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Old 03-27-2007, 04:41 PM   #1
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Hello All,
I have a 39 ft 2005 Journey with 5 dead batteries! Obviously I have a problem that has not been addressed ( I had it in the shop last year for this but they clearly did not identify or correct my problem). I put new batteries in about November of 2005 but recently found that all is dead. I do not have 110 available where I store the coach so I have been trying to jump it. Is the CAT C7 starter on an '05 Journey a 24 volt part? I am not able to get sufficient power to start the coach from a jump? I suspect I either need to go 24 volt or pull the existing batteries and replace them with new?

Any ideas?
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:41 PM   #2
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Hello All,
I have a 39 ft 2005 Journey with 5 dead batteries! Obviously I have a problem that has not been addressed ( I had it in the shop last year for this but they clearly did not identify or correct my problem). I put new batteries in about November of 2005 but recently found that all is dead. I do not have 110 available where I store the coach so I have been trying to jump it. Is the CAT C7 starter on an '05 Journey a 24 volt part? I am not able to get sufficient power to start the coach from a jump? I suspect I either need to go 24 volt or pull the existing batteries and replace them with new?

Any ideas?
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:11 PM   #3
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Try connecting your jumper cables and let charge for about 1/2 hour. Then try to start the generator. Let the generator run for about an hour and see if you can maintain any power in batteries. Once you've got the coach batteries charged up, you can use your aux button to fire up the coach engine.

I believe your generator engine starter gets it's power from the chassis battery so you'd hook up the jumper cables to the chassis battery from your car.

Your car engine and generator engine are 12 volt so you'll be compatible on that level. The rest should heal itself in progression.

I'd put in new batteries and cut off blade switches when it got warmer. Just a suggestion.

Good luck Russ.
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:23 AM   #4
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Bugslayer,

I store my m'h without hookups too. What I do to alleviate the dead battery syndrome is disconnect the battery cables. Haven't had the problem since I started disconnecting.
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:59 AM   #5
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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 DonavonP:
...I believe your generator engine starter gets it's power from the chassis battery so you'd hook up the jumper cables to the chassis battery from your car. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My guess would be that the generator uses the house batteries to start while the engine uses the chassis batteries. That's what mine does.
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:35 AM   #6
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Russ ...

I think Donavan gave you good advice to get your genset started ... after you get the genset running put some sort of wedge under your MOM switch ... that will allow the genset to charge both your house and chassis battery ...

To see why I know this ...

Lesson from the school of hard knocks
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:48 AM   #7
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I also have the C7 and your starter is not24 volt so what ever you do....do not apply 24 volts to your system or you will way more problems than just dead batteries. I guess I'm curious as to why your house batteries are going dead...it sounds like maybe the solar charger isn't doing it's job there. I'm assuming of course that you have a solar powered charger (factory installed) that maintains the charge in your house batteries. I have had a problem with my chassis batteries going dead after about a month of sitting in storage without shore power to the coach so I swapped them out with the new dual purpose Optima Yellow Top AGM batteries that are both a deep cycle and a starting battery. I have also just installed the Battery Minder with a solar panel to power it for my chassis batteries. Bought the whole kit off of rvupgrades.com for about $100
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:58 PM   #8
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Guys, Thanks for all the replys, some good information there.

I guess I'm curious as to why your house batteries are going dead...

Good question and very likely the source of my problems? I had the coach in the shop about a year ago to determine the souce of the draw but ended up being told that my chassis batteries were bad (at least one was) and that one bad one would draw the other into the same state. That cost me two new chassis batteries and three new house batteries (house, I thought because I kept using them to start and ruined them with the quick draw).

Now, little over a year later I returned from a business trip to FL in Feb '07 only to find all batteries drawn down and a 'strange' bulge to the sides of the house and chassis batteries. Obviously they are frozen and, since they are both frozen, they must be completely discharged and since they are both discharged, there must be a draw at some common point? Now, there may be flaws in that logic but one way or the other, I need competent help in shooting this problem.

I would like to get it running so I could get to the local freightliner dealer but I am not able to jump from either (or both) of the 12 Volt battery packs I have and, there is a trailer parked next to me in the storage lot and I cannot get my truck in to jump directly from that.

I suspect I will end up buying a pair of batteries from the Freightliner dealer after explaining all this and producing documentation or calling my roadside service to get started and if they are succesful, I will still produce and explain when I get there?

