Battery is not holding a charge

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ThirdCoastStroker

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Aug 29, 2012
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65
Location
Corpus Christi TX
We went on a trip to Canyon Lake which was our maiden voyage the weekend of Oct 14th so the trailer has only been sitting for about 2 weeks.  My dad went to hook up to it earlier to bring it to Corpus to have the tires replaced and the battery was dead, no jacks, no lights, no nothing....

Any idea of why?  I am almost 100% everything was turned off.  Battery was 100% full when we left the campgrounds and road home.  Battery looks to be somewhat new, not sure just bought the unit a few months ago.  So my dad is going to throw the charger on it for the night and we will have the battery tested tomorrow while it is in corpus.
 

donn

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Nov 8, 2009
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Typical newer RV's will drain a battery in a couple of weeks.  If you do not have a battery disconnect switch time to get one and use it.  Also once the battery is fully charged take it out and have it load tested by a battery shop.
 

scottydl

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Land of Lincoln
"Phantom loads" on RV batteries are common, even with disconnect switches thrown.  You never really know how that thing is wired up, and which devices (radios, LP detectors, etc.) may still be sucking small amounts of power when parked.  The only surefire way to kill the power drain is to disconnect the primary battery cable(s) completely when the RV is stored, or keep a trickle charger attached if you have a power source nearby.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
And a battery will slowly self-discharge anyway, even is completely disconnected from the RV.

Check the water in the battery cells and add if needed. The lead plates need to be covered to at least 1/4". Add distilled water only.
 

Foto-n-T

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Jan 1, 2012
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1,121
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
CO, propane & smoke detectors are famous for draining the battery(s) when you're not hooked up.  I use a battery dis-connect switch between the ground on the batteries and and the ground strap bolted to the frame.

One word of caution, try to put the switch in a location that you can actually see, mine is not.  Two years ago I stuck the rig into storage and on the way home realized that I couldn't remember killing the batteries so back I went to throw the switch.  What I found out two months later when we got ready to head south was that I had indeed thrown the switch and when I returned I had inadvertently turned them back on.  Since there had been a few days during that two months that were -25 degrees both batteries more than likely froze after being discharged by my inattention to detail.  Two new batteries weren't a planned expense before we departed that year.
 

scottydl

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Gary RV Roamer said:
And a battery will slowly self-discharge anyway, even is completely disconnected from the RV.

Good point Gary, I think the general guideline for rechargeable batteries (when not being used) is that they will discharge 1-2% capacity per day.
 

Frank Hurst

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Sep 21, 2009
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589
I left a battery over winter in a boat. The battery discharged, froze and cracked. What fluid that was left in the battery then leaked out and ate the floor out of the boat. There other things worse that having to buy a new battery.
 

trailertime

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Oct 1, 2012
Posts
5
I agree, buying a new battery is just a part of life when dealing with RVs, boats, cars, etc.  A battery that has completely discharged may not hold a charge as well as it once did.  Maybe after six or seven years and some ups and downs it would be best to fully replace an RV battery anyway just to be sure it'll start when it needs to.  Better to spend some money up front than get stuck somewhere.
 

Mopar1973Man

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Jul 4, 2011
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Location
New Meadows, Idaho
Gary RV Roamer said:
And a battery will slowly self-discharge anyway, even is completely disconnected from the RV.

Check the water in the battery cells and add if needed. The lead plates need to be covered to at least 1/4". Add distilled water only.

This is why I normally just leave the RV plugged into 120VAC all the time. Keeping the batteries charged up!  8)
 

Wolf Pack Fan

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Dec 5, 2010
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321
Location
Reno, Nevada.
Mopar1973Man said:
This is why I normally just leave the RV plugged into 120VAC all the time. Keeping the batteries charged up!  8)

Same here.  Works great.  Now the Harley is another another story.  I just found out over the past day or so that it's going to need another battery before riding season.  Last one was around $250.  Ridiculous.  MH house batteries don't even cost that much. 
 

ironrat

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May 11, 2011
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358
Location
Loma Rica, Ca
Wolf Pack Fan said:
Same here.  Works great.  Now the Harley is another another story.  I just found out over the past day or so that it's going to need another battery before riding season.  Last one was around $250.  Ridiculous.  MH house batteries don't even cost that much.



WOW! where are you buying your battery's? Last year I replaced mine on an Ultra Classic for $96 bucks from the dealer even! Though not installed.
 

Wolf Pack Fan

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Dec 5, 2010
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Reno, Nevada.
Got it off of ebay.  Dealer here still wanted over $200.  I'm going a different route this time.  Jet ski battery died this year too.  Bought a slightly larger battery from Walmart for it.  High capacity.  Just had to make a couple of extension cables to wire it up.  Worked great.  I am going to invest in a battery tender this time around.
 

Quillback 424

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Mar 10, 2011
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Batteries seem to almost consume my life: car - 1; back-up sump pump - 1; boat - 3; MH - 3; shooting cart - 6. That's enough!
 

bailer6334

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Mar 13, 2010
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144
Location
Prescott, Arizona
Suggestion to all those that don't have the capability to plug in when storing your rigs. Look at getting a Solar chrager. I came across these at a rally. The US military uses these in their motor pools to keep the batteries charged all the time. I bought one for $99. It is a 2 watt recharge unit and in addition to trickle charging the batteries, it also desulfates the batteries as it charges, thus increasing battery life. The vendor is at www.xtremecharge.com phone #800-580-7554. They have both a 2-Watt unit and a 5-Watt unit. Really works great.
 

ironrat

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Location
Loma Rica, Ca
And most cars will draw .45ma and not sure what most RV's draw but I'm sure they are at lease what a car is. So that 5watt solar won't even keep up with that draw!
 

Just Lou

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Dec 25, 2005
Posts
8,105
bailer6334 said:
Suggestion to all those that don't have the capability to plug in when storing your rigs. Look at getting a Solar chrager. I came across these at a rally. The US military uses these in their motor pools to keep the batteries charged all the time. I bought one for $99. It is a 2 watt recharge unit and in addition to trickle charging the batteries, it also desulfates the batteries as it charges, thus increasing battery life. The vendor is at www.xtremecharge.com phone #800-580-7554. They have both a 2-Watt unit and a 5-Watt unit. Really works great.

I'd rather start my generator once a month and charge the batteries as I exercise the gen.  I always have a Jump-start capability with me just in case I screwed up and the batteries were not properly disconnected before i left it the last time.
 

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