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Old 11-02-2016, 09:00 PM   #1
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Rockwood 2306 CO low voltage fault

Hi all. We are recent owner of a new Rockwood 2306. We camped several times through the summer, but always electrical hookup. This past weekend was the first time off the grid; with temperatures in the lower 40's, the heater kicked on a few times.

Around 3 AM, the CO detector started beeping indicating a fault / low voltage condition. From the research I did here and in other places, I am convinced the issue is really low voltage.

However, the battery was full around 9 PM, and still showing '75% full' when the CO detector went off at 3 AM.

During these 6h, the only battery drains I can think of were: the CO detector, the fridge (running on gas, but the control boards must be using something), the heater blower, two cell phones charging, and I think the antenna booster was on (not sure if it runs on 12V or 115V).

Given all that, does it seem reasonable that the CO would sense low voltage after only 6h? Is it possible there is an issue with the CO detector or the battery?

Our second night, we were much more careful with preserving electricity - fridge turned off, thermostat set to 50 degrees, no electronics charging. The CO detector never went off.

Any advice to help us go through a night without worrying so much about the detector waking us up? Replace the battery for a better one? Add a second one?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:17 PM   #2
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Battery management or second battery. It is not easy to camp off grid when temps are low and your heat source is the furnace. Some people use propane catalytic heaters ( I am not a big fan of those) or add a second battery. How are you recharging batteries? The indicators in the RV are notoriously in accurate. I attached a battery voltage chart.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:35 PM   #3
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Thanks! I charge with a Yamaha 2kW generator. The campground we were at had quiet hours from 9 PM to 8 AM. I brok the rule and fired it up at 4 AM to see if it would clear the fault; it didn't right away which threw me off...

I am leaning toward additional battery but also wondering if I shouldn't swap the OEM battery for a better one. I can only assume Rockwood would never put a top-of-the-line battery in there. Definitely throwing a volt-meter in my toolbox for our next trip!
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:41 PM   #4
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Rockwood doesn't supply the battery, the dealers do.

And they usually put in the cheapest dual purpose marine battery they have, unless the customer asks for something better.

Manufacturers only supply batteries from the factory, in motorhomes, not towables.

If you plan on doing more dry camping or boondocking, you need to have a dual battery setup.
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Old 11-03-2016, 12:21 PM   #5
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This has happened to me as well. Once I started putting my 100-watt solar panel on during the day it did not affect me anymore. The dealer did change out my low voltage sensor and it has not happened again. Not 100% sure which solved the problem, the new sensor or keeping the batteries charged with the solar panel. I think it was the panel.
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:08 PM   #6
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4 AM Gen

Please forward your planned itinerary so I can plan to avoid those campgrounds when you wil be there. Thanks a bunch. Happy Trails.
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:47 PM   #7
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CO Low Voltage

We had the same thing happen on our first trip! It was traumatic to say the least.
I am sure you are more technically savvy than me, but it turned out the connections to my battery had wiggled loose during travel. We tightened those bad boys up and we were good to go.
After that though I did also get a 100W solar panel to charge during the day and a longer connector to my TV so we can connect even with the beds pulled out. I fire up the car in the evening for a quick charge... don't want to risk another rude awakening!
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Old 11-03-2016, 02:00 PM   #8
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Voltage meters are useless when the battery has been connected and in use or charging. They are designed to measure STATIC voltage after 24 hours of being disconnected.
More useful will be a "turkey baster" specific gravity hydrometer.
Better yet and almost mandatory if you plan on boondocking is investing $150 or so into a REAL battery monitor system like the Victron or Trimetric. This will accurately tell you: battery state of charge, amps being used, time to flat at current usage, net charging amps, charging voltage and amps and when full among other things.

ONE battery...(probably a dual purpose group24) is insufficient for boondocking. Charging a battery that is 1/2 depleted (which you should never go below...and which you have) takes around 4-6 hours regardless of your charger size to get to 100%.
I would definitely change out the battery that came with your camper since used batteries (especially damaged ones with less than new capacity) will pull down new batteries. Suggest 2 of the biggest 12V TRUE DEEP CYCLE batts you can fit in the space available. Group 27 or 31 would be ideal...Group 24 is fine if it is all you can fit.
Alternatively you can add a pair of 6V golf cart batteries in series to make a "single" 12V battery with around 200 amp hours. I don't like this myself since one battery failing can put you out of business....but many like the bang for the buck it supplies.

Trojan makes superior deep cycle batteries in both 12 and 6V... EastPenn/Deka also makes an excellent TRUE DEEP CYCLE marine battery for many brands and all of the model numbers start with DC regardless of brand. (i.e. DC27... DC31...)
Anything that talks about cranking amps on the label yet says deep cycle as well is likely a DUAL PURPOSE battery and to be avoided.
Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:03 PM   #9
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Please forward your planned itinerary so I can plan to avoid those campgrounds when you wil be there. Thanks a bunch. Happy Trails.
haha! Yes, I will let you know! I did make sure to place the generator close to some tent campers nearby...

Seriously though, I felt bad about this, but at the time didn't feel like I had other options. I used a long extension cord (big no-no, I know!) and put it as far from everyone as possible (deep in the woods; I doubt anyone heard a thing).

