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Old 12-11-2018, 11:53 PM   #1
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2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
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How to access house batteries

I have 2015 Lounge Ext. The manual talks about access to the house batteries under the seat. However, it doesn't say how. I want to be able to charge the house batteries with a external charger when needed. And I would like to simply inspect the batteries as I recently bought this and don't know what's actually down there. Do I have to unbolt something to get to them?
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by CharlieOscar View Post
I have 2015 Lounge Ext. The manual talks about access to the house batteries under the seat. However, it doesn't say how. I want to be able to charge the house batteries with a external charger when needed. And I would like to simply inspect the batteries as I recently bought this and don't know what's actually down there. Do I have to unbolt something to get to them?
CHARLIEOSCAR - I think you are mixing up the different battery names. The house batteries are the ones put in by AS to provide power to your house. The house batteries are mounted under chassis, behind rear dual wheels, on the R/S, after gen exhaust. The chassis battery is the one put in by MB to provide starting power to the engine. The chassis battery is the one under the driver seat/floor. You access it by removing floor mats, then remove the sill/trim on the edge of driver side. Then lift up the thick rubber/plastic floor substrate. This exposes the black cover. Undo 4 torx bolts. Battery underneath. 2 pics below.

Oops, don't let the completely torn apart dashboard scare you. You dont need to take that all apart. Pic was taken this weekend when I was wiring up a few things up front. I happened to be in the area to also clean up some wiring under driver side, so I opened everything up for easy access

PS - if you are plugged in to shore power, and house batt switch (by sliding door) is on, then Magnum charger should be charging both house & chassis batts.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:27 AM   #3
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Alex, not to change the direction of the thread, but you continually amaze me with your ability to scrape things down to bare metal, fix them, and put them back together looking better than new. The same also goes to Wachuko and others on this forum.

Color me inspired, but not that daredevil...
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:18 AM   #4
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Thanks for info. I am referring to house batteries for sure. I bought the RV used recently from the dealer and made it 37 minutes off the lot before the house electric started to fail. Engine battery is fine, the van starts and the chassis systems work. I bought it in Iowa and live in Missouri so taking it back to the dealer was not an option in the moment as they were closed. Long story short, the RV mechanic I'm taking it to now wanted me to hook up a charger to the house batteries so when I brought it in he can test them. The RV house systems will run while plugged in. The controller will throw a fault and it seems like the batteries can't maintain a charge or that they aren't being charged correctly. So I'm thinking going to be bad batteries (it's a 2015) or the controller is bad and the batteries could have been damaged by a bad controller and bad charging habits.

So is there an access port to hook the house batteries to a charger?

Oh, pictures are awesome.. thanks for putting that out there. Manual completely lacking.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:29 AM   #5
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In our 2015 the house batteries are located inside a black metal box under the sofa on the passenger side of the rig.

You access the batteries by removing several screws that hold the faceplate on.
They should be in a plastic tray that you then can slide out.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:40 AM   #6
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You already have the charger. With the disconnect switch by the door in the on position and you are plugged in to shore power or have the generator running, the Magnum inverter/charger charges the batteries. The Magnum is connected to the batteries.

If the batteries are really flat, the Magnum will not start charging and an external charger will be needed to get the batteries up to where the Magnum will start charging.

In the 2415 Lounge, the house batteries are under the couch on the curb side. To access the batteries in the Lounge, you remove about 8 screws on the back of the steel box on the curb side under the couch. The screws are accessible from the rear doors. The batteries can slide out to the rear.

Do not actuate the disconnect switch by the door with the van plugged into shore power or with the generator running. That can destroy the Magnum. I made that mistake and it cost me a new inverter.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
Do not actuate the disconnect switch by the door with the van plugged into shore power or with the generator running. That can destroy the Magnum. I made that mistake and it cost me a new inverter.

Pahaska - If I understand correctly, the disconnect (rocker) switch near the door turns on 12V to the house after the power has already passed through the red Main power (rotary) switch found inside the coach under the drivers side jackknife sofa (I have a GT).

I use that 12V rocker switch near the sliding door all the time to disconnect right before I connect/disconnect shore power, then I turn it back on. I do this out of paranoia about arcing and power jolts. But are you saying that could be a bad thing?

Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
...

If the batteries are really flat, the Magnum will not start charging and an external charger will be needed to get the batteries up to where the Magnum will start charging.

...
Would not running the engine charge them up enough to allow the Magnum to charge the house batteries? My bet is that the unit sat on the lot and the house batteries were trashed because the inverter draws .5 of an amp even when not on, and it only takes a few days to completely drain the house batteries, thus damaging them so they won't take a charge. This is a common issue. Another source of frustration is the connection from the isolator to the chassis battery, as it is not uncommon for those to be loose and not making good contact, which again leads to no charge from the alternator going to the house batteries when the engine is running.

