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Old 01-07-2014, 04:51 PM   #1
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Batteries

I am brand new at owning a coach. While the previous owner has been exceptionally patient and helpful, it is time to ask others!
I am unable to find an indoor storage that will allow me to have continuous shore power. I found today, after 72 hours with everything turned off that I could, the inverter read "low voltage <6 volts". I secured trickle shore power and it said "bulk charge". How do I do this? Is there a battery cutoff switch for house and or chassis batteries so I can store it unplugged? The blank backup camera system screen will not go off, ever, and I was told it is on chassis batteries! Help!

proud owner 2008 Newmar essex
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:23 PM   #2
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Battery isolation switches are usually located near the entrance, but some have chassis BIS in electrical compartment, or near batteries or engine. If you are not plugged in or using coach, the BIS switches should be off. This doesn't always solve battery draining problems, some items might be wired around the switches and continue to create a parasitic draw on batteries. In my case, the chassis cut off shuts everything off, but I don't have an engine or transmission ECU. The house cut off will slowly drain batteries over time. I installed a knife switch on battery terminal and by flipping that open my batteries stay charged for most of the winter or while I'm traveling overseas.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:29 PM   #3
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I agree with BFlinn as to disconnect the batteries. This can be done manually with a wrench (negative terminal) or with an aftermarket disconnect. I recommend doing this sooner than later. Then get a charger on those batts and bring them up to full charge for storage. Continually cycling those batts down low will reduce their lifetime.

Rad Doc you are doing the right thing asking questions. We all started at the bottom of the learning curve. Today with the internet, it is much easier to work your way up that slippery slope. You have every right to be proud of your Essex ..... a fine machine!
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rad Doc View Post
I am brand new at owning a coach. While the previous owner has been exceptionally patient and helpful, it is time to ask others!
I am unable to find an indoor storage that will allow me to have continuous shore power. I found today, after 72 hours with everything turned off that I could, the inverter read "low voltage <6 volts". I secured trickle shore power and it said "bulk charge". How do I do this? Is there a battery cutoff switch for house and or chassis batteries so I can store it unplugged? The blank backup camera system screen will not go off, ever, and I was told it is on chassis batteries! Help!

proud owner 2008 Newmar essex
You will get an exact answer soon from one of the Essex owners. Our neighbors have an Essex and I believe there is a battery cut-off switch in the cabinet directly above the drivers seat. There also may be one in either the engine compartment or the chassis service compartment in the rear bay on the passenger side. Depending on how cold it is where you are, going down to less than 6 volts that quickly may be the sign of another problem. " Bulk" is the strongest charge, after that it will go to "absorption", and then "float"

Good luck,
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:40 PM   #5
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Welcome to irv2. I'm moving this to our Newmar section to get you some owners input which may assist further.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:09 PM   #6
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For the house battery.. First charge them up fully, then on one of the batteries on the NEGATIVE terminal is a wire running off to who knows where (Not to a different battery) Remove this wire and any others like it, If more than one tape them together with BLACK tape.. this will completly disconnect the batteires.. Come back once a month and check on the, Run the generator (I suggest you start it with a jump pack not with the house batteries but once it is started and powering the house re-connect batteries till you shut it down) for at least half an hour with a couple of space heaters loading it.

Chassis.. I won't advise since on some rigs disconnecting causes issues.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:12 PM   #7
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Hi Rad Doc,
Welcome to iRV2 and the Newmar Owners Forum. The Essex is a complicated coach with a bunch of whistles and bells. For me, the bottom line is to get an aftermarket cut off switch and install it on the coach battery ground terminal. Look before you buy. There may be more than one battery ground terminal on your coach batteries. All other possible solutions will provide food for heartburn, take quite a bit of your time and there is no guarantee of a solution. This is not to say the coach has a problem. What the coach has is a bunch of electronics that you may or may not be able to turn off. Then you'd need to remember to turn off all these items every time the coach goes to storage.

I'm looking for an Essex owner to chime in a let you know if there is a problem turning ALL the electronics off with the battery terminal cut off switch.

Moving onto what may or may not be a problem. Are the batteries in good to great shape? If you do not know, consider purchasing a battery load tester. You can then test each fully charged coach battery to make sure they are in good to great shape. You'll need one rated at least 100 AMPS. Mine is rated at 130 AMPS.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rad Doc View Post
I am brand new at owning a coach. While the previous owner has been exceptionally patient and helpful, it is time to ask others!
I am unable to find an indoor storage that will allow me to have continuous shore power. I found today, after 72 hours with everything turned off that I could, the inverter read "low voltage <6 volts". I secured trickle shore power and it said "bulk charge". How do I do this? Is there a battery cutoff switch for house and or chassis batteries so I can store it unplugged? The blank backup camera system screen will not go off, ever, and I was told it is on chassis batteries! Help!

proud owner 2008 Newmar essex
There is a switch in the engine compartment the will cut off the chassis batteries.

There is a switch above the driver that will cut power to most of the systems that get their power from the house batteries (including the eplex system) and you will need to cut off the inverter though the eplex system before you use the switch above the driver. This switch has a 'store' selection that you will press the toggle the battery disconnect. There are some systems that you cannot disconnect from the batteries (ie the steps and radio). Yes the radio is connected the the chassis batteries but the constant power for the radio comes from the house batteries. When the house batteries are physically disconnected from the coach or go dead the radio will loose its configuration and that includes the radio knowing about the cameras. Charge the batteries and the turn off the inverter and the store the batteries and then check them in a couple of days and see how that solution is working. Let me know because I have some other ideas.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:12 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum and irv2.
Congratulations on coach here is some info for your used coach a Brochure and Owners Guide.

You need to check all ground terminations to chassis frame for clean tight connections so batteries will charge properly when being charged. Gen cable, battery cable, inverter/converter.

Here is info on the Batteries and the 12v systems in coach.

You can find information on E-Plex systems in QT's #3 about 1/2 way down.
There is also more in QT's 1 & 2 with wiring diagrams.
Enjoy the forums.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:17 AM   #10
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John. Thank you. I was finally able to catch my Newmar service man and he had a similar suggestion. I recharged the batteries to "float", turned the inverter "off", used the toggle switch and got almost everything to turn off. I could see that the microwave and coffee pot still had power so I shut off all of the inside breakers in cabinet under dressing sink. I was unable to find a chassis battery cut off in the engine compartment, but there is no sound or power in the coach that I can find. Unfortunately I will be unable to check on the coach for a couple of weeks but I am sleeping better with the progress made using forum replies!
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