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Author Topic: Navion battery question  (Read 5088 times)

rayincorrales

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Navion battery question
« on: December 15, 2010, 08:02:45 AM »
Hello all,

I have discovered that the Itasca Navion's have the same issue with the Chassis battery not being charged when connected to shore power or while running the generator. I have a couple of questions (and thanks for your help as always).

1. I've located the Solenoid and Battery Mode compartment that is beneath the passenger seat, would it be possible to install an Echo Charger without having to remove the passenger seat? The access panel seems sort of small (roughly 5" x 8").

2. I have Varta batteries beneath the driver's foot area of the floor, is it safe to trickle charge these with a battery tender without removing them from the vehicle? (There is a place in the engine compartment where jump starting or trickle charging can be done, but else where in the manual it says to only use approved chargers if charging the batteries while still in place.)

Lastly, the Varta batteries do not seem to have water fill caps, does anybody know if these batteries are not intended for addition of water?

Thanks, sorry for the basic questions, but I like to ask you all before I call the local Freightliner shop where Sprinters are sold....

Ray

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 08:45:16 AM »
The Varta brand "recreational/hobby" batteries are a maintenance free type, which means sealed to reduce water loss and no water can be added. It does not mean they last longer, though.

Yes it is safe to trickle charge them in place, though I would recommend at least a little venting of the area in case any hydrogen gas escapes. Just avoid a high rate of charge - that can cause excessive gassing which would  be dangerous in an enclosed area.  I presume there is an access panel over the batteries? Is the space below vented at all? Usually they are - maintenance free batteries are not rated for unvented area. Only AGM batteries are safe for fully enclosed spaces.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
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Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

IslandGuy

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 09:29:36 AM »
Ray,
I have a 2010 Winnebago View and what I have done is to install a Trik L Start under the passenger seat. Very easy install...the "booster solenoid" is located under the passenger seat. On each side of the solenoid you will find a battery connection for the chassis and coach batteries. You install one lead of the TLS (Blue) to the chassis battery and the yellow lead to the coach battery. The black lead goes to ground. That is it. When you plug your MH into shore power or run the generator the TLS automatically charges your chassis battery. I went further and have solar panels on my MH so when the sun is shining all of my batteries are being maintained. I got rid of the electric cord down my driveway once I had the TLS and solar installed.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 09:36:24 AM by IslandGuy »
Jim

2015 Winnebago Adventurer 32H, 640w of solar
2012 Honda Fit Sport 5 sp, SMI Stay-In-Play
Whidbey Island, WA

"Your beliefs don't make you a better person...your behavior does."

rayincorrales

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 10:17:24 AM »
Thanks Gary and IslandGuy;

Gary - the Varta battery does have a venting tube connected to it, that was another reason I figured it was OK to trickle charge it in place (but gently). There is an access panel to the batteries, but it is on the floor. It is kind of funny, you have to remove plastic panel (3 screws) so that you can remove the floor mat, so that you can get to the battery access panel (4 screws). This minor inconvenience was another reason that I figured these batteries may not need to be checked monthly for water levels.

IslandGuy - Thanks for the photos! I will study them closely. Did you have to remove the passenger seat or were you able to install via the access panel?

Thanks again,

Ray

rayincorrales

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 10:21:01 AM »
IslandGuy,

I should have looked at your photos first, it seems clear that you removed the seat prior to install. By the way, I have the same model Navion 24A, but it is a 2009. I am also considering the addition of solar panels.

Thanks again,

Ray

rayincorrales

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 11:26:51 AM »
I am back.....I wish I knew more about automobiles.....

I now think my chassis battery is dead, I've charged it up using a battery tender, and the light turned steady green and my voltage was measuring 13.0Vdc (using one of those cheap volt meters that plug into the dash 12V receptacle). So I figured the chassis battery was charged and ready to go.

We're heading out of town this Thursday, so I went to move the RV up front to load it and the engine would not start. Totally dead, the voltage on the meter went from 13 to 12 then 10V. I was able to start the engine using the "Boost" feature.

Do you all agree with me that the chassis battery is dead? It can charge up, but it does not have any starting capability? Is it OK to drive after I start the engine? If I can not get the battery replaced before Thursday, can I drive it 240 miles (480 round trip)?

Thanks,

Ray

Molaker

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2010, 12:09:54 PM »
Sounds like it is bad.  Take it out and take it to a good auto parts store (O'Reillys or Autozone, etc. - maybe Walmart).  Most major stores have the equipment to test your battery under load.  Then, it tests bad, you are right there with the dud to swap for a new one.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 24' class B

John Canfield

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2010, 04:49:30 PM »
Another vote to take the battery (or the Navion) somewhere to have it load tested - then you will know for certain.
--John
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rayincorrales

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010, 04:50:23 PM »
I did take the battery to Autozone yesterday late afternoon, it tested bad. I was very surprised that they actually had a Duralast model in stock that could replace the OEM Varta model. Because we're heading out of town early tomorrow, I went ahead and replace the battery.

Thanks again for the help, we're ready to head out.

My Trik-L-Start arrived yesterday afternoon as well, but I'll install that when I have more time.....

Ray

John Canfield

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2010, 05:25:00 PM »
Thanks for the follow-up Ray - keep us posted.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Datastorm - F1
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rayincorrales

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2011, 11:06:45 AM »
Thank Goodness we replaced the engine battery!! We went dry camping in Amarillo Texas for a dog Agility Trial, and the over night lows were 8 degrees F!! On the second night our coach battery went very low. If we had not replaced the engine battery we would have had to find somebody to give us a jump start (because the coach battery would have been too low to "Boost" start the engine). I guess it shows why you should never knowingly travel without all of your redundant systems operationally.

