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Aux Start Required After 6-month Storage


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#1 Peggy

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

Is it normal for a motorhome chassis battery to always need aux-start assistance after being stored for six months?

I have a 2001 Minnie Winnie with a Ford Triton engine. The original battery did not need jumping after storage. Ever since I had to replace it (2009) I have had to use the aux start to get it fired up again after six-month storage. The other day I had to hold the aux button down (without trying to start the engine yet) for a few minutes while the coach was hooked up to shore power before it would start. It would not start on aux from the house batteries alone (even though they were fully charged); it had to be started while hooked up.

Points to consider 1. I do not keep the coach plugged in all winter. I plug it in and get the house batteries up to full level once a month prior to running the generator. Should it stay plugged in all winter? 2. If I do just have a bad chassis battery, it's only a couple years old at best. To keep it alive during winter, what else can I do? and 3. I do not drive this motorhome nearly as much as I should for the chassis battery to recharge itself. If I drive it more this year, will that help solve the problem?

Thanks much,

Peggy
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#2 ClayL

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:05 PM

Yes it is normal. In fact my chassis battery will discharge in about 3 weeks due to parasitic 'keep alive" drains for the engine and transmission computers.

I would keep it plugged in and use a BatteryMinder Plus to keep the house and chassis batteries charged. The BatteryMinder can keep up to 4 batteries chaged and since it is a float charger it will not hurt the batteries if left connected for long perions of time.

Although the converter will keep the house batteries charged when you are plugged into shore power you will have to check the water often because the converter used by Winnebago is not smart and can boil the batteries dry. My manual says to use the battery disconnect switch if the motor home is plugged into shore power for extended periods of time.
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Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), katie & Kelli (cats)
Full timer domiciled in SD for 11 years. Now snow birds with a house in western CO
2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N - Workhorse chassis


#3 Peggy

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

Thank you so much.
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