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Old 02-10-2014, 10:19 PM   #1
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Battery - I hardly knew ye

Something strange is happening with my house battery. Four hours after an overnight charge, it is down to 10.8 volts and dropping. As far as I can tell, everything is turned off. So it looks like the battery is dying, and after less than two years. . .

The strange thing is that there is a noise that happens all the time with my van. I thought it was normal, but now that the battery is dying prematurely, I wonder.

The noise is a rather substantial "clunk" that sounds like a mechanical relay tripping. It seems to come from the area of a box that says "automatic charging relay" under the seat.

Is the noise normal? Could it be related to my dying battery?

Thanks to everyone who make this such a great forum.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:35 PM   #2
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

Charge the battery with the ground disconnected - then see how long it holds a charge.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:39 PM   #3
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

That is your separator. Once either the starting or house battery drop below 12.8, the separator opens. That way if there is a drain, the battery with the drain will only be affected and drawn down. For instance you leave something like a light on overnight, the separator will open and not kill your starting battery. Same with leaving your headlights on... the separator will open and not kill the house battery. If you have a draw on both sides and don't catch it in time you might be SOL.

Did you keep your house battery on a maintenance charger or have active solar? What do you use to charge the house battery? Give the battery a good hard charge but also check the terminals...maybe they are corroded.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:34 AM   #4
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

I can't expect that the noise is normal, if it is happening "all the time " If you mean that it is cycling on or off that would be bad. I suspect that you may have a short somewhere. Check to see if your battery is held down correctly. http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...=battery#p1400
More details on your rig would help in other suggestions.

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:42 AM   #5
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

I get that 'clunk' when my van is in the sun. Solar panels charge the house batteries and then, 'clunk' as the relay connects to charge the starting batteries. Later, another 'clunk' as it disconnects since both battery banks are charged.

Later the cycle will repeat. But, only when I have enough sun to charge the batteries.

That shouldn't happen unless you have a power source connected (solar or shore power). And, if you have a power source connected your house battery should be above 12.8V.

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Old 02-11-2014, 11:29 AM   #6
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

2 years seems short unless you consistently drain the battery below 12v.

With everything shutoff you shouldn't have more than a .5 amps (CO2 monitor is always on). Clamp meter would make it easy to test.

http://www.harborfreight.com/digital...ter-96308.html
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

Back at the computer finally. . . Thanks to all for comments.

The battery seems to have stabilized at 10.8 volts after two days, but it drops to that immediately after disconnecting from shore power.

I pulled the fuse for the CO alarm a year ago (only reactivate CO monitor when van is in use), yet still seems to have some sort of drain.

If what I am hearing is the isolator relay, which makes sense, then it seems to be tripping too often. For example I will hear it in the middle of the night with everything off.

I am not sure I have the time or inclination to do the digging required here. Hope my local RV service guys are competent.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:44 AM   #8
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

Your battery is dead. Now let's talk about your charging habits. How often do you check battery voltage levels? At what level do you decide to recharge? Hope this isn't too presumptuous of me to ask. Two years is at the short end of a battery life span, but not out of the question.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:24 AM   #9
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2cool
Your battery is dead. Now let's talk about your charging habits. How often do you check battery voltage levels? At what level do you decide to recharge? Hope this isn't too presumptuous of me to ask. Two years is at the short end of a battery life span, but not out of the question.
Exactly, the short battery life is a symptom of a bigger issue, whether a parasitic battery drain and/or a charging deficiency.


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Old 02-15-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
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Re: Battery - I hardly knew ye

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
Charge the battery with the ground disconnected - then see how long it holds a charge.
X2
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