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Old 09-25-2005, 07:42 PM   #1
Bo
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A little over a year ago I posted a question about my engine battery being drained whenever the coach 12 volt power was turned on. I had determined that the engine battery had a 230 ma. drain when the coach battery was out of storage and/or the AC power was connected. I was baffled as to the source of the drain and its relationship with coach 12 volt power. The drain had killed the engine battery and I replaced it. The new battery is now shot as well so I went back to troubleshooting the problem since I had never found the source of the problem.

What it was: The coach has an Audiovox clock radio/stereo/CD sound system that has keep alive power for the clock provided by the engine battery. The keep alive power is minute but when the 12 volt coach power is alive the sound system is activated by it and takes its power from the engine battery. Even when the sound system is OFF it takes 230 ma and when it is operating it can take up to 4 amps. All from the engine battery. This appears to be an issue with this model Audiovox sound system since it was wired into the coach per Audiovox instructions. I solved the problem with a SPDT 12 volt relay from Radio Shack. The relay NC contacts carry the engine battery to the audio system when the coach 12 volts is not ON. The coach 12 volts is carried through the NO contacts and also powers the coil. Thus when there is 12 volts on the coach DC power system the sound system is powered by coach power but when the coach power is OFF the sound system keep alive is provided by the engine battery.

I wonder how many others have this problem lurking in the MH but haven't discovered it because they never stay in one spot for longer than a couple days.
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Old 09-25-2005, 07:42 PM   #2
Bo
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Loveland, CO, USA
Posts: 58
A little over a year ago I posted a question about my engine battery being drained whenever the coach 12 volt power was turned on. I had determined that the engine battery had a 230 ma. drain when the coach battery was out of storage and/or the AC power was connected. I was baffled as to the source of the drain and its relationship with coach 12 volt power. The drain had killed the engine battery and I replaced it. The new battery is now shot as well so I went back to troubleshooting the problem since I had never found the source of the problem.

What it was: The coach has an Audiovox clock radio/stereo/CD sound system that has keep alive power for the clock provided by the engine battery. The keep alive power is minute but when the 12 volt coach power is alive the sound system is activated by it and takes its power from the engine battery. Even when the sound system is OFF it takes 230 ma and when it is operating it can take up to 4 amps. All from the engine battery. This appears to be an issue with this model Audiovox sound system since it was wired into the coach per Audiovox instructions. I solved the problem with a SPDT 12 volt relay from Radio Shack. The relay NC contacts carry the engine battery to the audio system when the coach 12 volts is not ON. The coach 12 volts is carried through the NO contacts and also powers the coil. Thus when there is 12 volts on the coach DC power system the sound system is powered by coach power but when the coach power is OFF the sound system keep alive is provided by the engine battery.

I wonder how many others have this problem lurking in the MH but haven't discovered it because they never stay in one spot for longer than a couple days.
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Larry (If you don't care where you are you ain't lost) 2010 Ram 3500 Cummins CC LB 4x4, 24 ft. Nomad fifth with slide, 9 ft. Elkhorn slide in, 2001 Starflyte by DynaMax 21 ft., V10.
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:41 AM   #3
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Larry, thanks for posting the update as to teh chassis battery drain. I am sure that this will help a lot of folks with this same problem with this radio and other makes, models that are wired in similar fashion. Glad you have solved the problem.
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:43 AM   #4
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This will help someone. My in-laws have a Winny with this exact problem. Several dealers have not been able to find what draining the batteries. They'll be here in a month. I'll tell them.
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:36 PM   #5
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Great report Larry. I think we ALL have this problem.
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Old 09-27-2005, 12:29 AM   #6
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Those of us that have chassis as well as house battery charging capabilities off shore power will not know they have this problem if they are plugged in all the time. Otherwise they could drain down the chassis as you have discovered. Thanks again.
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Old 09-27-2005, 06:01 PM   #7
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I found a possible gotcha with my relay solution. On some units the clock and presets may be lost during the relay switching. I've had this happen a couple times. It seems to only happen on mine when the engine battery has been disconnected for a while and then on the first cycle from coach to engine battery. After that first cycle it seems to work OK. I have a diode circuit that doesn't have this problem but Radio Shack didn't have the right diodes so I went with the relay solution. I haven't tried it yet but am confident it is the best solution. Next time I get to a good electronic component store I will buy the parts and try it. I will be happy to share the diode circuit with anyone that wants or needs it if they send me an email.

Rv Tech: I considered adding the capability to charge the engine battery from the power converter but decided that that still wouldn't solve the dry camping problem. I may still add a trickle charging circuit for the engine battery because it seems like the right thing to have.
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