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Old 06-07-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
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Battery drain..you may already know this

I am sure this is old information for some. It may be new information for others.

I have been having a problem lately with chassis battery draining after it set for several weeks. I have been working and cleaning inside my 2000 Georgie Boy with the door open.

I just noticed the step light comes on whenever the door opens, even if the steps are set not to retract. So if I left the door open all day, the step light is on all day.

Because the light is positioned to where you do not normally see it in the daytime, I never noticed that it stayed on. The current to run the light is pulled through the controller which is part of the ignition safety features.
That is powered by the chassis battery.

I contacted Kwikee (step manufacturer) about how long the light is timed to be on. They stated that if the controller had never been upgraded, it will not go out until the door is closed.

All their products were made this way at one time. They will check the
model # and ser# for you to see if you need an upgraded controller if you call or e-mail them (Or you could just place a switch in the middle of the black wire to the light from the controller and mount it where it is convent).


I hope someone else finds this information useful.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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Thank you I know my light is on when the steps are out I'll have to check who made them tomorrow.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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Lots of parasite loads like that in all rigs. Builders don't seem to be able to resist hooking "just one more thing" to the batteries. Sometimes, they go around battery kill switches so "their" gizmo remains powered. Never seem to think about battery drain. A good ammeter check AT the battery is usually an eye opener.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:33 PM   #4
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I noticed and put LED bulbs in both interior and exterior Step Light Fixtures.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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Oldme,
I believe you on the kwikee... And LED bulbs would help.
I'd put an amp meter on that battery cable and see how much drain you have with and without the step light on. They'll help you narrow it down.

The "industry" solution to this issue seems to be a battery disconnect.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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Until I can have time to try an trace out what stays on, I took the easy way out.
At Walmart for $19.95 I picked up a small Stanley battery charger.
Stanley 2-amp Battery Charger - Walmart.com

The RV stays on an A/C cord to the house when parked and this has taken care of the problem. I plug it into the power port on the dash then the A/C cord back to the A/C in the coach. All connections are inside. So far it has worked great.

Next will be an A/C strip on the cab side between the seats (on the floor step-up back- bulkhead), wired to the Breaker panel. It will make the charger wires closer and serve a better point for the two laptops power supplies and phone charger than the factory outlets.

Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:52 PM   #7
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We plug in to, 120v and charge up every 2 wks.
Monitors will drain batts.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigman1 View Post
Lots of parasite loads like that in all rigs. Builders don't seem to be able to resist hooking "just one more thing" to the batteries. Sometimes, they go around battery kill switches so "their" gizmo remains powered. Never seem to think about battery drain. A good ammeter check AT the battery is usually an eye opener.
That is excellent advice...I would add that a CLAMP ammeter is an easy way to do this to see what current is flowing...but of course it does not tell you WHERE the drain is coming from. Solution is to go to the fuse box and start pulling fuses one at a time until you see the amperage drop...Then you have your culprit or at least have it narrowed down.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post

That is excellent advice...I would add that a CLAMP ammeter is an easy way to do this to see what current is flowing...but of course it does not tell you WHERE the drain is coming from. Solution is to go to the fuse box and start pulling fuses one at a time until you see the amperage drop...Then you have your culprit or at least have it narrowed down.
Let me add this trick to find a fuse with current flowing through it:
The trick is to use probes on your voltmeter to touch the fuse contacts to measure any voltage drop across the fuse. The more the voltage measured, the more current going through fuse, the more likely it is the culprit.

Also, if you leave your electric steps extended there is something like 0.8 amp/hr draw from the step controller as it is active monitoring for changes. Not a good idea when dry camping.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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Let me add this trick to find a fuse with current flowing through it:
The trick is to use probes on your voltmeter to touch the fuse contacts to measure any voltage drop across the fuse. The more the voltage measured, the more current going through fuse, the more likely it is the culprit.

Also, if you leave your electric steps extended there is something like 0.8 amp/hr draw from the step controller as it is active monitoring for changes. Not a good idea when dry camping.


I contacted Kwikee (step manufacturer) about how long the light is timed to be on. They stated that if the controller had never been upgraded, it will not go out until the door is closed.

All their products were made this way at one time. They will check the
model # and ser# for you to see if you need an upgraded controller if you call or e-mail them (Or you could just place a switch in the middle of the black wire to the light from the controller and mount it where it is convent).

They did not indicate of the whole unit was timed or just the light, when I talked with them.

The conector plug looks like it has been disconnected many time for this very reason.

Page 5 of the step manual (#875) shows several ways of wiring the unit.
One way, cuts ALL electric off to it via a wall switch.

Link to download is here: Technical Documents - Power Gear
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