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Old 06-25-2018, 02:12 PM   #1
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Batteries die overnight

Hi everyone, a while back my batteries started to drain overnight while using the camper. I've had both batteries (12V deep cycle) tested at 2 different auto parts stores and both said the batteries are ok. So I'm thinking I may have some sort of parasitic draw.

Anyway, I can't seem to get the test to work. I'm disconnecting the negative cable which goes from the battery to the camper (leaving everything else connected), setting my meter to DCA and switching he meter lead to the "A" (amps) setting. My meter shows nothing (and I tried another meter as well).
I understand how it should work with the power now passing through the meter to connect the circuit but it is not? I took a small jumper lead and used it in place of the meter leads just to make sure I was completing the circuit as I thought and yes, everything powered back up.
The only other thing I plan to try later today is putting the meter lead on the other negative battery terminal rather than the one I disconnected from. Would that matter?
Anyway, I could really use some help!
Thanks,
Randy
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Old 06-25-2018, 02:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rcharrette View Post
Hi everyone, a while back my batteries started to drain overnight while using the camper. I've had both batteries (12V deep cycle) tested at 2 different auto parts stores and both said the batteries are ok. So I'm thinking I may have some sort of parasitic draw.

Anyway, I can't seem to get the test to work. I'm disconnecting the negative cable which goes from the battery to the camper (leaving everything else connected), setting my meter to DCA and switching he meter lead to the "A" (amps) setting. My meter shows nothing (and I tried another meter as well).
I understand how it should work with the power now passing through the meter to connect the circuit but it is not? I took a small jumper lead and used it in place of the meter leads just to make sure I was completing the circuit as I thought and yes, everything powered back up.
The only other thing I plan to try later today is putting the meter lead on the other negative battery terminal rather than the one I disconnected from. Would that matter?
Anyway, I could really use some help!
Thanks,
Randy

Don't you have to move the red test lead to the 'amps' jack for testing more than a few miliamps?
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Old 06-25-2018, 02:51 PM   #3
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Yes, I'm leaving the black lead in COM and moving the red lead to the "A" jack.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:36 PM   #4
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or a regular test lite
one lead to bat and other to cable … parasidic will make lite lite up ………………….
no draw … no lite
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:55 PM   #5
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I don't think a parasitic draw is going to drain two batteries overnight. Typically those kind of draws are on the very small side of the meter... There is something else going on. Do you have a 12 volt DC refrigerator are you running your furnace?
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:55 AM   #6
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We keep our refrigerator on propane when in camp (as we are now) and the battery dies whether we are running the Furnace or not. Looking for suggestions as I'm at a loss! My wife wants me to just buy 2 new batteries at this point but with 2 seperate Auto Zones having tested them and saying they are ok I'm hesitant. My only other thought would be possibly the charging system on the camper for the batteries is not working properly? How would I test that?
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:43 AM   #7
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A furnace running on DC voltage will drain a battery overnight.

If the converter was not charging the batteries the batteries would go dead and would not charge until the defective converter was replaced.

A DC voltage tester on your battery + and -. Test + on one battery and - on the other battery when not plugged into 120 volts. Batteries will read the current state of their charge. Then plug into 120 volts batteries should jump to 13.5 to 13.7 volts. If this happens I would say your converter is charging properly.
Then that just leaves the batteries. How old are they?
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rcharrette View Post
We keep our refrigerator on propane when in camp (as we are now) and the battery dies whether we are running the Furnace or not. Looking for suggestions as I'm at a loss! My wife wants me to just buy 2 new batteries at this point but with 2 seperate Auto Zones having tested them and saying they are ok I'm hesitant. My only other thought would be possibly the charging system on the camper for the batteries is not working properly? How would I test that?
The fridge uses ~1.25 amps of 12 volt while on LP to power the control board. If you have stereo(s) they can pull a couple of amps in standby mode, the CO and LP detector are also always on. However all of them together should not pull down a double battery setup over night.

I suspect you aren't getting full charge on the batteries, if you have the WFCO converter that is a known issue, it can take over 8 hours to fully top up a set of batteries. Most RV's the wiring is undersized from the converter to the batteries.

Here is a link to a trouble shooting guides for the WFCO converters.

Do you have a picture of your multi-meter? Most I have seen only measure milliamps and won't work for higher amperage or require a shunt in the circuit.

Aaron
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:19 PM   #9
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Thank you for the replies. 1!234, I just came back after being done most of the day and of course the batteries were dead. I fired up my generator and it'd been running for about 45 minutes. I went out and checked voltage across the batteries as you suggested (one battery on - and other battery on +) and I'm reading 12.4V. I agree, maybe the batteries are not charging up. We run almost exclusively on the generator for months at a time so we'll run the generator for a few hours in the morning then again in the evening for 3+hrs. I'll have to open up the fuse area and see what we have for an inverter.
Thanks again for everyones help! I think I was heading in the wrong direction looking for a big draw.
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rcharrette View Post
Thank you for the replies. 1!234, I just came back after being done most of the day and of course the batteries were dead. I fired up my generator and it'd been running for about 45 minutes. I went out and checked voltage across the batteries as you suggested (one battery on - and other battery on +) and I'm reading 12.4V. I agree, maybe the batteries are not charging up. We run almost exclusively on the generator for months at a time so we'll run the generator for a few hours in the morning then again in the evening for 3+hrs. I'll have to open up the fuse area and see what we have for an inverter.
Thanks again for everyones help! I think I was heading in the wrong direction looking for a big draw.

Is this my inverter?



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