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Old 10-02-2017, 10:36 AM   #1
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Help with batteries please!

I have a 2008 Newmar dutchstar on a spartan chassis. I havenít used the motorhome for about 45 days. During that time, it has been plugged in to my 30amp outlet at my house. I went out today to move it onto blocks to level it as we are going out this coming weekend. Went to start it and batteries are stone dead. Tried the battery boost switch, nothing. Totally dead. My last Mh had a trickle charger built in that charged the chassis batteries when the mh was plugged in to shore power. Anyone know if this is standard? Iíve never had this issue before. I should also state, the chassis batteries were brand new as of April 2017 when we purchased the coach. I literally watched the dealership put brand new ones in the coach.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:49 AM   #2
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MY 99 has the interconnect system ( BIRD ) to link all the batteries ,coach and chassis , when the coach is on shore power , or with engine running .
I can't imagine that a newer coach would be built without the same ( or similar system ).
Are the coach batteries dead too , or just the chassis .
Your battery charging from shore power , may be a function of the inverter in your coach , was the inverter turned off ?
Do the interior lights work ?
Do you have a volt meter to start testing ?
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Old 10-02-2017, 11:01 AM   #3
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There are a few reasons why BIRDs don't keep the chassis batteries charged.


One is the relay, Big Boy, Trombetta or what ever brand it is, is bad. the internal contacts often get corrosion on them and don't pass the current thru them.


Sometimes the inverter output voltage is a bit to low to signal the relay to close. House battery temp. monitors fail and fool the inverter into thinking the batteries are hot, lowering the output voltage below the 13.2 or .4 threshold, it needs to see to close the contacts.


The BIRD control could have a blown fuse, causing it to not operate.


You need a volt meter to troubleshoot it.
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Old 10-02-2017, 11:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
MY 99 has the interconnect system ( BIRD ) to link all the batteries ,coach and chassis , when the coach is on shore power , or with engine running .
I can't imagine that a newer coach would be built without the same ( or similar system ).
Are the coach batteries dead too , or just the chassis .
Your battery charging from shore power , may be a function of the inverter in your coach , was the inverter turned off ?
Do the interior lights work ?
Do you have a volt meter to start testing ?
The coach batteries are original with the coach I believe. But we rarely boondock so I havenít worried about it. I always have it plugged in when not in use. The inverter was off. The battery gauge says the house batteries are at 13.5 V. The inverter says itís in float mode.
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Old 10-02-2017, 11:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
There are a few reasons why BIRDs don't keep the chassis batteries charged.


One is the relay, Big Boy, Trombetta or what ever brand it is, is bad. the internal contacts often get corrosion on them and don't pass the current thru them.


Sometimes the inverter output voltage is a bit to low to signal the relay to close. House battery temp. monitors fail and fool the inverter into thinking the batteries are hot, lowering the output voltage below the 13.2 or .4 threshold, it needs to see to close the contacts.


The BIRD control could have a blown fuse, causing it to not operate.


You need a volt meter to troubleshoot it.

Where would the BIRD fuse be located?
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:48 PM   #6
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Hi Deucenut,
The BIRD or BIM is located in the electrical bay. It is behind a black fake wall panel. Velcroed in place, just pull it off. The attached files will guide you on how to check.