I imagine the current batteries have seperated plates (shorted) from the freezing which would explain the inability to jump (I can get about half a crank but no more) so I am thinking that I need to bite the bullett and buy the batteries and throw myself on the mercy of Freightliner when it's over?

Chippysgt: Good advice on disconnecting and I really wish I had started that some time ago but I realize that would not have helped me to ID and correct the real problem in the chassis warrenty period.


It is frustrating to know that you do not have the option of pushing the coach to gain access to be able to jump from another vehicle.

Thanks to all for the suggestions and comments. I wondered about the 24 volt option since I am getting such poor results from attempting to jump from two portable battery packs and there are two 12 volt batteries? I understand that this is not the case so I suspect I use plan B or C at this point?

I'll update the thread when I have some result or have proven my theories wrong.

Thanks,
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:14 PM   #9
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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 BugSlayer:
Hello All,

I have a 39 ft 2005 Journey with 5 dead batteries! Obviously I have a problem that has not been addressed ( I had it in the shop last year for this but they clearly did not identify or correct my problem). I put new batteries in about November of 2005 but recently found that all is dead. I do not have 110 available where I store the coach so I have been trying to jump it. Is the CAT C7 starter on an '05 Journey a 24 volt part? I am not able to get sufficient power to start the coach from a jump? I suspect I either need to go 24 volt or pull the existing batteries and replace them with new?

Any ideas? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Also, are you using the battery disconnect since the MH sits so long? My MH has two disconnects; one at the stairs (electronic switch) and one near the batteries (manual)...
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:37 AM   #10
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My MH has two disconnects; one at the stairs (electronic switch) and one near the batteries (manual)...

Richard, Good thought but my coach only comes with the dash mounted disconnect. A proper disconnect will be a mod in the coming summer.

Thanks,
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:14 PM   #11
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It's a known problem. The engine batteries that is. On late 2005 models, such as your and my Journeys, Winnebago installed a engine power off switch in the back over the radiator. My Journey - one of the last 2005s off the line, has it.

There is a load on the engine batteries all the time - such things as the Transmission computer, the engine computer, etc. that will kill the batteries in about 2 weeks.

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Old 03-30-2007, 06:34 PM   #12
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Bugslayer,

A couple items -- first, you have a 12V system throughout your coach. Do not try hooking up any 24V systems to charge/start your coach. It will damage your system

As mentioned before, the battery disconnect to the engine batteries will solve your discharge of your engine batteries due to the parasitic draws to your engine battery. Starting in 2006 the new coaches have this disconnect as standard equipment.

Also, I would recommend the installation of a Trik-l-start which charges your engine batteries when plugged into 110V. Even when camping, hooked to electric, you will have this parasitic discharge; therefore the '06 units also have this Trik-l-start as standard equipment.

Another easy thing to do, without the engine disconnect switch is to disconnect your battery cable while in storage.
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:05 AM   #13
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If you have not yet been able to jump the batteries, you may be able to reach the two connections to your generator where the house batteries are connected to the back side of the generator in order to start the generator. These connections are located underneath your chassis, back side of generator. Thus you would run the jumper cables from your car/truck underneath the front end of the motor home, up the back side of your generator to the two connections where the house wires are bolted into the generator connections use to start the generator. On my Journey 36G, this was easily visable when crawling under the front end of the motor home to lube the front end. You may be able to also charge your house batteries a bit doing this before trying to start the generator.
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:43 AM   #14
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Thus you would run the jumper cables from your car/truck underneath the front end of the motor home, up the back side of your generator to the two connections where the house wires are bolted into the generator connections use to start the generator.


Thanks all for your responses! CWHTRAINS, I was wondering how to bypass everything to get the genset running and I will be under the coach to try your approach! I hope the connections are well marked? Additionally, I will be checking out the '06 battery disconnect to see if it can be fitted to an '05 model? I suspect there is some 'common' component that is causing all this and will get to a Freightliner shop as soon as I get things turning again.

PUSHERMAN, thanks for the warning! The thought occurred that I may be using too little to try to start because of the 'poor' response I got with 12 volt but I now suspect this was because things are being drained off from whatever component is causing the draw?

