Did I kill the two 6-volt batteries? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-05-2016, 09:25 PM   #1
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Name: Dale
Trailer: 1996 Bigfoot 17
Oregon
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Did I kill the two 6-volt batteries?

I kept our Bigfoot 17 plugged into 110v power all winter and late last fall I noticed they were going dead and seemed to not recharge while towing. There was a water leak so I kept 110 power going into the trailer for some heat and a fan inside to dry out the interior. Now I noticed that the 110 is not charging the batteries and they are dead dead.

Any suggestions on where I start to troubleshoot?
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:33 PM   #2
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How is the electrolyte level? Try topping the cells off, recharge, let it sit for several hours, and then check each cell with a hydrometer.
Dave & Paula
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:01 AM   #3
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Name: Jack L
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Washington
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It would also be a good idea to check your inverter. Many times the older inverters overcharge the batteries and ruin them. If this is the case, a new inverter and new batteries would be required.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:17 AM   #4
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Name: John Michael
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Madison, Wisconsin
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Add some distilled water. You will likely be fine. But, don't make a habit of it.

Good luck, john
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:15 AM   #5
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Name: Darral
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Tennessee
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My Scamp has a "Progressive Dynamics" converter (I believe that's what was meant instead of an 'inverter'). They have a "Charge Wizard" available for it. IF you're going to leave your RV plugged in full time, you need to do one of 3 things:
Unhook the battery and charge it periodically; IF you have a "Progressive" get the Charge Wizard and it will take care of that problem by NOT letting it over-charge; OR still unhook the battery then attach a Battery Tender Jr. (or Battery Minder) to it (it works the same as the Wizard). If you dont take one of these actions (if you havent already), you WILL destroy your battery. And really...the same applies....if you DONT keep the battery charged regularly, it will greatly shorten the life of it.

What EVER you do, dont go out and buy a cheap battery charger like the ones made for jumping off your vehicle. The more expensive ones will have a "Smart" charger built into it. Just make sure it does if you dont purchase one of the ones I mentioned. The Battery Minder has a charger that will actually "desulfate" your battery but it's more expensive.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:50 AM   #6
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Name: Jack L
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Washington
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Yep, my bad. I mean to say converter. A converter takes AC power and changes it to DC power. In this case 120 Volts AC is changed to 12 Volts DC. An inverter changes DC to AC. Sorry for the confusion. I was half asleep when I posted.posted
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:09 AM   #7
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Name: Daniel A.
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British Columbia
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In the case of batteries that have been fully run down the average charger won't bring the battery back to life as the sensors won't see a charge level and will assume its charged. If you use jumpers and connect to a good battery allowing the charge from one to flow to the other than you should be able to recover the battery with a charger.
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:01 PM   #8
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Name: Larry H
Trailer: Trillium
Arizona
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Battery tender

Hello,

When your battery is dead or low I believe it
is better charge it before adding water if the
electrolyte is still above the plates.

In my experience a 'Battery Tender' is a great
solution to maintaining batteries while the trailer
is not being used. The Trojan Series 27 SC225
that is on my Trillium is in its 6th year and is still
working well having been maintained with a
Deltran Battery Tender/1.25 Amp unit.


Robot Check

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/dat...ata_Sheets.pdf

Good Luck
Larry H
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:12 PM   #9
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
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Test the battery and your trailer's charging system with a volt meter.
If your on board charger is working and the battery is dead you should get a reading of over 14.0 volts....the reading will drop off to less than 14 volts to a range of 13.9 to 13.2 if the battery is accepting the charge. Make sure you top off each cell in battery with distilled water prior to your system check.
The age of your battery(s) may be your problem...average battery life is unpredictable...could be from 3 years to 8 years...average is closer to 3.
Deep discharges can kill batteries...always avoid deep discharges...most batteries do not survive .
A added a nifty little digital voltmeter to my travel trailer for a quick check of my system. I found it on Amazon for under $8 along with an excellent assortment of
AGM deep cycle batteries that Amazon sells at bargain prices. AGM batteries are sealed...never leak...can be sent UPS or FedEX...AGM=Asorbed glass Matt...
The glass matts are fiberglass. You just might need a new battery...AGM batteries outlast standard acid liquid batteries and withstand deep discharges better....also have higher AH ratings.

Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:21 PM   #10
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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If those 6V batts are golf cart batteries, they have very heavy plates and may survive the ordeal... albeit with some loss of capacity.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:31 AM   #11
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Name: Dale
Trailer: 1996 Bigfoot 17
Oregon
Posts: 13
Thanks for the advice. I started with cleaning the battery terminals and filled both batteries with almost 3/4 gallon of distilled water but no charge overnight. I also recall the converter/charger making noise (fan), but it seems very quiet now. Now to figure out if the converter/charger is working, if there is an electrical short somewhere, or just dead batteries.

The odd thing is that when I plug in the 7-pin connector to the truck, there is no power to the trailer, but all the trailer running lights/brake lights/etc. work. Maybe all trailer accessories are powered from the battery and not the converter/charger?

Most places we camp do not have power so working batteries are helpful. I guess I was very naive about battery care and camper electrical systems.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:48 AM   #12
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
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If you battery(s) took that much distilled water chances are they are history.
The plates were high and dry.
Your tow vehicle powers the trailer's brake lights, turn signals etc thru the 7 pin connector...not the battery in the trailer.
Break down and buy a test meter and trace down the problem.
A simple voltmeter will tell you a lot.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:22 AM   #13
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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DaleinPortland.... Take the batteries to "Battery Exchange". There's a couple in Portland, they'll test the batteries for you, charge them necessary and give you the good or bad news. They also have a pretty good warranty.
I don't know if they charge for this service, but I have bought a couple batteries from them and have never been charged for testing.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:28 AM   #14
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Your tow vehicle powers the trailer's brake lights, turn signals etc thru the 7 pin connector...not the battery in the trailer.
Break down and buy a test meter and trace down the problem.
A simple voltmeter will tell you a lot.
Actually there IS or should be plus 12 volt FEED pin in the 7 pin connector to charge your trailer battery from your tow vehicle that's also used and required to power your break away brake switch in many, maybe all states.
Go here for a very nice printable .PDF diagram of the 7 pin connectors.
It says "All rights Reserved" so I'm not including it
http://www.countrytrailersales.com/uploads/7wayplug.pdf

Joe
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