@camaraderie: what makes you think the battery has dropped below 50%? It may well have, just wondering. And thanks a ton for all the pointers. Looking at all the different battery types gets overwhelming!
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Old 11-03-2016, 05:03 PM   #10
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@camaraderie: what makes you think the battery has dropped below 50%? It may well have, just wondering. And thanks a ton for all the pointers. Looking at all the different battery types gets overwhelming!
You're welcome! I have assumed you ran your battery to near flat because the industry standard MTI CO detector has a low voltage cutoff of SEVEN volts and their propane detector has a set point of 8V.
Since 12.1 Volts is 50% depleted on a 12V battery (12.7V is 100% charged) I am assuming your CO detector is similar if not the same and any low voltage alarm would be well below the 50% point. Damage results from being below 50% and the deeper you discharge the more damage. This does not make the battery unusable even if dead flat...since many can be restored to working order...but it will result in LESS charge holding capacity and or fewer cycles before battery death. Remember ...these are static measurements with the battery disconnected and after 24 hours...not something you can measure accurately on the fly.
Getting one of these will pay for itself in fewer murdered batteries AND less generator run time.
https://www.victronenergy.com/battery-monitors/bmv-700
ONLY needed if you boondock a good deal.
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:55 PM   #11
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I own a 2014 2306 , and I had the same issue. Even before we took the trailer out on the first trip, the thing started beeping . I got my dealer to replace it .

The new detector did the same thing . I used one of those hydrometers to check the battery voltage ... that indicated that the battery was fine . Since the dealer had cut the wires to install a new detector ,I decided to get a voltage meter that I could attach to the detector , so I could see what it was thinking .

The voltage meter read about the same as the hydrometer . Everything seemed to be fine . Then I turned on the fridge ( on propane ... not on shore power ) When the fridge turned on , I noticed that the voltage meter was was not reading voltage coming in consistently , varying between 12.6 all the way down to 10.0 and lower . When the voltage got low enough , the detector went off , as it is supposed to . Everything worked fine when hooked up to shore power . I was puzzled . There were no shorts that I could find . I checked the fuses , they were all there ... but I did notice that one of them was not in the fuse holder properly ( the one for the fridge ) once I fixed that , I have had no problems . ( the issue with the fuse was very difficult to see )

I have purchased 2 6v golf cart batteries, a champion 3100 watt generator and 300 watts of solar . I like to dry camp . originally I thought I could do without a generator , but found that , on occasion , solar just isn't enough .

Hope this helps ... good luck
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:02 AM   #12
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I use 2 6v cart batteries. My truck hasn't charged it for 2 yrs and I have been camping on route at Wal-Mart I only noticed they wernt chargeing when I stayed 3 nights dry camping and inverter wouldn't run tv.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:37 AM   #13
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In my '16 2306 I found the detector chirping (just in the driveway) after about 3 days with the fridge on and I think over a week with the fridge turned off.

That tells me I need to put the condensate heater (or whatever it is) on a switch, like others have done. It also tells me I need to learn about the parasitic loads of these new (less than 20 years old) campers. I will likely put a switch on the CO detector (and any other paracitic load) so I can turn it off if I want.

I like the history on the BMV-700 listed above. Probably end up getting one of those instead of a (much) cheaper alternative.

I'll have to check my fuses, too.....
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:18 PM   #14
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I will likely put a switch on the CO detector (and any other paracitic load) so I can turn it off if I want.
Easiest way to address parasitic loads is with a disconnect switch on the battery negative terminal. About $7 at walmart and two minutes to install.

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Old 11-04-2016, 03:16 PM   #15
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Camper came with one, but that's not the point. I want to know what they are, what their draw is, and decide if I want them. We're talking about the co detector, but it could be the radio. Or the heat strip in the fridge. A cutoff for each isn't unreasonable, is it? Maybe I want to replace the co detector with a better one, or a 9v battery one, if the SOB is going to kill my house batteries.
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:04 PM   #16
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Camper came with one, but that's not the point. I want to know what they are, what their draw is, and decide if I want them. We're talking about the co detector, but it could be the radio. Or the heat strip in the fridge. A cutoff for each isn't unreasonable, is it? Maybe I want to replace the co detector with a better one, or a 9v battery one, if the SOB is going to kill my house batteries.
Understood. Most campers come with a cutoff switch that does NOT cut off everything like the one above does...which is the ONLY reason that things go dead even with the cutoff switch engaged. With the cutoff switch I showed above...a fully charged battery will last at least 3 months of storage if fully charged initially...just to clarify.
I do think a cutoff switch for each is overkill. You can tell how much EACH item draws with a clamp ac/dc multimeter ($50 bucks) or with the victron battery monitor...which if you boondock is the better solution since you can test the draw of every single item in the coach just by turning it off and on.... while paying for itself in batteries and generator run time.
That said...what you propose to do will work...different strokes for different folks!
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:13 PM   #17
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Perhaps a cutoff on everything is overkill, and won't happen. But 3 days to a dead battery (only one, and a crappy one, but still) is a no go too. I've convinced myself, I think, to do the victron and Bluetooth. Do it once......
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:59 PM   #18
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We had a very similar issue on our previous TT, low voltage alarm went off every night we ran the furnace, even with new dual 6v GC batteries. After two weeks of what we thought were faulty new batteries it turned out we had several bad 12v connections. Everything seemed ok until we ran any higher draw items such as the furnace, slide etc. Once the connections were fixed the problem went away.
What we found was as follows, bad factory crimp and loose wire at the batteries, bad connection near the front of the trailer where the main fuse was, several bad connections in the control center.
We ended up going through the entire electrical system and found quite a few poor connections.
I would suggest going through your entire system and checking everything... Sure made a world of difference for us.
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