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Old 09-15-2020, 03:56 PM   #1
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A question for the experts - Parasitic drain

Hello, I found a 60ma drain on my chassis battery (not terrible, I know) but I decided to see which circuit was using the energy. I found that when I pulled a certain fuse the drain went to 460ma , WHAT? The circuit is labelled by Ford as Body-builders 12v battery feed. My rig is a 2006 Win Sightseer, F53 chassis that I recently acquired. So the question is how can this be possible, replacing the fuse did not rectify the drain, it remained at 460ma. I also reproduced this later on, same result. How can opening a circuit to the coach cause a large drain on the chassis bat. I'm baffled.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:32 PM   #2
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It would take a deep look at exactly your RV for model and then a deep look at the Ford wiring which puts us over into the area which the chassis builders do not share willingly as they tend to like to reserve work of this sort for their own service folks. Bottom line is that I would not expect to get wiring info with that amount of depth!
But there might be some value in guessing??
One guess might be that pulling that fuse cuts the feed to some item like antilock brakes, seat belts, airbags, etc. which sets off an alarm when the power is cut and the alarm light uses more power than the system does when it is just setting there in standby while all is well! In newer vehicles there are tons of electronics still active while we think the car is shut down and resting but all the while things are being
monitored and kept ready for use.
One thing that I might guess that would skew the reading before and after might be the fuel pump pressure. If the pressure sensor reading suddenly dropped off, would the fuel pump jump up to try to restore the correct pressure?
Lots of guessing there with no way to find out exactly what is involved, only theory. Part of the problem on RV is that we have several different electrical systems. Coach 110AC ,
Coach 12VDC, and chassis 12VDC, and we only get info on the coach portion and a small bit of the chassis portion that directly involves the batteries and connections between the two.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:04 PM   #3
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Thank you Morich for responding .... I like the way you think .... I actually considered the alarm possibility myself but 460ma seemed like a lot. As I think about it .... the only circuits that are vehicular that the body builder would install is lighting but this is my first motorhome so I'm sure there are more, I would assume all the major systems would be fused by Ford. The way Ford labeled the fuse made me think it was a charging line for the coach batteries but that doesn't seem right. Anyway, its not a real problem, as long as the fuse is in place ....more of a curiousity. Sad to hear that circuit documentation from Winnebago is not likely ..... Thanks again
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:07 AM   #4
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We all have different ways of looking at any question and mine is based on what I have done in the past. Many times, I wound up some place where there was a problem and it was equipment that I might never have seen before, so having the books was always critical and it often meant just going slow and looking for the bits and pieces to fit what we already knew about the basic idea. Microwave is pretty much micro, genset is genset and fiber is fiber but how each odes it and how to read their manual is always different, so that carries over to how I think of motorhomes, first I have to get the right info and be specific but from there it gets into a lot of trial and error to see if what seems right is the true story---or maybe that RV doesn't even have that option on that specific one!
I'm with you on being surprised at how much the current draw jumped up but on the other hand, I'm not too surprised at being surprised!
For info on your specific RV, this is one I use for parts and your year is not the best as later years have a much nicer set of drawings which can let us turn the rig over, around and every way we want to see where and how all thing are located and things like plumbing lines can really be seen but on your year you only get some drawings a list which is not super helpful if you don't know the exact name.
But on the other side, I find theelctrical is where I'm far more likely to want really specific, wire-by-wire and your 2006 gets much better there than my 2015!
Parts info:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/menu/Parts.htm
Wiring:
Wiring Diagrams
We get what we get and then start the hunt? Kind of like hunting rabbits except we may not be sure what the rabbit looks like??
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:37 AM   #5
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Could that fuse be powering a battery cutoff solenoid that when removed caused the connection to be active again? Just a WAG, I can’t imagine what else it could be.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:15 AM   #6
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MORICH, Thanks for your input and the helpful links, my best guess is that this fuse feeds the separate fusebox installed by Winne, this box has 4 fuses which I'm guessing are for the hydraulic jacks (1) Slides (2 and 3) and the entry steps (4) . I know these 4 are powered off the chassis battery. All the other feeds from the Ford fusebox (that reference the body-builder) are pretty descriptive .... headlights, tail lights, etc.

