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Old 01-13-2019, 06:50 PM   #1
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Default Dead Battery Overnight

We are (hopefully) leaving tomorrow morning from northern New York, heading south for a couple weeks in our 2015 Roadtrek SS Agile. As it has been down to 0 degrees or less for the past few nights we planned ahead and added diesel fuel treatment to our fuel tank several days ago, and yesterday we took a trip out to make sure everything was working as it should, adding air to the tires as well. Everything ran fine and I stowed the charging cable (had been on shore power the past few weeks, as in the winter the solar panels frequently are snow-covered). Unfortunately I left the coach battery disconnect on. This morning the Sprinter engine will not even try to start. I hooked back up to shore power and very quickly I was back up to 100% battery on my coach indicator panel; but no luck starting the van. I tried putting a trickle charge on the battery under the hood but that did not help either. Several questions which may show my ignorance-
1) will having the coach disconnect on in cold weather kill the battery overnight? Nothing was left turned on.
2) if I inadvertently killed the Sprinter battery, is it as simple as jump-starting the van? If so, anything to watch out for?
3) any other suggestions or thoughts are appreciated; my last resort is to call AAA.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:07 PM   #2
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Is the Sprinter engine battery under the hood? I recall them being under a seat but maybe it was a different model year .........
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:08 PM   #3
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The quick return to 100% is interesting. Have the battery cables been cleaned lately?

Just looking at them will not indicate a bad connection. Try loosening the cables slightly and give them a bit of a twist and see if that does it, otherwise take them off, negative first, clean them with a wire brush or something abrasive, and reassemble positive first.

You could very well have a bad battery and it is 3-4 years old. Having taken it down to dead at this stage of it's life would definitely tilt toward replacing it. Being that age, I wouldn't even bother with a load test unless I had easy access a tester, which I don't. If you want, you could pull the battery, charge it, and then take it to an auto parts store to get load tested. Like I said, the age of the battery would have dictated replacement for me. Having a battery go down in the middle of nowhere pretty well sucks.

Just jumping it will not fix a bad battery.

Bummer on the rough start to your trip.

BTW, it was 78* at my house.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:30 PM   #4
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Thanks! The battery cables were loose- just loosened them and snugged them back up good and tight and the engine started right away; your input was very much appreciated! Sometimes it is the simplest details and of course I always jump to the worst case.

Steve
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:03 PM   #5
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For your information, most RVs have a battery separator that only connect both batteries (coach and chassis) together when at least one is recharging. Otherwise, both batteries (and systems) are not connected to each other. Thus you can't depleted the chassis battery by using the coach accessories.

We are also heading south but next week and from Montreal. Have a nice trip!
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:06 PM   #6
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Awesome. Now get out of the tundra. Coming to Flowriduh?

BTW, next oil change do consider doing a proper clean up on those battery terminals.
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