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Old 10-12-2020, 01:04 PM   #1
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Batteries dead on “new” classic 33?

We took delivery of a 2020 Classic 33 from a major NE 5 rivet dealer first week of August. Since then either while camping or while outfitting at the house we have been on shore power most of the time or off shore power and locked up. Had noticed something was up when off shore power - no lights would cone on and czone panels all over trailer would blink on and off. Voltage of batteries on Victron display showed voltage of 3V or even less. Plugged in to shore and display shows 13.6.

The word “new” is in quotes because I was able to find out that my unit was manufactured in November of 2019 so it means probably sat on lot for many months. I am ok with that - just wonder if batteries were maintained at all? Czone had several alerts back to December and throughout the year ( batt low voltage) and given my noco charger does not seem to revive them I suspect they are ruined? (And may be outside or nearly outside mfg (Lifeline) 1 yr warranty.

Given solar and shore power is working (they are) - I guess I have to go through hassle of removing and taking them to a Lifeline dealer.

Any other thoughts or comments?
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:51 PM   #2
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How about a simple approach assuming traditional lead acid batteries.

Remove the batteries and use a simple charger and try to charge them. If they don’t take a charge, not a good sign.

If you can get a charge into them take them to a local auto parts store and ask if they can test deep cycle batteries.

Limit the back story about the batteries.

Or if the batteries have removable caps a hydrometer can tell charge health.

If you have other than lead acid other folks can advise.

Then you can test review convertor status.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:53 PM   #3
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If you have solar you should have AGM not wet cell and your solar should have kept the AGM charged. Can you confirm this is the case that you’re talking about AGM?

Should be covered under warranty. Have you tried reaching out to the dealer?
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:14 PM   #4
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To add to the already good guidance, given that your Noco, I assume Genius, Charger did not revive them and they show less than 6 volts on their own, clearly symptoms that one or more cells are dead shorted. Isolated or removed, confirm you are unable to get them to take a charge by trying once more and then replace them, hopefully under warranty. Sorry for your troubles.
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:53 PM   #5
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To be reading those low voltages, you have likely dropped a cell (or two or three...). Lifeline AGMs have a 5-year pro-rated / 1-year replacement warranty. I have non-RV experience with these guys, and I find they really stand behind their products. In the worst case, you'll be out 20% of the replacement cost. But between Lifeline and your 5-Rivet dealer, you might find a way to get made whole. Just be sure to ask nicely.
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
If you have solar you should have AGM not wet cell and your solar should have kept the AGM charged. Can you confirm this is the case that you’re talking about AGM?

Should be covered under warranty. Have you tried reaching out to the dealer?


Yes they are AGM. And Solar is generating enough most sunny days to charge them well. I think like others have said I have bad cell(s).
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
To add to the already good guidance, given that your Noco, I assume Genius, Charger did not revive them and they show less than 6 volts on their own, clearly symptoms that one or more cells are dead shorted. Isolated or removed, confirm you are unable to get them to take a charge by trying once more and then replace them, hopefully under warranty. Sorry for your troubles.


Thanks. Yes I have noco genius 3500 so I think it would do the job if batts were good. It maintained the AGMs in my prior trailer well. Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:48 PM   #8
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Sorry most of my .02$ applied to old non solar systems.

Like what I have, a simpler rig.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:32 PM   #9
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So your batteries died with the working solar system or is something else failing that is causing the batteries to die?
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:51 AM   #10
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An update from this morning and thinking about it over night. I found my multimeter and took voltage readings across any combination of the battery terminals with shore power off - 12.83V - sounds like batteries are in fact good. The Victron shows 13.6V for batts when shore power on, when I pull the plug shows 3.2V (and constantly fluctuating).

Is it possible that the batteries are not ‘engaging’ when off shore power and if so what would cause that. Btw, if plugged into shore power and I use the app (or the button) to battery disconnect most items power off (except for microwave clock for instance).

Any new ideas? I honestly believe the batts may be good, how else would I get the 12.83V reading?
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:33 AM   #11
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Edit: Indeed if the battery resting voltage is north of 12.8 they are in very good shape.

There are resetting thermal breakers on the battery bus bar which protect the battery cables and the primary side of the power distribution center. They will generally be 50 amp but may be more if the converter plus solar exceeds 50A. There are two, one on the battery lead cable and one on the power center load cable which normally ties to the solar charge controller and converter and Use/Store relay together, then goes on to the power center. Perhaps one of these breakers has tripped and won't reset. Some reset manually with a little button on them, others are supposed to reset automatically, but sometimes require all voltage from both sides be removed.

If they are 50A, it is possible one tripped if the battery was severely discharged and solar plus converter exceeded the 50A limit.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
If you have solar you should have AGM not wet cell and your solar should have kept the AGM charged. Can you confirm this is the case that you’re talking about AGM?

Should be covered under warranty. Have you tried reaching out to the dealer?
New guy here: We just received our 2021 23 Flying Cloud FB. It came with First Interstate batteries. Been thinking about solar addition. Why do you need AGM batteries if you get solar?
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:09 AM   #13
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If you have solar, your batteries will be charging all the time every day, during daylight. Most people are not willing to put in the time to monitor water levels as frequently as would be required. AGM's are much more user friendly and can handle some "neglect". There are other reasons AGM's are better for our needs, but chances are good that you will cook regular flooded cells on solar. However, that is not the case if you want to take care of your batteries. Really not worth the effort for the price of upgrading to AGM's
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:15 AM   #14
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The solar chargers change the game since you no longer have to purposefully do something like plug into shore power or add an external charger or completely isolate the batteries to maintain a charge (it is very important not to let the resting battery voltage go below 11.5 volts, you should not let them drop below 12.1 really). All you need to do is ensure there is sun on the panels, so the normal process of regularly checking water level tends to get neglected. AGM batteries do away with water loss unless you severely abuse them. Also the cyclic nature of charging and slightly draining promotes water loss in wet cells so it is a double whamy. Finally since the sun is only full strength for about 6 hours a day, it is not long enough strong charge to prevent sulfacation of the battery and wet cells have this issue. After a couple few months, an external charge at 14.6-14.8 volts for 12-14 hours is required for wet cells that received the cyclic charge and drain, really once a month is best. AGM batteries have this issue to a much lesser extent, so the external charge requirement is reduced, though once every 6 months to a year is required if the battery cycles.

