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Old 04-15-2012, 08:37 PM   #1
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Battery boost selenoid and Battery drain

I have been experiencing chassis batteries going down in 4-5 days. I recently discovered the battery emergency boost did not work and took it to a tech,who happened to be familiar only with Winebago. He advised the solenoid is clicking when the switch is depressed to connect the chassis/house batteries. I could not start the MH even with fully charged house batteries. The MH stayed at his shop for over 2 wks and he said they stayed up. I picked up a few days ago and after 4 days the batteries are too low to actually start the MH and the switch will not work. Normally the batteries are 12.7 after a few days. The batteries are 3 yrs old.
I think the solenoid is bad, even it he (tech) says it is clicking. He also
implied it couldn't be checked without a low battery, which he did not have during the 2 plus weeks at his shop.
My questions are "can a bad solenoid drain the batteries","are there ways to check the solenoid, other than batteries been down" and "can there be something occasionally causing a drain, such a the soleniod or something else"?
David White '05 Monaco Windsor
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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"My questions are
"can a bad solenoid drain the batteries"
--> No.
"are there ways to check the solenoid, other than batteries been down"
-->Yes. Seldom are both banks of batteries (chassis and house) the exact same voltage. But when the battery-boost solenoid is engaged, the voltage you measure on each of its large terminals (to ground) will be virtually the same. When the solenoid is not engaged, you'll probably see a distinct difference at the solenoid posts.

"and "can there be something occasionally causing a drain, such a the soleniod or something else"?
--> Yes. You can troubleshoot this in a myriad of ways. But first I would ask: Do you turn OFF the battery disconnect switches when the RV is not in use? These 2 major switches are in the battery compartment, typically. I turn mine off when my RV is in storage.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
He advised the solenoid is clicking when the switch is depressed to connect the chassis/house batteries.
My solenoid went bad three times and all three times the solenoid would click when the switch was depressed. If this is the techs only method of troubleshooting your solenoid, you are not in good hands.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:29 AM   #4
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Robi.1014, thanks for info. This recent 4 day drain was at a campsite and not stored. The only thing I can think is possibly the firestone air leveling system, no pump, which was left on. I would think it comes off chassis battery, but 4 days is not good. Thinking I might need to get batteries checked. David White '05 Monaco Windsor
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:17 AM   #5
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I totally agree with Robi. Also just because your batteries are only three years old does not mean they are good. They need to be individually checked under load. If that Boost solenoid was welded in the close position then it would tie both the chassis and house batteries together as one big battery and it would take longer to run down. The power to the coil on the battery boost solenoid normally comes from the house batteries because it wouldn't help you if it came from the run down chassis batteries. You can disconnect the positive battery lead from the chassis battery and then try and start the motor. If it will not start then all is normal. Then with it still disconnected hold the battery boost switch on and try and start it. If it turns over and starts then all is normal. It is that simple to check out. There are other simple ways but that is the easiest for you. I would be suspect that the batery is bad. Also it is very easy to hook a ameter in series to the chassis positive battery cable and see if there is a drain on the battery. There will be some because a lot of times they run a small amount of power to the memories in the Engine and Tranny ECUs and the radio but it will not be much. Seems to me you need to find a tech that understands electrical systems.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:59 AM   #6
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The boost solenoid really does need to be checked with a heavy load. Just because it clkicks doesn't mean much. To do it's primary job (starting the big diesel when u let the chassis batteries run down) that solenoid needs to pass 300 amps or more.....

I don't trust moine either. But i've never purposely let the batteries run down enough to really test it.
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