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Old 08-05-2015, 07:45 PM   #1
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Battery not charging on 2015 Salem Forest River 5th wheel

Recently purchased Salem 5th wheel draining battery power. Came to the camper the other day after having no problems for almost a week and everything died. Replaced the battery and less than 24hrs later the same issue. What could be causing the battery to go bad? We traveled from Texas to Florida with no issues but we left camper hooked to the truck as we were just at each site for a night. Now that we are at semi permanent location and unhooked from the truck the battery died. We checked it and replaced it. Didn't even last 24hrs.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:55 PM   #2
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Well, something needs to charge the battery every day. If your not hooked up to the truck, are you plugged in to 120V power?? Running a generator?? You use a lot of 12V power and that battery needs to be charged through the converter in your trailer --- or you need to hook up a battery charger. The converter will get its power from your 120V source.

Sorry if I missed the point altogether here -----
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:14 PM   #3
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Bad converter

We are having the same issue with our Rockwood Signature lite. As long as the camper was hooked up to the truck everything worked fine. Unplugged quickly the battery would go bad. (and we were plugged into electricity) After much troubleshooting we finally called the dealer and the service guy figured it has to be our converter. We are getting it replaced on Monday. Oh, and the TV in the living room decided to die on us as well. It was a rough start to a short vacation.

Also -- bruceatlam is correct, you need to hook up to a battery charger. Or stay hooked up to your vehicle. That is the only way we made it through until we got home. I had no idea of how important the battery was. Your refrigerator will not run without a battery, even plugged into electricity with the gas option turned on. Also, the awnings, slides, etc. won't work.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:25 PM   #4
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Yes we're plugged in. We had checked the converter but no fuses had blown. We have someone coming to look tomorrow. Definitely been interesting but that's the rv life right?
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bruceatlam View Post
Well, something needs to charge the battery every day. If your not hooked up to the truck, are you plugged in to 120V power?? Running a generator?? You use a lot of 12V power and that battery needs to be charged through the converter in your trailer --- or you need to hook up a battery charger. The converter will get its power from your 120V source.

Sorry if I missed the point altogether here -----
Sorry I should have said the battery wasn't charging while plugged into the 120v source
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:41 AM   #6
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Yes we're plugged in. We had checked the converter but no fuses had blown. We have someone coming to look tomorrow. Definitely been interesting but that's the rv life right?
Our fuses aren't blown either. That is why we are replacing the converter. We have the extended warranty on the camper. We'll find out Monday if this isn't the cause but the dealer thought it was. Your issue sounds pretty much like ours.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:28 PM   #7
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I had the exact same problem on my 2012 Mini-lite last year. Only 2 years old. Turns out it was the WFCO inverter/charger. The DC side was completely busted. I replaced it with a Progressive Dynamics drop-in replacement unit and haven't had a bit of trouble since.

On (what I think is) an interesting side note ... I was having trouble with my propane detector going off even when the propane was turned off at the tanks. Haven't had that happen once since swapping inverters. Had to have been low voltage setting it off because the battery wasn't getting re-charged.

I suggest you test your inverter/charger ... especially the DC output. I'll bet a dollar to a donut that it isn't working.


If you do a little searching here you'll find a lot of people that have had trouble with WFCO units. I don't understand with Forest River keeps using them.


...................well, that's not true .... I think I know exactly why they use them and it has nothing to do with quality or customer satisfaction.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:33 PM   #8
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Did you all check you reverse polarity fuses?
They are separate from all the rest.

TURBS
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:06 PM   #9
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Does anyone else use a small solar panel to keep their batteries topped while in 'storage'. I don't recall the output, but it's about one square foot. I also put in a battery disconnect switch ahead of the converter. I turn the switch off before I lock up, so far no problem.
Paul
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:31 PM   #10
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Sorry I should have said the battery wasn't charging while plugged into the 120v source
Do you have a volt meter? If so check to see what the voltage is at the battery while you are hooked to shorepower. It should be around 13.6 - 13.7 volts. If not check the wires hooked up to the battery and look for an inline fuse. There should be a fuse around 12 to 18 inches from the battery terminals on the positive cable. It is rare but sometimes it blows and will prevent the converter from charging the battery. A lot of people do not even know that fuse exists.