If the jump to the Genset does not work then I will buy and install the batteries myself and try to work it out with Freightliner when I get to the shop. I went through this all in November of 2005 andf ended up with a promise that all was in order and five new batteries. Apparently I will not be returning to that shop as they obviously did nothing but replace batteries. With just slightly over 11K on the coach I should not be going into my thrid set of batteries!

Thanks all!
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:30 AM   #15
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Let us know how things worked out!
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:46 AM   #16
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Just as a point of reference as to how well things can work - my Journey has been stored outside this winter with no 120V power available. I have a Trik-L-Start permanently installed. I hit the house battery disconnect when I leave it in storage. It has the stock 10W solar panel that charges the house batteries even when they are "disconnected". When the Florida sun has the solar panel hummin', the Trik-L-Start diverts part of the charge to the chassis batteries. My Trik-L-Start is wired a bit different from the factory installed ones in that it's connected to both battery banks even when the house batteries are disconnected (I have the house battery feed to the Trik-L-Start connected to the "hot" side of the disconnect solenoid). I don't have a disconnect switch on the chassis batteries.

After that rather long-winded explanation, the result is: visited the MH yesterday, after being stored for a month, house=13.0v and chassis=12.7v. I can't ask for anything better...
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:01 PM   #17
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Russ, although we'll all agree that you should not be on your third set of batteries in this short of a time, I would caution you to NOT TRY to jumper or charge those buckled batteries. That is an indication of internal problems due to freezing, and you may cause the battery to explode, spraying acid all over you, your rig, and everything else in the way.

If you need to get the rig started now, go and replace the batteries, install a proper size battery disconnect switch, (must be rated for the engine starter current draw of several hundred amps), and deal with warranty re-imbursement later.

But whatever you do, do not try to charge or jump those buckled batteries.
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:19 AM   #18
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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 Capt.Bill:
Russ, although we'll all agree that you should not be on your third set of batteries in this short of a time, I would caution you to NOT TRY to jumper or charge those buckled batteries. That is an indication of internal problems due to freezing, and you may cause the battery to explode, spraying acid all over you, your rig, and everything else in the way.

If you need to get the rig started now, go and replace the batteries, install a proper size battery disconnect switch, (must be rated for the engine starter current draw of several hundred amps), and deal with warranty re-imbursement later.

But whatever you do, do not try to charge or jump those buckled batteries. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ditto!

My kid brother made that mistake. His aviator glasses are what saved him from getting blinded. He had a nice red glow for a while and ruined a good shirt. He spent the better part of the day cleaning up the mess but still had some electrical problems from it later that year. Battery acid had gotten into a few electrical connectors which he missed during cleanup.

On my Onan the battery terminals for jump starting are accessed from the side access panel and are on the lower left under a rubber cover. Still don't jump start it with bulging batteries, only use a jump if you don't put fully charged replacement batteries back in the coach.
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:36 AM   #19
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Capt. Bill & NielV, Thanks for the warning! An explosion is not something I thought about with everything else on my mind (I know it sounds stupid since it is obvious once pointed out) but your warnings have the ring of truth. Since I will end up having to get new batteries anyway, I will do things in the right order.

Tomsm, Good to know it can be done. I was getting ready to find another storage spot with power or to negotiate a 110 line install with the owner of the storage center where I currently stay (based on Pusherman's recommendation). If the solar panel can do it with a Tric-L-Start then that may be a way to go but till then, I still have to find out what is drawing down on the batteries as I do not believe my situation is solely the result of parasitic discharge.

Thanks all!
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:07 AM   #20
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Russ, I do have a couple of advantages with no freezing temps and lots of sunshine. However, unless your solar panel was covered with snow a lot this winter, it should have at least kept your house batteries charged enough to prevent freezing. The chassis batteries absolutely will go flat in a couple of weeks without a little help, so it's probably to be expected that they froze.

I'm sure you use the house battery disconnect, but double check to make sure your inverter is not in "standby". Even though the inverter uses the house batteries, it is still connected even when you use the disconnect switch. If it is in standby, it draws some current even if no AC is being used. There's no indication on the panel until you push the inverter button. Then it should either read off or standby. Of course with dead batts, you can't get the readout. This is all assuming you have the 2kw Dimensions inverter.

If it's not the inverter, then I agree that something is amiss - the solar should be able to keep the house batts charged.
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