what exact system you have, chassis charging won't kick in at all unless the house batteries first reach some minimum value. On my Intelletec BCC, it is 13.3v. Until the house bats get that high, no chassis charging occurs. One weak battery is the set is enough to drag the voltage down and prevent additional charging.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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batteries, chassis

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