Dead batteries...huh??? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 02-09-2015, 03:08 PM   #1
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Dead batteries...huh???

OK, so I'm not really a newbie, but then again haven't really looked into the situation.

We have a 2014 Voltage Epic III 3800. Finally got it in late May. Have used it four times, maybe five. Everywhere we have gone we have access to power and plug in. Even at home I park on a concrete pad and have a meter and connection to the grid right there.

This Fall we found we have to replace the pole the meter and power panel are mounted on. So about two months ago disconnected, rolled up the cord and stored it in the garage.

Everything in the trailer is turned off...everything that I know of anyway. Been like that for probably two months, maybe longer.

Have had a note on the whiteboard to start the generator monthly...that hasn't been happening. So went down yesterday to start the generator...nothing...not even the generator hour meter lit up. So got out the power cord and plugged in. Nothing.

Went back about once an hour for three hours...push the generator start button an hear on very brief "ugh" from the starter. So have left it plugged in over night and will see what's up this morning.

Got out all the trailer info and read up on the electrical system. Have seen "convertor" a lot on this forum, understand what it is...I think...

So where might I find that in my 3800?

What load is there that ran my 4 6-Volt very heavy duty batteries dead?

Do I need to put in an electrical disconnect between the batteries and the trailer?

Do I need to leave the trailer plugged in all the time when not using it?

Will that dry out the Interstate batteries?

I do know from Harleys, that Battery Tender recommends using one for a week a month to prevent issues.

Open to thoughts and want to understand how to maintain the 12 system.

Thanks,

Pirate
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:35 PM   #2
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I had this same problem when I left mine at the dealer for a month. They had to jump start the generator. He showed me where the disconnect switch was and advised me to disconnect anytime I was going to be way from power and extended time. My switch was in the front compartment above the battery mounted on the back upper left wall.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:15 PM   #3
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Please see my comments in blue below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
...

[RE: Converter] So where might I find that in my 3800?
In my trailer, the converter is in the bottom portion of the AC/DC power distribution center. I'm not sure your converter is the issue here though.
What load is there that ran my 4 6-Volt very heavy duty batteries dead?
This seems like the source of your dead batteries. Some examples of various parasitic loads are propane detectors, CO detectors, smoke detectors, stereo, and refrigerator control boards. They will certainly place a small but continuous load on the batteries that will deplete them over time. If you're always plugged in, then these loads are no issue. But if left on battery only they will eventually drain all the juice. Unfortunately, it sounds like your batteries were completely drained. I'm not very knowledgeable on bringing batteries back from near death, but I do know that deep discharges are harmful to fatal for batteries...

Do I need to put in an electrical disconnect between the batteries and the trailer?
If you are going to store it without any available access to electricity, then yes. Or remove the battery terminals from the battery posts.

Do I need to leave the trailer plugged in all the time when not using it?
You don't NEED to, but it shouldn't be harmful if you do if your converter is a multi-stage smart converter with an automatic float mode. I'm guessing it is.

Will that dry out the Interstate batteries?
Not if the converter has an automatic float stage.

I do know from Harleys, that Battery Tender recommends using one for a week a month to prevent issues.

Open to thoughts and want to understand how to maintain the 12 system.
Excellent link to reading up on the 12 volt side of life
Thanks,

Pirate
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:34 PM   #4
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I threw the disconnect switch once and still the battery died. In my case, I think, the propane gas detector is wired straight to the battery buss and doesn't turn off. The surest way to keep the battery from being drained is to simply disconnect at the battery itself. The wiring scheme in these things is a mystery so who knows what down stream from the disconnect switch.

My 3800 keeps the inverter in the basement behind the walls.

I'm plugged in all the time and I still haven't added more than a pint of water to both batteries. Even the Interstate keeps a good liquid level. Living full time in this thing I keep an eye on battery voltage. My meter shows 12.8 to 12.9 all the time. I stuck a seven segment volt meter in the switch panel so it's showing me voltage all the time, even when they go down from sitting at the dealer's shop.
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