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Old 04-19-2012, 07:54 AM   #1
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Battery charge going down without use.

I bought a new Grey Wolf 21rr and have not been anywhere yet but have noticed the battery goes down just sitting at the house with nothing on. I'm talking like maybe a third in two days of being unplugged. I guess I can unhook the battery and charge it and let it sit in my shop a few days and measure the voltage to see if the battery is ok. I know there is a carbon monoxide detector, propane detector and smoke alarm. Also there is an outside stereo control and I think it stays lighted all the time. Is this enough to drain the battery? I'll never be able to dry camp this way.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comfun1 View Post
Also there is an outside stereo control and I think it stays lighted all the time. Is this enough to drain the battery? I'll never be able to dry camp this way.
Short answer... Yep.

You need a disconnect switch or take the ground wire off the battery.
A 75AH battery will last about 96 - 120 hours with "nothing on"
In realility there is a LOT on when its "off." Disregarding internal battery resistance which will discharge a battery over time, there is between 1 and 1.5 amps of continuous draw from parasite sources all over your camper. From the Propane detector to the clock in the radio, it all adds up.

Dry Camp? Well now there is a long story.
MANY great threads here about that.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #3
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One of the most popular and useful mods for a camper.

$23 at amazon.


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Old 04-19-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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And, if you plan to dry camp, then you really need to consider bigger batteries, LED lighting, etc.

Add solar or a generator to really extend your trip. I have lots of ways to spend your money

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Old 04-19-2012, 08:51 AM   #5
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You need a battery disconnect switch as pictured below.
I have that exact same one on my trailer.

You also can do a bit of detective work to see what's doing the
discharging.
Get a decent VOM (volt ohm amp meter).
Set it on amps scale.
It needs to be able to handle at least 2 amps.

Now pull your fuses one at a time.
Pull a fuse, place the meter leads across the fuse opening and read
the meter.
The meter completes the circuit and reads
the current draw in that circuit.
Most will be zero but some won't.
Note the ones that give a reading and how much and what the
fuse was for-- ie radio, LP detector, etc.
Note the 2 big fuses side by side above the rest.
These are the fuses that connect the battery charger to your battery.
Believe it or not the charger will discharge your battery when the trailer
is not plugged in.
The discharge rate is slow but it's real.

Once you have your notes you can see what's doing the dirty deed and
decide what you want to do about it.

Also as mentioned get a few LED lights. They draw only a fraction as much
as regular bulbs.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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I'm cheap, I mean, thrifty.
A couple of wing nuts from lowes allows me to disonnect my battery when needed...cost was what, $2? No tools needed.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:39 AM   #7
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We keep ours plugged into shore power 24/7/365. That is your other alternative....
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:47 AM   #8
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If you decide to get more than 1 battery for dry camping I
Would also suggest a battery shut off like I use.
it has four positions
1 both batteries off
2 battery one on and battery two off
3 battery two on and battery one off
4 battery one and two both on

Bought from the battery doctor
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:35 PM   #9
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I have this problem of draw down w/nothing on. batts only last about a day.Class a 373ds. Run gen for a couple of hrs. Shows a charge on my meter. and onl get a 2/3 full charge shown on control panel. Same w/engine alt. Dealer says a .02 amp draw while sitting is normal????? does any one know for sure what the problem could be. Have un plugged every 12v fuse one at a time and foun nothing irregular.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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Radio light draw
Propane detector draw
co2 detector draw
you may have others
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loryray View Post
I have this problem of draw down w/nothing on. batts only last about a day.Class a 373ds. Run gen for a couple of hrs. Shows a charge on my meter. and onl get a 2/3 full charge shown on control panel. Same w/engine alt. Dealer says a .02 amp draw while sitting is normal????? does any one know for sure what the problem could be. Have un plugged every 12v fuse one at a time and foun nothing irregular.
Your problem could be a number of items so I listed some common ones:

-Parasitic draws like the ones turbo listed.
-Too little battery for your RV and usage- e.g., a small group 24 12volt doesn't offer a lot of Ah.
-Bad battery. How old is you battery and is it well-maintained?
-Inaccurate Sensors (the idiot lights in most trailers are not too accurate). Use a voltmeter.
-Generator. Charging for two hours might not do a lot for you. This depends on the amps from the charger, the size of your battery and how low it is when you start the generator.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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Keep in mind batteries are a dealer, not a factory, install. My 2010 came with two new batteries and I replaced them last year. I put in top of the line Interstate marine 360's. They stay charged and I run the gen an hour or more a month.

Poor batteries can really spoil an otherwise good trip.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loryray View Post
I have this problem of draw down w/nothing on. batts only last about a day.Class a 373ds. Run gen for a couple of hrs. Shows a charge on my meter. and onl get a 2/3 full charge shown on control panel. Same w/engine alt. Dealer says a .02 amp draw while sitting is normal????? does any one know for sure what the problem could be. Have un plugged every 12v fuse one at a time and foun nothing irregular.
.02 amp is nothing to worry about.
I bet you have more than that.
Get a decent meter.
Put it on amps scale.
It needs to be 2 amps or more-- not milli amps scale!
Turn off everything in your RV.
Pull out a fuse and place the meter leads across the fuse holder.
The meter will read the amps or fractions of amps in that circuit.
Take note of what the meter says and what the fuse is for.
Check each fuse one at a time. Write down what you find.
This will tell the tale-- assuming all the fuses are located in the fuse box.
Some things are taken right off the batteries with inline fuses and don't
go thru the fuse box.
Those have to be found and tested also.
Do NOT put the meter in a fuse holder and turn on something like
your power awning or power steps. It will blow the meter internal fuse
and possibly smoke the meter.
This test is for parasitic loads and that means motors and such are OFF
during the test.

Once you have done this you will know what's siphoning the power out
of your batteries.
As mentioned below it could be a bad battery.
Also as mentioned the little LED battery charge indicators that come with
RVs are notoriously inaccurate.
Measure battery charge with a meter.
12v on a battery with not much of anything turned on means the battery
is approx half dead.
12.6v means it's nearly full.
Notice that the difference is only a few tenths of a volt.
That's why you need a decent digital meter to tell what's going on.

IF you check all fuses and the total current found is less than 1 amp total-
go to the battery and disconnect the battery lead.
Put the meter across the battery post and the lead you removed.
Read that for total amps WITH EVERYTHING OFF.
If you find a much higher reading at the battery than all the others put together
it means there is something somewhere that's hooked into the battery circuit
that you haven't found yet.

Good luck!
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