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Old 05-25-2022, 01:27 PM   #1
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Draw on Chassis batteries in 2019 4018 Dutch Star

I noticed my two chassis batteries lose their charge very quickly if it is parked and not plugged in to shore power. I checked the amount that it loses and am wondering where all the electricity is going? It seems .6 amp hours is quite a discharge. If I am boon docking, I need to shut the chassis master power switch to the off position or I risk running the two batteries very low. How much does your chassis draw off your two 12 volt batteries while not being plugged in? Thanks in advance
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Old 05-25-2022, 02:25 PM   #2
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Chassis battery draw

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Originally Posted by skippy67 View Post
I noticed my two chassis batteries lose their charge very quickly if it is parked and not plugged in to shore power. I checked the amount that it loses and am wondering where all the electricity is going? It seems .6 amp hours is quite a discharge. If I am boon docking, I need to shut the chassis master power switch to the off position or I risk running the two batteries very low. How much does your chassis draw off your two 12 volt batteries while not being plugged in? Thanks in advance
I have a 2019 Dutch Star also and I started shutting off the chassis battery when I store my rig as it was draining down just like yours. Now that I do the factory solar keeps them charged up over 13 volts at all times. I never did locate the source of the draw but by shutting them down I at least solved the problem temporarily. You do have to be sure and turn the steering wheel back and forth a few times to reset the comfort drive.
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Old 05-25-2022, 02:48 PM   #3
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Something else to think about. Those batteries are maintenance free and subject to a lot of heat from the exhaust. Last year, I slid them out and cut the labels on the top of the batteries, removed the caps and filled both of the batteries. They took quite a bit of water.

It was a pretty easy procedure. I parked a chair in front of the battery bay, disconnected the cables (the cables are short and rigid and aren't going to move anywhere, other than back on to the same terminals.

I loosened the two battery hold downs and the one at the rear of the coach fell to the ground. I added the water, used some Gorilla tape to hold the back hold down in place, (from the underside) and reinstalled the batteries. I plan to do this every 18 months after I saw how much water they took.

About a 30 minute procedure which should extend your battery life for a few years.
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Old 05-25-2022, 02:58 PM   #4
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First of all, your batteries are 3 years old and not ready for boondocking. So they are much weaker than when new.
The electronics in the vehicle are still doing monitoring of various systems when the coach is piers off. The only way to eliminate the draw is the shut off the disconnects.
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Old 05-25-2022, 03:28 PM   #5
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Don, correct me if I am misunderstanding. At about 2 yrs your chassis batteries were hurting for water so this next round you will service them at 18 months.



Mine are about 10 months old now and I don't want to ruin them by letting them get too low on water.
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Old 05-25-2022, 03:56 PM   #6
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2 things
1. Lead acid deep cell batteries need lots of care.
2. Some Chassis batteries are not charged when plugged it. If your inverter/charger does not have a chassis charger included you will need to do this. My 2007 Ellipse did not charge my chassis batteries. When I parked at home I always switched off the chassis battery.
I would every month in winter go out and run the motorhome take it out for a spin, run the Generator. Every month.
If it needed storage I put a battery cut off right at the battery, because the chassis shutoff was nice but there was always a parasitic draw. The cut of prevented that.
As for the house deep cell, the best way to keep them new for a long time is keep them plugged in and keep the water levels up
This is what I did for my house batteries, what this video.
This is worth every single penny
https://youtu.be/HgJnPp9oHF8
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Old 05-25-2022, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Don, correct me if I am misunderstanding. At about 2 yrs your chassis batteries were hurting for water so this next round you will service them at 18 months.



Mine are about 10 months old now and I don't want to ruin them by letting them get too low on water.
Technically they're not designed to be serviced at all and are supposed to go many years. I know several people whose starting batteries quit at the 3 year mark. At about the two year mark mine were down quite a bit. For me, checking them about every 18 months is enough of an interval to catch them before they get to a point they cause damage.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:32 PM   #8
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If I don't turn off my master switch I lose about 0.3v every two weeks from the pair of chassis batteries.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:56 PM   #9
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First of all, your batteries are 3 years old and not ready for boondocking. So they are much weaker than when new.
The electronics in the vehicle are still doing monitoring of various systems when the coach is piers off. The only way to eliminate the draw is the shut off the disconnects.
Many RVers boondock with 3 year old batteries. At three years of age a battery is not necessary unfit for duty. House batteries would be the primary concern while boondocking. The OP is discussing chassis batteries here.

The drain on chassis batteries can easily be compensated for with a small solar panel. Perhaps a 50 watt portable unit or maybe a 100 watt panel on the roof. Disconnecting the batteries while boondocking may create an undesirable situation if certain items are no longer powered. Sometimes there are simple solutions.
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Old 05-26-2022, 09:35 AM   #10
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Many RVers boondock with 3 year old batteries. At three years of age a battery is not necessary unfit for duty. House batteries would be the primary concern while boondocking. The OP is discussing chassis batteries here.

The drain on chassis batteries can easily be compensated for with a small solar panel. Perhaps a 50 watt portable unit or maybe a 100 watt panel on the roof. Disconnecting the batteries while boondocking may create an undesirable situation if certain items are no longer powered. Sometimes there are simple solutions.
Thank for your help. I park our RV in a covered storage area we rent. It is quite a distance from any sun exposure especially during the winter months when the sun is low in the southern sky. I took it to an RV shop and all he could say was that the .6 amp hours is what he measured too and he thinks I should give Freightliner a call. He thinks the drain is from the braking system. I don't have a clue. I do know if I keep the battery disconnects in the off position, there is no draw. I just wonder if something is wrong with that much of a drain when the cutoff switch is on. Thanks
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Old 05-26-2022, 11:13 AM   #11
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Disconnecting the chassis batteries while in storage should present no issues for you. While boondocking, you may want to consider some amount of solar charging to prevent the chassis bay from being discharged.

A discharge of .6 amp hours describes the amount of energy consumed. It is a peculiar way to express a load. If you have a .6 amp load, the battery will discharge .6 amps every hour. Or, 6 amp hours over 10 hours, 14.4 amp hours each 24 hour period, etc. If that is what is occurring, and you want to recover that discharge with solar, youll need at least 14.4 amp hours of of charging from the panel. A 100 watt panel will charge at approximately 6A in full sun. On a sunny day youd be getting 6A of charging each hour during the mid-day sun. On a cloudy day it may only put out 1A, so a series of cloudy days might require you to keep an eye on the condition of the batteries.
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Old 05-26-2022, 11:42 AM   #12
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I just wonder if something is wrong with that much of a drain when the cutoff switch is on. Thanks
Every electronic device on the chassis is drawing a slight portion of your .6 amp draw.
Engine , Trans , ABS ( ECMs )and dash radio memory .
New vehicles on a sales lot; if not left with battery system in the shipping position ( fuse removed ) ; approx 2 weeks and their batteries are dead .

JMHO; draw is normal .
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Old 05-26-2022, 07:48 PM   #13
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Just for the heck of it, check your BIM or BIRD. I discovered when I first got my current coach that the BIM was bad, and the two battery systems were permanently connected. Newmar replaced it.
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