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Old 04-18-2016, 09:34 PM   #1
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Battery draining when not being used

I have recently purchased a 263RL Forest River Heritage Glen travel trailer. The tt has been sitting in my RV pad and after a week the batteries were completely dead. I plugged it in and the batteries charged, I then unplugged. Three days later I am down to 1/3 battery life. Any idea where I might begin to trouble shoot?
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:48 PM   #2
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1. With an ammeter in series with either battery lead, turn off or remove the fuse from one circuit at a time to see which circuits are creating a draw.

2. Check the loads connected to any circuit that has a draw. Example: Sometimes my radio comes on by itself and kills the battery quickly.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:14 PM   #3
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The parasitic power drains will empty batteries in just a few days IF you don't keep it plugged into shore power or you don't use a battery disconnect switch.
Since you appear to not have used either, you may have damaged the batteries by letting them completely drain.
You should recharge them completely and then test each cell with a hydrometer.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:37 PM   #4
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You need to install a battery disconnect or install a battery tender, or leave the trailer plugged in 24/7. Even a 1 amp parasitic draw (LP detector, CO detector, Sound System standby etc) will draw down a battery by 24 AH every day. So after 4-5 days one single deep cycle (100-120 AH) battery will be dead.
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:20 PM   #5
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Better running low

I have a battery disconnect and have shut that off. I have gone to tieback of the coach and manually shut off both house batteries and chassis batteries. My batteries still go empty after about 3 days? Checked fluid levels in batteries and seem fine. Any thoughts
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:47 PM   #6
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Battery draining when not being used

Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmnc View Post
I have a battery disconnect and have shut that off. I have gone to tieback of the coach and manually shut off both house batteries and chassis batteries. My batteries still go empty after about 3 days? Checked fluid levels in batteries and seem fine. Any thoughts


You really should start your own thread so as not to confuse people about what unit we are talking about.
When people start reply to two different people things get disorganized.

Sounds like you have a motorhome and the op has a travel trailer, two totally different animals.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:14 PM   #7
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If you left them on the charger for at least 24 hours...and you have the battery cut off switch on...you should be seeing 13.2V or MORE measuring at the battery posts with a voltmeter with the charger still on. If NOT...flip the battery cut off switch in the other direction and check votage again.
If neither way shows over 13.2V AT THE TERMINALS with the charger on...then you have a charger problem which could be as simple as changing a fuse in your converter.
If you ARE getting 13.2 and going flat quickly...chances are you have old or damaged batteries. The way to confirm this is ,to fully charge the batteries overnight....then remove the BLACK wire from the battery post for 24 HOURS. Then check voltage. If the battereis are like new they will read 12.6/7 at the posts. If they have some loss of capacity...you'll get a reading in the 12.3-12.5 range. Anything less than this is severe damage...and you should get after your dealer to replace them...(I'd do it for anything less than 12.6 on a new coach. )

Now if the battery checks out...and thecharger is working...the only reason you are not holding a charge MUST be a parasitic or phantom load. Usually these are small loads that take several weeks to run down a good battery...so I am skeptical it is this. Nevertheless if you get to this stage...BUY a CLAMP ON AC/DC multimeter on Amazon for about 50 bucks...and clamp on the red battery wire which will show you how many amps of current are being drawn with your battery disconnect switch on.
A single amp draw can deplete a battery completely in a few days, even a 1/2 an amp is a lot. Once you know the draw...have someone pull and replace all your 12V fuses one at a time until you see the phantom load change.
Once you have the source of the drain located, you can simply disconnect it or keep that fuse pulled when you are away from your unit.
Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:17 PM   #8
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Unless you turn absolutely everything off it will drain. Smoke alarms and CO sensors are always on. You could have a battery disconnect switch somewhere. Took me a bit to find ours but that will save your battery.

I had what you describe happen when I had the switch turned off. I had a battery with a bad cell.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:25 PM   #9
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Is the fridge running on the batteries? If so look up my thread.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind Drinker View Post
I have recently purchased a 263RL Forest River Heritage Glen travel trailer. The tt has been sitting in my RV pad and after a week the batteries were completely dead. I plugged it in and the batteries charged, I then unplugged. Three days later I am down to 1/3 battery life. Any idea where I might begin to trouble shoot?
I had the same problem with my TT. I was told that it could even be the preset buttons on the Radio/DVD system. I bought a battery disconnect switch that I installed on my battery terminal. Here's a link:

Auto Battery Link Terminal Quick Cut Off Disconnect Master Kill Shut Switch | eBay

It works great! Battery now lasts for months.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:37 PM   #11
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We have a disconnect switch on the coach and I also shut off all batteries manually ?
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:26 AM   #12
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Maybe your batteries are not good ???
I had a truck battery go dead one winter in the garage,,,
I had forgot to turn Radar Detector off,,,
that I had wired into the fuse box !!!
It don't take much in cold weather !!!
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmnc View Post
We have a disconnect switch on the coach and I also shut off all batteries manually ?
You can get all the OPINIONS you want on the internet, but if you really want to solve your problem you need FACTS. Buy a basic multimeter for under $20 and find out what is really going on. This is a decent one:
Robot Check

Once you know how many amps are going out of the battery, you can go in the right direction for troubleshooting.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
You can get all the OPINIONS you want on the internet, but if you really want to solve your problem you need FACTS. Buy a basic multimeter for under $20 and find out what is really going on. This is a decent one:

Robot Check



Once you know how many amps are going out of the battery, you can go in the right direction for troubleshooting.


