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Author Topic: Battery Blown  (Read 307 times)

MKL

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Battery Blown
« on: May 15, 2020, 01:07:13 PM »
Hello!
We bought a used 2013 Heartland Trail Runner in great condition. We have no experience with any camper trailers. I did do some reading on hooking the camper up to our home. I bought an RV extension cord with the proper amperage: 30. We have the right adapter. After having the camper plugged in for 24 hours, one of the batteries was stinking and leaking fluid. And the A/C only worked for 2 hours.

I neglected to check the battery fluid level before plugging the camper in. Is that what went wrong? Or is it my converter that's possibly fried? Did I damage it? I thought I did everything right (except for checking the fluid level in the batteries).

HELP!

We want to use the camper at home for guests, as well as take it out to camp.

Thanks!
MK

lynnmor

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Re: Battery Blown
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 01:50:52 PM »
The battery and converter are parts of the 12 volt system.  A very bad battery can cause the symptoms mentioned.  The air conditioner runs on 120 volts, but its thermostat might require 12 volt power.  First thing I would do is check the voltage supplied at your cord, way too many outlets are wired wrong.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Battery Blown
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2020, 09:18:33 PM »
Welcome to The RV Forum!

The most likely cause was a cell shorting out in the battery and dividing the incoming voltage from the converter between the remaining cells, overcharging them.  Take the battery to an auto parts store and they'll check it for free.

Was this a 6 volt or 12 volt battery?  If it was 12 volts, you may get by for a while at reduced capacity using the remaining battery but chances are it should also be replaced.

Then your choice is to get another pair of 12 volt marine/starting batteries or (much better) upgrade to a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries for about the same price from a place like Costco or Sam's Club.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 09:23:12 PM by Lou Schneider »

Mark_K5LXP

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  • 2005 Itasca Sunova
Re: Battery Blown
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2020, 08:59:05 AM »
If you're going to be plugged into shore power at home you could leave the batteries disconnected and eliminate any issue with them until you've got time to address it.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

MKL

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Re: Battery Blown
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2020, 10:19:47 PM »
Thanks for the tip!

What do you think of my using 2 25' extension cords (rated for 30 amp RV, which is what we have) and the proper adapter? I need that length, and I thought it was better to have 2 cords rather than one long cord. Am I stepping down too much electricity, though?

Thanks,
MK

Tom55555

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Re: Battery Blown
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2020, 01:23:16 AM »
One 50' cable is the same as two 25' cables providing the connectors are clean. The 50' won't have the potential of the middle connection getting wet or disconnecting. It's all about the diameter of the wires referred to as gauge. I use a 10 gauge cord when needed. The lower the gauge number, the bigger the wires.

John From Detroit

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  • ^My New Home^
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Re: Battery Blown
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2020, 06:15:08 AM »
As Tom said the biggest difference between two 25' cable and one 50 (There are actually a few differnece)
the two 25's are. indivigually 4 times easier to wrangle (inverse squared apples double the length and thus weight of the cable you quadruple the effort needed to wrangle it)

2 On some sites you need an extension.. and one has less voltage drop than 2.

3: If the connector joining them is "Dirty" (I spray mine down often with De-Ox-IT) losses increase

4: keep the plug/outlet combo out of water please.


Now you know why I use  2 shorter cords instead of one long one.

NOTE  Using 30 amp extension cords on a 15 or 15/20 amp circuit... WAY less voltage loss (Good thing)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Mark_K5LXP

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  • 2005 Itasca Sunova
Re: Battery Blown
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2020, 06:30:54 PM »
using 2 25' extension cords (rated for 30 amp RV, which is what we have)

OK, you have 30A RV cords, but what are you plugging them into with your adapter?  That will likely be the elephant in the room when it comes to what power limit you might have.  If you're plugged into a 30A circuit you'd be able to run everything in the RV it was designed to.  If you're plugged into a 20A or 15A outlet, say an outside or garage utility outlet, then your available power will be commensurately less.  It won't "hurt" anything but if you push the limits of your source outlet by drawing too much the circuit breaker for that outlet will trip.  For most uses, e.g. lights, radio, TV, fans even a 15A circuit will be OK.  But run the microwave or A/C from a 15A or even 20A circuit and you'll discover you've gone over the limit pretty quickly.    Point of all this is don't sweat the extension cords, they sound matched to your unit.  If you are the curious type, you can plug in a power monitor like a Kill-A-Watt and see how many watts are being drawn by the RV by various devices as you turn them on and off.  This exercise gives you a good baseline of power consumption when those devices may be powered by the house batteries or a portable generator.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM

EriikK

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Re: Battery Blown
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 10:23:12 PM »
The original problem was a blown battery right?  The extension cords are not the cause of that. 
It could be a bad battery when you got it, as somebody said.
If it's not that, maybe your converter is putting out too much voltage and overcharging your battery.  Uncommon but possible.  Your comment that it was "stinky" sounds like it was over-charged.  And of course batteries get damaged by over-discharging, and then fail soon after.  That's common.  Get a voltmeter and find out.  The $5 one from Harbor Fright is fine. 

Measuring at the battery, you should be looking at over 13 but under 14.8 volts when charging.  In fact it should drop to under 14 once the batteries are full, "float" charge should be 13.5 or something around there.  If the batteries are full on Monday and the charger doesn't shift down to 13.something by Tuesday afternoon, it's going to slowly kill your batteries.  Some cheap converters just charge to 13.x and stop there, they won't kill the battery but they don't get it full fast either.

And if your system lets the battery discharge below 11.8v often, or 11.5 even occasionally, battery life will be much shortened.

And check the water!

Erik K
2014 Cherokee Grey Wolf 25RR toyhauler
2002 Ford E350 7.3L diesel van