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Old 06-26-2016, 11:09 PM   #1
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Battery not charging

Hi everyone, I just bought a 2013 model 816Q and love it. I plan to live in it full time in a month or so. I've only had it a week, and have not run any of the things inside, except for just switching on the lights now and then.

So I thought I'd plug it into my garage outlet to make sure the battery is charged, and a week ago, it showed fully charged on the panel.

Now, I have a dead battery, without using anything, and have left it plugged in all day, just checked, still dead. Not even the propane detector light is on.

Can someone help me? When I first brought it home and plugged it in, the fan was running in the converter, but now it does not, unless I turn on two lights.

Without turning on lights, with it plugged in, it doesn't make a sound

Does it take longer then a day to charge this battery? And even I know it shouldn't be dead.

I plan to call the dealer in the morning. They told me the battery is brand new, and it looks it.

I am not that technical, but know I need to learn. If anyone can help out, I sure would appreciate it!!

Thanks
Barbara
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:14 PM   #2
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Was it plugged for the week, or just on battery. There are so many voltage drains on the battery it will go dead. You need a battery disconnect switch in the negative cable when you are not plugged in and not using the trailer. My battery went very low in a day and half. Now have two batteries which will let let camp with out plug in for three to four days. Take the battery to an auto parts store and have them check it.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:23 PM   #3
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Hi Chily, thanks so much. I'm not sure there is a disconnect for the trailer, but I'll ask tomorrow.. IT doesn't make sense to me why it would go dead from not using anything. I plan to do a lot of boondocking, and can't see how this will work .

I appreciate your response, and no, it was not plugged in all week, I had it plugged in all day today. Do you know how long it takes to recharge it from the house? I wonder if this battery is completely gone, which makes no sense to me.

I'll ask the dealer about the disconnect,,
oh, when I have the trailer plugged into the garage, everything works.

I sure hope nothing is wrong with my converter..

thanks
Barbara
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:01 AM   #4
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Barbara,

I think you are on the right track, in the battery being done for. If your planning on doing a lot of boondocking, now would be the time to invest in some battery maintenance gear. Like a tester so you can check the health of the chemistry in each cell, a bulb to fill the cells as the fluid level drops and distilled water. Here's a site that can give you lot's of good info on the 12V system.

If the battery is done for, now is a time to consider going to 2-6V golf cart batteries and solar if you don't already have a panel on the roof.

The fan on the converter coming on when a 12V load is applied would indicate that the converter is working.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:35 AM   #5
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Thank you HDdecker. I am calling the dealer in the morning. Possibly this battery is not new, and is the original. I'm glad that I'm not ready to leave yet, so I can learn all of this while I have my trailer in my driveway..

I am purchasing a solar kit from Amazon to start out with. I don't plan on using a lot of power, don't watch TV, and will be careful with lights and using power.

Thanks for that info on the converter. I'm still under warranty, as I"ve only had my trailer for a week, ( new to me, it's a 2013) but I sure don't want serious stuff going wrong this early .

This is all new to me, and I need to learn..

Another question? I've been reading about the suggestions for two golf cart batteries. Why would two six volt be better than one twelve volt battery?

Thanks so much
Barbara
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:23 AM   #6
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Barbara,

Golf cart batteries are "built" with heavier plates that are designed specifically to handle a deeper discharge. Most big box stores that are selling "deep cycle" batteries are really selling you marine/starting batteries, better than your truck battery, but can't handle as deep a discharge as a true deep cycle.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:22 AM   #7
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Thanks again-

I found a nearby golf supply store and will buy those two batteries. Is it pretty simple to hook them up together?

I appreciate the help!

Barbara
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:24 AM   #8
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Hi Barbara... Looks like Jim has your issues well in hand. I would also suggest if you are going to be using your trailer a lot off grid that you upgrade to LED lighting. That is a huge draw on the batteries that many people over look. Depending on the currently light bulbs and fixtures it may be a $50 or less upgrade.

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Old 06-27-2016, 10:35 AM   #9
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Thanks, will do that too!! Maybe just by switching on the lights now and then, I helped kill that battery--

I think this is a good thing, having this happen before I leave. I can get it set up correctly with the golf cart batteries, cut off switch, led lights, and be more prepared.

I appreciate the help

Barbara
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:55 AM   #10
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There are a lot of items that pull on the battery. Lights, LP detector, stereo, televisions in sleep mode, antenna amplifier, control boards for water heaters and refrigerators, etc. You have to learn where each one is at and where it fits into the grand scheme of things. The amplifier is an easy one to overlook. The LP detector is another one that people often forget about. It is wired direct as a safety feature.

A properly set up solar system and a couple of decent sized batteries will go a long way towards making things behave. Unfortunately most of the RV's sold today are setup with minimal systems and they aren't well documented or explained.

