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Old 10-26-2019, 09:13 AM   #1
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X-Lite battery draining in 36 hours under no active load

I know there are a lot of battery posts on the forums but Iíve looked through them and Iím still stumped. My 2017 x-lite 197bh charges to full (according to the meter) and then drains empty after about 36 hours. Iíve made sure that nothing is on other than the CO monitor and the radio LED ďoffĒ display. The thermostat is set to ďcoldestĒ.

Not sure what else I should be looking for. Iím trying to figure out if I have some sort of phantom vampire load or if I need to do some sort of battery maintenance (water?). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Iíve read all sorts of post about people having similar problems with new batteries and would rather avoid dropping money on a new battery just to have the same problem. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:35 AM   #2
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disconnect you battery from the rig (remove the cables) and actually do a battery load test with a battery bank tester. (you could take it or them to an auto parts store if you don't have a load tester) a battery can test with a multi meter good but under any load is bad. Maybe you furnace is starting when you don't know it turn the stat off and see what happens.
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Old 10-26-2019, 10:47 AM   #3
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disconnect you battery from the rig (remove the cables) and actually do a battery load test with a battery bank tester. (you could take it or them to an auto parts store if you don't have a load tester) a battery can test with a multi meter good but under any load is bad. Maybe you furnace is starting when you don't know it turn the stat off and see what happens.
I know that Auto Parts Stores will test batteries for free but I doubt that there's more than a handful in the Nation that have the proper equipment to test a DEEP CYCLE battery.

Load testing is fine for Starting Batteries because the only consideration there is the ability to deliver high current to the starter motor for a few seconds.

Proper test for a Deep Cycle is to first fully charge then attach a known load (like a string of lights, etc) that is then left on and the time it takes to reach full discharge (10.5 volts @70 degrees or so).

If your load was let's say 5 amp, and it took 20 hours to fully discharge, the battery has a capacity of 100 ah.

You can speed the test if you only discharge the battery to 12.05 volts ( ambient temperature same as above) which will be 50% SOC. Then just multiply load amps by time in hours and double for total battery capacity.

THIS will tell you if your battery is capable of performing as a Deep Cycle where a load test will come up short.

Lastly, recharge battery IMMEDIATELY after such a test to prevent permanent sulfation.
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:26 AM   #4
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disconnect you battery from the rig (remove the cables) and actually do a battery load test with a battery bank tester. (you could take it or them to an auto parts store if you don't have a load tester) a battery can test with a multi meter good but under any load is bad. Maybe you furnace is starting when you don't know it turn the stat off and see what happens.


Thanks! So Iím new at this: How so I turn the thermostat off, off. I can only turn it all the way down to ďcoldestĒ but donít see any switch to turn it off completely.
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:27 AM   #5
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I know that Auto Parts Stores will test batteries for free but I doubt that there's more than a handful in the Nation that have the proper equipment to test a DEEP CYCLE battery.



Load testing is fine for Starting Batteries because the only consideration there is the ability to deliver high current to the starter motor for a few seconds.



Proper test for a Deep Cycle is to first fully charge then attach a known load (like a string of lights, etc) that is then left on and the time it takes to reach full discharge (10.5 volts @70 degrees or so).



If your load was let's say 5 amp, and it took 20 hours to fully discharge, the battery has a capacity of 100 ah.



You can speed the test if you only discharge the battery to 12.05 volts ( ambient temperature same as above) which will be 50% SOC. Then just multiply load amps by time in hours and double for total battery capacity.



THIS will tell you if your battery is capable of performing as a Deep Cycle where a load test will come up short.



Lastly, recharge battery IMMEDIATELY after such a test to prevent permanent sulfation.


Thanks very much. Can I assume if the battery tests bad under NO load, with a multimeter, then I can spare myself the loaded test?
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Old 10-26-2019, 02:22 PM   #6
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Sounds like time to install a battery cutoff switch. I had a similar issue when I first got my trailer but I was afraid to drill into my brand new A-frame to install a switch. I ended up getting a marine switch and putting it in the top of my battery box.

