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E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start

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ExStarlifter

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E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« on: January 09, 2019, 09:30:22 am »
Went out to the 7 mo old RV (stored indoors) yesterday and tried to start it - nothing happened ... no click, no nothing.  Raised the hood and saw the red light on the battery illuminated - obviously something is amiss.
Using my Class A experience, I pressed the white rocker switch on the front dash and then remembered that this doesn't work like my class A - it's a trickle charge.  Hmmm, finally, I jump started it,
and drove it around for 30 minutes on the interstate - the battery indicator stayed at the 6 o clock position (where it normally should be) the whole time it was driven.  When I returned, I shut it off and restarted it
several times without any problem.  I'll be heading back later this morning to see if it starts.  No warning lights on the dash were ever illuminated.   I have a few questions for the experts though:

1.  Just what does the red light in the battery mean?  As usual, the Ford manual doesn't really indicate.  I did notice that after driving the unit, the light dimmed significantly - almost out.  If the light goes out
is the battery usable?

2.  Exactly what is the battery indicator on the dashboard telling me?  When it's at the 6 o'clock position, does that mean the alternator is charging the battery normally?

I've never thought much about these indicators over the years as I've never really had battery problems - it's time for me to learn!

« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 09:32:51 am by ExStarlifter »

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Volkemon

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2019, 11:47:50 am »




2.  Exactly what is the battery indicator on the dashboard telling me?  When it's at the 6 o'clock position, does that mean the alternator is charging the battery normally?


""Battery Voltage Gauge
Indicates the battery voltage when the
ignition is in the on position. If the pointer
moves and stays outside the normal
operating range, have an authorized dealer
check the vehicle’s ""

Big help...all the owners manual says.  So I suppose the '6 o'clock' position is 'OK'


Link - http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/Catalog/owner_information/2018-Ford-E-Series-Owners-Manual-version-1_om_EN-US-EN-CA_09_2017.pdf

Page 52.

Quote
1.  Just what does the red light in the battery mean?  As usual, the Ford manual doesn't really indicate.  I did notice that after driving the unit, the light dimmed significantly - almost out.  If the light goes out
is the battery usable?


When you say the 'red light in the battery... do you mean the built in hydrometer? (picture below, I dont know how to insert them properly here...)

Would not be in the owners manual, its a battery specific thing.

MOST of the time, they are green for OK, red for low, but can be jumped, and black means charge before starting. Check with the battery makers website to be sure.




« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 11:49:43 am by Volkemon »
""You want to save money on travel, drive a Prius and stay at motel 6""  Forum Member Joseph


WORD.

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JDimitriadis

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2019, 01:30:56 pm »
We had a similar problem with the cab battery going dead.  Our RV would sit for a few weeks and the cab battery would go dead.  See links for additional info.  The second link is the info on the installtion of the Trik-L-Start unit.  It is behind the radiator resevoir.  For some reason, there was nothing there until I installed it.  I had contacted Barry at PC and he sent me the part.  Hope this info helps.

https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3270.0
https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=3455.0

John D.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 01:51:57 pm by JDimitriadis »

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Free2RV

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 03:03:47 pm »
The drain on your engine battery could be your entry step.  Last summer there was a thread started about that topic and others said that if the step switch is left in the"ON" position, it will drain the battery.  We have made a point of turning​ our step switch off while in storage and although we only start ours once a month during the winter, the battery always cranks the engine easily.  Being that we live in northern Michigan, it is normally quite cold when we start it during the winter.
Gary

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Sarz272000

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 04:20:58 pm »
While my PC is in storage I disconnect the negative connector on the truck battery and place a plastic cap on the negative post so contact can't be made. The plastic cap is the same cap found on the battery when you buy it. This way there are less drain/charge cycles on the battery. I am starting it monthly and I see very little drain on the battery.
Ron

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ExStarlifter

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 06:30:34 am »
Great info from everyone and thank you for the quick responses.  I stopped by the Ford dealer prior to heading over to the RV (also Ford truck dealer) and the tech told me the red light in the Ford factory battery is only a charge status of the battery - bright red = battery has lost charge and must be charged to operate.  As the battery is charged, the red light dims and will eventually go out when the battery is fully charged.  Nothing more than that.

My next stop was the RV to see if the battery held the charge over night after jump starting the RV the previous day and driving it for 30 - 45 minutes.  First, I looked at the battery light and the red glow was barely visible.  Sure enough, the engine cranked right up -  nothing to indicate a low battery state in the form of dim dash lights, etc.  I let it run for awhile.  I looked around to see if anything might be ON that could be "eating" the battery charge. The only thing I found was the antenna booster was left ON from a previous visit.  I doubt that's wired to the truck battery, but who knows.  Everything else related to the cab was OFF. 

As some you know, we are selling our unit due to some health concerns - I'm kinda sad to be learning all this good stuff just as we sell the unit!  If you know of anyone who might interested in a nearly new 2910D, please let me know.  Again, thanks to ALL - what a great group of folks!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 06:34:38 am by ExStarlifter »

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ExStarlifter

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2019, 09:14:59 am »
I noticed some mentioned the White dash rocker switch (which I have) and others mentioned that earlier models had a Trick-L-Start installed on their units.  Two questions:

1. If you have the White dash rocker switch: When you plan to store your unit WITH SHORE POWER CONNECTED, do you simply push the switch to keep the battery charged? 
(I've never seen ANY instructions on when to use the white switch).

