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Old 07-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
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Battery gone in 36h, where to start?

Note I read this here: The RV Battery Charging Puzzle HandyBob's Blog just not sure where to start at all

Thursday night plugged the trailer into shore power at home. Fri around 5pm disconnected and it showed a full charge (4 lights). Note I might have looked while it was still connected. Looks like it might always show 4 lights when it is charging.

Towed the trailer 100 mi for an two night, no hookup stay. Very light use of lights, pump, ran the furnace maybe 5 minutes in the morning. We were literally out all day and didn't spend much time in the trailer.

Sat 10pm we were out out. Lights dim, pump erratic.

I have a 2012 Surveyor Sport 189 with two 70AH batteries. Where do I start, with a battery monitor?
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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Battery draws
Fridge
Hw heater
Radio even when off
Co2 detector
Furnace is a big draw even when on shortly.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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i had a similar problem started by a dead battery (long story) replaced said dead battery all was good for 2 days, end of 2nd day after traveling all day battery was dead, found that first dead battery took out the fuse from the T.V. no charging when hooked up. check obvious first, plug in to T.V. see if you have power,the fridge will drain battery in about 6-8 hours, if not check fuses in TV and hitch wiring. if you do have good power the battery may have a bad cell. a volt meter hooked to battery and turn on a light if battery shows good voltage with out light then drops to 10 volts or less with light you have a dead cell.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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36 hours is a bit short for a 140 hour battery bank.

In your fridge there is a "defroster" switch in the door. It runs on 12 VDC.
If you forget to turn it off you will be quite lucky even with battery conservation to get 36 hours (it is a heating element). Check that.

Holding Tank heaters are also 12 volts.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:48 AM   #5
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I have a DM2652RBX. Looked at the manual, don't have the switch or could not find it. Sent e-mail to dometic support.

Thanks for the pointers.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skelshy View Post
I have a DM2652RBX. Looked at the manual, don't have the switch or could not find it. Sent e-mail to dometic support.

Thanks for the pointers.
Look at page 7 part number 66

Also look at page 11 of your manual under CLIMATE CONTROL and the CAUTION about battery usage and the climate control switch.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769

Look at page 7 part number 66

Also look at page 11 of your manual under CLIMATE CONTROL and the CAUTION about battery usage and the climate control switch.
Lou,
Could you take a pic of your switch and post? That might help.
Or does your unit not have one?
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
Lou,
Could you take a pic of your switch and post? That might help.
Or does your unit not have one?
Not today, but I will (I do have it).
Once you see it you will be shocked at how you could possibly missed it.
If it were a snake...
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769

Not today, but I will (I do have it).
Once you see it you will be shocked at how you could possibly missed it.
If it were a snake...
Gee where have I heard that before?
For sure didn't come out the mouth of the dw.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:27 AM   #10
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Here's my switch. It's located under top edge of the freezer door opening.
When my refer was new they had failed to properly snap the top trim onto
the freezer door. This trim stuck up 1/8" and it would just rub that
tiny rocker switch when you open/shut the freezer.
After a few openings it would move the switch to a "middle" position where
it was on!
Finally the trim popped all the way off and when I re-applied it I discovered
it snapped further down and solved the problem.

You don't want this switch to be on when on battery power!
WHY in the world they made it 12v I'll never understand.
It should have been a 120v heater and only able to be used when on
AC operation.
Who cares about a little condensation when they're on battery power?

The switch is easy to miss. My refer is mounted low so the switch is
below eye level. I can't see the switch standing upright just
casually looking at the refer.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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To the OP, I wonder if your battery was fully charged when you left.
Plugging in at home for 24 hours should do it but maybe not.

Read our FAQ here
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ead-16392.html

Check your battery with a digital meter. Turn off most everything and
check voltage at the battery.
12.75 volts with no load (nothing on, not charging) is pretty close to 100% full.
12.00 volts with no load is pretty close to 50% charge and you want to
try to always stay above 50% for longest battery life.

IF you want to find your phantom loads you can do that.
My meter has a amps scale.
It can test milliamps but has one scale that's 2 amps I believe.
Start with your highest amp scale and pull fuses at your fuse box
one at a time.
Place the meter leads across the empty fuse holder.
The meter takes the place of the fuse and reads any current that's passing
in that circuit. You can quickly find circuits that are drawing off your
battery this way. Take notes so you get a total.
Some trailers might have the LP detector on it's own inline fuse and not
actually go thru the fuse box.

