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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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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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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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Old 06-26-2018, 09:39 PM   #11
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Ok, after posting this picture I saw on the back of the plastic panel it's a WF-8900 series. I'll look through the trouble shooting guide now and see if I can come up with anything. In the guide it says measure DC voltage across lug and VCC lug with reverse polarity fuse out. First off I'm not sure what that is and second if the batteries are low (12.4V) should I still have 13.3-13.7V at the inverter?
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:05 PM   #12
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So I went onto Amazon and looked up my inverter and just about every review described the problem I'm having (batteries dead or not fully charging) and the replacement inverter fixed it! Now the next question, they offer 35, 45, 55, 65 and 75Amp versions. I don't see anywhere on the inverter itself or the cover how many AMPS it is? Also, is there any benefit of going up in size? I assume too big and it may not fit in the current location?https://www.amazon.com/WFCO-WF-8935-...f8900+inverter
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:19 PM   #13
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Mine is a WF-8955 which is 55 amp. When it dies i'm going to replace it with the
Progressive dynamics unit, these are supposed to be a giant upgrade from the WFCO and aren't a whole lot more.
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:29 PM   #14
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Wildwest450, thanks for the suggestion. Just looked that one up on Amazon and it does seem to be a better option. Also, one person stated it was a direct replacement for the WF8955 which I have!
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:41 PM   #15
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Wildwest450, thanks for the suggestion. Just looked that one up on Amazon and it does seem to be a better option. Also, one person stated it was a direct replacement for the WF8955 which I have!
Buy from BestConverter.com their customer service is second to none. And you are supporting a small veteran owned business.

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Old 06-27-2018, 03:39 AM   #16
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Thanks again

Thanks again everyone for steering me in what I think is the right direction. I ordered the Progressive Dynamics unit and should have it Friday. I'll report back once it's installed to confirm this fixed it.
Randy
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:30 PM   #17
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Thanks again everyone for steering me in what I think is the right direction. I ordered the Progressive Dynamics unit and should have it Friday. I'll report back once it's installed to confirm this fixed it.
Randy
Did you check the output on the main board of your converter? If the reverse polarity fuses are blown you won't be charging the battery.



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Old 06-28-2018, 03:45 AM   #18
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@Revere411, I did not check that however the inverter was charging "a little". I know this because we have been back on the road for over a month now and when running the generator for 3-4hrs I usually get about 4-5hrs out of the batteries, This had been fairly consistent. I checked voltage (with a voltmeter) at the batteries before running the generator and had 12.4V. After running the generator for 3hrs I had 12.8V. I just borrowed a trickle charger from a "friend of a friend" here and now have the batteries showing over 13V charging. I'm fairly certain at this point the Inverter is on it's way out but I'm certainly learning as I go! I'll find out for sure Friday once it arrives and I get it put in.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:32 AM   #19
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Btw, you have a converter. An inverter takes the 12v battery power and changes it to 110v. So unless you you have a residential refer in your camper, you have a converter. Just saying in the name of learning

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Old 06-28-2018, 09:39 PM   #20
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Thanks for clarifying Revere411. Every time I have a problem with this camper it a whole new learning experience! Luckily I consider myself a pretty mechanically inclined person. One more thing I just noticed. I borrowed a battery trickle charge as I said. I've been running the trickle charger on the generator for over 3 hours. I shut down the generator and within 30 minutes my panel inside the camper shows 11.2V and then went to low shortly there after. However I took my volt meter out to the batteries and measured (neg on one bat, + on other) and I'm getting 13V. Looks like even though I'm charging the batteries up the converter is not seeing it? Oh well, hopefully only one more cold night
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