I posted a video on YouTube about the installation. I am not the best DIY Guy but almost 4 years later it is still working great.

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Old 10-26-2019, 03:01 PM   #7
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So after reading your post I am thinking that you are relying on a battery "Full" LED to determine that you've fully charged your battery. Is this correct? If so...what kind of charger are you using to charge it AND are you letting it charge for a MINIMUM of 6 hours to put a full charge on? THAT is at a minimum what recharging a deeply (more than 50%) discharged battery to full will take.

If you have just a single battery for the coach...you have between 40 and 55 amp hours to put back in...depending on the size of the battery. Next time you have the charger going,,, put a MULTIMETER on the battery terminals WHILE you are charging. If you see over 13.2 volts AT the terminals...your charging system is working.

Once you have FULLY charged your battery for more than 6 hours...shut off the charger and disconnect the negative (black wire) for 24 hours and take another reading with your multimeter. If it reads 12.5 volts or above after 24 hours, your battery is probably still in good shape. Anything less and I'd consider a new battery if you boondock a lot BUT anything over 12.3 can still be milked a while for occasional camping.
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Old 10-26-2019, 03:16 PM   #8
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So after reading your post I am thinking that you are relying on a battery "Full" LED to determine that you've fully charged your battery. Is this correct? If so...what kind of charger are you using to charge it AND are you letting it charge for a MINIMUM of 6 hours to put a full charge on? THAT is at a minimum what recharging a deeply (more than 50%) discharged battery to full will take.

If you have just a single battery for the coach...you have between 40 and 55 amp hours to put back in...depending on the size of the battery. Next time you have the charger going,,, put a MULTIMETER on the battery terminals WHILE you are charging. If you see over 13.2 volts AT the terminals...your charging system is working.

Once you have FULLY charged your battery for more than 6 hours...shut off the charger and disconnect the negative (black wire) for 24 hours and take another reading with your multimeter. If it reads 12.5 volts or above after 24 hours, your battery is probably still in good shape. Anything less and I'd consider a new battery if you boondock a lot BUT anything over 12.3 can still be milked a while for occasional camping.


Thanks very much, hugely helpful. Yes Iím using the battery meter blur into the camper. Iím just plugging into my house to charge it. Is that not going to do the trick? I leave it overnight. Iíll use the multimeter to test as you suggest. Thanks again!
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Old 10-26-2019, 03:18 PM   #9
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Sounds like time to install a battery cutoff switch. I had a similar issue when I first got my trailer but I was afraid to drill into my brand new A-f...

Thanks. I get why I would want a battery off switch but even without one, surely I should get more than 36 hours out of my battery, with it sitting vacant, right?
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Old 10-26-2019, 03:32 PM   #10
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Yeah... so Iím a dunce; there *is* an actual ďoffĒ on the thermostat. I just needed to push a little hard to the left until it clicked.

Thanks very much. If I did check the voltage while charging and Iím up at 13.69, so that good. If Iím still having trouble Iíll take another reading and maybe grab a new battery.

Thanks again, all.
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Old 10-26-2019, 03:33 PM   #11
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Thanks very much, hugely helpful. Yes Iím using the battery meter blur into the camper. Iím just plugging into my house to charge it. Is that not going to do the trick? I leave it overnight. Iíll use the multimeter to test as you suggest. Thanks again!
As long as nothing else major is running in the camper, household current is fine...and yeah...overnite would be way better. NEVER rely on the led lights as they are totally unreliable.
If you still have problems after testing with a multimeter...take a picture of your charger/convertor so we can read the label. Jot down voltage at battery terminal a minute or two after you've started charging...then again in the AM before you stop charging...then again after 24 hours of being disconnected with the black wire off.
Oh yeah...be sure your 6 battery cells are filled with DISTILLED water before charging.

Good luck!
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Old 10-26-2019, 06:56 PM   #12
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Finding where the current draw is

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Originally Posted by jtongarm View Post
I know there are a lot of battery posts on the forums but Iíve looked through them and Iím still stumped. My 2017 x-lite 197bh charges to full (according to the meter) and then drains empty after about 36 hours. Iíve made sure that nothing is on other than the CO monitor and the radio LED ďoffĒ display. The thermostat is set to ďcoldestĒ.

