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Old 10-14-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
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Alarm Screaming For No Reason !@#$!#$!&

I've had my T12RB since June but am new to this forum. Have spent 6 - 1 week trips in my camper and planning a 4 day fall camping trip next weekend in Northern Michigan. LOVE MY NEW CAMPER!

Has anyone had troublel with their alarm going off while it's popped down doing nothing? Earlier this summer I stopped at a rest area after driving 3 hours. Got out of my SUV to realize my camper alarm was screaming. Popped the camper, hit reset then started checking . . . propane tanks were both "closed", refrigerator cooling on battery, stove burner knobs and hot water switch all off. I wrote it off to the sensor possibly triggered from vehicle exhaust.

Second time the camper was popped down in my driveway, refrigerator turned off, stove knobs off, not plugged into electricity and propane tanks "closed". Contacted my RV dealer and they said they can't imagine what would have caused the issue. They said they would "check it out" when I brought my camper in after fall trip to be winterized.

Yesterday I was heading to a concert, opened garage door to the camper screaming again in my driveway !$^@&!#%!# Didn't have time to address it at the time. Got home at 2:00 AM to camper still screaming. Popped the camper, IN THE MIDDLE OF A HEAVY DOWNPOUR, hit the reset and once again checked everything I thought might be causing the sensor to trip. Everything looked fine to me and now of course the alarm is doing the periodic annoying beep because the battery needs replaced.

The only thing I can figure is that I have a propane leak even though my propane tank valves are both closed. Any ideas or suggestions?

One more questions - when do I use the "heat pump"? The guy at the RV dealer explained everything really well when I picked up my camper except said "it's hard to explain" when I asked about the heat pump it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
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Debby,

1) What year is your camper? The propane detector needs to be replaced every 5-7 years due to the internal sensor decay.

2) The sensor also goes off due to low battery. Check your battery voltage when it is going off to see if low voltage is the problem.

3) The sensor also goes off for gases other than propane. If you are charging your battery and there is no ventilation for the battery gases to port overboard, the concentration could build until it sets the alarm off.

Here is the manual for my detector and it may offer other things that might apply to yours.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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The first night of our recent trip, at 12:30 am, my alarm goes off. Hit the reset and 10 min later goes off again. My assumption: had the electric fireplace on for heat and didn't have the t-stat set properly(too hot), and it might have sensed maybe the fabrics leaking some gas from getting warmed. Turned on the furnace for ventilation and heat the rest of the night and never heard another beep the rest of the trip.

I pulled the alarm out of the wall and found a bunch of wires going to it. Don't know where they were coming from but there was no breaker that turned the alarm off. My previous trailer had the same thing happen as the op. I bought a new alarm and still same had the alarm going off. It had a 2 amp fuse supplying the power so I just pulled the fuse. I don't condone not having the alarm connected but I lived without it for many years.

I need to do some investigating on why my alarm went off.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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My camper is a 2013 T12RB . . . the camper had been setting in the driveway for several days not plugged into electricity with everything turned off and propane valves closed. I didn't check the battery level at the time - however interior lights were bright when I popped the camper this morning so guessing battery level was still ok. Should I be detaching wires to battery when camper is not in use? I only unhooked battery wires in my last camper when storing for the winter.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debby View Post
My camper is a 2013 T12RB . . . the camper had been setting in the driveway for several days not plugged into electricity with everything turned off and propane valves closed. I didn't check the battery level at the time - however interior lights were bright when I popped the camper this morning so guessing battery level was still ok. Should I be detaching wires to battery when camper is not in use? I only unhooked battery wires in my last camper when storing for the winter.
It is totally possible you have a bad detector.

My detector only goes off when I disconnect all power from the camper (no shore and the battery disconnect engaged).

Having said that, remember that just because the lights come on does not mean your battery is not near death. Most people have severely discharged batteries (low capacity) and not know it. Only with a digital volt meter (or battery hydrometer) and a disconnected rested (24 hours disconnected) battery can you tell what the true state of your battery is by using this chart.

You may need to plug it in for several days or use an external battery charger overnight to get it fully charged.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
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the trailer's parasitic power drains, will deplete a single battery in a couple of days, if not hooked up to shore power. even in an A-frame camper.

either get a battery disconnect switch or keep it plugged in when sitting.

single most common cause of this kind of problem: low battery.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:23 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone . . . I'll keep investigating
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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Just to reiterate, your battery voltage can still be around 12 volts (and light the lights) but have almost no remaining capacity. Charging with the converter can take days not hours.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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check the water level in the battery too...
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:32 PM   #10
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Smile Abiout the Heat pump use

