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Old 09-01-2015, 12:11 AM   #1
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House Batteries not staying charged

We bought a 2014 Thor Windsport 27K in Feb. 2015. We have used it several times. The house batteries are not staying charged. We only have the refrigerator on propane and we turn on the water pump for a few minutes a few times a day/night. We don't even turn on the lights (we use flashlights). We run the g generator 2-3 times a day to charge the batteries but they are always on "e" by morning. Could the batteries have been damaged being on the dealer lot for the best part of a year or is something draining them we don't know about? Thanks for all the help.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:34 AM   #2
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Could the batteries have been damaged being on the dealer lot for the best part of a year or is something draining them we don't know about? Thanks for all the help.
There you go! Did the dealer keep the unit plugged in so the batteries didn't go dead? If they didn't then the batteries are probably toast and need replacing.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sporty27K View Post
We bought a 2014 Thor Windsport 27K in Feb. 2015. We have used it several times. The house batteries are not staying charged. We only have the refrigerator on propane and we turn on the water pump for a few minutes a few times a day/night. We don't even turn on the lights (we use flashlights). We run the g generator 2-3 times a day to charge the batteries but they are always on "e" by morning. Could the batteries have been damaged being on the dealer lot for the best part of a year or is something draining them we don't know about? Thanks for all the help.
One thing, "running the generator, 2-3 times a day to charge the batteries", that will not fully charge the batteries. The batteries need to get to the absorption state and stay there for a few hours before they are fully charged. So you are starting each night with a not fully charged battery.

Here is some good reading about batteries and charging.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:27 AM   #4
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A simple question...

Did you check the water level in the batteries? They maybe low.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:21 AM   #5
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mgscott4 has some good advice for you. Also, check the water level, and charge for at least a full day.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:35 AM   #6
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You also might consider getting a solar charger to help maintain a charge.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:41 AM   #7
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And be aware that there are several things drawing power all the time. Any supervisory circuits will use some. The LP gas detector also serves as a low battery alarm for a lot of folks as it is on and complains loudly when the battery is low. Those are the more common one's but there may be others.

The other technique you will see people dry camping using is to start the generator in the morning for a couple of hours while making breakfast and getting organized for the day. Do it again before making dinner. That way the heavy hitter periods for things like vent fans and electric heaters are covered by the generator instead of the battery bank. The batteries are topped off with a couple hour run. You will not get full charge but will be above 90%. If you do a lot of dry camping a small solar panel will cover a lot of the phantom usage and do some absorption zone charging. I'm thinking 15 watts or so. Something like that will also maintain in storage.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:44 AM   #8
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Have you ever plugged in to shore power?
I highly recommend that you learn how to use a multimeter and that you consider installing a battery monitor. With such a new rig you may get by without both but having them can help with peace of mind.

If your batteries are charged then occasional lights and the pump will not be and issue.
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:22 PM   #9
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I agree with all the above. Get the batteries up to charge if possible or replace them if they are toast and then get something like a Trimetric battery monitor so you can see exactly what is going into and out of your batteries. A way to test the batteries is a load tester and also a hydrometer. You should not have to walk around with flashlights at night.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:17 PM   #10
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I replaced our two 12v deep cycle batteries 5 years ago when we bought our Allegro. They never seemed to get, or stay fully charged. I added a third battery 2 years later. Better, but still seemed like they didn't have the 'up time' they should...

Last month the third (newest) battery went bad. So I added a new 3rd battery. Last week we were on vacation, and not being able to use our inverter for charging, I just hooked up a 10 amp battery charger. The thing never got below or above a 5amp charge rate. So for fun I disconnected and checked all the batteries individually (something I hadn't done before). The new 'rear' battery measured 12.1 volts, the 'middle' battery 11.7, and the 'front' battery measured 12.4 volts... I pulled the middle battery and it was a little low on electrolyte, so I added some distilled water. Meanwhile I reconnected the other 2 batteries and when I connected the charger the needle slammed the right side at 10 amps+. Voltmeter showed 13.7 volts. But when I connected the charger to the lone battery, the meter only moved to the 5 amp range. And the voltmeter only got to 12.5, and neither changed during a half hour of charging. Reconnected the charger to the other 2 batteries and back to 10+ amps of charge at almost 14 volts...

After a couple of hours on the charger, for the first time in years when the water pump ran, the 12v bathroom lights didn't dim down about 1/4 of the way. The good 5 year old battery and the new one charged and held better than the other 3 batteries ever did.

I'm now convinced that the one battery was bad from the get-go when it was new.

SO, I'd suggest having each battery checked individually. If one is a goner, it will just be a parasite, sucking the others dead.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:58 PM   #11
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SO, I'd suggest having each battery checked individually. If one is a goner, it will just be a parasite, sucking the others dead.

Ideally, ALL batteries should be replaced as a unit. Same type, same brand, same age then -they have a much better chance of staying in sync chemically.

That way they all come to full charge at the same time, and perform at their best.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:41 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the help. First off we charged the batteries on shore power for3 days before going camping. We have a 18 amp solar charger hooked up that we make sure stays in the sun. The batteries are full of water.
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