Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Fleetwood Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-25-2015, 05:14 AM   #1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 97
Chassis Battery Went Dead (I did a search but they said it's too old)

My '98 Flair (30' model) is still not on the road. I finally got it back from the shop where they replaced front air bags and front shocks (rear shocks on backorder) and checked the LP system and wired the On-Demand Water Heater.
So now it's in the yard, plugged into 120V so I can do the last (hopefully) things to get it on the road. The original Water Heater had 120 or LP and the new Water Heater is LP only. What I want to do is run the old water heater wires back under the bed to power the Sleep-Number bed I bought. I also want to use this power to charge a Dyson cordless vacuum.
Well, the chassis battery went dead, I pulled it out to get it recharged and I'm told it's shot (1.2V showing on the gauge). So I buy a new one ($135), and within 2 days it is dead also. The starter won't even click. I'm thinking there is a solar panel on the AC lid that is supposed to keep these batteries charged up. I can start the engine with the coach batteries, but this can not be normal. I've read (and re-read) the manual on this thing, but it is so vague (they say that they make so many models, that they can not be specific to your model. They really should save some ink and paper on this manual and just tell you to watch youtube, you will learn more). So what am I missing here? I think I will charge this new battery and just not install it until I'm ready to roll. Problem is- what if I can't get back? Should I disconnect the ground wire on the chassis battery when parked at the campground? Is that normal? Is something in the camper pulling juice off the chassis battery that I am unaware of? And how do I stop that without having to get under the hood all the time? Thanks in advance for any help with this.
steamyb is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-25-2015, 05:32 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 8,055
Two day battery life is not normal or reasonable. OTOH did you charge your new battery after you bought it? Most are not fully charged when you buy them. They need hours on a charger or driving to bring them up to full.

Most chargers will fault on very low battery. The way to trick it is to use a large light bulb or similar in series with the battery. That limits the current while the cells re charge. Once the battery gets up to 12 v then switch to the charger only.
nothermark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 05:41 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
JFNM's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mountain West
Posts: 1,178
Hi steamyb,

The tiny little solar panel on the air conditioner is too small to do much of anything but keep a fully charged battery "topped off" when there is no load. That is assuming it is still working (most likely, it is not after 17 years). I'm not sure which battery bank this solar panel is connected.

No, it is not normal to disconnect the chassis battery when parked for reasonable periods of time (a month). It sure sounds like you have something consuming chassis battery power. Finding these loads can be a challenge, it may help to view it as a mystery to be solved! Assuming the new battery was fully charged to begin, two days is relatively quick. I would get it fully charged, install, and then start searching for something that is powered up (and should not be). If you have a multi-meter, it may help to hook it up and find out exactly how much amperage is being drawn. This may lead you somewhere (meaning, if it is a very small amount (less than an amp), it may be radio, clock, etc.

Possibly a bit of humor - YouTube did not exist when your rig and manual were manufactured.

Good luck and keep us posted!
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3
JFNM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 05:52 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Bigd9's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: The Bluegrass State
Posts: 7,120
In addition to what nothermark said, check to see if there is any current leaving the starting batteries while the engine is off and the key is out. There shouldn't be any. It is possible the ignition switch is bad or stuck in the accessories or run position.
__________________
Good Luck, Be Safe and Above All, Don't Forget To Have Fun
Pete
Central Kentucky
2006 Fleetwood Discovery 35H, 2014 Honda CR-V, M&G Engineering Braking System
Bigd9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 07:36 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Gary RVRoamer's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
Posts: 24,332
It may be that the old Flair's onboard charging system isn't working. As long as you are plugged into shore power, it should keep both house and chassis batteries charged up. It may also be that the house 12v is drawing power from the chassis battery as well as the house batteries and the onboard power converter/charger. If so, that could flatten a new battery quickly. It is not unusual in an older RV that has had wiring changed to get something connected to the chassis battery instead of house 12v system. A dead chassis battery is the common result.
__________________
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Gary RVRoamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 07:43 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mcdonough, Ga.
Posts: 5,569
Get a piece of number ten wire. Install a alligator clamp on each end. Hook it to the positive of both batteries. (house and chassis) both batteries are grounded to the frame, so you will not need a negative jumper. Now the chassis battery will be charged along with the chassis battery. Just put you a note on the dash to remove the jumper when you are ready to go.
__________________
1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2014 Honda CRV toad
32 years mechanic at Delta Air Lines 15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
ga traveler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 07:53 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mcdonough, Ga.
Posts: 5,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
It may be that the old Flair's onboard charging system isn't working. As long as you are plugged into shore power, it should keep both house and chassis batteries charged up. It may also be that the house 12v is drawing power from the chassis battery as well as the house batteries and the onboard power converter/charger. If so, that could flatten a new battery quickly. It is not unusual in an older RV that has had wiring changed to get something connected to the chassis battery instead of house 12v system. A dead chassis battery is the common result.
Gary your coach is built for charging both batteries. Most low end coaches do not have this feature.
__________________
1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2014 Honda CRV toad
32 years mechanic at Delta Air Lines 15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
ga traveler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 09:14 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
wa8yxm's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 24,023
I see the battery has been covered. you either have one heck of a "parasitic" load or the New Battery was bad.. I have had that happen.

