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Old 12-05-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
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Battery Issue I think.....

Hello all! Starting to get frusterated over here and looking for some help. I have a 1992 fleetwood bounder with a chevy 454. I have two 6v house batteries and 1 12v chassis battery. When I got home after buying from the lot I left the headlights on (although I did hit main/aux battery disconnect) and drained my battery. The next morning I was able to run the generator and use my AUX START button to turn the engine and park it in a better spot.

Here I am about 9 days later and I go to start the engine and NOTHING happens. Doesn't even try to turn on. I hook up jumper cables to my other vehicle and try again. Doesn't even try to turn over. I have some buttons on my dash for battery life and it doesn't say they are dead. I try and use the AUX START again to try and turn over the engine and it tries for a second then stops.

Also, I try and run my generator alone and that as well won't turn over. It tries a little then dies off.

I don't have a battery tester as I was trying to drive out to my local Autozone and get my batteries tested and replaced. So now I'm stuck in this position. I'm pretty sure my generator uses the house batteries to start so I'm thinking that they are low or next to dead. But the fact that I got NOTHING when I hooked up my jumpers to the chassis battery got me worried.

Any insight would be great!
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:21 AM   #2
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Pull the engine battery out and take it to an auto parts store for testing. Doesn't have to be in the MH to be tested.

Or pull the battery out of a vehicle to install in the MH long enough to get the generator running to charge the house batteries.

Do you have a stand alone battery charger you can leave on the battery for a few hours?
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Old 12-05-2016, 04:30 PM   #3
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Not sure how bad the batteries are but there are multiple threads about batteries getting ruined by sitting on dealer lots where they run down thus significantly reducing battery life. Add that to we don't know how old the batteries are to start with. Given those things the thing to do is charge the engine battery or replace it if whoever tests it says it is toast. In the mean time you should have the rv plugged in and the house batteries being charged by the converter that is built into the RV. It will take a full day to charge the batteries. If they have not hit full charge after a day something is wrong. Probably the batteries but possibly other things.

While you are at it get a digital voltmeter if you do not have one. Something in the $5-$20 dollar range will be fine for basic trouble shooting and not painful to acquire. Check the battery voltage and let us know what they are. I use the plural because there are several folks here with extensive electronics backgrounds who will help if they can.
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:56 PM   #4
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It is not unusual for "parasitic loads" from the various systems in a motorhome to run down the chassis battery in a few days of not being run or charged. Most motorhomes have devices in the electrical systems that feed some of the charge to the chassis battery when the motorhome is parked and plugged in to shore power. In older Fleetwood units, like yours and mine, this device is built into a "Battery Control Center." On some of our older rigs (including mine) some functions of the BCC still work, but the interconnection for cross-charging does not.

In my case, I downloaded and followed the trouble-shooting procedure to the point where the indication was that I had a bad circuit board in the BCC. In searching online, I found that a "rebuilt" circuit board would be a little over $150. Looking inside the BCC, I concluded that it would be more of a job to replace the circuit board than I wanted to tackle. I forget the exact price now, but I think I found that a new BCC would be in the $500 range for the part. There's a lot of stuff tied into it, so changing the BCC wold not be a trivial chore, either.

I found information on a "Trickle-Start" charger that costs about $35. When your house batteries are being charged, it diverts some of the charge to the chassis battery. It will not run down either set of batteries like a simple jumper wire could. I bought and installed one of these last spring. I keep our motorhome plugged in when it's not on the road (except for winter storage). All this past season, my chassis battery was charged up and ready to go anytime I turned the key. This was a great and economical solution for me.
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Old 12-07-2016, 08:45 AM   #5
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1992 your house converter might or might NOT charge the chassis battery. Generally once a starting battery runs way down ONE TIME... It is toast and needs replacement.. (Deep cycle like your 2 Six Volt are more forgiving but they too may have reached end of life)

Have 'em tested, replace as needed. Also clean all connections.
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Old 12-07-2016, 03:46 PM   #6
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Thank you for the responses. I currently have the RV plugged into my sticks and bricks house. I found out via the dealer that my model RV does not charge chassis batter while plugged in so I also have a battery tender hooked up to the chassis battery and will give both of them 24 hours to charge up.

