Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-11-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
2011 Rockwood TT 2604 Battery Charging problems

We love our new trailer with one exception of losing power in the middle of the night.

We like to go to state forest camp grounds, which don't have power, water nor sewer hook ups, basically dry camping. We do cheat and have a generator so we are not going all the way. Anyway, we just came back from a trip in which our battery would not last longer than 4 hours after being charged for an hour by our generator. The ONLY thing on during this time was the refrigerator, nothing was plugged into any of the 12-volt plugs, the water pump was off and no lights were on.

Upon our return home, I had the battery checked at the local auto parts store - battery tested ok. I am in the process of tracking down the converter manufacturer - Cheng WF-8955PEC to see what the specs are on their converter and how the determine if this is the problem.

I'm looking for any other suggestions.

Thank you
doubledob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
Dismember
 
TimeFurnace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Orcutt, California
Posts: 32
We are almost exclusively state beach and national forest campers who prefer the no hook-up lifestyle. I am not sure what kind of charging rate you are getting while on the genny. I am also not sure about what your parasitic draw is. My parasitic load is 1.0A when the fridge is running. If your charge rate was only about 10A, then you would have lost about half of what you put in just from the parasitic load alone in 4 hours. It might not be that anything is "wrong".

If you are planning on being a consistent dry docker, I would recommend getting a battery monitor like a Xantrex LinkLite or the Trimetric.

(You might also think about solar unless you are exclusively in heavily forested areas. I just did a 10-night trip without hookups and didn't even bother bringing my generator. Despite heavily shaded spots for 6 of the days, thick overcast conditions for 3 other days, we never got under about 65% SOC on battery.)
__________________
2012 Wildwood 24TBSS
2x80W Solar Panels, Morningstar MPPT Controller, Xantrex LinkLite Battery Monitor, Xantrex ProWatt 2000 Inverter

2010 Toyota Tundra DoubleCab 5.7L 4X4
TimeFurnace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
TimeFurnance - Thank you for your reply. Have you used your unit without the solar panels and if so, about how long did your battery last. I understand this may not be a "problem" but I would like to ensure I know what the unit is spec'ed out to run. It does not seem "normal" or within spec. to have it only last for 4 or five hours with very low load.

Do you have any information or directions on measuring the parasitic load?

Thank you
doubledob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Rugged Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledob View Post
TimeFurnance - Thank you for your reply. Have you used your unit without the solar panels and if so, about how long did your battery last. I understand this may not be a "problem" but I would like to ensure I know what the unit is spec'ed out to run. It does not seem "normal" or within spec. to have it only last for 4 or five hours with very low load.

Do you have any information or directions on measuring the parasitic load?

Thank you


I experienced the same quick drain this weekend. Or at least I thought it was quick. My generator running for 2 hours only brought the charge up to 2/3 with only the fridge running.
__________________
Terry/Bernadette
Lily the Yorkie
2019 Dodge Ram Sport 1500
2019 FR Vibe 28RL
Rugged Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 08:23 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Iron River, MI
Posts: 386
How many amps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledob View Post
We love our new trailer with one exception of losing power in the middle of the night.

We like to go to state forest camp grounds, which don't have power, water nor sewer hook ups, basically dry camping. We do cheat and have a generator so we are not going all the way. Anyway, we just came back from a trip in which our battery would not last longer than 4 hours after being charged for an hour by our generator. The ONLY thing on during this time was the refrigerator, nothing was plugged into any of the 12-volt plugs, the water pump was off and no lights were on.

Upon our return home, I had the battery checked at the local auto parts store - battery tested ok. I am in the process of tracking down the converter manufacturer - Cheng WF-8955PEC to see what the specs are on their converter and how the determine if this is the problem.

I'm looking for any other suggestions.

Thank you
The larger size (amperage) battery you have the longer you'll be able to power your needs. What amperage is your battery? My coach came with a 60 Amp battery and no matter how frugal I was with it's use, I would find it almost dead in the morning.

If you have a volt meter you can check the converters voltage output.
__________________
"If everything seems to be going well, look around, you've obviously overlooked something."
Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 08:44 PM   #6
Dismember
 
TimeFurnace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Orcutt, California
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledob View Post
TimeFurnance - Thank you for your reply. Have you used your unit without the solar panels and if so, about how long did your battery last. I understand this may not be a "problem" but I would like to ensure I know what the unit is spec'ed out to run. It does not seem "normal" or within spec. to have it only last for 4 or five hours with very low load.