Battery strength must be checked with a battery stress meter. Volts can read okay, but if there is little AMPS the battery is shot. Any automotive parts store can do the test.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BIRD System Information.pdf (784.8 KB, 51 views)
File Type: pdf BIM System Information.pdf (63.3 KB, 34 views)
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:07 PM   #7
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So I am having a little trouble finding the BIRD fuse. Is it labelled BIRD? or something else? Also, I know for a fact the chassis batteries are dead or near dead, as are the coach batteries. But the Intellitec display(the button you push to shut down the whole coach and to display the volts in the batteries) says there is 13.5 volts in both the chassis batteries and the coach batteries. So that is obviously not right.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:40 PM   #8
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Have you measured the voltage at the battery posts? Right on the posts and not the connector.
I've seen connections not tight and the post will read a different voltage than the connector due to a poor connection.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
Have you measured the voltage at the battery posts? Right on the posts and not the connector.
I've seen connections not tight and the post will read a different voltage than the connector due to a poor connection.
No I haven't. Admittedly, I don't know how to do that. I am good with a lot of things, but all things electrical are not one of them.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:01 AM   #10
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If the batteries are the originals maybe time for new ones.
Your battery water levels need to cover plates of batteries.
Your over head battery cut off switch needs to be on when ever you have coach plugged into at least 110 for converter to work in charging batteries.
The over head panel also has a LP Detector switch that has to be off when not using coach has high drain of battery's most likely your starting batteries.
I would try using a stand alone 12v battery charger and try charging the house batteries and see if they will hold the charge after 24 hours if not you need new batteries.
You can also charge your chassis batteries and see how that works out for charge, remember check water levels of your wet cell batteries before charging them.
Your Bird charging system is maybe not the problem.
Here is a link to more battery system info.
QT's # 3 in second section will have more links to battery and fuse wiring information.
If you need information on how to change batteries let us know you will need info on how to do that, try charging them first.
You may need help from a MOBIL TECH, IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND ELECTRICAL INFO.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007";3833397]If the batteries are the originals maybe time for new ones.
Your battery water levels need to cover plates of batteries.
Your over head battery cut off switch needs to be on when ever you have coach plugged into at least 110 for converter to work in charging batteries.
The over head panel also has a LP Detector switch that has to be off when not using coach has high drain of battery's most likely your starting batteries.
I would try using a stand alone 12v battery charger and try charging the house batteries and see if they will hold the charge after 24 hours if not you need new batteries.
You can also charge your chassis batteries and see how that works out for charge, remember check water levels of your wet cell batteries before charging them.
Your Bird charging system is maybe not the problem.
Here is [B][URL="http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/technical-info-links-28855.html
a link[/URL][/B] to more battery system info.
QT's # 3 in second section will have more links to battery and fuse wiring information.
If you need information on how to change batteries let us know you will need info on how to do that, try charging them first.
You may need help from a MOBIL TECH, IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND ELECTRICAL INFO.
Thanks for the information. I know for sure the battery cut off switch was on. I don't usually turn the coach off since it is always plugged in. I just assumed it was charging the chassis batteries. I charged them yesterday with a battery charger and coach started up. But there is obviously something else wrong. I haven't had a chance to look for the BIRD fuse yet. That will be the first thing to do. I am going to buy a multi meter, learn to use it(my dad can show me) and then go from there.

Thanks for all the help everyone. I will update when I get the problem solved and post it here.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deucenut View Post
So I am having a little trouble finding the BIRD fuse. Is it labelled BIRD? or something else? Also, I know for a fact the chassis batteries are dead or near dead, as are the coach batteries. But the Intellitec display(the button you push to shut down the whole coach and to display the volts in the batteries) says there is 13.5 volts in both the chassis batteries and the coach batteries. So that is obviously not right.
Its possible that the batteries are fine and the battery disconnect is not connecting, when you hit the switch.

Hit the switch on and off a few times and listen for it clunking. Once you find it, you may be able to jump the 2 large terminals, from one side to the other, to bypass it.

If you can send a picture of your battery control center, someone can point out what needs to be jumped or checked.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:46 AM   #13
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Its possible that the batteries are fine and the battery disconnect is not connecting, when you hit the switch.

Hit the switch on and off a few times and listen for it clunking. Once you find it, you may be able to jump the 2 large terminals, from one side to the other, to bypass it.

If you can send a picture of your battery control center, someone can point out what needs to be jumped or checked.
I don't think that is the problem. When I hit the disconnect switch, everything goes dead in the coach (12V lights etc). When I turn it back on, everything comes back on. I don't usually turn the coach off because it's plugged in all the time and I wanted the batteries to charge. The only time I turn the coach off is when I have to take it to the dealer for warranty work, and wouldn't you know it, every time I pick it up, it's always "on" and who knows for how long. But that's for another time to rant I suppose.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:17 AM   #14
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So from reading the literature that GaryKD posted (thanks Gary!!) if I am understanding it correctly, the BIRD will isolate one set of batteries if the other set is discharged radically to avoid overcharging the normal batteries. My coach batteries are old(I think they are original with the coach but not sure). So if they are discharged, then the BIRD would isolate the chassis batteries to avoid the coach batteries from draining them. The BIRD would then only charge the coach batteries leaving the chassis batteries alone. With parasitic loads etc, the chassis batteries would eventually discharge. But then isn't the BIRD supposed to close the relay again and start charging the chassis batteries? This would lead me to believe there is an issue with BIRD and its ability to open and close relays.
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