2. Can you have the Trick-L-Start device AND the push the White rocker switch without causing some sort of electrical problem? 

Sure wish the manual addressed this among about 100 other things.

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keelhauler

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2019, 11:02:34 am »
I'm not sure if PC made any changes over the years on how the dashboard charge switch is configured.
In my 2006 model it was an on-off switch and when in storage with my solar arrays working I left it on to also charge my Ford battery.

In my 2012 PC, it was a momentary rocker switch. I replaced it with an identical sized on-off switch. A easy change, slip wires off old one and install on new switch. So it works the same way as the 2006. Is it any different on models from 2013 to 2018? maybe someone else can answer.

However I did notice two quirks:  The step goes in even if door switch was turned on, the awning switch is disabled.
But it charges the Ford battery fine, I leave switch on months at a time when in storage.
I also use a Bogart TM 2025 monitor for my solar arrays, it has a readout position to monitor the Ford battery. If I'm at a campsite for a few weeks without running the engine, I can observe the voltage on the Ford battery decreasing, I just flip on the switch and it quickly recharges my battery. Of course the step goes in but goes out OK when door is opened.



John

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2019, 11:24:43 am »
While my PC is in storage I disconnect the negative connector on the truck battery and place a plastic cap on the negative post so contact can't be made. The plastic cap is the same cap found on the battery when you buy it. This way there are less drain/charge cycles on the battery.
Ron
2o2  (exactly)  (nod)  It's what I do minus the plastic cap thing which is a great idea, and it works great.
I recommend everyone practice this for long-term storage conditions.

Ron Dittmer
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2 Lucky

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« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 12:46:37 pm by 2 Lucky »
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Doneworking

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2019, 05:38:50 pm »
2 Lucky, yep I have used those for years and they are quick and easy.  I have one on my PC coach batteries and use it when in storage.  Unfortunately  pyho I didn't "get round tuit" to put one on the PC chassis battery.  Gosh, I have only had this PC for five years now, give me some time.   In any event, yesterday I paid the price for NOT having one in place.  Lessons to pass along:

1.  Use one of these things 2 Lucky shows in his link.  You can put it on in a few minutes.  You can buy it at Walmart today.  You will be glad you did. 
2.  I have always been pretty quick with numbers after spending forty plus years in financial businesses but I must be slipping with age  >:(  Our PC is now over six years old.  That means the battery was made probably six and a half years ago.  When it groaned on a cold morning last August in a remote campsite at 8000 feet in the Rockies, I knew it was time to replace the original  battery.   Then, thought I, maybe I will just wait until spring and have a new battery for the 2019 camping season.
3.  Always back in to an enclosed storage facility that is twelve feet wide, thirty-four feet long.   I pulled in forward and the battery was dead.  REAL dead.  Today is cold and after spending an hour yesterday trying to get it jumped by hooking two sets of jumpers together and that not working (amperage drop I suspect) I will go out Monday which is supposed to be in the 50s and put on a charger for several hours.   If I can't bring it back to life, I'll have to see if the old body can pull the battery, go get a new one and put it in the Ford.  The rocker switch transfer from the coach batteries (which are new and in good shape and use one of 2 Lucky's disconnects) wouldn't do the resurection on the Ford battery.


Lessons hopefully learned. 

Paul


« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 05:43:00 pm by Doneworking »

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2 Lucky

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2019, 02:41:09 pm »
Thanks Keelhauler

I love learning on this forum. We purchased our 2551 last year from an RV dealer on  consignment who knew only that the owners were elderly. It had good records and other than a bit dirty seemed well maintained.  I was assuming the white rocker switch on the dash operated the chassis-mounted compressor (I guessed for air activated brakes for a Toad) since that would turn on when I depressed the switch, and sometimes the step would operate. I was very confused as to how and why it all worked, especially the step part. Having no Toad at the time, I re-plumbed the hydraulic brake activated compressor to work independently to use it for tires and cleaning, and changed the white rocker switch to a regular on/off type. I remained confused because the compressor would still come on to refill its tank even when my new on/off switch was off!

Now you all are confused, I fear....

Anyway, thanks for enlightening me considerably on the mystery white dash switch being actually the battery booster switch, which apparently allows current to flow from the coach batteries to the chassis battery when needed. My question now is if that is really OK to be on constantly, as in driving, shore power, solar, and generator? It seems like it should be OK, and eliminate the need for a Trik-L-Start?  Turn it off while camping to prevent the chassis battery from depleting?

Thanks again
Dougn
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keelhauler

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Re: E450 Battery Red Light On - No Start
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 11:02:15 am »
The only time I turn on the switch is in storage so my solar power charges all batteries, stays on for months, and for short time when I want to boost the Ford battery because on non-use, parked for a long time, and Ford battery is dropping below 12.3 volts.

If you have solar no need for trickle charger.



John