Regarding your question about the heat pump: the dealer explained that it is nice on a cool evening to take the chill off, but not really intended to replace the furnace when it is just plain cold outside. I was also told to remove one lead from the battery while stored since the smoke detector/etc uses battery power.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #11
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Sounds like low battery to me too. We always disconnect the battery when we get back from a trip.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:30 PM   #12
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I had my last trip this weekend, it was a continuation from the weekend before. It was in my friend's empty lot with no hookup. I did this type of trips to get to know my trailer and enjoy the outdoors there. I used a gas generator to recharge the battery and for watching taped movies on a HD TV at nights. I have a volt meter to measure the battery level. I left my trailer there and came back after 5 days, the battery level from full was down to close to 10 volts. My meter as a scale to 10 volts but the needle goes past that when the battery is fully charged. In my observation the battery gets fully charged after 4 hours plugged in. The watt reader is at 170 watts during charging and after 2 hours it goes down to 50 watts (trickle charging), after 4 hours it had a reading of 37 watts which I conclude as power used by the trailer's gadgets including the built in battery charger.
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ID:	20717 I used the volt meter in the light holder below the microwave oven, it had the same reading when I connected it directly to the battery. When the reading is below 10 volts, you should avoid this because it may shorten the life of the battery, charge the battery to full as soon as possible.

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ID:	20719 Cheap generator very noisy but it was ok where I was, no campers on site to complain. Look closely to the plug, the watt reader meter is hooked up.

I will remove the fuse from the fuse holder located close to the battery external case, if I'm not hooked up for days and to save energy.

I think this is nice to know that the alarm goes off when the battery level is low. During my testing of battery levels, it was close to 32f and I was using the furnace, before I slept the battery was fully charged and the battery level was down to 11 volts the next morning. I figure the furnace fan uses up the battery and may fail on the second night if the battery was not charged. My cheap generator was good to have.

Good luck on your investigation.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:41 AM   #13
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FYI
12 volts is not "fully charged;" 12.7 volts is.
The difference between 12 volts and 12.7 volts is 50% of your batteries capacity.

10 volts is deader than Elvis. Continual discharge to this point will ruin your battery.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:25 PM   #14
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Debby,
Let us know what you find out. To eliminate the battery drainage problems, my dealer told me to disconnect the positive cable on the batter (ok to leave the negative connected) whenever the unit is in storage (ie not plugged into the house or tow vehicle). I disconnected the nut from the red cable and wrapped the battery cable tip with black electric tape. Then, slipped it down the side of the battery, but inside the battery box.

I took the nut to Lowes and had them provide me with the same size, using a wing nut which I can turn by hand. Now, it's easy to spin the nut on and off.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debby View Post
One more questions - when do I use the "heat pump"? The guy at the RV dealer explained everything really well when I picked up my camper except said "it's hard to explain" when I asked about the heat pump it.
It's not a big mystery and not hard to explain.
Ditto what "DobeFanatic" Anne said.
Your heat pump will warm your camper on shore power (AC) until it gets at or below about 35 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside. If it is colder than that, the heat pump stops heating and just blows air which quickly becomes cold air. You'll want to plan accordingly and use the gas furnace when temps are nearing freezing.

In preparation for gas furnace use, many here have suggested running the gas furnace on high for an hour (estimate) with the windows open and exhaust fan on. This is to "burn off" the initial new odor and fumes. After that it should be ready to go.

Deb
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:27 PM   #16
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I would never disconnecty a positive cable from a battery with the negitive cable also connected. The positive carries the load oof the battery and all too often sparks when disconnecting. I have installed on the battery a disconnect and all ways installed on the negitive cable. While stored (Chicago area) I disconnect both cables and connect the "Battery Tender".
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
FYI


10 volts is deader than Elvis. Continual discharge to this point will ruin your battery.

He is NOT dead. Saw him at the Saints game just the other day!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:46 PM   #18
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It maybe just me, it rather than go through either the effort or expense of disconnecting the battery or installing a disconnect switch, I just remove the main fuse from the hot lead by the battery, this accomplishes the same thing without tools or effort. I leave the fuse on top of the propane tanks cover (my a122 is stored inside a storage unit) and its always there for when I need to hook up again.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:41 AM   #19
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I would never disconnecty a positive cable from a battery with the negitive cable also connected. The positive carries the load oof the battery and all too often sparks when disconnecting. I have installed on the battery a disconnect and all ways installed on the negitive cable. While stored (Chicago area) I disconnect both cables and connect the "Battery Tender".
(1) Being a rookie on this, I was only following the tech's advice. What's the best way to disconnect and reconnect the battery?

(2) Do you have a link for the battery disconnect? Are they hard to install?

(3) Rawlus, would it be easier to just remove the fuse? It can't be that simple, is it?
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:58 AM   #20
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Have not had an issue with simply removing the positive side fuse. It's inside it's own non-conductive red rubber case so arcing has not been an issue at all. I carry spares of all fuses and bulbs anyway.

This may not be the prescribed approach by ASE but it hasn't let me down yet.
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