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Old 06-23-2016, 10:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MurphyMan View Post
I'll look into a battery disconnect, but for our purposes I think just disconnecting the negative terminals will do the trick effectively and inexpensively.
I did that a time or two but it was more of a pain than i wanted to keep going through. Got to studying the battery's location and found that there was plenty of room for a disconnect right next to the battery. The disconnect and jumper were inexpensive and have made things much easier. Just insert the plastic key and turn on. It has also served as a theft deterrent.

The only drawback i've found, having to set the radio's clock and station buttons.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:37 AM   #16
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You are dealing with an unobtanium. All batteries self discharge. The rate depends on the chemistry. The last number I recall was 17% for flooded lead acid batteries. That alone is enough to draw your batteries down in 4 months even with all cables off. Switch to AGM's and the number drops significantly. I'd rather put the money in a small solar panel battery maintainer for each battery setup if I could not plug in.

FWIW I will echo that there is no chassis battery disconnect and a lot of nuisance in disconnecting the chassis. Ford wants some things to stay powered. Small draw but over a long time it accelerates the self discharge.

FWIW2 I don't think there is much parasitic draw in modern house systems in small units. All they need is a power tap to the storage switch so the switch can supply power to toggle the disconnect relay. The rest of the time it is off. Self discharge is more than enough to flatten the batteries by themselves. I would also not say that about the larger class A units that have a BIRD or similar and a lot more automatic power management. Those systems impose additional loads.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
You are dealing with an unobtanium. All batteries self discharge. The rate depends on the chemistry. The last number I recall was 17% for flooded lead acid batteries. That alone is enough to draw your batteries down in 4 months even with all cables off. Switch to AGM's and the number drops significantly. I'd rather put the money in a small solar panel battery maintainer for each battery setup if I could not plug in.

FWIW I will echo that there is no chassis battery disconnect and a lot of nuisance in disconnecting the chassis. Ford wants some things to stay powered. Small draw but over a long time it accelerates the self discharge.

FWIW2 I don't think there is much parasitic draw in modern house systems in small units. All they need is a power tap to the storage switch so the switch can supply power to toggle the disconnect relay. The rest of the time it is off. Self discharge is more than enough to flatten the batteries by themselves. I would also not say that about the larger class A units that have a BIRD or similar and a lot more automatic power management. Those systems impose additional loads.
I have the Workhorse and yes, i had wondered whether if it was bad to disconnect and keep power from the electronics, especially for longer periods of time. Hopefully i'm not causing any issues by disconnecting 12 volt power once a month.

I actually tried using a solar charger at first. I believe my main problem was that the run of wire from the panel to the battery was a bit long (didn't have any good options to alleviate this). Battery voltage did show an increase with solar hooked to it but it wasn't as high as it needed to be. If i remember correctly, right at 13 volts with the sun hitting the panel directly. With the trees around, it didn't get full view of the sun as much as it needed, It did help but it just couldn't keep up with the drain...
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Old 07-03-2016, 04:12 AM   #18
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Found an excellent video for locating parasitic drains on your battery. It shows an automobile, but the principles are the same.
I really appreciate you posting that video, MurphyMan! I have what appears to be a grounding short in my old Winnebago that killed my chassis battery in under 5 days. I knew there was a test for this, but for the life of me I couldn't remember the procedure.

And thank you from the wife and daughter! Trip can now proceed as planned!
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:24 PM   #19
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Solution Update: We ultimately went for the disconnect the chassis and coach batteries method and haven't had any trouble since. I installed a couple of disconnects and that works really great because you keep a tight battery connection all the time, but it's easy to disconnect.

Go to Amazon and search for Top Post Battery Master Disconnect Switch.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:28 PM   #20
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There is a lot of parasite drain on your engine battery. Install a BEP Marine Disconnect Switch. When back in storage, simply turn the knob 90 degrees and all power is cut-off from the battery. I had a problem with my battery being dead if not run every 30-40 days. Easy to install, no fuss to disconnect and reconnect a battery cable, and I haven't had a dead battery issue since doing this some years back. -RT
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudfrog View Post
I have the Workhorse and yes, i had wondered whether if it was bad to disconnect and keep power from the electronics, especially for longer periods of time. Hopefully i'm not causing any issues by disconnecting 12 volt power once a month.

I actually tried using a solar charger at first. I believe my main problem was that the run of wire from the panel to the battery was a bit long (didn't have any good options to alleviate this). Battery voltage did show an increase with solar hooked to it but it wasn't as high as it needed to be. If i remember correctly, right at 13 volts with the sun hitting the panel directly. With the trees around, it didn't get full view of the sun as much as it needed, It did help but it just couldn't keep up with the drain...
A total disconnect will sometimes reset things stored in the engine computer so it may drive a bit funny at first. That and resetting clocks or radios are all I know of. The system has to be able to withstand a disconnect and still function or you could not change the battery.

That said, even disconnected the battery will go down over time. If I had a solar charger it would probably keep up then.
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