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Old 07-29-2008, 06:48 AM   #1
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We have a new 2008 Winnebago Tour 40TD. In between our first few trips, we noticed that the house batteries did not hold their charge. Thinking we might have left something 'on', we started to isolate both the Chassis and house batteries with the isolation switches provided. After being fully charged, the house batteries drop to 9 volts after only one day. We took this problem to our local Winnebago Service Dealer. They charged the batteries, and said they were OK, but did not evaluate the drain issue. A day later, the batteries were back at 9v (not enough to crank the genset). Obviously there is a drain on the house batteries that is not isolated by the switch. Has anyone heard of this type of problem? Since my Service people cannot seem to grasp the problem, I am going to put a VOM on the batteries, but I am not sure how to ID a power draw that is within the wiring, when everything seems to be off. Any ideas?
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:48 AM   #2
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We have a new 2008 Winnebago Tour 40TD. In between our first few trips, we noticed that the house batteries did not hold their charge. Thinking we might have left something 'on', we started to isolate both the Chassis and house batteries with the isolation switches provided. After being fully charged, the house batteries drop to 9 volts after only one day. We took this problem to our local Winnebago Service Dealer. They charged the batteries, and said they were OK, but did not evaluate the drain issue. A day later, the batteries were back at 9v (not enough to crank the genset). Obviously there is a drain on the house batteries that is not isolated by the switch. Has anyone heard of this type of problem? Since my Service people cannot seem to grasp the problem, I am going to put a VOM on the batteries, but I am not sure how to ID a power draw that is within the wiring, when everything seems to be off. Any ideas?
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:33 AM   #3
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It sounds like bad batteries to me. Check the each cell with a hydrometer when the batteries are fully charged to verify that they are indeed charged fully. To have your batteries draw down from fully charged this quickly, would take a significant load.

However if you feel the need to still check the load on your batteries do the following:
Remove each negative (black) cable individually and connect your ohm meter between each lead you removed and the terminal it was removed from. Make sure you have the ohm meter set to the highest DC amps setting and that your meter leads are plugged into the right connection on the meter. Usually a separate connection exists on your meter for the highest DC amp measuring (mostly 10 amps).
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:38 AM   #4
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Hi Cal,

I agree with Harry that you probably have a bad battery. One shorted cell of one battery can cause this symptom. The batteries will appear to charge to 13 or so volts, but that is just surface charge and droops very quickly.

Be very careful using a meter with only a 10 or 20 amp. range. They will usually have a very low resistance fuse in line with the internal shunt that is used to measure the current. This fuse protects the shunt from overheating and blows quite quickly when overloaded.

If you do have a shorted cell in one of the batteries, then when you check for current drains, you will probably blow this fuse and therefore get a false reading of ˜0' current and think that there is no drain. If you ever get a ˜0' current reading, then check something with a known current to verify that the fuse in the meter isn't blown.

Best bet is to use a clamp on ˜DC' current probe. It uses a completely deferent way to measure current. (A Hall effect device senses the magnetic flux in an iron core (simple version)) A little expensive but an awfully handy test tool to have. They are available in several ranges, 200 Amps. is a good choice, and can handle brief surges of say 1000 Amp. with no ill effect. You can use it to see how much current each of the 12V device in the coach consume. Like the fan on the furnace, 10 Amps.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:47 AM   #5
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Thanks ! Great information. I think I will just push my service guy to verify the battery condition in more detail. Thanks again.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:33 AM   #6
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Cal, we have a 2008 Vectra and were experienceing the same problem. Well, the batteries were fine, but there is a cable that connects the batteries to the inverter/charger and it was bad. We had it replaced and all is well now and the batteries are holding just fine. Dimensions said that the cable was not up to specs and therefore it was not allowing the batteries to be charged. We spoke to the tech at GNR and he said they had seen that before and we were correct in having the cable replaced. Before you go to the expense of new batteries, have someone check this cable.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:51 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by glenda1908:
Cal, we have a 2008 Vectra and were experienceing the same problem. Well, the batteries were fine, but there is a cable that connects the batteries to the inverter/charger and it was bad. -snip- </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Hmmm..that cable (or the fuse) must have been open. In that case the inverter wouldn't operate and wouldn't charge the batteries.

My vote also is a bad battery cell(s). The problem with batteries wired in parallel is one defective cell can cause problems on the entire battery bank.

Welcome to the forum

Please let everybody know what the resolution is when you get it fixed.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:59 AM   #8
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Wow ! Thanks! Great information.
Wish we had made the GNR
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:13 PM   #9
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I wish I knew what the technical name was for this cable. I remember that it was grey, thin, and maybe a couple of feet long. At GNR when my husband saw it laying on the table at one of the vendors booths, he spoke to the fellow about our issue. He confirmed that they had a "batch" of bad cables and we must have gotten one. My best explaination of the problem is that its the cables job to tell the inverter to charge the batteries. We were getting a message on the LCD that the batteries were "over heated" and therefore, not charging. As I said in my first post, the batteries and the inverter were just fine, but the cable was faulty. The batteries would not charge even when we were plugged into 50 amp. We had to use a trickle start hooked directly to the batteries to bypass the cable and keep the batteries charged until we could get it replaced.
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:39 PM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I wish I knew what the technical name was for this cable </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Glenda,

This cable is the remote temperature sensor for the charger. The amount of charging allowed depends on the temperature of the batteries. This cables is easy to snap off the sensor which is attached to the neagtive post of one of the batteries.
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:31 PM   #11
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Just bought a 2006 tour. Sometimes my "auxilary disconnect" does not seem to work. I only would notice that because I had left a "house" light on that dimmed, but did not go off. Several times I have "played with it" and finally gotten the house light to go off and the lpg gas alarm to "chirp". Still don't know why, I just posted this as a problem.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:55 AM   #12
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I had the same problem. The house battries worked okay all winter but required a constant refil on water. Previous experience with that problem indicated the batteries were getting weak. When I got back from our winter site and took the coach to the dealer to get some warranty issues taken care of I had him check the batteries. The test indicated a bad cell in all three batteries. When he checked on replacements he found that there was a backorder of 500 batteries so he replaced them with equivalent Interstates and the problem was solved. I have to mention that the service manager did not hesitate to replace the batteries.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:52 AM   #13
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if there is a dead cell in one of the batteries it should run down with cable disconnected. try disconnecting batteries and checking voltage after a period of time. if voltage is down bad battery, if not ,voltage draw. if you separate the batteries the one with the dead should be the only one to discharge. hope it's a bad battery because a voltage draw can be fun to find.
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:48 PM   #14
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Hi Ho: An even easier test is simply to charge the batteries and do a load test. A common (cheap) load tester will draw 50 amps. The voltage should not drop below about 12 volts (unless there is a bad cell). Any auto repair shop will do a load test, but I finally got tired of depending on someone else and invested $10 in a load tester at Harbor Freight.

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