Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-24-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
Winnebago Owner
 
codgerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan
Posts: 213
Im not sure if this is the most applicable forum for this question, but here goes anyway. I had been going to the coach, after winterizing it in november, about every 3-4 weeks to start the engine and run the generator under bout half load. I would have liked to take it out for a drive but the snow and salt on the roads prevented that. The weather in late December and this January has had temps close to zero. This week I went to run the engine and generator. The engine would not turn over but the generator was able to start. When I checked the chassis battery voltage with a voltmeter the voltage read 0 volts. I tried using thr battery boost switch and that did not succeed but that will be another issue for a later time. The voltmeter read 13.4 to 13.6 volts for the coach batteries. I removed the chassis battery and have discovered that the fluid in the battery was frozen almost solid. The battery sides are not bulged out. I have the battery in my basement and am waiting for the fluid to thaw out. I will put it on a slow charge for a couple days and then wait a day or two more to check the voltage. I am wondering if I am wasteing my time and should just go and buy another battery? I would appreciate some thoughts on the subject, thanks.
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
2005 Suncruiser
Banks Powerpack
Chocolate lab (Buster)
2007 Jeep Wrangler
codgerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 05:13 PM   #2
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 962
How old is the battery?
skigramp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
Winnebago Master
 
smlranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Glen Allen, VA
Posts: 2,170
I believe the battery experts would say you have killed the battery. Considering the cold temps you have in your area, I would say you need to use something like a Battery Minder to keep your chassis battery charged. It is my understanding that a fully charged battery is less likely to freeze.

I let two deep cycle batteries in my boat get fully discharged last year (forgot to turn on the charger/maintainer) and they froze. I was later able to get them recharged but they never were good at holding a charge after that. I eventually replaced them.
__________________
'07 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit #31578, Cummins ISL 425; 2014 Ford F150 toad; Air Force One Toad Brake.
Glen Allen, VA; Smith Mountain Lake, VA.
smlranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 05:17 PM   #4
Winnebago Owner
 
codgerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan
Posts: 213
Skigramp,
The battery was purchased new and installed in the spring of last year (2008). The problem with keeping a trickel charger is that it is in a storage lot with no avaliability of electric service.
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
2005 Suncruiser
Banks Powerpack
Chocolate lab (Buster)
2007 Jeep Wrangler
codgerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 05:36 PM   #5
Winnie-Wise
 
UFO Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 429
About 6 weeks ago I went to start my MH and also found the chassis battery dead. I pulled it out and took it to a shop where it measured less than 5 volts. They put it on the charger for 24 hours and it would not take a charge. The shop told me that once a battery goes below 10 volts it is usually done for. I replaced it with an Optima AGM and so far all is good.
__________________
Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
Making the Journey in our Destination

UFO Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
Winnebago Master
 
Wayne M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 916
Codgebill,
Is it possible to put a solar pack somewhere that would provide a trickle charge?
__________________
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD 2008 Winnebago Destination 39W
(RVM-14) It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
Wayne M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 06:16 PM   #7
Winnebago Owner
 
codgerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan
Posts: 213
Wayne,
As I understand it, the existing solar panel on the roof charges the coach batteries. I think it raises a good question regarding if anyone out there uses a solar panel to charge the chassis batterie(s) too?
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
2005 Suncruiser
Banks Powerpack
Chocolate lab (Buster)
2007 Jeep Wrangler
codgerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 06:25 PM   #8
Winnie-Wise
 
UFO Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 429
I found a 12 amp fold up one that plugs into the cigarette lighter. When I asked the question on here, most thought it would NOT do the job. I haven't bought one to try as they are a little pricey for an experiment.
__________________
Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
Making the Journey in our Destination

UFO Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2009, 03:43 AM   #9
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Richardson, Tx
Posts: 76
Starting with a fully charged chasis battery and then disconnecting it from the M/H should allow it to maintain it's charge between startups. Adding a solar charger to the disconnected battery should keep it fully charged between startups. The 12 amp solar charger should be adequate, but I would still disconnect the battery and connect the charger directly to the battery
__________________
Robert L Rice

2002 36GD Journey DL
Robert Rice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2009, 03:55 AM   #10
Winnie-Wise
 
RCtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: So. Calif.
Posts: 367
Here is the set up I have.
I wired in a triklstart chassis battery maintainer. I wired it directly to the battery isolator solonoid. It has 3 wires. One to house battery, One to chassis battery, and one to ground.
I have the standard 10 watt solar charger, plus I added a 9 watt portable solar charger that I connected to the house batteries. total of 19 watts
this is in sunny So. Calif. My batteries are House==2 6V deepcycle.
Chassis==2 12 volt starting batteries.
It seems to work for me, but snow or other sun blocking, trees etc. would have to be considered.
I also turn off the house batteries with the disconnect switch.
The load on my batteries are just the memory modules for the engine and transmission.
You have to start with fully charged batteries as this will not charge a depleted battery, only maintain them. Your batteries have to be in good condition .
__________________
2002 Winnebago Journey DL 34 ' Cat. 330 hp
Great wife and Charlie, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel RIP
TTN
RCtime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2009, 05:48 AM   #11
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: North East Indiana
Posts: 762
IMHO I would buy the new battery and write it off to experience. I do wonder why your starting battery froze and the others did not. You may have had other problems of parasitic drain on the starter battery and did not know it. Freezing causes lots of problems inside the battery. I have always lost any battery that froze on me.
Izzyblueye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2009, 08:15 AM   #12
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,079
As others have said I believe your battery is a lost cause. When you purchase and install a new battery I would also install a chassis battery disconnect switch. The parasitic loads in combination with the extremely colsd weather seem to have drained your battery to the point it bacame so waek it froze.

We installed a chassis battery disconnect on the chassis battery several years ago. We've never had a problem with a dead battery in the 8 years we've owned the coach. (It's stored in a garage with no electricity, and no exposure to sunlight to operate the solar panel.) We did replace all the batteries in 2007 just before our trip to Alaska just to avoid any problems. The old chassis battery is still in use on a 12 volt winch so it seems we were a bit premature in it's replacement.

We use a switch like this one:
Battery Disconnect Switch

It's a bit pricey but far less expensive than replacing a battery every year or two. As I mentioned in other posts they were originally sold for use in over te road semi tractors. They cam handle a continuous load of 250 amps and a peak starting load of 2,500 amps. The switch is sealed and waterproof so it can be mounted near the batteries without any chance of fire or explosion.
__________________
Hikerdogs
2013 Adventurer 32H
Hikerdogs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2009, 07:37 AM   #13
Winnebago Owner
 
codgerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan
Posts: 213
Thanks for all the reply's. I removed the battery and took it home. When it was thawed out the voltage measured a bit over 7 volts. I let the ice in the cells thaw out. I added a bit of distilled water to bring up the levels in the cells. I put the charger on and after 6 hours the digital reading on the charger indicated it was a bad battery. When the charger was disconnected the voltage read 11.6 volts. I redid the charging and had the same result, "Bad" is what the digital readout said. I will return the battery to the Exide dealer for a new one. I am thinking that I will pursue 2 thoughts. Both a solar charger and a battery disconnect for the chassis battery. The 2 coach batteries did not give me a problem so I suspect the solar charger may have had something to do with that and the coach batteries are about a year older than the chassis battery was. Thanks again to all for sharing of your experiences.
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
2005 Suncruiser
Banks Powerpack
Chocolate lab (Buster)
2007 Jeep Wrangler
codgerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2009, 11:33 AM   #14
Winnie-Wise
 
dirko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Draper, UT
Posts: 309
Hi Ho: Since we have the same coach as you I thought I would relay my experience. First, unless you have changed the original equipment the 10 watt solar cell charges only the truck battery, not the house batteries. We have found that if you park the coach where the sun can get to it the truck battery maintains pretty well. Are you sure the solar cell is working? It's not hard to check. We have also found that charging the house batteries once or twice during the winter will maintain them ok if the dc power switch is turned off.

Your idea of installing a disconnect switch on the truck will extend the time for charging the battery, but all batteries self-discharge, so it doesn't solve the problem entirely.

The truck battery is just an ordinary automotive type battery which can be purchased anywhere. We like Costco because they have zero hassle with returning the battery for a complete refund if it is bad within the warranty period.

We like to keep the coach plugged in all the time to keep the coach batteries at full charge. We only have to add water about every two or three months even in hot weather.

And lastly, I agree that once a battery is frozen it is normally toast. We spent 1 1/2 years in Germany and had to replace our batteries for the same reason when we returned.

