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Old 05-15-2014, 03:05 PM   #21
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Name: Huck
Trailer: ParkLiner
Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurelMS View Post
Also, how do you use the voltmeter to check the battery? Sorry for so many questions.
The battery is direct current, so you want to set the voltmeter to volts dc.

I test standalone 1st, so make sure you are not connected to tow and not connected to external 120 volt power.

Touch the ground (black) wire from the voltmeter to the ground on the battery and while the black wire is still connected, do the same with the positive or red wire to positive on battery. You should get a reading between 12.5 and 12.8 volts.

Then, hook up your tow and with motor running, repeat the procedure. You should get a higher voltage as the tow is charging the battery. If not, problem with charging circuit through tow.

Disconnect from tow. Connect trailer to 120 v shore (external) power. Same procedure. You should see a voltage over 13 volts showing that the shore power is charging the battery. If not, problem with external power charging circuit.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:01 PM   #22
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Name: Jane
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Maryland
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Jane are you running your fridge off the battery? If so that would be a big drain. To reduce you power consumption you could also change the light over to LED if they are not already.
No, I've only tested the fridge with the propane and it did work just fine. In a couple of weeks I'll be out for 4 days and will try the refrig then to really test it. I'm not sure how much propane it will take for 4 days, but it shouldn't take a tank. We will also be cooking dinner and heating water for breakfast. I keep my backpacking propane stove handy just in case - I know what that can do!

I'm contemplating LED - but I just don't use that much light. My friends who are camping with me are also former backpackers so we're not use to such luxury....I'm sure that will change in time:-)
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:15 PM   #23
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Name: Jane
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in case another party with the same trailer has the same issue perhaps you could share how they told you to fix the charging problem.
Well, I'm not sure I've fixed any problems yet. There has been a lot of good input as to how to check the voltage.

One thing Dave, at the garage said, was that to check it the propane tank should be taken off so if something happens while checking it doesn't hit the tank and cause it to explode.....he did what he told me not to do because he does it all of the time. My poor brain has had so much input in the past few weeks it doesn't keep it all straight so I'm not sure what could cause the explosion....I need to think about it later

I did not talk with Chandler, but he left a message and started talking about looking at the fuse box where there are two green 30 amp fuses. He said he would call back which he hasn't - but I haven't been home much since then to call him either. I have a feeling he was going to have me check to make sure they weren't kicked off. If I hear more from him I'll let you know.

And if it charges while plugged into the wall, but not otherwise, you will know it is probably the tow vehicle - or TV, as they say on this site! You may have seen another message I wrote where the garage had me tweak the prongs away from the side of the socket just a little to make better contact - a couple of friends say they have to do that often on their trailers. It is easy to see if it fixes the break lights, blinkers, etc, but you can't see the battery. They did check to verify I have juice coming from the battery to the whole plug.

Jane
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:17 PM   #24
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Name: Jane
Trailer: Parkliner
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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
By TV, I meant "tow vehicle." It can be confusing, but context rules the definition of this acronym!

For instance, in this quote, if you're not getting a TV for the camper, we all know you mean a television. I think...

Frank
OK - now I've got it and yes, I don't have a television - except to watch movies....
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:24 PM   #25
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Trailer: 2013 ParkLiner
Upstate New York
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Jane,
The LP gas detector is wired in so there is 12V current to it at all times. for safety reasons, you cannot turn it off. I have not run any tests but, it does draw current all the time and will deplete your batteries. I am not aware of any other constant draw on the batteries although I have been known to be wrong and it could be happening again.

FYI, changing all your light bulbs to LEDs will reduce the current draw by ~80-90%. If you are doing a lot of boondocking the switch will be worth the cost.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:25 PM   #26
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Name: Jane
Trailer: Parkliner
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Originally Posted by LaurelMS View Post
Jane- did you take the park liner to someone local to look at it? If so, what company? We are looking for someone local to look at our.
Absolutely I would recommend Beallsville Garage! A neighbor told me to go there for the Weight Distribution Hitch; then a few friends (a roofer, a landscaper, and several horse friends) said they are the best; plus several people said they saw the trailer there and loved it! And now they are very familiar with the Parkliner since I've been there a couple of times, and think it is neat.

