battery being drawn down without use - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-12-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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Name: ruth
Trailer: 1986 13' scamp
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battery being drawn down without use

It seems as soon as I unplug my charger from the battery it is draining. example: unplugged it, at which time it was a green light meaning float charge, for 1 1/2hr to take it to get tire fixed, returned plugged it in, was a red light meaning charging. it has been charging for 57hrs and counting now. I am going to look at the wiring but was wondering about others experiences with this. rewired the trailer harness, what a nightmare somebody had done a real job on it! but it finally worked and then once I arrived and dropped it, then turned the battery on that night - low and behold the rear tail light lit up!!!! go figure!!!! oh btw battery is new in may, probably will exchange it.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
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You should NOT have the house battery wired to the tail lights. It might be a good idea to take to somebody that trouble shoot the wiring and fix it.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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I'm aware the lights should not be wired to the battery, the wiring harness on the trailer was recut and attached to harness. the battery wiring has not been touched. If I was able to afford to pay for someone to troubleshoot this that would of been my first choice.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayleigh0302 View Post
I'm aware the lights should not be wired to the battery, the wiring harness on the trailer was recut and attached to harness. the battery wiring has not been touched. If I was able to afford to pay for someone to troubleshoot this that would of been my first choice.
By NOT paying somebody to troubleshoot and fix your wiring you stand to loose a lot more. Electrical fires in fiberglass trailers usually mean the end of the trailer. So think about it some more. Is it worth the risk?
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kayleigh0302 View Post
I'm aware the lights should not be wired to the battery, the wiring harness on the trailer was recut and attached to harness. the battery wiring has not been touched. If I was able to afford to pay for someone to troubleshoot this that would of been my first choice.
Heck (or stonger) most of what I know about fixing stuff is because paying to have it done was not an option, or at least not a good option.

These things always boil down to a process of elimination and untangling, sort of like Christmas lights.

If battery loses charge while totally disconnected from trailer, it's battery, otherwise not battery. Battery could have a short inside that draws power down.

You mention that the trailer plug was re-done, possibly a cross over now exists between aux wire that would feed trailer 12 volt from tow vehicle to run lights or fridge while driving, or wire to feed charge to battery from tow? Plug harness would be one place the wires for battery and tail lights would all be in one place getting connected.

Your going to need a meter if you don't already have one, cheap one from big box store will work fine.

If battery is OK you need to check amp draw with the meter.
This has some info on settings for meter to test this.
How to Find a Parasitic Battery Drain: 9 steps - wikiHow
And video of someone doing it for a car.
Testing For Current Drain That Runs Down Car Battery - YouTube

Not too complex a process, just a PITA to work through the process.

I would test draw with tow/trailer plugged in and without. Just to eliminate/implicate plug wiring as a problem.

If you have a draw measured from battery with everything "off" it comes down to disconnecting things or removing fuses one at a time until the draw stops, remove tail light bulb(s), 12 v interior light bulbs, fuse from water pump or entertainment devices, if you have an inverter that too.

If your already "know" about a tail light test draw using meter with that bulb in and then removed.

Once you know for sure what is drawing it's mostly just a matter of following those specific wires and finding the crossed connection.

I think Brian is concerned that there is a short which could heat up and cause a fire, could be, but the draw on battery would be pretty high when checked with meter if you have a wiring or full short in a device.

One thing that I don't always do but never regret doing is buying wire that color matches anything I re-wire. Makes life a lot easier if the brown wire at tail light is brown all the way to the trailer plug. If not for me, then someone else eventually.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #6
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no it's not worth it, but again I don't have the money for a electrical expo so I do not have that option. sorry. I will work thru the above lots of great feed back thanks.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
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no it's not worth it, but again I don't have the money for a electrical expo so I do not have that option. sorry. I will work thru the above lots of great feed back thanks.
Always nice to have a pro look at it or do the work, however if you spend enough years doing it yourself and learning as you go there can be a lot of satisfaction from that. If nothing else it gets hard for a "pro" to feed you a line of BS

Nothing beats knowing how it is put together because you have been there, done that. Pro might be faster, might do it better or make fewer mistakes, but owning the knowledge, experience and satisfaction has a lot going for it too.

I would not worry too much about fire hazard, shorts that can cause a fire tend to raise a stink of melting plastic. Just don't leave battery connected when away so you can keep an eye (or nose) on it.

Post back what you find so we will know how it worked out. I'm sure you will get it figured out eventually, best of luck.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:28 PM   #8
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You have to listen to Byron. It is wired wrong. The on-board battery does not supply +DC to any of the running lights. Ask around for help.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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You have to listen to Byron. It is wired wrong. The on-board battery does not supply +DC to any of the running lights. Ask around for help.
See post #3 by OP, they know it's wrong for house batt to run trailer light. Indicate possible mistake might have been made in trailer plug replacement.

Trailer plug to trailer is the one spot where all the wires are pretty much in one location. If I had this job to do after I confirmed batt ok and parasite draw source exist it's where I would be looking first to find the cause.

If the wiring was enough of a mess-o-splices one might just start by disconnecting all and hook up one at a time correctly. Replacing any wiring runs that seemed pieced together or cobbled.

Do one known good connection at a time. Time consuming but done right when done. And cost in $$$ is kept to min. maybe some wire by the foot if needed. Plus a meter for $10 -$15 if one does not have or have access to one.
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