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Old 12-26-2006, 05:22 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, Im new here and this seems like a great site with good info and nice folks. Well here's my issue. I just bought an 06' model Itasca Sunova 34A and absolutely love it. However after bringing it home I couldnt seem to get the chassis battery to stay charged. I thought I had something on but no I checked everything, I had to start it every couple days and let it run for a while just to keep it chraged. I took it to the dealer, they checked the battery and its ok they said, and there is no load on the battery either. Well when I took the battery cable off at night i saw a faint spark which tells me somethings pulling current. They told me it may be a chasis short and to call workhorse, so I did, the fellow knew exactly what my problem was and said send it back to your dealer. He said this is common and hes had 6 already for this same issue, he claims there is a wiring issue with the switch that runs the RV radio, the one that switches from Main to Auxiliary. He said if you leave it on auxiliary when its off the battery will never go dead. Not real sure why this is but he said the wiring needs fixing, anyway I got it back from the dealer for a second time and they said again they cant find any drain but the battery was bad this time. I'm a little confused but has anyojne heard about this switch issue or have any ideas? This is annoying after spending quite a bit of money.

Thanks for any help.

Rich
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Old 12-26-2006, 05:22 PM   #2
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Hello everyone, Im new here and this seems like a great site with good info and nice folks. Well here's my issue. I just bought an 06' model Itasca Sunova 34A and absolutely love it. However after bringing it home I couldnt seem to get the chassis battery to stay charged. I thought I had something on but no I checked everything, I had to start it every couple days and let it run for a while just to keep it chraged. I took it to the dealer, they checked the battery and its ok they said, and there is no load on the battery either. Well when I took the battery cable off at night i saw a faint spark which tells me somethings pulling current. They told me it may be a chasis short and to call workhorse, so I did, the fellow knew exactly what my problem was and said send it back to your dealer. He said this is common and hes had 6 already for this same issue, he claims there is a wiring issue with the switch that runs the RV radio, the one that switches from Main to Auxiliary. He said if you leave it on auxiliary when its off the battery will never go dead. Not real sure why this is but he said the wiring needs fixing, anyway I got it back from the dealer for a second time and they said again they cant find any drain but the battery was bad this time. I'm a little confused but has anyojne heard about this switch issue or have any ideas? This is annoying after spending quite a bit of money.

Thanks for any help.

Rich
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:20 PM   #3
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I'm assuming your RV is wired like ours. My understanding of how the radio works with the batteries is that when traveling on the road you want to have the power for the radio coming from the engine and thus the engine/house switch in your dash switched to engine. Once parked someplace you'll want the radio running off the house batteries and so the engine/house switch in the dash switched to house. When your RV is plugged into 110 voltage the house batteries are getting recharged but to my understanding not the engine battery. The engine battery gets charged from the enging running. This is why you have the option of running off either battery source. Even if your radio is turned off it will still draw a small amount of energy for the clock and memory in it. But I wouldn't think this would be enough to deplete your battery so quickly and so think there is more to this than what we have discussed so far. I don't have any suggestions for what else may be taking power but with you good luck with your problem.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:03 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. Workhorse was correct in stating the the radio will draw some current even when the engine and radio are off. It is a small amount of current to keep the time on the radio. If you switch it to the house battery it will not drain the starting battery. That said, there should not be enough drain to bring the batteries down that quickly from the radio alone. I would suggest you switch it to the house battery and see what happens.

It is also correct that the starting battery will not be charged when you are plugged in. The converter only charges the house batteries. When the engine is running the alternator charges both sets of batteries.

As you are still under warranty, recontact workhorse and find out where the nearest "workhorse" service center is and make arrangements to get it there to be checked. Most RV dealers are not good sources for this type of problem.
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Old 12-27-2006, 12:42 AM   #5
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The switch on the dash also powers up the amplifier and that is what drains the chassis battery if you leave it on the chassis side. You should be able to use the radio and CD while driving with out actually switching it to engine side. THe ignition switch itself should go around and power up the amplifier. We have just installed chassis disconnect switches and have no more problem. If you leave it on the house batteries be sure to disconnect them whe you go to store the coach. Good luck and welcome to iRV2.com.
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:05 AM   #6
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Rich, in my previous coach Itasca Sunrise, and my Bago Journey, the MAIN/AUX switch simply bypasses the ignition switch. Regardless of switch position, the power comes from the crank battery bank. My salesman told me the step motor is one sourch of "phantom" draw when the steps are extended. So, in storage, retract the steps. I'm told the power to extend and retract occasionally is a smaller demand than leaving steps continually extended. Here is a hint, hopefully helpful: make yourself a single jumper cable...10 gauge, 12 gauge is OK. Just jump positive crank to positive deep cycle. Then the inverter/charger will also keep a "float" charge on the crank battery. Hope this helps.

Larry
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:34 AM   #7
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Rich,
Does not sound like this is the reason for your current problem, but I know on my MH, in addition to the steps, the slides, levelers and automatic awning are also powered from the chassis battery. If you have / use those on your MH without the engine running, it's another reason to have some sort of trickle charge such as the BatteryMinder to help keep it fully charged.

We all understand your frustration and hope the solution is easily found.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:04 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for your replies! I currently have it on the "house" side on the switch in the dash. Hopefully like that with the new cranking battery it may be ok. I read about a "trikle-start" or somethign similar here I may purchase that and install it, sounds like it may end all the problems.

Thanks again to everyone and Happy New Year!!!!
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:08 AM   #9
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Tom,

My Itasca has several parasitic draws that you may not even think of. I had a problem recently where both my house and chassis batteries were nearly dead after 1 week of sitting. I finally came to the conclusion that I must have left something eletrical switched on to kill them that fast. I doesn't take long for even a small draw to make a big dent in the batteries when it is constant.

Let us know what you find out.

Sarge
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:02 PM   #10
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Just an update.....

Well after getting a new battery from the dealer the coach seems to be doing just fine. Its been 2 weeks and the coach started right up today without hesitation, I guess the battery was bad after all. Im sure eventually I will have the issues hothers have with there starting batteries so I purchased the Trik-L-start to install. I would like to thank everyone who helped it was very much appreciated. Thank you.
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