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Old 09-26-2021, 06:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2021
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Question Chassis Battery dead???

I picked up my 2016 Thor Hurricane 31s from storage for a camping trip. It was hard to start, but after a few attempts it started. However, it quit on me while driving three times on the way home. At home I measured 12.6 VDC. I then put it on charge overnight, and I measured 13.1 VDC in the morning. Went to get gas, packed up, and then it would not start. Every now and then I could get a crank, but it wouldn't start. Took the fairly new battery (dated 6/21) to NAPA.

They said it was good but needed charging. Was it discharged too much when stored? They gave me a brand new battery, and the RV cranked right up with no problems. Camping trip saved. However there was a check engine light.

I saw there was a 0.3 amp draw on the chassis battery with the RV turned off. Eventually I saw there was a P068A fault code, but it finally cleared. I disconnected the new battery when I put it back into storage.

Any suggestions? Is it normal to have a low draw eventually discharge the chassis battery and weaken it?
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Old 09-26-2021, 06:57 PM   #2
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If you are storing it not plugged in, I would totally disconnect chassis and house battery. There are a lot of hidden components drawing current that will drain the battery over time. If the battery goes dead, you risk reversing a plate or buckling a plate that will make your battery do some very odd things.
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Old 09-26-2021, 07:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RVMan2021 View Post
Any suggestions? Is it normal to have a low draw eventually discharge the chassis battery and weaken it?
I have a slow draw also on my chassis battery. In about 3 weeks time it may not start, 4 weeks guarantees it won't. I usually use a 1.5 amp smart charger every other week to top it off. For extended storage times I pull the battery or break the ground connection.

I've never bothered to track it down but I suppose you could start pulling fuses and see if you can't find your drain. As far as it being normal, I suppose it isn't but how worried are you? The PO of my MH did alot of monkeying around trying to upgrade to his tastes. Some of its nice but I kinda wish he had left everything stock as I'm sure the problem lies with his upgrades.

On my wife's Renegade, a full battery would not last 2 weeks being left unattended. It has more electric sensors and options than I've ever seen on a vehicle before. The in laws have a Rav4 that is the same way. They were told to drive it at least weekly for awhile or they run the risk of a dead battery. I'm not surprised that just sitting your newer Thor would have a dead battery and with all those electrical add-ons you see today, even a low voltage battery can create problems (ask any Renegade owner).

You didn't say how long your Thor was parked before you tried to start it.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:32 AM   #4
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12.6VDC is pretty close to a fully charged battery which is 12.8VDC. 13.1 VDC could have been a residual charge and will dissipate within a few minutes after removing the charger and the battery will settle to something in the high 12VDC range if it is fully charged. Charge volts usually start at 13.6-.8 volts DC and go up from there if you have a multi stage charger.

P068A fault code is related to Engine Control Module (ECM) power and if you had a hard to start situation that might have caused the fault.

0.3 amp draw on the chassis, even with everything off, is a little high but not unexpected. This could be multiple items the chassis might be powering such as the dash radio memory, the propane and CO detectors, ECM memory and such.

When I was parking my Hurricane in dry storage I was disconnecting the negative terminal of both the house and chassis batteries. Later I added two 100 watt solar panels and could leave the batteries connected and just use the Use/Store switches and let the solar controller keep the batteries (four house GC2 batteries and the single chassis) topped up.
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:05 AM   #5
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

I would fully charge the battery and then disconnect one lead while in storage!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 09-28-2021, 06:24 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone that provided advice. For what it is worth, the RV was parked for three weeks. Then I drove it about an hour, and had problems starting it then. Three days later, I ran the engine without driving it for an hour. Three days after that was when the problems occurred.

I disconnected the new chassis battery when I parked it this time.
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Old 10-04-2021, 07:19 PM   #7
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Solar Tender

I am trying Solar Tender, 10 watt output, MPPT technology, to see if it will maintain the chassis battery. Currently have the solar panel on the dash when the rig is locked, and it is plugged into the cigarette lighter which is connected to the chassis battery.

I will see if this location on the dash provides enough juice to the battery, or if I need to relocate the solar panel.

Did some testing today, chassis battery was 12.8 VDC when I got to the rig. Measured 14.5 VDC while running the engine.

The following readings were taken with the engine off.
Measured 0.65 amps when I initially disconnected the battery. This was due to the screen door open (which triggers the automatic step). When I close the screen door, amps dropped to 0.35 amps. Amps peaked around 8.2 amps when the step actuated.
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Old 10-04-2021, 07:42 PM   #8
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Make sure you are turning both the Main and Aux switches off during storage. I have an AiLi monitor and it shows a 1.2a discharge when the switches are on… and nothing else. That’s how much parasitic draw there is.

With switches off I have just a little draw which almost gets negated by the little solar panel on the AC. I still lose from the normal Lead Acid battery loss, but if I upgraded the solar panel to 15w I would probably be ok.
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Old 10-05-2021, 12:47 PM   #9
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I had the same problem with my coach , I found that the master switch that turns off and on your chassis battery was broken !It would make contact and then lose it and the coach would stall. I lost all power to the dash. Replaced the switch and everything is fine now
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battery, chassis

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