Battery problem or system problem? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2015, 12:16 PM   #1
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
Posts: 592
Battery problem or system problem?

On our first trip this year to our favorite Adirondack Lakefront Campground (no hook-up state park) our battery was very very low. The battery had been stored inside for the winter and kept on a trickle charger. The trailer was pluged into house power for a month before departure and the monitor panel said all was working including the charger. I did not check the monitor's reading on the battery after the external power was removed so I have no idea if the battery took a charge.

We bought the trailer last year used. The battery worked fine last year.
We used our inverter generator for this trip and the weak battery.
I will attempt to charge the battery on my home charger tomorrow.
If the battery does not take a charge them I need to get a new one.
Any help in selecting a good one would be appreciated.

If the battery does charge then I will assume I have a system problem in the trailer...but....the monitor panel says everything is working fine...it even confirmed the battery was weak....is there a way to test the system or should I trust the monitor panel. I am trying to avoid a trip to the RV dealership's repair department and head out to another lakefront campsite with fishing pole in hand as soon as possible.

Any help from this great group would be appreciated.😀

Thanks.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:34 PM   #2
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Patrick a done battery may take the charge but how long it holds it is the tell tail sign as to whether or not its usable. Once you know its charged up - unplug it and let it sit for a few hours then take a reading.

Its pretty common for a previously owned battery to need replacing - especially if the previous owner was not careful about not running it down below 50%. It only takes a few times of running a battery down to nothing before its usability is questionable.

What battery you need to replace it with depends a lot on what your power needs are. I can get good service with lots of dry camping for 5 years or so out of a simple Group 27 battery from Costco. But my power needs are not great due to running all LED's and fridge on propane etc when dry camping. I am also careful about not over draining the battery.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:34 PM   #3
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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Many batteries have a code date sticker on them that indicates the month and year the battery was made. The sticker is usually round and about 3/4 inch in diameter with two numbers on it that indicate the month and year the battery was made. If your battery is old, replacement is a good idea. A good hydrometer to check specific gravity of the electrolyte and a good load tester will tell you a lot too. Sears Auto Centers usually have high quality equipment that will test a battery. This service was free a few years ago when I used it. Not sure if there is a fee for it now.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:13 PM   #4
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Name: Dan
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Minnesota
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A lead-acid battery will self discharge over the winter if not charged. Your battery might be recoverable, or it might be too far gone. See http://www.batteryfaq.org/ for more information.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:39 PM   #5
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Three things to check first: 1 - Is there enough acid in the cells to cover the plates?, best if up to the "full" indicators.
2 - Are the terminal posts clean, not corroded?
3 - is the top of the battery clean and dry? If dirty and wet, it can make a leakage path to discharge the battery

A fully charged and healthy battery does NOT need to be kept on a trickle charger all winter.
The other comments are valid too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
On our first trip this year to our favorite Adirondack Lakefront Campground (no hook-up state park) our battery was very very low. The battery had been stored inside for the winter and kept on a trickle charger. The trailer was pluged into house power for a month before departure and the monitor panel said all was working including the charger. I did not check the monitor's reading on the battery after the external power was removed so I have no idea if the battery took a charge.

We bought the trailer last year used. The battery worked fine last year.
We used our inverter generator for this trip and the weak battery.
I will attempt to charge the battery on my home charger tomorrow.
If the battery does not take a charge them I need to get a new one.
Any help in selecting a good one would be appreciated.

If the battery does charge then I will assume I have a system problem in the trailer...but....the monitor panel says everything is working fine...it even confirmed the battery was weak....is there a way to test the system or should I trust the monitor panel. I am trying to avoid a trip to the RV dealership's repair department and head out to another lakefront campsite with fishing pole in hand as soon as possible.

Any help from this great group would be appreciated.😀

Thanks.
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