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Old 11-04-2006, 03:53 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
1991 35' Airstream 350
Prince Frederick , Maryland
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 197
Images: 4
Talking Slow battery drain solved

For some while--since before I bought the AS MH last year--I have had a slow drain of the starting battery, causing it to go flat in about 30 days. Replaced the battery which came with the MH. The repalcement went flat in 30 days. Pulled all the ground connections I could find and cleaned them up with a dremel tool. Battery went flat in 30 days. Disconnected the battery ground. Battery went flat in 30 days. Hmmmmm.

I then figured that it was possible that the battery bank combiner solenoid was faulty, so looked to see if I could pull it off the truck and test it. In the process, I sorted out the problem--we are now at 45 days without a flat battery.

Either the PO (or the factory in 1991) routed the positive cable from the generator across the top of the solenoid. It is attached to the LH solenoid post. It had sagged so that it vibrated against the RH post until the cable insulation had worn off, causing it to short out across the two posts and a have a slow, (as in imperceptible) drain. It took a strong light to find the break in the cable insulation.

Re-routed the cable, and taped up the insulation.

Best to all,


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Old 11-04-2006, 07:32 PM   #2
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Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 626
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Great detective work, Rob! I had a somewhat similar thing with the Blimp. Turned out the last "repair" shop that had worked on the coach for the PO had touched the wires together from the starting solenoid and the house solenoid, thus causing all batteries to be connected all the time. Pure accident I found it out, just about like your situation. I'd let it sit for 30 days without a shore line (unusual for me), and no power to start. Pulled the switch in the glove box to use the house batteries, and nothing changed. Still no start. Took an auto electric shop to figure out what was going on ($ ), but they did fix the problem.

Hang on, something else will go wrong soon enough.

1987 30P
2003 Suburban 2500
AIR # 5648
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