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Old 01-15-2019, 12:26 PM   #1
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Pace Arrow 36U Having battery issues. Getting low battery msg w/new batteries.

Recently replaced the 4 house batteries. Went to start the coach and got a "Low Battery!" warning on the screen. Coach would not turn over. Used auxiliary start and got it started, however it blew a 200 amp fuse down where the house batteries are. Replaced fuse, replaced chassis batteries, and coach started fine. However, it still showed the low battery warning. Left coach running for about 30 mins yesterday. Checked several hours later and no msg. Went to start it today and checked the power board. Both main and aux batteries at 13.7 volts. When I turned the key I got the same battery warning, however the coach started without a problem, however the lights dimmed and brightened for about 3-4 mins. I watched on the power board and main and aux both were going 12.8 when dim and then up to 13.7 when it brightened. Stopped after about 4 mins. I have found a 2017 PA36u owner who had the same problem with new chassis batteries and still got low battery warning. La Mesa checked it under warranty and he said they found nothing that would cause it. His solution was to start the coach every 3 days.



Something has to be causing this. All the batteries are new. Inverter has been checked by a service company and it is charging, or at least shows to be charging, as it goes to floating. Fleetwood CS says on floating all batteries should be charged. However, I get back to starting the coach and the message comes back showing low battery. Any ideas on what may be causing this would be appreciated. Thanks,


kenith46
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:09 AM   #2
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My rig has same message 75% of the time I start. Ive come to just ignore it. Always starts. After charging or driving it does not appear,but 3 days later its on. I always go "Battery disconnect" when not using also. I did replace my house batteries. Lights seemed dimmer after, and something wasn't right. Found that during replacement, a chassis ground wire had fallen off behind batteries where I could not see it. Once I found that and reconnected,all was normal.You can see where it connects to chassis behind battery box on frame. Also during my "Now What did I Eff up moment" I found that chassis batts read 12.6 on volt meter and 13.0 on inside panel. Hmmmm
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenith46 View Post
Recently replaced the 4 house batteries. Went to start the coach and got a "Low Battery!" warning on the screen. Coach would not turn over. Used auxiliary start and got it started, however it blew a 200 amp fuse down where the house batteries are. Replaced fuse, replaced chassis batteries, and coach started fine. However, it still showed the low battery warning. Left coach running for about 30 mins yesterday. Checked several hours later and no msg. Went to start it today and checked the power board. Both main and aux batteries at 13.7 volts. When I turned the key I got the same battery warning, however the coach started without a problem, however the lights dimmed and brightened for about 3-4 mins. I watched on the power board and main and aux both were going 12.8 when dim and then up to 13.7 when it brightened. Stopped after about 4 mins. I have found a 2017 PA36u owner who had the same problem with new chassis batteries and still got low battery warning. La Mesa checked it under warranty and he said they found nothing that would cause it. His solution was to start the coach every 3 days.



Something has to be causing this. All the batteries are new. Inverter has been checked by a service company and it is charging, or at least shows to be charging, as it goes to floating. Fleetwood CS says on floating all batteries should be charged. However, I get back to starting the coach and the message comes back showing low battery. Any ideas on what may be causing this would be appreciated. Thanks,


kenith46
Ours does the same thing if we do not keep it plugged in while in storage. We have tried disconnecting everything and it still gives the low battery warning on the dash after 4 or 5 days in storage. Dealer has checked it several times and found no issue. Our solution is to keep it plugged in while in storage. FYI, our 2016 excursion did the same thing and dealer found no issue with it either.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:17 AM   #4
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On most coaches, there are parasitic draws on both the chassis and coach batteries that can drain them down over time while in storage. For the chassis batteries there may be Engine and Transmission Control Modules (and other loads) that have constant power even with the Main battery disconnect relays thrown. In addition, starting the engine and not letting it run on high idle for a few minutes afterwards will leave the chassis batteries somewhat depleted.

If you have factory installed battery disconnect switches and don't have shore power for the inverter/charger when the coach is in storage, I would use those to minimize battery drain.

