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Old 11-02-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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Main battery discharging problem - 02 Discovery

Hi there, my 02 Discovery main batteries (new) are discharging and I'm searching for a way to track the problem. I'm on shore power and the only way the start batteries can be charged is run the engine each day for 30 minutes. All known fuses have been checked. Does anyone have an idea what I should try?

So I'm new and wondering if any one is out there????
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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Howdy and welcome to the forum. Sorry you're having difficulty. Does your coach have an inverter?
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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Yes
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:44 PM   #4
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So the next question ( s) Have you checked the charge voltage at the house batteries ? Should be in the neighborhood of 13,7 . The convertor charge system and the BiRD dual system charge on my coach will not charge the Main ( chassis ) batteries unless the house batteries are fully charged. So if the house batteries are in poor shape and constantly require charge then the Bird system will not switch to charge the chassis batteries.
Remember things like , power seats, in dash stereo, map lights , draw on the chassis ( main ) battery, so those systems could be running the main battery down, but to require a charge daily ??? sounds like a huge draw.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:28 AM   #5
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It's far from unusual for chassis batteries to go dead in a week or so without driving or getting a charge. Also, because they are starting batteries, it only takes 5-10 times running them dead (or leaving them in that state very long) before it will render them useless.

Not familiar with your Discovery but I have to assume you have a BIRD system. If it is working, it should be charging the chassis batts when on shore. Not sure if you have an inverter/charger or a converter/charger. Either way, with everything normal, you should see 13.2 to 13.6v at the house battery on shore. You should also see similar voltage on the chassis batts if your system is working. A fully charged battery without a load and off a charger will show 12.7v. If it is getting a maintaining charge, it will show 13.2v. If you don't have a hand held voltmeter, get one and run these checks. I will not go anywhere in my RV without one.

At this point it does sound like the BIRD has failed or is malfunctioning, but other problems could show similar signs.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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Main batteries discharging

Iím having main/start battery problems and seeking some help as Iíve tried everything that comes into my logical mind which suffers from a lack of technical know-how. Iím located in Surprise, AZ where one can find mucho-many techs willing to assist as they reach into you pocket but lack knowhow.
Basics: The coach is 2002 Discovery (Fleetwood) 37T diesel powered by a Cat 330; Two main/start batteries group 31 (big hummers); Electrical equipment includes: generator, Freedom Combi Inverter/Charger Model 81-2022-12, SN 323890; Intellitec 50 AMP Smart Energy Management System Model 900.
Status: On 50 amp shore power since the 1 October and all was well until my electrical powered awning would not operate and the propane stopped flowing. The key start did not even cause a click and there is zero power to the dash and the auxiliary start switch on the dash was non-op. Paid $325 for two batteries but within 24 hours they discharged again. The only way to re-charge is to run the engine for 30 minutes as the generator will not charge the batteries. Dead fuses that can be found have been checked and replaced as necessary.
Iím now at a loss and seek assistance to know where to turn.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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Could be wrong, but I don't think your rig was designed to have shore power charge the chassis battery. What if any info does your user manual say about shore power & batts?

If your house batteries are fine then you might think about installing a trickle charger between the house batts and chassis batt.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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Sounds like a charging solenoid. Dagnosing is such ......dare I say fun. NOT!
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bidda View Post

Basics: The coach is 2002 Discovery (Fleetwood) 37T diesel powered by a Cat 330; Two main/start batteries group 31 (big hummers); Electrical equipment includes: generator, Freedom Combi Inverter/Charger Model 81-2022-12, SN 323890; Intellitec 50 AMP Smart Energy Management System Model 900.
Your inverter/charger or your EMS does not mean your system keeps the chassis batts charged. This is something Fleetwood would have added to the coach themselves. However, Fleetwood was very good at adding this system to their coaches, especially diesels. I highly suspect a relay/solenoid has failed, which would be a $50 fix. Your problem of course is not being handy and not knowing what to look for or where.

I see 3 choices right now.

1. Bite the bullet and take it someplace to be fixed.

2. Take a battery charger with you for the chassis batts.

3. Buy a Trik-L-Start. Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer

My coach was not equipped to charge the chassis so I added one of these. For $50 one of the best investments I've made. Just connect 1 wire to the coach batts, 1 to the chassis batts and 1 to a ground....then forget about it. (optionally you can connect the wires on any cable that leads directly to the batteries). Anytime the coach is being charged, the chassis batts will be charged/maintained.

I wish I could be more specific on your problem, I just don't know your coach. Good luck.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:06 PM   #10
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Thanks for the answer and I believe you are spot on in your answer. I do enjoy learning "systems" and will take your suggestion but remain resolved to do it myself. Next vstep will be to track down the selinods for each system. Agian thanks for a thoughtful answer.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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Bidda,

There must be many people here with Fleetwood DPs just like yours or very similar. It sure wouldn't hurt to post your problem on the Fleetwood Forum.

Here you can get a manual for your Discovery. Includes wiring diagrams.

http://www.fleetwoodrv.com/partsandservice/manuals.asp

You can also contact Fleetwood via there site for specific info. I understand you can call them with VIN in hand and they can tell you what your coach is equipped with. (800) 322-8216.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bidda View Post
Thanks for the answer and I believe you are spot on in your answer. I do enjoy learning "systems" and will take your suggestion but remain resolved to do it myself. Next vstep will be to track down the selinods for each system. Agian thanks for a thoughtful answer.
Bidda, you came to the right place....

Print this document and follow the procedures provided. Be careful to follow the diagrams for Diesel BCC aplications. Most diagrams are common for gas or diesel, but some are different. One of the main differences is that the solenoid that provides the missing charge to your main (chassis) batteries from the house system (inverter/charger or converter) is mounted external to the BCC in a diesel. In a gas system, it is integrated into the BCC,

Try to find a friend nearby who can assist you if you have trouble reading the diagrams and instructions.

E-mail or PM me if I can be of further assistance.

BTW - the solenoid you are looking for will have large cables attached to both the chassis and house batteries. Good luck
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:48 AM   #13
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I too have an 02 discovery. Yes your inverter charger should be charging the coach batterys, Mine does and I have the same set-up You do have the BIRD type system and the dc control box is in the inverter bay above and forward of the bay. Please have your house batterys checked as said if they are not taking a charge the system will not charge the coach batterys. Next to the dc box in the inverter bay is a small fuse panel, check these fuses. instide the dc box are more fuses that need to be checked, Use a test light!!!. The solinoid applying charge power to the coach batterys may be defective also. you need a volt meter to test. I hope this has helped some and answered some questions.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:05 AM   #14
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bidda --- you say the main batteries are discharging. first a would use a hydrometer to check each cell (of the chassis batteries). looking for a bad one. second check the top of the batteries for moisture, this will allow the batteries to discharge. third when it's dark disconnect the positive and watch the spark. a small spark is ok, but not a big one. if you have a big one then that's what you need to track down.
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