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Old 07-20-2015, 07:47 PM   #21
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We recently test drove a brand new 2016 Vegas 24.1 fresh from the factory with a dead chassis battery. They were not able to start the engine using the emergency house battery boost, even with the generator running. The dealer finally got the unit started using jumper cables and a golf cart. While driving the screen for the rear view camera didn't work, and neither did the power side mirror adjustment knob.

The foam insulation strips around both front side windows was loose and hanging down in loops. We also had a hard time sliding the captains chairs forward and back using the left underseat lever.

I really like the layout and utility of the unit and enjoyed how it drove, but am wondering how easy it will be to address these issues.

From this thread it sounds like vampire currents are common and a battery disconnect switch needs to be installed.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:07 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by tmshih View Post
We recently test drove a brand new 2016 Vegas 24.1 fresh from the factory with a dead chassis battery. They were not able to start the engine using the emergency house battery boost, even with the generator running. The dealer finally got the unit started using jumper cables and a golf cart. While driving the screen for the rear view camera didn't work, and neither did the power side mirror adjustment knob.

The foam insulation strips around both front side windows was loose and hanging down in loops. We also had a hard time sliding the captains chairs forward and back using the left underseat lever.

I really like the layout and utility of the unit and enjoyed how it drove, but am wondering how easy it will be to address these issues.

From this thread it sounds like vampire currents are common and a battery disconnect switch needs to be installed.
It sounds like when it was parked at the dealer someone locked it without checking to ensure everything was turned off and the batteries were in store mode.

It also sounds like the house batteries were close to dead or the emergency start switch has an issue. It could also be the circuit breaker on the generator is tripped and although it starts it is not charging the house batteries.

My nickel:

If you are interested in the unit tell the dealer to correct the issues before you make an offer or if you do make an offer put in the contract that any issues found must be corrected prior to delivery. Specify that if the issues are not corrected prior to delivery the offer is null and void and then enforce the provision.

Again, that's my nickel.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:23 PM   #23
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Note that to replace the chassis battery on a Vegas they have to cut through the dash (remove and replace the "desk" in front of the passenger seat).

If they do replace the chassis battery closely inspect the passenger side dash to ensure that everything is put back to your satisfaction.
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:01 PM   #24
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The house battery was probably ok since we were able to operate both the slide and the cab bunk with no problems on batteries alone, We also ran the rooftop AC during the test drive with the generator running so I don't think the breaker was tripped. So I think it was the switch.

It was just odd that the electronics for the side mirrors, and center console screen didn't function.

Has anybody had experience adjusting or lubricating the captains chairs to make them smoother adjusting?
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:09 PM   #25
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Dead Batteries Solution

I had all of the above problems with Coach and Chassis batteries. Rather than go to all that trouble with cut off switches and fuse pulling I bought a solar panel from O'Riley's. It was around $65 or so. I put it on the dashboard and slid it to the windshield in the center.

It comes with a long wire and battery clamps (one set) I made a Y connection and added a second set of clamps.

Hooked one set to the chassis batt and the other to the coach batt. Haven't had a dead battery since. BTW it is not in direct sun all day. Only gets sun in the mornings. It is not intended to charge the batteries but to keep them topped off.

Good luck.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:43 PM   #26
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Note that your Y connection is shorting the batteries together unless you put two diodes in.

I've tried a small solar panel (a 6W one from campingworld: Nature Power Solar Battery Maintainers and Trickle Chargers - 6-watt - RDK Products 40014 - Solar Panels - Camping World). Even with the battery disconnected it couldn't hold a charge on a single battery let alone two.
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Old 12-16-2015, 03:29 PM   #27
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Note that your Y connection is shorting the batteries together unless you put two diodes in.

I've tried a small solar panel (a 6W one from campingworld: Nature Power Solar Battery Maintainers and Trickle Chargers - 6-watt - RDK Products 40014 - Solar Panels - Camping World). Even with the battery disconnected it couldn't hold a charge on a single battery let alone two.
What do you think is happening?

A "disconnected" battery shouldn't require hardly any charging at all. My cars stay unattended for 2 weeks or longer on a regular basis and start right up, and the batteries are fully connected as manufactured by Ford or Honda.

Is it possible your charger isn't charging, or that it's discharging more during night that it charges during day?
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:20 PM   #28
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Chance,

The Axis/Vegas units have a "normal" parasitic load about 10 times greater than what you would see in your cars. This is what routinely kills the chassis batteries. So far, none of have been able to figure out where it comes from. Breaking the circuit with a switch or providing a trickle charge solves the problem.

I'm pretty sure it is something that Thor adds. If it were a "feature" of the E350/450 platform we'd have heard about it.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:23 PM   #29
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Chance,

The Axis/Vegas units have a "normal" parasitic load about 10 times greater than what you would see in your cars. This is what routinely kills the chassis batteries. So far, none of have been able to figure out where it comes from. Breaking the circuit with a switch or providing a trickle charge solves the problem.

I'm pretty sure it is something that Thor adds. If it were a "feature" of the E350/450 platform we'd have heard about it.

Regards,

Randy
Thanks Randy, I recall reading the many reports on dead batteries. Another reason I'd want separate/segregated electrical systems if only they were available.