If you are plugged into shore power and using the inverter/charger to maintain battery charge, meter the chassis batteries plus terminal to frame ground to verify that they are getting over 13 volts when you think they should be getting charged.

If the 200 amp fuse that was blown was between the chassis and coach batteries, then when the AUX Start relay connected both battery banks, the power being drawn from the coach batteries to start the engine was likely excessive. This can happen if the chassis batteries are very low or if they are defective. As you have replaced and charged the chassis batteries this should no longer be a problem.

Unless the batteries are being charged, either by the inverter or by a solar panel, I would expect to see no more than a 12.8 volt reading where you saw 13.7 volts without the engine running.

If you get a different voltage reading measuring with a hand held meter across the plus and minus battery terminals, than you get measuring across the plus battery terminal to frame ground, then you have a loose battery connection. Usually, it is the frame ground connection that comes loose from driving vibrations. My coach has two coach battery frame grounds and I found BOTH of them loose! This can cause all sorts of intermittent and weird battery power issues including the display panel reading a different voltage than a hand held meter measuring to frame ground.

Assuming the chassis batteries are fully charged, when a diesel is started, there usually is an Intake Grid Heater (or something similar) that prepares the engine for starting. Some folks call it a glow plug and there is an indicator on the dashboard that goes out when it is warm enough to start. If it is really cold, the heater can be on for some time. Mine is on a 250 amp fuse so it is drawing a lot of battery power. Then there is the starter that can draw quite a lot of power out of the chassis batteries as well.

Once the engine starts, the alternator has to replace the depleted charge in the chassis batteries so it is not uncommon for the batteries to have a Low Voltage warning for several minutes while the alternator replaces the starting current.

The colder it is, the more likely it is that you will see the Low Voltage indicator for a short time after starting.

In the winter, my voltage also fluctuates for a few minutes after starting. I am guessing, but I wouldn't be surprised if the heavy current draw on the alternator is causing a thermal cut-out to avoid overheating. Once the battery charging current draw starts to decrease, the voltage becomes constant. At any rate, it appears to be normal.

In short, it looks like your coach is now working as expected. I hope this helps to understand what might be the reasons for your observations.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies and an update

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfiracer View Post
Found that during replacement, a chassis ground wire had fallen off behind batteries where I could not see it. Once I found that and reconnected,all was normal.You can see where it connects to chassis behind battery box on frame. Also during my "Now What did I Eff up moment" I found that chassis batts read 12.6 on volt meter and 13.0 on inside panel. Hmmmm

bfiracer and Xman11, appreciate the replies. The chassis ground wire not being connected will be checked today. Called in to Fleetwood CS and Shane walked me through disx from shore power and then looking at aux and main batteries on power board. The aux dropped like a stone from 12.6 to 12.0 in no time. Shane had me switch AC back on, but he said it sounded like one or more of the batteries were not holding a charge. As I said, they are new, but that does not sound right. I am wondering if it is because the ground wire was not reconnected. Will check and let ya'll know. Thanks again.


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Old 01-17-2019, 11:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Miller View Post

If you get a different voltage reading measuring with a hand held meter across the plus and minus battery terminals, than you get measuring across the plus battery terminal to frame ground, then you have a loose battery connection. Usually, it is the frame ground connection that comes loose from driving vibrations. My coach has two coach battery frame grounds and I found BOTH of them loose! This can cause all sorts of intermittent and weird battery power issues including the display panel reading a different voltage than a hand held meter measuring to frame ground.

Frank, thanks for your reply. I will definitely get the volt meter out and see what type of voltage I am getting as you describe above. Thanks again,


kl
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the help...looks like batteries are working ok.

I appreciate all the help on this matter. Walked through my hookup with the gentleman I purchased the house batteries from. Long story short, it seems everything is operating as it should, although the low battery indication still comes on. Batteries show to be at full charge, so I guess we will just have to live with it. Thanks again for all the help.


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