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Author Topic: Dead starter battery  (Read 2607 times)
ragoodsp
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« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2012, 08:13:15 pm »

For those that have problems with dead batteries you might want to install two Battery Tenders.  I have one unit for the coach and one for the chassis and I have hard wired them together and then just plug into 120V and that  keeps them all in top notch shape.  total cost is less than $150.  Just remember to unplug when you pull out!    Thanks
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ge_montana
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« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2012, 09:02:43 pm »

It's a bummer. I have purchased a secondary battery with its own jumper cables that we carry in the toad at Walmart. I charge the night before we leave on a trip. This one starts my E450

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Stanley-500-Amp-Jump-Starter-with-Compressor/13035281
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2012, 04:32:11 pm »

Since you have two fully charged coach batteries sitting in a slideout tray on the same side of the rig as the chassis battery, I would carry extra long jumper cables.  Start the generator, hook up the cables, wait 15 minutes, and you are likely good to go.  If not, just wait a little longer.

The long cables could also come in handy throughout your trip if your tow vehicle needs a jump, or even a neighboring camper.
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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2012, 05:22:28 pm »

Ron....a question.

Yes, the two coach batteries are fully charged.  We are plugged into AC which keeps them charged.  My question:  Why do I have to start the generator if I am plugged into electric?  Does the battery charger work faster from the generator than from plain AC?  I am feeling dumber all the time.

We have NEVER had our engine battery go dead on any of our RVs and they used to sit sometimes a month at a time when we were parked in a park and never started the motor.  And even our PleasureWay engine battery never died.  And that was a Ford too.  Is it the new Fords?  Or is it the fact I left the stairs down for three weeks.  I thought it would take more power to open and close the steps every time I went in and out loacing than if I just left it open.  I am now going to be reluctant to ever use the button that keeps the steps out.  Like how many days with the steps out does it take to drain a battery?
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2012, 05:39:31 pm »

Anne and Bob,

You ask some interesting questions that I have only a few answers for.

You are right, I was wrong concerning running the generator.  If you are plugged into 110V shore power, then you are all set to jumper to the front underhood chassis battery.  I assumed you were not hooked up to shore power.

It is a mystery why the chassis battery drains so quickly.  I do wonder if the newer 2009-2013 Ford chassis has more stand-by features like for example the built-in dash board GPS, wireless key fobs, alarm systems and such, features that have a small current draw even when everything is turned off.

PC owners do find their chassis door step lights on when they thought they were off.  Just be sure those little lights at the steps of the two front Ford doors are off when you leave.  If they are on, turn them off using the headlight dash board dimmer switch.

I think the entry door step does not draw power either way, but not 100% sure.

Hopefully someone else will chime in and provide better information than I have here.
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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2012, 06:37:05 am »

...We have NEVER had our engine battery go dead on any of our RVs and they used to sit sometimes a month at a time when we were parked in a park and never started the motor.  And even our PleasureWay engine battery never died.  And that was a Ford too.  Is it the new Fords?  Or is it the fact I left the stairs down for three weeks.  I thought it would take more power to open and close the steps every time I went in and out loacing than if I just left it open.  I am now going to be reluctant to ever use the button that keeps the steps out.  Like how many days with the steps out does it take to drain a battery?

Anne & Bob, I just had to comment on your never having a battery die on you -- even though I have always taken care to start/run my Ford engine (and one Chevy in the past) or run the camper around weekly even in the dead of winter, I have managed to "kill" my battery on more than one occasion (usually once per vehicle).  I try to do all the things that keep a battery in good shape, being careful about battery drain, cleaning, etc -- it has happened to me at least once on every vehicle I have owned.  The only time I can remember it not happening was when I had a pop-up & no battery!  A week ago it happened while parked at a campground with friends for a week (not going anywhere) and after a long 5 hour drive up to the grounds.  The guys camping with us decided that it was a combination of all the PW running lights coming on every time we opened the door and staying on for 20 sec, and a chassis battery that was probably at least a year older than the build of the PW we're still driving.  Oh well, in a week, we are scheduled to pick up our Phoenix (yea!!!) and we can discover all the things that the rest of you are finding out about this brand.  I have a list, thanks to all of you:  let's see, steps going in and out (do they run off the chassis and not the house battery? Ah, well, something else to remember), running board lights, don't leave the cab doors open too long.  Aw, shucks!  I think I'll keep my Coach-Net service contract up and just enjoy the wait in my beautiful PC if the battery does die!  But I am going to get those jumper cables...