Do you have any information or directions on measuring the parasitic load?

Thank you
I used my existing trailer for maybe one or two nights before getting around to installing the battery monitor/solar panels/etc. (I just upgraded from a previous trailer so I moved my gear over). I don't have enough data to pass anything meaningful on in that regard.

My rig is equipped with two 6-volt batteries so I have 232 AH of capacity but only consider 93 AH as usable. I don't want to deplete batteries below 60% SOC in order to keep them healthy. What is your battery configuration? If you have a single 12V battery, that isn't much capacity for a dry-camper.

I rely upon a battery monitor to measure parasitic loads. Having voltage, current, and capacity data for your battery is very convenient.

Your battery should definitely last more than 4 hours before being depleted. I was suggesting in previous post that an hour on the genny may not give you as much charging as you thought. What were you doing to determine that it was time to start the genny? How did you determine that it was time to stop the genny?
__________________
2012 Wildwood 24TBSS
2x80W Solar Panels, Morningstar MPPT Controller, Xantrex LinkLite Battery Monitor, Xantrex ProWatt 2000 Inverter

2010 Toyota Tundra DoubleCab 5.7L 4X4
TimeFurnace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 07:10 AM   #7
Site Team
 
KyDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 9,106
You haven't pulled out your emergency brake safety cable plug have you??
That would put your brakes on full and kill your battery very fast.

Here is a thought. When charging with a generator be SURE the fridge is set to
LP and NOT automatic.
A fridge on automatic will switch over to 120v ac as soon as it sees the trailer plugged
into a generator. This is a pretty big load. Set it for LP instead.
Since you're dry camping it's gonna be on LP the rest of the time anyway.
Also are you SURE your water heater electric element is NOT on???
This won't drain your battery but it will sure as heck suck the juice out of your gennny
when it's running.

Finally, when I'm dry camping and want to get a quick charge I use a stand alone
25 amp charger that's plugged into the genny and clipped to the batteries.
IF I'm in a real big hurry I've been known to plug in the trailer AND use the extra
charger at the same time.
Yeah, I'm reckless but it works and I get about 5 extra amps into the batteries
this way.

If you have a decent multi meter with a good amp scale you can find your parasitic
drain by pulling one fuse at a time and then put the meter test prods across the
fuse holder. The meter takes the place of the fuse and shows the real time amps
going thru that device.
Be careful if you do this on a device with a big load it can damage your multi meter.
If you want to be extra careful with your meter-- if it has say a 2 amp scale.
Clip a 2 amp fuse to the meter and then test the circuits as above with
the 2 amp in line with one of the test prods. That way if you get on a circuit
with too much amps it won't fry the internal fuse in your meter- hopefully.

We've dry camped with 2 plain jane 12v batteries for a week and used the TV
and DVD player some and pumped nearly a full tank of water and minimal lights
and maxxair fan on low each night and STILL had decent charge when we were done.

You have a problem, you'll just have to be a bit of a detective and find it!

Check for any light that you're forgetting is on like the outside "porch" light
or the one up by the hitch.

Good Luck!!
__________________
Peace!
Dan & Rita D
2017 Nissan Titan 5.6L King cab 4wd
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41, 2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-44, 2017-63, 2018-75, 2019-32, 2020-41
KyDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 07:28 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Thank you for the replies.

* We only have the standard 12 V. battery that came with the trailer.
* We were using "gas only" for the refrig. (great thought)
* We also ensure nothing else was plugged in
* We have always run our hot water heater on gas

We will try the fuse idea, thank you

So it sounds like we need to start doing some testing on what the refrig. may be drawing and the converter/charger putting back in.

We would also like to know what Forest River designed the battery and charging system for - what "should" we expect the battery draw to be when running the refrig. and 2 lights for X hours? Does anyone have an inside connection within Forest River (engineering maybe?) to better understand this. I'm looking for this information so I can help the dealer understand this is not a normal "function".

Thank you
doubledob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: West Bend, WI
Posts: 166
Any chance you have tank heaters? That would do it.
__________________
03 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 5.3 V8, 3.73
06 Rockwood Roo 23SS
Equalizer Hitch
dlhoppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 09:16 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 2,381
Hate to disagree, but the only design part of the problem that Forrest River has any input to is, what size converter to put in the trailer. All new trailers come without battery, and battery box. The dealer may have put a new battery in, or maybe not, their option.

