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Old 04-28-2016, 08:18 AM   #1
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One year old battery, but I am concerned...

...I keep the trailer plugged in all the time, and keep the A/C and fridge going, just to keep everything fresh and prevent mildew.

I had to unplug the trailer earlier this week, for 3 days. Yesterday, I noticed that the fridge was warm, and nothing worked inside. No lights, nothing.

Battery was dead. .05 volts dead.

So I plugged the trailer back in yesterday afternoon, everything is working again.

Checked the battery today, and only 9.5 volts, after charging overnight for about 18 hours.

How long should it take to fully charge, with nothing but the fridge running in the trailer?

How long should it have lasted with only fridge running on gas, while unplugged from shore power?

Is it already time for a new battery? If so, what is a good make/model/size for my needs?

Going full-time next month, so need to hammer out all these minor gremlins now, so I am not doing it on the side of the road.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:42 AM   #2
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Short remarks...

Taking longer time to show charge on battery could be bad and good...

You fill a swimming pool with water hose and it takes awhile...larger pool longer so long time indicates maybe good capacity...maybe.

But your converter should have say 20 to 30 amps available so that should bring up a fairly good size battery quick.

Batteries do not like going under 1.75 VPC volts per cell so 10.5 is dead.

Below that they can be damaged.

So you have some chores to do.

Check output of converter both volts and amps if you have meter to do so.

Get a load brick at harbor freight for about 20 bucks and quick test the battery.

If you have a portable battery charger disconnect the ground from battery and charge it for a few days then test again

Check parasitic and operating loads of your rv.

Search forum for battery charging and testing for about a weeks worth of throne reading...
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:43 AM   #3
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It sounds like your battery is toast.

Do you check the water level in your battery? If you leave it plugged in, doing so monthly would probably be a good idea.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:51 AM   #4
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It sounds like your battery is toast.

Do you check the water level in your battery? If you leave it plugged in, doing so monthly would probably be a good idea.
Keep distilled water and a battery fill jug on hand.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:51 AM   #5
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As Joe said, leaving your RV plugged in all the time you will need to check the battery levels regularly! We keep ours plugged in with the fridge and A/C on, and I check the battery levels monthly.

I'm not sure how long the battery would last without being charged, but I would guess that having the fridge on for several days would deplete it pretty quickly. JMHO

Be sure to use only distilled water in the batteries!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottandanna View Post
...I keep the trailer plugged in all the time, and keep the A/C and fridge going, just to keep everything fresh and prevent mildew.
I had to unplug the trailer earlier this week, for 3 days. Yesterday, I noticed that the fridge was warm, and nothing worked inside. No lights, nothing.
Battery was dead. .05 volts dead.
So I plugged the trailer back in yesterday afternoon, everything is working again.
Checked the battery today, and only 9.5 volts, after charging overnight for about 18 hours.
How long should it take to fully charge, with nothing but the fridge running in the trailer?
How long should it have lasted with only fridge running on gas, while unplugged from shore power?
Is it already time for a new battery? If so, what is a good make/model/size for my needs?
Going full-time next month, so need to hammer out all these minor gremlins now, so I am not doing it on the side of the road.
scottandanna
It sounds like your battery is not being charged correctly, (but depending on the battery charger used in your trailer that may not be the problem).
IMO the first step is to verify that the battery is good by having it load tested at a battery shop.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:53 AM   #7
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You have already figured out that the battery is the heart of your system. I assume that the battery is charged from the truck when you are connected and on the road. It looks like you have one 12v deep cycle battery. You could have toasted it after three days but a new battery should have come back after one discharge. You really can't expect to boondock with one battery very long. I do not know your rig but I am betting that 24 hours with the fridge running would be about it. Maybe someone with a similar rig will chime in. And You can turn off the frige when not using it and open the doors.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:53 AM   #8
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You should get more than a year out of deep cycle battery.

