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Old 12-31-2006, 12:57 PM   #1
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Just in case anyone has an idea... about 3 months ago the engine batteries in our 05 Vectra died. The coach is parked and we live in it mostly full time, and don't travel much, so I run it and the gen set once a month and that's it. The LP leak detector started beeping intermittently, then the key fob wouldn't work to lock the coach or cargo bays, and that's when I figured out the engine batts were dead. Had a local, well respected mobile coach repair outfit change them out, and all was fine until last week. We have been back at the house since early Dec, but when the wife went out to do some chores at the coach, the batts were dead again. I am waiting on the repair guys to come out next week, and in the meantime thought I would check with forum members in case there is something I haven't thought of yet.

Everything is off in the coach, it's hooked up to shore power, and the only other I item I know to be running off the engine batts is the satellite radio, which is also disconnected.

Bright ideas?
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:57 PM   #2
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Just in case anyone has an idea... about 3 months ago the engine batteries in our 05 Vectra died. The coach is parked and we live in it mostly full time, and don't travel much, so I run it and the gen set once a month and that's it. The LP leak detector started beeping intermittently, then the key fob wouldn't work to lock the coach or cargo bays, and that's when I figured out the engine batts were dead. Had a local, well respected mobile coach repair outfit change them out, and all was fine until last week. We have been back at the house since early Dec, but when the wife went out to do some chores at the coach, the batts were dead again. I am waiting on the repair guys to come out next week, and in the meantime thought I would check with forum members in case there is something I haven't thought of yet.

Everything is off in the coach, it's hooked up to shore power, and the only other I item I know to be running off the engine batts is the satellite radio, which is also disconnected.

Bright ideas?
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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Phil - what is the voltage of the chassis batteries when they are being floated (charged) with your Dimensions charger?

BTW - nice coach


After reading Chris' response .. Doh! - of course.. the answer is the chassis batteries are *not* being charged in the 2005 model unless you add a charging device. Good thinking Chris!
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:18 PM   #4
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You probably should install a Trik-L-Start (as Winnebago now does starting with 2006 models) to keep the engine/chassis batteries charged when the house batteries are being charged. Here's a link to installation instructions: Trik-L-Start Installation. Without that (or something equivalent) the engine/chassis batteries won't get charged unless you run the engine.

The engine/transmission ECM, Kwikee steps, jacks and slideouts all use the engine batteries, among other things.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:03 PM   #5
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I've seen several posts discussing whether or not the chassis batteries are charged by the convertor when plugged into shore power. I would be really surprised if the chassis batteries were not somehow charged via the convertor, especially in a coach like the Vectra. It would seem there would be some sort of automatic battery isolator that connnects the two systems during charge, regardless of whether the charge is from the engine alternator or from the AC converter system.

I have an 03 UA and it has the Xantrec convertor/inverter which is a three stage charging system and I know there is some kind of automatic battery isolator (not a solinoid) connected between the chassis and coach battery systems. The Xantrec charges the coach first and once the coach is up to about 12.7 volts the chassis batteries start charging. When the Xantrec is in the "trickle" or third stage it holds the coach batteries at about 12.9 volts and the chassis batteries are within 0.1 volts of the coach batteries. When in equalize mode both sets of batteries get equalized and the voltage is close, but not the same.

When the engine is running the chassis batteries charge first and then the coach batteries charge.

Given the number of coaches that have problems with the chassis batteries going dead, I may really going out on the limb here but I'm betting there is a failure with the battery isolator, or these systems were not wired properly at the factory.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:14 PM   #6
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The Ultimates had Intelletec's B.I.R.D (Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay), but we don't have that in the Vectra/Horizon lines. In 2006 Winnebago added the Trik-L-Start as standard equipment, but in the stock 2005's the alternator is the only thing charging the engine batteries.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:37 PM   #7
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Dont know about your fancy M/H but my Batt started discharging a couple of months back for no reason I could put my finger on.
It discharged while sitting and on ground power.
Then I decided it had to be the Alternator and had it changed out.

The trouble went away!

I think a Diod in the alternator went bad or something.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:16 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Just in case anyone has an idea... about 3 months ago the engine batteries in our 05 Vectra died. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

John and Chris are correct, in that the 2005 Horizon and Vectra chassis batteries are not charged by the inverter/charger. I added an Echo charger, to resolve this problem. The Echo charger works the same as a Trik-L-Start charger execpt that the Echo charger can provide upto 15 amps of power vs I believe 5 amps on the Trik-L-Start charger. Otherwise they function the same and connect the same way
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:59 PM   #9
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Harry, Chris, thanks very much, I will investigate both (Harry, have you got a website link you can provide?). I just thought it was pretty odd brand new sealed batts would go dead after only three months (actually I still think so), but adding a trickler charger can't hurt. Use them religiously for our motorcycles, so even though the coach is a bit bigger than our BMW's, can't hurt!
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:35 PM   #10
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The Trik-L-Start is available from Winnebago Part Sales (Part# 703000-01-000) or you can get it from RVUpgrades Trik-L-Start
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:39 PM   #11
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I was having a similar problem with our rig. Installed a Trik-L-Start I got from RVUpgrades and it works great. Now when I plug in to shore power I know my starting battery is being maintained also, works like a charm.
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:43 PM   #12
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I've read on several posts that you can hook a heavy wire with alligator clips from a coach battery positive post to a chassis battery positive post and it will keep the chassis batteries charged while on shore power. Just be sure to unhook before starting the engine as the alternator will usually put out too much current for the wire and cook it (maybe not if the wire is heavy enough - just what I've read). May be worth a try.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:04 PM   #13
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I have used the above method since I first read
about it on IRV2 a couple of years ago. I put a note on ignition switch to remind me about disconnecting before starting engine. Works for me.
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:00 AM   #14
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Has anybody done this modification with the 2005 Adventurer? We're considering as we have the same problem.
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