Also what size generator where you using, and did you plug the camper in to the genny, or did you use a 12 volt charging circuit hooked to the battery? If using the 12 volt charge, what amperage rating is it, based on generator specs?

This statement, from original post, "our battery would not last longer than 4 hours after being charged for an hour by our generator."

1 hour generator time is not much. What are your expectations? Most people have to run their generators 4 to 6 hours per day to get through the night. That is while taking showers and washing dishes while the genny is running. Also the water heater needs a lot or current to light, and stay alive.
__________________
LadyWindrider
2012 Ford F250 ext. Cab 4x4
2002 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
2008 Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic

2008 Work and Play 18LT
LadyWindrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2011, 06:38 AM   #11
Site Team
 
KyDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 9,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by windrider View Post
Also what size generator where you using, and did you plug the camper in to the genny, or did you use a 12 volt charging circuit hooked to the battery? If using the 12 volt charge, what amperage rating is it, based on generator specs?
REAL GOOD POINT.
Most generators have a battery charge output but it's minimal at best.
Much better to use a stand alone charger (25 amp automatic) if you're in a hurry or plug in
the trailer if you're not.
KyDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2011, 08:27 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Windrider,

I understand about who installed the battery, but Forest River engineering has to provide the converter/charger supplier with specific specifications which they design to. So in order the create those specifications for the converter/charger, Forest River must make some assumptions (most likely very little assumption and more likely very specific information about the output current that is provided by converter/charger).

I'm asking the question because I would like to know if there is a "problem" or not. As you have indicated, maybe there is not a "problem" but more an education on my part of what components are on (water heater being one that you listed and indeed was on the entire time) and using the power.

My objective in this line of questioning and learning - Do I have a technical problem with the TT as well as an education process - which I'm getting and appreciate everyone's input or is their no technical problem with the TT and it is all education.

Please continue to provide idea's and suggestions
doubledob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2011, 10:03 PM   #13
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,814
Out of the box thought.

Have you checked the little black rocker switch for the climate control (defroster) switch in the freezer compartment?

It is a 12 VDC heating element and the circuit runs constantly when on.
It will kill even a LARGE capacity 12VDC battery in less than 24 hours.

It must be "OFF" when boondocking.
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2011, 06:51 AM   #14
Site Team
 
KyDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 9,106
Some have posted here that the little heater between freezer and fresh food
door is 120v AC only but I'm not sure about that. It might be in the manual.
I keep mine off all the time just to be sure.
OTOH if it is DC that is a big item that needs to be off any time you're
on battery power.

Also this is a good one to check--
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlhoppe View Post
Any chance you have tank heaters? That would do it.
__________________
Peace!
Dan & Rita D
2017 Nissan Titan 5.6L King cab 4wd
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41, 2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-44, 2017-63, 2018-75, 2019-32, 2020-41
KyDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2011, 07:04 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Rugged Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,106
Verrrry interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Out of the box thought.

Have you checked the little black rocker switch for the climate control (defroster) switch in the freezer compartment?

It is a 12 VDC heating element and the circuit runs constantly when on.
It will kill even a LARGE capacity 12VDC battery in less than 24 hours.

It must be "OFF" when boondocking.


__________________
Terry/Bernadette
Lily the Yorkie
2019 Dodge Ram Sport 1500
2019 FR Vibe 28RL
Rugged Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2011, 09:38 AM   #16
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
Some have posted here that the little heater between freezer and fresh food
door is 120v AC only but I'm not sure about that. It might be in the manual.
I keep mine off all the time just to be sure.
OTOH if it is DC that is a big item that needs to be off any time you're
on battery power.

Also this is a good one to check--
I posted the manual. The Dometic fridges are 12VDC.
See page 11 Caution

Also as Dan said 12vdc tank heaters have huge DC draws.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DM 2652operation.pdf (193.7 KB, 21 views)
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2011, 10:33 AM   #17
Site Team
 
KyDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 9,106
Lou said-- I posted the manual. The Dometic fridges (condensation heater
between the freezer door and fresh food door)are 12VDC.
See page 11 Caution

Dan said-- WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!?!
Sheesh, that condensation heater should be AC only. If I'm on battery
power the least of my worries is a few drops of moisture between the doors.

This is another switch to remember to check when on generator or battery
power.
KyDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
2604, battery, converter, rockwood, tech support

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:15 AM.