So if you continue to regularly check water level and get an external equalization charger, no need for AGM batteries with solar.

Edit: What Larry said, he beat me to the punch.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocropper View Post
An update from this morning and thinking about it over night. I found my multimeter and took voltage readings across any combination of the battery terminals with shore power off - 12.83V - sounds like batteries are in fact good. The Victron shows 13.6V for batts when shore power on, when I pull the plug shows 3.2V (and constantly fluctuating).

Is it possible that the batteries are not ‘engaging’ when off shore power and if so what would cause that. Btw, if plugged into shore power and I use the app (or the button) to battery disconnect most items power off (except for microwave clock for instance).

Any new ideas? I honestly believe the batts may be good, how else would I get the 12.83V reading?
Hi

You need to check the use/ store switch and the main disconnect switch as well. There is no 100% guarantee that they are hooked up right, even if they are in the correct positions. A quick poke with your multimeter will confirm they are doing ok.

Next past that quick guess, start tracing the battery voltage back from the battery towards the main part of the 12V wiring. As mentioned above, the battery hooks into a 12V distribution bar. From there it heads into the switches and relays I mentioned above. After that it gets to the 12V breaker panel. All of this is shown (somewhat crypticaly ) in the later part of the owner's manual.

Fun !!!

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Old 10-13-2020, 11:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
Edit: Indeed if the battery resting voltage is north of 12.8 they are in very good shape.

There are resetting thermal breakers on the battery bus bar which protect the battery cables and the primary side of the power distribution center. They will generally be 50 amp but may be more if the converter plus solar exceeds 50A. There are two, one on the battery lead cable and one on the power center load cable which normally ties to the solar charge controller and converter and Use/Store relay together, then goes on to the power center. Perhaps one of these breakers has tripped and won't reset. Some reset manually with a little button on them, others are supposed to reset automatically, but sometimes require all voltage from both sides be removed.

If they are 50A, it is possible one tripped if the battery was severely discharged and solar plus converter exceeded the 50A limit.


I appreciate your help. Where specifically might this be - the breakers. I assume these are not the ones located in breaker and fuse center under the dinette?
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Old 10-13-2020, 03:37 PM   #17
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They are not, and I don't know where exactly where on the 33' trailer it is. More often than not they are in or near the front curbside corner of the trailer or somewhere between that corner and the location of the power center. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
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Old 10-13-2020, 04:26 PM   #18
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Ocropper, when you used your multimeter were you outside in the sun? If so, and assuming you didn't disconnect the battery cable from the Victron Solar controller, then you were likely reading the output from the panels. To check the batteries without removing the solar cable, they are labeled and not hard to do, do the check after the sun goes down, CZONE system turned off, and disconnected from shore power.



For others, the latest Classic 33 does not have a store/use switch. CZONE controls the 12V with an on/off button. Bus bar is different without the resettable breakers. There are massive MRBF marine fuses on a positive bus bar located on top of the batteries. And for those that have this setup order a spare set (1 ea 50 and 100 amp). If they blow you won't likely find them anyplace local (been there and done that). Amazon has them.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:42 AM   #19
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Ocropper, when you used your multimeter were you outside in the sun? If so, and assuming you didn't disconnect the battery cable from the Victron Solar controller, then you were likely reading the output from the panels. To check the batteries without removing the solar cable, they are labeled and not hard to do, do the check after the sun goes down, CZONE system turned off, and disconnected from shore power.



For others, the latest Classic 33 does not have a store/use switch. CZONE controls the 12V with an on/off button. Bus bar is different without the resettable breakers. There are massive MRBF marine fuses on a positive bus bar located on top of the batteries. And for those that have this setup order a spare set (1 ea 50 and 100 amp). If they blow you won't likely find them anyplace local (been there and done that). Amazon has them.


I actually found the fuses on the bus bar. 50 amp one “seems” to be ok - I took off and tried direct hook (I ordered on line some backups to add to my fuse collection). Was hoping when bypassing fuse temporarily it might fix. Unfortunately not.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ocropper View Post
We took delivery of a 2020 Classic 33 from a major NE 5 rivet dealer first week of August. Since then either while camping or while outfitting at the house we have been on shore power most of the time or off shore power and locked up. Had noticed something was up when off shore power - no lights would cone on and czone panels all over trailer would blink on and off. Voltage of batteries on Victron display showed voltage of 3V or even less. Plugged in to shore and display shows 13.6.

The word “new” is in quotes because I was able to find out that my unit was manufactured in November of 2019 so it means probably sat on lot for many months. I am ok with that - just wonder if batteries were maintained at all? Czone had several alerts back to December and throughout the year ( batt low voltage) and given my noco charger does not seem to revive them I suspect they are ruined? (And may be outside or nearly outside mfg (Lifeline) 1 yr warranty.

Given solar and shore power is working (they are) - I guess I have to go through hassle of removing and taking them to a Lifeline dealer.

Any other thoughts or comments?
Hi ocropper,*

Please send us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customersupport@airstream.com

Thank you.*
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