I'm thinking that my chassis battery will need replacement by the time we head out next spring which at the $80 or so price point I'm not too upset. I'm hoping my two house batteries are still saveable. I will rig up a little protection for all my cables so I can keep them all plugged in all winter and keep up the batteries (at lease the house). Thanks again and I will repost with my findings tomorrow!
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Old 12-07-2016, 04:51 PM   #7
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A battery tender is not going to charge the battery. You need to charge it on a real battery charger, test it make sure it will hold a charge, and then hook up the battery tender. You might need to buy a new battery as most batteries don't like to be completely discharged.
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:00 PM   #8
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A battery tender is not going to charge the battery. You need to charge it on a real battery charger, test it make sure it will hold a charge, and then hook up the battery tender. You might need to buy a new battery as most batteries don't like to be completely discharged.
Yea, just realized this. Had the tender on it 24 hours and it still won't turn over. My house batteries charged up and I was able to run the generater but my chassis battery is still dead (I think).

A few questions before I continue. Should I just remove the chassis battery and take it into walmart or autozone and have them test it? When removing the battery I assume I should unplug my rig from power and cut off the battery disconnect in the coach. After that do I remove the negative terminal first then positive? Upon replacing the battery will I connect positive first then negative?

It looks like the nut that holds on the battery is a bit stripped and not in great condition....can I buy replacement ones? I'll include a picture.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:05 PM   #9
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Looks like I found the answer to one of my questions.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Everstart...PEOfHQi2cvDE8c

These guys should work yes? I guess I'll have to see what they look like when I take the old ones off. Any other precautions when removing my chassis battery?
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:37 PM   #10
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Ok, update!

Chassis battery is 100%. Took it to my local shop and they tested it and it is good to go. So now I'm looking for the issue. Blown fuse I hope! I looked on the inline 5amp fuse (which I think is just the "battery checker" for the switch in my coach). I checked AUX start fuse and that is good as well. So now I just need to know where to look for the possible blown fuse or any other things I need to check.

Once again I have a 1992 fleetwood bounder with the chevy 454. When I turn the ignition I get nothing. When I hold my AUX Start button it tries barely to turn over but gets nowhere. Chassis battery is 100% good. Need to know what to look for. Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2016, 02:44 PM   #11
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The connections on both ends of each battery cable need to be clean and tight. I've had situations on the GM side terminal batteries like yours where the cable looked tight, but had a poor connection (was not tight enough). A poor connection can make the starter act like you described.
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Old 12-08-2016, 03:10 PM   #12
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While you're checking all the connections it's a good idea to loosen and then retighten. I learned this the hard way on one of my vehicles. The multimeter showed continuity but I was still having issues until I started loosening and then retightening each connection. The connection that fixed my problem was at the starter.

If I read the thread correctly your house batteries aren't fully charged? They are able to turn the motor over but not fast enough to start it? ( With Aux engaged )
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Old 12-08-2016, 04:06 PM   #13
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While you're checking all the connections it's a good idea to loosen and then retighten. I learned this the hard way on one of my vehicles. The multimeter showed continuity but I was still having issues until I started loosening and then retightening each connection. The connection that fixed my problem was at the starter.

If I read the thread correctly your house batteries aren't fully charged? They are able to turn the motor over but not fast enough to start it? ( With Aux engaged )
House batteries where charged and hooked up to my sticks and brick house. Was able to turn over the generator using them. When my AUX is engaged the coach attempts (very weakly) to start but does not turn over. As you can see from the terminal bolts they were very rusty and in poor shape. I bought new bolts and will clean everything and re-install chassis battery tomorrow morning. I could not find any fuses blown.
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Old 12-08-2016, 04:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by philisweatly View Post
House batteries where charged and hooked up to my sticks and brick house. Was able to turn over the generator using them. When my AUX is engaged the coach attempts (very weakly) to start but does not turn over. As you can see from the terminal bolts they were very rusty and in poor shape. I bought new bolts and will clean everything and re-install chassis battery tomorrow morning. I could not find any fuses blown.
The cables don't look very healthy either. New cables are not a big expense. Also, I notice in your photo you battery is only 500 CCA. not much of a battery for that engine. I would lay out another $75-100 and get a 900 CCA battery, new cables and bolts and you will be trouble free for years to come. Nothing more annoying than a dead battery. Except running out of beer.

P/S, measure the battery tray and install a battery that is as large as you can get for the tray. I suspect someone replaced the battery at some point with the wrong size battery.
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