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Old 10-10-2015, 08:43 PM   #11
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If you have electric brakes you must have a battery connected while towing. If the trailer breaks loose, the breakaway switch activates the brakes using the battery.
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:45 PM   #12
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Found this:
If using the water heater on propane, you must first make sure your propane tanks have fuel, the valves are open, and the lines aren't full of too much air going to the water heater. You can usually turn on your stove in the camper and this purges a lot of air from the lines first.

You will now turn on your Direct Spark Ignitor (D.S.I.) switch inside your trailer/coach. Your particular RV may just have a switch that says water heater, heater, htr, or heat (and may be by itself or in a panel of other switches). The DSI is a low voltage ignitor (12 volt DC power) that takes the place of the old fashioned pilot lights that gas powered water heaters have. You can usually hear a rapid clicking sound at the water heater as the DSI is making sparks to ignite the propane. By not having a constantly on pilot light that burns all the time, the DSI is safer and uses less propane.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:57 AM   #13
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Closed A-frame battery charging

Chuck 9997, yes you can plug the electrical cord in to maintain the battery even if the a-frame is closed up. I used to do it all the time before I found out why batteries that are not plugged in lose their charge over time. There are things like LEDs that are on all the time. There's one in the stereo dial, another on the smoke detector, another on the propane alarm, etc. and these draw on the battery and, over time, will kill it. Once I learned what was happening to the battery, I changed to disconnecting the negative wire when storing the trailer. That's not a big deal to do and is easier than fooling around with the electrical cord and an extension cord. And if you leave it plugged in for a long period of time, while the charger in the trailer will keep up the battery, the water level in the cells will also go down over time and you can lose the battery that way too. I intend to install a simple battery disconnect switch to make the job even easier. Over winter, I pull the battery out so that it doesn't freeze and trickle charge it once a month or so.

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Old 10-11-2015, 04:26 PM   #14
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You need a battery for electric brakes and the breakaway brake.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:40 AM   #15
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The first thing I did when my new (to me) trailer came home was to build a custom battery box with a disconnect switch. At all times when the trailer is parked at home, the battery switch is off. The battery switch is on when the trailer is under tow, and while camping. At these times, the battery is being charged either by the vehicle (under tow), or by my solar panels (while camping). I don't camp in places where electricity is available. I take the camper out often enough that I don't really have to worry about maintaining the state of charge while it is parked at home (with the battery disconnected).
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:22 AM   #16
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Like Dan, I installed a cut battery off switch. When the camper is parked at home it is plugged in. I periodically turn the switch to connect or disconnect the battery so it doesn't sit plugged in long enough to evaporate the water. Been there done that. On the road, the battery is switched on.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:53 AM   #17
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Solar Battery Maintainer

Buy a small solar panel at Harbor Freight and wire it in permanently. Glue it to the roof with silicone, and your problem is solved. I used one on a truck that I seldom used, and it keeps the battery topped off. That truck battery lasted 10 years. The panel doesn't have enough power to charge the battery, or boil off the water, but keeps it from discharging. They run about $20. Batteries freeze if discharged, and it is hard on them even if they don't freeze. I put a big panel on my Roo (with a charge controller) and changed to LED lights and I can camp anywhere for as long as I want, and store it for as long as I want, and don't have to worry about extension cords, chargers, disconnect switches, or freezing.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:38 PM   #18
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... unless you park your trailer in your garage ...
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:40 AM   #19
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....or cover it when parked....
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:14 AM   #20
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Follow up.... my battery seems to be ok. Plugged into shore power for a week, checked water... unplugged for two days. Everything works. Not sure how much damage I may have done by letting it completely drain dry.. but I have never dry camped.. and don't expect to. I am just glad the battery is holding a charge for a day or two.
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