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Old 05-28-2013, 06:34 AM   #1
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battery life and fridge questions

We just got back from our first camping weekend with our 2014 Grey Wolf 25rr. We went to a State Park with no electricity or running water. Everything worked great on freshly charged battery except batteey only stayed charged for 2 days. We didn't use the radio, barely used the lights, turned the pump on just during the 2 quick showers we took or to do dishes then shut pump off. Any ideas on why it ate battery life so quick?
Also confused about fridge. We put it in auto mode but it stopped working and the "check" light came on when battery died. I didn't think fridge ran off the battery. I did change fridge swtting to gas after battery got low but check light stayed on. We were able to get battery charged and made it through our laat 2 days on that charge but think we should be getting longer life out of it.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:36 AM   #2
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Did you use the heater?

How large (in amp hours) is your battery? (or model number if you do not know)

A charged battery is required to run the fridge as the control electronics and gas valve requires battery power. The "AC" (110 volt shore power) is only for the heating element. All the rest is 12 volts.

2 days is about right between charges of a single standard OEM storage battery (about 65 amp hours) if the heater is used.

In order of battery hogs:

1) Furnace
2) lights (1.2 amps PER BULB)
3) water pump
4) fridge defroster (AKA "Climate Control" - must be off on battery)
5) Radio (when playing)
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:19 AM   #3
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If you really want to know what in your trailer is using how much power,
you can get a multi meter with amps scale. Hopefully it will have at least
a 2 amp scale and some lower milliamp scales as well.
Start on the 2 amp scale- higher amps if you have it available.
Always start with your meter on the highest amps scale and work your
way down scales until you get a good reading.
Pull a fuse out of your fuse panel and place the meter probes across the
empty fuse holder.
If there is a load there, the meter will show it.
Write each one down.
Use a lower scale if you need to get a good reading.

This should show you everything in the trailer that is pulling juice out
of your battery.

As Lou mentioned many refrigerators have a little built in heater in the
metal strip that runs between the freezer and fresh food doors.
Open both doors and look along the top of the fresh food opening.
That little strip is what I'm talking about.
The heater keeps the metal warm so condensation won't form on it.
When we're camping on battery power a little condensation is the LEAST
of our worries!!
The switch is also near the top of the fresh food door opening.

Lately some fridges have been made with the heater but NO switch to
manually shut it off!!
If you have one of those there is a fix but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Look for the switch first and make sure it's OFF.
If you can't find a switch look in your owners manual.
If you don't have a switch come back and we'll talk!!

There was some discussion here several months ago about that heater and that switch
and how to work around it if you don't have the switch but I googled
and can't seem to find it.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:15 AM   #4
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Thanks for the great replies. Yes, we used furnace a bit but not much. I'm at work now and don't know amperage of battery but the one in our pop-up would run furnace, small fridge and lights for four days no problem. I will check on the heater strip too when I get home. We usually only camp with no electricity once a year so this isn't a huge deal.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffer View Post
Thanks for the great replies. Yes, we used furnace a bit but not much. I'm at work now and don't know amperage of battery but the one in our pop-up would run furnace, small fridge and lights for four days no problem. I will check on the heater strip too when I get home. We usually only camp with no electricity once a year so this isn't a huge deal.
Then a small generator to power a battery charger may be all you ever need.

Remember a trailer is a lot bigger power hog than a pup will ever be. Even a "little bit" of furnace, coupled with 3 or 4 light pods will kill a partially discharged battery over night.

Always use the trucks connection when dry camping to open and close slides, run jacks, etc if you have no way to charge the battery after you disconnect.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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No generators allowed where we camped and I did keep my truck hooked up when I set up. Learning as we go
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #7
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a TT has way more parasitic power drains than a popup does. the radio still uses power, even when off. so does the propane alarm, fridge and other things.

having a single group 24 battery will not last very long dry camping.
since we almost always dry camp, we have two batteries and a Honda 2000w.

as the others said, your fridge needs 12v battery power to operate on propane.

also, how do you know the battery was fully charged when you left? did you test it before you left?
was it connected to shore power or are you assuming it was charging while towing. if it wasn't connected, it would have already been depleted. and not all tow vehicles are set up to charge the battery while driving. and the majority that are set up, only provide a trickle charge.

suggest you Google: "The 12v Side of Life I&II". it'll help you understand how your trailer works.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:57 PM   #8
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Not sure if anyone mentioned as I browsed through posts but the fridge requires 12v no matter if its on propane or 120v.
No 12 volt no work.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:03 PM   #9
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I stopped at Sams Club on the way home from the dealers and bought 2 golf cart batteries.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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If no generators "at all"; then perhaps a portable solar rig might be better.

18 - Watt Folding Solar Panel With Charge Controller - 969651, Alternative Energy at Sportsman's Guide


400w Portable Solar Power System - 1034004, Alternative Energy at Sportsman's Guide


The 1000 watt one is awesome. Come see it at Goshen.
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