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Old 11-10-2017, 11:47 PM   #1
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Battery draining

Iíve been looking and canít seem to find why my batteries are draining. Itís not the power antenna. Any insight would be great
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:21 AM   #2
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Put a meter measuring current between one of you battery cables and the battery and starting pulling fuses until you find what is causing a current draw.
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:23 AM   #3
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Modern RVs have numerous power drains.
Your trailer should have a battery disconnect switch.
If not hooked up to shore power, you need to disconnect the battery.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:05 AM   #4
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When operating on battery, there are several items that are "on" all the time and others that may be on that you need to turn off if possible.

The BIG draw items:

Inverters - Power your AC appliances and charge devices. They are the biggest draw in the camper when supplying juice to hungry wall warts and TVs. Watts equals volts times amps - Watts AC equals Watts DC (supplied by your battery). An iPad alone needs 1.5 amps AC when charging (1.5 times 120 volts = 180Watts - 180 Watts divided by 12 volts equals 15 amps from your battery)

Furnace - Set a 10 degree lower temp than you need when going to sleep, and blanket up. The lower temp will let the furnace run less often. If you have a "set back" thermostat installed, you can set a normal temp 15 minutes before you plan to get up.

Lights (Incandescent) - If you have a camper with incandescent (element) lights, each bulb uses 1.1 amps of DC. Does not take too many lights on to run a battery down.

Tank heaters - While they modulate on and off to warm the liquid in the tanks, they pull a lot of current when running. However if it is freezing, they use far less battery when turned on early enough to prevent the liquids from freezing, than trying to "unfreeze" a block of ice in the tank.

The water pump - 5 amps DC when running. Install an inline pressure tank (as big as you have space for) to provide water without running the pump. While the pump will run for a bit refilling the pressure tank when it empties, It takes far less time to fill it, than constantly running it for every bit of water needed when the generator is not running.

Defrost/"Climate Control" on fridge - some RV refridgerators have a switch that will turn the freezer heater off when boondocking, the newer ones are on all the time. Search here for the mod to put the heater back on a switch.

Propane detector - on all the time, but the draw is about 50 thousands of an amp.

Battery powered clock in radio - again, very small drain, but there.

Computer boards in just about every appliance in your RV when off - especially "easy start" items like fridge, TVs, and computers that draw power when off; but connected.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babock View Post
Put a meter measuring current between one of you battery cables and the battery and starting pulling fuses until you find what is causing a current draw.
Another way is unplug from shore power.
Pull each fuse - one at a time
Place a multi meter set on amps across the empty fuse holder.
The meter will show the amps or milliamps that each circuit is drawing.
Take notes.
My power center itself- ie- the battery charger has a current drain when connected to the batteries but unplugged from shore power.

As mentioned you need a battery disconnect switch if you don't have one.
They are relatively simple to install and every rig should have one!
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
When operating on battery, there are several items that are "on" all the time and others that may be on that you need to turn off if possible.

The BIG draw items:

Inverters - Power your AC appliances and charge devices. They are the biggest draw in the camper when supplying juice to hungry wall warts and TVs. Watts equals volts times amps - Watts AC equals Watts DC (supplied by your battery). An iPad alone needs 1.5 amps AC when charging (1.5 times 120 volts = 180Watts - 180 Watts divided by 12 volts equals 15 amps from your battery)

Furnace - Set a 10 degree lower temp than you need when going to sleep, and blanket up. The lower temp will let the furnace run less often. If you have a "set back" thermostat installed, you can set a normal temp 15 minutes before you plan to get up.

Lights (Incandescent) - If you have a camper with incandescent (element) lights, each bulb uses 1.1 amps of DC. Does not take too many lights on to run a battery down.

Tank heaters - While they modulate on and off to warm the liquid in the tanks, they pull a lot of current when running. However if it is freezing, they use far less battery when turned on early enough to prevent the liquids from freezing, than trying to "unfreeze" a block of ice in the tank.

The water pump - 5 amps DC when running. Install an inline pressure tank (as big as you have space for) to provide water without running the pump. While the pump will run for a bit refilling the pressure tank when it empties, It takes far less time to fill it, than constantly running it for every bit of water needed when the generator is not running.

Defrost/"Climate Control" on fridge - some RV refridgerators have a switch that will turn the freezer heater off when boondocking, the newer ones are on all the time. Search here for the mod to put the heater back on a switch.

Propane detector - on all the time, but the draw is about 50 thousands of an amp.

Battery powered clock in radio - again, very small drain, but there.

Computer boards in just about every appliance in your RV when off - especially "easy start" items like fridge, TVs, and computers that draw power when off; but connected.


Great info brother I really appreciate it
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jdleach0369 View Post
Great info brother I really appreciate it
More here:

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...-136576-3.html
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:03 PM   #8
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I did a test last night.

I have 2 12v batteries running parallel. Last night at 7pm they were at 12.3v. I set the heater at 65 and let it run all night and this morning my batteries were at 12.1v. I think that pretty good because I know today my solar will recharge my batteries today
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jdleach0369 View Post
I did a test last night.

I have 2 12v batteries running parallel. Last night at 7pm they were at 12.3v. I set the heater at 65 and let it run all night and this morning my batteries were at 12.1v. I think that pretty good because I know today my solar will recharge my batteries today
Look at this voltage to capacity graphic and compare your measured voltage with how "full" your battery is.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:23 PM   #10
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Oh wow.. thatís a great tool
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:21 PM   #11
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I keep a laminated copy next to my Trimetric battery monitor to back up the onboard capacity computer.

I highly recommend it. Its inexpensive and works great with solar.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bogart-TriM...RY9hf5&vxp=mtr

The complete with matching solar charger, though your will likely work fine.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bogart-TriM...JY8U3f&vxp=mtr
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