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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Chassis battery drain in storage

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jswickard

Summerfield, FL

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Posted: 02/29/12 08:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have had two incidences of the chassis batteries going dead after two to four weeks of storage. Presumably all components on the chassis battery system were off except for the master chassis battery switch.

Newmar customer service has advised, from their conversation with Freightliner, that “your coach is equipped with a battery disconnect. Even with this turned off there will still be a draw on the batteries for the engine ECM, transmission ECM, the ABS module, and the brain box on the dash. All of these components require constant power for their stored memory. It is a minimal draw (milliamps). When the chassis disconnect is not in the off position there will also be a draw for the dash radio memory, the entrance steps, and keyless entry.”

They have further indicated that “It is not uncommon for chassis batteries to drain within a week or two when the coached is not plugged in to shore power.” I have trouble accepting this because I have not seen similar complaints on the RV forums I follow. I’ve not had such short term battery discharge on any other vehicle I have ever owned, and it would be a major nuisance to have to start up the coach every week. Isn't one to two weeks an awfully short time for the batteries to discharge?

Does anyone else have this problem? Has anyone found a way to avoid the problem other than keeping the coach plugged into shore power (which is impossible for me)? Any thoughts as to something I may be missing? Our coach is a 2011 Newmar Ventana 3433 on a Freightliner chassis with a Cummins diesel engine.


Jim and Rosalie Swickard
2011 Newmar Ventana 3433
2004 Honda Pilot

Charlie in TX

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Posted: 02/29/12 08:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have not had a discharge problem.

Have you put an ammeter in series with these batteries to see how much these loads are drawing?





hershey

Albuquerque,(fulltime) NM, USA

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Posted: 02/29/12 09:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Remove the ground cable from your battery and put a test light between the cable and the ground and see if it lights up. If it does, you have a phantom draw. To insure that you don't have the batteries go dead, just remove the negative cable when you store the RV. Good batteries with no draw will stay charged for months in storage.


hershey - albuquerque, nm
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YC 1

Yuba City Calif./ Auburndale Florida

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Posted: 02/29/12 09:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is not an unusual problem and my fix on the last mh was to install solar panels. It took about two weeks. With todays computers there are just lots of little energy consumers. That said a battery cutoff works very well. I have one on each bank of batteries.


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univmd

Maryland

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Posted: 02/29/12 12:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We do not have a problem either. Our storage lot does not have electrical connections, our batteries can hold for 8+ weeks without turning on, even in freezing winters, and no solar charging. I'm thinking you have bad batteries?


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Son of Norway

Denver, Colorado

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Posted: 02/29/12 12:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the chassis electronics need to remain powered, try checking the amp drain as suggested above, then use a solar charger that will keep the battery charged.

Miles


Miles and Darcey
1989 Holiday Rambler Crown Imperial
Denver, CO


Clay L

Palisade CO

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Posted: 03/01/12 11:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is not uncommon. Mine will discharge in about three weeks. As I recall the parasitic (keep alive) drain is bout 0.150 amps (150 milliamps).
Solar may be the best solution if you don't have access to shore power.


Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats).

Fixed domicile after 1 year of snowbirding and eleven years Full Timing in a 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N, Workhorse chassis, Honda Accord toad

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