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Old 10-14-2019, 11:46 AM   #1
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Batteries draining

I need some guidance. Just bought a 2003 Itasca Sunflyer. Brought it home and did not start it for days. Do not have 50 amp service available yet. Both house and start batteries were dead. Saw that they were at least 4 yrs old and replaced all. Wired it up as I found it by properly mapping all cables. Started fine. Left it alone for 3 days and now the house batteries are dead and the start battery is low. I cannot find anything turned on that would have drained it. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-14-2019, 01:55 PM   #2
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If you have an inverter make sure it is off, it will drain house batteries fast. You can always plug into 110v which will keep the batteries up, but cant run much but that on 110v
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:06 PM   #3
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Thank you RD! I will check it.


Frank
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:47 PM   #4
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When storing, even for a few days, you must either provide a charge to the batteries or turn the power off with the battery disconnect. There are a number of parasitic loads drawing your batteries down. Either plug in some AC power or hit the disconnect.

That aside it does sound like you have a short or active device on the circuit somewhere.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:20 PM   #5
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Thanks! I believe that I do not have a battery disconnect on this model.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iezzif View Post
I need some guidance. Just bought a 2003 Itasca Sunflyer. Brought it home and did not start it for days. Do not have 50 amp service available yet. Both house and start batteries were dead. Saw that they were at least 4 yrs old and replaced all. Wired it up as I found it by properly mapping all cables. Started fine. Left it alone for 3 days and now the house batteries are dead and the start battery is low. I cannot find anything turned on that would have drained it. Any suggestions?

Get a 50 to 15 amp adapter. Then you may plug into a regular household outlet.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:52 PM   #7
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Last year my MH sat in the driveway all winter and in the spring the starting battery was ALMOST dead. I even had it plugged into a 50 amp outlet. (The house batteries were great) Then I found somehow I had turned on the heaters for the outside mirrors. So, I then labeled the rocker switch ON?OFF and never did that again!!
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:23 PM   #8
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Re:battery drain

Have you checked your propane master switch? Even with your refrigerator shut off the propane supply solenoid is still active and draws nearly 1amp per hour constantly. Over the course of several days it will discharge your batteries
A small mod to that circuit can reduce the drain significantly but the drain will remain while the master is on.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:31 PM   #9
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jeezif: Check again for a battery disconnect switch. I really doubt it is missing one as they are needed to prevent exactly what is happening to your batteries. Until you find the switch, go to the fuse/breaker panel and pull the big fuses (probably 50 amp) on the DC side. That should disconnect all of the DC loads; the switch would be much easier and quicker. If you have an inverter connected to the batteries, make sure it is shut off, or better yet, pull its fuse, a really big one, like 150-250 amps.

In the longer term, get a shunted battery monitor (I use a Victron BMV-712) for your coach batteries. Some units include a volt meter for the starter battery. This will show you, if installed correctly, exactly how much current is leaving your battery bank. And by isolating your DC loads, by pulling fuses, you can see how much current is being drawn by each fuse (circuit), which is nice to know information and helps in troubleshooting issues like the one you are having.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:34 PM   #10
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Battery Disconnect Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by iezzif View Post
Thanks! I believe that I do not have a battery disconnect on this model.

If you find that you have a battery disconnect switch on your MH, please post up the location or even a photo if possible. I have read through the manuals for my 1999 Itasca SunFlyer and see no mention of one. If there is one, I'd like to know where it is.

Thanks,

Mac
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by iezzif View Post
Thanks! I believe that I do not have a battery disconnect on this model.

It should be in the step well on the side and may be labeled as Bypass. Some refer to it as the Salesman Switch.


Note that on a 2003 only the engine charges the start battery and house batteries simultaneously however the built in converter/charger only charges the house batteries.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:00 AM   #12
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Your battery disconnect switch (house only) should be in the stepwell area.


Longest I had mine parked was 2 weeks and the house batteries still showed full (according to the monitor LEDs).


Once winter sets in I plan on driving the RV at least twice a month, weather permitting, for about 30 miles to keep everything exercised, seals lubricated and to prevent flat spots on my tires. I will also run the generator at that time and all the systems.


Nothing hurts a vehicle more then sitting.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:28 AM   #13
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We use to have a 2003 Itasca Sunflyer 39T. To confirm what others are saying, the battery disconnect is a knife switch in the step area. You need to remove the middle step and you will see it.
My memory is that there was an Aux-battery shut-off switch (the so-called salesman switch) just inside the door on the left. This will also turn off the 12V system.
Before we had 50 amp hookup at home we used a 12 amp drop cord to supply 110V which kept everything running (except HVAC) and the batteries charged.
One other note, we had recurring issues with corrosion on the battery posts. This would result in erratic behavior of the entire electrical system. Twice a year I would clean both (+) and (-) battery posts.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:03 AM   #14
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Speaking of corroded battery wells, mine was a disaster using flooded cell batteries, not to mention (but I will) the potentially hazardous off-gasses. The better way to deal with this is pay a little more for AGM (absorbed glass mat) or better yet, a lot more for lithium. Lithium outperforms lead acid batteries 2 to one and outlasts them 4-5 times longer. This is no bull. Today, lithium batteries are made to be "drop in" replaceable for lead acid and will operate just fine on your current charger system. However, I would recommend being able to stop the alternator from charging them until it's really necessary and discontinuing the charge when nearing full charge. If you don't dry camp or boondock very often or long, AGMs will work just fine.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:40 AM   #15
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There is a charger called Trik-l-start that will charge your chassis battery when you are connected to a/c power. The link is below.
https://www.lslproducts.net/TLSPage.html
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:55 AM   #16
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I just keep a wrench and a set of gloves in the battery compartment. When I'm going to be leaving the RV unplugged for more then 4 days, I just disconnect the battery grounds.

To prevent corrosion, I add 2 oz of 3-in-1 oil (mineral oil) to each battery cell. This is an over 100 year old hack that prevents corrosive gasses from escaping the battery. You still need to at least check the water level once a year, especially if you have an older converter/charger. I easily exceed 10 years battery life using mineral oil in my flooded cell batteries and seldom have to clean the terminals. Two years now since I needed to clean terminals with the current set.

OP mentioned replacing the 4 yo batteries out of hand...like that was typical. I'd respectfully submit that 7 years is more like it unless they've been damaged. If you're careful with maintenance, 10 years. I got 12 years out of my last set in my other Class A.

In both the Class A's I've owned, I had to add a Trik-L-Start to keep the chassis battery topped off when on shore power because there wasn't a circuit installed for that. They do make them so some RVs have them from the factory. Best way to find out if you have one is to plug into shore power and an hour later measure the voltage across both sets. Every RV'er should have a DVM. It should exceed 13 volt. If it doesn't on the chassis batts, then you need an aux circuit.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:38 AM   #17
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Battery Drain

I too have a 2--3 Sunflyer and had similar problems with the batteries. I replaced them 3 weeks ago. Put a quick disconnect on the driver's battery and you must use the so-called salesman switch labeled AUX by the door. It must be turned off.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:31 AM   #18
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What did you use for a kill switch?
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:33 AM   #19
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Can't find a kill switch in the stairwell battery compartment. I called Winnebago tech support, they had no knowledge of one either.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:35 AM   #20
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Adding a battery disconnect switch is pretty easy. There are many types available but a knife switch is simple and relatively fool-proof. I've installed one on my truck that doesn't get driven much.


https://www.amazon.com/Ampper-Batter...s%2C210&sr=8-4
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