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Old 02-05-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
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Dead battery already?

Ok, so here's the situation. Purchased a used tt in Nov 2011. Upon hand-over,previous owner purchased a new deep cycle battery from Wallyworld for said tt. Since then we have camped a couple of times and everything seemed to have worked fine.
While leaving tt parked in driveway I disconnect the battery cables, thinking that I'm keeping the battery from going dead.
Due to septic problems last week, we had to abandon the brick and stick and go to the local campground so that restroom and shower could be used.
So here is the problem. When I reattached the battery cables, the lp alarm sounds off and the slide out does not move. I borrowed a battery from the campground owner and lp alarm didn't make a noise and slideout worked fine.
So....my dumb question of the year is....is the battery already dead after 3 months?
And, if so, do I take it to Wallyworld to swap it out or do I just need to hook it up to a charger?
I don't have a voltmeter to check it or I would've already. Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:17 PM   #2
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Yes the battery is dead. May not have been fully charged when you put it away.

Charge it up and see if it holds a charge. All batteries will go dead over time, yours is probably still good.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:39 PM   #3
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Did you not tow the tt to the campground from your driveway? and if so was the battery still dead on arrival?
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:38 AM   #4
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Time to buy a voltmeter and a hydrometer, about $30 total. Then see if you are charging when plugged into shore power and check the three battery cells to see they all are good acid level wise.

You may or may not be charging from your tow vehicle if the 12 volt charge line is hooked up or not hooked up.

When I pulled travel trailers I did NOT hook up the charge line from the truck. I wanted the truck totally independent so that my trailer wouldn't draw down the truck battery if I didn't disconnect for some reason at night.

Might as well buy some tools now because if you are going to keep on RVing you will need them for sure.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:47 AM   #5
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How were you charging it? Didn't see that mentioned.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:33 AM   #6
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Why disconnect it? Leave the battery cables connected and plug the trailer in to household current. The onboard battery charger (if working) will keep the batteries charged. Also there should be a switch somewhere that will disconnect the batteries so nothing draws the battery down while leaving it attached to the charger.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishaPalooza View Post
Why disconnect it? Leave the battery cables connected and plug the trailer in to household current. The onboard battery charger (if working) will keep the batteries charged. Also there should be a switch somewhere that will disconnect the batteries so nothing draws the battery down while leaving it attached to the charger.
I had a similar issue with our new TT. Left the rig parked in the driveway and not plugged into power. LP and smoke detector drew the batter power down enough to cause the LP alarm to sound. Plug in to shore power and the issue went away.

I went ahead and bought a BatteryTender Jr and installed same. Figure if it works on the motorcycle, it should work on the TT. Yep, it does.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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Batteries need TLC for best service. The sort of TLC often missed in RV's is storage maintenance that will maintain a full charge and implement a sulfation inhibiting technique.

Most RV's have some sort of battery status idiot light in a control panel. That is a rudamentary volt meter that, with proper interpretation, can tell you about the state of charge of the battery.

At the RV park, you should be able to plug in the TT. That should power the converter that charges the battery and provides power to 12v stuff in the rig. Often one of the best things you can do for your RV batteries is to upgrade an OEM converter to one that knows about multiple stage charging and has a maintenance mode as described above.

Deep discharges damage batteries. Use a decent charger and give it 12 hours or more to fully charge the battery. That might get you some more use out of it if you can keep it from additional deep discharges and store it with a proper maintenance charge system.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:04 AM   #9
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A new battery, fully charged, should be good for six months, however the LP alarm may be hyper senistive,

Second, I doubt that is a deep cycle,, it is a "Marine/Deep Cycle" which is not a deep cycle by any stretch of the defination. It is a starting battery... but this actually makes no difference to this discussion.


Question: What converter does the trailer have? I was in a PUP yestreday with a Magnatek 7xxx in it, Not the worlds best (Single stage battery killer) Check out your converter, Google it, download the manual and if it's a single stage UPGRADE.

Second, I'd do two things

On all the wires hooked to the POSITIVE battery terminal use either red paint, nail polish or tape,, Likewise (optionally) black on the negative if it's not already black.


Then when storing for months at a time, Pull the battery to a bench where you can hook up a battery Minder (TM) or a battery Tender (TM) (Euqivlant devices) or... If you have properly located parking.. Just run an extension cord out to the battery Minder/Tender device.. These are small (1-4 amp) 2-stage battery chargers (Absorption/float) or 3-stage (Absorption/Float/Desulfate) and will keep the battery well fed in storage, Not much use when you are using the trailer, but fantastic in storage. I used them on both my cars when I retired. Saved the day and several batteries when the car sat for weeks without starting.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:17 AM   #10
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I think I would recharge the battery first before returnin it. I guess I don't understand why you disconnected it in the first place. I don't believe you mentioned how you were charging the battery, that might help to get an answer to your problem.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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Walmart will test the battery but won't just replace it if there is nothing wrong with it.

At least that's how my Walmart battery warranty card explains it.

Is the O.P. still checking this thread?
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:41 AM   #12
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Some of the advice above MIGHT be good, or bad.. and in this case I suspect bad.

First, as I said a battery with cables disconnected should be good for many months.

HOWEVER the Explosive gas detector may be very senistive,, it may also auto-alarm when first re-powered (Remembering it was "low voltage" when cables disconnected,

He did not mention resetting it and re-alarming (but then I can understand not doing that)

Now,, the important part: If the trailer has an older single statge converter such as a Magnetek 6300 (Whcih is a combination converter/charger/power distribution center both 12 and 120 volt) then the charger, which in this box is SEPERATE from the converter, is both slow, and non-stopping. IF you are camping and using enough power, epically "Clean" power like the radio needs, it can in fact run the battery down.

Now..... Plugging in at home does, in fact re-charge, but this converter knows not when to stop, so once the batteries are full it boils them dry and kills them.

OTHER RV's have modern 3-stage converters, and with these ... Well first they charge the battery much faster, they can keep up with radio and other "Clean power" devices no problem... And once the battery is full.. They shut down to a "Maintenance mode" (Float charge) where basically no current flows in the battery.

The result is very long battery life.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:05 AM   #13
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re: "it is a "Marine/Deep Cycle" which is not a deep cycle by any stretch of the defination."

if you can find any objective and useful definition of these terms, one that can be measured and is pertinent to RV use, let me know.

re: "Some of the advice above MIGHT be good, or bad.. and in this case I suspect bad." -- I tend to agree but suggest that one should identify what is thought bad and why. That way we can clarify what needs clarifying and learn from what needs correcting.

For example, see my comment about the very common 'deep cycle battery' mythos.

I also suggest you be willing to stand behind what you offer in a rational and civil way. This topic has so many parroting what might have been true 50 years ago or using context that is way off base for RV's that a proper examination of ideas and opinions and what is behind them might help everyone separate the wheat from the chaf.

BTW, float or trickle chargers are old school and no longer optimum practice for battery storage maintenance. Current practice is to include some sulfation inhibiting technique and to take precautions for age, temperature, and other factors that can influence the float voltage.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:48 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for all the replies. I just didn't think the battery would lose a charge that quickly since it was unplugged. I put the battery on a charger today and will let it charge overnight. I'll reinstall on trailer tomorrow and post the outcome.
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