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Old 03-18-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
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Furnace drains battery, triggers CO detector fixable?

Hey all,

In my A122s, when we run the furnace, the CO detector gives the low voltage beep, even when we are connected to shore power.

I've gotten a new battery and with in a few more days, same thing.

Doesn't beep when we run anything BUT the furnace.

I disconnected the thing this weekend so we could sleep (bought a batter powered CO detector and attached it right next to the original.

Battery is a NAPA Marine/RV deep cycle that is kept on trickle charger when not in use.

For lack electrician skills on my part, is that something that is fixable, beyond buying a new battery every month? Is this a wiring issue?

thanks for any advice.
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Old 03-18-2018, 03:55 PM   #2
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Could be the output of your converter is not keeping up with the demand of your furnace draw. Check voltage at battery when plugged in. And when you hear the alarm.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:14 PM   #3
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To own an RV you have to be a pretty good electrician. Rv's are sort of complicated.

Your heater might consume about 3 amps per hour running the furnace. The colder the more it runs. so on a cold night if you use nothing else it will deplete the battery more than 50%. So it is necessary for you to charge daily. If not you are killing the batteries.

A single marine battery has about 100 available amps or less. If you use more than 50 in a day you damage the battery. Any appliance or detector consumes battery. To insure the DW and I get 3 days boondocking I have 4 6 volt batteries.

You should have a voltmeter to figure out what is going on. A full battery is about 12.6 volts. It is all downhill after that.

Perhaps the converter is headed south. It is all guesses at this point.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:28 PM   #4
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I added a voltage step up/down regulator for the dectector. I do not need it to act as a low voltage alarm, an it was more sensitive than the docs state. In one doc, they say it works to 7v. In another, 11v. Whatever the real number is, it triggered too often when in high draw mode, such as when using inverter.

I also added a switch so I can disable it if it goes awry, and a removable battery co2 detector.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:30 PM   #5
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I added a voltage step up/down regulator for the dectector. I do not need it to act as a low voltage alarm, an it was more sensitive than the docs state. In one doc, they say it works to 7v. In another, 11v. Whatever the real number is, it triggered too often when in high draw mode, such as when using inverter.

I also added a switch so I can disable it if it goes awry, and a removable battery co2 detector.
I also added a switch to disable it but it is now not needed with two new Battle Borns. They stay at 13V until 20% SOC reached
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mmanley1 View Post
Hey all,

In my A122s, when we run the furnace, the CO detector gives the low voltage beep, even when we are connected to shore power.

I've gotten a new battery and with in a few more days, same thing.

Doesn't beep when we run anything BUT the furnace.

I disconnected the thing this weekend so we could sleep (bought a batter powered CO detector and attached it right next to the original.

Battery is a NAPA Marine/RV deep cycle that is kept on trickle charger when not in use.

For lack electrician skills on my part, is that something that is fixable, beyond buying a new battery every month? Is this a wiring issue?

thanks for any advice.
Even though your battery is not the cream of the crop it is most likely not the cause of your problems.
Your converter/charger should supply 12 Volt DC power directly to the furnace. Check your converter/charger and make sure it is producing DC power and that this 12 Volt DC power is being fed into the 12 Volt side of the RV incl. the battery.
Depending on the make/model of converter/charger you have there might be slight variations from what I just explained.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:29 PM   #7
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I'm in the camp that says the converter is the problem.

You mention you keep it on trickle charge. Do you also have a standard converter that comes on when you plug in to an outside electrical outlet? Trickle charging will not keep up with nightly battery/furnace use.

Assuming you DO have a separate converter the first thing to do is test voltage AT THE BATTERY TERMINALS while plugged in. Your voltmeter should read a MINIMUM of 13.2V ....and up to 14.5V depending on the state of your batteries charge.
Anything less than 13.2 V indicates you aren't getting charged from the converter.
Now go to the converter output and make the same measurements. If ABOVE 13.2V'
you have a bad wiring issue. If less than 13.2V you have a bad converter.
If yu have a bad converter check and replace the fuse(s) on the unit and see if that is the cure. If not...it is time for a new converter.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:38 PM   #8
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I believe your unit has a 35 amp converter/charger so in theory it 'should' keep up when plugged in. It isn't uncommon to drain a single 12v battery overnight using the furnace, to where it will sound the CO detector without some kind of charge going back in.

