Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-18-2020, 03:12 PM   #1
Befuddled wanderer
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Borculo MI
Posts: 58
Can a weak battery cause problems while on shore power?

I purchased a new Rockwood fifth wheel last summer and (insert long story about my stupidity here) I managed to drain the battery all the way down. After plugging the RV back in everything appeared to return to normal, but I know that completely draining a battery like that will cause some amount of permanent damage. Note that since that time, the RV has always been plugged into shore power unless being towed somewhere.

Fast forward to this year and we set up our camper on a seasonal site. Most things appear to be working OK, but the furnace doesn't want to work properly. It tries to fire up, but after the burner ignites and burns for a few seconds, it shuts back off again. It repeats this three times and then gives up completely. I'm wondering if it's possible that a weakened/damaged battery would keep the 12V system from getting full voltage even though the inverter is working properly?

I don't have a multimeter with me right now, but plan to bring one along next weekend. I'm hoping someone may have some ideas of something for me to look at before I try to get the dealer to do some warranty work (I'd rather not be without my RV for half the summer...).

There is a secondary bit of information: Our Rockwood came with a factory installed WiFi Ranger Sky 4 (wi-fi signal booster). I have been trying to use it this weekend, but has been kinda' flaky. I emailed tech support and they suggested verifying that the unit is getting the proper voltage. To me, that's another clue that my 12V system may not be quite right, but because I don't have a meter handy, it's hard for me to verify.

Thanks for any thoughts you may have!
__________________

__________________


2020 Rockwood Ultra Light 2891 BH
1996 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 8.0L V10

"Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice"
cc102bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 03:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
cboss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 458
Are you hooked to shore power at the site? If not it may be the battery.
If you are hooked to shore power the heater has a "sail switch" that makes sure the fan has enough RPM to safely use the heater. Sometimes these switches get stuck due to gunk, bugs, dust, etc. slowing the RPMs down.
Tons of posts about this, try a "search".
__________________

__________________
Craig & Cath
2018 2902WS Rockwood Ultra Lite
2017 Ford F250 Lariat, 6.2 gas
Equalizer Hitch w/ 4-Point Sway Control

Days camped since 2016(retirement): 837
cboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 03:58 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 28
I'm wondering if your battery is shorted? Try unhooking it and turning the heater on. Most auto parts stores will load test the battery
Biggerfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 06:53 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta
Posts: 1,251
Turn on the stove to purge the propane lines. Once that is done then keep trying the furnace.

I had to do a reset on my water heater 8 times to get burner to stay operating. That was even after purging the lines via the stove.
__________________

2007 Surveyor SV230
- 200 Watts Solar/MPPT Controller - 230 AH Battery Bank - 600 watt PSW Inverter - (2) 2000 watt Inverter Generators - LED Lighting
2009 F150 - 5.4 Litre - Tow Package
Boon Docking 99% of the time.
boondocking is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 07:10 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 589
In my experience, yes, a weak battery can cause problems. Test with your multimeter. Be sure to disconnect the battery first. I've used jumper cables to the truck (again, with disconnected camper battery first) to see if thing work better with a different battery. Hope that helps.
Skip12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 07:19 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Brother Les's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: BoCoMo
Posts: 2,445
A bad/low/shorted out battery can not and will not allow the furnace to fire up. The converter is just a trickle charger and does not have enough sustaining voltage to run the blowers and ignite the furnace, and your battery may not ever fully charge again if bad. Pull the battery and have it fully charged on a battery charger ( not camper 'convertor' ) and then have it 'load tested'. If battery has a bad cell or does not hold a good charge, replace it.


Also, you may just have air in the propane lines that need to be purged out and this may take a few tries.
__________________
Brother Les

2013 Forest River Salem Hemisphere SBT312QBUD

2001 CrewCab F-250 7.3 PowerStroke Diesel
SuperChip, BTS transmission, 6.0 Trans Cooler
Brother Les is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 07:51 PM   #7
Befuddled wanderer
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Borculo MI
Posts: 58
Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

I have purged the propane lines. The feed to the furnace is before the stove and outside grill connections and I used both of those items just fine. I even went so far as to loosen the gas line connection on the furnace to verify that propane was getting that far (ooh! that smell!).

I'm really hoping to not have to take the furnace out to check sensors and what-not. It took me a half hour just to disassemble things far enough to reach the propane fitting. Getting things torn apart far enough to get the furnace out would require significantly more time. Seeing as how the furnace is less than a year old, I'd hate to think sensors are going bad already.

I was hoping to do more this weekend and was going to try and find someone in the park with a multi-meter I could borrow, but the weather forecast was horrible so the park cleared out. My wife and I stuck it out, but I'm not sure why. We sat through 30+ continuous hours of rain and wind. YUCK! I left at 5 PM today and it was still raining. My wife is sticking it out until tomorrow.