And, by the way:  hope it was an otherwise terrific birthday!  Wish you many more!
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2012, 09:50:18 am »

GE-MT:

It sure seems like you must have something draining on that chassis battery?  The chassis battery is not small in size and while it does have drain on it all the time like Ron D described it should last atleast a couple of weeks without any problem.  I would really check around to see if something has not been left on that would have a more significant drain.  The stair does come off the chassis battery but that yellow light only stays on for a few minutes and I can not imaging there is any draw after the light goes out but who knows?  It was my understanding that the "jump switch" on the dash that jumps from the coach batteries to the chassis  battery only needs to be held in the on positon for several minutes (like 10-15) to do the trick and not for hours like you eluded...best of luck in your diagnostic work!
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lghjr
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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2012, 11:35:14 am »

If the dead starter battery is in the same coach with the leveler problem (I did not back check the threads) I would suspect that there is still a problem with how that leveler control box is wired (you can check that control for power underneath the coach, power lights will be on and visible through the plex'g cover, it would not necessarily show up on the operator panel in the cab if it is mis-wired). 

Easy way to see what the current draw is would be to unhook the positive side of the coach battery and put an amp meter in series with whatever load is present when everything is supposed to be shut off. 

If the load is higher than 10 amps the fuse in the meter will blow to protect the meter.  If that fuse blows you have a major problem that could cause major damage.

If it is just a parasitic load then you have to determine what is on that should not be and correct it. 

Another, not recommended way, is to time the discharge rate, from a fully charged battery and then determine what uses that amount of power in an idle state, and then correct that condition.
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lmichael
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« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2012, 05:37:25 pm »

I've been parked in a campground for the past 9 weeks with the step out, and the battery is still fully charged.  The lights under the steps are not on either.  You must have a Ford wiring issue.
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« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2012, 08:43:58 am »

Our PC was idle all last winter (November to March) and it had no problem starting in April. Same with the 2010 2551 & 2007 2350 before it (no battery charger on any).
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« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2012, 02:25:15 pm »

Well, I checked the dimmer switch and it was all the way on so I turned it all the way off.  Had my GPS plugged into 12 volt to keep the battery charged so unplugged that.  I noticed that when you open the drivers door the front and rear running lights come on for about 20-30 seconds but I think I have solved that with the dimmer switch.

It seems to me that it would take more power to just leave the steps out rather than every time you open the door the steps come out and you close it and they go back in.  Does anyone know how much the steps draw when they are out? Or how much it takes to move the steps out and back when the button is not pushed?

I did notice that you can see a glow from where all the plugs are plugged in for surround sound.  Not the TV amplifier but all the jacks on the other side of the cabinet.  Don't know if the surround sound is powered by the house or the chassis batteries.  Anyone know that?  Guess I could turn off the DC power and if the light stays on it is the chassis and if it goes off it is the house.

That's all I can think of but to make sure I had Bob start the motor yesterday since I had been going in and out quite a bit.

And, YES, we have a long jumper cable that would reach from the house battery to the chassis battery.  Had to loan it to the Good Sam man because his would not reach.  LOL
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« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2012, 02:52:04 pm »



It seems to me that it would take more power to just leave the steps out rather than every time you open the door the steps come out and you close it and they go back in.  Does anyone know how much the steps draw when they are out? Or how much it takes to move the steps out and back when the button is not pushed?



It doesn't take any power to leave the steps out, a limit switch cuts power when the step reaches the, well, "limit".
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2012, 09:31:44 am »

GE-M:

I would have to conclude that if your dimmer switch was on beyond the "intent" then your running board lights wee most likley on all the time. The tow dome/bullet lights would not be on if their switchs were off. I bet you have found your culpert in those little running board lights that you would never see on with the doors shut or you really went looking around at night.  bets of luck.   Thanks
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2012, 01:16:54 pm »

Anne and Bob:

The running lights (front and back) do in fact come on for like 20 sec.'s everytime the front doors are opened and that is the way they are suppose to operate.  I am sure Ford could program the onboard computer to do otherwise but I find it a very nice feature.  I would not be cutting any wires to stop the feature or you may in fact cause many other issues.  I hope you have found the problem with the dimer switch and the running board lights?
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« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2012, 11:04:32 pm »

We are parked at our Yuma house and I have the steps out.  I think the culprit was the rotary switch for the dome lights etc. was all the way on.  The dome lights were shut off so it was not them, but I think it was the door lights etc. and the fact that when that switch is all the way on, when you open and close the door the running lights came on for like 30 seconds.  We keep checking the battery to make sure it is not losing power.  In the meantime we are ordering a nice Black & Decker Battery Charger per Ron's recommendation today. Heart Shower
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