Rapid battery discharge in newer Casita - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:16 AM   #1
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Name: Craig
Trailer: Casita
Washington
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Rapid battery discharge in newer Casita

Recently bought a 2015 Casita. When storing it over the winter, the 12V primary battery goes dead after about a week. I've checked and re-checked everything electrical to make sure all are turned off, including all the breakers on the converter panel, and the 3-way refrigerator. The Casita service rep says this is normal, and a result of "phantom" electrical drains, such as the CO2 detector and the converter.
Our previous rig was a Scamp, and the battery would hold a charge all winter.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.......Carefree
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:28 AM   #2
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NW Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by carefree View Post
Recently bought a 2015 Casita. When storing it over the winter, the 12V primary battery goes dead after about a week. I've checked and re-checked everything electrical to make sure all are turned off, including all the breakers on the converter panel, and the 3-way refrigerator. The Casita service rep says this is normal, and a result of "phantom" electrical drains, such as the CO2 detector and the converter.
Our previous rig was a Scamp, and the battery would hold a charge all winter.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.......Carefree
We have a 2013 Casita SD . We leave our Casita plugged in all winter. We have an outdoor receptacle for the trailer that is controlled by a switch in our residence . Once a week we turn the power on to the trailer for 4 to 6 hours and charge the battery.
This keeps the battery from going dead and from being overcharged.
Otherwise you can disconnect and remove the battery and place the battery on a trickle charger.
Phantom loads will drain your battery.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:29 AM   #3
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Disconnect the battery after ensuring that it is fully charged and has proper water level.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:37 AM   #4
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
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Just as a suggestion, you may want to consider installing a battery cut-off switch. Here's a link to a nice one which is especially great for your Casita, but I'm sure it would work on just about any trailer battery. It is the easiest way to take your battery completely off line without having to physically disconnect the cables from the terminals.
Click here, Store | Little House Customs and scroll down to battery cut-off switch.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:45 PM   #5
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Name: Craig
Trailer: Casita
Washington
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Thanks to all

Really appreciate all the helpful replies about the battery draining problem.
Greg ....I followed your suggestion and ordered a battery shutoff switch from Little House Customs, which should help minimize the issue.
Craig
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:54 PM   #6
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The battery disconnect should do the job, but if your week was actually 7 days, at 108 milliamps a common CO/LP detector can pull 18 amp hours if the fuse is left in. That's about 2.5 amp hours a day. I just pull the fuse for the detector, just to extend it's life, as my solar panels keep the battery fully charged year round.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:42 AM   #7
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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If you are sure there are no parasitic loads on the battery, it could be dirt and moisture on the top, in contact with the terminals that creates a path for voltage to pass from the + to - posts. Make sure it is clean and dry.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:52 AM   #8
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Name: Ken
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Can find the drain this way, applied to your RV breaker Box.
https://youtu.be/n5FJDgcdii8
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:23 AM   #9
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
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Carefree,

I would place a VOM set on "AMPS" between negative cable to the battery and then you can SEE if there's an amperage draw somewhere in your trailer. If you're not comfortable doing this, I bet you have a friend close by that knows enough about electrical to test it for you. Most cheapo meters will handle 10A testing. If your trailer was pulling more than that while sitting idle, the battery would certainly go down quicker than a week!

Ummm...bad battery??
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Old 02-28-2017, 01:05 PM   #10
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Denver, CO
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Related, storing batteries on a concrete floor ruins them.

Many will be surprised, From Tom & Ray, the old Car Talk Brothers:




Fact or fiction: It's OK to set your battery down on a concrete garage floor.



Dear Car Talk

Nov 1, 1999




Dear Tom and Ray: This business of batteries and concrete floors needs to be explained and put to rest. Years ago, everybody knew that you were never supposed to put a car battery on a concrete floor because it would be quickly ruined. That statement was absolutely true, but they weren't talking about the BATTERY being ruined, they were talking about the CONCRETE FLOOR!

Batteries used to be "topped off" with water, which resulted in acid being spattered about. If you put one on a concrete floor without carefully washing it, the acid ate into the concrete, quickly ruining the floor. It didn't hurt the battery one bit, but people who misunderstood the advice and wanted to appear knowledgeable came up with all sorts of foolish explanations as to why the battery should be ruined. Even an acid-spattered battery will not leak its charge into the earth. There may be leakage across the terminals of a "top-post" battery, but that would be slight.

So here's the story: If a battery is clean, you can safely put it on your concrete floor. If it's acid-spattered, put it on somebody else's concrete floor or stick a board under it. -- Clay

RAY: Clay, you sound so utterly convincing. If it were up to me, I'd buy your story lock, stock and barrel. But my brother says you're full of baloney.

TOM: The GFCA (Garage Floor Cleaners of America) may indeed have had a hand in keeping batteries off concrete floors. But the real concern WAS the batteries.

RAY: Thirty years ago or so, most battery casings were made of hard rubber. And because of the porosity of that material, battery acid would sometimes seep through
the rubber and create a conductive path through the damp concrete, draining the battery.

TOM: But that can't happen today with plastic-cased batteries. That's because molded polypropylene (a k a plastic), is not porous at all.

