Battery drain on Rubicon 2900!!!!! - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 08-22-2013, 12:09 AM   #1
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Battery drain on Rubicon 2900!!!!!

OK can anyone give me an idea of what might be wrong......DH and I do a lot of dry camping, this past weekend was the first time that we dry camped in the Rubicon. We have 2 deep cell batteries and usually get 5 - 7 days without any issues.....this week we had to charge the battery just about every day! Fridge & HW heater was on propane, used very little lights - maybe two hours at night and it was only the one light in the living area.....we have motion detector battery operated LED light in the bathroom for the needed midnight run! We didn't even use the radio for fear of it draining the battery more. I have to admit that the water pump "seems" to run much longer than the one in our other TT (Sunline). DH had the batteries checked out today and they are both good! Anything I can check....we are dry camping again in September and then again in October.....so really want to try to fix it before we take off again!
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:35 AM   #2
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How and where did you have the batteries checked? If they weren't load tested perhaps one of the batteries has a cell breaking down. That cell won't show up until a heavy load is placed on the system, such as the water pump. Even new batteries can have problems so a load test is important. If a cell breaks down the water pump will still operate on 10 volts, albeit not to full potential.

The water pump draws about 3 amps when running so unless the pump doesn't stop running it shouldn't be giving you much of a problem. The refrigerator and the water heater both have control boards but they draw very little from the batteries.

The first step would be to check to see if there is a draw on the battery bank with the refrigerator, water heater and lights off. Have someone or you use a VOM to see if there is an amperage draw with all those things off.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:35 AM   #3
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Thats a baffler. Unless there is a light left on or the batteries not fully charged something pulling the juice. but you know that.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:55 AM   #4
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Nope no lights left on ......trying to figure what the draw could be!

Tell me - how long does your water pump run....ours will run for 30-45 seconds, sometimes it even gets stuck and just runs constant! Also the water spits and sputters while on battery, but seems to run smoother while running the genny!
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
How and where did you have the batteries checked? If they weren't load tested perhaps one of the batteries has a cell breaking down. That cell won't show up until a heavy load is placed on the system, such as the water pump.

Our local mechanic checked the batteries and they were load tested (today actually) and they are both fine!

Even new batteries can have problems so a load test is important. If a cell breaks down the water pump will still operate on 10 volts, albeit not to full potential.

The water pump draws about 3 amps when running so unless the pump doesn't stop running it shouldn't be giving you much of a problem.
Well this pump seems to run much longer than the one in our Sunline (Shurflo sp?).....and at times it seems like it is hanging up and runs constantly!

The refrigerator and the water heater both have control boards but they draw very little from the batteries.

The first step would be to check to see if there is a draw on the battery bank with the refrigerator, water heater and lights off. Have someone or you use a VOM to see if there is an amperage draw with all those things off.

OK since I'll have to do this (its me Kathy)....do I just connect a VOM meter to the battery??? Can I get one of those VOM meters at Napa Auto supply????

Thanks for the feedback.....I'll report back when I get a chance to look at things (probably after Labor Day weekend)......
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:03 AM   #6
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2x on a bad battery.

Failing that parasitc drain, something that is drawing power when you think everything is off.

There is a good artical on wikihow that shows how to check it.

Find a Parasitic Battery Drain - wikiHow

Good luck, finding 12V problems can be frustrating a times.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:26 AM   #7
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I lived in a solar powered house for 20 years and used a regular ole Shurflo demand water pump, actually many pumps over the years. Sometimes the pump would run on or not start. The problem was usually the pressure switch on the front. Sometimes a piece of debris or a bug would get in there and hang the switch. There may be another problem with your pump causing it to run on before the switch shuts it down. You may have an air leak on the incoming side causing the switch not to reach pressure and shutting down. That pump should shut down a few seconds after any faucet or valve is closed.

You can get a VOM at NAPA, you'll want one that can read at least 10 amps. Your instructions will tell you how to set the meter up but basically you'll switch the meter to read amps, leave the black lead in the COM port and switch the red lead to the AMPs port. Those two leads will go in series with the negative battery cable and negative battery post. Disconnect the negative battery cable and place the red meter cable on the black battery cable. Place the black meter cable on the negative battery post.
The meter may show a small drain if you don't have a major draw. If you have a major draw the meter will show a full amperage draw. The amount I can't say but it will be significant.
If you have a major draw then you have to go searching to find the culprit. Perhaps a storage compartment light is draining the battery or a light that you don't know you have is on. Maybe it's the water pump too.

Also, I need to revise the amperage draw on the pump. Depending on how much GPM it's rated the pump can draw from 5 to 8 amps. That's a lot on a battery if it runs on for a long time.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:04 AM   #8
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Thank you everyone......I'm off this Sunday, maybe I can get out there and check some things out.
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