Battery Drain - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-21-2018, 09:11 PM   #1
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Name: Em
Trailer: Burro
Oregon
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Battery Drain

Hi there. We are new owners of a 1990 Burro 13'. We are just figuring things out and recently had an issue on the road. During a 4 day dry camp road trip, we covered 900+ miles. While camping we did not use the interior lights much or run the fridge long. We unplugged our 7way plug whenever parked. We got to our final destination and parked for a few days, also unplugged. Three days later, the car battery was dead, as was the camper battery.

We're not sure why everything drained during transit. Even after we jumped the car, running lights didn't work on the camper, though turn and brake lights did. Any info would be welcome, as we are still learning how everything works.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:34 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, 2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4
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well, sounds like you have TWO seperate issues, if the tow vehicle's battery discharged .... I would verify the alternator is working properly, any battery store can do a couple quick tests for you on this, most will do them for free...

or use a digital volt meter. measuree the battery voltage after the car has been parked a couple hours.... if the battery is close to fully charged, it should be around 12.6V. now start the car and measure it with the engine running, it should be about 1-1.6 volts higher, like 13.6-14.2V

measure the trailer battery with the volt meter, ditto if its fully charged, it should be around 12.6V. deeply discharged, 12V or a little under. plug the 7-blade in, start the car engine, you should see 13.6-14.2V charging voltage. (but if the car isn't charging its own battery, fix that first, you likely need a new voltage regulator or maybe an alternator, or maybe a new belt).
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:19 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot FT20
Michigan
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Most likely a dead short. From what little we know, I would first check your 7-pin connector on the trailer.
From what you have said, the running light wire may have come loose and has come in contact with your 12volt hot wire from tow.
You have to start somewhere. If your not comfortable messing with it, take it too Uhaul.
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Old 05-22-2018, 06:09 AM   #4
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Originally Posted by Burreau View Post
...While camping we did not use the interior lights much or run the fridge long. ...
What do you consider long? Was it run on 12 volts? (Yes, from what little info provided we can only guess). It only takes a few hours to kill the battery running on 12 volts without being connected to shore power or a tow veh charge line (or with one that is insufficient). If the fridge runs on gas, that is the only way it should be used while parked and off shore power.

You may have permanently damaged one or both batteries so now they wont hold more than a slight charge. Do a proper load test and / hyrdometer test on both batteries. How old are they? Maybe just time to replace. Check voltages when charging, and then while also under load (fridge running) to try and see if the tug alternator is working OK. Better is using an amp meter but you can tell a lot by voltage checks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burreau View Post
..

We're not sure why everything drained during transit. Even after we jumped the car, running lights didn't work on the camper, though turn and brake lights did. Any info would be welcome, as we are still learning how everything works.
That could be a bad ground or other connection affecting only the running lights. I doubt there is a dead short since that should blow fuses(s).

You need to do methodical checking using a multimeter and tracing the wiring. Do you even have a charge line (not everyone does)? Check the voltage with tug running. Are the bulbs good? Take them out and check continuity with the meter. Is there power at the marker light fixtures? Does the ground side have near zero resistance to other ground connections? etc.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:47 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot FT20
Michigan
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How many trailer lights are fused?
Iíve never seen any
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:46 AM   #6
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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How many trailer lights are fused?
Iíve never seen any
Hopefully all of them are. If not, a dead short will burn up the wiring in about a second. In the case of a after market converter / adapter used in the tug to power the trailer's running / brake / turn lights, it should be fused at the battery. In the case of factory trailer wiring in the tug, the fuses are still there somewhere.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:53 AM   #7
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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How many trailer lights are fused?
Iíve never seen any
My trailer running lights are fused thru the tow vehicle, not the trailer itself.
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