301-972-7060, corner of Rt 28 and Rt 109. They are also so reasonably priced. If I have any questions I just stop by and Tommy or Dave are very helpful. Laid back, easy going , pleasant folk.

Jane
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:33 PM   #27
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Name: Jane
Trailer: Parkliner
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Originally Posted by Brian M. in NY View Post
Jane,
The LP gas detector is wired in so there is 12V current to it at all times. for safety reasons, you cannot turn it off. I have not run any tests but, it does draw current all the time and will deplete your batteries. I am not aware of any other constant draw on the batteries although I have been known to be wrong and it could be happening again.

FYI, changing all your light bulbs to LEDs will reduce the current draw by ~80-90%. If you are doing a lot of boondocking the switch will be worth the cost.
The LP gas detector is the only draw on the batteries, as per a test at the garage. Last weekend since it was beeping all of the time and I didn't know what else to do I cut the red wire to it and we left the windows open. It now has a cap on the wire so it is connected. When that was unhooked, nothing else was pulling electric. I don't want to be in the trailer without it connected - but then the beeping will drive anyone crazy. Keeping track of the battery will certainly help! I didn't realize LED would reduce the draw by 80-90%!! That is amazing!! A friend has a neat solar light that is round and flat when not in use, and easy to have near a window for the sun. It opens up to a nice round light - not for reading but definitely enough for eating, dressing, etc.

Jane
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:09 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jayteehike View Post
No, I've only tested the fridge with the propane and it did work just fine. In a couple of weeks I'll be out for 4 days and will try the refrig then to really test it. I'm not sure how much propane it will take for 4 days, but it shouldn't take a tank. We will also be cooking dinner and heating water for breakfast. I keep my backpacking propane stove handy just in case - I know what that can do!

I'm contemplating LED - but I just don't use that much light.
You will not come even close to going through a full 20lb tank of propane in 4 days even if running the fridge and the hot water tank full time and doing all your cooking in the trailer.

If you don't have a solar panel it is easy though to run a battery down in 3 days if you don't have LED lights, even if you are not running much other than lights and the water pump.

Recommend you purchase a small plug 12v battery monitor as pictured below- you can get them for about 15. Running the battery down below 50% (12.6) is a great way to shorten the life of your battery.

An interesting read if you haven't already seen it is called the 12 Volt Side of Life

Have fun out in your new trailer!
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:30 PM   #29
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Name: Jane
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Wow! So a battery shouldn't be run down more than 50%! Amazing. I don't have a hot water heater, nor will I be using the water pump - I have a container to fill at the campground to use. My friend already said she will still using her head lamp.

I'll look at the web site later - maybe that explains how 2 batteries work together.

Between learning about this camper and trying to get a new laptop up and running, my brain is in too much overload!!!!!

All the input from this site is wonderful:-) I've got quite a bit on an msword file that I refer to - and this is on it to look at later.

Jane
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:57 PM   #30
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Trailer: 2015 Scamp 13 Front Washroom, Van Camper
New Brunswick
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Originally Posted by jayteehike View Post


And if it charges while plugged into the wall, but not otherwise, you will know it is probably the tow vehicle - or TV, as they say on this site!

Jane
Maybe, maybe not
You have to confirm the battery is indeed charging... The fact you have DC lights, pumps etc working while hooked up to shore power proves the converter is doing its job and supplying DC power through the power center
I may have missed you confirmed it was charging while plugged in..
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:03 PM   #31
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Jane, I'm not sure why you cut the monitor wire just because it was beeping. I would think that it would beep/alarm just like a home smoke alarm would when the battery is low. Did you check the battery power before you did that? As far as the refer and LP gas you'll get a number of camping trips out of the tank.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:38 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by jayteehike View Post
Wow! So a battery shouldn't be run down more than 50%! Amazing.

