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Old 07-18-2016, 01:03 PM   #1
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Batteries dying in New 2016 Forest River Forester

Hello All

New to the forum but such a helpful site!

Just wondering if we are doing something wrong with the batteries. We have found that they don't last very long and trigger the alarm for low battery.

We will charge them up before leaving on a trip (attached to electrical at the house) then likely drive an full 8 - 10 hour day. Once we stop we may turn on lights for a short time, but are conscious of using any power. Don't use the microwave or what we think are power using things. We are always finding that the battery alarm will go off about 4 hours after we stop driving. The only thing that may be running seems to be the fridge although it is on gas but it seems it still takes some electrical. We turn off all the lights, no A/C or TV running.

Do we need to replace with better batteries or perhaps there is something wrong with the ones we have? The unit is only 6 months old. Sadly our dealer doesn't seem to have any answers for us.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:14 PM   #2
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There are several items that use DC power when the battery is connected. The fridge uses 12V to operate the control board. Also some of the larger fridges have a 12V heater strip between the freezer door and the fridge door. That draws a reasonable amount of current. The alarm you are hearing is technically not a low battery alarm, it is the CO/Propane detector letting you know that the voltage is too low for it to operate properly. It is also possible that you are not starting with a full battery or the battery has been discharged too low and charges, but will not supply full capacity. Do you have a fridge fan? Either inside the fridge or in the roof vent.
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNOLB View Post
Hello All

New to the forum but such a helpful site!

Just wondering if we are doing something wrong with the batteries. We have found that they don't last very long and trigger the alarm for low battery.

We will charge them up before leaving on a trip (attached to electrical at the house) then likely drive an full 8 - 10 hour day. Once we stop we may turn on lights for a short time, but are conscious of using any power. Don't use the microwave or what we think are power using things. We are always finding that the battery alarm will go off about 4 hours after we stop driving. The only thing that may be running seems to be the fridge although it is on gas but it seems it still takes some electrical. We turn off all the lights, no A/C or TV running.

Do we need to replace with better batteries or perhaps there is something wrong with the ones we have? The unit is only 6 months old. Sadly our dealer doesn't seem to have any answers for us.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks
You may have bad batteries. Do you have two? If one battery is bad it will also draw from the other.

After charging them while connected on shore power, read the voltage using a voltmeter. You should see 12.5 or 12.6 volts if fully charged. If that's the case then it appears the converter / charger is ok.

If they're still fully charged after you drive the 8 or so hours, then your chassis alternator is also charging them ok.

I would remove the batteries and take them to an Advance Auto Parts, NAPA or similar where they can be tested. Rule out whether or not the batteries are bad.

If they're bad, see if they are covered under your (assumed) 12 mo. Forest River warranty. I don't think they are, unfortunately. But at least you'll know.

If they're good, then something in your coach is sucking life out of them. A/C's do not use battery. I was thinking in that case I would pull all 12 volt fuses, then wait an hour before re-inserting each 12 volt fuse to see if you can isolate the culprit. If there's one for the fridge turn it off first before pulling the fuse.
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:35 PM   #4
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If they're wet cell, be sure to check water levels in the batteries.
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:18 PM   #5
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If they're wet cell, be sure to check water levels in the batteries.
Good point! I just got a 2017 and I'm going to check mine! RV manufacturers don't usually install the best batteries in these things as it is.
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:24 PM   #6
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Well it is either low water in the batteries/bad batteries or something is draining them

2 things you might check first are.
Do you have a closet with a light that is turned on by opening the door? And does it shut off when closed? Mine was not shutting off as it should.
If you have basement lights in a couple cargo areas are they shut off? They can be left on by mistake and not seen.
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:31 PM   #7
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Thanks so much

This forum is amazing. Thank you so much for your replies, we will check all of the suggestions to see what is going on! I would just like to solve the problem so as not be woken up in the middle of the night to the lovely sound of the alarm!

Here's to better sleep.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DNOLB View Post
Hello All

New to the forum but such a helpful site!

Just wondering if we are doing something wrong with the batteries. We have found that they don't last very long and trigger the alarm for low battery.

We will charge them up before leaving on a trip (attached to electrical at the house) then likely drive an full 8 - 10 hour day. Once we stop we may turn on lights for a short time, but are conscious of using any power. Don't use the microwave or what we think are power using things. We are always finding that the battery alarm will go off about 4 hours after we stop driving. The only thing that may be running seems to be the fridge although it is on gas but it seems it still takes some electrical. We turn off all the lights, no A/C or TV running.

