Battery discharging ??? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-04-2016, 03:19 PM   #1
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Battery discharging ???

2014 Dutchmen 245rks travel trailer purchased new last summer. Came with a new interstate group 27 deep cycle battery. Only had one chance to use trailer actually camping last year and other then at home, was always plugged into shore power. Everything worked OK. Took Battery into house over winter, and recharged with battery charger before installing back on trailer. Been in and out of trailer at home, but again plugged into shore power. Last night, without shore power, went to close slide out and it would not work. Plugged cord into shore power and the slide out worked.
Unplugged shore power and checked battery voltage,, it was at 12.10V. replugged into shore power and it started charging. left plugged in for two hours and disconnected shore power and voltage was about 13.25V (indicating The Trailer charging is working) . This morning I went out to check battery voltage and it was down to 12.26V. Acts as if something is draining battery, but have checked all the 12Volt circuts, ( lights, fans, fridge, water heater, etc.) Everything is off. Anybody have any ideas?
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:48 PM   #2
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There are still some drains, the propane detector and the clock/light power on the radio come to mind. But to lose a full volt overnight seems a bit much. Get the battery back up to full charge, then disconnect the battery from the TT. See if it drops that much again overnight. If it does, it's the battery. If it doesn't, the drain is in the TT. Keep looking or install a disconnect switch.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:33 AM   #3
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These newer units drain the battery a lot. Your best bet is to put a disconnect switch inline on the negative cable. Solves the problem.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:56 PM   #4
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Couple of things:
The WFCO on board chargers are notorious for NOT charging a battery properly.
Disconnect the battery from the trailer, check the water levels, charge using a proper battery charger. Allow it to rest for 24 hours then check the battery voltage level. If it is still low you have a bad battery, if it is okay, you have an on board charger issue, which is a common issue.

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Old 06-06-2016, 12:24 AM   #5
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Why not take the battery to an auto parts store and let them check it instead of messing around?
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by aguablanco View Post
Why not take the battery to an auto parts store and let them check it instead of messing around?
RichH
You could, if you have trust in these diagnostics. I personally believe they are calibrated to sell batteries, I.e. marginal is fail, good is marginal. Call me skeptical, if you will.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by aguablanco View Post
Why not take the battery to an auto parts store and let them check it instead of messing around?
RichH
Don't trust most of them to diagnose much of anything. I was actually an ASE Certified mechanic many, many moons ago and have heard so many lines of BS from supposedly qualified people that I seldom pay attention to any of them any more. \

I had one incident with a company car where I told the shop that I needed to have a certain part replaced that was causing the battery to discharge and the car to not start on an intermittent basis. They replaced the battery and a cable and said it was fixed, stupid me did not check behind them, I got stranded quite a few miles from civilization. Read that shop the riot act and moved all of my company's business to a different one. Found out that the ASE certs on the wall were for people that don't work there anymore.

If you are going to own an RV knowing how to to basic testing/troubleshooting on your systems is a good thing, or having plenty of disposable income to pay the RV shop $150-$200 an hour to trouble shoot and fix things.

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Old 06-06-2016, 03:19 PM   #8
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WFCO stinks as a boondocker's converter, but it should run the 12V system just fine on shore power and pretty much bring your batteries immediately up to 13.6V. But it sounds like you've got both a deeply discharged battery and an issue with the converter. I'd get out the mulitmeter first and check DC voltage at the control panel while plugged in. That will tell you if the converter is putting out the proper voltage. It should be 13.6V, unless you've hit the jackpot and your WFCO is actually trying to go into boost at 14.4V.
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:18 PM   #9
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Of course there are crooks in ANY business. However, I am not about to buy every diagnostic tool ever created just to avoid them. It is very easy, especially at home, to go to a couple of places to have the battery tested and compare the results. As a millwright for 20 years and a garage door contractor for the last 25 I consider myself above average handy. BTW marginal is bad in my book. Better to change a marginal part at home rather than on the road.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by aguablanco View Post
Of course there are crooks in ANY business. However, I am not about to buy every diagnostic tool ever created just to avoid them. It is very easy, especially at home, to go to a couple of places to have the battery tested and compare the results. As a millwright for 20 years and a garage door contractor for the last 25 I consider myself above average handy. BTW marginal is bad in my book. Better to change a marginal part at home rather than on the road.
RichH
Most basic diagnostics can be done with less than a $100 worth of tools. For electrical a basic multimeter and a couple of circuit testers are all you need. Along with a couple of screw drivers and maybe a wench. Learning what to do with the tools is the key.