You mentioned a 'trickle charger'. Does this indicate your on-board converter is inop.?
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:54 PM   #9
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One more thing to check. There are usually two high current fuses in the fuse panel that protect the converter from connecting the battery backward. These can blow if you are trying to charge a dead battery. If they open, the converter will not charge the battery. In this case all the current demand from the unit is being supplied by the converter and with the furnace fan running, the voltage can drop causing the CO/Propane alarm to sound. You can test this by measuring the battery voltage at the battery with shore power disconnected. Then connect to shore power and measure the voltage again.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:02 PM   #10
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Just unhook the battery and turn on a 12v light then plug the camper in to 120 shore power the 12v light should come on if not there is a problem...
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:44 PM   #11
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With no shore power and furnace on....battery will not last thru the night as fan runs continually all night trying to heat TT on a cold night......
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:25 PM   #12
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CO2/Propane Alarm

I just replaced my co2/propane several months ago. I was getting the beeps and after replacing my unit the beeping stopped. I read where every five years your unit should be replaced. I did not know that and we were on our fifth year with our camper. Purchased it off Amazon.
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mmanley1 View Post
Hey all,

In my A122s, when we run the furnace, the CO detector gives the low voltage beep, even when we are connected to shore power.

I've gotten a new battery and with in a few more days, same thing.

Doesn't beep when we run anything BUT the furnace.

I disconnected the thing this weekend so we could sleep (bought a batter powered CO detector and attached it right next to the original.

Battery is a NAPA Marine/RV deep cycle that is kept on trickle charger when not in use.

For lack electrician skills on my part, is that something that is fixable, beyond buying a new battery every month? Is this a wiring issue?

thanks for any advice.
I would suspect that you are not getting good current draw from battery. First place I would look is the point where battery negative cable grounds to frame. That is usually exposed to the elements and first connection to corrode. Any bad connection will be a resistance that can result in voltage drop down stream. Of course check all connections if the ground doesn't cure it. A healthy, fully charged battery shouldn't have a significant voltage drop from the heater immediately if all connections are good.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:34 PM   #14
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Are you sure your not talking about the smoke detector, I ask this since you talk about replacing the battery. On my aframe the propane and co alarms are powered by 12v from the trailer battery, if my voltage drops my CO will chirp. Once again you are getting lots of chatter from the big camper people that have different systems, I wish they would look before commenting since that advise is usually useless to an aframe
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:26 PM   #15
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I would suspect that you are not getting good current draw from battery. First place I would look is the point where battery negative cable grounds to frame. That is usually exposed to the elements and first connection to corrode. Any bad connection will be a resistance that can result in voltage drop down stream. Of course check all connections if the ground doesn't cure it. A healthy, fully charged battery shouldn't have a significant voltage drop from the heater immediately if all connections are good.
When you solve this problem as you surely will, please be sure to post detail of the outcome.

Helps us all to know the final resolution

Thanks Tom
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sundancer330 View Post
Are you sure your not talking about the smoke detector, I ask this since you talk about replacing the battery. On my aframe the propane and co alarms are powered by 12v from the trailer battery, if my voltage drops my CO will chirp. Once again you are getting lots of chatter from the big camper people that have different systems, I wish they would look before commenting since that advise is usually useless to an aframe
Humm... I don't know why you would think smoke alarm? The OP said CO detector and when talking about the battery mentioned it being a NAPA Marine R/V style they kept on a trickle charger.

With that information, we were all just trying to help. Seems you seen it differently from your corner of the world.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:59 AM   #17
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I use the trickle charger at home. I assume the converter is operable. I honestly have no idea what or where the converter is. Next nice day, I ‘ ll be looking.
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:41 AM   #18
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I use the trickle charger at home. I assume the converter is operable. I honestly have no idea what or where the converter is. Next nice day, I ‘ ll be looking.
The converter is an electrical device built into the trailer that, when plugged into shore power and properly working, will at the same time charge the battery and supply power to any 12 VDC equipment that's turned on.
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