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Old 02-08-2016, 06:14 PM   #1
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Model: Tuscany XTE 36MQ
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THOR #1497
Dead House Batteries

Howdy all!

So I went to pull my 2015 Tuscany XTE 36MQ out of storage today to have a state inspection and the 1 yr Freightliner maintenance performed. Coach started right up with no issues. However, the house batteries are dead.

I had it last out on 22 Dec and had no issues at that time. Generator ran for 3-4 hours and ran it 40 miles on the roads. Weather was colder before Christmas (single digits) than we have had since, so I don't think the weather played a factor - but maybe it did.

  • Chassis batteries were manually disconnected and house batteries disconnected via the electronic rocker switch (Hmmm....I think I did!). Yes, I did try turning on the house batteries to no avail.
  • I cannot get the generator to start - does the generator start off the house batteries?
  • all the lights were flashing on the leveler panel - I'm guessing this is a function of the dead house batteries?
  • I put a volt meter on the batteries, with the engine running, voltage read ~ .8 volts - is this the alternator charging the batteries?
  • Did not think to measure the batteries with the
  • Checked all the water levels, everything appears good with water over the lead.
I did read through this thread http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f10...bies-1286.html.

I've ordered the B&K Precision 316 so once I get the batteries recharged, I can see if I have some sort of draw.

How does one go about re-charging the house batteries? Via the generator? How can I get the generator to start?

Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:17 PM   #2
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Does the Tuscany have the emergency start switch somewhere on the dash or on the electrical panel? Our Axis has a switch that shorts together the Chassis and House batteries in the event of such an occurrence.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:35 PM   #3
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Have you checked the house batteries at their terminals with a multimeter? Are they dead?

If the batteries themselves show signs of life, you have a switching problem.

You're going to want to check the automatic battery interconnect. And there is also a breaker switch in your battery compartment.

If the batteries were dead, you have a parasitic discharge problem.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:59 PM   #4
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I have not seen a "store" switch yet that totally disconnects the house batteries from everything. There always seems to be some parasitic load. I have found that if I leave my coach for more than a couple of weeks, I need to disconnect the batteries or use a solar panel or other "trickle" charge device.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg84 View Post
I had it last out on 22 Dec and had no issues at that time. Generator ran for 3-4 hours and ran it 40 miles on the roads.
Was the use/store switch in 'use' position? Otherwise won't charge the coach batteries..

Quote:
[*]Chassis batteries were manually disconnected and house batteries disconnected via the electronic rocker switch (Hmmm....I think I did!).
If the switch was left in 'use', it certainly would have drained the batteries.

Quote:
[*]I cannot get the generator to start - does the generator start off the house batteries?
Typically yes... The jump switch Jamie mentioned can help if those are low.. But may not if really dead.

Quote:
[*]all the lights were flashing on the leveler panel - I'm guessing this is a function of the dead house batteries?
I'd expect the leveled to be on chassis batteries.

Quote:
[*]I put a volt meter on the batteries, with the engine running, voltage read ~ .8 volts - is this the alternator charging the batteries?
8 volt is dead. 0.8 is very dead..

Quote:
How does one go about re-charging the house batteries? Via the generator? How can I get the generator to start?
I would would disconnect the coach batteries from the coach and each other and use an automotive charger to see if they will take a charge...
If they are that low and froze - they may not recharge.

With coach batteries disconnected, the jump switch may start the generator if needed.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:06 PM   #6
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THOR #2829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
I have not seen a "store" switch yet that totally disconnects the house batteries from everything. There always seems to be some parasitic load. I have found that if I leave my coach for more than a couple of weeks, I need to disconnect the batteries or use a solar panel or other "trickle" charge device.
My experience has been different...
My 2000 Infinity had a chassis and coach disconnects - and when disconnected - everything was off...
Made it 3 months plus thru Michigan winters without needing a charge (changed oil before storage - did stop in as snow allowed to check voltage - never started or charged in that time.)

My 2014 Hurricane only has the coach battery disconnect.. Again has sat multiple months (spring/fall as we now head south for winter) with no issues for either battery...
(Except for once in my driveway when I had the coach switch set to 'use' without shore power for over a week - but my own fault there.... it did exactly what I told it to.)