But, my money is on damaged house batteries because of the dealer not knowing or caring that if they keep the batteries connected, they will eventually lose the charge, and become damaged in the process. Easy to fix-just replace them. Hard on the pocketbook, though, for a new to the buyer purchase.

I've heard dealers taking dead batteries out that won't take a charge and replacing them with very used but may as well be dead batteries to close the sale. Many RV dealers are like the very worst of car dealers, times ten.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tronadora View Post
I use that 12V rocker switch near the sliding door all the time to disconnect right before I connect/disconnect shore power, then I turn it back on. I do this out of paranoia about arcing and power jolts. But are you saying that could be a bad thing?
Thanks.
Turning the disconnect off is safe any time. Turning it on with AC power present risks damage to the Magnum. There were some threads some time back that addressed this. It is a risk, not a certainty, that the Magnum can be damaged. Best to never turn on the disconnect when plugged in or generator running.

In my case, it cost me a Magnum.

I might add. I now have a manual switch replacing the original disconnect solenoid. I have no risk of damage.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:55 AM   #10
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I too would bet that poor charging routine by the previous owner and/or dealer ruined the house batteries. But it seems odd that you would notice that failure in 37 minutes. In saying that I am assuming that you were still driving at the 37 minute mark, and if that is the case the Sprinter alternator should have charged the house batteries via the BIM (battery isolation manager). You might notice a failure of the house battery system 37 minutes after you had stopped driving (ie. stopped charging), but it seems that it would take a lot of load to have them wiped out after 37 minutes. I am curious to know how you detected the 'electric started to fail' as that might provide some evidence of the source of the problem.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:00 AM   #11
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CharlieOscar; If it turns out that your batteries are toast, I'd suggest that you not replace them with the original 160 AHR lifelines.

There is room in your battery box for 2 - 6V batteries and wired in a series you will increase your total available AHR's!

I did such to ours and we now have 224 AHR. To get our 6V batteries to fit, I had to discard the battery tray and attach a thin piece of wood at the top of the battery box so that the terminals would not ground out if they hit the top of the metal box.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC-AV8R View Post
Alex, not to change the direction of the thread, but you continually amaze me with your ability to scrape things down to bare metal, fix them, and put them back together looking better than new. The same also goes to Wachuko and others on this forum.

Color me inspired, but not that daredevil...
RCAV8R - Thank you, just a basic ability, but combined with a lot of daring, heavy curiosity to discovering how things are put together, disposition to reverse engineering things, & tons of patience goes a long way towards deconstruction projects in my garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieOscar View Post
Thanks for info. I am referring to house batteries for sure. I bought the RV used recently from the dealer and made it 37 minutes off the lot before the house electric started to fail. Engine battery is fine, the van starts and the chassis systems work.
CHARLIEOSCAR - My bad. I misunderstood you when you mentioned under the seat. I did not realize 2015's had their house batts inside the rv.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig Rat View Post
In our 2015 the house batteries are located inside a black metal box under the sofa on the passenger side of the rig.

You access the batteries by removing several screws that hold the faceplate on.
They should be in a plastic tray that you then can slide out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
In the 2415 Lounge, the house batteries are under the couch on the curb side. To access the batteries in the Lounge, you remove about 8 screws on the back of the steel box on the curb side under the couch. The screws are accessible from the rear doors. The batteries can slide out to the rear.
RIGRAT, JOHN - Thank you for the "house batt location" info. I had no idea 2015's had them inside. So disappointed with AS on this change from inside to outside mounting. So they already had the house batts in an ideal location inside the rv. Why did they decide to move them outside, that baffles me? They mounted them in a tray that is riveted to sheet metal (not frame), and we have battery tray falling off like EYECHIP's situation. I am definitely moving my house batts inside rv soon.That was best place for them to begin with.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:05 PM   #13
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fairfax station , va
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some related errata

My 2014 ext may be a bit different than the 2015 but as a point of information

The battery box face plate under the curbside of the lounge has a carpet cover that conceals it.
On mine, the screws were driven so tight that they could not be removed and had to be drilled out.
Certainly the batteries are toast but any service person will want you to remove them to be bench tested. And you will need to remove them to put in new ones, anyway.
There is no way to use an external charger or tester without pulling the batteries out.
To satisfy yourself that they are dead. Get one of these
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The cables are just long enough to slide out the tray but not long enough to make it easy. I put on longer cables
The batteries are heavy suckers and will be near impossible to slide the tray back in over the "step" at the bottom of the battery box. (without a little ramp)

Rig Rat has a good idea but the battery box on mine was just too small for me to convert to 6v (GC2) from the Group 24 batteries.

The main power switch under the front of the lounge is motor operated.
The rocker switch at the door just operates the motor...it is not a separate switch.

Even the dead-ish batteries will charge enough over time to run a few minutes or start the generator. (if the Magnum is working)
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:25 PM   #14
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Should ave mentioned the carpet on the end of the battery box. It is attached with Velcro and pulls off easily.
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