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Old 01-09-2013, 10:35 AM   #1
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Chassis Battery Discharge

While parked, unplugged, for 2 days during the holidays, the reading on our house battery would drop to "F" (fair) after 24 hours. We only have one 12v battery. The fridge was running on propane, and there I'm sure there are several other "leaches" on the battery. I went out everyday and turned on the generator to get it fully charged. Isn't this awfully quick for the battery to run down? Wondering what others are seeing under similar circumstances. BTW: Batteries were charged and water topped off when we left on our trip.
Paula
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:44 AM   #2
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That does sound pretty fast for the battery to deplete if the propane fridge and parasitic loads were all that was drawing on it. It looks like you have a new coach so I assume the battery is brand new too.

Be aware that running the gennie for less than a few hours probably won't get your battery back to full charge.

Good luck.

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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Your thermostat, CO & LP detectors, the fridge controller, electric steps, and perhaps more all use the house battery. As RickO said, it takes hours to charge the battery with the generator, you had to use power from that battery to start the generator.

The battery might read full charge immediately after turning off the generator, but as it equalizes the true charge will be lower. You'll need more battery capacity and perhaps a solar array on the roof if you plan to keep the RV 'on' without shore power.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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chassis battery drain

On my coach the steps, the generator starter and coach engine run off the chassis (engine) battery. Everything else runs on the house batteries. Charging with the gen. set takes a long time to bring them up to full charge. The engine battery does not get charged off the gen. set. It sounds like you have one 12v running your coach, depending on the battery storage capacity thats not a lot. Many Rv suppliers don't always give you the biggest storage batteries.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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Hi progers,
May I assume there is no shore power and you are using the propane furnace to heat the coach? If this is true a single coach battery will use up its' power very quickly. The time mentioned in the OP would be normal. As previously mentioned generator or shore power, the battery will take over 8 hours to really fully charge. Either source, powers the converter that charges the battery. If there is room, consider a second battery for the coach. If you get another 12 VDC battery, make sure they are connected in parallel and the positive lead from battery "A" goes to the coach and the ground wire to the chassis comes from battery "B".

Lastly, check the water in the battery if is possible (not sealed).
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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GaryKD, At home we are plugged in 24/7. We were at a campground in Biloxi for 4 days over the holidays (full hookups) then drove 4 hours to my sister's. Batteries should have still been fully charged when we arrived. Not plugged in at her house because we stayed with them in their s/b. Nothing big running except the fridge. Didn't need heat. Battery water was full. I don't see where we have room to add another battery. Guess I will just have to be very aware when RV is not plugged in.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progers View Post
I don't see where we have room to add another battery.
I can't recall seeing a battery compartment that wasn't big enough for 2 batteries.

In my case I had a large single battery in it when I bought it. Since it was way beyond serviceable anyways I replaced it with 2 physically smaller batteries. The original battery was mounted E-W, I put the 2 new ones in N-S. It was a tight fit, but easily done.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:34 PM   #8
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Paula, do you have a coach battery storage switch ? Sometimes called a "salesman switch". This activates a latching relay that uses no power when switched to either position, and will disconnect the coach from the battery completly. If it still runs down you probably have a bad battery. Heat, lights and parasitic draw will take one battery down pretty quick.
Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:27 PM   #9
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Hi Paula,
Before giving up, make sure the battery is a good battery (regardless of age). Consider you or a professional perform the following:
1. Make sure the battery is fully charged.
2. Test each cell with a hydrometer. This requires a special tool. The tool is cheap and the test is easy to do. All the cells should be very close to each other. Have an assistant write the reading for each cell so you can compare them.
2. Perform a load test on the battery. This requires a special tool. One can purchase the tool or have the local auto parts store do the test. They will usually do the test for free. The tool places a considerable load on the battery for 15 seconds. The tool has a readout that will tell you how the battery did.

Once you have confirmed the battery is okay, then understanding what it takes to use all the power is next on your list. If the battery is bad, then an unplanned expense needs to be worked into the budget.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:20 PM   #10
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You didn't mention the radio? It may have switch to run off the House or chassis battery. As far as the fridge and the CO2 sensor running off the 12v battery, yes they will eat the battery reall quick. Try shutting everthing down on the DC side one by one while you have an amp meter hooked up thot the chassis battery and see which one cause the biggest drop in current draw. If you get to the last one and there is still a draw on the battery then open the breaker for the chassis battery and see what shuts off.
It may take some time but will help identify what the leach is.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:21 AM   #11
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Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions. I've got to take the RV in for some warranty work and will have them check the battery and draw. I'm sure the fridge was the biggest draw, but it was full of food and we were unwilling to turn it off. The radio was in stand by mode...another draw. I haven't found an option for shutting it down other than by pulling the fuse...which I haven't located yet. Next time I'll run a cord to a 110 outlet at her house and plug it in! There's always something new to learn with a new RV.
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