Jane
Yup every time you run it down below 50% you are shortening its life time. Run it right down a few times before you know it you will not get through a day of camping with.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:47 AM   #33
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Name: Laurel
Trailer: parkliner
Maryland
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Jane- we picked up our trailer about the same time as you and we are having battery issues as well. Ours seems dead and the only draw has been the LP detector. Waiting to here back from Chandler about it. Thank you for the garage info. I would love to have a place that is familiar with the park liner.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:54 AM   #34
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Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
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When we got our ParkLiner last October, first thing I did was take the Optima batteries out, put them on my shop bench, and have maintained a charge in them since. Because of the burnt look of the pad they were sitting on, I put a battery box on the tongue with an old fashioned deep cycle battery. Next thing the trailer is going to get it is a voltmeter!

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Old 05-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by LaurelMS View Post
Jane- we picked up our trailer about the same time as you and we are having battery issues as well. Ours seems dead and the only draw has been the LP detector. Waiting to here back from Chandler about it. Thank you for the garage info. I would love to have a place that is familiar with the park liner.
Laurel, you don't need a place that is familiar with the Parkliner to get it corrected. The means of charging batteries & wiring of them is pretty standard/common to all trailers. Any reputable RV shop can and should be able to trouble shoot your problem quickly.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:13 AM   #36
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Name: Laurel
Trailer: parkliner
Maryland
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Thanks Carol- I wish it was just the battery! Unfortunately, we have a major leak in our roof and even though we have band-aided it, with the 5 inches of rain we got yesterday, we have a lot of water inside today. We also have an issue with the plumbing between the tank and the pump. If we had more skill and confidence, we would handle it on our own. Anyway, I thought it might be good to have a garage that has worked on a park liner and is near us. We have repeatedly contacted Chandler and Tom. The second part of this week, Tom has been very responsive and now Chandler is on the phone with my husband. They have also called and talked to a local place that we will take it to this week. Its just that we have been working on this since about the end of March! But we are hopeful and will keep working on it and learning about it- on our own and from all of you!
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:10 PM   #37
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Name: Jon
Trailer: Parkliner 2013
Pennsylvania
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Battery drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurelMS View Post
Jane- we picked up our trailer about the same time as you and we are having battery issues as well. Ours seems dead and the only draw has been the LP detector. Waiting to here back from Chandler about it. Thank you for the garage info. I would love to have a place that is familiar with the park liner.
Somewhere in these forums is a post with a detailed calculation of the battery drain by the LP detector. If my memory serves me well, the calculation showed that the LP detector would drain a single battery in about a month or so. I keep my ParkLiner plugged into AC all the time while it is stored at home and have not had battery issues (yet). The ParkLiner's AC converter is a smart charger design that monitors the voltage and adjusts the charging voltage to avoid overcharging (and damaging) the batteries. When dry camping we are very careful to save the batteries for only pumping water, and minimize use of trailer lights (we use a paraffin oil lamp). As you learn about batteries you'll find that it is a very complex subject with no clear and easy answers.

I hope this helps a little
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:35 PM   #38
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Name: Jane
Trailer: Parkliner
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Jane, I'm not sure why you cut the monitor wire just because it was beeping. I would think that it would beep/alarm just like a home smoke alarm would when the battery is low. Did you check the battery power before you did that? As far as the refer and LP gas you'll get a number of camping trips out of the tank.
looking at the propane detector it said if it blinked green and red it needed to be replaced. Not knowing what else to do I cut it. Now I know it is the battery. At home I am familiar with the smoke detectors but have no clue what is happening with these.

Jane
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:38 PM   #39
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Name: Jane
Trailer: Parkliner
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Laurel, you don't need a place that is familiar with the Parkliner to get it corrected. The means of charging batteries & wiring of them is pretty standard/common to all trailers. Any reputable RV shop can and should be able to trouble shoot your problem quickly.
I have been to a local camper dealer north of Frederick who is outrageously expensive and has caused us issues with the pop up we had. This garage is not perfect, but they are so helpful, have a fabulous reputation, and are extremely reasonable. I would not recommend any car dealers or car repair shops around here, just this garage that works on trailers.

Jane
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:49 PM   #40
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Name: Jane
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Gosh Laurel, you are having issues. Hopefully they can fix all of these. Do you know how to do a private message - I don't? I'd like to chat about how to use the plumbing I do have, maybe we could meet up some time and you can show me how that works. At the rate you are going, sadly Beallsville might be the place to meet.

Jane
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