Not sure what else I should be looking for. Iím trying to figure out if I have some sort of phantom vampire load or if I need to do some sort of battery maintenance (water?). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Iíve read all sorts of post about people having similar problems with new batteries and would rather avoid dropping money on a new battery just to have the same problem. Thanks in advance!
  • Set your multimeter on the 10 Amp scale
  • Red lead in the 10A jack, black lead in the common jack
  • Remove the first fuse from your fuse panel
  • Plug the multimeter in the fuse clips, note the current
  • Put the fuse back, move on to next fuse
  • After measuring current for all the fuses in the fuse panel, do all the individual inline fuses connected directly to the battery.
Investigate all the circuits with high current draw.
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:13 PM   #13
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You may not understand the concept of how the camper charger/full charge lights work. When plugged into 'shore power' and you push the battery charge button and you 'see' it at 'full' (all lights lite up). What this means is that your 'convertor/charger' is 'working' and putting voltage into the 12volt system (did you know that you can run most of your RVs systems when plugged into shore power WITH OUT a battery hooked up to the RV??) This DOES NOT always mean that your battery is 'really' charging, only that the convertor/charging system is working. You may have a shorted out battery that does not 'hold' a 'charge' (low on water, shorted out cell, ect.) Understand how your 'system' works and then we will trace down on 'why' of your low and discharging battery.


If you have been plugging into the house until 'you' think that it is fully charged (all light on at the battery charge button), we now know that there is almost no good charge on the battery. Either keep the camper plugged into the house all of the time or disconnect the battery when not in use. You are 'Killing' your battery by 'letting' it discharge so far down.....
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:43 PM   #14
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If you have been plugging into the house until 'you' think that it is fully charged (all light on at the battery charge button), we now know that there is almost no good charge on the battery. Either keep the camper plugged into the house all of the time or disconnect the battery when not in use. You are 'Killing' your battery by 'letting' it discharge so far down.....
^^^^^ This X1.

Depending on battery size/capacity, Depth of Discharge, Charge Rate (amps) and ambient temperature a true full charge on a battery can take more than 24 hours.

Converter manufacturers often state that their converter/charger will charge the first 90% in 3-4 hours but then kind of quietly point out that the last 10% can take "a lot longer". This also assumes that there isn't a ton of voltage drop between battery and Converter that causes converter to switch to a lower charge rate as it "sees" a higher voltage on it's end than is actually present a the battery.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:51 AM   #15
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You probably also have a propane detector on board. Your probably close to 2amp draw. And Everytime you run your battery totally dead it will hold less charge than last time. Some batteries are shot after as little as 20 total drain events. Battery switch should be on all campers for storage.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:06 PM   #16
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The last power drain I found was the antenna booster. On my rig it's in the same outlet as my TV coax and 12V lighter socket. Its the little tiny pushbutton between them. A little green light comes on when it is pressed.

I still recommend a battery cutoff switch to use during the camping months. If you're in a cold environment I also suggest bringing the batteries inside and putting them on a battery maintainer during the winter.

I posted a video of my battery cutoff switch installation. It's posted earlier in this thread.
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:47 PM   #17
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You probably also have a propane detector on board. Your probably close to 2amp draw. And Everytime you run your battery totally dead it will hold less charge than last time. Some batteries are shot after as little as 20 total drain events. Battery switch should be on all campers for storage.

That sounds a little high. The propane leak detector on my TT shows only a .2 amp (less than 1/4 amp) draw on my Victron battery monitor.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:15 PM   #18
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If your drain is really that high. Check the break away switch to insure it is not pulled
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:23 AM   #19
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Thanks very much Larry, Iíll give this a shot. It wasnít my furnace after all.
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:24 AM   #20
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If your drain is really that high. Check the break away switch to insure it is not pulled


Thanks Flybob, will do.
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