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Old 03-30-2019, 01:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 33
Electric Top Advice

All - I own a 2004 Ford e350 RB50. We just bought it and have done a ton of work to it (repaired and raptor lined the roof, replaced insulation and ceiling, deep clean, and list goes on). It does need a new battery. The battery charges and does fine to run lights, etc. However, if we put the top down it completely drains the battery. Is this a battery issue, or is this a draw on the battery from the top issue? The battery said it was at 12.6 volts for the two hours I was in the van working on it and it didn't drop. I raised the roof with the batter and it remained at 12.5 to 12.6. I dropped the roof and it completely drained the system to the point the display on the inverter even went off. I'm guessing this is a batter issue but wanted to see if anyone else with an electric top had an issue. We already got stuck at a ski resort with the top stuck up. I reviewed some other threads on that and sort of wishing I had a manual top vs. electric.

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Old 03-30-2019, 01:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,332
You most likely need a house battery, or perhaps both batteries. You did try to raise/lower the top with the van running, didn't you? If your isolator is working correctly your batteries should both be feeling full power from the alternator when the van is running/idling.

I recommend idling the van for any heavy loads like the top motors, and especially heavy inverter loads such as a microwave.

Currently vanless. Weird.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:31 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 1,151
You can use-up a lot of Amps if you're not careful - I agree with 86Scotty in that is sounds like your house battery may need to be replaced.
Take a look at this Amp/hr Energy usage chart - good to have some understanding of different appliance amp draw - enlightening to see what a hair dryer, coffee maker, or microwave require.
Used this when I had my Boat, but still applies.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:07 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 33
Thanks. I agree. We had a Four Wheel Camper with ref (and all the other bells and whistles). I had 2 12v AGMs and solar. For winter camping we ran the furnace all night, refrigerator was set to low (it was winter) and tried not to use the interior lights. The batteries were sufficient. With the Sportsmobile, I don't intend to use the microwave - just the refrigerator and furnace - similar to our FWC. Obviously, since I have the electric top, I will have to use AMPs for that. Thank you for all of the feedback. Being new to Sportsmobiles this forum and people on this forum (and the Facebook site) have been awesome.
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