You'll need to add an amp clamp to that unit to find amps.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:17 AM   #15
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You'll need to add an amp clamp to that unit to find amps.
Does not look to come with probes either !!!
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:49 AM   #16
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This one is serviceable for all RV needs and the clamp makes it easy to see amps being drawn on any wire.
Amazon.com: Uni-T UT204 Auto-Ranging AC DC Ture RMS Auto/Manual Range Digital Handheld Clamp Meter Multimeter AC DC Test Tool.: Home Improvement

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Old 04-21-2016, 08:04 AM   #17
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The factory installed main battery disconnect does not shut off power to all things. This is true on FR products as well as several SOB's. The CO2 detector, level-up, and another parasitic item or two stay directly connected to the battery. Several of us have installed our own battery disconnect directly to either + or - cables (depending on your personal philosophy) right off the battery(s) and solved the issue of a battery going flat in a week or less while in storage.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:08 PM   #18
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I sort of have the same issue but the suggestion for a battery shut off will not work. We have a battery shut off installed but we cannot use it in this instance.

We are camping 3 wkends at the same campground but we must be unplugged to be permitted to stay on the site during the week. With my previous camper, also a FR product, we turned the refrigerator to gas, left on a Sunday, came back on Friday and everything was fine. I tried that last wk and came back to spoiled food and warm a refrigerator. I walked thru the camper twice to make sure nothing was left on. What could be happening? I read the thread about the fridge heater switch, but we do not have such a switch on the fridge.
Any help greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:05 PM   #19
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I sort of have the same issue but the suggestion for a battery shut off will not work. We have a battery shut off installed but we cannot use it in this instance.

We are camping 3 wkends at the same campground but we must be unplugged to be permitted to stay on the site during the week. With my previous camper, also a FR product, we turned the refrigerator to gas, left on a Sunday, came back on Friday and everything was fine. I tried that last wk and came back to spoiled food and warm a refrigerator. I walked thru the camper twice to make sure nothing was left on. What could be happening? I read the thread about the fridge heater switch, but we do not have such a switch on the fridge.
Any help greatly appreciated.
Does it get cool on GAS when you are plugged in and things are turned on in the coach? Or does it not work on gas no matter what your plug in situation is? If it doesn't work on gas no matter what...then the first place to check would be that the propane detector is operating correctly and has a green light...that is an automatic circuit that cuts off the gas tank solenoid switch if it is not working properly.
If you do have it working on gas when plugged in ...but it fails when the batteries are disconnected...it could be a refrigerator 12v circuit....check your manual or provide the make/model here so someone can check if such a circuit exists.
Alternatively, it could be that the propane detector is wired into the cutoff switch rather than direct to the battery terminal...moving the wire so the switch doesn't affect it would solve the problem.

The other possibility is that your fridge DOES work on both power & no power (battery) ....but that your battery is failing and has lost most capacity so it starts off the week fine...but the drain of the propane detector eventually drains the battery and cuts off the gas solenoid leaving your food warm and spoiled by the time you return. Solution is a new battery with enough capacity to stand up to DOUBLE your parasitic drains on it while you are away. To figure out those drains you need an amp meter (DC clamp meter) after you've be plugged in for at least a day or two. Unplug...turn off everything with the kill switch...and clamp the red battery wire and you'll be reading the parasitic amp drain while you are away from the coach. To keep things simple...lets assume you find a 1/2 amp current still running.

This means your batteries are losing 1/2 amp per HOUR...1 amp hour every 2 hours and therefore 12 amphours per DAY. If you go away for a week...that is 7x12 or 64 amp hours...3 weeks 250 amp hours or so.
So you must have a battery bank of TWICE that or 500 amp hours to support your use while away from the trailer for 3 weeks.

Now it is much more likely that you will have a much smaller amp drain and need much less battery power...but the math work is the same.
If you show a 1/10 amp draw then you use 1 amp every 10 hours...and 2.4 amp hours each day etc. etc. ....just make sure the rated deep cycle amp hours of your NEW coach battery is at least double amps you use on your absences in storage time.

Good luck!
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:55 PM   #20
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@camaraderie

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Yes, the fridge does work on gas with electricity and without.
This past wkend there was an issue with the electric at the campground and we were with out power for 6 hrs. Fridge worked fine. Last wk the fridge must have stayed on at least for a few days, because some of the items in the freezer were still cold.

I will tell my hubby to bring along an amp meter and see if we can find a drain on the battery. The battery should be fine as it was new, July 2015 and it was stored properly off the camper inside during the winter.

Could carbon monoxide detector be the problem? In our old camper the radio stayed on and we just pulled the fuse on that before we left. All I left in the fridge this past wkend was soda. So we shall see if we have cold or warm soda on Friday.(so nothing will spoil) I must make a point to check the battery power first thing, if the fridge is not on.

New camper - new problem.
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