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Old 07-20-2021, 11:43 AM   #1
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Loss of battery power mystery

Just getting ready for a trip tomorrow and discovered I have no battery power. While hooked up to shore power everything works just fine.

First thing checked was the battery with a meter - has 80% charge. That is a little odd since it has been hooked up to AC for 3 days. Something happened to prevent it from being charged.

Replaced the the 30A and 20A fuses that are about 1 foot downstream from the battery, even though they looked fine.

The battery disconnect switch is also right next to the battery. That looks pretty bullet proof. Do those ever go bad?

All other DC and AC fuses in the camper are fine.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:45 AM   #2
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Did you have DC power before plugging into AC? If so, have you tried unplugging to see if you then have DC power again?

Regardless, keep working your way upstream with the meter to see where you lose power. Check right after the battery disconnect and keep working your way up.
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:54 AM   #3
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Not sure what RV you have. May want to add it to your sig.
Check just under trailer tying for a box and this https://www.waytekwire.com/item/4653...saAoSFEALw_wcB
Small button on side to reset.
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:58 AM   #4
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DC power was working before I hooked up the AC power. Will try to find some other access points. All the wires seem to be hidden between the floor and underbelly cover.
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Old 07-20-2021, 12:00 PM   #5
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Hoping this is simple!

What makes you think the battery is at 80% charge? Seems to be dead although you may be showing 12.something volts surface charge from the converter. How long was the camper sitting not connected to shorepower. Several weeks of parasitic discharge to the battery will deplete it to the point of damage and not be recoverable. Battery disconnects frequently don't cut power to the LP detector (by RVIA code).

Was the battery removed and put back for any reason? Connecting backwards is a common mistake.

Got some jumper cables? Your truck battery can connect to the suspect battery and you can see if you have 12v inside.

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Old 07-20-2021, 12:11 PM   #6
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Disconnect from shore power. Connect meter to battery and turn on water pump and take a reading. What was the reading before, during and after the pump being on.
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Old 07-20-2021, 12:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonDave View Post
DC power was working before I hooked up the AC power. Will try to find some other access points. All the wires seem to be hidden between the floor and underbelly cover.
Battery is at 80 percent while not on shore power?

On shore power what is the battery reading? If your converter is working properly you should see charge rates reflected on the battery readings or better yet, check the battery leads independently. If the readings match published values, that leaves the battery and (or) the connections suspect. Make sure everything is clean and tight. Don't forget to check the ground wire to the frame. Good luck!
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Old 07-20-2021, 12:26 PM   #8
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I did pull the cover off the fuse box panel and put a meter on the pos/neg wires coming in. Zero power coming in. I did discover the power hitch bypasses the disconnect switch - so at least that still works. I am thinking about temporarily hardwiring the battery disconnect wires together to bypass the switch. Maybe the disconnect switch is the problem.
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Old 07-20-2021, 12:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonDave View Post
I did pull the cover off the fuse box panel and put a meter on the pos/neg wires coming in. Zero power coming in. I did discover the power hitch bypasses the disconnect switch - so at least that still works. I am thinking about temporarily hardwiring the battery disconnect wires together to bypass the switch. Maybe the disconnect switch is the problem.
I don't know about your camper, but in mine, the only thing between the batteries and the fuse panel is the disconnect switch. So, if yours is the same, that makes the disconnect switch pretty suspect. I would also temporarily bypass the switch to see if that's the issue.

What is the voltage on your batteries when unplugged from AC?
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:11 PM   #10
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I have come to the same conclusion that it is the battery disconnect switch. I get 12.46 volts directly off the battery which per my chart means 80% charge. Will work on it later. Right now it is 90 deg and sitting on blacktop.
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:19 PM   #11
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Check resettable breaker under frame near hitch.
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Old 07-20-2021, 01:32 PM   #12
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Hoping this is simple!
Battery disconnects frequently don't cut power to the LP detector (by RVIA code)
Citation, please.

The word “frequently” is a fairly ambiguous word to include in a statement regarding a code. It would be like my IPC book saying “gravity drain and waste pipe should frequently slope downhill”.

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Old 07-20-2021, 02:01 PM   #13
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Measure the voltage on both sides of the Battery Disconnect switch when not connected to shore power. When the switch is on, you should have the battery voltage on both sides of the switch and with it off, you should have battery voltage only on one side of the switch. If you don't have voltage on both sides of the switch when the switch is on, then the switch is bad.

