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Old 07-05-2022, 09:36 AM   #1
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14 36LA Chassis battery drain

Our rig was impacted by a nearby lightning strike a few months ago. Most items have been repaired, but some still linger. The latest that shouldn't be related, as far as I know, is that the chassis battery will drain overnight while camping and on shore power. I've been able to use a battery boost to start it, and we get to our destination and get set up ok, but within a day or two, the chassis battery voltage is too low to turn over the engine.

Yesterday, I took the battery to O'Reilly's to have it tested. It is just over a year old. I think it was at around 10.8 volts when I dropped it off, and the quick test indicated it needed to be fully charged and tested. This was done in about 2 hours, and I was told the battery was fine.

I returned to the campsite and installed the battery (12.45v). This morning, I figured I'd check the battery voltage just to see how it held overnight after a full charge, and it is down to 8.75v. Is there something I'm missing that can be causing the battery to drain? Is there supposed to be a trickle charger when on shore power? I never had this problem before the lightning strike and before it was taken to a repair shop for multiple engine electrical parts replacements (including ECM and ABS controller).
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Old 07-05-2022, 10:07 AM   #2
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Chassis battery drains overnight. Charges fine. Tests Fine.

As you suspect, there is something on the chassis side that is drawing power when the ignition is "off". Tracking it down is a test of troubleshooting skill and sometimes guess work. There are lots of possibilities.

Lightning strikes cause problems well beyond expected failures. Sometimes just a nearby strike on a tree can damage electrical or electronic devices. Damage to chassis devices is a distinct possibility. Even damage that develops soon after the strike can happen.

Charging Chassis Battery from Shore Power
Different RV's are wired differently. However, if your RV charged the chassis battery before and now it doesn't that is certainly a failure. It could be related to the lightning strike as well.

Possibilities

Bridge circuit charges house battery bank using engine alternator while driving. Shore power does not charge chassis battery.

Bridge circuit charges both ways. Often this type of system has electronic voltage sensing. It charges from which ever system has charging power.

Owner installed a trickle charger or maintenance charger that runs from shore power and charges chassis battery.

Many Li systems have engine and Li bank separated even if RV came from factory with a bridge system.

Any one of these systems could have been damaged as a result of a lightning strike. Relay coils can be damaged, but keep working for a while.

Lots of possibilities.
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Old 07-05-2022, 12:45 PM   #3
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Yes. Our trickle charger (2014 Allegro Bus 37AP) was above the chassis batteries, plugged into a normal 120v outlet in the right corner. Ours died and killed the batteries a few times before I realized the charger was bad.

Later models replaced that with a battery combiner that manages both battery banks. Your era, and mine, just have the trickle charger and a boost solenoid that combines the banks when the dash switch is pushed.

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Old 07-05-2022, 04:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRM901 View Post
Yes. Our trickle charger (2014 Allegro Bus 37AP) was above the chassis batteries, plugged into a normal 120v outlet in the right corner. Ours died and killed the batteries a few times before I realized the charger was bad.

Later models replaced that with a battery combiner that manages both battery banks. Your era, and mine, just have the trickle charger and a boost solenoid that combines the banks when the dash switch is pushed.

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I only have one chassis battery. I haven't found a trickle charger (yet), but that would seem to make the most sense. Might be a difference between your DP and my gasser. Would love to hear from a 36LA owner. I may make a call to Tiffin tomorrow. Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-05-2022, 06:38 PM   #5
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I would call Tiffin. We have a '14 36LA and ther converter charges both house and start batteries. There must be a solenoid somewhere at fault. I just don't know where it is. Be sure your inverter, if equiped, is set to charge batteries.
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Old 07-13-2022, 01:58 PM   #6
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Bad Battery

So, after two 50-mile round trips to O'Reilley's, they finally determined that the battery itself was bad. I guess it made it easier for them to diagnose it once they found out I wasn't the original owner, so they didn't have to honor the 3-year warranty (it was only 14 months old). Anyway, I replaced the battery and it has held it's charge fine for several days.
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