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Old 04-18-2013, 04:02 AM   #1
artfuldodger
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BATTERIES RUN DOWN

I have 2 good batteries, 12v hooked in parallel which, when the trailer sits unused for a week run down to zilch. When they sit in my garage they hold a full charge indefinitely. My conclusion is that I either have a short or something is running all the time. If I have a short, then a fuse should blow which doesn't happen. I'm wondering about the back up camera. Is there a switch on it to turn it off? Could it somehow be a faulty converter?
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:13 AM   #2
bncinwv
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There are phantom loads (propane detector, remote control board if equipped, etc.) that will drain a battery. These will still pull juice even with the battery disconnect engaged. There are two solutions, either unhook the batteries from the circuit, or do as I did and install a battery isolator switch at the battery itself.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:26 AM   #3
dieselguy
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Although I disagree that your batteries will hold a full charge indefinitely while just sitting in your garage, Bingo has your answer. You cannot leave today's rigs sitting unless you completely isolate the battery during storage ... they will drain them down in just a few days.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:56 AM   #4
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http://www.amazon.com/NOCO-ID220S-6V...=pd_sim_auto_4 THIS is probably the easiest solution.. it's quite effective and inexpensive as well.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:49 AM   #5
DQDick
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Bill has a great idea and it will work. Even your TV in the bedroom is drawing juice when you're just sitting. The number of things using 12v is a lot more than you think.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:01 AM   #6
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Note, if not connected to shore power a 110v bedroom TV won't draw anything since the 110v devices are effectively disconnected. However, if you have a rig with 12v capable Televisions, then they will probably draw some amps. It's how the remote works. There needs to be power at the TV to recognize when the remote wants to turn the TV on, so because of this case it's good that DQDICK brings this up.

Like others have mentioned there are several other things that can draw 12v while the rig sits idle like anything that is controlled by a remote since there needs to be a minimum of juice running so that the remote can communicate with it, like slide motors, landing legs and so many other things being enabled by the convenience of a remote control and using 12v. There's also the propane alarm, and accidently leaving the antenna boost in the on position.

The best way to completely save your batteries is a disconnect switch that isolates the batteries at the source. Some trailers have an integrated disconnect switch, but even in this case, the switch does NOT disable ALL 12v devices and therefore a drain is still possible. I am not familiar with that disconnect provided by Greatwhite (Bill) but this is what I use at home during long term storage:

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...rs/55-9025.htm

Then I also connect to a 20 amp shore power circuit and connect a Battery Minder to keep the battery charged and conditioned. This only works if you have the luxury of a 110v source nearby. Another thing others do if they store the RV elsewhere, is they bring the RV batteries home to connect them to a battery charger/conditioner. Just another step to consider in keeping the rig at the ready.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:01 AM   #7
artfuldodger
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Thanks to all who replied. I will put an isolator switch in. My wife's car started after sitting idle for 3 months and my car years ago started after sitting a whole year.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #8
Gkerlin
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Propane detector, DC TV, Fridge, TV Antenna Booster, there are numerous drains.

With everything in my rig that I can turn off, turned off (while on the road so the fridge is on) I still pull about 2.4 amps.

So do the math. In my case 2.4 x 24hrs is 57ah a day. doesn't take long to kill a 12v battery at that rate.

A 12v battery sitting idle with no draw will lose on average about 2% a month.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
GreatWhite
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Art-n-Marge



I am not familiar with that disconnect provided by Greatwhite (Bill) but this is what I use at home during long term storage:

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...rs/55-9025.htm
That little disconnect works great. I used to use it in my commercial boating days. They work well for modern vehicles that also have phantom drains if to be stored for a while.. Also, add to theft protection as they can't be jump started... That's a great bonus.

They don't work with batteries such as side mounted connectors such as on my Chevy truck.. but, house batts in the RV are a great combo.

Also.. another phantom drain that draws a lot from the battery is the amplifier on the TV antenna.. don't ask me how long it took to realize that.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:43 PM   #10
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If you have the bedroom TV you can take off and hang outside in the basement it's 12v. Shoot I've got so much crap plugged into my truck I have to run it every week or so. The truck pretty much shuts it's own stuff down, but not all the things I have connected all over the place.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:31 AM   #11
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I would think a 2008 model would have the disconnect switch from the factory.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:38 AM   #12
bncinwv
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Dennis,
It does, but even on the older models I believe the propane detector pulls current even when the convenience center disconnect is engaged. I am basing this solely on memory of dead battery in out 07 3400, but memory fades with age as well.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:59 AM   #13
GreatWhite
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My factory switch is the red key type in the outside compartment that has all the water connections/drain valves, etc.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:47 AM   #14
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In my days of towing Trailers that had the factory disconnect switch, I was reminded that the switch disconnected the house functions of the trailer and not the trailer and safety functions. Therefore the landing gear/tongue jack, slideouts, trailer brakes and probably the trailer alarms were still live and could draw power. This kinda matches what Bingo and others have experienced.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:40 AM   #15
Biggjb
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dieselguy

Although I disagree that your batteries will hold a full charge indefinitely while just sitting in your garage, Bingo has your answer. You cannot leave today's rigs sitting unless you completely isolate the battery during storage ... they will drain them down in just a few days.
I am somewhat confused here. When the rig is plugged into shore power does not the converter onboard also charges the batteries?
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:58 AM   #16
bncinwv
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I believe the discussion is for when the rig is not hooked up to shore power, therefore no charging is occurring and there are loads that can only be stopped by disconnecting the battery in some fashion (switch at the battery, etc.)
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:23 PM   #17
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John,
If you have a Dometic 2 door refrigerator in your rig, check the door heater sw. It will be on even when the ref. is off.
To find the switch on the 2 door open the freezer and look in the top corner for a switch and make sure it is turned off.
You will not have it unless it is a 2 door Dometic.
Just a thought as I had it happen to me on a previous unit.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:35 PM   #18
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That's why I LOVE my solar panel. Even with all those phantom draws, my batteries remain fully charged no matter how long my rig sits. To coin a phrase.....I'm a happy camper!
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #19
Mudchief
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Bingo, I checked today and the red switch turns everything off in the unit. However the level-up system and the generator are before the switch and were drawing about .2 amps.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #20
bncinwv
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Thanks Dennis for the verification that my memory is indeed fading away!!
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