What I perhaps didn't read correctly about Jamie's point is that his small solar charger isn't working even though his battery is disconnected. I assumed (probably incorrectly) that he was talking about the chassis battery, and after it had been disconnected (by terminal or knife switch???). Looking back he may have been referring to house battery.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:28 PM   #30
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So why isn't Thor doing something to determine what the parasitic load is - and then do a recall to correct it. If they installed something that is "eating" electrons and killing batteries, why aren't they liable to replace the battery? I suppose those are rhetorical questions. But if this is something Ford did, fleet E-350s all over the country would be dropping dead. And a lot of those fleet vehicles sit in storage a long time.
What groswald found is a lot of current draw for a vehicle sitting in storage. When he disconnected lighting fuses the load decreased. It there were no lights drawing that load wouldn't it mean something in that disconnected circuit had a low resistance short to ground? Where else could the current be going? Also his troubles shooting pretty much confirms something Thor is doing to wire the dash has a parasitic load. And then finally, it really ticks me off that when this problem eventually manifests itself in my Vegas, I'll be holding the stick to pay for a new battery -- and still not have had anything done to fix the problem. Replacing the battery to me seems to be addressing the symptom not the problem.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:00 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
What do you think is happening?
With my solar or with the two batteries shorted together?

Guess I'll take a shot at both LOL:

In the two batteries shorted together: I'd guess that it probably won't hurt the system too much as they are only being topped off. There is a possible danger if one battery likes to settle at a different voltage than the other...

In my case: Note that when I had the solar on the coach battery I had the coach negative cable disconnected (e.g. only solar + battery). I'm pretty sure my coach Harris battery is well on its way out and am planning on replacing it this spring. Thus the little 6W solar just can't provide enough to charge up/top off a somewhat damaged battery.

When I stop by to run the engines. The chassis battery fires the V-10 right up, but the coach battery can barely turn over the genny. I'm pretty sure its going going going....almost gone.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:33 PM   #32
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Jamie, thanks for clarification.

I assumed since OP was talking about a dead chassis battery that couldn't start engine, even with generator running, that you used the solar on a disconnected chassis battery. My bad -- you know what they say about assumptions.

It does sound like you have a house battery on its last leg. By the way, does your solar charger indicate power level, or some other feedback to confirm it's working?

I guess we shouldn't expect much from 6 watts (likely its rating under ideal conditions). That's only +/- 0.5 Amp, which means maybe 2 Amp-hours per day. In a month that would be maybe 60 Amp-hours, or less than a bad battery runs down (i.e. -- a poor battery often goes dead in a month). A higher-capacity solar system may do the trick though.
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:06 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Chance
I guess we shouldn't expect much from 6 watts (likely its rating under ideal conditions). That's only +/- 0.5 Amp, which means maybe 2 Amp-hours per day. In a month that would be maybe 60 Amp-hours, or less than a bad battery runs down (i.e. -- a poor battery often goes dead in a month). A higher-capacity solar system may do the trick though.
Yeah it was just a quick & dirty check since I already had it. Left the solar panel sitting on the ground in front of the camper (which faces south) so I'm sure it didn't get as much sun as it could if I had left it on the roof. Thus it wasn't even running at max (and the weather during the "test" wasn't very optimal either).
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:38 PM   #34
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I like Chuck's idea of placing a small solar panel on dash, which I could connect to a 12-Volt power outlet on the dash which is always hot. I'm just wondering how much power (solar intensity) is loss through the windshield.

If it's not much it would make for a convenient trickle charger. I'm guessing it probably varies somewhat by glass type/manufacturer, tint, windshield angle, etc.... Trying it may be the only way to find out for sure.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:55 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Note that your Y connection is shorting the batteries together unless you put two diodes in.

I've tried a small solar panel (a 6W one from campingworld: Nature Power Solar Battery Maintainers and Trickle Chargers - 6-watt - RDK Products 40014 - Solar Panels - Camping World). Even with the battery disconnected it couldn't hold a charge on a single battery let alone two.
Sounds too weak. Coleman has an 18W solar charger complete with charge controller and a diode to prevent discharge. You can get it at Home Depot for $75.

Coleman 18-Watt 12-Volt Solar Battery Charging Kit-58033 - The Home Depot

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Old 12-21-2015, 01:48 PM   #36
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I had the same problem with my batteries. Talked to an O'Riley's owner who also had a motorhome and his suggestion was to use a solar panel to keep them charged.

I did the following. Located the solar panel flat on the dash at the center of the windshield. Made sure the batteries were at full charge. Used small jumper cable and hooked up the chassis and the coach batteries in parallel so the charger would keep all three batteries topped off. The panel does not produce enough juice to "charge" but does produce enough to keep them topped off.

I did not use any cut offs. I have checked the status of the batteries about once a month by using a volt/ohm meter and making sure the voltage was maintained at least at 12 VDC. Cranked each time and all batteries were at full charge.

Now I only check about every 2-3 months and all has been fine.

When I get ready to drive, I just remove the jumper cables, unplug the solar panel and roll up the wires. Such a relief!

Chuck
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Old 12-21-2015, 04:30 PM   #37
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WOW! What a great link. Thank You FW28z
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Old 12-21-2015, 04:50 PM   #38
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Years ago, my ex father-in-law taught me to always carry an extra battery in my sailboat for listening to radio at night. So I always carry a jumpstart battery in my motorhome like this one. I use it to power my portable XM Radio for the evening. When the gen is running or I've got external power, I plug it in to recharge off of the 110VAC.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:20 AM   #39
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TMS,

Please use the search option this forum for the link below which goes to an earlier thread of my dealings with dead chassis batteries.

final-report-harris-batteries-wfco-charger-converter-2551.html?highlight=harris+batteries

Good Luck.

Doc
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