An RV will often have some systems running even when all lights are dead. If you are unplugging the RV, those systems will still draw on the battery. If a deep cycle battery is rated at 100 amp hours, and an RV fridge draws 2-4 amp hours, the battery will provide power for 25-50 hours - quite a bit less than the 3 days you had it unplugged for...and that assumes no other draws on the battery, when there will be.

I suggest removing the battery and putting it on a battery charger. If you are charging the batteries using the converter, they may provide little more than a trickle charge - so you could be looking at several days to charge them back up. Converters are designed to top off, not to charge from dead. Last time I had a seriously dead battery (on a brand new RV battery), it took over 24 hours on a smart charger to bring it back to life.

Take a look at some of the threads on battery power and power options, ranging from golf cart batteries, to generators, to solar. If you are full timing, you may want to get more than one battery to meet your needs while unplugged.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottandanna View Post
...I keep the trailer plugged in all the time, and keep the A/C and fridge going, just to keep everything fresh and prevent mildew.

I had to unplug the trailer earlier this week, for 3 days. Yesterday, I noticed that the fridge was warm, and nothing worked inside. No lights, nothing.

Battery was dead. .05 volts dead.

So I plugged the trailer back in yesterday afternoon, everything is working again.

Checked the battery today, and only 9.5 volts, after charging overnight for about 18 hours.

How long should it take to fully charge, with nothing but the fridge running in the trailer?

How long should it have lasted with only fridge running on gas, while unplugged from shore power?

Is it already time for a new battery? If so, what is a good make/model/size for my needs?

Going full-time next month, so need to hammer out all these minor gremlins now, so I am not doing it on the side of the road.
If you ran it on the one battery for 3 days I would think it should not be as dead as you say but perhaps you have a fan that runs in there also. You do not need to keep it running constantly, shut it off, open the doors, wipe out excess water and let it dry out. If battery is now as dead as you say it is, I would be in the market for new ones and would get two 6 volt golf cart style batteries to replace the one. You may want to invest in some solar power as well if you will be using this full time.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:40 AM   #10
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Lots of good feedback! Thanks all!

And yes, water was OK.

As for leaving windows open, cannot do that down here in SE Texas. WAY too humid. I have seen sheetrock start to peel in a couple weeks INSIDE a house with the A/C off.

I will put the charger on it and see if it comes back to life. If not, off to the battery store!
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:59 AM   #11
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It's probably not really a deep cycle - more likely a "marine" type. Still ought to last 2-3 years, but a couple of deep discharges could ruin it (as it has been ruined now).

The fridge should run for a week or more off the battery (assuming LP gas mode and not a 3-way fridge in 12v mode). That suggests that there are other "phantom" power draws. The LP gas detector will be one, but there are probably more.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:05 AM   #12
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What kind and type of battery do you have, and what is the converter/charger rated at? It could take up to 70 hours to charge a complete dead battery 10.2v is pretty dead, under that is like burnt toast. Remember too if everything is still running while you are charging, then you have to minus what is being consumed in watts or voltage while you are also trying to charge.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:15 AM   #13
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You are probably playing with two problems.

The converter/charger is probably not a 3 or 4 stage float charger designed to just keep the battery topped off in storage so it overcharges and cooks the battery. If you have been filling the battery every few weeks this is definitely the case.

One battery will usually keep the refrigerator and other minor loads overnight and maybe two nights because it should run the refrigerator and furnace for around 12 hours. You might want to monitor the battery voltage every hour or so for 8-10 hours just to get a trend. If the charge is collapsing in that time you know you need a new and/or more battery if you plan on boon docking. I would do that before spending time and money chasing around on other stuff like battery load tests. YMMV.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:34 AM   #14
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I have never had to add water, and the water level is still right where it needs to be. So not overcooked by charger.

I will head out and put a charger on it, and get the type/model of the battery. I will also see if the voltage has come up at all since I last checked.
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