Obviously something to check and understand how each unit behaves... I certainly expect 'disconnect' means everything - and would find/address anything that behaved differently
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg84 View Post
Howdy all!

So I went to pull my 2015 Tuscany XTE 36MQ out of storage today to have a state inspection and the 1 yr Freightliner maintenance performed. Coach started right up with no issues. However, the house batteries are dead.

I had it last out on 22 Dec and had no issues at that time. Generator ran for 3-4 hours and ran it 40 miles on the roads. Weather was colder before Christmas (single digits) than we have had since, so I don't think the weather played a factor - but maybe it did.

  • Chassis batteries were manually disconnected and house batteries disconnected via the electronic rocker switch (Hmmm....I think I did!). Yes, I did try turning on the house batteries to no avail.
  • I cannot get the generator to start - does the generator start off the house batteries?
  • all the lights were flashing on the leveler panel - I'm guessing this is a function of the dead house batteries?
  • I put a volt meter on the batteries, with the engine running, voltage read ~ .8 volts - is this the alternator charging the batteries?
  • Did not think to measure the batteries with the
  • Checked all the water levels, everything appears good with water over the lead.
I did read through this thread http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f10...bies-1286.html.

I've ordered the B&K Precision 316 so once I get the batteries recharged, I can see if I have some sort of draw.

How does one go about re-charging the house batteries? Via the generator? How can I get the generator to start?

Thanks for any thoughts.
Not sure the Tuscany has the same setup, however, if you start the chassis and run the engine for a period of time the battery isolator should close allowing the chassis alternator to charge the house batteries to the point the generator can be started. If your reading of .8 volts is correct the house batteries may be too low to close the isolator after the required time. If I am not mistaken the isolator relay requires a minimum of 2 or 3 volts from the house batteries or it will not close when the engine is running. My thought is your house batteries are too low to close the isolator and you will need to either connect to shore power to charge the batteries or connect a battery charger and charge the house batteries.

As a note on the levelers, in my coach the leveling system is connected to the house batteries and not the chassis battery. I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt because the leveling system and the house batteries are in the same storage bay and one can clearly see the electrical cables running from the house batteries through the relay to the leveling jack hydraulic pump.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:27 PM   #8
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THOR #1497
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beacher View Post
Have you checked the house batteries at their terminals with a multimeter? Are they dead?

If the batteries themselves show signs of life, you have a switching problem.

You're going to want to check the automatic battery interconnect. And there is also a breaker switch in your battery compartment.

If the batteries were dead, you have a parasitic discharge problem.
0.8v showing on the multimeter. They're dead, Jim! I'm going to check for parasitic draw once the batteries are re-charged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
I have not seen a "store" switch yet that totally disconnects the house batteries from everything. There always seems to be some parasitic load. I have found that if I leave my coach for more than a couple of weeks, I need to disconnect the batteries or use a solar panel or other "trickle" charge device.
I've stored it for several months with the chassis battery mechanically disconnected and the house batteries disconnected via the rocker switch in some pretty significant cold weather last year without any issues. I like the idea of a solar panel charger to trickle charge the batteries when not in use. Unfortunately, the storage lot we use has no power available for an electric trickle charger or to keep it plugged in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc View Post
Was the use/store switch in 'use' position? Otherwise won't charge the coach batteries..

Hmmm...not sure what this is. The Tuscany XTE has a manual disconnect in the chassis battery compartment. You twist it to the off position, if it is in the off position it will not charge or start the coach. There is no (at least I cannot find one) similar device for the house batteries. I did run the generator which kicked on the power control panel to power the propane heating system, so I'm pretty sure the house batteries were being charged.

If the switch was left in 'use', it certainly would have drained the batteries.

I'm starting to wonder if I did not disconnect the house battery via the rocker switch, last time I was in it and left the radio turned on, with the volume off.


Typically yes... The jump switch Jamie mentioned can help if those are low.. But may not if really dead.

I was looking for this earlier, could not find it. I'm pretty sure I have the jumper switch, but darned if I could not find it. I'll look for it again when I pick the RV up.


I'd expect the leveled to be on chassis batteries.

