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Old 08-25-2013, 11:07 PM   #11
rce
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The breakaway cable "locks" the brakes by applying a VERY heavy electrical load to them. It'll drain a good battery in a very short time, and may cause damage to the coils and electronics in the brake system. This should NEVER be used as an emergency brake, though we often see posts from folks who, because they weren't told differently, tried....

Otherwise, it sounds like either the 120v to 12v converter isn't charging your battery, or you had another very heavy 12v load drawing it down.
Thanks for the clarification about the emergency brake. I think I would have noticed if it came on accidently. I was fidelling with the Gain Setting on the truck trailer brake controller a couple of times. Also tried slowing the tuck with the trailer brakes only twice, would that draw heavily on the battery?

Normally no problems before with battery staying chargedwhen plugged in to 110v even after 9 days of camping at an electrical site. Fourth time out this summer, no problems the other 3 times. Only difference was this time I tried out travelling with the fridge on propane. Scratching my head about that else could have drawn it down.

Could a battery just go bad all of a sudden one weekend?
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:12 PM   #12
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"Climate control" on the fridge is actually a heat-tape that follows the door opening/ Purpose is to heat, thereby drying any condensation. Unless you are always connected to 120v, it tends to be a draw.

Even this should have not been a big draw on a short drive. Something else sounds amiss, unless the battery was a bad battery to begin with.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:27 PM   #13
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"Climate control" on the fridge is actually a heat-tape that follows the door opening/ Purpose is to heat, thereby drying any condensation. Unless you are always connected to 120v, it tends to be a draw.

Even this should have not been a big draw on a short drive. Something else sounds amiss, unless the battery was a bad battery to begin with.
I have removed the battery and will charge it fully and then try running the fridge on propane with no Climate Control and if it runs see if battery discharges quickly or not.

Battery gauge in trailer indicated fully charged battery when I left for home & fully discharged battery an hour later at home. Nothing else on that I can think of as I drove other than the fridge.

I foroat to mention that I did test the battery at homewith my cheap battery tester which seemd to indicate battery was at roughly 12 - 12.5 volts. I don't trust it much. As soon as I plugged the trailer into 110v at home the trailer battery gauge read fully charged within a minute. Not sure if this is possible!

Bad cell in battery a possibility? (I hope)
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:44 AM   #14
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You can't "test" the battery with the built in battery gauge in an RV if it's plugged in to 110v , or receiving a charge from the tow vehicle. It reads line voltage, and if it sees 12.5v or more, it says "FULL" regardless of the battery's real condition.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:21 AM   #15
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I have removed the battery and will charge it fully and then try running the fridge on propane with no Climate Control and if it runs see if battery discharges quickly or not.

Battery gauge in trailer indicated fully charged battery when I left for home & fully discharged battery an hour later at home. Nothing else on that I can think of as I drove other than the fridge.

I foroat to mention that I did test the battery at homewith my cheap battery tester which seemd to indicate battery was at roughly 12 - 12.5 volts. I don't trust it much. As soon as I plugged the trailer into 110v at home the trailer battery gauge read fully charged within a minute. Not sure if this is possible!

Bad cell in battery a possibility? (I hope)


You can 'fully charge' your batt at home and use your volt meter and get a 12v reading..... This does not fully tell you the condition of the batt. As when it use it may discharge in a matter of minutes. Several cells may be 'gone'. When you think that you have it 'fully charged', take the batt to a auto parts store and they can put the batt under a test 'load'. they will tell you if it is dead, dying, or ok.

Even if the batt is 'dead', your tow vehicle when running should be able to run your fridg to get you home with a cold fridge. If you shut your tow vehicle off the 12v charge power will stop. This will shut your fridge down if your batt is dead. to get your fridge going again.

1) plug in camper and start tow vehicle. Push the batt button inside camper to see if you are getting 12v. Hit the 'reset' button on the fridge to get the ignitor going to light the propane. Propane should ignite and fridge will work as long as your dead batt is hooked up and your tow vehicle is running. If you shut off your tow vehicle for any reason with a dead camper batt. you will have to reset the fridge again after you get it going.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:32 AM   #16
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I don't know where or even if you have a battery cut-off switch, you might want to double check that. In my last camper the switch was easily accessible to my 1 year old grandson, he had pushed it in and I didn't notice until we were on the road. Same symptoms you described in your OP.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:36 AM   #17
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They may well have failed to install the necessary jumper and/or fuse in your tow vehicle when they put in the trailer connections. The truck manufacturers leave a step to be done by the RV techs.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #18
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You can 'fully charge' your batt at home and use your volt meter and get a 12v reading..... This does not fully tell you the condition of the batt. As when it use it may discharge in a matter of minutes. Several cells may be 'gone'. When you think that you have it 'fully charged', take the batt to a auto parts store and they can put the batt under a test 'load'. they will tell you if it is dead, dying, or ok.

Even if the batt is 'dead', your tow vehicle when running should be able to run your fridg to get you home with a cold fridge. If you shut your tow vehicle off the 12v charge power will stop. This will shut your fridge down if your batt is dead. to get your fridge going again.

1) plug in camper and start tow vehicle. Push the batt button inside camper to see if you are getting 12v. Hit the 'reset' button on the fridge to get the ignitor going to light the propane. Propane should ignite and fridge will work as long as your dead batt is hooked up and your tow vehicle is running. If you shut off your tow vehicle for any reason with a dead camper batt. you will have to reset the fridge again after you get it going.
After a not so good night's rest I'm thinking I will reinstall (charged) battery and see if I can replicate the problem in my driveway. One way or another then probably should have a proper load test done on the battery. It's less than a year old and fortunately RV service place who sold me it is 1/2 mile away. I imagine they will be able to tell if battery is a problem or rule that out.

Appreciate all the excellent advice. One of these days I hope when I have gained enough knowledge I can repay the help!
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:16 AM   #19
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If you have a voltmeter or circuit tester, check the RV plug in your truck between terminals 1 & 4. You should have 12-14 volts there if your truck is properly setup.

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Old 08-26-2013, 10:19 AM   #20
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After a not so good night's rest I'm thinking I will reinstall (charged) battery and see if I can replicate the problem in my driveway. One way or another then probably should have a proper load test done on the battery. It's less than a year old and fortunately RV service place who sold me it is 1/2 mile away. I imagine they will be able to tell if battery is a problem or rule that out.

Appreciate all the excellent advice. One of these days I hope when I have gained enough knowledge I can repay the help!

Don't loose any sleep over this... it is all fixable.
Before you install your batt.
1) look for any blown or tripped fuses.
2)Check for any batt disconnect that may be off.
3) plug into 110 and see if the converter is coming on and with a volt meter check the wires that connect to the battery. you should be able to get 12-14v power from those batt cable. if you do then good. if not, find out why.

4) now unplug the 110 for the house and hook up you batt to see if the propane/12v system is working.
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