Battery keeps dying

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blams2004

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Joined
Aug 14, 2022
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5
Location
New York
Looking for some electrical help. I have an A-Frame pop up camper. I replaced the battery early in the season as it died on me mid camping. Battery worked just fine for the rest of the weekend. 3 weeks later I charge the battery and check the lights. No issues. I hook up and drive 6 gourd to my destination. Get there and no lights. I found a blown fuse in the battery line. Replaced that and deep cycle charged the batter when I got home. All seemed fine during the next trip. Then again last week I plugged it in before I left and all seemed fine. Got to my destination and turned the fan on it spun a few times and stopped. Dead battery. I just bought a new one put it in yesterday all worked fine. Today battery is dead. I checked all the obvious things like making sure nothing is left on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Matt_C

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Mar 4, 2019
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760
Location
SE - Mich
Blams,
Nothing you have FOUND got left on..... Something is.
To find it, solder two wires to a small light bulb. Disconnect the battery and put the light in that space.
If the light shows anything at all, there is a drain. Now all you have to do is find it..........
Pulling fuses might get it. RV builders like to connect things directly to the battery.
Good Luck
Matt
 

Rene T

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May 20, 2011
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Farmington NH
Blams,
Nothing you have FOUND got left on..... Something is.
To find it, solder two wires to a small light bulb. Disconnect the battery and put the light in that space.
If the light shows anything at all, there is a drain. Now all you have to do is find it..........
Pulling fuses might get it. RV builders like to connect things directly to the battery.
Good Luck
Matt
Matt can you explain the light bulb tester. Are you saying to disconnect just one battery cable and put the tester beteeen the battery cable and the battery post?
 

tlmgcamp

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Jul 16, 2016
Posts
286
I had a pop-up with a 3-way refrigerator. The controls had on/off switch for 12v and on/off switch for 110v. I got some kind of sequencing wrong in switching from shore power to TV power and blew the 30amp breaker in the TV that sent power to the trailer to support the trailer battery while travelling. When i got to my destination, the fridge had killed the battery. I would verify that the TV is sending power to the trailer.
 

Pedro Dog

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Jul 9, 2022
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South Shores, CA
Set the voltmeter to the AMP setting. Make sure you connect the leads to the meter in the right connections - not the same as for ohms or volts. The meter should be good for up to 10 amps. Lift the negative cable of the battery and connect the meter in series - one side battery, one side cable. This will give you a measurement of how much the drain is.

Once you know the drain, go to the 12VDC panel and start pulling fuses until the drain goes to 0
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
It seems clear the battery discharges while towing. I wonder if the trailer brakes are being powered from the trailer battery rather than the tow vehicle? Or the breakaway switch is engaged (which would also mean the trailer brakes are worn or improperly adjusted).
 

blams2004

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Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Posts
5
Location
New York
Trailer brakes seems to work normally.
And it seems like the battery charges both when towing and plugged in to shore power but only minimally.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Sep 14, 2009
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Cedar City, UT
You also must understand that the battery?bank,, is just a storage device,, and not a perfect one at that.. A normal 12 vole lead acid battery will ( while resting with no load) LOOSE 1 to 2 PERCENT of its charge PER DAY!.. In 30 days,, you will be at 50 percent of usable charge before harm begins to the battery..>>>Dan
 

Pedro Dog

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My experience with self discharge is that the 1 to 2 percent daily discharge does not apply to my 2 x 6V GC2 batteries (EAST PENN DEKA).

I store my batteries in my garage on my workbench. I charge them full then monitor them and usually top them off monthly. I used to keep them on a tender but even after trying different brands, I found that I was killing them. I went online to EAST PENN DEKA and they recommend storing them in the manner I now do.

Here are my most recent notes, hardly any discharge in a month.

Batteries 2.jpg








Batteries 1.jpg
 

Kirk

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Oct 30, 2005
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Full-time , Escapee
I just bought a new one put it in yesterday all worked fine. Today battery is dead.
Keep in mind that a deep discharge will damage a battery if bad enough and the more times that happens the more severe the problem. You can get a feel for battery condition with your volt meter by lifting the negative cable and then measure between the posts and use this chart to see about where it stands. The starting voltage assumes that the battery was fully charged and then allowed to rest, open circuit for at least 8 hours. There is a higher voltage for a time when you first stop charging that is normal to dissipate from something in the order of 13.5V.
1660578069738.png
And it seems like the battery charges both when towing and plugged in to shore power but only minimally.
While it is true that a typical battery looses some voltage when sitting idle with no current draw, it isn't typical for one to drop significantly in a month or longer with no discharge at all. For example, we store our RV in a lot and for the winter I always remove the negative battery cable. Last year it was stored from mid November to late May of this year and the battery voltage decreased by about 0.3V. That number will increase slightly as a battery ages as mine was installed the previous April. You can also get some feel for the rate of charge with your volt meter by connecting the cables, measure the voltage and then with the tow vehicle connected and running, you should see an increase from resting voltage to somewhere around 13V and then slowly rise as the battery is charged to a voltage of 14.5V or so. Meter accuracy and battery condition comes into play so +/- .5V is pretty normal. Like others, I suspect that something is draining the battery but you could easily determine that by lifting the negative cable when parked to see what battery voltage does. You should be able to do that even when using the RV if you have shore power plugged in as your converter should be able to supply all of your 12V power with the battery out of the circuit.
 

blams2004

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Posts
5
Location
New York
Blams,
Nothing you have FOUND got left on..... Something is.
To find it, solder two wires to a small light bulb. Disconnect the battery and put the light in that space.
If the light shows anything at all, there is a drain. Now all you have to do is find it..........
Pulling fuses might get it. RV builders like to connect things directly to the battery.
Good Luck
Matt
 

blams2004

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Posts
5
Location
New York
Just wanted to update. So I was convinced that something was wrong with the power converter. I was poking around and when I was near the vent for the fridge I noticed that Some warm air was flowing out so I figured it must be the fridge. Sure enough after looking around in there enough I found that the switch was in fact turned to battery power. I swear I checked that more than once lol dumb. Thanks everyone for the responses!
 

Matt_C

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Mar 4, 2019
Posts
760
Location
SE - Mich
Blams,
Many of here were born knowing everything we needed to know about RVing, so we never got tangled up in simple things. (Right!!)
Matt
 
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