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Old 09-13-2019, 04:31 PM   #1
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Drain on house battery

We've had our motorhome for almost 3 1/2 years with no house battery issues. Last night we stopped in the mountains on our way home from a month trip. After we set up, our house battery was totally dead within a half hour. All we had done was take out the slides and set the levelers. We barely had enough to start the generator. We ran the generator for two hours, then shut it off. Within a few minutes it was dead again. This morning, we charged it a bit with the engine and brought the slides in and levels up. It showed charged. Within a few minutes, the battery dropped to one indicator light vs. five charged. We stayed at several Walmarts during this trip with no battery issues. When we arrived home this morning, we took the battery in to have the battery checked, and it's not bad. All of a sudden there must be something draining it. We've checked all connectors to the battery, one at a time, and we find no drain except major functions like slides, the awning, the levelers, and the refrigerator and hot water heater circuits. With nothing on but the fridge, propane lighted, draw is 2.4 amps. The battery guy said that's normal - in fact a little low. Any ideas why this would suddenly be?
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:58 PM   #2
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We've had our motorhome for almost 3 1/2 years with no house battery issues. Last night we stopped in the mountains on our way home from a month trip. After we set up, our house battery was totally dead within a half hour. All we had done was take out the slides and set the levelers. We barely had enough to start the generator. We ran the generator for two hours, then shut it off. Within a few minutes it was dead again. This morning, we charged it a bit with the engine and brought the slides in and levels up. It showed charged. Within a few minutes, the battery dropped to one indicator light vs. five charged. We stayed at several Walmarts during this trip with no battery issues. When we arrived home this morning, we took the battery in to have the battery checked, and it's not bad. All of a sudden there must be something draining it. We've checked all connectors to the battery, one at a time, and we find no drain except major functions like slides, the awning, the levelers, and the refrigerator and hot water heater circuits. With nothing on but the fridge, propane lighted, draw is 2.4 amps. The battery guy said that's normal - in fact a little low. Any ideas why this would suddenly be?


I would have my battery checked by someone else and make sure a load is put on it to do do. It totally sounds to me like a bad or worn out battery. However, I would also like to know why you are drawing 2.4 amps with really nothing to make that happen. Your refer on propane doesn’t draw anything, nor does the hot water heater on propane. That still is not enough to take down a good battery in no time, as it is doing with yours.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:49 PM   #3
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I would have my battery checked by someone else and make sure a load is put on it to do do. It totally sounds to me like a bad or worn out battery. However, I would also like to know why you are drawing 2.4 amps with really nothing to make that happen. Your refer on propane doesn’t draw anything, nor does the hot water heater on propane. That still is not enough to take down a good battery in no time, as it is doing with yours.
The refer has a 12v gas valve and both the electronic boards for the refer and water heater are 12v, if the water heater was in the heating stage it also has a 12v valve. Add in the carbon monoxide and Lp detector and the control boards for the slides as well as the disconnect relay you will have a battery drain.

With that said, I agree the battery needs to be checked. It would not be unusual for a 3 1/2 yr old battery to bite the dust.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:01 PM   #4
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I like to keep my batteries happy and healthy so I always have 120v going to the converter (shore or gen power) while running the slides. Inductive loads can suck the life out of a low battery.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:40 PM   #5
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My 4 door fridge has cooling fans in the back that will draw power while on propane. It all adds up.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:38 PM   #6
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First place to check is a voltage test of the battery when nothing is charging it (engine off, gen off, no shore power). Take a voltage reading, then plug into shore power and see if the voltage jumps up.

A static, charged battery should be around 12.6 volts, then when one of the charging circuits kicks on, it should jump into the mid 13s...

If you don't see that change, checking the battery charger/converter is your first project.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:56 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the thoughts and suggestions. - charge no charge voltages were as expected 13.8/12.7. Load test was only slightly weaker than brand new similar spec batt at shop.
Slides operating do draw big amps 14+. In the past this never resulted in low batt condition on test panel. However we do like the idea about leaving the coach running during big amp draw activities.

We wish we had a baseline current draw for the operations we usually run on the battery system to be certain the draw we're measuring is truly "normal". We did turn the wtr htr and leveling system off and left only the frig, current draw was 1.42 amps. Wish the fused circuitry was more specific so we could pull fuses to watch current draw for various functions but most fuses are ganged to multiple systems.

Will continue to analyze-trace source of drain and keep you posted. May take the leap and try new battery to test real time if that is the simple fix and we've only been ghost hunting. Seems strange the problem never occurred before and just popped up suddenly.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:24 AM   #8
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Bad ground somewhere perhaps? Just a thought...
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:40 AM   #9
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Also check battery fluid level with distilled water.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:19 PM   #10
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Thanks again for your responses. We purchased a new battery, and all is well!
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