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I have a strange problem where when I leave my house, my RV…

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I have a strange problem...
I have a strange problem where when I leave my house, my RV batteries are fully charged, but when I arrive after even two hours driving, the coach batteries are all the way drained. I do not have a DC fridge, and nothing is running in the coach. My alternator is working because the engine runs fine, and my batteries recharge from the engine when I am parked if I run the engine. The batteries hold up fine when I am at camp - they only deplete when I am driving. I have load tested the batteries and they are great. They are only two years old.
Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 2 hours by:
9/14/2017
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 9 months ago
Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 14,594
Experience: 18 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
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Hi, I'm Robert. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question now and will post back with your reply momentarily.

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RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 9 months ago

So you are saying ONLY when driving the house battery will run down and you are saying that when you run the engine parked the house batteries charge back up???

Thanks, Robert

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hi Robert - Yes, the batteries work just fine when I am dry camped, using my generator, etc. Same when plugged into shore power at home. Everything works fine and just as it should, except that when I drive to a camping spot, I am always drained according to the four red light meter on the control panel. I believe this to be accurate because my fridge will be flashing a message telling me "Low DC Voltage" as well. It is not a DC fridge, its just telling me that the fridge controls will start freaking out I think. The batteries are all linked together (four class 29 Interstate Deep Cycle RV Batts). I have disconnected each battery individually and load tested them in isolation and they are all perfect - only two years old. I believe the alternator to be OK because if I watch the four red light meter and start the truck, it starts to bring them back up. When I am driving, there is no appliance or anything of substance running on DC and I always start having been plugged into Shore Power for weeks and fully topped up.I told you it was weird!Lloyd Riddle
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 9 months ago

OK

So do you know if the house batteries should charge off the alternator? Some RV's do and some do not, they use a solenoid or battery isolator to charge the house battery via the alternator. If that failed it could be the problem, some use the aux boost solenoid for that charging circuit.

What you can do is get a volt meter and test light. Let the engine run and check the battery voltage, if it is dropping then something is drawing on the system. IF you have that battery boost solenoid disconnect it and see if the voltage levels out, if that aux boost solenoid was bad it might be draining the battery down.

What you could also do to check for a draw is remove the main negative cable from the house battery and hook one end of the test light to the main cable and the other end to the neg battery post, the light should be really faint, if it is bright you have a draw, next go to the house fuse panel and pull each fuse one at a time and I would also see what other items are hooked up to the house battery on smaller cables, disconnect them and see if the draw goes away.

IF your fridge has a high humidity switch make sure it is OFF, the reason being if the switch is ON and the fridge is OFF then it will have a large draw, something I have seen over the years. Yours might be a little newer to have that humidity switch.

Finally what you could do is install a manual disconnect switch at the battery, it would be a lever you move back and forth to connect and dis-connect the batteries, that might be something to try until you can find the draw.

Hope this gives you some ideas, if you have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

IF you are satisfied with my efforts please feel free to select a STAR rating on the page...

Robert

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RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 9 months ago

I got a message saying that you might have more info or questions, just respond back here as needed.

I am around daily and respond when I can...

Robert

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hi Robert - trying again. I submitted response twice but it does not show up. Bot***** *****ne - I think you might have missed what I said. The engine IS charging the battery - I know this because I can watch the four red led light meter climb when I start the engine. I also know there is no mysterious coach draw or drain. I know this because when I dry camp the batteries work fabulously - I hardly ever have to even run my generator. Nothing is drawing abnormally and my batteries last just great (after recharging them upon arrival due to them being dead while driving). So, it has to be something with the act of DRIVING that is causing this to happen? What is it about driving that could cause this?
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 9 months ago

OK

The only thing I can think of off hand that would cause this is if you have a battery boost solenoid and it is faulty. The battery boost solenoid ties the chassis and house battery together when you hit the switch on the dash to boost the starting battery in case it was low on voltage. In fact some boost solenoids also will charge the house batteries via the alternator when you are driving. It is about the only item I can think of that would cause the problems you are having and I might try to replace it and see if it solves the problems. IF you hit the battery boost switch inside you should hear it click each time, one way to find it. IT would have a cable from the starting battery and house batteries going to it.....

Hope this points you in the right direction....

Robert

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