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Old 08-13-2014, 09:31 PM   #1
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Coach Battery losing Charge

We have a class c mothorhome. When we are plugged in the coach battery charges but when we start traveling on the road (within 2 hrs) it loses it charge. The battery is less than 10 months old, does anyone have any idea what might cause this or what I should be checking? Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:32 PM   #2
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need more info coach make and model
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:45 PM   #3
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Battery feeding the fridge via the inverter?
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:58 PM   #4
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Pretty sure I know the answer but would love the coach info to be sure. Most of the ones I have seen with this problem have a battery control center on the frame which has the charge relays in it. The ign power on Ford chassis comes from the box under the drivers seat if it loses power it won't send signal to turn on the charge relay.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
Pretty sure I know the answer but would love the coach info to be sure. Most of the ones I have seen with this problem have a battery control center on the frame which has the charge relays in it. The ign power on Ford chassis comes from the box under the drivers seat if it loses power it won't send signal to turn on the charge relay.
Well Sir, sounds like your solution, could be the answer. However, I've seen Ford and, many of the coach builders that use Ford Chassis's, utilize different ways of setting up charging systems for both the chassis batteries and the coach batteries. Since the OP didn't elaborate on more specifics about his coach, it's sometimes hard to give good advice on what kind of path to take to remedy a problem.

To the OP, first off, about 99.999% of the coaches made, be them Class C, B, or A, gas or diesel, charge both sets of batteries, while motoring down the road, via the engine alternator. And, it's done through various ways of control. In the old days, a simple mechanical solenoid was used as what's called a "Battery Isolator". It had two functions. One, to "link" the coach and chassis batteries together, for charging purposes, after the engine was started. It's second function, was to "disengage" the chassis batteries from the coach batteries, utilizing the same solenoid after the engine was shut down.

Then, an electronic version of the same system was developed. All the operations were the exact same, only done with an electronic version of that solenoid.

Then, the got way more complicated. They started installing timers, delays, "timed delay relays" and more. In short, what those systems do is, allow for the engine battery to receive the bulk of the charge, after the engine was started, until it or they, (in case there were more than one chassis battery) reached a certain voltage (usually about 13.2 or so) then, it sent the remaining voltage to the coach battery(ies). Those systems want to make sure the engine battery, (the more important ones of the two sets) got good voltage first.

Now, in your case, Some simple tests are in order. First, you've got to do some voltage tests on it or them, depending on how many chassis batteries you have. If one, then do a voltage test across the terminals to see what kind of "at rest" voltage you find. Then, start the engine, and do the same test. Now, it sounds like you've already determined that it's "dead" after a while but, no amounts of voltage have been stated here.

Now, if there's no voltage differences between the at rest and, engine running tests, it's possible that you've got a bad alternator, connection from the alternator, battery connections, and or, as has been suggested, it's possible that a relay or, solenoid is malfunctioning but, from this point of view, it's hard to really advise. It's just a simple deduction process. Well, I say "simple" if, you've got a bit of back ground in auto mechanics of some time.,

If you don't have any experience in this kind of stuff, it's hard to tell you just which way to turn. It might be advisable to:
1. Go to a local RV repair/service center
2. Go to a friend who's capable of assisting in these kinds of issues
3. Possibly go to a Ford Dealership and see if they can help.
4. Lastly, there's mobile RV techs that can be summoned to your local if that appeals to you.

Now, you say that the converter charges the chassis battery when plugged in? If so, that's at least keeping the chassis battery from going completely dead, when the coach is not in use. So, it will be interesting to see what your issue is. If you find out, please come back and post it so that others who, might have the same era/model coach, might learn, just in case the problem should occur to them, at a later date. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well Sir, sounds like your solution, could be the answer. However, I've seen Ford and, many of the coach builders that use Ford Chassis's, utilize different ways of setting up charging systems for both the chassis batteries and the coach batteries. Since the OP didn't elaborate on more specifics about his coach, it's sometimes hard to give good advice on what kind of path to take to remedy a problem.

To the OP, first off, about 99.999% of the coaches made, be them Class C, B, or A, gas or diesel, charge both sets of batteries, while motoring down the road, via the engine alternator. And, it's done through various ways of control. In the old days, a simple mechanical solenoid was used as what's called a "Battery Isolator". It had two functions. One, to "link" the coach and chassis batteries together, for charging purposes, after the engine was started. It's second function, was to "disengage" the chassis batteries from the coach batteries, utilizing the same solenoid after the engine was shut down.

Then, an electronic version of the same system was developed. All the operations were the exact same, only done with an electronic version of that solenoid.

Then, the got way more complicated. They started installing timers, delays, "timed delay relays" and more. In short, what those systems do is, allow for the engine battery to receive the bulk of the charge, after the engine was started, until it or they, (in case there were more than one chassis battery) reached a certain voltage (usually about 13.2 or so) then, it sent the remaining voltage to the coach battery(ies). Those systems want to make sure the engine battery, (the more important ones of the two sets) got good voltage first.

Now, in your case, Some simple tests are in order. First, you've got to do some voltage tests on it or them, depending on how many chassis batteries you have. If one, then do a voltage test across the terminals to see what kind of "at rest" voltage you find. Then, start the engine, and do the same test. Now, it sounds like you've already determined that it's "dead" after a while but, no amounts of voltage have been stated here.

Now, if there's no voltage differences between the at rest and, engine running tests, it's possible that you've got a bad alternator, connection from the alternator, battery connections, and or, as has been suggested, it's possible that a relay or, solenoid is malfunctioning but, from this point of view, it's hard to really advise. It's just a simple deduction process. Well, I say "simple" if, you've got a bit of back ground in auto mechanics of some time.,

If you don't have any experience in this kind of stuff, it's hard to tell you just which way to turn. It might be advisable to:
1. Go to a local RV repair/service center
2. Go to a friend who's capable of assisting in these kinds of issues
3. Possibly go to a Ford Dealership and see if they can help.
4. Lastly, there's mobile RV techs that can be summoned to your local if that appe

Now, you say that the converter charges the chassis battery when plugged in? If so, that's at least keeping the chassis battery from going completely dead, when the coach is not in use. So, it will be interesting to see what your issue is. If you find out, please come back and post it so that others who, might have the same era/model coach, might learn, just in case the problem should occur to them, at a later date. Good luck.
Scott
He stated that the coach battery is charged on shore power.


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Old 08-14-2014, 06:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
Pretty sure I know the answer but would love the coach info to be sure. Most of the ones I have seen with this problem have a battery control center on the frame which has the charge relays in it. The ign power on Ford chassis comes from the box under the drivers seat if it loses power it won't send signal to turn on the charge relay.

The OP says the (presumably fully charged) coach battery goes dead in 2 hours.

There's no way a battery goes dead that fast without a) the battery being junk, or, b) a pretty significant draw on it.

Merely not being on charge cannot cause a battery to dead.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:16 AM   #8
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Coach Battery losing Charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
Pretty sure I know the answer but would love the coach info to be sure. Most of the ones I have seen with this problem have a battery control center on the frame which has the charge relays in it. The ign power on Ford chassis comes from the box under the drivers seat if it loses power it won't send signal to turn on the charge relay.


It is a 2000 Majestic Four Winds Class C on a Ford E450 Chasis. It was originally a rental and we bought it used. We had camped and were plugged in for 2 days. Once we got on the road and drove for about 2 hours and parked to go in store the power went off. Then when we got to our nest spot we turned off power and tried using battery power and did the same. Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorino545 View Post
It is a 2000 Majestic Four Winds Class C on a Ford E450 Chasis. It was originally a rental and we bought it used. We had camped and were plugged in for 2 days. Once we got on the road and drove for about 2 hours and parked to go in store the power went off. Then when we got to our nest spot we turned off power and tried using battery power and did the same. Thanks again for all your help.
victorino545,
Thanks for getting back and telling us more info on your coach. But, I'm just a bit confused here. OK, let's see if we can narrow things down here. You say you bought it used. Fine. Did you take it home and plug it in, prior to your first camp trip? Was/did all the applicances, components, water pumps etc. all work fine on chassis batteries while at home?

Then, you say you went camping for a couple of days but, were plugged into shore power. Did all work well while you were there? Any issues at all?

Now, you say you drove for about 2 hours and then, pulled into a store, to do some shopping and "The power went out". What exactly does that mean? The power to what? The coach? The engine? No start? What?

Then, you drove to another camp spot and, you say you "shut off the power and, tried battery power and, it did the same"? Now, are you saying the "house" batteries would not supply power to the coach, for camping? You see, this is why I'm not sure here. Maybe I'm misreading some thing here. Maybe a bit more details and we'll be on the same page. Thanks.
Scott
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:50 PM   #10
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We have had the RV about a year. We have replaced the Ford truck battery and the coach (auxiliary) battery during the last year. Everything seem to be working fine when we took it out prior to this trip. This was the first time we did dry camp for 24 hrs before getting shore power or use generator. We were on shore power for about 15 hours before we took off and starting driving to our new destination. After about two hours of driving we stopped to go to store. Once we turned engine off and turned on the water pump we noticed the battery went out. No power to refrigerator, pump, lights, etc. Power did not come back on after we started driving either. We reashced our destination in about half hours and plugged into shore power and everything came one. Checked the coach battery wires, and few other things which seem to be fine. Turned off shore power to see if coach battery was working and it did same thing, power went off. Now we continued to camp for 2 days using shore power and drove home today and so far the battery is working fine. It was a 2 hour drive home and we turned pump on and off few times to check and worked fine. Battery also showed full charge on test panel. We tested voltage and it was 12.8v. So now confused and think maybe it was drained from dry camping and never really got a full charge. Am going to keep eye on it to see if the charge holds. Do you have any other suggestions that I should check? I do appreciate your help here.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:22 PM   #11
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is it possible you have somehow switched the battery to "store" mode?
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by victorino545 View Post
We have a class c mothorhome. When we are plugged in the coach battery charges but when we start traveling on the road (within 2 hrs) it loses it charge. The battery is less than 10 months old, does anyone have any idea what might cause this or what I should be checking? Thanks for your help.
victorino545
By "COACH battery" do you mean the "HOUSE battery" or the "CHASSIS battery"?
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:47 PM   #13
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Most of the new systems use a latching relay between the battery and the coach. The Converter is on the coach side so when you plug it in the battery connected light comes on even if the battery is not connected. This lets people think they have charged the battery but they have just ran off the converter. I am aware that different companies get the ign signal from other places. I was making a suggestion. The setup I have seen a lot is a battery control center mounted on the frame which gets its ign signal sent to it The bird relay is built into the control board and it monitors coach and chassis voltage and also allows the AUX Start to work however many of them have the battery disconnect in the wrong location so the battery is not connected to anything when off. Again if your driving or plugged in the bird relay closes and shows your charging but the battery is still not connected. There are systems wired to the battery direct those systems fail first because the battery is not being charged. If you have a new battery it will regain some voltage just sitting so it often takes days or weeks for the real problem to show up. What I suggest is put a voltage meter directly on the house battery and make sure it really is being charged. There is no other way to know if it works then to see the battery actually get voltage. One system I have installed is a Blue Sea volt meter with low alarms it is not cheap but it will tell you if your battery is being charged or not.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:00 PM   #14
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Even tho the battery is new within the last 12 months, if it has been totally discharged, it is possibly damaged and will no longer hold a full charge.
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