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Old 06-09-2014, 01:24 PM   #1
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Battery Question

I usually turn the battery disconnect off when I return from a trip. This past weekend, I went to storage to load up and I could not get my level up to power. I figured maybe I left the switch on the weekend before and something drained the battery. I was able to get the front landing gears raised using the cord plugged into my truck.

So we spent the weekend hooked up to 50 amp power. No issues. I get to the storage to drop the trailer yesterday and once I disconnected from my truck, I had no battery power even power up the display on the level up.

Doesn't the converter charge the battery when you are connected to shore power? My trailer is a year and a half old. Is it possible the battery has gone bad? To be honest, I haven't even opened the lid on the battery box to see if this is a maintenance free battery.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:33 PM   #2
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I've had trouble getting a battery to last more than a couple of winters stored outside. I started taking them off the boat in the winter, but we tailgate through November and usually have trips in Jan & Feb, so I leave them on the trailer.

I always carry a battery jumper box that has saved the day more than once.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:16 PM   #3
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If you have stone dead battery the converter will take way more than two days to charge up the battery. Converter does a good job of keeping a charged battery up but they only put in about 2.5-5 amps. First thing I would do is see if your battery is still good. If so it will need a good battery charger to bring it up to a full charge. Once there, they make some nice solar chargers that will help keep it charged until your next trip out.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:48 PM   #4
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Batteries need to be kept topped up. That is not to say they need to be on a charger all the time. Charge it fully when you get home from a trip. Don't rely on your vehicle charging it on the trip home. That charge is minimal at best. At least once a month you should put a battery onto a charge for 24 hours. Once a battery goes dead if you don't charge it right away it'll be toast. You cannot leave a dead battery uncharged.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soonernation View Post
I usually turn the battery disconnect off when I return from a trip. This past weekend, I went to storage to load up and I could not get my level up to power. I figured maybe I left the switch on the weekend before and something drained the battery. I was able to get the front landing gears raised using the cord plugged into my truck.

So we spent the weekend hooked up to 50 amp power. No issues. I get to the storage to drop the trailer yesterday and once I disconnected from my truck, I had no battery power even power up the display on the level up.

Doesn't the converter charge the battery when you are connected to shore power? My trailer is a year and a half old. Is it possible the battery has gone bad? To be honest, I haven't even opened the lid on the battery box to see if this is a maintenance free battery.
It is possible the battery has gone bad. Pop the caps and check water level. Since we fulltime we are hooked to shore power all time. I have to top off water levels atleast every 2-3 months.
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:34 PM   #6
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It is also possible that the converter has taken a powder. Check the water in the battery, and using a volt meter, check if it has power. If it checks out (has any voltage at all) then plug in the shore power and measure the voltage again. With the converter plugged in, it should change the voltage at the battery (although it might not be a full 14.25 volts). If the voltage goes up like it should then you know your converter is working.

If it happens that you are getting 12 volts on the battery (unplugged) and 14 volts plugged in, then you may have another problem. If not, then take the battery to an auto parts store and get it tested. They can tell you if it is good, marginal, or completely trashed.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I'll pull the battery this weekend and have it tested.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #8
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I do most of my camping in the wilderness. Since I don't have a hook up I carry a solar charger. During the night the heater will take the battery down a notch, but with solar charger it will full by noon.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soonernation View Post
I usually turn the battery disconnect off when I return from a trip. This past weekend, I went to storage to load up and I could not get my level up to power. I figured maybe I left the switch on the weekend before and something drained the battery. I was able to get the front landing gears raised using the cord plugged into my truck.

So we spent the weekend hooked up to 50 amp power. No issues. I get to the storage to drop the trailer yesterday and once I disconnected from my truck, I had no battery power even power up the display on the level up.

Doesn't the converter charge the battery when you are connected to shore power? My trailer is a year and a half old. Is it possible the battery has gone bad? To be honest, I haven't even opened the lid on the battery box to see if this is a maintenance free battery.
If the rig is a year and a half old, and the batteries have never been looked at, they may have gone dry. If that has happened, they may have also sulfated.

Keeping batteries topped up becomes even more critical in hotter climates, as they can lose fluid much faster. I have had situations where I was tooping up my batteries every week because of the temperature. Distilled water and a bulb filler (steal your wifes turkey baster if you have to) should be put of your maintenance kit.

Take the tops of the batteries, if you see a white flaky residue on the tops of the cells, you have a sulfated battery. There is a long drawn out process that may bring a battery from a sulfated condition, but it involves draining and filling the battery with acid several times. Search for sulfated battery and you should be able to find the process.

If you do try this you with a whole lot of acid to get rid of.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:09 PM   #10
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So I've been wondering, does the convertor in my 2014 Voltage Epic 3800 act as a "float charger"...so leaving the trailer plugged in all Summer when we're home, doesn't overcharge the batteries?

I have a panel, meter and 50A service right next to my RV pad. So we usually keep the trailer plugged in all the time so the refrigerator is on AC.

Thanks,

Pirate
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