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Old 03-10-2016, 06:56 PM   #1
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5th wheel batteries

How long should a 5th wheel battery keep its charge when not hooked to shore power, no generator or other power source.

I am asking because when I hauled my 5th wheel today about 3 hours drive to a storage unit, the batteries were extremely low when putting down the landing jacks. Had to keep the 7pin hooked up to the truck to get enough juice to lower the jacks completely.

I'm guessing its time for a new battery...
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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It depends on the battery capacity, age, etc. Generally I would think a couple of weeks, BUT, that depends on what you have or had running in the trailer.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:34 PM   #3
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Yes, I do believe you are right, unless your landing legs are starting to seize up..........


Besides what could possibly go wrong?


The information is out there, all you have to do is let it in.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:46 PM   #4
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One battery? Condition/age? Maybe you have neglected to keep it charged? If there are no draws except the CO monitor, for a good single 12volt battery, I would certainly expect it to last several months, if not more.
Time for a 2nd battery, or a complete disconnect when in storage.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:54 PM   #5
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The motors used to drive the landing legs are a big power consumer. If your battery is a standard deep cycle battery properly maintained and properly charged should give you several cycles before getting as weak as you described. If you need replacement (s) get a good quality deep cycle battery with as big an "Amp Hr" rating as you are able to find. Also you may need to verify if your charger is working properly as well.
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:11 PM   #6
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I just took my unit out of storage after the winter. Turned on the battery disconnect and raised the front with no problem.
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by scout4eagles View Post
The motors used to drive the landing legs are a big power consumer. If your battery is a standard deep cycle battery properly maintained and properly charged should give you several cycles before getting as weak as you described. If you need replacement (s) get a good quality deep cycle battery with as big an "Amp Hr" rating as you are able to find. Also you may need to verify if your charger is working properly as well.
If the 5th wheel is not connected to any power source, is the battery alone enough to power the landing gear? When I started to put down the gear, it said voltage was 13.9, then in the middle of the process, it gave me a low voltage warning, said the volts had dropped to 12.9. This was in less than a minute. had to hook up to the truck to get enough power to lower the gear.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:40 PM   #8
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Sounds like battery condition is the problem. The battery(s) should be plenty to lift/lower the trailer when not connected to shore power.
As I asked earlier--age, condition--but is the converter working when plugged in?
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:52 AM   #9
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If the 5th wheel is not connected to any power source, is the battery alone enough to power the landing gear? When I started to put down the gear, it said voltage was 13.9, then in the middle of the process, it gave me a low voltage warning, said the volts had dropped to 12.9. This was in less than a minute. had to hook up to the truck to get enough power to lower the gear.
13.9 indicates the battery was charging, not its status. A fully charged battery is 12.6-7 when unused for an hour or few. When under load like running the furnace, mine will drop to the upper 11s, but fully restore in a couple of hours.
If your battery needs replacing, measure the battery box and get the largest RV battery to replace that puny Group 24 with a Grp 27,29 or 31.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:20 AM   #10
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A good way to test a battery is using a hydrometer. You can also test each cell

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Old 03-15-2016, 05:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by McRod View Post
How long should a 5th wheel battery keep its charge when not hooked to shore power, no generator or other power source.

I am asking because when I hauled my 5th wheel today about 3 hours drive to a storage unit, the batteries were extremely low when putting down the landing jacks. Had to keep the 7pin hooked up to the truck to get enough juice to lower the jacks completely.

I'm guessing its time for a new battery...
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question. Batteries exhibit a characteristic called self-discharge whereby they lose their charge as time passes. (I'm talking here about a battery that is neither being charged or under load.) The rate of self-discharge can vary widely depending upon the type and condition of the battery as well as environmental factors. You might lose 1% per day from self-discharge on an older lead acid battery or as little as 1-2% per month on a battery in better shape. A typical 12 volt lead acid battery that is in good condition and fully charged should be able to be stored for many months and retain much of its charge. A battery that is in poor condition may lose its charge very rapidly or not hold a charge at all.

There are many factors that contribute to the service life of a battery including how many charge/discharge cycles it has been through, how often and to what extent it is charged and discharged, if it has been charged properly vs. over-charged or under-charged, ambient temperatures, vibration, proper or improper maintenance.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:54 PM   #12
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I'm having the same problem with mine. I have a new battery. I read that there was a heater on the refrig. that would come on to relieve condensation and how to disable it to. I checked it out and mine did not have the same wires as discribed so I left it alone and just disconnected the battery. I have to do more research on mine. It will drain my battery in about 10 hours.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by birddog2you View Post
I'm having the same problem with mine. I have a new battery. I read that there was a heater on the refrig. that would come on to relieve condensation and how to disable it to. I checked it out and mine did not have the same wires as discribed so I left it alone and just disconnected the battery. I have to do more research on mine. It will drain my battery in about 10 hours.
There are a number of things that can place a phantom load on batteries including the circuit board in refrigerators (even when they are operating on propane), smoke, LPG, and carbon monoxide detectors, for example. I'm sure there are others.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:03 PM   #14
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When trying to find loads that drain batteries we lift of the cable from the battery and put a lamp in series with the batt. post and cable lug. We then start pulling fuses and breakers to see which circuit extinguishes the lamp. This might be a way to identify your drain. Pulling down a battery in 10 hours is pretty significant

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