Researched the Lippert Manual and the lights flashing on the leveler control panel indicate low battery (<10v, yep...that's me!). But as you mention, I also thought the leveler ran off the chassis batteries, I know the engine must be running to power hydraulic pumps. I wonder if the chassis battery powers the hydraulic pumps and the house batteries the control panel/module? The chassis batteries are fine and show a charge of 12v to 13v. Edit: based on Dave's post below this doesn't seem very likely - two different power sources that is.

8 volt is dead. 0.8 is very dead..

To reiterate my unoriginal comment from above "They're dead, Jim!" D'oh!

I would disconnect the coach batteries from the coach and each other and use an automotive charger to see if they will take a charge...Thanks, this is my fallback.

If they are that low and froze - they may not recharge.

I did some research on frozen auto batteries (google...what did we do before the internet?) Based on information from Interstate Batteries, a fully charged battery can resist freezing down to -76 degrees. A discharged battery can freeze at 32 degrees. If the battery freezes and the case did not crack (I have no cracks) and the plates did not touch, the battery can be recharged and still function.

I hope this is my case, if not this could be an expensive newbie lesson. Ouch!

With coach batteries disconnected, the jump switch may start the generator if needed.
Thanks all for the quick replies. I'll post on what the issue was and final solution once I get it resolved.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:43 PM   #9
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THOR #1497
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
Not sure the Tuscany has the same setup, however, if you start the chassis and run the engine for a period of time the battery isolator should close allowing the chassis alternator to charge the house batteries to the point the generator can be started. If your reading of .8 volts is correct the house batteries may be too low to close the isolator after the required time. If I am not mistaken the isolator relay requires a minimum of 2 or 3 volts from the house batteries or it will not close when the engine is running. My thought is your house batteries are too low to close the isolator and you will need to either connect to shore power to charge the batteries or connect a battery charger and charge the house batteries.



This is great information, thanks. I wish I had taken a battery reading after I drove it for an hour to Freightliner to see if the alternator had any effect on the batteries. I suspect that you are right. Freightliner was going to see if the batteries would retain a charge. Hopefully I can resolve this with minimal $$.

As a note on the levelers, in my coach the leveling system is connected to the house batteries and not the chassis battery. I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt because the leveling system and the house batteries are in the same storage bay and one can clearly see the electrical cables running from the house batteries through the relay to the leveling jack hydraulic pump.

Thanks, this confirms what I suspected. In the XTE the control panel for the Lippert is under the driver and the batteries at the rear of the coach ,so I did not have a clear idea of where the power was coming from.
Yep, I'm a noob and this is my first coach. We have enjoyed it so far, but have a lot to learn. I have discovered no matter how much you read though the manuals, research on the 'net it always helps to ask questions on the forums. Thanks all for your replies!
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:56 PM   #10
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Something you could try, and it may be a wild shot, is connecting a portable jump starter to the house batteries and see if they will provide enough voltage to close the isolator and let the alternator charge your batteries. If you can get the alternator voltage to the house batteries for a minute or two you may be able to start the generator.

Again, just a wild shot.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:13 PM   #11
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THOR #1765
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc View Post
My experience has been different...
My 2000 Infinity had a chassis and coach disconnects - and when disconnected - everything was off...
Made it 3 months plus thru Michigan winters without needing a charge (changed oil before storage - did stop in as snow allowed to check voltage - never started or charged in that time.)

My 2014 Hurricane only has the coach battery disconnect.. Again has sat multiple months (spring/fall as we now head south for winter) with no issues for either battery...
(Except for once in my driveway when I had the coach switch set to 'use' without shore power for over a week - but my own fault there.... it did exactly what I told it to.)

Obviously something to check and understand how each unit behaves... I certainly expect 'disconnect' means everything - and would find/address anything that behaved differently
Is your "disconnect" a circuit breaker at the battery or A "store/use" switch installed just inside the door. I have installed real "disconnect" switches which physically cut the battery completely off from the coach and (you are right) I have gone to Europe for two months and the batteries are still charged when I get back. However, my "store/use" switches run the battery down in a couple of weeks if left in the "store" position. This is the third "store/use" switch I have had (two different RV manufactures) and they all have this problem.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:24 PM   #12
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Well, it appears I dodged a bullet. Freightliner, who is performing the 1 yr maintenance and state inspection, recharged the house batteries and they are holding a charge. Whew!

