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Old 04-20-2016, 05:54 PM   #1
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Help. How do I store 2016 MA off the grid? Solar?

I bought a 2016 Mountain Aire in February and am now faced with the problem of how to store the coach in an outdoor storage yard without any electric hook-ups. The problem became apparent to me when I took the coach to Lancaster, PA Freightliner for service on the Ultrasteer tag axle which was not steering as expected. The problem was apparently a minor problem with the switch. (another story). However, because the coach was there a week and was not plugged in (as requested) the house batteries died. (when tested, voltage measured 6+volts). The battery bank (8 AGM batteries) was placed on a charger and charged to 11.8 volts. Newmar customer service tech then suggested multiple procedures to get the generator and onboard charger to kick in and bring the batteries back to life. All efforts were unsuccessful as the voltage gradually dropped to 10.5 when everything (and the silverleaf system) shutdown again. Newmar then recommended additional charge be placed on the batteries to bring them up above 12 volts. At this time, after another unsuccessful consultation with another tech from Newmar, I was told that the batteries needed to be fully charged before the coach charger would "wake up" and charge the batteries. This Newmar tech also told me that when storing the coach it needs to be plugged in.

I am now looking into the possibility of a solar system to maintain the House batteries. On my previous coach, a HR Navigator, I had a shut of switch for the house batteries and a single solar panel which did a nice job a maintaining the batteries. According to the Newmar tech, a shut off switch will not prevent the batteries from discharging. What experience has the group had this this problem? Any advice on a solar option?

I am to pick up the coach tomorrow. Lancaster Freightliner has told me that the batteries have been on a charger for 2 days and according to Newmar tech, everything with the batteries and on board charger should be fine. I will let you know.

Noel Melhorn
2016 Mountain Aire
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:22 PM   #2
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If this were my coach, I would strongly suggest that the Freighliner shop owes you new batteries, especially if you told them to keep it plugged in so they would stay charged. It has been my experience that when battery banks are discharged to that level, there is a significant loss of capacity, even if they will seem to come back to voltage when recharged. I have found this especially true of AGM batteries.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:35 PM   #3
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Did you leave the refer and other items on when you left it expecting FL to follow directions? If so the batteries might have gone bad.
Very few chargers in MHs can charge a dead battery, as you've found out. I haven't had to try it but our manuals say ours is.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:11 PM   #4
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Noel
I store my DSDP off grid. I had solar installed to preclude this from happening to me. You don't need a huge system to keep the batteries up. I don't do any boondocking so I had 100 watts installed. Been on for 2 yrs and no dead battery.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:16 PM   #5
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Our PA has solar and has not been plugged in while stored for years. And its a very good thing not having to worry about batteries when in shop for service. Solar rocks!
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:21 PM   #6
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We have 400 watts of solar but I don't know how long that would keep the batteries up if I left the Jenn Air refer on.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:28 PM   #7
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They have probably destroyed your 8 AGM batteries !!

I'd be P----'d !!
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:26 AM   #8
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Do 8 AGM house batteries die in a week if everything is turned off on the house side? Sounds like either the batteries were bad to begin with or there was a significant load running 24 hours a day.
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