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Old 07-16-2016, 07:11 PM   #1
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New motorhome, dead batteries.

So we picked up our "New" Coachman Concord 300DS last Thursday. I'm sure it's been to a few RV shows and has been on the lot for awhile.

Today, (2 days later) we went out to the driveway to attempt to level it up with the Quadra Bigfoot Hydraulic Leveling System. The controller was flashing front and rear lights and according to the Bigfoot manual, if those lights on the controller are flashing, and the power switch, when pressed, does not light up... then the coach batteries are low.

I plugged in to my house 110 outlet using a surge protector and converter. Still nothing. It's been charging for a couple of hours, still nothing. Do you suppose the batteries have gone bad? Should I insist on new batteries, since this is a 2016 "New" motorhome?
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:50 PM   #2
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If the batteries are low it will may take a few days to charge them using the converter. You should remove them and have them checked and, if their good, charged. This also assumes your converter is good but since it's a 2016 is most likely is ok.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:02 PM   #3
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Could you unhook them, and use a real battery charger?


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Old 07-17-2016, 10:10 AM   #4
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I don't have a "real" battery charger, so can't do that right now.

I have another question though:

What is the power source priority sequence of these motorhomes? According to the blinking lights on my auto-leveling device, my motorhome batteries are low so it won't even try to level it. I plugged it in to my house 110 (as mentioned previously)... those lights on the controller were still blinking, so no leveling. I started the on board generator and still had the blinking lights, and no leveling.

I would think either being plugged into my house OR running the generator would take over and bypass the batteries. Do you think the jacks ONLY work via the motorhome batteries? Everything else works in the motorhome.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:17 AM   #5
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Look around for a battery disconnect switch. In my old class c it was by the entry door. It would kill power to the house systems so it wouldn't drain the battery while in storage as fast but other systems relying on 12v power wouldn't run.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:29 AM   #6
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Look around for a battery disconnect switch. In my old class c it was by the entry door. It would kill power to the house systems so it wouldn't drain the battery while in storage as fast but other systems relying on 12v power wouldn't run.
They explained the battery disconnect switch and where it was located when we had our walk through. I drove it home from the dealership, after they had it plugged into a 30 amp plug all day. The drive home was about an hour. I didn't think about turning the disconnect OFF when I got home. Didn't think the batteries would drain in just a couple days. Anyway, I finally got around to trying to level it up 2 days later. I thought it was kind of weird that when I opened the side door on the motorhome, that the step didn't automatically open. So... assuming the batteries were dead I plugged it in. Went back to the side door and whalah, the step came out. All the lights work, but the leveling device still tells me the batteries are low and it won't level.
I charged it all night and went out to check this morning... still blinking and won't level.
I thought, maybe if I start the engine, it might reboot the leveling controller. I started the engine, let it run a couple minutes, turned it off... still blinking and won't level.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:34 AM   #7
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New motorhome, dead batteries.

Silly question but I'll ask anyway, is the emergency brake engaged?
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:35 AM   #8
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Silly question but I'll ask anyway, is the emergency brake engaged?
Not silly, but YES it is.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:41 AM   #9
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Couple of things:

Make sure as many 12 volt items as possible are off, let the converter charge the batteries for at least 48 hours. Then disconnect the batteries and let them sit for a bit, then take a voltage reading. I would also check the level of the water in the cells. They may have let them run dead at the dealership and not bothered to try to recharge them properly.

My batteries will run a good 4-6 days with the battery switch on, battery switched off even more than that.

I would also check the Bigfoot manual and see how to "reboot" the system.

Auto Systems must unplug/replug the the interface cable to clear code on the panel, regardless

I have also attached a pdf copy of the manual for you.


Some things to make sure are turned off: Television amplifier, both inside and outside stereos, make sure they are OFF and not just on standby, thermostat and fridge. Even with the battery switch off you have a few items that still pull current, typically the LP/CO detector and maybe the fridge board, if it is not switched off. I have requested a wiring diagram from Coachmen, hopefully they will provide one and I will have a better handle on how things are set up on the electrical side.

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Old 07-17-2016, 10:53 AM   #10
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Couple of things:

Make sure as many 12 volt items as possible are off, let the converter charge the batteries for at least 48 hours. Then disconnect the batteries and let them sit for a bit, then take a voltage reading. I would also check the level of the water in the cells. They may have let them run dead at the dealership and not bothered to try to recharge them properly.

