Need Alot of "POWER"FULL Help!!!

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dlshunter

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Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Posts
157
Location
Modesto, CA
I bought a '99 Forest River Wildwood T29 TT in Oct '06 (very good condition).  At that time,  I had 2 new 12v MDC Exide batteries which seemed to work well.  This TT model has a 16 foot super slideout that I'm guessing is rather heavy.  It relies on a hydraulic pump mechanism to move it in and out.  I could tell back then that when the batteries were getting a little low, the slide would not want to work very good (slow & weak sounding).  So, I would just plug it into 120v house power and it would work fine.  Well, I stored it for about 4 months, and now the batteries are almost totally dead, and the slide now does not work on 120v house power (it starts out sounding strong, but after 1 second reduces to nothing).  The only way I can get the slide to work is to connect power to the truck ('03 Chevy 2500 CC Duramax/Alison), with or without the 120v home power plugged in.  Common sense tells me that the slide should work on 120v with or without a viable 12v battery supply. 
Does the slide and/or the inverter/charging mechanism actually need to notice 12v to run?
Am I totally missing out on some logic here?
Is it an amperage X voltage equation that needs to be at a certain level?
I am Stuck!!!
 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
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Mar 14, 2005
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10,954
Your slide works on 12 volts DC.  This can come from the house batteries, from the truck when it's plugged into the trailer, or from the converter when the power cord is plugged into 120 VAC.

Since the slide works when you plug into the truck, and doesn't when you're plugged into AC and the converter is supposed to be supplying 12 volts, I'd look for a converter problem first.  Are the 12 volt interior lights dim?  Plugging into AC to activate the converter should make them shine at full brightness.  If they don't, start troubleshooting the converter.  Is it receiving 120 volts?  Check the main and all branch breakers, and of course if the converter has an AC plug, make sure it's plugged into a socket.

Are there more than one wire going from the rig to the (+) and (-) battery posts (not counting the ones that interconnect the batteries)?  If so, Forest River may be using the batteries as a convenient tie point.  A little corrosion or a loose connection will limit the power flowing through the junction.

A less likely possibility is that the slide simply uses more power than the converter can supply.  In this case, plugging into 120 volts will make the slide go faster because the converter power is supplementing the battery power.  But you're still drawing power from the batteries.  If the batteries are completely dead, you'll have to build up a charge in them to let them supplement what the converter can contribute.
 

N Smock

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Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Posts
246
Location
Long Branch, NJ
Well what you describe sounds like this to me, Trailer was stored with no disconnect on the battery and the phantom loads bled down the batteries in storage. The addition of the converter was not enough guts cause the converter was never meant to supply that much current. The addition of the truck has the alternator output if running and two big batteries to drive the motors.

Check the water in trailer batteries,connect to the 110V for a day or so then try, if it is still weak check the state of the batteries to see if fully charged, either voltage or specific density. This might then require the purchase of new batteries.

Install a cut off switch for storage, if you do not install a cut off switch disconnect the battery leads for storage. This will prevent the phantom loads from bleeding the batteries down. These loads are things liike the antenna amp the gas detector etc.

Nelson
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
I think it is very likely the EXCIDE batteries are not helping much.  Get good batteries and IMHO  batteries made by Excide doesn't fill the description of good.  Good deep cycle golf cart batteries are in order.
 
W

Weewun

Guest
Don't if this will help, but my Brother-in-Law had a problem starting his Generator on his 2004 34' Winnebago Adventurer.  All internal 12 volt devices would work and the Battery Meter read 13.6 volts when plugged in but the Genset would not start.  When attempting to start the Genset all internal lights would 'dim' and the Genset starter solenoid would chatter.  My first conclusion was that his house batteries were bad. 

Come to find out that he had turned the 'house batteries' off using the switch on his control panel.  Turned the batteries back on and every thing worked fine.

Obvious that the Converter is connected to the Output side of the 'Battery Disconnect Relay' and would supply sufficient power to run the lighs and water pump but not enough for the Genset.  After we found the problem he shared with me that the Slides were very slow when he extended them.

Don't know if your trailer has a battery disconnect relay.   
 

dlshunter

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Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Posts
157
Location
Modesto, CA
I think I have found the source of the "parasitic " drain...there is a propane gas detector on the lower section of the kitchen cabinet, close to the floor.  After sitting some time, I can now imagine that this is the most likely source yet of a slow bleed of battery power.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
It's surely a part of the parasitic drain.  You may also have a CO detector that is 12v powered.  Your fridge may be another part - the circuit board stays alive even when the fridge is turned off. Anything else with an electronic on/off switch (one of those touch pad types) will also be drawing a minute amount of power just so an "On" push of the switch can be recognized.

But you should also know that a battery left alone for four months will "self-drain", even with nothing connected to it.  A tiny amount of charge wicks away literally into the air, gradually discharging the battery. The rate of self-drain varies with climate and other factors, but after 4 months, that loss alone will result in a very weak battery.
 

dlshunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Posts
157
Location
Modesto, CA
Is this true with any type of battery?  How do parts stores stay in business if they try to sell constantly degrading batteries?
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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25,107
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USA
All batteries will self discharge in time, it doesn't mean the battery is no good after that, it just needs to be recharged.
 
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