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Old 10-18-2015, 03:48 PM   #1
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House battery drainage

After charging the house batteries using shore power or solar with the batteries off .....
once turned on the battery's drain quickly, any ideas? Thank you in advance.


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Old 10-18-2015, 04:34 PM   #2
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Get a hygrometer and test them. All cells should be equal. If one or more cells are lower than the rest they will pull the system down.

This is something you can do if you know how to get to the batteries.

A common problem when batteries are grouped.
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Old 10-18-2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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Battery drainage

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Originally Posted by nancyo View Post
After charging the house batteries using shore power or solar with the batteries off .....
once turned on the battery's drain quickly, any ideas? Thank you in advance.


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I'd suggest you read Lifelines Technical Manual regarding your sealed AGM batteries . It can be found at www.lifelinebatteries.com/manual.pdf
It should answer your question, along with the many more that you're likely to have as you consider how to resolve your issue.
Mine were sulfated and swollen to the point that I had to trim the molded casing in the area that held the carrying straps to get them out of the
sealed battery compartment. Two new batteries cost me about $300 each from a non-Airstream dealer (the dealer wanted $450 each plus $240 installation).
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Get a hygrometer and test them. All cells should be equal. If one or more cells are lower than the rest they will pull the system down.

This is something you can do if you know how to get to the batteries.

A common problem when batteries are grouped.

Nancyo - your profile says you have a 2013 Interstate, which should have Lifeline AGM batteries unless they have been changed since new. HowieE's suggestion to use a hygrometer won't work on Lifeline AGM batteries as they are sealed. A RV or battery dealer that is familiar with AGM batteries can test them for you.

If you can give us more history on your Interstate and the typical use the group here may have more suggestions. What do you mean by the statement that the batteries drain quickly. What length of time are you indicating with what equipment turned on? Have you ever drained these batteries totally flat? Have you had this van since new?


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Old 10-18-2015, 10:53 PM   #5
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The latest, most accurate method for battery testing is a device called a 'conductance meter'. The good ones are not cheap ($650+) but once programmed with the particular characteristics of the battery in question, it will provide a useful and accurate answer to whether the battery is good or not.....and by how much!

If you don't have the time (many hours usually) to perform a draw-down test at the stated 20 amp rate, then a conductance meter will provide you with a definitive answer.

Be sure to ask the tech looking at your batteries if the facility uses one. If not.......find one that does!
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:26 AM   #6
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This forum is awesome . Thanks all for responding.
Mike
We bought it used, previous owners used it once or twice and decided it was not for them.
We started with a full battery, drove 5 hours, with battery on using nothing but fridge, left over night again with battery on. Next day battery was at 0. We tried to plug in to shore power to charge or just start generator and got nothing. Thank you again for replying



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Old 10-19-2015, 06:51 PM   #7
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House battery drainage

Previous owner probably didn't keep the batteries charged if they didn't use it much. The batteries will go flat in 3-4 days if the van isn't plugged into show power.

Full charged battery should be able to run the refrigerator overnight. Sounds like you do have bad batteries and need to get them checked. You van start the Sprinter engine and then have enough power to get the generator started. That a nice feature of having the Battery Isolation Module (BIM) that connect the two battery systems together with smart electronics. The Boost switch in the lower dash under the steering wheel on left side will force the relay connecting the two battery systems together.


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Old 10-19-2015, 07:39 PM   #8
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The batteries will go flat in 3-4 days if the van isn't plugged into show power.



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If everything is turned off, then the solar should keep the batteries @100%.
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:01 PM   #9
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If everything is turned off, then the solar should keep the batteries @100%.
Assuming you park in direct sun, of course…
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:28 PM   #10
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Assuming you park in direct sun, of course…
Not necessarily. I've seen a charge rate on overcast days.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:06 AM   #11
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Since nancyo has the same model, 2013 Interstate, as mine with only a 50 watt solar panel it would have to be in direct sunlight all day for the batteries to stay charged. Yes it will get charged with overcast sky but not so much in a shaded area. I park my van in the driveway behind my tall townhouse on the north west side. It only gets direct sunlight about 5-6 hours a day. That was not enough to keep my batteries charged. It needed to be plugged in after 3-4 days. With my upgraded 400 watt solar system the batteries stay charged.


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Old 10-21-2015, 08:26 PM   #12
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After charging the house batteries using shore power or solar with the batteries off .....
once turned on the battery's drain quickly, any ideas? Thank you in advance.


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Open the battery compartment, pull out the tray and you will likely see that the batteries are swollen. Get yourself an electronic battery tester like a Solar BA5. Good chance your batteries can no longer hold a charge. They appear to be charged but go down quickly.
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:45 PM   #13
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Thanks all for info
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:15 PM   #14
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Open the battery compartment, pull out the tray and you will likely see that the batteries are swollen. Get yourself an electronic battery tester like a Solar BA5. Good chance your batteries can no longer hold a charge. They appear to be charged but go down quickly.
Only the EXT models have a pull-out battery tray. The non-EXT sofa/lounge models require disassembling the sofa to perform a battery-ectomy. Kind of like pulling teeth through the sinuses…
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