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Old 12-27-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
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House batteries drained

Tiffin Allegeo 36la. Something is draining the house batteries. Spent our first few days off of shore power or generator and something is draining the house batteries all they way down. All basement lights off, all interior lights off, thermostats off, refrigerator is on (auto), jacks down, slides out, water heater off, water pump? Inverter off. Even when water pump is on I have not noticed it cycling.
Batteries were drained in less than two days, far too fast for phantom loads.
Had to disconnect neg lead to get an external charger to work. Chassis battery is ok. Any ideas on where to look next?
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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Do you have an ammeter you can use to see what size your drain is, and whether or not it's before or after the chassis shut off? That's where I'd start to chase it down and then go from there depending on what you show. A quick guess might be to be sure the fridge isn't stuck in auto defrost or the ice maker running continuously, but that's just a shot in the dark. Pulling the plug would tell you that quick with an ammeter.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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Recently had mine go flat .... bad door switch in utility cargo area was failing to shut the light off when the hatch was closed. The dreaded "is the refrigerator light really off" scenario. It's on a manual switch now.

BTW, a single bulb burning took about 3 days to overpower the solar charger.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #4
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Hi Selah,
You mention an external charger. Do the batteries go dead when the coach is connected to shore power? (using the coach's internal converter)
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:36 PM   #5
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Was the coach fridge in use or any other appliances and if not did you shut off the battery cut off switch.
Did you possibly leave lower compartment lights on?
Your LP Detector maybe off house batteries and may have a switch to cut off.
If your staionary at home why not leave shore power cord plugged into a 120 outlet on side of house and your converter will keep your batteries charged as long as you have your battery cut off switch on.

You can plug in shore power now and see what comes on, it and may tell you what maybe the drain of your house batteries.

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Old 12-27-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
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Are they full of water, Might need to be topped off and a good recharge. Just a thought,shot in the dark. Jim
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Once I get the batteries fully charged I'll use my multimeter and see if I can get some idea of what the draw is. I'll let you know what I find out.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007";1411953]Was the coach fridge in use or any other appliances and if not did you shut off the battery cut off switch.
Did you possibly leave lower compartment lights on?
Your LP Detector maybe off house batteries and may have a switch to cut off.
If your staionary at home why not leave shore power cord plugged into a 120 outlet on side of house and your converter will keep your batteries charged as long as you have your battery cut off switch on.

You can plug in shore power now and see what comes on, it and may tell you what maybe the drain of your house batteries.

[B][URL="http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm
RV POWER SYSTEMS[/URL][/B]

Thanks for the link, great article.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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When you have the batteries back in operation, you might want to start by only turning 1 breaker on at a time, and turn everything off, (such as the refrig, etc). Disconnect the positive cable from the battery. If you put a 12volt buzzer or a light between the battery positive post and the disconnected positive cable, see if it works. If not, that is not a faulty circuit draining the battery. Then, turn on another circuit breaker and test again.
This will tell you if there is a battery drain, or not, that should not be.
This is just a good first start to help you know what might be going on, not a complete check. Also, be sure that your battery connections are really clean.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:33 PM   #10
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You say fridge is in auto. Is the fridge a 3 way or just gas/120v? Mine is a 3 way(gas/12v/120v. It will drain the batteries fast in 12v.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
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The fridge is only a two way ( 110 or propane ). Still verifying things but I thing I know what happened. It was exceptionally cold and the heater ran quite a bit drawing the batteries down. I ran the genny for about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour in the morning. That was not obviously not enough to bring the batteries up to a safe level. We then left for two days leaving only the fridge on. With the batteries already below normal that was enough to drain them to the point that everything shut down. Bought a good battery charger and brought the batteries up to full charge. Ran the furnace again last night and the batteries in the morning were still at 12.2. I think this just might have been "user error". We shall see.
Thanks for everyone's input.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:58 PM   #12
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2 way fridges still use 500ma of power from the 12 volt system when running on propane. Shouldn't be enough to be the cause of your issue though.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:49 AM   #13
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If it is a while (like years) since you did any long-term boondocking, it could be that your batteries have lost a lot of capacity and it is just now showing up when you push things a bit.

The other possibility is if your rig has a converter rather than a three-stage charger, maybe it is just a case of there being not enough time for partly depleted batteries to be fully charged. Normal split charging from the engine alternator also doesn't do a great job of getting batteries to anywhere near 100%.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:34 AM   #14
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The best thing I purchased for my MH was this battery monitor. It displays every .1th of an amp of current going in or out of my batteries and keeps track of voltage and percent of full charge. It cost about $200 with the shunt and wiring.

Once you figure out what is going on with your rig, you might want to look into purchasing one of these or buy one these to help you troubleshoot your problem.


Monitors & Metering - Trimetric 2025 RV
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