Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: 2018 View/Navion Dead Chassis Battery
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 > 2018 View/Navion Dead Chassis Battery

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Flarpswitch

Oregon

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Posted: 01/16/18 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

(It is really a 2017 disguised as a 2018 to get a price increase out of me. Sprinter built 09/2016 and coach built 2nd quarter 2017.) I tried to start the motor and found the battery stone cold dead; about 5 Volts. I pulled the battery out to put it on a charger. It is looking like it won't completely recover and there is permanent damage. The RV has spent more that two months worth of time to repair shabby construction (another sad story) and during that time there were references on the work order that there were problems starting the motor several times. I know now what this is about having experienced it myself. There seems to be a constant draw of 5 to 6 Amps on the chassis starting battery. There is no practical way to disconnect as with the coach battery switch. The positive terminal connection is a combination clamp/bus bar with several fused and unfused cable connections. I have identified the starter cable and battery boost cable that connects to the coach battery. Using a battery borrowed from the boat, I tested each isolated cable for any current draw. It appears that the cable that runs to the fuse block under the drivers seat is where the problem is. Removing each fuse in turn has no effect on the parasitic load. I assume the there is other connections there. I don't have a wiring diagram handy and I have not removed the seat to get a better view. I would have expected a few milli-Amps of standby current, but at 5+ Amps, it won't take long before the battery goes dead. In theory, I could have pressed the boost button on the dash to start the motor from the coach battery, but this is not a case of a weak battery; it was DEAD and I did not want to risk potential damage to the Sprinter electrical system not knowing if there was an open or shorted cell.

The RV is still under warranty, so I am not inclined to go much deeper into this. This RV has been an unmitigated disaster from day one with so many problems most of which is due to disgraceful workmanship at Winnebago. I feel like I am on my own most of the time and I have been making repairs on my own which is easier than fighting with Winnebago to recognize that there is a problem. The dealer is in the middle and has to demonstrate to Winnebago that there is a deficiency before repairs can commence. There are several unresolved issues and I am at the point where If I can get the RV going safely, we will make one more trip and get rid of this pile of **** in the most practical way possible. One trip I thought of is to drive to Forest City, Iowa and take a bus home.

Anyway, I just thought that maybe someone out there with a late model View/Navion has had a similar problem so I could narrow it down to give the repair people a head start. With their track record, they need all the help they can get.


Steve

Sam Spade

North Central Florida

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Posted: 01/16/18 07:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Flarpswitch wrote:

There seems to be a constant draw of 5 to 6 Amps on the chassis starting battery.


How exactly did you determine that ??

I think it is more likely that the battery has just been "abused" while sitting on the dealers lot and while in their shop. Letting it run completely down two or 3 times will often kill it completely. It is not made to be used like that.

If everything is working correctly, the drain on the starting battery with everything OFF should be VERY close to ZERO. Like 50 milliamps or less.


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donn0128

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Posted: 01/16/18 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

New vehicles have a lotmof paracitic draw. Computers, radios all draw a bit of current. 5A seems like a lot, but you never know. Simple solution is to add a knife switch at the battery + side and open it every time you park.


Don,Lorri,and Charlie Bear 2016
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DrewE

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Posted: 01/16/18 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

5A, if steady and not just for a little while when first connected, is way to high for a chassis parasitic draw. The battery would be dead within a day, possibly less. Do you have e.g. the dome light on when you're checking? Are the outside mirrors heated, and is the heater switch on?





MDKMDK

Canada

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Posted: 01/16/18 09:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My first guess would be a light is on somewhere in the unit. Is there an under hood courtesy lamp that might not be shutting off when the hood is closed? Some use a mercury switch to shut off, when the hood is closed, and I had an older Chevy product kill 1 battery and severely beat up another before I noticed the light shining out from under the engine compartment on my driveway one night. The other "lights on" places might be in one of the storage compartments, but I would think they'd run off the coach batteries. That does seem like a lot of amps for even an incandescent light or two. It must be something else, like a fan motor or something similar.

Just some guesses.


Mike.
2018 Navion 24V "Goldilocks" 2016 JKU "Red" (sold @ ???)
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neschultz

Eastern Shore of MD

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Posted: 01/16/18 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They used to have a disconnect for the chassis battery just to the right of the accelerator pedal. Did they stop putting them on or move it?