RAY: So today, you can put your battery on a concrete floor for as long as you want. And here's the interesting thing, Clay. The cooler the temperature, the slower a battery's rate of discharge. And because concrete is often cooler than its surroundings, leaving a modern battery on a concrete floor might actually make it last LONGER.
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:26 PM   #11
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Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carefree View Post
Recently bought a 2015 Casita. When storing it over the winter, the 12V primary battery goes dead after about a week. I've checked and re-checked everything electrical to make sure all are turned off, including all the breakers on the converter panel, and the 3-way refrigerator. The Casita service rep says this is normal, and a result of "phantom" electrical drains, such as the CO2 detector and the converter.
Our previous rig was a Scamp, and the battery would hold a charge all winter.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.......Carefree
I'd venture to say you have a bad battery. We have a 2007 Casita and our brother and sister had a 2008 Casita. The battery only goes a little low after several weeks of storage in very cold weather. Turning off the breakers only affects the 110 V so the 12 V is not affected. Only way to turn off the 12 volt is to remove the fuses but we never do either. Take the battery to a parts place and have them check it under load. Our original battery started dying often after it was 3 years old and it was the battery itself. I'd say the rep didn't really know what he was talking about. The parasitic drains shouldn't hurt the battery that much. If they did then you'd never be able to go dry camping which we do and the battery stays good for several days if we don't use the furnace. We plug our Casita in to shore power about every 6 weeks just to keep the battery topped off in case it gets extremely cold like 10 to -20.
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:49 PM   #12
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carefree View Post
Really appreciate all the helpful replies about the battery draining problem.
Greg ....I followed your suggestion and ordered a battery shutoff switch from Little House Customs, which should help minimize the issue.
Craig
Won't minimize the issue, it will fix it . Just remember to turn it back on when you plug into shore power to charge the battery.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:20 PM   #13
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carefree,

Simply disconnect the battery cables and then re-check the voltage or the specific gravity after two weeks. If the battery is dead, it's a bad battery. If the charge is still up, it's a parasitic load.

If you don't want to find the parasitic load, simply hook up a battery tender (which should be used anyway).

Since the factory told you it was normal, it's probably normal. What did they design to be left on? That is your parasitic load.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:30 PM   #14
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OP mentions he has a CO2 detector ( which is unlikely, since that is carbon dioxide ). It is probably a propane gas detector and will be hard wired to 12V DC. That is the probable culprit.
So, if the trailer is not plugged in to AC, charging the battery, it's best to disconnect one of the battery cables from the terminal.
Of course propane detector won't work in that case.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:35 PM   #15
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He probably mis-stated it. Probably a CO detector.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:38 PM   #16
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My CO detector is powered by a couple AA batteries. Smoke detector is powered by one 9V. But, the propane detector is hard wired to 12V.
No matter. If this detector is hard wired then it is using 12V battery.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:10 PM   #17
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Name: Tina
Trailer: Casita
Full-time wanderer with SD domicile
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Rapid batter discharge

I wanted to extend my battery when camping with no electricity available. Got the battery cut-off and put in a switch for the CO2 detector. I use a couple of LED lights or even just a flashlight. I found out the refrigerator doesn't work when on propane and the battery is cut-off. There must be electricity used to regulate the flame?

I agree that the battery seems to discharge very quickly. I don't think I can go a week but hate to drain it all the way to find out.

Tina
Casita Freedom Deluxe 2016
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:41 PM   #18
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carefree View Post
Recently bought a 2015 Casita. When storing it over the winter, the 12V primary battery goes dead after about a week. I've checked and re-checked everything electrical to make sure all are turned off, including all the breakers on the converter panel, and the 3-way refrigerator. The Casita service rep says this is normal, and a result of "phantom" electrical drains, such as the CO2 detector and the converter.
Our previous rig was a Scamp, and the battery would hold a charge all winter.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.......Carefree
You can put all the battery disconnects on your battery but it won't change the fact that the battery is probably bad. If sitting for a week kills the battery what will happen when you go camping. If you don't have hookups then you won't have a way to charge your battery either. Have you ever let your car sit for a week? It has a lot of parasitic drains and I'll bet the battery hasn't died. Check the battery connections, clean them, take the battery for a test, etc. If you just disconnect it I'll bet it will die within a couple of weeks again. Have had this experience more than once with bad batteries in a variety of RV's. Been RV'ing for about 35 years and have experienced a lot of things. Just because it charges up doesn't mean it is good. We had one we tested at home and finally took to a shop and they found a bad cell. We had a guy stop in a campground during a rally of Casita's and he didn't have any electric and couldn't figure out why. We looked at his battery and it was corroded, old and beyond help. Some people don't take care of things. Not saying that is your problem but some batteries just don't last either.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:46 PM   #19
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I wanted to extend my battery when camping with no electricity available. Got the battery cut-off and put in a switch for the CO2 detector. I use a couple of LED lights or even just a flashlight. I found out the refrigerator doesn't work when on propane and the battery is cut-off. There must be electricity used to regulate the flame?

I agree that the battery seems to discharge very quickly. I don't think I can go a week but hate to drain it all the way to find out.

Tina
Casita Freedom Deluxe 2016
The refrigerator has to have 12 V to start the flame (the igniter) unless it is one that stays lit all the time. If your battery won't last at least 4 days then it is bad. When we go camping we use our lights which we now have converted to LED bulbs, the fridge, the hot water tank which uses 12V to ignite and anything else that pulls electric. Unless we use the furnace we can go close to a week before the battery goes down. If your battery is dying quickly it indicates it is bad. Have you serviced it? How old is it? Everything needs maintained and does wear out.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:53 AM   #20
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Name: Tina
Trailer: Casita
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It is only 14 months old and has been serviced to check why it was running down. It was fine. I have a battery monitor that plugs into my cigarette lighter. How many volts is okay? On the back it shows 25% is 12.0 but mine drops below that within a few days. I understand these batteries are made to not be damaged by running them down but how low is too low?
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