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Old 03-06-2017, 05:58 PM   #1
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THOR #4505
Vegas 24.1 - Dead Batteries and Generator

I have a 2015 Vegas 24.1 and have had problems with batteries draining while stored. We run the generator and start the engine monthly while it's stored (in driveway). Initial issue was dead chassis battery but emergency start and generator worked. In Feb 2016 took it to Ford truck service and all battery tests indicated normal levels. Driving seems to keep all batteries charged.
This winter RV service tech suggested plugging in to the home's power to keep charge up instead of installing a trickle charger. Still did monthly generator and engine starts. This month however when we attempted to do our monthly starts everything was dead. Generator wouldn't start, engine wouldn't start, emergency start wouldn't work. House batteries were put in store mode, shore power plugged in to home with surge protector in use. Has anyone had similar issues? Any suggestions on what the problem could be? Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippetwagon
House batteries were put in store mode, shore power plugged in to home with surge protector in use. Has anyone had similar issues? Any suggestions on what the problem could be? Thanks for your help.
There's your problem: If you are plugged into shore power you want to leave the RV in "Use" mode--it won't charge the batteries in "Store" (the batteries will be disconnected from the charge circuit).
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:14 PM   #3
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That explains it! When you say that, it makes total sense.

I'm still a bit concerned about why I need to use emergency start every month while not connected to home. I've read about phantom draws. Is there a way to avoid having those issues?
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:17 PM   #4
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THOR #1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippetwagon
I'm still a bit concerned about why I need to use emergency start every month while not connected to home. I've read about phantom draws. Is there a way to avoid having those issues?
Well you can spend a ton of time tracking down the phantom draws, or just install battery disconnects on all your batteries.

I have them on both the chassis and house batteries. So far so good: no dead batteries since installing them (other than having to replace the junky Harris house battery). I can't plug my Axis in where I store it so I just leave it with both batteries disconnected.
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for your advice. I'm not that mechanical and a relative newbie to boot. Sounds like a disconnect is easiest & best solution. Again, live and learn.
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:02 PM   #6
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I have had no more problems with dead batteries since wiring the isolation relay plus coil wire correctly.....that is to the house batteries. Either shore power, running the MH, or solar keep the batteries in good shape.
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Old 03-08-2017, 04:33 PM   #7
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THOR #6726
Continuing Battery Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippetwagon View Post
I have a 2015 Vegas 24.1 and have had problems with batteries draining while stored. We run the generator and start the engine monthly while it's stored (in driveway). Initial issue was dead chassis battery but emergency start and generator worked. In Feb 2016 took it to Ford truck service and all battery tests indicated normal levels. Driving seems to keep all batteries charged.
I have also had similar problems with the chasis battery going dead. The house batteries are charging and holding a charge. The RV has been to Ford twice and they insist there is nothing wrong with the truck side of the system or the truck battery. If I let it sit for a few days, not plugged into shore power, the truck battery goes dead. While poking around I discovered (1) if the house batteries are put in standby, the truck battery does not go dead (2) the dash radio is connected to the truck battery and when I pull the fuse out of the back of the radio, the truck battery quit going dead. Thor insists the radio is connected to the house batteries and this cannot happen. Go figure....
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Old 03-08-2017, 04:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FrankP View Post
I have also had similar problems with the chasis battery going dead. The house batteries are charging and holding a charge. The RV has been to Ford twice and they insist there is nothing wrong with the truck side of the system or the truck battery. If I let it sit for a few days, not plugged into shore power, the truck battery goes dead. While poking around I discovered (1) if the house batteries are put in standby, the truck battery does not go dead (2) the dash radio is connected to the truck battery and when I pull the fuse out of the back of the radio, the truck battery quit going dead. Thor insists the radio is connected to the house batteries and this cannot happen. Go figure....
In my 2014 Vegas it was connected to both. The wire to the chassis battery provided power to the clock and memory functions, while the wire to the coach batteries ran the radio. I put a switch the chassis battery wire in to turn it off and you are correct, it is a substantial drain. If you have the radio booklet it shows you the two wires and their colors. Not hard to splice in a small switch.
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Old 03-08-2017, 04:57 PM   #9
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One thing to note is the Axxera radio. If you search the forum, the radio does still draw power when the coach switch is in the "store" position. Some folks have put a cutoff on the radio power wire for storage.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:45 PM   #10
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THOR #6726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
In my 2014 Vegas it was connected to both. The wire to the chassis battery provided power to the clock and memory functions, while the wire to the coach batteries ran the radio. I put a switch the chassis battery wire in to turn it off and you are correct, it is a substantial drain. If you have the radio booklet it shows you the two wires and their colors. Not hard to splice in a small switch.


Thanks. This helps a lot. I have the books and I will check it out.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:47 PM   #11
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THOR #6726
Vegas 24.1 - Dead Batteries and Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrown View Post
One thing to note is the Axxera radio. If you search the forum, the radio does still draw power when the coach switch is in the "store" position. Some folks have put a cutoff on the radio power wire for storage.


Good to know. I keep finding out stuff even Thor and the dealer does not know. Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2017, 07:25 PM   #12
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THOR #5248
Just a note; That lead on my 2017 class c outlaw is connected on the battery side terminal of the store/use Relay. You can just move the wire to other terminal. remember by doing this you will lose time and memory in the radio when in store.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:28 PM   #13
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THOR #3340
dead batteries

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Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
I have had no more problems with dead batteries since wiring the isolation relay plus coil wire correctly.....that is to the house batteries. Either shore power, running the MH, or solar keep the batteries in good shape.

