What's draining my batteries?

Split from General / Technical for discussion of anything electrical, electronic... 12v, Inverter, Satellite, Headlights, flashlights etc.
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OldDragon
Posts: 11
Joined: November 3rd, 2017, 4:03 pm

What's draining my batteries?

Post by OldDragon »

I have a 1999 concourse that I bought 4 years ago. I had to replace batteries 1st thing; deep cycle marine lead acid. I also bought a 12 volt lcd battery monitor to use in plug in kitchen area to check usage. Here is where I tell you I know nothing about electricity. Short story, I'm a snowbird. First time out, I had to have the electrical box below the sink replaced. Mobile tech replaced with 8300 series power center which he said was same as old unit. When not plugged into shore power, volts drop to nearly half at dusk. I had solar panel installed thinking that would solve problem plus allow me to boondock. Still have same problems not on shore power. Charge controller for solar shows 90 percent as soon as the sun goes down. Using no lights or fan, numbers drop to mid 60s by morning. Guy who installed solar and another tech both tell me batteries are fine and solar and charge controller are working properly. Did they cover the solar panel and check reading; of course not. Battery monitor plug light is yellow indicating "potential problem or low voltage". Any ideas that I can share with the next tech.
68camaro
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Re: What's draining my batteries?

Post by 68camaro »

I would have batteries checked again, I had similar problem with new batteries, turns out one wouldn't hold charge so it was replaced under warranty. My local battery place charged them and then tested overnight to monitor drop with small load.

All systems will have small parasitic draw but your sounds extreme. Does your controller show the draw? My next step would be try to isolate every electrical component by turning off or unhooking to see if it has above normal impact to total draw.

I eventually got a master cut off switch on house batteries that let me shut down batteries directly so there is no draw, this helps save them when sitting unused for extended times.
2001 Concourse XL Lounge model, 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis.
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Roly
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Joined: February 11th, 2015, 8:16 am
Location: Puget Sound WA

Re: What's draining my batteries?

Post by Roly »

Sounds like the drain has to be several amps. Is the fridge turned on to 12V power, or roof vent fan on, or propane furnace on? ( the latter pulls a lot for it's fan.)

What are the batteries amp hours? What are the solar panel watts? Something is amiss....

Roly
1998 Premier
chin_k
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Re: What's draining my batteries?

Post by chin_k »

Roly and 68camaro already give you some lead: I would find out more specification on your system. How many Amp-hours or watts are the batteries, how many watt is your solar. How much do you think you are using every night?

I would get either a multimeter or have a battery monitor on the battery, so you can tell how much is being drained. If you truly is not using much, but still end up wth only 60% in the morning, something is not right. You really need to make sure what is draining how much. If you have time, try to fully charge the batteries, and disconnect them and see if they can hold charges over the night. Either the batteries are not good anymore, or there is something that draining them. Are you running your fridge on DC mode all the time? Again, get the meter, or if you can't then disconnect all the DC appliance by disconnect at the battery terminal. Then you can remove all the DC fuses, and plug them in there one by one, and see which one is killing the battery. If you have a meter, you can find out right away, instead of waiting for the number to drop slowly.
2000 Concourse dinette, on 2000 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis (built in 1999)
68camaro
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Re: What's draining my batteries?

Post by 68camaro »

chin_k wrote: February 12th, 2021, 6:06 pm
I would get either a multimeter or have a battery monitor on the battery, so you can tell how much is being drained.
Ding ding winner winner chicken dinner. I stink at electrical issues but once I learned how to use a multimeter it became a must have tool in rig and on workbench. The multimeter will take the guess work out of troubleshooting. They are cheap and tons of on-line videos to quickly learn basics.
2001 Concourse XL Lounge model, 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis.
Stan Watkins
Posts: 35
Joined: February 12th, 2021, 9:23 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: What's draining my batteries?

Post by Stan Watkins »

One bad cell in one of the batteries will pull from the good battery and drain it.
1999 Concourse Ford E350
Stan Watkins
Posts: 35
Joined: February 12th, 2021, 9:23 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: What's draining my batteries?

Post by Stan Watkins »

If your batteries are like the marine 12 volts that Chinook used then you are wired in parallel and will have to disconnect the two batteries from on another. One of the batteries will have all the wires from the coach on it, the other,just one cable from the positive terminal to the positive terminal on the one with the jumble of wires. The negative on the battery will have one wire going to the main battery where it has two wires. Pull out the sliding tray(not easy ) disconnect the positive wire from the simple one wire battery and tape it with electrical tape being careful not to touch metal. After you disconnect the positive and tape it move back to the rear of the battery and disconnect the negative cable and tape it. The ends of each cable is marked by Chinook as negative or positive so it's nearly impossible to screw it up when reinstalling. Take a volt meter and set to 20 volts. Touch test leads to their respective terminals. Negative to negative etc.... Do this to both batteries to see who the culprit is , or if that is even the problem. Good luck.
1999 Concourse Ford E350
OldDragon
Posts: 11
Joined: November 3rd, 2017, 4:03 pm

Re: What's draining my batteries?

Post by OldDragon »

Finally got the Chinook to a service center. Turns out, 1) panels were wired in parallel. A no no for different size panels I learned this year. 2) original panel had a bad diode. Make me a bit Leary of "highly recommend" techs. Had to replace batteries, too Thanks for the advice y'all gave.
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