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Old 06-24-2015, 08:02 PM   #11
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I always disconnect when storing for long periods. Store button is ok for a week or so but I have better luck leaving my store button on and disconnect from the main in the battery compartment. When I return I turn the main disconnect to on and I start my genset and my engine, it works for me. I always at least once a month will run my genset and engine for a hour or more since I have limited electricity access. When I can get my turn to the electricity in the storage facility I will run my 100ft extension cord and charge for 8 or more hours. I have had battery issues from day one very similar to yours and now after a couple of years I have a system and its working.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:07 PM   #12
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As mentioned, you also need to turn off the inverter! When it is on, it is "seeking" a signal. I found this true, when dry camping, having turned off all power at night, I found my battery had expended power during the night. I eventually turned off the inverter at night, and then found very little if any expended power from the batteries the next morning.


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Old 06-24-2015, 10:32 PM   #13
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I also turn off the battery disconnects when storing for more than a week. I turn off both but I am surprised that your chassis battery's were dead after only a month. I could not tell you all the draws but I'm sure it is more than a car and I'm sure it has the disconnects for a reason. I use them. I would have them tested but in my experience if they froze the case is generally budge out. Run your hand down the side to see if the case is square. Not always but it's a good indication. Good luck.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:57 PM   #14
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Maybe the batteries were never fully charged by the dealer and that is why they die off so quickly. Especially if they had them hooked up to a charger with a fast charge prior to delivery. Un-plug your shore power and hook up a good battery charger and either slow charge overnight for a day or so or fast charge for a good 4-5 hours. Like baking, test to see if done!
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:35 PM   #15
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Maybe the batteries were never fully charged by the dealer and that is why they die off so quickly. ...
The batteries were fully charged, because the remote Magnum unit had reported that they were fully charged and that it was just doing the float charge or whatever.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:41 PM   #16
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I also turn off the battery disconnects when storing for more than a week. I turn off both but I am surprised that your chassis battery's were dead after only a month. .... I use them. I would have them tested but in my experience if they froze the case is generally budge out. Run your hand down the side to see if the case is square. Not always but it's a good indication. Good luck.
Phil,
I agree that the fact that the chassis batteries went down is harder to explain.

I did look for obvious damage of a freeze, like a bulge or leaking crack and found none. But, I didn't look too hard. I also never checked the water in the batteries.

If the Dealer does nothing for warranty, I'll do these more careful checks.

Given what everyone is saying, it looks like I need to disconnect the batteries if I store it. I wonder how many settings I'll lose in all the electronic devices.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:43 PM   #17
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Easiest way to tell is with a clamp meter. Clamp it around the main red batt wire with the salesman switch turned off and you'll know exactly what your parasitic amp drain is. The you can pull fuses or clamp directly connected wires to see what the parasitic drains are. Alternatively...if you're not curious...just disconnect the negative wire when in storage (and after charging to 100%) and your batts should be good for 2-3 months minimum even to 50% charge.

You have over 400 amp hours of battery bank with the 4 6V's . A .5 amp parasitic draw would flatten them in 5 weeks even if in like new condition... but a .5 amp draw is way more than just a propane detector. If the clamp measurement doesn't show close to that kind of draw...I'd bet on murdered batteries and would NOT blame the dealer unless they were told to charge them and they actually froze and you can see case deformation or cracking. . BATTERIES that are charged don't freeze...discharged ones do. Abuse in charging /discharging regimens...cooking batteries by leaving on full time charging...and failure to keep the water up are the main ways batteries lose capacity and fail. But something like a Magnum on standby and not wired through the cutoff switch can kill a set quickly too.
If you don't have a clamp meter that can read DC amps...they are very handed to have and start at about 50 bucks on Amazon. I have this one and am very happy with it. Amazon.com: Auto ranging AC/DC Digital Clamp Meter: Home Improvement
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:21 PM   #18
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Just a suggestion. If you have a power source, when I store mine, I use battery tenders and I've had no problems (except when I left my inverter on.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:39 PM   #19
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Just a suggestion. If you have a power source, when I store mine, I use battery tenders and I've had no problems (except when I left my inverter on.
Gasman,
I agree that having a power source would solve all of these problems. But, I'm storing it in a large storage area with hundreds of RVs that have no power. That is the way almost everyone does it in Calgary.

I'm hoping to do some work in my back yard to make room for the RV. Most people don't have a big enough yard, but a little work to take out a hill will give me room. But, that is a project for next year. Right now, I have a trailer in that spot and it is always on shore power.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:53 PM   #20
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Easiest way to tell is with a clamp meter. Clamp it around the main red batt wire with the salesman switch turned off and you'll know exactly what your parasitic amp drain is. The you can pull fuses or clamp directly connected wires to see what the parasitic drains are. Alternatively...if you're not curious...just disconnect the negative wire when in storage (and after charging to 100%) and your batts should be good for 2-3 months minimum even to 50% charge.

You have over 400 amp hours of battery bank with the 4 6V's . A .5 amp parasitic draw would flatten them in 5 weeks even if in like new condition... but a .5 amp draw is way more than just a propane detector. If the clamp measurement doesn't show close to that kind of draw...I'd bet on murdered batteries and would NOT blame the dealer unless they were told to charge them and they actually froze and you can see case deformation or cracking. . BATTERIES that are charged don't freeze...discharged ones do. Abuse in charging /discharging regimens...cooking batteries by leaving on full time charging...and failure to keep the water up are the main ways batteries lose capacity and fail. But something like a Magnum on standby and not wired through the cutoff switch can kill a set quickly too.
If you don't have a clamp meter that can read DC amps...they are very handed to have and start at about 50 bucks on Amazon. I have this one and am very happy with it. Amazon.com: Auto ranging AC/DC Digital Clamp Meter: Home Improvement
Cam,
I agree that a Clamp Meter would be handy. I used one a few decades ago and would have to buy one now. My Dad had access to one a long time ago.

Your point that a 0.5 amp draw would kill the house batteries in a week or so is very useful. I didn't know how few amp hours I have in those house batteries. I can imagine there are several components in the RV that might come up to more than the 0.5 amps.

In terms of blame if the batteries were actually frozen, that is an interesting question of responsibility. The dealer put the new RV into inventory in November and drove it to an RV show in January where we executed the purchase. One of the terms of purchase was that they would store until Spring, giving me time to arrange storage and get an airbrake licence. They did winterize it, so they clearly know about the importance of keeping batteries up. It is not obvious to me that I had the responsibility of actually telling them to keep the batteries charged – they had a whole lot full of RVs and should be experienced in taking care of the batteries.

Overall, it may well be that they weren't frozen over the winter. I'm still a little surprised that the chassis batteries died, because I can't see what would draw on them if the lights are off.

I'll wait to see the results when I pick it up after the warranty work is finished. And, clearly, I do need to use the cutoff switches when I store it.

Thanks to all for your advice.
–cheers, Gordon
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