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Old 01-24-2013, 01:08 AM   #1
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12V battery

I was cleaning the trailer and was curious enough to test the battery. I unplugged the source power from the wall and flipped on the lights with nothing turning on.

I pressed the battery test at the control unit and it resulted in very low battery status. Doesn't the controller charge the battery while I am not using it? I have a 2006 Thor Summit.

In this case, if I plug into the truck (brake controller wiring harness), it would charge my battery and allow the brakes on the trailer to work ? The towing harness comes stock from the truck.

Thanks in advance,
tntrac
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:13 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tntrac View Post
I was cleaning the trailer and was curious enough to test the battery. I unplugged the source power from the wall and flipped on the lights with nothing turning on.

I pressed the battery test at the control unit and it resulted in very low battery status. Doesn't the controller charge the battery while I am not using it? I have a 2006 Thor Summit.

In this case, if I plug into the truck (brake controller wiring harness), it would charge my battery and allow the brakes on the trailer to work ? The towing harness comes stock from the truck.

Thanks in advance,
tntrac
Your converter doesn't seem to be charging.

You've checked all fuses in the control center?

Do the lights work if plugged into short power?

Make and model of converter?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:24 AM   #3
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Your converter doesn't seem to be charging.

You've checked all fuses in the control center?

Do the lights work if plugged into short power?

Make and model of converter?

Lights work if I plug into shore (wall) power. The name is World Friendship Co. model WF-8935AN. Right now, the battery is in the garage with the tender plus connected.

What I noticed in the past when I plugged in the shore power, I would hear the converter run for 10-20 minutes. I will pay attention to it next time when the battery is connected.


Btw, three months ago, battery was working .
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:58 AM   #4
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There is an open fuse; battery cut off; or corroded terminal between your converter and the battery.

I could point you in the right direction if you had included some information on your camper (5th wheel or travel trailer) either in your signature or your profile..
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #5
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Your converter is working then.

Battery sounds suspect. Or fuse between converter to battery.

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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I'm curious, how old is the battery?
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:36 PM   #7
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Your converter is working then.

Battery sounds suspect. Or fuse between converter to battery.

Turbs

Battery looks old. I couldn't find the date stamp. But the fuse looks good. I pulled one fuse out and noticed a red light indicator came on. So there were no lights, etc.

Testing at the control unit of the trailer, it showed the battery to be really low. But when I plugged on the the shore power and tested battery, it shows a decent amount
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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Old batteries can freeze solid because they do not hold their full charge any more. Once discharged the specific gravity of the electrolyte approaches 1 (pure water).
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:53 PM   #9
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In this case, if I plug into the truck (brake controller wiring harness), it would charge my battery and allow the brakes on the trailer to work ?
Yes, the battery should charge from the tow vehicle, and the trailer brakes would work from the tow vehicle battery, but not the trailer battery when stopping normally.

If the trailer battery is dead, then the emergency braking system will not work.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:00 PM   #10
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Yes, the battery should charge from the tow vehicle, and the trailer brakes would work from the tow vehicle battery, but not the trailer battery when stopping normally.

If the trailer battery is dead, then the emergency braking system will not work.
Thanks so much guys.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #11
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tntrac,
When troubleshooting electrical problems you have to have a plan. If you jump from item to item without checking things you'll be chasing your tail. Lets start from the beginning. The B+ is dead and charging in your garage. When you think it's charged remove the charger and measure the B+ voltage at the B+ posts. It should read somewhere around 12.6 or greater. If not continue charging the B+ for another 12-24 hours then have a shop load test the B+. If the B+ measures 12.6 or higher put back in to camper, clean connections. Turn on several lights and stuff in the camper and let them stay on for 30-45 minutes. This will drain some of the charge from the recently charged B+. Measure the B+ voltage after you've drained some current. It will probably read less than 12.6 volts. Plug your camper into shore power and now measure the voltage at the B+. It should read around 13.6 volts which is the charging voltage coming from the converter. If is does not read at least 13.00 volts or higher your converter is either bad or there's an open between the converter and the B+. If you have a B+ disconnect switch in your unit make sure its not activated. If it's open you'll not get converter voltage to the B+ but your shore power will power everything in the camper.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:52 PM   #12
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I think your question was, "Will the controller charge the battery when I am not using it". And, you said, "The battery will charge when connected to the truck". So, if I understand your question, my answer is; the controller will not charge the battery when not in use. You can charge the battery from your tow vehicle, from shore power or from a battery charger or generator properly installed in your RV. Batteries and RV's are a funny relationship and there is not much information easily available. I had battery problems and tried a solar charger. It would charge one of my two batteries. Shore charged fine as did my tow vehicle and the generator. But, I could not keep a charge. Turns out the dealer, who sold me the FW new, put the absolute cheapest batteries he could find. The brand name was not even of a company that existed. I purchased two Interstate deep cell RV/Boat batteries a couple years ago and have not had a problem since. Not cheap, but when I am out we want to have problem fee fun. I run the generator once a month for an hour when we are not on the road and it keeps both batteries charged fine.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:24 PM   #13
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99% the battery is shorted out and its life span is over.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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To actually check battery CONDITION, you must wait for 1-2 hours after removing the charger to allow the voltage to stabilize.

The charge will remain on the surface of the lead plates for some time as it equalizes and the electrons finally settle down deep inside the lead. The measured voltage will continually drop until the electrons find a "home" they are satisfied with.

If you don't want to wait, battery electrolyte specific gravity will tell you a lot quicker.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:08 AM   #15
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You could also take the battery to an auto parts store and get it load tested for free. Over the years, I have had several batterys that metered out as good, only to fail the load test because of a bad cell.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:20 AM   #16
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You could also take the battery to an auto parts store and get it load tested for free. Over the years, I have had several batteries that metered out as good, only to fail the load test because of a bad cell.
Harry,

You are so right. The meter test is not reliable if the cells have not equalized.
Had they had time to equalize, the dead cell would have been apparent.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:13 PM   #17
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Posts 12,13,14,15 & 16.
I believe I covered all that in post 11.

You can't just ASSUME &/or jump around when it comes to electrical troubleshooting. You have to start testing at the beginning and that's usually the B+ and test, test, test until you find the problem. Lets wait to hear from tntrac to determine what he's discovered.

Herk, your charge chart is excellent and i was aware of it but didn't want to look it up. Also remember we are in an era when more and more B+'s are sealed and we can't check the specific gravity. That's why I tend more towards just testing for open-post voltage and the charge rate from the different chargers. That's a little easier to see and measure than SG.

JMTCW
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:12 PM   #18
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Herk, your charge chart is excellent and i was aware of it but didn't want to look it up. Also remember we are in an era when more and more B+'s are sealed and we can't check the specific gravity. That's why I tend more towards just testing for open-post voltage and the charge rate from the different chargers. That's a little easier to see and measure than SG.

JMTCW
TeJay
Too true TJ. I was trying to make put emphasis on the fact that you just can't shut off the charger and put a meter on the battery and get an accurate reading.
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