Wiring problem - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-05-2012, 05:46 PM   #1
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Wiring problem

Hello,
Our 1974 Boler drains the car battery in less than 15 minutes if we leave the 7-pin plugged in when the car is not running. Is this a sign that the wiring of the Boler was done incorrectly or that the wiring of the 7-pin on the car was done incorrectly? The previous owner redid the wiring of the Boler himself
Thank you.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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Could be a sign that the battery on the Boler is shot.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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Even after replacing the battery the problem continued.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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You replaced the battery in the trailer, right?
OK, unhook the battery in the trailer, make sure it's at full charge. If you have a battery charge use it get a full charge, if you not I suggest you get a small "smart" charger. They're a good things to carry with you.
Once the trailer battery is at a full charge, connect it back up and watch the battery voltage. Again a small inexpensive multimeter will do the trick.
If the trailer battery goes down rapidly then there's something wrong in the trailer. If not you probably have another wiring issue in tow vehicle or cable going to the trailer.

This would be a good time to take the trailer to an RV repair shop.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:31 PM   #5
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Are you running the fridge on 12V when this is happening? A older fridge will run a battery down real fast. If not then as Byron says something isnt right in Kansas.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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It's pretty hard to kill a battery in 15 minutes without a large load on it. As was mentioned a fridge takes a lot of current. I'd disconnect it and see if the problem continues. Maybe it's still "on" even when you think it's turned off.

A small multi-meter can measure amperage. Put it in line and see how many amps are flowing. It's a bit of puzzle to me because obviously a lot of current is going somewhere but it's not a short circuit or you'd have smoking wires or a blown fuse.

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
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Check your tow vehicle battery also.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chantal L. View Post
Even after replacing the battery the problem continued.
Which battery? Car or boler? You did say your car battery was dying right?
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:56 PM   #9
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I'm thinking if the camper on board battery does not "die" in 15 minutes when not connected to power then it has to be something hooked directly up to the trailer plug.

If car has typical light duty wire for 12 volt trailer feed there would be a significant voltage drop, would the fridge (if on) then draw down the battery faster from that?

I'm wondering if prev. owner might have wired something like fridge directly to trailer plug, only use 12 volt option while driving so trailer battery would not get killed by the load. If that person had a relay on the car accessory circut to isolate the trailer feed/battery line to the trailer plug then turning off the car would disconnect and end load. So they had no problem but.....

If current owner trailer plug has that 12 volt feed hard wired without a relay or isolator they would still have the drain on car battery.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I'm thinking if the camper on board battery does not "die" in 15 minutes when not connected to power then it has to be something hooked directly up to the trailer plug.

.
If the trailer battery has a shorted cell, it could cause this kind of a problem. We're still not sure what battery was new, the one in tow, or the one in the trailer.

If the trailer battery was not replaced I sure would suspect that it has a shorted cell.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:33 PM   #11
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If the trailer battery has a shorted cell, it could cause this kind of a problem. We're still not sure what battery was new, the one in tow, or the one in the trailer.

If the trailer battery was not replaced I sure would suspect that it has a shorted cell.
Shorted cell it could be but if so the trailer battery would die rapidly even if charged by battery charger but not connected at trailer plug. Sediment can do a "slow" short in a deep cycle batt that would make the battery a heavy drain if connected to tow.

I was shooting for elimination, if trailer batt. dies with trailer not plugged in problem is trailer specific because car trailer plug and wiring is not in the picture.

I would then disconnect trailer batt and test. But I have meter, hydometer and charger so not a big deal. Or I would take it into the battery shop.

Simple test sequence for folks without test equipment is:
Charge battery. Make sure fridge is off at the propane/110/12 volt switch and see if batt can run trailer inside lights for a couple of minutes. If it won't run the 12 volt lights or they rapidly dim even after batt. is charged it's a bad battery.

If it will run the lights, disconnect batt. and reconnnect next day to see if it will run lights after sitting overnight. No? Bad battery, probably with a short that killed it even when not connected.

If however the trailer battery will still run the lights the next day, turn lights off and leave connected. Check back in a couple of hours and see if being connected to the trailer 12 volt system kills it.

If it does die from being connected to trailer then there is a short or something like fridge or an inverter is drawing power even when off. Time to start disconnecting stuff or get a meter to track down the line that is drawing the juice.

If trailer battery connected to trailer overnight or through the day does not die then it's something with the tow and it's plug. But as described tow battery dies ONLY if plugged into trailer.

That would either be a draw in the trailer wired directly to the trailer plug or some sort of short in the plug or it's wires on the car.

I would as others have mentioned expect a burning smell or melted wires for tow or plug short but have seen shorts from oil or across damp wires that did draw but did not get hot enough to melt. Still 15 minutes to dead battery is a really big draw, headlights won't kill it that fast typically.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:47 PM   #12
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I think that the OP needs to provide more information.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Shorted cell it could be but if so the trailer battery would die rapidly even if charged by battery charger but not connected at trailer plug. Sediment can do a "slow" short in a deep cycle batt that would make the battery a heavy drain if connected to tow.

I was shooting for elimination, if trailer batt. dies with trailer not plugged in problem is trailer specific because car trailer plug and wiring is not in the picture.

I would then disconnect trailer batt and test. But I have meter, hydometer and charger so not a big deal. Or I would take it into the battery shop.

Simple test sequence for folks without test equipment is:
Charge battery. Make sure fridge is off at the propane/110/12 volt switch and see if batt can run trailer inside lights for a couple of minutes. If it won't run the 12 volt lights or they rapidly dim even after batt. is charged it's a bad battery.

If it will run the lights, disconnect batt. and reconnnect next day to see if it will run lights after sitting overnight. No? Bad battery, probably with a short that killed it even when not connected.

If however the trailer battery will still run the lights the next day, turn lights off and leave connected. Check back in a couple of hours and see if being connected to the trailer 12 volt system kills it.

If it does die from being connected to trailer then there is a short or something like fridge or an inverter is drawing power even when off. Time to start disconnecting stuff or get a meter to track down the line that is drawing the juice.

If trailer battery connected to trailer overnight or through the day does not die then it's something with the tow and it's plug. But as described tow battery dies ONLY if plugged into trailer.

That would either be a draw in the trailer wired directly to the trailer plug or some sort of short in the plug or it's wires on the car.

I would as others have mentioned expect a burning smell or melted wires for tow or plug short but have seen shorts from oil or across damp wires that did draw but did not get hot enough to melt. Still 15 minutes to dead battery is a really big draw, headlights won't kill it that fast typically.
I agree with Tom, the information provided by the OP is not sufficient. I'm assuming that the battery that was replaced was the battery in the tow vehicle. That assumption could be entirely wrong. I hope the OP comes in with more details.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:21 AM   #14
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A bad cell will also cause this problem.

Lost Technology:
Using a hydrometer is lost technology. It is used to measure each cell of the battery . You completely charge the battery then pull the fluid into the hydrometer and it will tell you the charged rate of each cell. Should you have a bad cell, it will identify it. This is the reason that I only purchase batteries that provide access to each cell.

You can still purchase a BATTERY hydrometer for around $10 at parts stores and maybe Wallyworld.

Amazon.com: hydrometer battery tester

Walmart.com: E-Z Red S101 Battery Hydrometer: Tools
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