Jim
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:44 AM   #11
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It would be great if there were an online resource for converter comparison, mainly the size, so we'd know which models fit each others cut out sizes ect.
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:55 PM   #12
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Our fuses aren't blown either. That is why we are replacing the converter. We have the extended warranty on the camper. We'll find out Monday if this isn't the cause but the dealer thought it was. Your issue sounds pretty much like ours.
Update to our electrical issues. It was our converter. The mechanic mentioned that it wasn't even grounded. That had to have come from the factory in that condition. Anyway, they replaced the converter, turned the new one around where we can now reach the fuses in case we need to access them. Also, they attached a grounding strap to where it should have been in the first place.
Took my husband 3 hrs round trip to get to the dealer. Took the dealer 20 minutes to fix.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:30 AM   #13
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Update to our electrical issues. It was our converter. The mechanic mentioned that it wasn't even grounded. That had to have come from the factory in that condition. Anyway, they replaced the converter, turned the new one around where we can now reach the fuses in case we need to access them. Also, they attached a grounding strap to where it should have been in the first place.
Took my husband 3 hrs round trip to get to the dealer. Took the dealer 20 minutes to fix.
I don't think the ground strap is a big deal because I am pretty sure the main power supply was grounded, and that is what the converter is plugged in to. Don't get me wrong, it is a good idea to do it though but doubt if that is what caused the converter to go bad.

I am glad you got the problem corrected. Do you have the battery you changed out for a new one? If so I would put it back and have two batteries on the trailer.

Jim
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:12 PM   #14
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I don't think the ground strap is a big deal because I am pretty sure the main power supply was grounded, and that is what the converter is plugged in to. Don't get me wrong, it is a good idea to do it though but doubt if that is what caused the converter to go bad.

I am glad you got the problem corrected. Do you have the battery you changed out for a new one? If so I would put it back and have two batteries on the trailer.

Jim
I should have said it was missing the ground strap and wasn't grounded. When we first started looking for the problem the electrician did find a bad ground in the fuse panel. The battery is fine -- it just wasn't being kept charged due to the converter not working. Hopefully this is the end of our electrical issues.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:34 AM   #15
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I should have said it was missing the ground strap and wasn't grounded. When we first started looking for the problem the electrician did find a bad ground in the fuse panel. The battery is fine -- it just wasn't being kept charged due to the converter not working. Hopefully this is the end of our electrical issues.
Ah, now that makes a huge difference! That is one of the things I really like about my surge protector. It tells me if there is no ground on the pole, so I know when my trailer has lost the ground connection. Many do not realize how important that stupid little wire is. Sounds like you should be OK now.

The trailer dealer I normally deal with doesn't deal with new trailers. A lot of what he sells are on consignment. He goes over EVERYTHING with a fine tooth comb and guarantees everything to work when I pull it off his lot. Once I had a problem I found two months later and he took care of it for me. That is hard to beat.

If you buy from a private individual you need to be very carefull and know what to look for. Did you put the "old" battery back in? Might as well and have two hooked up to the trailer. It can't hurt unless you can't handle the extra 60 pounds of weight.

Jim
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:25 AM   #16
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Ah, now that makes a huge difference! That is one of the things I really like about my surge protector. It tells me if there is no ground on the pole, so I know when my trailer has lost the ground connection. Many do not realize how important that stupid little wire is. Sounds like you should be OK now.

The trailer dealer I normally deal with doesn't deal with new trailers. A lot of what he sells are on consignment. He goes over EVERYTHING with a fine tooth comb and guarantees everything to work when I pull it off his lot. Once I had a problem I found two months later and he took care of it for me. That is hard to beat.

If you buy from a private individual you need to be very carefull and know what to look for. Did you put the "old" battery back in? Might as well and have two hooked up to the trailer. It can't hurt unless you can't handle the extra 60 pounds of weight.

Jim
We've had our 5th for almost 2 years purchased from a dealer new. We also have the surge protector and use it. The campground we were at did have some funky wiring and perhaps that is what did it. Don't know and probably will never know for certain. Did I mention that our tv which was working the weekend before (at our seasonal spot) died at the temporary site as well? It was not a fun start to weekend but hopefully that is all behind us. Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:36 AM   #17
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We've had our 5th for almost 2 years purchased from a dealer new. We also have the surge protector and use it. The campground we were at did have some funky wiring and perhaps that is what did it. Don't know and probably will never know for certain. Did I mention that our tv which was working the weekend before (at our seasonal spot) died at the temporary site as well? It was not a fun start to weekend but hopefully that is all behind us. Thanks for your input.
I think I would be tempted to go home and try again next weekend, LOL!

Good luck and enjoy!

Jim
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