Many RVs are built where the Battery Cuttoff switch removes power from the LP/CO detector. My Wildcat 5th wheel is that way and so are other models and brands.

I don't see a safety issue because I need the battery power "On" to use my trailer and I can turn it "Off" when not in use and my battery stays charged for a very long time.
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Old 07-20-2021, 02:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HudsonDave View Post
DC power was working before I hooked up the AC power. Will try to find some other access points. All the wires seem to be hidden between the floor and underbelly cover.

IF DC was working before you hooked up shore power three days ago and the batteries are not fully charged then one of two things are happening.


Either your Converter/Charger is not charging or the batteries are not good.


I am troubled when you say you hooked up a meter and the batteries are 80% state of charge. Not sure what kind of meter other than the unreliable IDIOT LIGHTS in the coach can tell you that.


To check the Converter/Charger first look at the side by side PAIR of fused on the converter, not the row of fused that handle the individual things in the coach. This pair, often 40 amp sometimes 30 amp are called "Reverse Polarity" fuses. But I have blow them with over load surge on the converter too, though most blow them while monkeying around with battery hook-up. If they are good then find a point like a cigarette lighter outlet where you can check actual VOLTAGE on the 12 v side of the house. Check it with shore power plugged in and without. The voltage with charger on---coach plugged in-- ought to be over 13 v up to about 14.5 more or less. The voltage with charger UNPLUGGED will be straight from the battery and though it will be a bit artificially high just after the charger being turned off it will be an indicator. If it says 12.5 to 13.2 the batteries are probably at least SO SO if not good. After a few hours (some say 12 hours of more- I am good with two or three hours for testing) of "rest"---no load and no charge --good batteries will be 12.5 to 12.8. So so will be 12.3- 12.5. 12.3 or less after three days on the charger, when rested and they are about due for new.



Final test if batteries are shall I say, below par is to put a high amperage analog type external charger on them for a couple hours at like STARTER SETTING which on mine is 50 AMPs and about 14.6 vdc. I have REVIVED THE DEAD a couple times from bad discharge, but I never really trust them after a bad discharge. There are factors that the HIGH BOOST can FIX mostly bad sulfation of the plates that will help but remember the batteries took beating getting to where you cannot charge them in three days with the coach converter/charger so act accordingly. Another method if all is hooked up and just not charging well is to take those babies to a Auto Parts or high end battery dealer, better yet and they have a computer bench tester that can stress test them and tell you if they bad or weak.


Good luck
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:02 PM   #15
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I have come to the same conclusion that it is the battery disconnect switch. I get 12.46 volts directly off the battery which per my chart means 80% charge. Will work on it later. Right now it is 90 deg and sitting on blacktop.

What do you get on the Coach side of the battery cut off? IF the same or near same then you have probably been hooked up to the coach and if converter is charging. Well iffy



12.46 is nothing to write home about if you have been actually connected to the charger/coach for three days. Disconnect and Rest those for 12 hours and they might report under 12 vdc
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:04 PM   #16
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Disconnect from shore power. Connect meter to battery and turn on water pump and take a reading. What was the reading before, during and after the pump being on.

Good test that water pump is only 5-10 amps and if battery is bad, that will probably Dim the lights.
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:08 PM   #17
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DC power was working before I hooked up the AC power. Will try to find some other access points. All the wires seem to be hidden between the floor and underbelly cover.

Wires not as likely to be the problem as fuses, switches and YES even loose connection points at a 12v connection point. Loose creates resistance. Resistance creates heat. Often if something is loose you will feel heat, even burn your hand touching the connection point while you are pulling current through it


BY ALL MEANS WHEN YOU FIGURE THIS OUT, PLEASE COME BACK AND REPORT THE FINDINGS AND THE FIX. THANK YOU
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Old 07-20-2021, 03:35 PM   #18
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As Tom48 said please let us know what you find.
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Old 07-20-2021, 04:47 PM   #19
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I just had to replace the battery cut off switch on my Rockwood. I searched in vain for a fuse, breaker, or rely. Meter showed nothing beyond the switch in either the on or off position. Works fine after replacement. Interestingly, the old switch shows continuity now that it is on the work bench.
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:32 PM   #20
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Citation, please. The word “frequently” is a fairly ambiguous word
Citation: 20 years of reading these forums and noting the frequent lack of some factory battery switches to sever the LP detector. RVIA code requires a direct connection of the LP detector to the battery is the probable reason.

You want more? Do more reading.

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