Aaron
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:03 PM   #11
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Hi- You just gave me something else to consider. There is a TV antenna installed on the top of the roof, with the connector for the TV inside above a shelf. I wonder if it's drawing power, even though I don't have a TV there connected.

Something else to ask the dealer, thanks

Barbara
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:09 PM   #12
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Hi- You just gave me something else to consider. There is a TV antenna installed on the top of the roof, with the connector for the TV inside above a shelf. I wonder if it's drawing power, even though I don't have a TV there connected.

Something else to ask the dealer, thanks

Barbara
If the antenna booster is on, it will draw power. If red light is on, booster is on and drawing power. Look for a small push button to turn on/off. Having a TV connected, or not does not make a difference.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:13 PM   #13
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will look for it,

thanks!!
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by pdonoghu View Post
If the antenna booster is on, it will draw power. If red light is on, booster is on and drawing power. Look for a small push button to turn on/off. Having a TV connected, or not does not make a difference.
Might be a green light too. My current RV uses a green LED. Regardless it should be on the plate that the television cable goes to. Many of them also have a 12volt port on them too.

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Old 06-27-2016, 02:57 PM   #15
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Found it! Small black button, almost invisible unless you look close up. It's off.

Called the dealer, he told me it's most likely the carbon monoxide detector, and agreed I need a shut off switch.

Ordering the one on Amazon.

Also told me to hook it back up for a couple days, battery might not be done in, it's brand new, but I'm still getting the golf cart ones.

Thanks so much!!!

Barbara
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:05 PM   #16
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Thanks again-

I found a nearby golf supply store and will buy those two batteries. Is it pretty simple to hook them up together?

I appreciate the help!

Barbara
Barbara,

I would suggest you go to a battery store vs a golf supply store.

The specialty stores tend to have their prices inflated in some cases as much as 100%. The batteries from a store like Interstate Batteries will probably fresher than a Golf Store.

Owning a camper is like owning a hole in the road that you pour money into, you can save alot of your money by shopping around.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:21 PM   #17
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Thanks HD, I just realized something. I have to be very careful of weight in my little trailer. Can only have seven hundred cargo pounds inside, so those golf cart batteries are sixty pounds each. I think it's too heavy for the hitch.

If this battery is really shot, I think I need to stick with just one, to watch the weight.

oh well

Barbara
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:31 PM   #18
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OP,
I recommend reading through these links which do a great job of explaining an RV's 12V system.
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
The 12volt Side of Life Part 2

The concept of parasitic draws has been gone over in this thread, so I think you are aware of them now. Something else to consider that hasn't been mentioned is that when you are running your refrigerator on propane, it is still using 12V power drawing about 1A to power the control board and ignition controls. So that is 1A 24/7 from the battery, or ~24 amp-hours (Ah) per day. So if you have no recharging going on, a single group 24 marine battery is only going to last a couple days before being too low just from fridge alone.

When you are plugged in, don't rely on the battery gauge dummy lights on the camper's control panel to determine if the battery is charged. The lights will always show full when you are plugged in, which is really just telling you that the converter is working and applying a charging voltage to the batteries. It can take your camper converter a day to multiple days to fully top off a battery.

I second the recommendation of switching all interior lighting to LED. Ebay is your friend, they are very cheap from the direct from China sellers. You just have to be patient enough to wait a couple weeks for shipping. And while there may be some suspect consistent quality control, they are cheap enough that you can buy enough to have several spares.

You mentioned solar and this is a direction I highly recommend for boondocking. But solar is a bit of a go big or go home thing, don't put any hopes in a small wattage panel (<50 watts lets say) being good for anything except maintaining an already fully charged battery that is disconnected and not in use. I recommend doing a lot of research before just buying an expensive kit and hoping it meets your needs.

The best prices for 6V batteries that I have found is from Costco. They are about $80/ea. Run 2 x 6V batteries in series to make one 12V supply.
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:48 PM   #19
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I can't thank you enough. Yesterday I was overwhelmed with wondering what all this was about, but slowly learning about it all makes sense. Great information you gave me, appreciate it!!!

Barbara
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BarbaraM View Post
Thanks HD, I just realized something. I have to be very careful of weight in my little trailer. Can only have seven hundred cargo pounds inside, so those golf cart batteries are sixty pounds each. I think it's too heavy for the hitch.

If this battery is really shot, I think I need to stick with just one, to watch the weight.

oh well

Barbara
Barbara,

Yes, weight is an issue. Once you have settled in and sorted out where and what you need/want to have in the camper you may be able to adjust the tongue weight be speading the load out some.

There are still some options to get you a little more power. When it comes time to replace the OEM battery. I suspect that the OEM is a Group 24 battery, just going up to a Group 27 will give you a little more reserve. Then there are upsized options available beyond the Group 27, for you to explore when the time comes.
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