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Author Topic: Travel trailer battery won't charge  (Read 306 times)

MLGRV

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Travel trailer battery won't charge
« on: August 29, 2017, 01:50:40 PM »
Hello I am new to the forum. I came here seeking help as most probably do. I can't find this specific problem anywhere else on the forum. I just purchased a 2012 Surveyor select by forest river. I got a great deal on it. The problem I am having is all the 12v stuff works great when connected to shore power, so I guess the converter is making good 12v power. However it will not charge my battery. Power at the leads at the battery measures 13.6 volts until I connect them to the battery then the voltage just shows the 12.5 in the battery. I have checked and cleaned the battery ground going to the frame on the tongue, as well as three more grounds found down the frame rail of the RV near the rear. The battery is a brand new interstate deep cycle. I have also checked all the fuses in the camper power box. I have ohm'd the grounds I could find to a clean spot on the frame to be sure they are properly grounded. Any thoughts on why the voltage drops as soon as the leads are connected to the battery? The slide out works good when connected to shore power so I know the converter is not just dying under load.

Rene T

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 02:03:46 PM »
The battery is a brand new interstate deep cycle.

Welcome to the forum. Someone will have an answer for you shortly.
I know nothing about batteries so this is a shot in the dark. I wonder if one of the cells in this new battery may be shorted out inside the battery. Is it a dry cell battery or a wet cell.   
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 02:07:48 PM by Rene T »
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

MLGRV

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 03:03:49 PM »
It's a wet cell battery.

lynnmor

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 03:12:58 PM »
Do you have a battery switch?  If it makes a poor connection inside, that is a possible cause of the symptom.

MLGRV

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 03:15:07 PM »
No battery switch that I can find.

Gods Country

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 03:59:33 PM »
I'm not so sure what you are experiencing is a problem.  13.6V seems correct, and if the battery is charged 12ish also seems correct for a converter that stages the charging, so as not to boil the battery.

ETA: Your converter really isn't a charger, but trickle charges the battery and helps to maintain and keep your battery topped up. 

« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 04:04:24 PM by Gods Country »

MLGRV

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 05:01:44 PM »
I understand what you are saying however, I put the new battery in one day let it sit overnight. The next day I unplugged the camper and then tried to run the slide out in but the battery wouldn't do it, I had to plug the camper back in, then it went in fine.

lynnmor

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 08:36:10 AM »
It actually takes days to fully charge the battery.  The battery voltage should read about 12.8 volts when fully charged and the converter off.  I do suspect that the wiring is inadequate or faulty between the converter and the battery.  A battery disconnect switch should be installed and used whenever the trailer isn't connected to power or being used.

MLGRV

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 09:08:26 AM »
So does the converter normally drop the voltage to just a trickle charge once it senses the battery voltage? If that's the case then there has to be a separate charge circuit vs the 12 volt power out put from the converter to the 12v lights and slide out. Is that correct?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2017, 09:22:29 AM »
The converter/charger monitors the battery voltage and adjusts the rate of charge while keeping the voltage up, typically 13.6v. Some chargers are more sophisticated than others, but they all keep the voltage up.

If the battery drags the voltage down it is either defective or low on water in the cells. A flooded cell battery needs to have the electrolyte at least 1/8" above the top of the lead plates. Add distilled water if its not at that level. If ts a sealed battery, there is no way to check or add, so replacement is the only option.  Double check the connections to the battery terminals - a high resistance connection looks like a bad battery to the charger.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

MLGRV

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2017, 10:15:55 AM »
I just checked the battery voltage after "charging" all night, it's the exact same as yesterday 12.56 volts. The battery will take a charge from a charger I have at home. Using that charger voltage went from 12.2 to the 12.56, when I first got home.

lynnmor

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2017, 10:46:59 AM »
Take the battery to an auto parts store like AutoZone or Advance Autoparts.  They will test it for free.

Rene T

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2017, 12:53:18 PM »
Take the battery to an auto parts store like AutoZone or Advance Autoparts.  They will test it for free.

Can they test each cell to make sure they're OK?
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

MLGRV

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  • Posts: 7
Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2017, 03:17:02 PM »
I have a snap on 12v battery load tester. I can try.

lynnmor

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Re: Travel trailer battery won't charge
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2017, 06:30:27 PM »
Can they test each cell to make sure they're OK?

Not really, but why would they?  If the performance is bad, who cares where the fault lies.

 

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