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 > Is it a battery and what I think is for?

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BruceMc

Oregon - Willamette Valley

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Posted: 11/18/20 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can you disconnect the negative from the frame?


'16 Forest River Sunseeker 2250SLEC Chevrolet 6.0L
Previously:
'00 Four Winds 26Q Class C (Ford E350 V10)
'96 Kit Sportsmaster 212f Fifth Wheel/'93 GMC Sierra K2500
'91 SunLite poptop truck camper
and the first: a Wildernest flip-top canopy.


Newbiecampers

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Posted: 11/18/20 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 2018 Coachmen Freelander 21qb has the same frame-mounted battery (on a 2017 chevy 4500 express chassis). I spent a bunch of time in '18 trying to find out what it was. Like you, since it was near the generator, I thought it was a starting battery for said generator. However:

It is called the "Isolated 2nd battery" option. Isolated 2nd Battery — allows 2nd battery to be used when the vehicle is not running without affecting ability to start the vehicle


Chevy express This link I previously found used to take you to a better description of it, but it has changed. Click on "4500", then expand the performance tab, and under the "Available" column it briefly mentions it. If I am remembering correctly, it is one of the items that comes with the "RV prep" package for the Chevy Cutaway chassis from the Chevy factory. I have been to the Coachmen factory for warranty work on my unit, and while there I was looking at some of the bare-bones Chevy chassis sitting in their fields prior to being completed and the ones I looked at all had that extra battery. If I come across the better link I found in the past when doing a search for this option I'll post it.

Without the engine running, when you turn the ignition key to the very first accessory position, this frame-mounted battery will be powering the accessories instead of the battery in the engine compartment used for starting. I have used it quite often while camping without hookups to power the "cigarette lighter" outlets to power my small inverter to provide power for the tv and dvd player, or to charge devices, etc., so that the starting battery is not drawn down. It does not, unfortunately, power the built-in inverter (the 110 outlet, at least on mine), hence the use of my portable inverter.

They don't make it easy to find info about this battery, and the people I spoke with at Coachmen back-in-the day did not know about it.

I would hazard to guess that a whole 'lotta people that have a newer model year Chevy Chassis-based motorhome do not know they have this. As you said, it is not in the manual. Like the original poster, I only found out I had that battery because I was under the camper on a creeper. In my case, looking for potential mouse entry-points prior to winter storage.

EDIT: Here is another link. It is for current model years and it does not have as good a description as the brochure I found in the past but it mentions the RV package. Chevy Fleet brochure Go to page 112. You'll need to be searching through Chevy/Gm FLEET information online to find anything about it. I came across and downloaded a few things in the past, like the "Chevy Express Upfitter Electrical" guide/manual. That one helped me determine that there were indeed rear speaker wire termination points, and the colors of the wires, to add some more speakers for the radio (FYI: Remove Driver side B pillar plastic. The Wires terminate in a bundle at the floor there).

* This post was last edited 11/18/20 12:44pm by Newbiecampers *   View edit history

Newbiecampers

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Posted: 11/18/20 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just went to look back through my old posts to find the one where I previously talked about this option and all my old posts are gone......??

Newbiecampers

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Posted: 11/18/20 11:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

specware2020 wrote:

Given the battery's deadweight and its awkward location, I am afraid that servicing or replacing it may not be a pleasant chore…



Man-o-man you are not kidding.

Mine is leaking a little fluid lately, and I am guessing it may need replacement soon, but it would not be a DIY job for my skinny-little self. You would have to be under the chassis on the ground on your back, lift the old battery out and support it down to the ground, then lift the new battery up like you were bench-pressing weights into it's mount on the frame. No thank you. Although I suppose I could try to use my floor jack if it extends high enough.

I think I will just have it up on a hoist at a local Chevy dealership that can handle larger vehicles to get it done.

pnichols

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Posted: 11/18/20 11:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of my concerns about a battery mounted in that place is - how are you going to maintain it's water level and periodically clean corrosion from it's terminals? And just as importantly - how are you going to ever remove it and lift another one up in there to replace it? Being mounted there almost dictates that it be an AGM battery so no servicing is required ... but AGM batteries are just as heavy at replacement time.

I wonder if this is similar to the setup that (Chevy?) used to mount this additional battery?:
https://www.etrailer.com/RV-and-Camping/Tork-Lift/TLA7727.html


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

Newbiecampers

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Posted: 11/18/20 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

One of my concerns about a battery mounted in that place is - how are you going to maintain it's water level and periodically clean corrosion from it's terminals? And just as importantly - how are you going to ever remove it and lift another one up in there to replace it? Being mounted there almost dictates that it be an AGM battery so no servicing is required ... but AGM batteries are just as heavy at replacement time.

I wonder if this is similar to the setup that (Chevy?) used to mount this additional battery?:
https://www.etrailer.com/RV-and-Camping/Tork-Lift/TLA7727.html


See my previous post.

And to service the water, you would basically need to use a mirror to see the top of the battery. There is not enough head room to sit up under there and see the top of the battery. Hence the reason I haven't touched it in three years.... ha ha.

I'll have the Chevy dealship deal with it when I have the camper in on their hoist for my every now-and-then dealership oil change.

BruceMc

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Posted: 11/18/20 12:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good information, Newbiecampers! I have the Chevy 4500 chassis under our 2016 2250 Sunseeker, and have been under it a number of times. I don't have that aux battery (fortunately?).

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Posted: 11/18/20 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BruceMc wrote:

Good information, Newbiecampers! I have the Chevy 4500 chassis under our 2016 2250 Sunseeker, and have been under it a number of times. I don't have that aux battery (fortunately?).


Hmmm, not sure if the Sunseeker branch did not order their bare Chevy chassis with the RV package, or if your's is prior to the extra battery becoming an option that came with the RV package, or....?

I am glad I have that battery. I dry-camp/boondock/camp without hookups almost exclusively, and I have been using that battery almost like another house-battery system in conjunction with my smaller inverter to charge numerous things, run the tv and dvd player etc..

* This post was edited 11/18/20 12:59pm by Newbiecampers *

BruceMc

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Posted: 11/18/20 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't know, specifically, but it does have the generator fuel pickup in the tank. I've been into the pillar behind the drivers seat as the switched chassis battery connection to the BCC (Battery Control Center) was incorrect - the chassis was not charging the house batteries when the engine was running. It has the heavy cable routed from the chassis battery to the BCC, but the control wire never sensed the engine run condition.
I learned of this location by chasing the wires, then researching, I found upfitter-bodybuilder documents online for GM chassis:
BODY BUILDER MANUALFOR 2015 CHEVROLET EXPRESS/GMC SAVANA ELECTRICAL SECTION.

This document contains a reference to the Auxiliary battery:

G305 - Left center outer frame rail,near the auxiliary battery

So I've learned something! Yea, that would be nice to have a third battery, tho as others have mentioned, it's a maintenance nightmare. We purchased the Sunseeker in October 2015 and have enjoyed several boondocking nights but we tend to travel between those events, thus charging the house batteries (after fixing the sense wire issue).

Based on this document, I have a 159 inch "14,001–16,000 lbs/Hydraulic/Commercial Van or RV Cutaway" chassis.

* This post was edited 11/18/20 01:39pm by BruceMc *

BruceMc

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Posted: 11/18/20 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While out in the barn, just in case I missed it... I checked under the Sunseeker. Mine is not equipped with the extra battery nor the bracket. It is a 2015 chassis, but each upfitter can specify different options on the chassis.

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