Battery Shot/Progress - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-16-2011, 09:52 AM   #1
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Trailer: 2012 Scamp 13 DLX
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Battery Shot/Progress

Well, it turns out after re-filling the battery cells with battery acid (all but 1 was exposed) and charging, the battery drops to 10.2 volts after disconecting from shore power. Is this an issues as long as I dont overnight somewhere w/o electric hookups like Walmart etc? Do I have to have a battery? Am I correct in thinking I wont be able to switch my fridge to 12v for travel b/c that will put the entire load on my tow vehicle battery and be bad? Between my hitch, tires, A/C, sales tax, registration and other necessities I'm trying to avoid spending the money on a battery till I get back. Also just bought a new computer monitors as ours died a horrible death, lol.

I did get the trailer all registered yesterday. Do you know Florida charged an extra $85 just b/c it was an out of state title???? Ridiculous! We still had the tag to transfer from our popup or it would have been another $200 for a new tag, ouch! As it was Florida got us for $500. Full replacement coverage and towing is only $12 a month for insurance so that's good.

We did get new tubing for the fresh water tank and it's installed and working great! With the A/C running the interior of the trailer got down to 64 degrees last night and with the fridge running on shore power it was 26 degrees!! Now that the sun is up it's at 42 degrees but the A/C is not on in the camper now. Will test the fridge w/o the Air conditioner running and see how warm it gets in full sun.

We solved the grey tank issue. We got a new oil catch pan ($8) and painted it blue so nobody will think I'm dumping oil at the dump station, a hose connector and tubing ($1.50) to drain into the pan. It's all sealed so I wont be breaking any laws having an open bucket etc. It holds about 3 Gallons and my fresh water tank is 5 gallons but I wouldnt want to carry 5 gallons and manuver it any way so 3 is fine.

Got the new porta potti all unboxed, set up and ready to go.

The Upholstery gets cleaned today. Hubby thinks it smells like old cigarette smoke and the wall paper and ceiling has some yellowing so not sure if it's from age (only 7 yrs old) or smoke. We're hoping this freshens it up a bit. Got the Fiber fill matress topper Floyd recomeneded as it was the most economical way to go for now. If it's not comfortable enough or wears down too fast I'll get the one e'body loves from Cosco/Sams before our next trip.

My van is at the shop now getting it's hitch installed and all wired up. Then I'll be able to tow it to a tire shop for tires either tomorrow or Saturday. Hope to get out of here by Monday morning.

Well that's my update for now, LOL. This weekend will hopefully be just packing, loading and hair cuts.

Well, the hitch shop just called me to let me know the rubber plugs that go in the hitch bolt holes are missing so the threads have rusted away and they cant install a hitch. They recomened a welding shop so I have an appnt with them tomorrow morning to have the dang hitch welded on! Unfreakin believable! The shop said he could tell a hitch has never been installed as there are no marks and it definately has never been wired for anything so why on earth would they remove the protective plugs??? Frustrating for sure....
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:39 AM   #2
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"Well, it turns out after re-filling the battery cells with battery acid (all but 1 was exposed) and charging, the battery drops to 10.2 volts after disconecting from shore power. Is this an issues as long as I dont overnight somewhere w/o electric hookups like Walmart etc? Do I have to have a battery? Am I correct in thinking I wont be able to switch my fridge to 12v for travel b/c that will put the entire load on my tow vehicle battery and be bad?"
I hope you mean you filled the battery with distilled water and not acid? If that is the case and still 10 volts, your battery is dead. Yes you need a trailer battery to activate your emergency switch. The battery will run your refer on 12v enroute. Also you will be draining more from the car w/out a battery and if the tv battery is not new, you will have another dead battery. You might want to consider putting your tv battery in the T@b and purchasing a new tv battery if it is more than 2 years old. That way your tv will have the newer battery.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:16 PM   #3
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Ya, we put "electrolytes" in the battery per the Auto Store's suggestion instead of distilled water to see if we could bring it back to life. No go. The battery in my tow is not even a year old as we replaced it when we got the van last August.

