Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-02-2007, 09:36 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
La Canada , California
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 15
Dead Batteries

Here's a battery question. After driving for three hours, I parked over night. Next morning, all three batteries were dead. I thought use of the coach batteries wasn't supposed to kill the engine battery. Is there a defective part here? Also, there is an "on/off" switch in the battery compartment. What does it control? Thanks for the help.
grovelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2007, 09:53 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
New Borockton , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,593
Images: 21
Your tow vehicle should have an isolator. Most modern trucks do but if not I would get one installed.
Randy...Converters, Inverters, Trimetric, Surge Protectors, Zamp, Smartplug, AGM Batts
68 Overlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2007, 09:56 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
La Canada , California
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 15
This is in my 345 MH. Is there an easy way to tell if the isolator isn't working?
grovelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 03:11 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Chaplain Kent's Avatar
1994 30' Excella
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,935
Welcome Grovelander.
I am not to familiar with the 345 but in my coach I have a battery "isolator" on off switch which turns off the starter battery. I turn the battery off only during long term storage. The coach has many trickle drains on it and this protects from those drains. In regards to your isolator, I have been told that they seldom go bad, further this would not really be the cause of the problem you are having. First thing I would check is the obvious, battery corrosion, can your batteries get a good charge? Second is your charging system, belts tight, alternator and regulator working correctly? third is the ability of your batteries to hold a charge. How old are they? What volt and amperage do they read when fully charged? Always look for the obvious first before seeking out those interesting things like battery isolators.
Good luck to you.
Chaplain Kent
Forest River Forester 2501TS
Chaplain Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 03:36 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
1982 28' Airstream 280
Norfolk , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 135
Chaplain Kent has some good advice for you. You might also check if there is any water in your batteries. It is possible that your inverter/charger either boiled out the water, or went south and you just discharged the batteries. If you are hooked up to shore power and the 12v stuff in the coach is not working, then look hard at the inverter/charger. It could be a coincidence that all three went out at the same time. You could have something left on like a radio that took out the couch battery.

I have a digital volt meter that plugs into a cirgar lighter socket and will read the charge on the batteries. I move it between one hooked up to the coach battery and one to the house batteries. I can tell right away if the charger is on or the alternator is working as well as the state of charge on the batteries. They cost about $13 at auto parts stores.

Good luck in finding your problems.

Geophilist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 07:10 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
1991 35' Airstream 350
Windsor , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 211
Images: 4

I have a similar problem, which has been the devil's own work to track down.

Try the following:

1. Charge all batteries--take them out of the vehicle and charge them on a trickle charger.

2. Put them back in the vehicle, and hook them up.
3. Disconnect the positive battery clamps on both battery banks
4. Take a digital multimeter/voltmeter and read the DC voltage between the positive post on the batteries and the positive clamp.

If all your systems and switches are off, then you should get no voltage reading. If you get a voltage reading, then you have a short or a ground leak. If you switch to the DC amps reading on the meter, you should be able to read the actual amperage draw of your problem. Figuring how big a leak you have can help find the leak.

From what you say, it is likely that your problem is somewhere that you have both batteries hooked up to a single piece of equipment for isolation or charging--like the battery isolator, charger/inverter, or generator.

When you are successful in disconnecting the offending circuit(s), the amperage draw will go away, and you will have found your problem.

Good Luck,

ralley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2007, 05:55 PM   #7
Rivet Master
str8strm's Avatar
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Tujunga , California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,969
Images: 6
Benchmark RV

is close to you in Sun Valley, we store our 345s there and they helped us to isolate some drains we had when we bought our coach(s). The switch in the battery box turns off the house batteries but once we isolated the drains we do not have to use it anymore. Feel free to PM us for help--we love 85 345s! We also have a great person for upholstery if you need to update your interior
Ron and Debbie Lawrence
1985 345 Motorhome...... delightfully tacky......yet unrefined
AIR 7992
str8strm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2007, 07:44 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
La Canada , California
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 15
Once I find some time, I will try out this good advice. Thanks.
grovelander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2007, 01:23 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
Chuckles's Avatar
1983 31' Airstream310
Iwerne Minster , Dorset. UK
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 274
IF you have two batteries, are they the same age and size, is one pulling down the other? Try using them separately and see what happens.

Check the "Start Assist" solenoid is not shorted out.

Check the isolator if you still have one. that is a simple test with a meter. There should be zero volts with the engine/ignition off between the the House battery terminal and engine charger/alternator terminal.

I have fitted the Sterling "Battery-to-Battery charger. That replaces the isolator and improves house battery charging from the alternator.
Dorset UK

Don't take life so seriously.... it is not permanent!
Chuckles is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Optima Batteries Dead - '03 Classic Joe Z Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 7 04-13-2021 07:20 AM
Dead in Baker Zeppelinium Airstream Trailer Forums 25 04-21-2009 05:00 PM
Dead Batteries - 2006 Bambi? kimd8888 Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 14 09-18-2007 08:27 PM
Well, its DEAD! SilverToy Tow Vehicles 34 06-30-2007 12:56 AM
Dead ...really dead Melody Ranch Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 17 06-13-2007 12:23 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.