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Old 03-18-2019, 01:11 PM   #1
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Newbie First Post - New TT Has Dead Battery

Hi, first post and looking for some help. Picked up a new Outdoors 21TRX (toy hauler) 9 days ago and for the last 3 mornings have found the battery dead. The TT has a 170 watt solar panel and I've also have the trailer hooked up to a 120 household current the whole time it was brought home. After the sun comes up, the battery jumps up to fully charge from the solar panel and the 12 volt system is OK. Changed a ground cable bolt from a self-tap bolt to a thru bolt but really never really found an issue.

In the morning the battery voltage was zero when hooked up to the TT at the battery terminals. I'm suspicious that the (new) battery might be bad or the power converter is at fault because it should be charging with household current but I don't where the converter is and even how to check it out. I know the solar panel charges the battery regardless of the battery disconnect switch and is actually masking the battery issue. Should I just change the battery, I wanted to eventually go to two 6 volt batteries but it bothers me that I don't understand the issue yet with an ambiguity of at least two. The dealership I bought it at is over 400 miles away and I don't have a hydrometer to test each cell but could probably take it to a battery shop and have them look at it.
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:33 PM   #2
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If indeed the battery read zero volts in the morning as you say, then yes the battery is junk. I would remove that cables and test the battery voltage with a meter.
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:10 PM   #3
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Is the battery disconnect switch set to "ON" or "OFF"?
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:19 PM   #4
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Battery disconnect switch was set to "ON" when I checked the voltage at the terminals on the TT. There is definitely something drawing on it.

Just to add some confusion, I also took the battery out of the TT and when I check the voltage with the battery on my bench it was showing 6 volts or less.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:25 PM   #5
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A 12 volt battery that reads 6 volts is toast. A good plan is to go ahead with your two 6 volt batteries.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:34 PM   #6
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12 volt battery that reads 6 volts needs to be charged back to 12.7 volts.

Only then can it be tested to see if its toast ( bad ).
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:01 PM   #7
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Take the battery to a known good reputable automotive repair facility and have them charge it fully and load test it.
That will for sure tell you the condition of the battery.
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
12 volt battery that reads 6 volts needs to be charged back to 12.7 volts.

Only then can it be tested to see if its toast ( bad ).
A charged battery that self-discharges overnight is a dead battery. No if's and's or but's.
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:21 PM   #9
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Just wanted to say thanks for all the helpful tips I got. The problem turn out to be a bad converter, which I just replaced. The battery was checked out "OK" by a Firestone Dealership and with the help from a senior tech at the RV dealership we isolated the problem to the converter. The converter was getting the correct input voltage (above 115 volts) but the output was zero DC volts. Sounds easy now but I guess hindsight is always 20/20.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for the update....glad to hear you got the problem solved.

You said you just replaced the converter. Did you yourself replace it or did the RV dealership replace it?
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:48 AM   #11
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Next steps:

Like many RV'ers you have learned a lot about batteries and battery charging systems. Perhaps you have had to learn more quickly than others. That will probably be good info for camping and for the future of electric power in general as the world of electric power moves on from fossil fuel.

There is one more issue you need to be aware of. Maybe the folks who tested your battery already talked about it. A deep draw flooded cell battery that has been discharged below 10% of capacity multiple times and for significant periods of time, looses storage capacity. Perhaps the battery dealer tested the capacity and told you what the remaining capacity is.

The battery needs a full day of charging probably followed by a "conditioning" cycle. Check with the battery supplier on this. You may also need to replace it in the near future. Try it and see if it has enough capacity for how you will use it.

Another issue is that your solar power system is not adequate to maintain charge on the battery when house appliances and parasitic loads are drawing power. You need to consider how to turn off some load when you store the TT so the solar can maintain the battery. 170 watts should be enough to maintain and slowly charge the battery.

If you need more info on this just ask. Someone on iRV2 has worked through this before.

In the mean time go out and have a good time camping in your new TT!
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:59 AM   #12
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A charged battery that self-discharges overnight is a dead battery. No if's and's or but's.
I can see I made a bad diagnosis. I reread the posts and it is of course clear now. The battery charged on solar but didn't on shore power. In addition the house appliances should have been working on shore power even if the battery was bad. They were not. Logic should have led me to conclude the converter/charge system (fuses, wires, switches, electronics) were at fault.

Shame on me.
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:01 AM   #13
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Yes it's one of those "no substitute for experience" events because it certainly had me scratching my head for a while. In fact it was a bit infuriating for me a while because I like to think I come from a technical background that includes aircraft systems experience (Airframe & Powerplant License) but had little RV experience.

I had great support from both the Broadmoor RV dealership and the ORV manufacturer (got the electrical schematic from them), the new part was shipped to me at no cost. I just have to send the old part back to them. So between posting my problem here, bugging my RV friends, looking at YouTube, the dealership, and the manufacturer the fault got isolated and then replaced! I just hope my next problem is a little more straight forward but I did learn allot.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:08 AM   #14
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This is a great write-up. It was helpful to me when I started last year. It is a bit dated, but its still all accurate.



The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)


I am going to swap my stock single stage converter to a Progressive Dynamics multi-stage to keep from cooking my batteries.
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