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Old 06-07-2016, 01:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Most basic diagnostics can be done with less than a $100 worth of tools. For electrical a basic multimeter and a couple of circuit testers are all you need. Along with a couple of screw drivers and maybe a wench. Learning what to do with the tools is the key.

Aaron
I never said that one shouldn't have a basic set of tools, including some diagnostics, I said I will not buy everything and will rely on others for some of the work. While you and I may be handy, not everyone is or wants to be or even can be. As I said, I have been in the trades my entire life and not only like it, I am pretty good at it, and I have many tools. All I am saying is that is not for everyone.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:50 PM   #12
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Thanks to all with suggestions. Getting some time to investigate, I overlooked the tv antenna booster, which was on. I was not aware that it operates off of 12volt. I also double checked battery and on board charger and converter, and all is ok there. I do have a Jensen radio system and called them for specs on voltage draw when in off position. They stated that there is a internal capacitor that builds up
voltage to operate partial backlight and clock operation, so it would not be drawing off battery. The only other thing would be the propane leak detector, which only draws 75ma. The detector is hardwired with no means of shutting off. So I might wire it to a switch to turn off or on. No use having it on when not using any propane.
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:12 PM   #13
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In my camper, the radio, propane detector, antennae booster, and fridge are all on the same 12 circuit. Pull that fuse and their parasitic draws are gone. Although my control panel will light up an LED next to that fuse to indicate it is out, I've never measured to see if that LED draw is less than the cumulative parasitic draws. My guess is that it is.
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wis-redneck View Post
Thanks to all with suggestions. Getting some time to investigate, I overlooked the tv antenna booster, which was on. I was not aware that it operates off of 12volt. I also double checked battery and on board charger and converter, and all is ok there. I do have a Jensen radio system and called them for specs on voltage draw when in off position. They stated that there is a internal capacitor that builds up
voltage to operate partial backlight and clock operation, so it would not be drawing off battery. The only other thing would be the propane leak detector, which only draws 75ma. The detector is hardwired with no means of shutting off. So I might wire it to a switch to turn off or on. No use having it on when not using any propane.
I installed a battery disconnect switch that allows me to completely shutdown everything in the trailer when it is in storage. Seems a better idea than individual switches for each power draw.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:51 PM   #15
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There might be a reason that the propane detector is hardwired to the source: determining if there is a leak before applying power and possibly creating a spark for ignition of the gases. In my rig, it is just as easy to remove the battery cables from the battery as it would be to install a battery disconnect as the leads are held on with a wing nut. Just remember that the negative lead is the first off and last on when working with the wiring as an arc will be moving away from the battery (and the hydrogen gas liberated in the battery charge/discharge reactions) in either case.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:00 AM   #16
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My new deep cycle battery went dead after 3 weeks of sitting in the storage lot. It is a real pain manually cranking a power jack up and down. Watched a couple videos on YouTube about installing a battery cutoff switch. Ordered one from Amazon along with a 12" cable. The entire install took 10 minutes and was very easy. Problem solved! Remember to wire it on the NEGATIVE side. Not sure why this is important, but every video and write up about doing it says that is the only way to do it. It was worth the $20 investment to never have that problem again.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:39 PM   #17
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I just replaced my Voltage battery the other day. The old battery was original and so far it's losing about a volt a day sitting on the work bench.
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