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Old 12-04-2020, 02:05 PM   #1
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Dead batteries

I have 2013 Hidden Open Road 32 footer. I have it stored in a covered facility that is not heated and there is no electricity available. I ran it for 45 minutes about ten or so days ago. I went this morning and the engine batteries barely turned the diesel over and the house batteries won't turn on an led light. Tried the assist start that uses all batteries but no luck.
It's been freezing in the 20 s at night for over a week. My questions: does this seem usual for them to weaken that quickly?
I plan to take my generator over tomorrow and charge them. Would running it through the invertor be sufficient or can I do that as well as adding a charger to the batteries or would that cause damage? I want to try and run the furnace to heat the interior up good while charging. Thanks
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:19 PM   #2
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With the batteries that low, the inverter/charger may not kick in. Many need to sense 8 or more volts to start charging.

Bring along a charger and charge the house batteries, while the shore power is plugged in. Once the batteries get up some, the inverter/charger will take over.

Once the house batteries are up enough, start the generator and let that run the charger. After a while, the charging should start on the chassis batteries.

If not, hook your portable charger to them.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:24 PM   #3
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If your batteries are marginal the low ambient temps you now have will cause batteries to not hold a charge, may be time to replace them. You might want to check into a solar battery charger to help keep them up.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:31 PM   #4
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If your RV doesn't have a battery disconnect switch built-in I suggest adding one like this or one for top terminals.

https://www.amazon.com/WirthCo-20128.../dp/B000CQFWLY

That will solve the problem.
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re-charge the battery banks, then disconnect the negative cables. A fully-charged lead-acid battery self-discharges at 5% per month and will not freeze until under 50% state of charge.. There is no need to run a diesel engine at low idle, it does more harm than good.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:50 PM   #6
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think I will replace them. Any recommendations? I bought this used last year but I suppose these are the original batteries. I will be checking tomorrow.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:52 PM   #7
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is this to disconnect when stored and will it prevent power loss as fast?
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:54 PM   #8
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my first diesel. Is it safe to let sit for months without running some? I figured every couple weeks to run it just to keep things moving.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
You might want to check into a solar battery charger to help keep them up.
He's in covered storage.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigtoups View Post
is this to disconnect when stored and will it prevent power loss as fast?

Yes your batteries will stay charged longer if all parasite drainage is removed.

I disconnect my engine battery every time I'm stored for more than a week.

You could also just remove the negative terminal on the engine batteries making sure it is wrapped in a plastic bag so no accidental shorting can occur.
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:48 AM   #11
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As mentioned earlier, a battery disconnect, or removing one negative cable, will keep any parasitic draw from occurring. We use the disconnect for both the house and chassis batteries and have had great success with keeping the batteries charged enough for starting even after a couple of months sitting idle.
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:37 AM   #12
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Running the engine at idle for 45 minutes will do more harm than good. At idle the alternator will only put out a small portion of its rated power so it will not be able to fully charge the batteries. It will take close to 24 hrs to fully charge your battery bank . For storage , make sure the batteries are fully charged , the disconnect them by removing the cables.

When I put my equipment into storage , the diesels are not run for up to nine months so letting it sit will not do any harm to the engine. If you decide to run it , it has to be driven for a couple of hours to get the engine up to operating temperature and allow the moisture to be driven out.
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:50 AM   #13
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Looks like my RV will spend this winter outside, with no shore power. Any tips on good brands of shore power and how best to set them up? I have a 2020 Tiffin Allegro RED - 6 batteries in all.
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:04 AM   #14
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Yup, best storage advice for a diesel is to ONLY start the engine if you can drive 25+ highway miles-- enough to get the oil, not just coolant up to temperature. Anything less just adds moisture to the engine.


Also, add a BIOCIDE such as Biobar JF to the diesel and completely fill the tank to reduce condensation.
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