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Old 06-24-2017, 11:40 AM   #1
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Current draw on coach or house batteries

Hi, need some advice. Currently in AK with our 07 Voyage. Drove 200 miles yesterday, dry camped overnight. Furnace did not run, no lights used last night because it doesn't get dark here this time of year. TV was used as well as the Mobley. Inverter switched off at night, steps in off position, fridge on gas. Upon rising this AM gauge says low battery and the lights are dim. Need a little light for cooking. Ran the generator for 45 minutes and gauge says full charge and lights are bright, turned them on just to check. Not the first time this has happened. Any suggestions on what to check? Batteries are less than 3 years old and look good, no venting, etc. Coach is in use so turning the master off really isn't an option, water pump at night occasionally needed. Thanks, Dave
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by daveshoby View Post
Hi, need some advice. Currently in AK with our 07 Voyage. Drove 200 miles yesterday, dry camped overnight. Furnace did not run, no lights used last night because it doesn't get dark here this time of year. TV was used as well as the Mobley. Inverter switched off at night, steps in off position, fridge on gas. Upon rising this AM gauge says low battery and the lights are dim. Need a little light for cooking. Ran the generator for 45 minutes and gauge says full charge and lights are bright, turned them on just to check. Not the first time this has happened. Any suggestions on what to check? Batteries are less than 3 years old and look good, no venting, etc. Coach is in use so turning the master off really isn't an option, water pump at night occasionally needed. Thanks, Dave
It's still cool enough at night that the furnace might have kicked on. I suppose you would have heard it though. All moot if you actually have the furnace switched off.

Is it possible you have your cargo area lights on. My coaches have a switch in the stairwell that disables all the basement lights. Maybe one or more is on and you don't realize it.

Could your porch lights be on? Maybe even the one over the waste tank compartment on the driver side? With it never getting dark this time of year it's hard to realize your outside lights are left on.

We dry camp a lot all summer in AK. My batteries seldom run down in summer after just one night. Typically the TV/VCR/DVD/Antenna booster won't run the batteries down by themselves.

Keep in mind if you only run the generator for an hour each day and aren't driving down the road your batteries aren't getting much of a charge. Depending on exactly which converter your coach has it may be just a trickle charge going to the batteries when the generator is running. The solar panel isn't enough to do much of any good.
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Old 06-24-2017, 01:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by daveshoby View Post
Hi, need some advice. Currently in AK with our 07 Voyage. Drove 200 miles yesterday, dry camped overnight. Furnace did not run, no lights used last night because it doesn't get dark here this time of year. TV was used as well as the Mobley. Inverter switched off at night, steps in off position, fridge on gas. Upon rising this AM gauge says low battery and the lights are dim. Need a little light for cooking. Ran the generator for 45 minutes and gauge says full charge and lights are bright, turned them on just to check. Not the first time this has happened. Any suggestions on what to check? Batteries are less than 3 years old and look good, no venting, etc. Coach is in use so turning the master off really isn't an option, water pump at night occasionally needed. Thanks, Dave


Comp lights master is off as well as each comp being manually verified. Porch light is off. Nothing electrical except water pump was on.
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Old 06-24-2017, 01:15 PM   #4
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You said no venting on the batteries did you check the water level in each cell?
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Old 06-24-2017, 01:16 PM   #5
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You said no venting on the batteries did you check the water level in each cell?


Sealed battery.
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:10 PM   #6
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Do you have a digital volt ohm meter, like one of the basic ones from Harbor Freight, with ability to read 10 Amps DC current? With everything off as you state in your post, measure current, you can do this by disconnecting both negative battery posts and putting the current meter between one batteries negative post and the negative cable end.

You should only read around 2 amps, this will be the continuous current drawn by the wall thermostat (if digital), the refrigerator control board, the propane leak detector, and the control board on the coach battery - chassis battery isolator (if your coach has a "smart" one with a control board). If you read more than this then something is on that you don't think is on. The only way to stop these loads is to operate the battery disconnect switch AKA the "salesman" switch which your rig may have near the coach entry door.

If you read more than around 2 amps one possible culprit is your dash radio/DVD player you may have your selector switch for this in the coach position where it is drawing power from the coach batteries all the time. Even if radio not turned on it may be drawing several amps in standby mode if the selector switch is in the coach position.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:14 AM   #7
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You are looking at a surface charge on your batteries. You need several hours of charge time to get your battery bank to 80% and up to 4 hours of charge time to get 100%. We run 2 to 4 hours of charge per day depending on how much power we use. Charge can come on drive time also not jus Gen.

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