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klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 01/16/18 11:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Parasitic draws will deplete the battery in my C after a few weeks. When I plug it into ground power at the house I use a black and decker battery maintainer plugged into the 120Volt wall plug and then into the 12 volt plug on the dash. Problem solved for me. It keeps just enough current to offset the draw.

As far as the year of the coach, mine is an 08 chassis and a 09 house. The manufacturer purchases large numbers of chassis and as they are finished and ready for sale then the manufacturer dates the unit. Mine was finished in 09 so it's an 09 Cambria. Federal law.

Harvey51

Alberta

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Posted: 01/16/18 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Indeed 5A parasitic draw is ridiculous. I've seen that mercury switch hood light problem on a friend's car - it burned out a the 5 amp range on my multimeter. The strangest one recently discovered in a car was cured by putting a new battery in the remote - I guess the remote system's radio in the car was straining to link with the remote.

Good work tracing the current to the interior fuse block. And good news that it is under the seat; it will be way easier to take out the seat than the dashboard! A DC clampmeter is really convenient in this kind of work - you measure the current without disconnecting the wire and there is never any harm to the meter. Much cheaper AC clamp meters are sometimes sold as "AC/DC" because they have an AC volts range. I have a UNI-T $45 one like This - the fact that a high amp DC range is listed certifies that it is a DC clampmeter. No problem measuring 5 amps but not very accurate under half an amp.

Temporary workaround: ">1oAAOSw4Z5aQ1qJ&vxp=mtr]Battery post disconnect available in hardware and auto parts stores.


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Sam Spade

North Central Florida

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Posted: 01/16/18 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

donn0128 wrote:

New vehicles have a lotmof paracitic draw. Computers, radios all draw a bit of current.


A common MISconception. There is no reason for ANYTHING other than keyless entry/ignition/security receivers to draw ANY significant parasitic current.

Flarpswitch

Oregon

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Posted: 01/16/18 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a 2009 Navion on a 2008 Sprinter chassis. I never had any problems with the chassis battery. As a matter of fact when I sold it last year, it had the original battery. Every year I would take it out an load test it and periodically connect a Battery Minder, the one that de-sulfates the battery.

I did have excessive parasitic draws on the coach battery on the 2009 that I addressed by rewiring the radio to function more like a car radio so that when it was off, it only drew a few milliAmps. The way Winnebago wired it, it was always in standby mode using as much as 200 milliAmps. The speaker switch operated a relay and if left in the wrong position, that relay was another vampire. The speaker switch became the power switch for the radio and the relay was connected to the radio lead marked "Antenna". When the radio was switched on, the relay was energized and the coach speakers were switch from the dash radio to the coach radio. The assumption was if I turned on the coach radio, I would want the speakers connected, so it became automatic. The new Navion has no shared speaker setup. There are all sorts of ways you can mitigate unnecessary battery power consumption. There is what I consider too much vampire stuff going on in the new Navion. One obvious thing is the electric propane gas switch on the tank. Because the tank is mounted out of reach, the main cutoff is operated by switches in two locations, both of which have to be "on" or no gas flows. I discovered on one of my many trips under the RV to repair stuff that the control valve gets quite warm to the touch. The fix for that is to turn off the gas when it is not being used. There are other vampires in the system and I will get to those in due time. That is if I don't divest myself of this headache on wheels.

There is a quick disconnect for the negative ground cable adjacent to the accelerator pedal. Everyone who owns a Sprinter should know it's function and location. In an emergency, this is the only way to quickly disconnect the battery to possibly prevent a fire or serious damage. It is also recommended that if the Sprinter is not driven in three or more weeks, the battery should be disconnected. My battery is going dead in about a week's time. To isolated where the excessive current draw was coming from I first disconnected the cables attached to the positive clamp/bus and measured the resistance to ground to determined if I would blow a fuse on my ammeter (10A). Doing the math, I calculated less than 10 Amps. By isolating the draw to one cable, I know where the problem is not, I just don't know where it IS. You will probably see on modern cars and trucks that the positive battery cable is not a single heavy gauge wire that disappears somewhere under the hood. There is likely two or more wires connected right at the battery. You will also see negative ground return busses from various places around the vehicle. This is so not to rely on the chassis for a good ground. Vehicles have severals computers connected together and good solid connections are necessary for everything to function reliably. I think my problem has something to do with the slide-out rooms. For the slides to operate, the ignition switch has to be on and the parking brake set. I don't know, I'm open for any suggestions. Again, I was hoping that this was not an isolated case and someone has already experience this problem.

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