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Old 01-07-2010, 07:40 PM   #1
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Coach Batteries Drain FAST!

Hello, I have a 02 Tradewinds Founders Edition and my Father in Law has an 05 Winnie Journey both are on Freightliners chassis. Mine is a 350 Cummings and his is a 350 CAT, both have the same tranny. But if he leaves his Journey sit for more than two days without starting the unit it will not start. I have left mine sit for more than a month and it always pops right off. Below is a list of things that we have checked we always get the same result, the Journey will not start with the Chassis battery.

1) Replaced Chassis batteries twice in two years.
2) Double checked to make sure nothing is left on to drain the batteries.
3) Made sure the charging system is working properly.
4) Called Freightliner to ask them about the problem. They say that is just what happens when the unit is not started on a regular basis. (kind of don't buy this since my 02 Tradewinds can sit for a long time and still has a charge.)

Once the unit has a charge or you use the house batteries it starts right up. So it seems to me it has a drawn on the chassis batteries that should not be happening. Has anyone else experiences this problem? If so what did you do to solve the problem?????

Please help my FRUSTRATED Father in Law!!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:13 PM   #2
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Each may have a different "Phantom" drain, however, both probably have similar drains. Is he shutting off the battery switch for the chassis battery when he is not at the RV. Are either or both of you leaving it plugged in. If yours has a charger that charges both chassis and house batteries while plugged in and his does not, that could be the problem. Some manufacturers are set up to charge both, some are not, I added a Trik-L-Start Charger to mine so that when the house batteries are fully charged it trickles over to the chassis batteries and charges them. Before I did that, I had a similar problem to your Father-in-Law. Also do either of you or both of you have a solar charger on the roof.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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Your dad's coach obviously has some things connected to the chassis batteries that are draining them. And Winnebagos of that year do not charge the chassis battery while on shore power, so the batteries can get quite low if the engine does not run for awhile. Ought to take more than 2 days, though, once the chassis batteries are fully charged.

You need to measure the draw on the chassis batteries with an ammeter and then chase down where it is all going. One possibility is the under step light - the electric steps run off the chassis batteries. Make sure that red light underneath is not staying on.
Gary Brinck
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:17 PM   #4
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There are parasitic drains that may not be noticeable from just looking at gauges and meters. An amp meter in line is the best way to determine if there is a large drain. A battery, just by itself, will drain down over time. Slowly, but it will drain down. I suggest that you call Winnebago and talk to a technician there. Giving them the serial number of your coach, they can look up information. One being if your coach is equipped with a charger or not. You did not mention if you have the ability to keep it plugged in, and, when you are using it at a campground for a week, does it still happen. If not, then I would assume you have a charger built in. If the battery disconnect switch is in the "off" position, you may not have the ability to charge from a built in charger. Same goes for the "house" batteries. One thing that Winnebago told me on my coach was to turn the electric step to the "off" position. That with the step switch turned on there is a continuous drain on the chassis battery.

I also experienced the battery drain every 2 to 3 days. Once I started leaving all battery disconnects turned on, it maintains a charge now.

I don't have your model or year Journey, but it is a Winnebago DP.

Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:53 AM   #5
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My 06 win Tour exhibits similar issues. This summer I intend to follow through to identify everything drawing power. There's another thread on this forum where the owner put manual off switches on all the radios and sensors, etc. This is a common problem with many models, not just winnies and not just DP. As cars get all the security, DVD players, GPS, etc., and at the same time trying to scale back weight (smaller batteries), some car models won't last a week without being run..........
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chassis batteries, discharge, journey, not starting

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