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Old 02-28-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
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Newbie Battery question

Just bought a Coachmen Clipper 17BH last month. We are new to TT's. TT is behind the house, where I parked it when I brought it home last month. I haven't hooked up power to the trailer yet. Battery was charged when I brought it home, now there is no power at all. Figured with our brutal winter here in Ohio, power just drained from the battery. Will I need a charger or when I hook up the power will the battery charge? Thanks in advance for any answers!
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:01 PM   #2
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I would take battery inside house and let it warm up. Check to see if it is cracked from possible freezing. Check electrolyte level if you can. If all OK, then I would put on a slow (low amp) charge and see if it will charge up......
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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It has a converter that will charge it but if it's dead after only a month there's something else going on.

The batteries are generally pretty easy to remove, I'd take it to a parts store and ask them to test it to make sure it's ok. If it is then I'd charge it (Battery chargers are pretty cheap and good to have) and once reinstalled I'd try to find out if something was left on, light, fridge, etc.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burmik View Post
Just bought a Coachmen Clipper 17BH last month. We are new to TT's. TT is behind the house, where I parked it when I brought it home last month. I haven't hooked up power to the trailer yet. Battery was charged when I brought it home, now there is no power at all. Figured with our brutal winter here in Ohio, power just drained from the battery. Will I need a charger or when I hook up the power will the battery charge? Thanks in advance for any answers!

The winter did not do it....Your camper will have a couple of features that pull a parasite load all of the time. Propane leak detector may be one. Carbon monoxide detector may be another. Radio lights also....Your camper running these on battery power (parasite load) will drain your battery. You should take it out and put it on a battery charger on a Hard charge for three or so hours. A trickle charge (even at 14v) from your converter may not be Hard enough to help it Keep your charge up. You should have plugged it in when you brought it home and kept it on a trickle charge or pulled the battery and brought it in side.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:10 PM   #5
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Hey thanks everyone. I was planning on getting a charger. Going to take the battery inside this afternoon. See if I'm able to charge it. I may have left a light on when I was showing it to some friends after I brought it home last month.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:17 PM   #6
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as was said, a RV not hooked to shore power, will quickly have the battery drained, due to parasitic power drains.

that's why many of us install a battery disconnect switch.

i did and i stored my trailer for 4 months with no electrical hookups nor any battery charger.
when i picked it up and turned off the disconnect switch, the two batteries were still nearly fully charged. i took it home and hooked up to shore power and in an hour, the batteries were back to full.

pulling the battery in and out, to hook it up to a battery charger, to me is a waste of time and energy. if you install a battery disconnect switch, this isn't necessary anymore.
the converter will recharge the battery nearly as fast as a stand-alone battery charger.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
as was said, a RV not hooked to shore power, will quickly have the battery drained, due to parasitic power drains.

that's why many of us install a battery disconnect switch.

i did and i stored my trailer for 4 months with no electrical hookups nor any battery charger.
when i picked it up and turned off the disconnect switch, the two batteries were still nearly fully charged. i took it home and hooked up to shore power and in an hour, the batteries were back to full.

pulling the battery in and out, to hook it up to a battery charger, to me is a waste of time and energy. if you install a battery disconnect switch, this isn't necessary anymore.
the converter will recharge the battery nearly as fast as a stand-alone battery charger.
I agree on all accounts.

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Old 02-28-2014, 04:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
as was said, a RV not hooked to shore power, will quickly have the battery drained, due to parasitic power drains.

that's why many of us install a battery disconnect switch.

i did and i stored my trailer for 4 months with no electrical hookups nor any battery charger.
when i picked it up and turned off the disconnect switch, the two batteries were still nearly fully charged. i took it home and hooked up to shore power and in an hour, the batteries were back to full.

pulling the battery in and out, to hook it up to a battery charger, to me is a waste of time and energy. if you install a battery disconnect switch, this isn't necessary anymore.
the converter will recharge the battery nearly as fast as a stand-alone battery charger.
X2. Disconnect when fully charged and you will have no problem between uses.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:40 PM   #9
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Before you try to charge ... As I understand from your posts, the camper was sitting outside for a month during the coldest winter since 1979 with a possibility a light was left on. If so, be very careful before you place it on a charger in case it did freeze.

A light on for a month would have drained that battery dead within a week or two (depends on the bulb and your battery), and the kind of cold the Midwest has had is almost sure to have froze that battery if it was drained low enough.

A frozen battery can have its case cracked and, when thawed, the electrolyte will drain out. Even if the case is not cracked, never charge a frozen battery; let it warm to at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wear goggles while working around a suspect battery. [Edit - wear goggles whenever working on batteries]

Assuming the case is not cracked and it still has electolyte in each cell, I advise you first check the specific gravity in each cell with a hydrometer.



Its possible that one cell could have gone bad while the others were unaffected. Charging a battery with one bad cell is not good either.

Assuming you think everything is good, follow the instructions for your battery and the charger.

Let us know how it goes.
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