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Old 03-20-2018, 12:36 PM   #1
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Battery Drain

We have a 2017 Seismic 4113 that is about 1.5 years old (Which is also equals our RV experience). It has an Interstate Group 24 DC battery. From the beginning I felt the battery didnít hold a charge the way it should. I told the dealer about my concern. They checked the battery and said it was good but I should think about getting a larger capacity battery. One of the first times we used it, we had an issue leveling (out of stroke error) because the battery didnít have enough of a charge. So, since then I keep it on shore power at home. When we set up, I hook up to shore power as soon as I unhook the umbilical and when we break down, the last thing before hooking up the umbilical is to disconnect the shore power.
We did about a 3000 mi trip this summer and then 4000 mi round trip to GA and Fl from Thanksgiving till first of March. Using the above procedure everything worked well until the last leg of our trip coming home. We broke camp, hooked up the umbilical and checked the stop and turn signals. All good. After driving 8 hours home, I wasnít planning to hook into shore power until the next day. I go to drop the front jacks and the control panel reads low voltage even though we are still connected to umbilical! The only thing we had on was the refrigerator, which was on propane. So, I check the plug on the truck and get a good voltage reading. I check the umbilical connection back to the battery and get the same voltage reading that I get directly from the battery. Why a low voltage reading after being connected 8 hrs?
So, on shore power, I charge the battery back to a full charge and run the following tests. I took readings at several intervals to watch the voltage drop but did not include all to save space.
Interstate Group 24 3/13/2018
volt reading

On shore power 10 AM
14.0

Off shore power, Battery switch in on position. 10 AM
13.4

7:00 PM
12.9

3/14/2018


8:00 AM
10.9




3/18/2013


Disconnected Battery and removed from coach 12:30 PM
13.3

3/19/2018


2:30 PM
13.3




Reconnected battery, battery switch in off position
3/19/2018


2:30 PM
13.3

3/20/2018


9:30 AM
11.6


I think this shows I have a serious parasitic drain. I know the CO and propane alarms and control panel are always powered. Is there anything else that is always on? All the battery leads look good. Anybody have any ideas or comments? I want to upgrade the battery but would like to make sure my system is optimized. I am scheduled to take it to the dealer for some other warranty issues next month. I will take this info with me and have them check it out, if I canít solve the problem before then.
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:58 PM   #2
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Probably need to have the battery "load tested". Most auto parts stores can do that, or if you have a local Interstate battery dealer, take it there. You may still have some warranty with the Interstate brand over other brands.
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Old 03-20-2018, 01:46 PM   #3
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have you tried turning off various fuses to see if you can find one that is causing the issue?

flip all the fuses off and then every hour or so turn one on and then the next one and check the voltage in between... maybe you can narrow it down to one circuit... time consuming for sure....
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theracqueteer View Post
2:30 PM
13.3

3/20/2018


9:30 AM
11.6

If we look at just the above part of your testing, I think it shows your battery was at 13.3 volts at 2:30 PM. You turned off the battery disconnect switch. The next day at 930AM, with the disconnect switch still off, your reading was 11.6 volts. Is all that correct?

If so, there are two possible variables: 1) the ability of your battery to provide current and 2) the loads on the battery with the disconnect switch off. It's hard to diagnose with two variables operating. One variable, the ability of your battery to provide current, could be known if you get a load test on the battery. The other variable is what is left on when the switch is off which is something you could figure out. Either that load is high, or your battery is no good, or maybe both.

Holding a voltage under no load is not proof of a good battery.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. When the weather clears I will take it in for a load test. If that checks out I will put a meter across the individual fuses to see where I have power and how much it is drawing. I know just a little about batteries and electric and appreciate the help. I find this site is a great resource and it has greatly increased my learning curve.
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Old 03-21-2018, 06:14 AM   #6
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Another point to consider is that the CO2/LP sensor may or may not be wired directly to the battery, bypassing the disconnect switch, so it would be a constant drain. Numerous comments and complaints about these things being a drain.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:04 AM   #7
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How old is the battery?
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Old 03-21-2018, 08:21 AM   #8
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I'm not sure of the manufacture date (I forgot to look for it while I had the battery out) but, it has been installed for 1.5 yrs. We are in the middle of the Nor'easter right now so, it will be a day or two before I will be able do more troubleshooting.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:35 AM   #9
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The parasitic lose on these big toy haulers is huge. On my 4250 all the items that have memory are wired in straight off the battery.......3 TV's, 2 stereos, microwave, leveling system and the safety stuff 2 CO detector's, 3 smoke detector's, gas detector. When I had trouble with the leveling system (due to low voltage) the Lippert rep told me that these big toy haulers should have 2 27 series batteries not one 24. I upgraded to 4 six volt golf cart batteries to help run my residential fridge longer while on the road. Also the small gauge wire going from the TV to the Trailer can only supply a slight trickle charge and cannot support much load. I'm looking into adding a bigger wire to get more juice from my trucks oversized alternator to the trailer.
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Old 03-24-2018, 09:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husky911 View Post
The parasitic lose on these big toy haulers is huge. On my 4250 all the items that have memory are wired in straight off the battery.......3 TV's, 2 stereos, microwave, leveling system and the safety stuff 2 CO detector's, 3 smoke detector's, gas detector. When I had trouble with the leveling system (due to low voltage) the Lippert rep told me that these big toy haulers should have 2 27 series batteries not one 24. I upgraded to 4 six volt golf cart batteries to help run my residential fridge longer while on the road. Also the small gauge wire going from the TV to the Trailer can only supply a slight trickle charge and cannot support much load. I'm looking into adding a bigger wire to get more juice from my trucks oversized alternator to the trailer.
That's exactly what I am trying to find out. I was aware of some but, not all the things you mentioned, constantly drawing power. I thought turning off the battery switch would make some difference but, it didn't. I still think even a 24 should last more than about 18 hours before being totally discharged but, I could be wrong. I guess I need to figure out everything that draws power and how much, when they are in stand-by mode to determine how long batteries should last.
It would also be nice if the dealer would tell you that it only comes with a single group 24 but recommend at least a 27 if not two 27's and it will cost this much more to upgrade (especially for us rookies).
I did take the battery yesterday for a load test and it tested out good. I do plan to upgrade batteries but don't want to do that until I am sure there is no other problems that will shorten the life of the batteries.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your knowledge.
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Old 03-24-2018, 09:15 AM   #11
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Some one mentioned residential frig. Others have mentioned auto defrost in those units are killer on batteries. Might consider two 6V golf car batteries.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:37 AM   #12
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Get a new battery(s) and install a battery disconnect switch. Blue Sea Systems sells excellent switches, they are marine grade and on Amazon for around $60.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:00 PM   #13
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I have a 2017 355W so it is slightly different from your setup. As you are probably aware the big red switch does not disconnect the batteries, it just disconnects the shore power charger that is built into the fuse box.
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I installed these cheap amazon gauges.
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You will notice that I am drawing over 4 amps. Furnace is not running and the biggest draw I normally have is my 12v refrigerator. The fans and other "things" inside of the fridge use a little power.
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I have two Walmart type 29 batteries that are rated at 120 amp hours each. You can only realistically use half of the amp hours in a bank, therefore I realistically have 120 to play with. 120 divided by 4 amps is about 30 hours before my batteries are crap. All that being said, the little interstate battery that the dealers put into these monsters are worthless. Hope this helps, and gives you some ideas.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicr View Post
Get a new battery(s) and install a battery disconnect switch. Blue Sea Systems sells excellent switches, they are marine grade and on Amazon for around $60.
That's what I did. The factory battery cutoff doesn't actually cut off everything. So I put my own in the battery compartment. Now I never have a problem.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:01 PM   #15
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[QUOTE= As you are probably aware the big red switch does not disconnect the batteries, it just disconnects the shore power charger that is built into the fuse box.