Since my trailer has surge brakes and not electric, are you sure I still need a 12v source to activate emergency braking? The cable attatches to my tow and then to the hydrolic cylinder so I'm thinking it may be a mechanical action possibly.

I just checked my fridge temp on on shore power, in the sun, with no air conditioner running it's 62 degrees so it's not safe to travel with food in it anyway. I need to have a cooling fan installed that runs on all 3 power sources and not just when the fridge is on propane. The later model T@bs have the cooling fan operating on all power sources.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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I use a hydrometer to check each cell of the battery. That will tell me if I have a bad cell. You can get a battery hydrometer at Advance Auto and maybe WalMart.

If you have a battery charger, disconnect the - side of the battery from the egg and charge the battery on 10 Amp for 2 days to see if charges to the correct voltage.

If you take the egg or battery to Advance Auto, they will put a battery checker on it and test it for free.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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Battery Charge

I use a hydrometer to check each cell of the battery. That will tell me if I have a bad cell. You can get a battery hydrometer at Advance Auto and maybe WalMart.

If you have a battery charger, disconnect the - side of the battery from the egg and charge the battery on 10 Amp for 2 days to see if charges to the correct voltage.

If you take the egg or battery to Advance Auto, they will put a battery checker on it and test it for free.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:37 PM   #6
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Ya, we put "electrolytes" in the battery per the Auto Store's suggestion instead of distilled water to see if we could bring it back to life. .....................
That is a new and wrong way for me to rejuvenate a lead acid battery. Some time you can revive a lead acid battery with high DC voltage after making certain that electrolyte is covering the lead electrodes. I never add acid to a flooded battery, only distilled or deionized water. Electrolyte should be added to a new and dry battery.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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................bolt holes are missing so the threads have rusted away..................
I would visually check these missing and rusted away holes before letting them to weld a hitch. Perhaps they donít have a bolt-on-hitch which fits your van.

George.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:54 PM   #8
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OK, we will. I brought them the hitch so that's not an issue. We're picking up the van when Hubby wakes up (he works nights) so I'll have him crawl under and look before taking it to the welder tomorrow morning. The hitch shop wouldnt have anything to gain by lying to us as they are losing business since they cant do the weld job (only do axles) and had to refer us some place else.

I'll have him read the battery tips so he knows what to get/do. NAPA was the one who said to use battery acid to recharge the cells since the battery was mostly empty. It is 7 yrs old so I do plan on a new one when I return from WY.

Thanks!

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I would visually check these missing and rusted away holes before letting them to weld a hitch. Perhaps they donít have a bolt-on-hitch which fits your van.

George.
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:02 PM   #9
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7 years old - go to Walmart and get a new one that has a full replacement guarantee.

Fridge: We freeze water bottles, cool the fridge on shore power to the max a couple of days B4 the trip, then put the frozen water bottles in the fridge the day B4 leaving and things get down to a good temp. We use the frozen water bottles for drinking throughout the trip.
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:28 PM   #10
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It as others suggest really does sound like you need a new battery but even with a new battery do not expect to be able to run your fridge on only 12v for more than a day or so - it will drain it fast. To get the most out of your battery switch your lights over to LED.

re the fan - this has come up a lot with fridges and if you search here you will find lots of info on installing a small 12v computer type fan to help out with that. In the meantime you may find that a small battery operated fan inside the fridge helps. I have used one like this Valterra Products - FridgeCool Fan with On/Off Switch - Refrigerator Accessories - Camping World and have found it helps, along with camping with the fridge side of the trailer in the shade and keeping a roof fan on in the trailer to help cool it down inside.

If the inside smells of smoke and you have yellowing it probable was smoked in. ucks. I would think that the wall paper in the Tab is probable washable but test out a small area first. Try cleaning with warm water and a bit of dish washing soap first and do it twice. You can also try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - again test it out in a small area first. I would try soap and water first as it would be the cheaper option.

Dont worry you will get it all sorted out I am sure. Fun days to come!
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You might want to consider putting your tv battery in the T@b and purchasing a new tv battery if it is more than 2 years old. That way your tv will have the newer battery.
Jim, Melissa,
You want a deep-cycle battery in your trailer. The battery in you tug is a starting battery, which won't last long in a deep-cycle application.

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