BTW, here is me and dog Boomer doing one of our runs, we had a great time and we were thankful we did replace the engine battery.

Boomer Sat JWWs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IRo3yOZqhw  I hope that works, I've never inserted a hyperlink here at RV Forum.

I am now in the process of installing a Trik-L-Start, so far it is going fine.

TTYL,

Ray


rayincorrales

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2011, 01:07:08 PM »
I just read my last post, I am glad these posts are not graded for grammar!!

Trik-L-Start installed, only one ultra minor issue....my first connection of the chassis wire did not complete the chassis ground. That was easily corrected, all is well now.

Our next trip is early February to Clovis, NM but this time we will have electrical hook ups.

TTYL, thanks again.

Ray

IslandGuy

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2011, 03:00:20 PM »
Boomer Sat JWWs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IRo3yOZqhw  I hope that works, I've never inserted a hyperlink here at RV Forum.

TTYL,

Ray



Nice video...what breed of dog?
Jim

2015 Winnebago Adventurer 32H, 640w of solar
2012 Honda Fit Sport 5 sp, SMI Stay-In-Play
Whidbey Island, WA

"Your beliefs don't make you a better person...your behavior does."

IslandGuy

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2011, 03:15:50 PM »

I have discovered that the Itasca Navion's have the same issue with the Chassis battery not being charged when connected to shore power or while running the generator.
Ray

Ray,
I forgot to mention...if you were not aware of this...when you are plugged into Shore power make sure the coach battery switch is turned "on". It must be turned on if you want the converter to charge your coach batteries and since you have a Trik-L-Start the chassis battery as well.
A few more suggestions for you....
1. Get yourself a surge/voltage protector. I suggest a hardwired one...this way you won't forget it and it won't be stolen:
http://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems_lchw30.htm
2. Install a battery monitor i.e. TriMetric (TM2025-RV)having a good battery monitor wil keep you informed on the condition of you batteries.
http://www.bogartengineering.com/products/TriMetric
3. Upgrade the batteries to 6v golf cart batteries. You can get them at Sam's Club or Costco for ~$75 a piece...
With a battery monitor and new 6v GC batteries you will be years ahead of many RV'rs

Seems a large majority of questions/problems have to do with the battery systems on Rv's.

Jim
Jim

2015 Winnebago Adventurer 32H, 640w of solar
2012 Honda Fit Sport 5 sp, SMI Stay-In-Play
Whidbey Island, WA

"Your beliefs don't make you a better person...your behavior does."

rayincorrales

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2011, 04:51:30 PM »
Thanks Jim,

We have Australian Shepherds and 99% of our RV'ing is related to the Agility competitions.

I appreciated your pictures from the earlier post, it helped me to confirm my connections. Prior to the TLS install, my chassis battery was 12.8Vdc and the coach battery was 13.6V after the install and when plugged into shore, the chassis battery was up to 13.3V. So I know it is getting charged now. I wish one could see the TLS status LEDs but that's OK.

I was planning on changing over to 6V batteries, I like the link to the battery monitors as well, I will check those out. I was also planning on solar panels, my friend recommended a BlueSky controller with Kyocera panels from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun (www.windsun.com).

Thanks again,

Ray


Rvliberty

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2011, 10:29:34 PM »
IslandGuy-

How many 6V did you put in?  where did you locate them? Did you stay with the original charger or upgrade to a larger one?

Thanks
Alan Howell
2012 Winnebago View 24J
Bellevue, Wa

IslandGuy

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2011, 08:47:54 AM »
I replaced the OEM 12V Napa batteries with (2) 6v golf cart batteries from Sam's Club. They went in the same location as the originals and I reused the same battery cables.  The 6V batteries are wired in series vs parallel . Due to the fact the 6V batteries are taller I had to lengthen the battery hold downs.
I also upgrade to the PD 4645 converter/charger.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 08:50:43 AM by IslandGuy »
Jim

2015 Winnebago Adventurer 32H, 640w of solar
2012 Honda Fit Sport 5 sp, SMI Stay-In-Play
Whidbey Island, WA

"Your beliefs don't make you a better person...your behavior does."

bcr8d

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2013, 12:02:01 PM »
I went further and have solar panels on my MH so when the sun is shining all of my batteries are being maintained. I got rid of the electric cord down my driveway once I had the TLS and solar installed.

With a battery monitor and new 6v GC batteries you will be years ahead of many RV'rs

Hi Jim,

How much would you say you that solar/TLS setup cost? How much install time?

When you say years ahead, what do you mean? What's the benefit of the 6v batteries?

Thanks,
Bryan

IslandGuy

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Re: Navion battery question
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2013, 12:22:05 PM »
Hi Jim,

How much would you say you that solar/TLS setup cost? How much install time?

When you say years ahead, what do you mean? What's the benefit of the 6v batteries?

Thanks,
Bryan

I had the solar install done by AM Solar in Oregon...think the cost was ~$2k with a Trimetric battery monitor as well. That was 3 yrs ago. The 6v batteries will give you better run time as they typically have more AH's.
The Trik L Start (TLS) was around $50 and an easy installation.
Jim

2015 Winnebago Adventurer 32H, 640w of solar
2012 Honda Fit Sport 5 sp, SMI Stay-In-Play
Whidbey Island, WA

"Your beliefs don't make you a better person...your behavior does."