Engine battery dead even when plugged in

Forum for both AC and DC electrical components. From engine alternator to dashboard, inverter to batteries, and everything electrical in-between.
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chuckster
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:53 pm
Location: Meridian, ID

Engine battery dead even when plugged in

Post by chuckster »

Hi SFriends,

I went to start up the coach today and engine battery was dead and the CO2 sensor beeping away even though coach was plugged into the garage 50A. I was under the assumption that the electronics that kept the house batteries charged did the same to the engine battery. Not so?

I was able to use the switch on the dash to jump the house battery and engine battery to get the coach started. I’ll be checking water levels in all the batteries today. Wondering how I find my battery drain problem if the battery is in decent shape.

Chuck
Chuck in Meridian, ID
'01 Safari Zanzibar 3646 (side entry)
Cat 3126B / Allison MD3060
Magnum M-Series "Blue Max" chassis
Owner since 8/2020

05wingrider
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:26 pm
Location: Spokane, Washington

Re: Engine battery dead even when plugged in

Post by 05wingrider »

Chuck,
I'm not totally certain about the newer rigs (mine's a 96), but our Engine Batteries aren't normally part of the Inverter/Charger circuits - it only does the House batteries. I put a trickle charger on my engine batteries for just that reason after running a power lead into my maintenance bay from one of my "non-inverter" circuits in my main panel. As far as your CO2 sensor goes, I'm not sure why it would be beeping unless it was wired into the engine battery circuit (which would kind of make sense in some regards because you always have a good battery there versus the house ones can be drawn down and then you wouldn't have that mode of protection). Perhaps someone with better knowledge of that circuit system will chime in. Also - be aware that the original sensors were only designed to last 10 years, so the beeping could be it's way of telling you that the lifespan on it has expired. I unhooked the original hard wired one in my rig and put 2 battery ones in instead because of the age factor.
Duane
96 Sahara 30', 250hp Cat 3126
Allison 6spd MD-3060
Spokane WA

ProCycle
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:28 pm

Re: Engine battery dead even when plugged in

Post by ProCycle »

The chassis batteries do not charge when plugged in.
I suggest getting one of these --> https://amsolar.com/rv-battery-accessories/98-trikl
It trickle charges the chassis batteries from the house batteries. As long as the house batteries are being kept up the chassis batteries will too.

I believe the CO sensor is typically run from the chassis batteries. It could certainly drain the batteries over an extended period.
Jeff
1997 Serengeti Ivory 3740 Cat 3126 Allison

chuckster
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:53 pm
Location: Meridian, ID

Re: Engine battery dead even when plugged in

Post by chuckster »

05wingrider wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:33 am
Chuck,
I'm not totally certain about the newer rigs (mine's a 96), but our Engine Batteries aren't normally part of the Inverter/Charger circuits - it only does the House batteries. I put a trickle charger on my engine batteries for just that reason after running a power lead into my maintenance bay from one of my "non-inverter" circuits in my main panel. As far as your CO2 sensor goes, I'm not sure why it would be beeping unless it was wired into the engine battery circuit (which would kind of make sense in some regards because you always have a good battery there versus the house ones can be drawn down and then you wouldn't have that mode of protection). Perhaps someone with better knowledge of that circuit system will chime in. Also - be aware that the original sensors were only designed to last 10 years, so the beeping could be it's way of telling you that the lifespan on it has expired. I unhooked the original hard wired one in my rig and put 2 battery ones in instead because of the age factor.
Duane,

Makes sense I suppose that the inverter/charger and the chassis are not both charged from that system.
I have a newer CO2 sensor mounted on the ceiling of the bedroom. As soon as I hooked up a trickle charger to the chassis batteries the beeping stopped immediately. Probably a safety feature to let you know that power is too low for accuracy of the sensor...I don’t know. In any event the coach is now 20 this year so the CO2 sensor is likely only good for letting me know I have a low chassis battery. I guess if the coach is going to sit for a few months I either need to start it up and run down the road for a few miles and back or keep it on a marine trickle charger.

Regards,
Chuck in Meridian, ID
'01 Safari Zanzibar 3646 (side entry)
Cat 3126B / Allison MD3060
Magnum M-Series "Blue Max" chassis
Owner since 8/2020

chuckster
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:53 pm
Location: Meridian, ID

Re: Engine battery dead even when plugged in

Post by chuckster »

ProCycle wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:40 am
The chassis batteries do not charge when plugged in.
I suggest getting one of these --> https://amsolar.com/rv-battery-accessories/98-trikl
It trickle charges the chassis batteries from the house batteries. As long as the house batteries are being kept up the chassis batteries will too.

I believe the CO sensor is typically run from the chassis batteries. It could certainly drain the batteries over an extended period.
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the link!

Regards,
Chuck in Meridian, ID
'01 Safari Zanzibar 3646 (side entry)
Cat 3126B / Allison MD3060
Magnum M-Series "Blue Max" chassis
Owner since 8/2020

TDJohn
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:34 pm

Re: Engine battery dead even when plugged in

Post by TDJohn »

chuckster wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:42 am
Hi SFriends,

I went to start up the coach today and engine battery was dead and the CO2 sensor beeping away even though coach was plugged into the garage 50A. I was under the assumption that the electronics that kept the house batteries charged did the same to the engine battery. Not so?

I was able to use the switch on the dash to jump the house battery and engine battery to get the coach started. I’ll be checking water levels in all the batteries today. Wondering how I find my battery drain problem if the battery is in decent shape.

Chuck
Chuck,

Usually the newer Safaris like your vintage included an echo charger (google it to see what they look like). It would likely be located in the engine compartment or the battery compartment. Check the input and output fuses, one of them could be blown, negating the function of the echo charger.

BTW, if you plan to do a lot of boondocking in the future, echo chargers are not ideal for that purpose, as they suck of the chassis batteries. For the ones who do mostly boondocking, it is better to redirect the small original solar panels that are connected to the house batteries, over to the chassis batteries. Those original solar panel(s) will be more than enough to maintain the chassis batteries.
John
'95 Serengeti, Cummins C8.3-300
Allison 6spd.

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