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Old 01-11-2015, 01:57 AM   #1
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Battery Disconnect

I ran a little study today on my 2012 36RL before I found a cracked wheel. My battery disconnect has been turned on for approximately 10 days. I switched it off and had plenty of power to run all slides in and run lights with no problems. Then I heard the one item that lets me know when I have weak batteries, my carbon monoxide detector starts chirping. Checked the panel and it indicated batteries were 1/3 strength. I switched the disconnect back on and started checking all systems and found I still had power to the following:

All slides

Level up system

Hitch lights
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:21 PM   #2
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I found this issue when I had the battery disconnect switched to "off" in the driveway (while on shore power), I wanted to demonstrate the slide action to a friend and the batteries were completely dead. I changed some wires around at the buss junction box in the front basement so that everything is disconnected when the switch is off.

Something that I found lately that's related. I removed some hydraulic oil from the reservoir and put in a quart of CAT additive to stop the popping noises from the stabilizer cylinders. After doing this I tried to exercise the cylinders and got some solenoid chattering when only on convertor power (batt switch off). It seems that the hydraulic system doesn't like the power from the convertor. Turning on the batt switch solved the problem.

It's the first time I've tried to move the hydraulics when on convertor power only, all previous times it has been done with battery only or on both batt and convertor power.

If you decide to re-wire it's something you should be aware of.
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc View Post
I found this issue when I had the battery disconnect switched to "off" in the driveway (while on shore power), I wanted to demonstrate the slide action to a friend and the batteries were completely dead. I changed some wires around at the buss junction box in the front basement so that everything is disconnected when the switch is off.

Something that I found lately that's related. I removed some hydraulic oil from the reservoir and put in a quart of CAT additive to stop the popping noises from the stabilizer cylinders. After doing this I tried to exercise the cylinders and got some solenoid chattering when only on convertor power (batt switch off). It seems that the hydraulic system doesn't like the power from the convertor. Turning on the batt switch solved the problem.

It's the first time I've tried to move the hydraulics when on convertor power only, all previous times it has been done with battery only or on both batt and convertor power.

If you decide to re-wire it's something you should be aware of.
Something is not right. I don't think you should be able to move slides or do anything without the battery being on unless you still don't have a true 100% disconnect with your battery cutoff switch.
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:10 PM   #4
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Something is not right. I don't think you should be able to move slides or do anything without the battery being on unless you still don't have a true 100% disconnect with your battery cutoff switch.
Actually, re-wired at the buss so that I have a 100% battery disconnect, when the switch is off everything (including the hydraulics) runs off shore power when I'm plugged in. When I tried to exercise the cylinders when on shore power with the batts disconnected I got the chattering. When I re-connected the batts the chattering disappeared.

I'm not completely ruling out a bad hydraulic solenoid however, but it's surprising it went away when the batts were re-connected.
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by almcc View Post
Actually, re-wired at the buss so that I have a 100% battery disconnect, when the switch is off everything (including the hydraulics) runs off shore power when I'm plugged in. When I tried to exercise the cylinders when on shore power with the batts disconnected I got the chattering. When I re-connected the batts the chattering disappeared.

I'm not completely ruling out a bad hydraulic solenoid however, but it's surprising it went away when the batts were re-connected.
I guess I am a little confused. I don't know of time that I would be plugged into shore power and not want my battery on. The battery will stay charged that way. It's when the coach is in storage that I don't want anything to work with the battery off.
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
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Well, my experiences with previous RV's (excessive water usage and a set of batts failing after around 3 years in service just when I needed them to do some boondocking!) even with these "smart" convertor/chargers has taught me to disconnect the batts. We are on shore power almost 100% of the time we camp, we do very little boondocking, and even then we would probably use our Honda generator.

I know that these convertors can be set up to provide a trickle charge instead of throwing a boost charge at the batts every so often, but you have to lean over to get to and play with the convertor settings to do so, it's just easier to throw the disconnect to off when setting up and throw it back on when getting ready to roll. The truck will put any needed juice back into the batts on the road to the next campsite.

I just checked the batts last week for the first time in almost 2 years, no water usage at all. I'm a cheap Irishman, I want to get at least 5 years out of this set of batts!
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA1817 View Post
I ran a little study today on my 2012 36RL before I found a cracked wheel. My battery disconnect has been turned on for approximately 10 days. I switched it off and had plenty of power to run all slides in and run lights with no problems. Then I heard the one item that lets me know when I have weak batteries, my carbon monoxide detector starts chirping. Checked the panel and it indicated batteries were 1/3 strength. I switched the disconnect back on and started checking all systems and found I still had power to the following:

All slides

Level up system

Hitch lights
That is consistent with how mine is configured - (except for the wheel - )
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:50 PM   #8
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The Converter just doesn't quite have the juice to run the hydraulic pump by it's self, it needs that high power capacity that the battery/batteries can supply. Just look at the amps supplied by those big jumper starters that Car Dealers use, they put out several hundred amps to start those dead cars.
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