I just figured that out yesterday when I getting ready to take the battery out for a load test. I used to own a boat and when you turned the battery switch to off, it basically turned everything off except alarms and bilge pumps and still charged when plugged into shore power. I thought this would do the same. Now I know different.

The gauges you installed, did you run directly off the battery or is there a feed you can tap into inside your panel?

Our fridge runs off 120 AC or propane so that is not a big draw I have to currently worry about.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:38 PM   #16
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I should have clarified that the 4 amp draw included my fridge in propane mode.
The 12vdc gauge requires a shunt on the negative side between the battery and the load. If you follow the negative wire in the battery compartment it should lead you into the basement storage area under the stairs. Mine was uninterrupted and ungrounded to this point. I cut it, crimped on some 4ga eyelets, and installed the shunt near the transfer switch. The shunt is circled in red in the photo.

Amazon also has some wireless shunts and gauges so you would not have to run new wires.
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:09 AM   #17
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A second battery isolator switch!

The "factory" leaves several circuits hot all of the time. We installed a second battery isolation switch on the leg feeding those systems and left only the breakaway switch"hot" all of the time. Email if you want a copy.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:05 PM   #18
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Thought I should post an update. I had to take the unit in for some warranty work and just recently got it back home. I asked the dealer to check the battery switch and the system as it had a parasitic draw of 0.7 amps, whether the switch was on or off. Told them that if this is correct I wanted to have another disconnect switch installed that would cut off all current except to the emergency brake switch. At this point I needed a new battery and wanted to make sure it would not run down from just being stored. They found the switch was wired incorrectly (apparently from the threads I have read several have been incorrectly wired). It now turns off most power. I draw 0.7 amps with the switch in the on position and no other appliances or lights powered up. With the switch in the off position, draw is 1 milliamp and there is no power to the leveling system. When in the off position and with shore power connected, there is power to the leveling system and the rest of the coach. This is how I would expect it to work. I have included pics. You will see I now have two 6 volt batteries. You will also see a positive cable lead, with the terminal taped, (most likely not necessary to tape but won't hurt anything either), hanging down below the shutoff switch which is not connected. I am not sure what this is for. I assume it is for the Solar on the Side. I asked once at the dealer but anyone who could give me an answer had left for the day and I have forgotten to ask again. If it is for Solar on the Side, does it get connected at the switch or go straight to the positive terminal of the battery?
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:16 PM   #19
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Your Solar would run through the controller first then right to the battery in our camper. No issues three years!
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlingShot View Post
I should have clarified that the 4 amp draw included my fridge in propane mode.
The 12vdc gauge requires a shunt on the negative side between the battery and the load. If you follow the negative wire in the battery compartment it should lead you into the basement storage area under the stairs. Mine was uninterrupted and ungrounded to this point. I cut it, crimped on some 4ga eyelets, and installed the shunt near the transfer switch. The shunt is circled in red in the photo.

Amazon also has some wireless shunts and gauges so you would not have to run new wires.
Attachment 38212

I do appreciate the reply. Sorry it took so long to acknowledge. Now that I think I have everything squared away with the switch and new batteries installed, I am seriously considering the meter. Wire routing appears to be a little more difficult in my unit. So, I may have to consider a wireless meter, although some of the reviews state that the signal to the readout can be weak to the point you don't get a reading. We have a cabinet in the BR that is right over the battery compartment so, I would hope that the signal strength would be strong enough to reach the readout if placed there. Anybody have experience with the wireless meters?
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