It will be easy enough to take out the battery and do some testing on that. Not that I want to spend money on a new battery, but if that fixes the problem I can just call it a "being stupid" penalty. It would sure beat having to remove the furnace!
__________________


2020 Rockwood Ultra Light 2891 BH
1996 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 8.0L V10

"Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice"
cc102bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 07:56 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta
Posts: 1,251
Hopefully it is just the battery.
Wish you good luck.
__________________

2007 Surveyor SV230
- 200 Watts Solar/MPPT Controller - 230 AH Battery Bank - 600 watt PSW Inverter - (2) 2000 watt Inverter Generators - LED Lighting
2009 F150 - 5.4 Litre - Tow Package
Boon Docking 99% of the time.
boondocking is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 07:58 PM   #9
Befuddled wanderer
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Borculo MI
Posts: 58
Oooh.. I have a "maybe related" question: Our trailer has 50 amp service and the lot we are on has 50 amp service, so things looked good upon arrival. However, when I plugged in my power cord and turned on the breaker, initially I could only get indicator to light up on the power cord (apparently the cord is built with LED indicators when power is detected on each leg). I ended up bending the prongs on the cord a bit until I got both LED indicators to light up. Would it be possible to have one leg of the 50 amp circuit be "weak" because of a "just barely" connection in the outlet? And would that possible cause issues feeding the inverter/12V system?
__________________


2020 Rockwood Ultra Light 2891 BH
1996 Dodge Ram 3500 dually 8.0L V10

"Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice"
cc102bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 08:01 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother Les View Post
A bad/low/shorted out battery can not and will not allow the furnace to fire up. The converter is just a trickle charger and does not have enough sustaining voltage to run the blowers and ignite the furnace, and your battery may not ever fully charge again if bad. .
Doesn't the typical WFCO converter the UltraLites comes with put out something like 55 Amps?
https://wfcoelectronics.com/product/wf-8955-55-amp/
Even if its not that high its way more than a trickle charger. I'm pretty certain I've read posts of people having no battery and being able to run their trailer.

A dead/weak battery may be the OP's problem. I don't know if it could swamp the converter trying to draw all 55 amps.

Jim M.
__________________
2020 Flagstaff Super Lite 26RBWS
Former: 2017 Rockwood MiniLite 2104S
2015 Silverado 2500HD 6.0L Gas
jimmarako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 08:40 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Oaklevel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 5,877
One other thing when towing you need the battery to have charge. If the trailer ever breaks away from the tow vehicle you need the battery to operate the brakes stop the trailer.


__________________

2005 Dodge 3500 Cummins
2017 Wildwood Lodge 4092 BFL
1966 Mustang GT
1986 Mustang SVO
Lillie Spoiled Rotten Boxer Mix
Oaklevel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 08:53 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Brother Les's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: BoCoMo
Posts: 2,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
Doesn't the typical WFCO converter the UltraLites comes with put out something like 55 Amps?
https://wfcoelectronics.com/product/wf-8955-55-amp/
Even if its not that high its way more than a trickle charger. I'm pretty certain I've read posts of people having no battery and being able to run their trailer.

A dead/weak battery may be the OP's problem. I don't know if it could swamp the converter trying to draw all 55 amps.

Jim M.



The converter will run the 12v lights and most 12v systems without a battery, on the converters output alone. The more 12v demand, the dimmer the lights....The furnace must have a good battery to fire up. The converter output will rise higher when more lights are on and reduce when less 12v power is needed (if there is a good battery). The surge of needed power to start the furnance is not enough from just the converter and must have a battery for the initial power demand.
__________________
Brother Les

2013 Forest River Salem Hemisphere SBT312QBUD

2001 CrewCab F-250 7.3 PowerStroke Diesel
SuperChip, BTS transmission, 6.0 Trans Cooler
Brother Les is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2020, 09:11 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 7,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother Les View Post
The converter will run the 12v lights and most 12v systems without a battery, on the converters output alone. The more 12v demand, the dimmer the lights....The furnace must have a good battery to fire up. The converter output will rise higher when more lights are on and reduce when less 12v power is needed (if there is a good battery). The surge of needed power to start the furnance is not enough from just the converter and must have a battery for the initial power demand.
Lights alone don't draw much power at all. I can turn on all the lights in my TT, run the furnace, TV, DVD player, both exhaust fans, refrigerator (control board on propane refer) and not even use half the output of my converter. LED lights draw very little current.

If there 12v system problems while plugged in I wouldn't blame the battery.

