Coach battery losing charge quickly

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babylunatic

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Aug 17, 2012
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I put my RV in storage for 3 months. I switched the fridge off, the water heater off, pressed the battery disconnect button so it was off, and as far as I know the only thing that was on in the coach for the 3 months were the propane alarm and carbon monoxide (2 of them) alarms. I forgot to disconnect the engine battery (there is a lever that I can manually disconnect).

3 months later... now....
I was still able to start the engine, so, the engine battery didn't die. It might be because the battery is new?
However, the coach battery is not able to hold charge for long. After I switched off the engine, maybe in 1/2 hour or an hour, when I go press the test button, it shows that the battery condition is RECHARGE (low). The fridge would keep doing the clicking noise, and each time it clicks, the GAS light would flash. Then the alarm would beep (presumably low voltage). Switch the engine on, then coach battery goes back to GOOD again, at least for a while.

1. What did I do wrong? I thought I'd switched everything in coach off, but apparently the battery still died?

2. I need to get a new coach battery now? Are there any alternatives?

Thanks for the help and advice in advance.
 
A deep cycle battery will lose its charge just sitting, much faster than a conventional battery whether there are any parasitic loads or not.  3 months is quite a while without recharging.  Although the battery may be bad, it may just need a good long recharge - like overnight on a charger.  A half hour isn't enough to do much for it.
 
I did have the RV plugged in to shore power for 3 days last week, and the battery did last for a day or two without giving me trouble. I had been boondocking for the last few days, and it doesn't hold charge anymore. :(

I read on another thread that coach battery is about $80-$85 or so? I have an appointment at Camping World, and would like to know roughly the cost so that I don't have to pay too much if I don't need to. (Camping World seems to be quite expensive for a lot of the repairs)
 
I just replaced my Coach Batteries (4) with Costco's  Interstate 6v Golf Cart Batteries.  They are a step below the original batteries (218ah vs. 232ah)n not a big deal to me because I do not Boondock.

They were $80 plus tax.
 
Your coach may have anywhere from 1 to 6 batteries, but 2 would be typical of your model and size. Depending on the size and type of battery chosen, expect to pay anywhere from $75-$300 each. The high end is for a deep cycle AGM battery; a more typical flooded cell battery would like be around $100 at a Camping World store.

Before spending money on batteries, check the water in the cells (assuming it is the common flooded cell type). If there is not sufficient water to cover the lead plates, the battery(s) will not take a charge.
 
babylunatic said:
I put my RV in storage for 3 months. I switched the fridge off, the water heater off, pressed the battery disconnect button so it was off, and as far as I know the only thing that was on in the coach for the 3 months were the propane alarm and carbon monoxide (2 of them) alarms

Propane detectors typically draw around 200 mA which is around 5 A-H a day.  That will deplete a new, fully charged Group 27 deep cycle battery in three weeks.

I was able to solve this by cutting the wires for my propane detector, removing it, and placing it in the garbage.  Propane detectors are mostly a carryover from boats, where propane safety is a much, much larger problem.  In RVs, fires started by propane leaks that occur while someone is around to hear the alarm beeping are vanishingly rare.  They are however effective at detecting dog farts and hairspray and also will beep loudly in the middle of the night when the furnace has run down your battery.  Decide for yourself.

If you keep the detector you could change the wiring so it shuts off when you turn off the battery disconnect, but then you will tend to get false alarms for several hours after you turn the power on.

Carbon monoxide detectors typically don't use much power and have a much greater safety benefit.  You might, though, be better off replacing the ones you have with ones powered by their own batteries.
 
I simply disconnect by undoing the wirenut to the positive lead at the propane alarm when I "summerize" my trailer, never  had a problem with false alarms after reconnecting on our return. Our smoke detectors are 9V battery powered, we simply remove the batteries along with all the batteries in the remote controls.
 
Just a quick update. The local shop (Johnnie Walker RV at Las Vegas) looked at it, and determined that the battery was dead. So, I got it replaced. He told me that it's a Group 27 12V battery, and I got everything done for $200.08.

He also taught me that I am suppose to pop the battery open about every month or a month and half since I'm fulltiming, and check the water level like Gary mentioned, and the water should cover the top of the plates, and if not, add some distilled water. The newbie just keeps learning new stuff.....  :)

Now I just have to figure out what's giving me the rotten egg smell (sulfur) at driver's seat. The engine battery is not it, and I just got a new coach battery. If that happens a few times again, then I'll be really worried.....
 
I'm a bit perplexed that you have only one battery on that coach. Do you ever dry camp?

BTW..... don't ever think that you can substitute distilled water with tap water. That's a common battery killer. It's a good idea to get a gallon of distilled water from the grocery store and keep it in the coach.
 

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