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Old 10-31-2011, 10:11 AM   #1
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Snow Camping with power outage and slides out

We camped this weekend in the snow storm. We lost AC power around 5:30PM Saturday night. I turned off everything but the furnace. Battery died at 3AM. Forgot about the slides. So we left our TT at the Camp ground until power can be restored, not knowing what else to do. Spoke with the camp ground manager; they said that we would only have to pay storage fees. It is an hour away from the house, 40 minutes from the storage lot where we keep it.

Is there a way to safely get the sides in without power?
Yes I should have pulled the slides in as soon as we lost AC power.
After we were on our way and very cold and tired I realize I should have pulled the battery and took it home to charge. This would include buying a battery charger.

Should the battery last longer than ours did?
My wife wants to get a second battery. Can you mix 12v batteries or do they have to be the same? I was thinking of buying another battery but Iím not sure of the type and size and does a new battery have enough charge to pull the sides in leave alone the stabilizers and tong jack (yes I can do these 2 manually if I have to.

We are new to slides and no AC power, not new to trailer camping.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:31 AM   #2
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We are still relatively new to RVing but I know when our trailer arrived (and we were still waiting for our tow vehicle to come in) the dealer had pulled the battery to keep it from being stolen, so when we we wanted to make sure everything had been ordered correctly he was able to plug into one of the dealers trucks (7pin tow connector) and was able to get the slides out and lights worked. So you should have been able to connect your tow vehicle and had power to work the slides (unless this only works with trucks that have the dual batteries)

Getting a second battery should work as well, your trailer should have come with a marine deep cycle battery. I know Walmart and Tractor Supply carries them, if your RV dealer is nearby you could get one from them - they would know the exact type they put in.

Hope that helps

Forgot to add - there should also be a manual way to bring in the slides, could be a pain, but still should be a way.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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You should be able to close the slides by having your Tracer connected to the tow vehicle. To maximize the voltage going to the slide motor, turn off all 12V lights and switches inside the RV that may be drawing power off of your tow vehicle.

There is a slide-out override but this situation should not require you to use it.

Good luck.

PTM
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwjeepxj View Post

Should the battery last longer than ours did?
My wife wants to get a second battery. Can you mix 12v batteries or do they have to be the same? I was thinking of buying another battery but I’m not sure of the type and size and does a new battery have enough charge to pull the sides in leave alone the stabilizers and tong jack (yes I can do these 2 manually if I have to.

We are new to slides and no AC power, not new to trailer camping.
Sorry to hear about the troubles.

I bet that you have a 12 volt group 24 or possibly a 27. Neither of these will last too long running your blower all night. A second battery will double your Amp Hours. Try to match the type, size and age if you want to add a second battery.

In general when it comes to mixing and matching batteries, you will need to match the battery type (wet cell vs AGM, etc) and size (group 24, group 27, etc). Two different sized batteries is not recommended.

As for age, you will be OK with matching if your current battery is new and the second is close in age but know that vastly different aged batteries will not be as good.

Make sure to properly connect the two 12-volt batteries in parallel.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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I don't trailer, we MH, but I thought the TV charged the batty when hooked up? My neighbor has a 5th Wheel and I am sure his batty charges when he sits still and idles.

Wouldn't that provide enough power to get the slides in?

Curious...If not, how about jumper cables?

I would do anything to keep from leaving my rig behind...

Bill
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:53 PM   #6
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If you're going to do snow camping you better invest in a small generator to take along to operate the converter/charger and a few lights when you lose campground power.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:04 AM   #7
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Id agree on hooking up tv, and then trying the slides. But I will say had I been in your situation, pretty sure I would have just left like you did. I've wondered about a power loss as I don't have a gen and we have always compered where we have elec. Good questions! Sorry you had to be the Guinea Pig.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:37 AM   #8
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As sad as it is to leave your camper behind, towing in snow is risky. I had a friend try to get his brand new camper home in the snow last weekend, and the short version of the story is that he got his truck stuck leaving the CG and I had to come and rescue him. Not necessarily a bad idea to leave the camper there and come back for it a day or two later, when the roads are clear, etc. I also agree about using the 7pin from the TV to provide enough juice to get the slides in. Your battery is now suspect too. Depending on how drained it was by 3am its life may have been compromised severely under the best of circumstances. Sitting dead in freezing weather is not the best of circumstances.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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The Tracer is now safe and winterized in the storage lot. I picked it up today. Power came back on at the camp ground at 2PM yesterday.

More to that story. At 3AM the battery was just barely working when pressing the gauge. The thermostat was off and the propane detector was beeping red and green. So I went out and plugged in the 7pin connector to the TV and ran it for 40 minutes, 10 at 2000RPM. When I came back in to check on it, the gauge would not work at all. That is why I never thought to try the 7 pin connector.

My family includes myself the DW, DD1 9y, and DD2 3y. I just wanted to get the little ones home.

Thank you, everyone for all your help.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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You may want to have your 7 pin checked to make sure the charging lead is hot. When I bought my truck, that fuse (a 20 Amp) was blown, and of course I had no idea until the RV mechanic tested the plug for me. I know on some vehicles (my F-250 included) the relay to drive that circuit is not even installed at the factory.
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