If not plugged in and 22v issues, by all means it's a battery issue.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the tree"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 02:16 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
BobHanke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: West Des Moines, IA
Posts: 486
Low battery power may not be corrected just because you are on shore power. If possible, hook a battery charger to your batteries while trying the furnace. If that works, batteries are low and need to be replaced or deep cycled. RV Repair Club covered that last night.
__________________
"Lurch" = Georgetown 2011 330TS
Toad = Jeep 2016 Cherokee
Pilot = Bob
Navigator = Xiangbing
Crew = Radar, NiuNiu & NaNa
BobHanke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 03:42 PM   #15
AKA: 'tiredTeacher
 
awellis3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 920
Replace the battery and solve all your problems. You killed it and now it's a zombie in your electrical system.
__________________
Wright and Penny
(with Fitz and Lizzie, the camping kitties)
Richmond, Va.
2010 Tundra 4X4 5.7L V8
2014 Rockwood 2604WS
Life is a cruel teacher. She gives the test first; the lesson then follows.
awellis3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 04:09 PM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Orlando
Posts: 92
You might also have mud daubers in the air input and exhaust on the outside. If you don't have wire covers, this is a good place to look. They will prevent it from working.
Tom-n-Dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 04:56 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
primo20's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 404
I had charging issue from a simple loose battery connection. No furnace issue but we only camp in the summer in Canada. Lol. But charging issues on shore power nevertheless.
__________________
2018 DURANGO 2500 343MBQ | 2019 Silverado 3500 DRW Duramax
primo20 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 05:30 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
SlowrideHD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 906
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Lights alone don't draw much power at all. I can turn on all the lights in my TT, run the furnace, TV, DVD player, both exhaust fans, refrigerator (control board on propane refer) and not even use half the output of my converter. LED lights draw very little current.
Absolutely true! Most converters will output plenty of amps to run all your 12 volt functions.
This is a method I have used to see just what the converter is using (120 v input) to run my 12 volt applications.
1. Get a Kill-a-Watt meter (Amazon, P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor)
2. Plug the meter into a good 20 amp receptacle and use whatever dogbones or adaptors you have to power up your rv and plug into the meter.
3. Do not use any 120 volt appliances in your camper (water heater, a/c, microwave, etc) while testing.
4. Turn on every 12 volt light you have and check the meter. It will tell you just how many amps and watts your converter is using from the 120 volt source to power your lights.
5. Do this same thing every time you turn on additional 12 volt appliances or functions. Some things require help to watch the meter such as when you operate slides or hydraulic pumps.
6. Following this method will show you just what can be run from your converter and/or battery. You can disconnect your battery bank to see what your converter only is capable of.
7. The Killowatt meter is fairly cheap and a great addition to monitor any single 120 volt outlet output.
__________________

2016 F350 CC Dually Powerstroke 4x4
2014 Cedar Creek 34RLSA w/Level Up
2007 HD Ultra Classic 103
SlowrideHD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 05:49 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowrideHD View Post
Absolutely true! Most converters will output plenty of amps to run all your 12 volt functions.
This is a method I have used to see just what the converter is using (120 v input) to run my 12 volt applications.
1. Get a Kill-a-Watt meter (Amazon, P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor)
2. Plug the meter into a good 20 amp receptacle and use whatever dogbones or adaptors you have to power up your rv and plug into the meter.
3. Do not use any 120 volt appliances in your camper (water heater, a/c, microwave, etc) while testing.
4. Turn on every 12 volt light you have and check the meter. It will tell you just how many amps and watts your converter is using from the 120 volt source to power your lights.
5. Do this same thing every time you turn on additional 12 volt appliances or functions. Some things require help to watch the meter such as when you operate slides or hydraulic pumps.
6. Following this method will show you just what can be run from your converter and/or battery. You can disconnect your battery bank to see what your converter only is capable of.
7. The Killowatt meter is fairly cheap and a great addition to monitor any single 120 volt outlet output.
Wouldn't a volt meter do the same thing or does the kill a watt also display amps?
Biggerfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2020, 06:38 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,665
Not a trickle charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
Doesn't the typical WFCO converter the UltraLites comes with put out something like 55 Amps?
https://wfcoelectronics.com/product/wf-8955-55-amp/
Even if its not that high its way more than a trickle charger. I'm pretty certain I've read posts of people having no battery and being able to run their trailer.

A dead/weak battery may be the OP's problem. I don't know if it could swamp the converter trying to draw all 55 amps.

Jim M.
Jim, I agree with you--the converter is more than a trickle charger.

A dead/weak battery might not show the OP's symptoms, but a battery with a shorted cell certainly could. Nominal voltage for a "flooded lead acid" battery is 2.1 volts per cell, or 12.6 v. for the battery. If one cell shorted, fully-charged voltage drops to 10.5 v. That, indeed, could be low enough to cause problems with the furnace.

1. The OP could certainly pull one lead from the battery and run directly from the converter to see if things are better.

2. A shorted cell is easily detected at the auto parts store.
__________________

__________________
Larry

Sticks and Bricks: Raleigh, NC
2008 Cherokee 38P: at Ivor, VA permanently
Larry-NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, power, shore power

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 07:36 PM.


×