Dirk
dirko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2009, 11:41 AM   #15
Winnie-Wise
 
dirko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Draper, UT
Posts: 309
Hi Ho: Brain cramp. I meant that the solar cell charges only the house batteries, not the truck battery. Sorry.
dirko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2009, 12:09 PM   #16
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: North East Indiana
Posts: 762
DIRK: Amen
Izzyblueye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2009, 01:21 PM   #17
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Fulltime- On the Road
Posts: 125
I'm surprised the parasitic loads would kill the battery in only three weeks, even in the extreme cold temps you describe. Once you get your new batteries you should have the parasitic load tested. As I recall my coach sat for more than two months (in warm weather) with no charging and the batteries held fine. The house parasitics would kill the coach batteries in about 4 days if I didn't use the coach battery disconnect. Per chance your chassis battery was weak to begin with and the parasitic loads are ok. Ony testing will tell!
__________________
Roadking - Homeless, full time, wandering gypsies
Winnebago Ultimate Advantage
Harley and Honda Civic
Roadking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2009, 05:21 PM   #18
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 20
Codgerbill and others,

My 2008 Winnebago Voyage chassis battery came up dead 11/08 before we left daughters in MD for (3) week excursion to SC/NC. I used the battery boost switch on the dash to start the chassis engine useing the coach batteries and went on my little trip. Got back and within 4 days chassis battery was dead.

Called Troy at Winnebago and learned a lot and a "little trick" He said to make sure the "switch" for the electric steps are in the OFF position even if you have the coach AND chassis battery switches in the OFF position. The steps are hard wired to the chassis battery and the chassis computer "tells" the electric steps to retract when the engine starts EVEN if the step switch is in the OFF position. So it draws current from chassis battery even if the chassis battery switch is OFF if you leave the step switch in the ON position. This is so dummies like me don't drive off with the steps out.

But more importantly is that he said if you are not using coach over the winter and not removing batteries from coach he has the following suggestion. The converter takes 115v and charges the coach batteries BUT not the chassis batteries. When I am driving down the highway though the alternator charges the chassis AND the coach batteries. Go figure.

He said during winter to use an adapter to plug your 30A/50A shore cable to extension cord from your house and make sure you use a 30A minimum cord. He said to charge battery for (24) hours once a week. He said if you have a battery boost switch on the DASH to tape it to the ON position or use a 2x4 like I did. What this will do is as you are charging your COACH battery it will also charge the CHASSIS battery. You have to remember to remove tape/2x4 when you disconnect coach from extension cord.

Said the 10 watt solar charger is a trickle charger intended to keep your coach battery "topped off" once it reaches 90%-95% as say when the only 12v draw you have during camping is interior lights and you are not using an inverter.

Been charging coach every week and both batteries are maintaining 12v-12.7v.

Hope this helps.

NAVYBLUE

2008 Winnebago Voyage (1 each)

2008 Toyota Tacoma (1 each)

1948 Smart wife (1 each)

Spending my kids inheritance one day at a time.
navyblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 04:24 AM   #19
Winnebago Master
 
Tom N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sarver, PA/Crystal River, FL/Shelocta, PA
Posts: 1,196
Quote:
Originally posted by navyblue:

This is so dummies like me don't drive off with the steps out.

Hope this helps.
It's impossible to drive with the steps out. Doesn't make any difference if the steps are turned on or off or the coach batteries are turned on or off, the steps will ALWAYS go up when the engine is started.

Even if your chassis battery is dead and you have to start with the coach batteries the steps will immediately go up from the current the alternator supplies after the engine starts.

-Tom
__________________
Sarver, PA/Crystal River, FL/Shelocta, PA FMCA 335149 W3TLN
2005 Suncruiser 38R W24, no chassis mods needed 2013 Honda Accord EX-L 2008 Honda Odyssey EX-L
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Tom N is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 05:06 AM   #20
Winnebago Owner
 
codgerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan
Posts: 213
I brought the battery back to the coach storage lot where I bought it and the Interstste Battery guy just happened to be there on a delivery. I explaind my situation to him and he went to his truck and got a brand new already charged battery and exchanged it for my defunct one.I thought that it being 9 or 10 months old (it was actually date stamped Jan 2008)he would have pro rated it, but no....no charge. I spoke to a person who, amongst other things, does battery maintenance for UPS systems and electrical switch gear ( DC tripping & closing). He mentioned that a solar charger might have avoided the problem for my coach battery mainly because the "bubbles" produced while trickle charging would have kept the battery fluid from freezing. I am wondering if manually closing and securing the battery boost switch would accomplih this or would it require a seperate solar panel?

My next problem is that with the new battery the coach still will not start. This weekend I will be working with a friend to begin trouble shooting, providing the weather co-operates.
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
2005 Suncruiser
Banks Powerpack
Chocolate lab (Buster)
2007 Jeep Wrangler
codgerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are Slides Under Coach or Chasis Wty? RickO General Maintenance and Repair 6 12-27-2008 04:23 PM
chasis batteries mrbojangles Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 11 07-27-2008 02:27 PM
Dreaded P-30 chasis still wandering lskkntze Running Gear, Axles, Brakes, Wheels and Tires 7 05-30-2005 06:52 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×