Do we need to replace with better batteries or perhaps there is something wrong with the ones we have? The unit is only 6 months old. Sadly our dealer doesn't seem to have any answers for us.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks
I had the same problem when I first used my new 2014 Sunseeker. The dealer received the RV in the fall of 2013 and sold it to me in the spring of 2014. The intervening winter was brutally cold. I am convinced that the RV was not plugged into electricity over the winter. It may even be the case that the main on/off switch was left on. When a load test was performed on my batteries they proved to be bad. After new batteries were installed I had no problems what so ever.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:54 PM   #9
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The Batteries in My 14 were junk and caused all sorts of problems
The manufacturer gave me a pro rated rebate $100 or so back
I dropped in Two Interstates and life is good again


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Old 07-19-2016, 01:11 PM   #10
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I had the same problem last week with my new forester river class c 3051S

alarm went off about 4 1/2 hours after I turned in for some sleep. I accidently left the led awning lights on plus the outside porch light and the trail lights. it drained the battery causing the alarm to go Off I ran the generator for about an hour the batteries kept the charge then drove again to the the RV site
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:47 PM   #11
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Your house batteries are probably hybrid batteries that are a compromise between starting and deep cycle batteries. Automotive testers test the battery's ability to provide large amounts of current for a short time, what's necessary to start a vehicle. House batteries should be tested with a deep cycle tester, something that's not easy to find.

When I purchased my 2011 (new) Georgetown, the hose batteries were so dead that they wouldn't start the generator. On my way home from my first trip, I developed a wiring short in the hydraulic jack harness that put a constant 1-2A load on the house batteries and wasn't discovered until a few weeks later when I found a pair of totally discharged house batteries in the rig. After recharging the batteries, they tested "good" with an automotive load tester but I didn't believe the test results.

I built a deep cycle tester using a pair of auto headlights and ran a deep cycle test on one of the batteries which involved measuring the battery voltage every 15 minutes. I discovered that the batteries had less than 50% of their rated capacity. When I notified my dealer, he arranged replacements from FR under their new vehicle warranty.

I'm now ready for another set of batteries and will be replacing the 12V batteries with a pair of 6V golf cart batteries wired in series to give 12V. These are true deep cycle cells which are better able to withstand deep cycling and have over 25% more capacity than the hybrid 12V batteries that came with the rig.

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Old 07-19-2016, 02:42 PM   #12
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Look up my post about batteries draining...it was the 5A fuse running the fridge heater, this is most likely your problem! Let us know....
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:03 PM   #13
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I think the place to start diagnosis is at the batteries properly with a volt meter ON the terminals.
Plug in and take a reading. .should be minimum 13.2v and more likely 14.5v on a well drained battery. If not..you have a charger/converter or wiring issue.
If all is good...walk away for 12 or more hours AFTER making sure you've added distilled water to any low cells. If the plates in any cell are exposed...damage has been done to the batts.
After a minimum of 12 hours of charging...disconnect the negative battery wire and wait 24 hours. NOW take a voltage reading.
If the batts are good they will read 12.6-12.7. If there is some loss of capacity...12.4v. Anything below that and the batts capacity is seriously compromised & should be replaced with TRUE deep cycle batts.
If all checks out...it is time to look for hidden drains on the batts as some here have noted.
If nothing easy is found, an AC/DC clamp meter can run it down for you. I'll leave that for another post if you need it! 😀
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:38 PM   #14
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X2 on the voltmeter but I would also check the voltage when driving. If he drove 8 hours, the car alternator should have charged the battery unless there was something wrong with the battery center. My 2014 Sunseeker would not charge the house batteries because of a fault in the battery center.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:03 AM   #15
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I have a Sunseeker, 2015 3910DS,
I got the same problem,
I could be two days connected to a camp site, charging. My batteries and still can't last one night, even when I conserved energy.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:03 AM   #16
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A week or so back we boon docked @ a cousins place,,, MH sat all day,,, in the evening we put the 3 slides out,,, when we got up in the morning we did not have enough battery power to start generator,,, I had to run the engine so I could start generator...
I am sure running the 3 slides out took a lot of power,,, but thought I should still have some power left in the morning ???
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:34 AM   #17
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You might also check your trailer connection to verify you are getting the 12 volts through your plug to the trailer while traveling. Some vehicles do not come with that connection made up.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:42 PM   #18
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You might also check your trailer connection to verify you are getting the 12 volts through your plug to the trailer while traveling. Some vehicles do not come with that connection made up.
The OP is talking about a Motorhome.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:41 AM   #19
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So here is our update. Pulled the two batteries, seems one was shot the other tested okay. We chose to buy two new batteries. We are still camping while plugged in but should know what happens tomorrow night after we start our drive home. Batteries should get a good charge so fingers crossed.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:50 AM   #20
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So just an fyi....I did the same thing, 1 bad battery, replaced both....still had the problem until I pulled the fridge fuse.....just sayin ;-) good luck!
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