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Old 11-22-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
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Location: Hemet, CA
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Just picked up a 2001 Terry 27X (manf by Fleetwood in CA) Travel Trailer and seems to have a pretty good draw in the dual 12v batteries which will drain them down pretty quick...nice spark when touching the lead to the battery post...turned off all the main circuit breakers and that did not changed the spark....lamp wiring fuses did nothing too...seems to be in the other fuses for accesories, pump ect. Everything turned off in the unit too.

Is it normal for the inverter to do this...it's a 500 watt stock unit....recommend way to disconnect the system besides disconnecting the wiring at the batteries?

Thanks for any help and suggestions on this!

Ken, Hemet CA

2008 Chaparral by Coachmen Fifth Wheel, 5th wheel, Model 299TBSB, 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:41 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, but since no one else responded...

I wouldn't think an inverter should be drawing from the battery bank when there is no draw on the inverter. I would think even a cell charger left plugged in somewhere could cause the inverter to draw power.

Also, I wonder if the spark you are seeing could be a drain that only occurs when 12v is first hooked up?

Anyway, do you have an amp meter? It would be nice to see how much of a draw you are getting...

Lastly, sometimes I miss something obvious- The break away brake switch didn't get pulled, did it?

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Old 11-27-2008, 03:56 AM   #3
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refridg always draws 12v co detctor these are connected an will drain batt in a couple days controls in fridg an lite run on 12v
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:18 AM   #4
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yes, all inverters will draw a certain amount of power. There is usually around a 10% loss through one. Simply turn it off. If there is no power switch, then you need to add one.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:27 AM   #5
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Yeah, that's what I was thing...I've got a HD switch...thanks for the imput guys!

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Old 12-04-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
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If I understand your question correctly, you are wanting to eliminate the drain on your batteries when you are not using the rig. If that is correct, you need to install a battery cut off switch. You can find one in most RV or boat supply stores.

Second point - - lower end inverters do draw power all the time even when connected AC devices are not turned on. However, remember many AC devices still draw power when not "officially" turned on. Higher end inverters have higher efficiency and they can also have a "seeking" function, meaning they ping every so often (usually user set invervals) to see if anything connected to them wants to run. If they see a load on the ping, they turn on. They further will not provide minimal draw power to such as a TV because you can also set the amount of draw that is required to turn them on when they ping.

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Old 12-04-2008, 07:29 PM   #7
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Inverters are very convenient, but not very efficient. And they definitely draw current, like any electronic device, when they are plugged in.

Plus, any time the inverter is 'on' any electronic device powered by the inverter will have it's base load pulling current. That means TVs, microwaves and refers for starters. Plus, if you have any other electronic devices plugged in like an alarm clock, CO alarm, etc.

We've installed inverters in 2 TT's plus the OE 2000W inverter that came in our DP. The DP had a remote control in the cabin to turn on the inverter. The 1800W inverters that we installed in our TT's came with on/off switches PLUS we installed a marine battery cut-off switch near the batteries for the dedicated cables to the inverter. When we turn it off and turn off the battery switch, the inverter and everything connected to it is OFF.

It sounds like your inverter may be power via the normal battery cables to the coach. That's possible with a 500W inverter, but not with a larger one. The easiest solution is to install a marine battery switch in the POS (+) cable between the batteries and the coach. West Marine sells a nice little switch for $50.

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Old 12-04-2008, 08:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions...got some work to do this weekend

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Old 12-07-2008, 10:32 AM   #9
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Its difficult to determine how much draw from a spark. You need to use a amp meter/tester to actually know if you have excessive draw.

I thought the same thing, when I put a meter on, it was much less than expected.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:50 AM   #10
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I have a 3000 watt inverter on my trailer and at full power output from the inverter you are drawing a little over 500 amps at 12 volts. I use 4/0 marine grade cable 1 foot long from the battery to the inverter to limit voltage loss but at 500Amps + at 12 volts, it would fry almost any switch put in line. I don't think those switches are rated anywhere near that amperage.

My inverter draws about 150 milliamps turned off. When turned on, it draws about 1.5 amps with no load.
-Paul R. Haller-

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