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Old 06-12-2016, 08:51 PM   #1
2011 Berkshire 390bh
 
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Unique(?) Electrical Issue

On our 2011 Berk we seem to be having a unique electrical issue. It started soon after we got the coach and has been continuing on. We purchased the rig new in June of 2010. When I put the coach in storage that winter I turned the batteries off for both the house and the chassis. I plugged the rig into a 50 amp outlet to take care of any miscellaneous electrical loads. Shortly thereafter my landlord called me to tell me that he was getting high electrical bills and it seemed to be from my coach. He had unplugged the coach and could see the meter literally stop.

The following spring I noticed a lot of white powder on the floor of the battery compartment. All of the batteries seemed to be down in power for the house. Thinking that I may have just had some bad batteries I replaced all the house batteries in May of '14. I'm still having the same issue with batteries boiling out and losing their charge even when turned off at the battery disconnect.

Any ideas as to what the problem may be?
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:02 PM   #2
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Do you still have the original controller? I had lots of issues with mine so when I replaced the batteries I also replaced the controller. The new one allows you to set the charge rate. Lots more control. Click image for larger version

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This is the new one.



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Old 06-13-2016, 05:33 AM   #3
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Check out the thread "dim led ceiling lights". I'm have some of the same issues. Mine just started. I had one battery rupture.

Maybe check all your batteries again. Maybe one has shorted out and pulling lots of power?

Russell
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:50 AM   #4
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Also to reduce your high electricity consumption make sure your block heater is disconnected....

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ter-66673.html
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:53 AM   #5
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Do you still have the original controller? I had lots of issues with mine so when I replaced the batteries I also replaced the controller. The new one allows you to set the charge rate. Lots more control. Attachment 110972

This is the new one.

So do you set the rate of charge or the maximum charge Phil?

That controller looks like what's in mine. Maybe I go check it out today. ?

Russell
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:39 AM   #6
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Russell,
I set the charge rate on mine at about 70%.

Ed,
I can remember you posting this years ago. I thought that I was resolved by now.
Another good suggestion is to check your block heater and make sure it is not plugged in.
Also, it should be better when you get your new XLT!
Are you planning on attending any rallys this season?
Hope all else is well with you and the family.
Tom
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:50 AM   #7
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Tom and all, thanks for the responses.

My controller is still the older style Magnum controller. Can I get a new controller directly from Magnum or do I need to go through Forest River?

I made sure the block heater was not plugged in and I'm still getting a big draw down on the batteries even with the batteries turned off at the battery bay. I do have one battery that is bowed and may need to be replaced even though it is less than three years old.

Tom, the family is doing well with my twins now in college. One is a marketing major at Grove City in PA and the other is a mechanical engineering major at Rose-Hulman in IN. Still working and trying to get out in the rig more often.

Ed
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:54 AM   #8
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Russell,
I set the charge rate on mine at about 70%.

Ed,
I can remember you posting this years ago. I thought that I was resolved by now.
Another good suggestion is to check your block heater and make sure it is not plugged in.
Also, it should be better when you get your new XLT!
Are you planning on attending any rallys this season?
Hope all else is well with you and the family.
Tom

Ok. In my coach now. I do have a battery boiling over-- Just checked my charge rate. It was 90%. Changed it to 70%.

Anything else I might due while here. Other than having a Diet Pepsi from frig?

Russell
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:00 AM   #9
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Ed,
Just went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee (that's what us retired folk do (LOL!!) and had another thought. Did you check to see if the switch to put the water heater into electric mode is on? There is a switch outside under the water heater cover. I know from experience that it draws a lot of current to heat the water by electric.
Tom
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:16 AM   #10
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Ed,
Just went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee (that's what us retired folk do (LOL!!) and had another thought. Did you check to see if the switch to put the water heater into electric mode is on? There is a switch outside under the water heater cover. I know from experience that it draws a lot of current to heat the water by electric.
Tom

Mine is an on demand unit. And I do keep the switch to off when it is in the barn.

Russell
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:34 AM   #11
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Russell,
on the older coaches, the water heater is not an on demand unit. It has a tank and there are 2 modes that heat the water- propane or electric. When the electric is turned off, it heats strictly by propane. When the electric is on it will heat by electric or by both. The electric heating element draws a lot of current so I thought that could be the issue.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmmar View Post
Ed,
Just went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee (that's what us retired folk do (LOL!!) and had another thought. Did you check to see if the switch to put the water heater into electric mode is on? There is a switch outside under the water heater cover. I know from experience that it draws a lot of current to heat the water by electric.
Tom

Tom, but wouldn't that not draw any power when the batteries are turned off? It would seem like that would be the case. Would the controller still be active with the inverter turned off?

One other thing that I wonder about....I wonder if this has anything to do with Forest River having a recall and they replaced my inverter. I'm trying to remember exactly when they had the recall.

Ed
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:47 AM   #13
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Ed,
I'm not entirely sure how to answer your question. The water heater may work in the electric mode even with the batteries turned off because it is running strictly on 120v. You said you were plugged into a 50 amp outlet so there is power to the coach even with the inverter off. It only takes a minute to check. Take the outside cover off the water heater and you will see a little red rocker switch. I don't remember which position was on and which was off. I believe it was marked. I just remember that if I didn't shut that off, I would pop my cicuit breaker at home because I was only plugged into a 15 amp circuit which was just enough to keep the batteries charged.
Tom
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:10 AM   #14
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To see what the power draw is you could plug in the coach and turn off the breakers one at a time and see when the meter stops turning. Guessing like Tom suggested water heater could be on. Also the engine block heater needs to be unpluged. Should be in electric bay and it's just a regular outlet with black 120 volt plug.

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Old 06-13-2016, 09:52 AM   #15
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Hey Skip. Thanks for the input. The block heater wasn't plugged in and I'm not sure if the hot water heater was in electric mode or LP. I thought it was also turned off. We tried doing a fuse test and that didn't show up any usage so we're swapping out the controller and replacing the one bad battery. I'll let you know if that works.

Ed
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:16 AM   #16
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Wayne
I also have my charge rate set at 70% like Tom. Sorry to have cross posts.
Ed
You can order the controller anyplace. E bay and Amazon both have them. I definitely would get the new one before subjecting your batteries to more abuse. It is a plug and play item so very easy to install.



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Old 06-13-2016, 11:32 AM   #17
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Ed, the fuses would only be the 12 volt systems. The breakers I was refering to are the AC breakers that are under your bed in the breaker box. Let us know what you find out. Replaced all of our 6 volt house batteries this past year, the best price we found was Costco at $86 per battery.

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Old 06-13-2016, 11:44 AM   #18
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Skip,

We're going to start with the controller and replace the one bad battery. Both are on order. I never thought about the breakers under the bed. I'll have to look and see what I have there.

Ed
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:06 PM   #19
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AC breaker box (Berkshire)

Ed, your breaker box should look something like ours. Seperate breakers for several items, air conditioners, 120 outlets, block heater, water heater, inverter etc.

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Old 06-13-2016, 12:38 PM   #20
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Unique(?) Electrical Issue

$86 for a battery seem might cheap. The battery that I bought was $214. Must of weighed 90 #??
My batteries are 15" tall. Huge!!
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