Help dead battery & still no lights plugged in- - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-07-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
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I turned on a 12 volt light in our Scamp a couple of days ago only to find out it didn't light up. So I plugged in 110ac and still had no power. Then I hooked up a newer type battery charger that gave me a error code that said the battery was too dead to charge?

I don't know much about the converter system. Should't the 12 volt lights work plugged into 110ac even if the battery is stone dead? Is it possible the battery cannot be charged at all and has bad cells? Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
I turned on a 12 volt light in our Scamp a couple of days ago only to find out it didn't light up. So I plugged in 110ac and still had no power. Then I hooked up a newer type battery charger that gave me a error code that said the battery was too dead to charge?

I don't know much about the converter system. Should't the 12 volt lights work plugged into 110ac even if the battery is stone dead? Is it possible the battery cannot be charged at all and has bad cells? Thanks for your help.
Perhaps you have one of those "new" type chargers that won't charge unless their is a slight charge still in the battery. I have one of those and was gonna make Scmucks eat it until it was explained to me "That's the way it works". So now when I have a completely flat battery, I have to put it on my old service station type charger for 5-10 minutes, then switch it to the "friendly" that will not boil the battery dry when left on for several days. Larry
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
I turned on a 12 volt light in our Scamp a couple of days ago only to find out it didn't light up. So I plugged in 110ac and still had no power.
I don't know much about the converter system. Should't the 12 volt lights work plugged into 110ac even if the battery is stone dead?
Yes.....plugged into 110ac everything should work inside...even if the battery is dead or even unhooked. Did you try other lights or just that one?_____
I don't know too much about converters except to be sure the circuits are not "Tripped" and that they are "on"
Joe
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:41 AM   #4
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Also check and see if there is a fuse on the converter itself.

Mine does and there is no output if it is bad.

Bill K

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Yes.....plugged into 110ac everything should work inside...even if the battery is dead or even unhooked. Did you try other lights or just that one?_____
I don't know too much about converters except to be sure the circuits are not "Tripped" and that they are "on"
Joe
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
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Lead-acid batteries can go dead in a number of different ways. When lead-acid batteries are excessively discharged they "sulfate," forming chunky white crystals of lead sulfide on their lead plates. Sometimes the sulfate crystals on one plate touch those on another, forming a bridge that creates an electrical bridge that shorts the battery out. (This is a shortened explanation.)

Once a battery has been sulfated, it won't retain a charge anymore. (More on this below.) Worse yet, charging a shorted battery can boil the electrolyte, causing it to explode and spatter sulfuric acid all over the place. Very dangerous . . . which is why many battery chargers and converters won't charge a dead battery (or power the lights in your trailer).

One note about sulfated batteries. In most case recovering them is a loosing battle, but special battery-saver systems like a BatteryMinder can restore some of a lightly sulfated battery's capacity.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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Hi: Mark J...In our Escape trailer the battery is enclosed in a sealed box vented to the outside. For ease of storage they wired a kill switch in the system to shut off power rather than disconnecting the battery cables. Once while pushing away the land line I flipped the switch and there was no power 12V or 110V. Just a thought!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:24 PM   #7
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After reading this thread I realized the same thing happened to me several years ago. Once a battery is totally discharged and sulfated it almost will never take a reliable charge. To initiate a charge try using your jumper cables - Try to charge the battery with your car. Be aware that you can cause damage to the car or your self if you don't know what you are doing! I took my battery to a batteries plus to see if they could get it to recharge (it was 3 months old). Before you replace your battery and leave the camper unattended for a couple of days do the following:
#1. I would be sure that all the devices in the camper are turned off.
#2. I would use an amp meter to insure that I did not have a parasitic drain on the system. Use an amp meter on the positive lead between the battery and the camper. you should have no current flow.
#3. I woiuld have a marine type positive shut off on the battery between the camper and the battery. Isolation of the battery is the only sure way to prevent it from discharging. they should costless than $10.00 USD.
#4. In the winter: fully charge the battery and store in a warm place isolated from the concrete. I think the moisture and surface contaminants on the outside of the battery will support a small current over time to discharge the battery. Concrete helps support moisture on the battery case. Use a battery minder if you are really parinoid about destroying a battery over winter.

Marty Smiltneek
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:18 PM   #8
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First of all thanks for all of your replies & good advice. Secondly I would have to admit my mistake in not doing a good job in checking out which lights were working in the trailer BEFORE I started this request!- I'm sorry....

I went out to the "cold" garage again tonight and first hooked up a very old Heathkit charger that I assembled in 9th grade that still works (about 40 yrs old) but could not get the battery to charge at all. Next I decided to plug in the 110v and try it one more time. When I got inside the very dark trailer it dawned on me that I had tried two 12 volt lights and not the 110v light - sure enought the light slowly came on.

So this is a good news bad news story of sorts. The bad news is that I likely need a new battery and broke the hinged cover (too fragile in the cold & old plastic) to the 110v cord. The good news is that the converter is still indeed working. However, I did learn some things about batteries and converters - thanks!
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
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#3. I woiuld have a marine type positive shut off on the battery between the camper and the battery. Isolation of the battery is the only sure way to prevent it from discharging. they should costless than $10.00 USD.
#4. In the winter: fully charge the battery and store in a warm place isolated from the concrete. I think the moisture and surface contaminants on the outside of the battery will support a small current over time to discharge the battery. Concrete helps support moisture on the battery case. Use a battery minder if you are really parinoid about destroying a battery over winter.

Marty Smiltneek
As for #3, I am too lazy to install it so I just reach in the battery cave & remove the ground and negative wires to isolate the battery, since they are on the post nearest the door.

As for #4, it would seem that batteries today are sufficiently sealed they will no longer discharge while setting upon a concrete floor. In fact, it has been so for a very long time. However, whether myth or not, I still set mine down upon something else. Old habits, (and perhaps old myths), do die hard.
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