Happy Trails
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
Could that fuse be powering a battery cutoff solenoid that when removed caused the connection to be active again? Just a WAG, I can’t imagine what else it could be.
CREATIVEPART ..... Thats a good idea, I will have to look into that. My best guess is that this fuse feeds the separate fusebox installed by Winne, this box has 4 fuses which I'm suppose are for the hydraulic jacks (1) Slides (2 and 3) and the entry steps (4) . I know these 4 are powered off the chassis battery. All the other feeds from the Ford fusebox (that reference the body-builder) are pretty descriptive .... headlights, tail lights, etc.

The mystery continues ..... just glad it's not a critical problem. Thanks for responding
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:23 PM   #8
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Fuse

Keep pulling fuses until you figure out which one is responsible for the 460ma draw.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:34 PM   #9
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I had an alternator with a bad diode cause a draw one time. The alternator charged ok but was actually leaking a small amount of AC voltage (due to the bad diode) and it was causing a draw overnight even with the key off. I was able to confirm it by disconnecting the main lead and re-checking for the draw. I hope this info helps..
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorman View Post
Hello, I found a 60ma drain on my chassis battery (not terrible, I know) but I decided to see which circuit was using the energy. I found that when I pulled a certain fuse the drain went to 460ma , WHAT? The circuit is labelled by Ford as Body-builders 12v battery feed. My rig is a 2006 Win Sightseer, F53 chassis that I recently acquired. So the question is how can this be possible, replacing the fuse did not rectify the drain, it remained at 460ma. I also reproduced this later on, same result. How can opening a circuit to the coach cause a large drain on the chassis bat. I'm baffled.
Go online to YOUTUBE and enter parasitic battery drain. There are many mechanics with some very good videos that will help you a lot!
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:52 AM   #11
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I concur with this suggestion. Then you will have a clue, at least. Remember that 450ma is just short of only 1/2 amp. I have been working with electric and electronic devices for about 50 years and I was an automotive mechanic professionally for about 10 in electrical speciality. I found with cars it would be something like a glovebox light stuck on that would be a small drain on a battery. Maybe when you disconnected the battery and reconnected it the computer saw the unexpected drop in power and is trying to compensate . Also with modern cars this causes the engine control unit ,ie the computer, to lose all the sensor settings and it must run several cycles before it is all reset. I had a dodge caravan that had to run enough that it usual wasn't running smoothly for a few days. After you restart your engine you might get a check engine light. Reading the codes could give you a clue. Divide and conquer. If you have an amp meter that can take it , you can take out a fuse, and connect the meter across instead of the fuse. It will show you how much current that circuit uses. Most cheap meters only go up to 10 amps though so if you exceed the meter capacity it will blow a fuse or burn out your meter. I would probably reconnect the battery and run it for a while before retesting. Electronic devices are low voltage and are not forgiving. They can be destroyed very fast and sometimes without any indication like noise or smell or smoke.
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:37 AM   #12
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Hi Motorman
Your motor home has multiple computers and modules that are powered up and some devices use power all the time. 60ma in my opinion would be normal. There is probably some spec for your rig somewhere out there but I’m sure you are ok. It is possible that you are turning on one of these modules by removing that fuse. When the ignition key is cycled it can take 45 minutes or more for the computers to power back down to normal.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:12 AM   #13
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My money is on the Step Controller. THey are always on
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:19 AM   #14
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Guessing game w/o isolating the 60ma drain - remote entry key fob controlling door locks, entry steps, antitheft devices, memory/heated seats, towed vehicle brake controller, etc?
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