Can you help me in locating the "isolation relay plus coil wire"? I have a 2014 24.1 Axis and have experienced very frustrating 'power outage'. One mistake I was making was putting the coach batteries in store mode when hooked up to shore power. I do turn off my Jensen radio/camera display but still no luck in keeping it from going very dead. Scarey.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:19 AM   #14
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THOR #3340
Dead battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Well you can spend a ton of time tracking down the phantom draws, or just install battery disconnects on all your batteries.

I have them on both the chassis and house batteries. So far so good: no dead batteries since installing them (other than having to replace the junky Harris house battery). I can't plug my Axis in where I store it so I just leave it with both batteries disconnected.
Which battery disconnects did you buy? Can you access the disconnect for the cab thru the front or do you have to go in from the inside?
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sueasher1@netzero.net
Which battery disconnects did you buy? Can you access the disconnect for the cab thru the front or do you have to go in from the inside?
For the chassis battery I put on a Simple knife disconnect (Amazon) on the battery. With this disconnect I have to open the hood and reach in to the battery.

For the house battery I put on a marine disconnect (Amazon) mounted right next to the battery under the step (I only have 1 house battery). To turn this one on or off I just lift the step and flip the switch.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:26 AM   #16
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THOR #3340
Quote:
Originally Posted by sueasher1@netzero.net View Post
Which battery disconnects did you buy? Can you access the disconnect for the cab thru the front or do you have to go in from the inside?

Thanks for your reply. The knife switch is just what I was looking at. I think I can even install it myself!

Hopefully this will be a simple fix for a very frustrating problem. Thank you
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:18 PM   #17
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Model: 2016 Vegas 24.1 on E450
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THOR #2361
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
I have had no more problems with dead batteries since wiring the isolation relay plus coil wire correctly.....that is to the house batteries. Either shore power, running the MH, or solar keep the batteries in good shape.
Can you, or anyone, expand on this more. I keep my Vegas at my house plugged into shore power with the house batteries in "use" mode. I went out yesterday and the chassis battery is dead. I put a meter on them and the house batteries are good and the genny runs but the chassis battery is only 1 volt. The Emergency switch would not start the coach. I thought shore power would/should keep both house and chassis batteries charged. Any help is much appreciated.
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Old 03-11-2017, 05:21 PM   #18
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THOR #1765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor View Post
Can you, or anyone, expand on this more. I keep my Vegas at my house plugged into shore power with the house batteries in "use" mode. I went out yesterday and the chassis battery is dead. I put a meter on them and the house batteries are good and the genny runs but the chassis battery is only 1 volt. The Emergency switch would not start the coach. I thought shore power would/should keep both house and chassis batteries charged. Any help is much appreciated.
If you have Ed's manual (if you don't go download it) read the part on the BIRD and Trombetta or BCC depending on what system you have to connect/disconnect the coach and chassis batteries from each other. The system is designed so the generator/shore power charges the chassis battery as well as the coach batteries and the engine alternator charges the coach batteries as well as the chassis battery. Your system is apparently not working as it should. When I purchased my 2016 Axis, mine did not work either. The BIRD in my 2016 Axis was wired incorrectly at the factory. It was a simple fix, but difficult to diagnose. If you read Ed's manual, you will see that th BIRD is designed to open the Trombetta and connect the two battery systems. Apparently yours is not doing that. Could be a bad BIRD, bad Trombetta or miswiring. If you search for oneilkeys and BIRD or Trombetta you probably an find the posts outlining my trials and tribulations in the spring if 2016.
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Old 03-11-2017, 06:58 PM   #19
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THOR #1150
Ed's manual: Link to Ed Felker's Vegas/Axis Manual
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:20 PM   #20
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Model: 2016 Vegas 24.1 on E450
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THOR #2361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
If you have Ed's manual (if you don't go download it) read the part on the BIRD and Trombetta or BCC depending on what system you have to connect/disconnect the coach and chassis batteries from each other. The system is designed so the generator/shore power charges the chassis battery as well as the coach batteries and the engine alternator charges the coach batteries as well as the chassis battery. Your system is apparently not working as it should. When I purchased my 2016 Axis, mine did not work either. The BIRD in my 2016 Axis was wired incorrectly at the factory. It was a simple fix, but difficult to diagnose. If you read Ed's manual, you will see that th BIRD is designed to open the Trombetta and connect the two battery systems. Apparently yours is not doing that. Could be a bad BIRD, bad Trombetta or miswiring. If you search for oneilkeys and BIRD or Trombetta you probably an find the posts outlining my trials and tribulations in the spring if 2016.
Thanks Oneilkeys. I do have Ed's excellent manual and it's the first place I turned yesterday when I discovered my problem. I thought I understood the system and remembered several folks posting last year about their problems. I didn't have much time last night for trying to solve my troubles so I got confused when I read in The Manual on page 48, "The chassis battery for the engine is not charged off the converter." but later in Appendix 11 a complete discussion of the BIRD etc states it correctly. I was in a rush.

Now I'm back from an out-of-town travel baseball day and have time to work on this. The first thing I did was update my copy of The Manual to the current version. (Thanks for the link JamieGeek! and super thanks to Ed for The Manual and updates!) I was using an outdated copy and the verbiage on page 48 has been clarified. So I do understand the system and mine is clearly not working correctly. So now to research troubleshooting steps. I think I'll start with the incorrect wiring. (Wishful thinking) I might not get too far however because it's now 37* outside with some snow. Brrrrr
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