I'll check for parasitic discharge when I get it back. As I stated above, the chassis batteries have a mechanical disconnect and the house batteries have an electronic rocker switch. I'm thinking about adding a mechanical disconnect for house batteries or maybe just disconnecting the leads to the batteries when I put it into storage.

Lessons learned and all that....and it appears a rather cheap lesson at this time.

Thanks for the responses.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:38 PM   #13
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Another option, which works well in Florida because we have lots of sun, is to purchase a small solar panel for the chassis battery, park the RV facing south and put the panel in the front window. That gets around the issue of turning the engine computer off and on. Disconnecting the house batteries is no problem. The "rocker switch" or "store/use" switch does not totally disconnect the house batteries in any coach that I have owned.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
Is your "disconnect" a circuit breaker at the battery or A "store/use" switch installed just inside the door. ...
Mine is the store/use switch inside the door...
If it didn't work like that - I would have done as you did - and added a true disconnect... But both my RVs have been able to go months using just the provided switch...
The only thing consistent between RVs is that they will be different...
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by gmc View Post
Mine is the store/use switch inside the door...
If it didn't work like that - I would have done as you did - and added a true disconnect... But both my RVs have been able to go months using just the provided switch...
The only thing consistent between RVs is that they will be different...
You're right there. You're lucky with the rocker switch. There were three Phoenix Cruiser Class C's on my street and the rocker switch did not totally disconnect the batteries on any if them. It also did not on my Vegas.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:39 PM   #16
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Sigh.....and the house batteries are dead again.

My Freightliner dealership recharged them. While the house battery disconnect is in the off position there is a parasitic draw of ~ 0.3 volts.

Called my dealership....they said this was normal....not trusting the guy I spoke with I called Thor and they said this was NOT normal, there should be zero draw when the house battery rocker switch is in the off position. No surprise.

Thor gave me gave me a strategy to find that problem. Go to the 12 volt panel and pull the fuses one-by-on, while monitoring the draw on the battery. I'll give that a shot.

As a side note I had the chassis battery disconnected during this time time. I wonder if there is a feed into the chassis from the house battery through the bi-dir relay?
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg84 View Post
Sigh.....and the house batteries are dead again.

My Freightliner dealership recharged them. While the house battery disconnect is in the off position there is a parasitic draw of ~ 0.3 volts.
Assume you mean .3 AMPS - not volts...

Quote:
Called my dealership....they said this was normal....not trusting the guy I spoke with I called Thor and they said this was NOT normal, there should be zero draw when the house battery rocker switch is in the off position. No surprise.
Agree with Thor - not normal... My rig just came out of 3 months storage and batteries still alive. (Checked periodically - but never charged).

Quote:
Thor gave me gave me a strategy to find that problem. Go to the 12 volt panel and pull the fuses one-by-on, while monitoring the draw on the battery. I'll give that a shot.
Worth a try - but I'm guessing something more obscure... The disconnect should clearly take all input power from the 12v fusebox - a single check of the voltage going into the fusebox will confirm.
More likely is some connection bypassing the fusebox (hopefully its own inline fuse...) 300ma (.3a) could be a single small light bulb... a string of LED lights... a smoke/carbon monoxide detector.

Quote:
As a side note I had the chassis battery disconnected during this time time. I wonder if there is a feed into the chassis from the house battery through the bi-dir relay?
All things behaving normally - should not happen - but again simple to check for voltage on the chassis side when chassis battery is disconnected.

Always the option to add your own disconnect right at the batteries - which others have done.
Good luck hunting!
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:48 PM   #18
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There should be no feed from the BIRD. It just tells the Trombetta to open or close. Most of the small battery drains that I have seen come from the radio which had a lead connected directly to the battery to power the clock and some memory so you don't have to reset the time and date every time you turn off the disconnect switch. I hooked up an on/off switch to my radios to turn them off completely when I store the coach or dry camp.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:51 PM   #19
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You can either install a battery disconnect switch or, what I do, buy a small solar panel and hook it directly to the coach batteries to provide a trickle charge.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beacher View Post
If the batteries were dead, you have a parasitic discharge problem.
I have found the parasitic discharge in the past to be the propane detector. Usually there is a fuse for that in the circuit box and I just pull that if we're not going to use the unit for awhile.
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