Lights out! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-07-2012, 12:37 AM   #1
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Lights out!

Hi there. i was just in trailer after long absence. It has just been towed a ways so should have a full battery. I was getting it set up for a house guest tmrw so i had all the (LED) lights on when i plugged in the (computer) fan and all went dead. i checked the fuse (amongst all the wires) and it looked fine but i replaced it just in case. Nothing. The red light is on in the panel that came with the solar kit and it says 'load disconnect'. I have no idea where to start. I pressed the button and pulled the knob on the main converter. nothing. Any ideas? There was almost no power draw and this is a deep cell battery with a brand new solar kit. In fact Ive never even used it since it was installed. My guest is coming tmrw and it would be nice to have light in there for her. Thanks a lot
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:03 AM   #2
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Sounds like a battery issue. Perhaps a fuse at the battery. I would move the trailer close enough to an AC outlet and plug in. Get through your visit and then have the battery and 7 way plug checked out. Good luck, Raz
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:37 AM   #3
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Your solar charger may disconnect the battery if the voltage is too low to prevent you from damaging your battery. Check to see what the voltage reading is at the battery. If you have any sun today, hook up your solar charger or use a battery charger if necessary.

As Raz indicates you may have more than one fuse.

Or there may be a short somewhere, turn off all the lights and disconnect the fan. Then try a single LED light or two.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:16 AM   #4
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If your trailer was unused for a very long period of time your battery may have discharged to the point where it will no longer even take a charge and may need replecement.
Start out by checking for actual attery voltage. if you are below 10 volts your battery is not only dead, it may be damaged.
On top of that, depending on the TV line to charge a dead battery is a poor bet at best. I would check the TV charging line first, you may not have charged it while towing, then try to charge it off of the converter for a few days. If it's the original 1976 converter, it is a poor battery charger at best.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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interesting. . .

So many potential problems to consider. Yes, it wasn't used in a long time, almost a year. But, i was told battery would charge while driving and we drove for 5 hours +. I could plug in the solar today, but if the battery wouldn't accept a charge then that wouldn't charge it would it? The lights went out when i plugged computer fan into 12v outlet. The upper computer fan which is wired directly to battery worked fine though i didn't have it on, just a test run. What is a TV line? I have a battery meter that plugs into outlet but that's only way i can or know how to test battery. another factor to consider that i didn't mention was the solar kit was brand new, worked at installation, then at pick up from shop it wasn't working and shop owner who did install couldn't figure out why. But, it was working again before i rolled out of there. Does that front panel on the cupboard where it says 'fuse' push do anything? Is there a fuse in there? I couldn't get it open and didn't want to force it too much in case it isn't meant to open. thanks i will get out there today and investigate. I'm nervous leaving solar panel in yard in case its stolen. perhaps i can get it on roof?
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Sounds like a battery issue. Perhaps a fuse at the battery. I would move the trailer close enough to an AC outlet and plug in. Get through your visit and then have the battery and 7 way plug checked out. Good luck, Raz
If there is a fuse at the battery where would it be hiding? As far as i know it's just a battery in a box. Is there a fuse on the front panel power converter (original) That little blue box shaped button that says 'fuse 15v"- Is there a fuse in there and how to get in it? Thanks
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:20 PM   #7
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Hi Cyndi. If your battery sat for a year without being recharged it is most likely shot. A measurement will confirm that. If you don't have a meter you can take it to any auto parts store for testing. Since LED lights use so little current they will continue to operate even when the battery is way down.

Fuses hide in fuse holders. At the battery you could have a holder that unscrew on the positive wire. If you have one it will be obvious. But I am betting the battery will need to be replaced. Raz
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:04 PM   #8
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Thanks. i will look at that. The only battery tester i have is the meter type that plugs into 12v socket. I hope that will work. if not i'll ask around. Do you think i'd get any action if i plugged the solar kit in, or if dead battery it would be useless? thanks
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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RE: Battery Problems
"I was told" ranks right up there with "The last owner said it worked but we didn't ever use it". But here's an easy check: Plug your battery meter into a 12 volt outlet in the trailer, and read the voltage, then plug in the line to the TV (TV means Tow Vehicle) and start te engine, the voltage reading should increase up to about 13.5-14 volts. If it stays the same ,there is no connection to the engines alternator/battery system.
With the trailer plugged into the TV, IF the voltage does go up you will know you are connected to the vehicles electrical system. Now check your lights and other stuff, if it works you will pretty much know that the battery is kaput...
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
RE: Battery Problems
"I was told" ranks right up there with "The last owner said it worked but we didn't ever use it". But here's an easy check: Plug your battery meter into a 12 volt outlet in the trailer, and read the voltage, then plug in the line to the TV (TV means Tow Vehicle) and start te engine, the voltage reading should increase up to about 13.5-14 volts. If it stays the same ,there is no connection to the engines alternator/battery system.
With the trailer plugged into the TV, IF the voltage does go up you will know you are connected to the vehicles electrical system. Now check your lights and other stuff, if it works you will pretty much know that the battery is kaput...
Great instructions-Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:58 PM   #11
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The way some solar chargers are set up is to cut the power from the battery when the voltage drops below a certain level. If that is the case the plug in tester will not work until the battery voltage increases. If the TV is not charging the battery for whatever reason, the plug in voltage meter won't show anything.

Cyndi's key comment in her initial post that leads me to think that way is "The red light is on in the panel that came with the solar kit and it says 'load disconnect'."

Read the section (What is a Load, or "Low Voltage Disconnect" output?) near the bottom of this page: Charge Controllers for Solar Electric Systems
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:05 PM   #12
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new info

Hi, not sure if this will change any suggestions; I finally had a chance to investigate further and when i popped the cover and looked at battery the red was disconnected. Not sure, it may have come loose on drive, but have a VERY vague recollection that someone disconnected it b/c it was going to be sitting for a while. But that is so faint I'm not even sure it happened. Anyway, it would not have charged on the drive up. I cant really drive it around to charge it up so i will try and borrow, rent or buy a battery charger. But- would the battery be chargeable now? Thanks
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
The way some solar chargers are set up is to cut the power from the battery when the voltage drops below a certain level. If that is the case the plug in tester will not work until the battery voltage increases. If the TV is not charging the battery for whatever reason, the plug in voltage meter won't show anything.

Cyndi's key comment in her initial post that leads me to think that way is "The red light is on in the panel that came with the solar kit and it says 'load disconnect'."

Read the section (What is a Load, or "Low Voltage Disconnect" output?) near the bottom of this page: Charge Controllers for Solar Electric Systems
Uh- i read that but dont understand it I sort of gather that it shuts off the load if the battery gets to a too low level? So i can assume that's happened as mentioned in my other post red was disconnected so it didnt charge up. I just hope it will take a charge now vs buying new battery.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:30 PM   #14
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Grab a volt-meter and check the voltage. If it is anywhere near 12 (or above) it will be charge-able. The fact that it was disconnected may well be in your favour ("favor" in USA) as it may not have been drawn down by "parasitic loads" like co2 detector etc in trailer. (I always try to remember to disconnect my battery on returning home - in fact I have a disconnect switch installed.) And yes, the trailer break-away brakes are wired such that they do NOT get disconnected when I turn the disconnect switch to "off"! Disconnecting saves my battery from being a one-trip per battery thing!

If its WAY below 10V then you pull out your credit card to see if the new replacement battery is "charge-able".
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