Question Dead Chassis Batteries in a Few Weeks?

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CaptainGizmo

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I refuse to accept this as normal.

I storage, our DS4369 can’t survive more than a couple weeks without the chassis batteries being drained to the point of not being able to start our rig.

The Chassis disconnects are always OFF, but we don’t have it plugged in. There must be parasitic draw and I’m hoping we can have Newmar find it next week.

This question “could” be in the Spartan section, but I feel this may be a universal problem.

I’ve been told there are 3 sources that remain hot 24/7:

1. The step
2. The radio memory
3. The door locks

Again, I can’t accept this as normal and wondering if anyone had the same experience and fixed the culprit.

The only slight suspicion I have, is the step. Reason being, when it was new,My step went haywire when that area got wet by my pressure washing. It took disconnecting and drying before it stopped going crazy. I wonder if there’s a bad contact in the door?

The radio should be nominal.
The locks should be zero.

ready..GO!
 

MapNerd

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Doesnt make sense that any of those things would draw down the chassis battery that quickly. I’d think you’d be able to store the coach for at least a year if those are the only things that are lives your steps shouldn’t be drawing very much of anything either since they aren’t being used in storage.
 

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1. The step
2. The radio memory
3. The door locks

That's all off of house batteries, no? May have to check with your chassis vendor or go to a chassis service to see why your chassis batteries are draining. Does the glass dash stay alive even if the screen is off?
 

CaptainGizmo

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That's all off of house batteries, no? May have to check with your chassis vendor or go to a chassis service to see why your chassis batteries are draining. Does the glass dash stay alive even if the screen is off?

Thanks Neal,

This is the gospel from the DS mechanic at my dealer. These 3 things draw FROM THE CHASSIS batteries.

Yes, I’m going to the SPARTAN plant after the Newmar service and will have them figure it out if it hasn’t been fixed yet.

And interesting about the dash; I doubt it, but sure will ask!


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Neal

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I wonder if your battery boost relay is in an always on position? You could maybe pop that switch out and disconnect it from the back and see if that changes anything.
 

CaptainGizmo

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Another very interesting idea Neal; I’ll add that to the list. Thanks!
 

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With the computerization of everything these days...including engines, transmissions, etc....I'm guessing that some power is being drawn to keep them active. It will be interesting to hear what Spartan says after your visit. It would not surprise me to learn that there isn't anything to "fix." That's why we keep our coach plugged in during storage times.

TJ
 

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Same here. I learned the hard way on my first non-Newmar coach. My FL tech told me plug into power in storage if you can because batteries won’t stay fully charged more than any reasonable time period. Never had a problem since. Good luck on your trip.
 

CaptainGizmo

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Thanks y’all! I appreciate hearing that I probably don’t have a problem.

Earlier, @Dutch Star Don also confirmed that plugging in is pretty much mandatory; especially when indoors since that small solar panel won’t maintain the chassis batteries as it would if it was outdoors.


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Retiredrvers

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Trail and error.....process of elimination.
Not easy or simple to detect...
I would start with exterior of the rig, lights, marker lights. Looking for shorts, water intrusion into wiring.
Have you burnt any fuses lately, tell tale sign of possible problem.
Patience my friend, no said it was going to be easy.
Tackle inside methodically, looking for any loose, oxidized connectors.
I found a quarter inch hairline crack, in a tail lamp that allows water to short lamp and discharge battery.
There are methods of finding "parasitic draws", that what were looking for here, google it.^^^^^.
Hate to be the one with bad news, good luck!
 

CaptainGizmo

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Hi gang...just wanted to circle back and not leave my "chads hangin'"! :rolleyes:

The trip to Newmar service was superlative!! I can't say enough about the treatment I received.

So, regarding the parasitic draw potential, my Tech and Electrical specialist ran tests and the great news is, our coach is drawing less than 1A!

The Tech says that .75-1A is perfectly normal. AND, therefore, even with that minimal draw, you WILL DRAIN your batteries too far if you are not on shoreline to keep them maintained. FWIW, this strongly applies to those who are indoors, since that baby solar panel won't be able to do its job.

The better news, a cause or perhaps a side-effect of going dead a few times, is that I had a bad battery!!! It not only didn't hold amperage, it's sides were PUFFED! Huh? I thought only LiPo batteries did that. Ha, whatever...they dropped two new ones in our baby and all should be great now.

We did have two electrical issues when there; one was a shorted shade motor, the other was a HWH Panel malfunction with a short; it needed to be replaced.

So, I guess this will hopefully put this concern to rest.

Thanks again for all the insight.
 

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Currently we have a disconnect switch for the chassis batteries, one for each of the two packs. When we park I physically turn off the chassis batteries and the solar panels. Chasing phantom loads was too difficult. Even with the "Salesman" switch off certain items are still powered by the chassis battery as noted above.

