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Old 05-31-2016, 05:34 PM   #1
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Power Inverter Issues

Hello,

I just bought my first travel trailer a couple of weeks ago and itís the first camper Iíve ever owned. The trailer is currently wired up to a power inverter that is not currently working. I went ahead and ordered a new 1000 watt power inverter and when I plugged in this power inverter it worked for about a minute then itís light turned red and the mechanics light that I had plugged into it shut off. If I plug the travel trailer into the house the power inverter works just fine. Iím assuming the deep cycle batteries that are wired in parallel may be the issue but I was wondering how I could test that theory out further. I charged each battery overnight on a trickle charge about a week ago. I touched the leads of the wires with my multimeter and they were at around 11.5 volts and the gauge of wire looks pretty thick to me so Iím assuming that is not the issue. I didnít know if there was a good way to test out the deep cycle batteries further without buying two new ones. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:36 PM   #2
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Hi,
I believe the 11.5 volt reading is indicating the charge is at 20%. A full charge should be 'round 12.6+ volts.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:58 PM   #3
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You need to trickle charge the batteries about a week, to get them up to 12.6 volts.

Most inverters shut down at 10.5 volts. Batteries at 11.5 volts drop to 10 volts with any load.

If after a week of charging, if the batteries don't hold 12.6 volts for a few days of no use, they are shot.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:09 AM   #4
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Yes.. 11.5V is too low. Sounds like you need new batteries.
Charge the batteries till full as you can and connect the inverter and test how long it lasts. I bet it will be a bit more but not that much more. If so.. you definitely need new batteries. Nothing better than new batteries. Don't cheap out on this. Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice everyone. Attached are two pictures of my current battery and the charger. So are you saying I should leave the charger set to 2 amps and charge both batteries for a solid week to see if I can get them up to 12.6 volts? Then if they don't stay at 12.6 volts for long then the batteries are dead?

Also should I set the charging mode to AGM or Standard? I looked all over the battery but I didn't see anything saying AGM or Standard.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:19 AM   #6
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Yes, the 2 amp charger will not hurt them.

They are not AGM batteries so set for regular.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:21 AM   #7
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ok thanks
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmith95610 View Post
Hello,
I just bought my first travel trailer a couple of weeks ago and it’s the first camper I’ve ever owned. The trailer is currently wired up to a power inverter that is not currently working. I went ahead and ordered a new 1000 watt power inverter and when I plugged in this power inverter it worked for about a minute then it’s light turned red and the mechanics light that I had plugged into it shut off. If I plug the travel trailer into the house the power inverter works just fine. I’m assuming the deep cycle batteries that are wired in parallel may be the issue but I was wondering how I could test that theory out further. I charged each battery overnight on a trickle charge about a week ago. I touched the leads of the wires with my multimeter and they were at around 11.5 volts and the gauge of wire looks pretty thick to me so I’m assuming that is not the issue. I didn’t know if there was a good way to test out the deep cycle batteries further without buying two new ones. Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks
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I suspect you may have a "mechanic's light problem" rather than a "power inverter problem" or a "battery problem".

Most mechanics lights have only a 18 gauge, (or a 16 gauge), power cord which might not be heavy enough to run your "new 1000 watt power inverter".

BTW my mechanic's light also has an 6.2A inline circuit breaker... (in the bulb holder/handle, near the receptacle in that handle).

Did you try plugging the inverter into a receptacle using a 12/3 extension cord.... rather than into the "mechanics light"?

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Old 06-01-2016, 11:45 AM   #9
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bsmith95610
I suspect you may have a "mechanic's light problem" rather than a "power inverter problem" or a "battery problem".

Most mechanics lights have only a 18 gauge, (or a 16 gauge), power cord which might not be heavy enough to run your "new 1000 watt power inverter".

BTW my mechanic's light also has an 6.2A inline circuit breaker... (in the bulb holder/handle, near the receptacle in that handle).

Did you try plugging the inverter into a receptacle using a 12/3 extension cord.... rather than into the "mechanics light"?

Mel
'96 Safari

The mechanics light is in now way plugging the inverter into the battery the mechanics light is just plugged into the inverter. When I plug the mechanics light into an outlet in my garage everything works correctly. Shouldn't anything be able to plug into the power inverter as long as it doesn't draw to much power? Also when the trailer is plugged into my houses power then the mechanics light works just fine when plugged into the inverter.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:33 PM   #10
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I have one more question on charging batteries is it best to do this with a normal battery charger set to 2 amps or is it best to instead purchase something like the below?

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...+Tender+2+bank
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:03 PM   #11
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If you have time between uses any automatic charger will be fine.

If you need a faster charge, a 30 to 50 amp automatic charger would help.

Along with that, you probably have a charger built into the trailer.

According to age, it may have a decent automatic one.

Look for a sticker near the fuse panel for infomation about the "Converter" That what doubles as the charger.

Leave it plugged in and see if the batteries stay up.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:38 AM   #12
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"If I plug the travel trailer into the house the power inverter works just fine." When you plug the trailer into the house power the trailers converter is turning the 115 volts AC from the house into 12 volts DC, which the inverter is then changing back to 115 volts AC. That's why it works when the trailer is plugged into the house power.

Since the inverter will only power your light for a short time, when operating on the trailer batteries, it appears that your trailer batteries are undercharged, or failing. Yeah, there coul be other problems, but batteries would be the first place to look.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:24 PM   #13
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"If I plug the travel trailer into the house the power inverter works just fine." When you plug the trailer into the house power the trailers converter is turning the 115 volts AC from the house into 12 volts DC, which the inverter is then changing back to 115 volts AC. That's why it works when the trailer is plugged into the house power.

Since the inverter will only power your light for a short time, when operating on the trailer batteries, it appears that your trailer batteries are undercharged, or failing. Yeah, there coul be other problems, but batteries would be the first place to look.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:59 PM   #14
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bsmith95610,
I'd highly recommend using golf cart batteries instead of those deep cycle marine batteries. The batteries with the best reputation are T-105 by Trojan. Most golf cart repair shops will carry them and offer the best price (around $115 is good price right now). They are 6 volt batteries but connected in series, they provide 12 volts. They're meant to be discharged and recharged repeatedly but try not to let them drop below 12.6 volts before recharging them for best life and maximum capacity. Those marine batteries you've got aren't really designed for what you're using them for.
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