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Old 08-24-2007, 06:56 PM   #1
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OK...I guess I bought a lemon, or else I'm not doing something right.

When we got home on Sunday with our new to us Minnie Winnie, I shut everything off...refer,pump,auto step,lights,and closed and locked the door. Tuesday I stopped in to replace the onan's air filter and the lights would not turn on. I sat in the cab and the engine wouldn't start. Both batteries (both brand new on Saturday morning) were run down.

Now this normally wouldn't bother me but I paid $395.00 for the RV dealer to do a PDI before I picked it up. I wonder if the Onan electric start draws off juice?

Any suggestions?

I pulled both batteries and took them home for charging. Put one on my "smart" trickle charger and one in my 5th wheel which is plugged into shore power. It also has a smart charger in it.

I checked both of them today and they are up to 13+v.

Any advice for this motorhome novice would be appreciated. But we've had TT's and 5ers for over 30 years.

Paul
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:56 PM   #2
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OK...I guess I bought a lemon, or else I'm not doing something right.

When we got home on Sunday with our new to us Minnie Winnie, I shut everything off...refer,pump,auto step,lights,and closed and locked the door. Tuesday I stopped in to replace the onan's air filter and the lights would not turn on. I sat in the cab and the engine wouldn't start. Both batteries (both brand new on Saturday morning) were run down.

Now this normally wouldn't bother me but I paid $395.00 for the RV dealer to do a PDI before I picked it up. I wonder if the Onan electric start draws off juice?

Any suggestions?

I pulled both batteries and took them home for charging. Put one on my "smart" trickle charger and one in my 5th wheel which is plugged into shore power. It also has a smart charger in it.

I checked both of them today and they are up to 13+v.

Any advice for this motorhome novice would be appreciated. But we've had TT's and 5ers for over 30 years.

Paul
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:25 PM   #3
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You should be good to go with the batteries now fully charged. Your Gen will not start without a fully charged house battery. Your coach engine battery will have some items drawing small discharges from the battery radio, LP detector, ECM, electric steps if you have them.
Your house battery will have some discharge also furnace control board, refidge control board and hot water heater.
Check to make sure you have no lights on in compartments or on fire wall under hood.
If you can not keep coach pluged in so converter can keep batteries charged maybe you can add a solar panel on roof to make up lost from any battery loss.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:54 AM   #4
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You seem to have shut off most everything that can be off (the things that 007 mentioned cannot, unless you have a battery disconnect switch). The bats should not have run down from Sunday to Tuesday, even with the parasitic loads. In a week maybe, but not 2-3 days. I would suggest putting a amp meter on the batteries (between positive wire and positive terminal) to see just how much current is flowing and then start removing DC fuses to see what drops the amount.

I'm also surprised your chassis (engine start) battery is not isolated from the house battery and wonder if some relay is not opening as it should be.

It's possible the batteries simply were not adequately charged when you picked up the rig and will last longer now that you have charged them well.

And did you check the water level in the cells?
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
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Water level is OK

I'm going to put the 5er @ the storage facility and bring home the new motorhome, then I can monitor it more closely and run my own diagnostic.

By next Monday it will have a battery cut off switch and the truck battery will not be connected to the chassis battery. I suppose it is so that a chassis battery can be charged while you are driving down the road.

Gary, your amp meter suggestion is a good one, thanks.

Paul
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:02 PM   #6
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Paul your chassis battery or truck battery will be charged by your altenator when engine is running. Some have used the Trik-L-Start to keep charge in chassis battery.
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:01 AM   #7
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Turns out that the battery negative wire (black) was fully involved with a green corrosion and the connection under the chassis was loaded with rust.

I purchased a new negative lead (42")and replaced it. The battery now holds charge and to make things even better the generator will now run without stopping after 20 seconds.

The cutoff switch goes in next. The truck battery is the next thing to check out, but after we motor over to the coast for a late season weekend in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Thanks for all your help

Paul
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:05 PM   #8
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OK....I still need help.

The battery died again after only 2 days...and I have a new ground wire in place.

After putting a meter on it I found that a 1.5 amp draw was constantly pulling juice from the motor home battery. A selenoid would click on and off each time I disconnected the battery. It is located inside the battery compartment and has a purple out wire. I disconnected the purple out wire and now the only draw is the LP gas detector.(less than 0.01 amps)

What is this selenoid for and why does it want to draw 1.5 amps constantly, even when everything else is turned off? With the out (purple) wire disconnected the selenoid no longer opens and closes as the battery is connected.

Could it be for the remote jump start capability that I have on the dash? I can start the truck engine using the motor home battery if I need to. But why would it draw a constant load? But start wires would use a selenoid wouldn't they?

Any help would be appreciated. Someone must know what this selenoid is for.

Paul
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:13 PM   #9
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Just for giggles have you checked that your TV ant. is turned off? The power amp draws quite a lot of juice.
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:20 PM   #10
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TURNED OFF
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:32 PM   #11
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OK, so Petro and Pusherman tell me this is a charging/emergency start solenoid and it helps to charge the MH battery when the truck battery is dead or low. I can understand it being used to start the truck if needed. but why won't it turn off?

I had a trailer that would have it's battery charged by the truck and it didn't have a solenoid connected to the TT battery. I have disconnected it from the battery and will leave it that way until someone tells me that I need it.

On another thought...do I have to use a solenoid for a battery disconnect switch?

Paul
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:48 AM   #12
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Paul, you should have an additional solenoid for the emergency boost and a switch to control it. THe pruple wire may be the control wire to activate this boost solenoid when the chassis battery is too low to activate it. CHeck to be sure this solenoid is not being continually energized. IF it is then there is a problem in that circuit that is draining the house batteries as well as the chassis battery over a few days.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:41 PM   #13
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I do have a push button in the truck that says "emergency start" and if I push it when the truck battery is low than the MH battery will give me a jump start.

My problem is that the solenoid in the MH battery compartment is always "on" When I stop the truck and turn off all items in the MH except the LP detector (which draws 0.01 amps) this solenoid is still pulling 1.5 amps from the MH battery. After a couple of days the MH battery is about 4 volts and the truck battery starts to go down. After a few more days, both are dead and need recharging.

Now if this solenoid is only for the emergency start function than I have no problem in ignoring it and leaving it off line. If it is for something else, how do I find out for sure?

When I am driving down the road, My alt is supposed to charge the MH battery. How can I tell if it does? Can I start the truck,remove the MH battery cables from the battery and see if there is any voltage in the line when I connect the volt meter to the positive wire and a ground? This ought to tell me a charge is going to the battery, yes or no?

That is how I checked it in my 5th wheel and there was no solenoid in the line at the MH battery end. The battery charge was controled by a "Smart charge" in the control box.

Bottom line, I don't want to keep charging batteries at a camp site @ a State park, I want to boondock and know I have enough power for a couple of days before I have to turn on the generator.

Paul
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:35 PM   #14
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The solenoid may have pitted contacts and is not opening when it should be released. Some have taken cover of solenoid to clean contacts or if not replaced it.
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