The batteries SOC is typically right where we left them after two or three weeks. Even on month later no change.

IMG_2257.jpg
 

CaptainGizmo

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Currently we have a disconnect switch for the chassis batteries, one for each of the two packs. When we park I physically turn off the chassis batteries and the solar panels. Chasing phantom loads was too difficult. Even with the "Salesman" switch off certain items are still powered by the chassis battery as noted above.

The batteries SOC is typically right where we left them after two or three weeks. Even on month later no change.

View attachment 501

Joe,

At least on the 2019 Dutch Stars, the Chassis battery disconnects DO NOT kill 100% of the loads!! There are, as I’ve stated above, at least several loads that remain ON 24/7.

This was confirmed by the dealer mechanic, Newmar tech, Newmar DC Service Rep, and the Newmar Electrical Tech.


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Joe Goodxrvn

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Yes I agree, and for just that reason the switches I installed on the top of our batteries, see red boxes in thumbnail, disconnects the batteries completely from the electrical system. No 12v power flows from the chassis batteries.
 

CaptainGizmo

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Yes I agree, and for just that reason the switches I installed on the top of our batteries, see red boxes in thumbnail, disconnects the batteries completely from the electrical system. No 12v power flows from the chassis batteries.

Ah...gotcha. Thanks.
 

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In my relatively short time of RV ownership, what I've always done, when at home, is use an adapter, & plug in to a 20 amp outlet, via extension cored. The coach is under cover, but about 80' from the pool shed. This has worked well, keeps batteries charged, and allows me to use lights, fireplace, TV's, in the coach, and no issues. I do not try to use anything with a relatively high amperage draw.
If we stay here, & don't sell & move to Florida, I will run a 50 amp line to the RV port and install a 50 amp plug.
 

AbdRahim

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I wouldn/t leave my car for a year without disconnecting the battery. I don/t even know if 3 months is wise. Now when it sits for a month, I leave it on a Battery Tender.Remember, lead acid batteries should never go below 50%. My SUV gets there pretty quick if not started over a long period of time. MH is always plugged in.
 

Old-RV'er

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Hmm, here is story. Got to RV park close to home on 16th Feb. Emptied coach over next day or so. Put coach into storage on Monday 17th and turned off master switch on (PS Side console) and chassis master switch. Next day went over to winterize, so started generator, immediately went into Absorb Charge mode (had on inverter so could run fridge and such) realized that was not needed if genset was providing a/c power. Took two days to winterize coach, since factory system did not work, had to bypass that and use Water Pump Direct, anyway got it done. That took about 2-3 hours, batteries stayed in absorb. So Sunday last, went over started genset to charge batteries, left them running for 3 hours or so, came back, still in absorb level. Refer was off, Microwave clock only, inverter off. all lights, radio, etc. off. So shut down genset, and then check water level in batteries. None of them was below plates in cells, not right at the tops either, so put distilled water in cells which looked low. Going back on Saturday next to run genset most of day to see if system charges up. Nothing is on, but like you folks, think there is more directly tapped into battery's, both chassis and house than those three things listed above. Oh I have 500 Watts of solar on the roof and the little 10W one as well. The solar controller during the day shows system has voltage being produced, but those panels are mostly under cover, so not even close to direct sun (that is when the sun shines), so far rainy and cloudy for most of time at home. This however is about like the other MH we had and it's state of battery charge in storage without shore power being available. I am thinking I need to take it camping about once a month to get all the systems exercised for a night or so. I don't like winter camping in the cold period. Oh, I need to clean one terminal on house system, rest are good.

Oh, when we leave for extended period, I remove batteries from car and tractor and store in basement in crawl space which is heated. Both started right up after reinstalling them.
 

Joe Goodxrvn

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Some draws are intermittent so you have to be patient.

 

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Ok - To update. we periodically have severe cold waves come through. I have 500 watts of solar on the roof, but under cover so it's not doing a lot, some but not a lot. The following parasitic draws are on the chassis batteries: 1) Front Electric Step; 2)Door and Compartment locks-lights in all those compartments as well: 3)Genset starting power. Additionally, I know the ECM for the main engine is draining some, otherwise it would not run correctly. I think it's way more than .1A. I try to go over and start Genset and charger her up about every 4-6 days. There is no shore power available to me there. About once month take it up the road 10 miles or so to work everything a little. I also run heat pumps or the Oasis System to keep all that working. If I wait longer than week, I get low battery warning on the Dash display when powering up the coach, key on, after all the warnings buzz, gauges cycle, etc. So I have shortened up my interval between charging times to 4-5 days instead of over week. This seems to work best.
 
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