On the 120 volt re-route.. Yes you can do that but consider this.

There is a device called a HOTT-ROD or HOT-Rod it is an electric heat element for your propane only water heater.. Cost is less than 100 dollars. Can pay for itself if you park at "Electric included" sites. Does not re-heat the water as fast as Propane does. but ... Keeps it hot very nicely. ... You can then Chain an outlet to the bedroom for the devices you cited there safely just use the same size wire that comes into the outlet (likely 12ga)
__________________
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2015, 06:05 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Anthem, AZ / Faribault MN
Posts: 100
How long should it take to charge 6 house batteries while driving? 2015 Expedition with a good sized alternator. Batteries low because of sitting for a couple of days with the residential refer working (on purpose). Drove 7-8 hours, alternator charging normally.
When we got to our destination I ran both furnaces all night, TV for an hour, Microwave for 10 minutes and of course the refer. In the AM batteries were just north of 11 volts
and the inverter has kicked off due to low voltage. Batteries started the evening at about 12.9VDC.Coach is only 6 months old, batteries always topped off and connectoins clean. It seems to me that this should be plenty of charging time.
kmx888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2015, 06:38 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 27,931
kmx888,
Your answer will be the purchase and installation of a battery monitor. Anything else is a guess.

Without knowing how much each furnace fan draws, they may have been the big power users, running all night.
twinboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2015, 07:56 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
JFNM's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mountain West
Posts: 1,178
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmx888 View Post
How long should it take to charge 6 house batteries while driving?
What is the size of the battery bank in amp-hours? What is the capacity of the alternator? How many minutes/hours was the alternator spinning at the RPM necessary to produce that output? What was the battery bank State of Charge (SOC) at the start of the drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmx888 View Post
When we got to our destination I ran both furnaces all night,
How many amps does each furnace draw when running? How many minutes were the furnaces running (actually blowing air)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmx888 View Post
TV for an hour,
Is the TV AC or DC? How many amps does it draw when running?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmx888 View Post
Microwave for 10 minutes
How many amps does it draw when running?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmx888 View Post
and of course the refer.
How many amps does it draw when running? How many minutes was it drawing this current??

twinboat is right - get a good battery monitor (not a volt gauge). I like my Trimetric.
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3
JFNM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2015, 09:02 AM   #12
Senior Member


 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,290
Usually better to run the generator and let the on-board converter/charger charge the house battery bank when it is very low. Alternator on engine is designed more to keep the batteries charged, than to replenish lots of amp hours.
pasdad1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2015, 08:12 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 181
2005 Bounder

I also have battery issues....
Chassie battery is less than 2 yrs old but holds charge for very short time.
House batteries similar in age less than 2
Solar charger on Air Cond.
I also have 2 disconnect switches above door. Turn off when not hooked to shore.
When not connected to shore power the chassie battery drops charge very quick, matter of days. even with switches switched to off.
Parts store where got battery (Gold) say must have phantom draw, said to disconnect positive cable and to connect test light to to neg terminal and other end to a ground to test, no light came on, so no draw? I guess.
Questions I have?
Any idea of whats going on?
I would like to hook a maintainer charger to chassie battery, can I do this with the house batteries connected.
I think the book says I need to have the switches (above door) off when charging?
Can I use a 12 volt charger connected to chassie battery and charge all three, the house batteries are 6 volt golf cart batteries connected in a series giving 12 volts. Want to do this to bring all batteries to full chg. for the maintainer.
Ultimately I will bring all in house and charge as needed, winter just got here too quick.
Thanks
2005 35E Bounder Ford
2012 Jeep Wrangler Toad
J-N-Lham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2015, 05:16 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Bigd9's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: The Bluegrass State
Posts: 7,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by pasdad1 View Post
Usually better to run the generator and let the on-board converter/charger charge the house battery bank when it is very low. Alternator on engine is designed more to keep the batteries charged, than to replenish lots of amp hours.
A lot depends on your RV. On mine, the engine alternator is rated at 160 amps. The generator produces AC voltage that goes to the inverter/charger. It only puts out somewhere around 100 amps max.
__________________
Good Luck, Be Safe and Above All, Don't Forget To Have Fun
Pete
Central Kentucky
2006 Fleetwood Discovery 35H, 2014 Honda CR-V, M&G Engineering Braking System
Bigd9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, chassis



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dead battery in toad not towing ballard770 RV Systems & Appliances 12 12-19-2015 08:48 AM
Chassis stereo drains chassis battery when used for house RonInFlorida RV Systems & Appliances 7 05-26-2015 08:47 AM
Chassis Battery Charging Gremlin D Lindy Class A Motorhome Discussions 3 03-11-2015 05:13 PM
Dead Battery on Honda CRV dennis45 Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 21 01-24-2015 10:28 PM
Chassis Battery Issue mant MH-General Discussions & Problems 17 09-18-2014 05:07 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.