New Battery Dying... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-18-2016, 08:54 PM   #1
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Name: Ginny
Trailer: '09 Scamp 13' w/ Bath
Oklahoma
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New Battery Dying...

So, we took the Scamp out this weekend, with an hour drive home (so some good battery charge time). We have JUST replaced the battery last week.

Tonight I go to check some stuff in the camper after it has been parked in the driveway for 4 days. My 12v lights are super dim, and after about 5 min they are dead/off.

My fridge is off. What could be draining my battery in 4 days? This is not good for the battery as far as I understand.

Any suggestions as to where the issue may be?

Thanks as always.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:24 PM   #2
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First, depending on what you operated over the weekend, a one hour drive may not have been long enough. Did you check the battery state when you got home?

You may need to check for parasitic loads. Turn everything off. Disconnect the negative post on your battery and connect a multi-meter with at least 20 amp capability between the cable and the negative terminal. If you are using an analog meter, be careful of the polarity. Set the meter on the highest amp scale initially. With everything off there should be not current flowing. If the meter shows no current on the initial setting, go to each lower settting one step at a time. If at any point there is current, start pulling fuses until the current goes away. Your problem is in that circuit.

If you your trailer has and LP/CO detector, that may be your draw, as most units don't have a switch and are on whenever a fuse is in that circuit.

Good luck with your search. I hope you find the problem quickly.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.
I will be put with the voltmeter testing the brakes this weekend anyways, so sounds like I have more to test!

I don't have the LP gas detector installed yet (that is another project) so my drain must be something else.

Hopefully I can find it. Thanks!

Ps. I'm not great with the whole testing thing, so I will probably have some follow up questions. Been waaaay to long since I used a voltmeter, but I'll figure it out.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:44 PM   #4
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To answer your questions, I didn't have much on battery after we got to the site and turned everything on to shore power. With that said I did run the fridge on the way home.... so that could have done it. I did not test the battery upon returning home.

For the record, we did get a bigger than average battery with more power capacity (not miliamps, but the other number that denotes how much charge it can hold at a time, don't remember the correct term). So I would hope it would power the fridge for more than an hour, while recieving a charge as well.

Is it possible my converter is bad? If so, how do I test?
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:55 AM   #5
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To answer your questions, I didn't have much on battery after we got to the site and turned everything on to shore power. With that said I did run the fridge on the way home.... so that could have done it. I did not test the battery upon returning home.
For the record, we did get a bigger than average battery with more power capacity (not miliamps, but the other number that denotes how much charge it can hold at a time, don't remember the correct term). So I would hope it would power the fridge for more than an hour, while recieving a charge as well.
Is it possible my converter is bad? If so, how do I test?
Ginny, are you saying the refer was running on 12v while traveling? I'll get popped for this from some but most everyone, from the many posts here, that try that without some big equipment changes, it always seems to drain the battery. I really don't understand why folks with the "standard" 3 way refers even bother. The truckers type designed 12v refers are a different story. A cold fridge will stay cold for a few hours with no power. Just my thoughts of 12v, hope someone can help you find your fix .
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:40 AM   #6
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Check to see if your converter is plugged in. I run my fridge all the time why i am on route, no issues, that's what it is for. Good Luck. Carl
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:08 AM   #7
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Ginny, are you saying the refer was running on 12v while traveling? I'll get popped for this from some but most everyone, from the many posts here, that try that without some big equipment changes, it always seems to drain the battery. I really don't understand why folks with the "standard" 3 way refers even bother. The truckers type designed 12v refers are a different story. A cold fridge will stay cold for a few hours with no power. Just my thoughts of 12v, hope someone can help you find your fix .
TIMES TWO

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Old 08-19-2016, 08:11 AM   #8
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Check to see if your converter is plugged in. I run my fridge all the time why i am on route, no issues, that's what it is for. Good Luck. Carl
Carl, I run my refer all the time I'm traveling, except when fueling, but on LP, not 12 volts.

Are you running on 12 volts? If so, is yours an absorption type refer?
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:19 AM   #9
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This may help you understand..... I dont have any problems with my fridge on 12v... never have in 6 yr of ownership. I dont have to "bother" with icechests, block ice, dry ice, not opening the fridge while on the road because I'm letting out cold air, running it on the controversial LP.... So, sorry to disappoint you, but it's really no bother at all. Sorry you guys cant enjoy that simple luxury.

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I really don't understand why folks with the "standard" 3 way refers even bother. The truckers type designed 12v refers are a different story. A cold fridge will stay cold for a few hours with no power. Just my thoughts of 12v, hope someone can help you find your fix .
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:50 AM   #10
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With our 16 ft 2000 Scamp, and small fridge, we always traveled with fridge on 12 v. BUT, another owner had done some diagnostics and found that the factory wiring was not heavy enough to power the fridge. It would only get about 10 volts. So, he, and I both, ran a 12 gauge wire from the battery directly to the fridge. adding a fuse at the battery end. It took some planning to route the wire under and through the frame members. then into the fridge compartment so as not to make holes in the fiberglass. Our fridge is located on curb side, right next to the entry door.
NOW, whenever we stop for lunch, or for more than a pit stop, we shut off the 12 V switch to avoid draining down the TV battery. Just have to turn it back on again while travelling.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:15 AM   #11
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Carl, I run my refer all the time I'm traveling, except when fueling, but on LP, not 12 volts.

Are you running on 12 volts? If so, is yours an absorption type refer?
No, just the small 1.9 no freezer. That's all we need for just two of us. Carl
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:03 PM   #12
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Running the fridge on 12 volts could run down the battery fairly quickly. According to Dometic, the 12 volt operation on an RM2193 consumes 125 watts in the heating element, which is about 10 amps. Many tow vehicles aren't wired in such a way to supply that much power, so in that case it would get those amps from your battery. 10 amps per hour could use up 50% of your 100 amp battery capacity in just 5 hours.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:48 PM   #13
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Thank you all for the replies!

After reading your posts here and reading several other good posts on the forum from other owners, I am 99% sure that the issue is simply because I ran the fridge.
I am going to charge up the battery this weekend and see how long it keeps a charge, also we will be camping again Labor Day weekend, so I will try running without the fridge on when towing.
My guess is the line from my alternator is 12 gauge not 10, and is probably not powerful enough to both run my fridge and charge my battery while towing.

Thank you all for the insight!
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:23 AM   #14
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Thank you all for the replies!
I am going to charge up the battery this weekend and see how long it keeps a charge, also we will be camping again Labor Day weekend, so I will try running without the fridge on when towing.
My guess is the line from my alternator is 12 gauge not 10, and is probably not powerful enough to both run my fridge and charge my battery while towing.
Good decision Ginny, just cool down the refer for 24 hrs on 110v before you travel and have it loaded with pre cooled items, you'll be fine for a few hours travel time. Once you plug in or use LP on arrival it won't take much time to make up the cold as it's not starting from a hot point. Your tugs alt even with a larger gauge wire may not make a difference for the refer you have but it seems a few folks can. Charging the house battery while towing should be a piece of cake.
Let us know how the Labor Day trip goes .
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