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Old 12-03-2013, 02:54 AM   #1
323
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1st Post: new, freshly charged battery with little use is dead

Hi, all. I bought my trailer slightly used from a dealer, and it came with a brand new group 1 battery. I kept it plugged in for well over 2 days at my father in law's house, moved it out to our new home, and a few days later (we were not there and everything was turned off) the battery is completely dead. We only used a couple lights, and only for about 10 minutes. The LP detector light is still on, but no lights would go on, even the thingy that shows tank levels and battery charge barely lit up before dying.

I'm new at RVing, but logic tells me that a brand new deep cycle battery should not lose all it's charge just sitting 3 days. I know the trailer's electrical system works, because all lights/slide out work when the 7 blade plug is in the truck.

I've had a bad (new) car battery before and this is the only idea I have of what might be wrong. Or possibly I have some kind of phantom drain.

Suggestions? Thanks everybody.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:50 AM   #2
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Not sure what a group 1 battery is as I know them as group 24 (the weakest) group 27 (the middle) and group 29 (the best). "Best" being relative to the simple conversation. You can go into 6v golf cart batteries and AGM type 12v.

Ok - make sure the battery disconnect switch is set correctly. Even a group 24 battery should not be drained that quick.

If buying a new battery a group 29 is only $30 more (Interstate Brand) than the much smaller group 24. My last trailer I told the dealer I wanted a group 29 battery and that I would pay the $30 difference.

Good luck
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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Charge it and remove the negative cable. Check it in 3 days and see if it has retained it's charge. If it does, the battery is probably good and you probably do have a phantom drain.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
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Lp detectors and CO2 detectors will drain my battery in a couple of days. Charge it and disconnect it, as instructed above. I leave mine disconnected while in storage, and it's got plenty to use while I am hooking up, 3 months later...
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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If possible and you are near power, just keep a battery minder on the battery and keep it disconnected with the battery switch...assuming the battery is good. Check the voltage after a few days of being disconnected from everything.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:03 PM   #6
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Charge it and remove the negative cable. Check it in 3 days and see if it has retained it's charge. If it does, the battery is probably good and you probably do have a phantom drain.
Ya, I'd try this. Sometimes you get a bad battery. I'm no expert but, I can't believe it should be drained in 3 days unless you have a problem somewhere.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:30 AM   #7
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Where might I find my battery disconnect switch?

I'm thinking I will kill the LP detector; both mine and my friend's have gone off at random times for no reason.

I can't keep it on a charger (no power) but will be installing a 68 watt panel when weather permits.

Tomorrow I can pull it off and bring it to my temporary home to test it.

I will for sure be upgrading to 2 or more group 29s when finances permit.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:33 AM   #8
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Where might I find my battery disconnect switch?

I'm thinking I will kill the LP detector; both mine and my friend's have gone off at random times for no reason.

I can't keep it on a charger (no power) but will be installing a 68 watt panel when weather permits.

Tomorrow I can pull it off and bring it to my temporary home to test it.

I will for sure be upgrading to 2 or more group 29s when finances permit.
Most trailers didn't come with a switch, you may need to add one. Don't buy a cheap switch, get one like a Marinco. For now, just take off the negative battery cable when not in use. Also, the battery should be fully charged as much as possible. If you can take it home and test it, why not just keep it there?
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:45 AM   #9
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I assume you checked the water level in the battery.

I would put a volt meter across the battery terminals and then plug in to shore power.
You should instantly see the voltage go up if it is being charged.

A $10 hydrometer will tell you if you have a bad cell in the battery.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #10
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My "A" came with a non-switched propane detector. I found taped off switched leads and wired it to them. Now, the about the only live item is radio memory. I still check them every few days. Only had to add watter once during the 115° summer temps. I do have mineral oil in them. Helps to prevent out gassing. I do have them hooked up to a BatteryMinder®. on an umbilical cord and have to set it to AGM to get the proper 13.20 volts to the two Trojan T105 batteries.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:59 AM   #11
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After you unhitched, did you confirm that the emergency brake cable was properly seated? The brakes would deplete the battery in just a few hours and most likely overheat /damage the wiring.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:05 AM   #12
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Where might I find my battery disconnect switch?

I'm thinking I will kill the LP detector; both mine and my friend's have gone off at random times for no reason. DO NOT DO THIS!!! It's there for a reason. It's going off because: A) you have leak B) you have low voltage and it is warning you C) it is old and NEEDS to be replaced.

I can't keep it on a charger (no power) but will be installing a 68 watt panel when weather permits.

Tomorrow I can pull it off and bring it to my temporary home to test it.

I will for sure be upgrading to 2 or more group 29s when finances permit.
In red.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:15 PM   #13
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After you unhitched, did you confirm that the emergency brake cable was properly seated? The brakes would deplete the battery in just a few hours and most likely overheat /damage the wiring.
True, not good for the brake magnets either.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:22 AM   #14
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lynnmor - the "home" I am referring to is only home for a couple more days, after that we're in the woods permanently, no shore power, not now or ever (solar soon)

marcham - I had no idea there was any braking when the trailer is disconnected? I have moved it with just the hitch, and was able to move one wheel by hand when it was off the ground (which turned out to be a bad idea) I'm thinking my brakes just turn off when not plugged in as it's moved easily.

jesilvas - could I use a regular 9V battery smoke detector? I believe all new ones are also carbon monoxide detectors - or is there something else an LP detector will detect that is different?

And as for the age of things, it's a 2008 trailer, with a brand new battery and I would think everything else is about 5 years old - shouldn't be wearing out, but then again I know well how RVs age a lot faster than some other things. I wasn't able to get out there today to pick up the battery because my fuel tank was gelled and I killed both batteries (jump starting a Diesel V8 is fun!) but I should be able to grab it tomorrow and get a verdict on whether I have a bad battery or not
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