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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  Maintenance Issues & Tips

 > Chassis battery charging when parked

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beaubeau

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Posted: 11/12/21 10:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is there some component that is supposed to keep the chassis/engine battery charged while the RV is plugged into shore power?

I tested with the engine running, and I'm getting 14.0 volts from the alternator, but the battery goes dead quickly after stopping the engine.

Trying to decide if I actually have a battery problem before I replace them.

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rk911

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Posted: 11/12/21 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

in most RVs the starting battery is not charged while plugged into shore power. we've used this for the last 10+years to keep the chassis battery charged while parked.

beyond that you need to be sure your chassis battery is capable of holding a charge.

if the battery is a typical lead-acid 'wet' type i suggest disconnecting the battery from the RV, putting it on a battery charger for 24-hrs and then disconnect the charger and allow the battery to rest for about 30-minutes. using a hydometer check each cell. if the battery tests good but is not holding a charge when connected to the MH the MH charging circuit may be faulty.

you can also take the battery to just about any auto parts store to have it tested.

* This post was edited 11/12/21 11:38am by rk911 *


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MountainAir05

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Posted: 11/12/21 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most due but some do not. When you plug into shore power or generator due you have the 14 volts on all the battery then. If not check voltage on the inverter/converter output. Could have trip or gone bad.

If good then maybe a bad battery. Put a regular charge on the battery and see if it charges up then voltage drops. Also if wet cell you can check cell voltgage and use a battery hydrometer tester to check each cell. If you have not been using the battery or not keeping them charge they could be sulfated. I de-dulfate my wet cell battery once a year. Newer smart charge, most have that re-new or de-dulfate cycle on them. Takes about 4 hours per battery. You need to take them out of the system to do it. Remove the caps, and put a wet rag over the open cells.

ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 11/12/21 11:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Guess my past and present DPs are flawed as they charge and stay charged for weeks on end plugged into shore power. I really never gave it a thought but twice in all these years after sitting for 5-6 days with the generator running constantly the chassis battery would not crank the motor. Has done it twice.

time2roll

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Posted: 11/12/21 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ferndaleflyer wrote:

Guess my past and present DPs are flawed as they charge and stay charged for weeks on end plugged into shore power. I really never gave it a thought but twice in all these years after sitting for 5-6 days with the generator running constantly the chassis battery would not crank the motor. Has done it twice.
Probably need Trik-L-Start to get some power from the house to keep the chassis up.

Sadly if the chassis battery has been run down a few times it could be near end of life. Give this a try with the assurance that even if it can't save the current battery the replacement should fair much better.


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pianotuna

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Posted: 11/12/21 09:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another vote for a Trik-L-Start


Regards, Don
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dodge guy

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Posted: 11/13/21 06:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How old are the batteries? A diesel will have 2 engine batteries. If they are nearing 5 years old or older they are due for replacement. Replace both of them with AGM, AGM’s last a few years longer than traditional flooded cell batteries.


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Posted: 11/13/21 06:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The chassis battery should remain charged for many weeks to start the engine just like a car. You have a problem. First step is to load test the battery, free at most auto stores.


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LouLawrence

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Posted: 11/13/21 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since every coach setup can be substantially different, the above post is not helpful at all. The engine battery going dead does not mean your batteries have issues. Parasitic draw can kill engine batteries in days or weeks if there is no parked charging setup. Both my last coach and my current coach have no provisions for keeping the engine batteries charged while parked. The last coach I would hook up a portable charger if I was going to be stationary for a few weeks or more. This coach I added trickle charger that sends juice to those batteries anytime 120V power is available.

pianotuna

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Posted: 11/13/21 12:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Parasitic draw on my Elantra car is about 2 amp-hours per day. I acquired a 2 amp charger, added a mechanical timer, and charge for 1 hour per day, when I store the car during longer RV trips. My battery is still in good shape (as in will start the vehicle at -25 C) and is the OEM from the maker in 2013.

I do use a Trik-L-Start for the class C chassis battery, powered by the solar panels. It allowed my starter battery to survive for 12 years.

Thanks to BFL13, the SiO2 battery for the Yamaha 3000 Sieb, is also being maintained by the solar. He found a relay that isolates the SiO2 unless the source voltage is 13.5 or higher. That means during use trips, I can leave the remote electric start turned to standby without having the Generator Battery die.

One problem with the Trik-L-Start is that they refuse to ship to Canada. I don't understand why. That's why I ended up with the relay for the generator.

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