My batteries will run a good 4-6 days with the battery switch on, battery switched off even more than that.

I would also check the Bigfoot manual and see how to "reboot" the system.

Some things to make sure are turned off: Television amplifier, both inside and outside stereos, make sure they are OFF and not just on standby, thermostat and fridge. Even with the battery switch off you have a few items that still pull current, typically the LP/CO detector and maybe the fridge board, if it is not switched off. I have requested a wiring diagram from Coachmen, hopefully they will provide one and I will have a better handle on how things are set up on the electrical side.

Aaron
You know, the first thing I was going to do was fill the batteries, but I bought a "Quik-Fill" on-board battery watering system and was going to install it first and then fill the batteries. The instructions for the Quik-Fill (even before Step #1) say, "Important, Batteries should only be filled after charging".
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:04 AM   #11
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From Bigfoot's website. Looks like I'll need to reboot even after 100% fully charged. I'll post results later.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:34 AM   #12
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Good news. As per Bigfoot's manual, I took the controller apart and unplugged the wiring harness. Waited 30 seconds, plugged it back in... and the Front and Rear lights are no longer blinking and the Power light is ON.
I'm parked on a bit of an incline, so I'm going to wait to try to level it until I get some proper "wegged" wheel chocks.

Anyone know what the tires are supposed to be inflated to? Mine look low.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:39 AM   #13
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Very common for bigfoot needing to be reset. Once they get low power they will not operate until you disconnect control panel and then reconnect. They also are connected directly to battery bypassing the disconnect t switch.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:27 PM   #14
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I think I'm all set to push that magic auto level button, but wanted to know ahead of time how long the rams extend. I looked at the Bigfoot owners manual and didn't see much of anything except installation instructions.

I'm 8" out of level between the front and rear jacks. I was planning on using some 2"x6" or 6"x6" lumber under the rams to reduce the extension. Does anyone know the ram extension limitations?
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJeep22 View Post
I think I'm all set to push that magic auto level button, but wanted to know ahead of time how long the rams extend. I looked at the Bigfoot owners manual and didn't see much of anything except installation instructions.

I'm 8" out of level between the front and rear jacks. I was planning on using some 2"x6" or 6"x6" lumber under the rams to reduce the extension. Does anyone know the ram extension limitations?
According to their website 12" total extension, I have had the front wheels about 8" off the ground.

One thing I have found with the Bigfoot auto system is that it extends further than I like on automatic. I usually manual level using a torpedo level on the counter top. I have reset it a couple of times and still prefer the manual over auto. Might just be me.

I figure out where my high side/end is and lower those jacks until they feel solid, then raise the low side until level, then tweak until level. Don't forget to operate them in pairs. Also open the bathroom door before you start (see my mod thread). First time we were a bit out of level and the bathroom door wouldn't open.

Aaron
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:33 PM   #16
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Back to batteries- the batteries have been neglected/damaged by allowing to over discharge and low electrolyte levels. Your dealer should provide new of similar capacity or as a minimum shop load test and provide satisfactory results.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:24 PM   #17
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I decided to pop the battery caps and make sure the fluid was correct. The threads on the j-bolts holding down the batteries were so rusted, that even after spraying with PB Blaster, it took me about an hour just to get the FIRST wing nut off. The cells were ALL very low, took probably a quart to fill them.
Now... Out to level thus bad boy.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:00 PM   #18
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Well, the auto level executed fine, but now the coach door won't shut. It shut perfectly when 8" out of level. I see there are adjustments on the door and door jam. The sliding bracket on the door jam looks like it needs to slide UP about 1/8". Problem is... it's up all the way already.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:19 PM   #19
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I manually lowered the rear just a tad and now I can at least shut the door. I may need to take it back to the dealer and have them modify the opening in the door jam, so the bracket can slide up a little more. I'm about an 1/8 of a bubble off in order to shut the door. That looks to be about 1" off in 8'.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:57 PM   #20
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Battery

We need to re-look the factory installed battery disconnect switch in motor homes guys. When the switch is in the off position and shore power is plugged in the batteries will not charge. Charge off shore power only works when the switch is on. Further--I apparently caught mine with a dog leash, turned off, and didn't know it. When I parked at home I plugged in shore power and 3 weeks later not only were the house batteries dead, so was the coach battery! For some reason the coach battery merges with the house batteries same as if you pushed the switch on the dash.
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