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Dead starter battery

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ge_montana

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Dead starter battery
« on: September 02, 2012, 12:19:38 pm »
Today I had the 4th dead starter battery this month. Battery was new in January. Everything is turned off. Levelers are down but off. House batteries are on but plugged into 30 amp outlet.


Getting down to problem has to be dead cell. Any other ideas

Greg
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Rotorbrain

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 03:07:44 pm »
Greg,

Sounds like you have an "electrical leak". Something in your chassis (Ford) is sneaking enerygy from your battery.  Disconnect any extra wiring that may be attached directly to your battery such as a brake controller and see if the battery will stay up.  You obviously are buying good batteries, but you may have to temporarily connect an ammeter in line with your battery wire to see if the leak still exists after you remove everything else.  Our chassis battery has never given us a moments problem so I think this is a serious matter.

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Barry-Sue

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 03:37:04 pm »
Greg

As a precaution retract the PC steps so they cannot put a drain on the battery.

If the battery can be easily removed I would take it to a good auto parts store and have them test it.  Otherwise, fully charge the battery and wait at least 12 hours and then check the output voltage.  If the voltage is around 10V you probably have a bad cell.  If not you might have a drain on the battery.


Barry
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kevin

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 05:03:52 pm »
When I go route of charging battery & testing with meter, I disconnect battery and test prior to charge. Then I check every so often or wait overnight and then check.  As I really don't know what I am  doing, I like disconnecting the battery so as to establish an isolation zone twixt thingies (& make notes as I am great at dismantling and not so good at mantling).

May the Force be with You

kevin


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mciai2000

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 01:00:20 pm »
Greg:

On my old 2350 I found that the lights on the running board stayed on and drained my battery.  You could not notice it during daylight hours.  Only by dumb luck did I go out one night into my garage to see that they stayed on and never went off.  I don't remember if the problem was that I pushed the light switch on the dash or replaced the actual switch.  I think that I had a faulty switch....  Good luck.

DJM
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bigbadjc

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2012, 02:33:29 pm »
I have no idea if he is right or not, but my RV mechanic swears that some of the electronic gear in the vicinity of the instrument panel periodically runs routines that will slowly run the battery down over time (not a day or two).   Accordingly, he recommends installing a battery disconnect switch on one terminal of the battery.  I have one and use it when we park the RV in our storage unit after the camping trip.  This seems to have solved any problems we had.  Of course, when your're travelling and either using the engine or plugging in it's no problem anyway.

Jerry

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ge_montana

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 07:33:05 pm »
Turns our the lights under our steps do not go out on the front door. Tried the door switch but light did not go off, must be stitch cut the wire and pated it off, will now want unit l get one to fix stitch. Hope this works.

Will keep you posted.

greg
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TomHanlon

Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 06:49:38 am »
I think that the dash lights dimmer switch might control the running board lights. Try dimming the dash lights. The rotary switch on full bright would normally turn on the dome light, but it might be turning on the running board lights.

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bobander

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 10:53:42 am »
I think that the dash lights dimmer switch might control the running board lights. Try dimming the dash lights. The rotary switch on full bright would normally turn on the dome light, but it might be turning on the running board lights.

Agree, on my 2010 2551, the running board lights stayed on with the rotary switch rotated to full bright.
2010  PC 2551

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 12:08:49 pm »
This also applies to my older 2007 E350 chassis.

If I turn on the dome lights in the cab using the headlight control switch, then I turn off the dome lights individually using the switches by the light fixture, the running board lights remain on, I think indefinitely, though not 100% sure.
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ge_montana

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 11:52:44 am »
thanks did it, now to reconnect the wire I cut.

Ge_montana
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TomHanlon

Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2012, 06:28:15 am »
Glag that worked. Now you know the little secret.  ;) Keep it a secret and you can help the next guy that has running board light problems.

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mciai2000

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2012, 12:01:34 pm »
Greg :

Glad you found the problem. 

That problem followed me for about 6 months until I went into the garage at night by happenstance and saw that dang running board light on. It was an "aha" moment.

DJM
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Anne and Bob

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 02:30:44 pm »
Well, we were supposed to leave for Yuma in 2 days.  Wanted to weigh the rig fully loaded this morning.  Went out and the engine battery is completely DEAD.  reads 2.1 Amps.  Tried to jump start with our honda and it wouldn't even turn over.  Good Sam is on the way.  Wondering if we have a bad cell or what.  I am just getting exasperated.  I guess when you are plugged into A/C it doesn't charge the engine battery and we had the steps out for the past three weeks.  In our old Monaco you just pushed a button and used the house battery to start.  Don't want to sit and try to charge this one by holding the dash battery switch for a couple of hours.

Wonder what will happen next.  Haven't even been on a cruise yet.  2 hours and Good Sam Road Service still is not here.  They sent someone from 55 miles away because the people that AAA normally use who are 2 miles away are not on Good Sam system.  Should have stayed with AAA RV Plus.  Forgot about my past experiences with Good Sam.

And, today's my birthday.  I should be having a happy day. pyho pyho pyho

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Dead starter battery
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 03:49:07 pm »
Anne & Bob,

Sorry to hear of your troubles, but you have learned it is best to disconnect the ground cable on the starting battery while in storage.  So welcome to the "I Killed My Battery Doing Nothing" club.

You might want to consider carrying extended length jumper cables to bridge between your coach and starter batteries.  Or do what I do and carry a 4/10/20/40 amp battery charger and extension cord that will run off the generator.

FWIW, my 2007 E350 chassis starting battery seems to drain down every-other month like yours did, but 5 years running, and all is still well after that mishap.  Hey, it's better than my Corvette which will drain down after 4 to 5 weeks.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 03:51:15 pm by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer