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Old 01-06-2016, 11:56 AM   #1
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Battery Issue Perhaps?

When we purchased our 5th wheel new in March 2015 I would be able to turn the battery switch on the night before going out to cool down the fridge for packing in the morning. The battery would still show 3-4 green lights on the board. This even if it was 2-4 weeks between trips. I run overnight on LP not battery.
Now after 2 idle weeks and doing the same thing, in the morning even though its cold, the check fridge light is on and only one green light is showing for the battery. Water levels are fine. Is it normal for a battery to start acting up after less than one year? Nothing is left on, all lights are off as is the tv antenna booster. Your thoughts?
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:14 PM   #2
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Check the label on your battery for the warrantee duration. If it's one year then this isn't unusual. If it's more than a year then it's very unusual but can happen. The only way to know is to test it under load
Link to load tester.
Robot Check

and test the water with a hydrometer
Link to hydrometer.
Robot Check

Places like Wal-Mart and auto parts stores offer free testing but it's only a voltage test and won't really tell you if the battery is functioning correctly. Take it to the supplier's rep and ask them to test it properly. If it's under warrantee you should get a replacement.


If the battery is good then you have developed a parasitic load you don't know about and you will need to test the storage conditions current with a DVM. If the load is high like over 5 AMPS then pull fuses until you find the problem. You could of course do this first and save a few bucks, but these two tools are a good thing to have in your tool box.

Good Luck
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:31 PM   #3
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It depends on how you treat your battery.

They need to be fully charged when you store them otherwise they have a short life.

You probably have a dual purpose battery. Not the best for your use.

If it tests bad a "Deep Cycle" only battery will serve you better. You still need to charge it before storing it.
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
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It depends on how you treat your battery.

They need to be fully charged when you store them otherwise they have a short life.

You probably have a dual purpose battery. Not the best for your use.

If it tests bad a "Deep Cycle" only battery will serve you better. You still need to charge it before storing it.
The ride home from most places we go is usually 2-3 hours, more than enough to charge it before putting the rv away in the storage lot till next time. Always 4 greens when I put it away and always use battery shut off. If I go to the rv between trips I always check it and 3-4 green lights is the usual.
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:33 PM   #5
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Well, the single green light says your battery has only minimal charge. If it's a year old, and probably a cheap "marine" deep cycle to start with, it's not too surprising that it no longer hold s a charge as long as when new. Is it a sealed battery? If not, have you ever checked the fluid level in the cells? It may need topping up (use distilled water only).

It's also possible you have something drawing power that was not on before. Maybe a new gadget installed? Even one that is turned off? Most modern "digital" things draw power even when "off". They aren't really off - they are in "stand-by".
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Old 01-06-2016, 03:56 PM   #6
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The ride home from most places we go is usually 2-3 hours, more than enough to charge it before putting the rv away in the storage lot till next time. Always 4 greens when I put it away and always use battery shut off. If I go to the rv between trips I always check it and 3-4 green lights is the usual.

Sorry but that small size charge line and it's long length will NOT charge a low battery in 5th wheel

Truck alternator/voltage regulator will charge truck batteries then back off and supply minimal voltage to charge system for 5th wheel

At best that charge system will help maintain/top off the 5vr battery but it will not RE-charge it even in several hours of driving.

When was last time you check water level?
Checked Specific Gravity of each battery cell?
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:22 PM   #7
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If your truck is supplying 10 amps thru the charge line and you are driving 3 hours that comes to 30 AH ( amp hours ) of charging.

If you have a 100 AH battery that is run down to 40-50% ( around 12 volts ) you need to replace 50 AH. That will take 5 hours of driving. ( Actually more due to acceptance slowing down as the battery gets full. )

You can see that is not fully charged.

Throw a 100 watt solar panel up on the roof and finish the charge during the time in storage.
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:01 PM   #8
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Good answers thanks. Sounds like a new stronger battery may be the answer. Yes, I check water regularly and use distilled water. I guess 10 months on the battery the dealer supplies is performing at it's best.
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:41 PM   #9
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Before you have a shop load test the battery, make usre it is fully charged or you will not get a correct reading.
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:55 PM   #10
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Install a Single Battery On/Off switch and maybe a Trikl Charger if there is a power source at the storage yard... From yrs of experience with batteries, each and every time a battery sits discharged to less than 50%, its life is shortened..
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