You should be able to go 2 days easy, if you're careful. You need to
be sure you're starting with a FULL charge and you need to use a meter
to find everything that's drawing off your battery.
Hope you get to the bottom of your problem.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
To the OP, I wonder if your battery was fully charged when you left.
Plugging in at home for 24 hours should do it but maybe not.

Read our FAQ here
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ead-16392.html

Check your battery with a digital meter. Turn off most everything and
check voltage at the battery.
12.75 volts with no load (nothing on, not charging) is pretty close to 100% full.
12.00 volts with no load is pretty close to 50% charge and you want to
try to always stay above 50% for longest battery life.

IF you want to find your phantom loads you can do that.
My meter has a amps scale.
It can test milliamps but has one scale that's 2 amps I believe.
Start with your highest amp scale and pull fuses at your fuse box
one at a time.
Place the meter leads across the empty fuse holder.
The meter takes the place of the fuse and reads any current that's passing
in that circuit. You can quickly find circuits that are drawing off your
battery this way. Take notes so you get a total.
Some trailers might have the LP detector on it's own inline fuse and not
actually go thru the fuse box.

You should be able to go 2 days easy, if you're careful. You need to
be sure you're starting with a FULL charge and you need to use a meter
to find everything that's drawing off your battery.
Hope you get to the bottom of your problem.
Thanks from all of us for the post. Great info.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:48 AM   #13
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Dometic said:

"On the newer models this is a built in feature that you cannot turn off. The switch used to be located on the underside of the refrigerator frame just under the control panel. Based on your product and serial number yours should be built in"

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Old 07-24-2012, 11:55 AM   #14
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You guys beat me to it.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skelshy View Post
Dometic said:
"On the newer models this is a built in feature that you cannot turn off. The switch used to be located on the underside of the refrigerator frame just under the control panel. Based on your product and serial number yours should be built in"
That's ridiculous! Don't they (dometic) understand that some of us
WANT to camp off the grid. How much can that tiny switch cost?
They saved 50 and took away your choice to save battery.

Still suggest the "ammeter" test of all circuits.
See what is your load and you can go from there to try and lower
your battery drain.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:04 PM   #16
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Mine must be built in
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:12 PM   #17
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If my next refer comes with an anti-condensation heater and no switch
I will find a way to disconnect it- unless it's 120v operation only.
Running any kind of heater on battery power is just a bad idea if you're
trying to conserve power while camping off the grid.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
In your fridge there is a "defroster" switch in the door. It runs on 12 VDC.
If you forget to turn it off you will be quite lucky even with battery conservation to get 36 hours (it is a heating element). Check that.

Holding Tank heaters are also 12 volts.
Yes I would check as Herk has said. My 5th wheel has the same fridge defroster and holding tank heaters. Tank heaters is not the same as "Hot water tank heater" as I had to remind my lovely wife more than once while boondocking in the middle of the summer.lol
Its a game of amp/Hrs. With only 140 Amp/Hrs. (at best) Thats only about 3.5 amp of draw over 36 Hrs. Real easy to have 3.5 amp draw and not even notice. Ive heard that even the LEL detector pulls 1 amp. Each and every light bulb is about 1 amp.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:14 PM   #19
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The holding tank heater switch is clearly labeled, but thank you

I converted to LED lights and light usage is not so much a problem as we'll be roughly aware how much we are using. I'm more worried about stuff that's on 24x7.

I'll ask dometic if the switch can be retrofitted or the element disconnected. We're mostly dry camping and I don't see that change a lot. A lot of the campgrounds we go to don't have hookups or if they have, you have to reserve 6/9 months in advance.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skelshy View Post
The holding tank heater switch is clearly labeled, but thank you

I converted to LED lights and light usage is not so much a problem as we'll be roughly aware how much we are using. I'm more worried about stuff that's on 24x7.

I'll ask dometic if the switch can be retrofitted or the element disconnected. We're mostly dry camping and I don't see that change a lot. A lot of the campgrounds we go to don't have hookups or if they have, you have to reserve 6/9 months in advance.
Man, I have to tell you, I would get a second opinion at Dometic. I also find it very hard to believe they would install a 12 volt heater in their fridge.

Gonna do more research on your model fridge as the base model is the same as mine just a different "shred." (RBX)
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