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Old 08-20-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
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Batteries draining

I have a 19 foot Hi-Lo and my refrigerator seems to be draining my batteries while traveling. Any suggestions
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:32 AM   #2
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A much belated welcome; four years and your first post.
Sorry your here with problems.
Questions. Is your fridge a 3 way (12v/110v/propane) unit?
How old is your unit?
Are you running a charge wire from your TV?
Does the battery retain it's charge when the fridge is off?
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:41 AM   #3
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A three-way fridge running on 12V will drag up to 15 amps out of your battery - and the usual way to control that is with a motion sensor or ignition relay so it is only powered direct from the engine 12V supply when you are actually moving. If it is just hooked up permanently to the house battery then a couple of hours parked for lunch or shopping will drain a small battery.

Is this a recent problem or a new to you rig?

Other possibility is the battery is on the way out and can't hold a charge
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:38 AM   #4
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Is the 12V switch set to off? If so, maybe it isn't the fridge...
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
A much belated welcome; four years and your first post.
Sorry your here with problems.
Questions. Is your fridge a 3 way (12v/110v/propane) unit?
How old is your unit?
Are you running a charge wire from your TV?
Does the battery retain it's charge when the fridge is off?
It is a threeway fridge about 6 yrs. old. no TV . What has been happening is that on short hour or 2 trips there is enough battery power to raise the unit but a longer trip at the end of the trip the batteries are dead and I have to "jack" the unit up by hand. 2 days ago we returned from trip of over ten hrs. with the fridge off and it raised up with no problem. That is why I thought perhaps it was something to do with the fridge
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:23 AM   #6
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A three-way fridge running on 12V will drag up to 15 amps out of your battery - and the usual way to control that is with a motion sensor or ignition relay so it is only powered direct from the engine 12V supply when you are actually moving. If it is just hooked up permanently to the house battery then a couple of hours parked for lunch or shopping will drain a small battery.

Is this a recent problem or a new to you rig?

Other possibility is the battery is on the way out and can't hold a charge
New marine batteries, started about a year ago, its a 3way fridge , we turn it to 12volt before leaving on a short trip it will have power to raise the unit on a long trip it is dead and I have to raise it by hand. 2 days ago we traveled over 10 hrs. with an empty fridge so had it turned off and the unit popped right up hence my thoughts that it has some basis in faulty fridge
Thanks for answering
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:25 AM   #7
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we set it to 12 volt before every trip
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by beetle View Post

It is a threeway fridge about 6 yrs. old. no TV . What has been happening is that on short hour or 2 trips there is enough battery power to raise the unit but a longer trip at the end of the trip the batteries are dead and I have to "jack" the unit up by hand. 2 days ago we returned from trip of over ten hrs. with the fridge off and it raised up with no problem. That is why I thought perhaps it was something to do with the fridge
Sorry I used an acronym ( TV ) for Tow Vehicle, and I shouldn't have .
When traveling with 12v fridge operating , it is important to have an operating charge system from the tow vehicle to the trailer battery.
The fridge draw is roughly equivalent to leaving your headlights on when the engine isn't running; battery will go dead in a hurry.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:16 PM   #9
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OK - sounds as if you don't have any feed from the engine alternator to the battery and it is supplying the fridge on its own. Say 10 amp draw means on a short trip - up to 4 hours - the battery will still have a reasonable charge and can raise the top - but in a 10 hour trip, in hot weather, the fridge might be running the whole time (as some three-ways don't have thermostatic control on the 12V) so 10 amps x 10 hours is a dead flat normal 120Ah battery.

Probably the fridge is OK but you might have a problem with the split charging system if fitted, or the battery is on the way out.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:18 PM   #10
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Sorry I used an acronym ( TV ) for Tow Vehicle, and I shouldn't have .
When traveling with 12v fridge operating , it is important to have an operating charge system from the tow vehicle to the trailer battery.
The fridge draw is roughly equivalent to leaving your headlights on when the engine isn't running; battery will go dead in a hurry.
I hate to sound ignorant once again but what exactly does an "opreating charge system entail? Thaks again for taking the time to try to help.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:20 PM   #11
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OK - sounds as if you don't have any feed from the engine alternator to the battery and it is supplying the fridge on its own. Say 10 amp draw means on a short trip - up to 4 hours - the battery will still have a reasonable charge and can raise the top - but in a 10 hour trip, in hot weather, the fridge might be running the whole time (as some three-ways don't have thermostatic control on the 12V) so 10 amps x 10 hours is a dead flat normal 120Ah battery.

Probably the fridge is OK but you might have a problem with the split charging system if fitted, or the battery is on the way out.
Wfhat exactly split charging system? Thanks for taking the time to help, I really appreciate it.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:53 PM   #12
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I hate to sound ignorant once again but what exactly does an "opreating charge system entail? Thaks again for taking the time to try to help.
A charging system from your tow vehicle , would involve wiring from the battery of the tow vehicle , through a relay ( controlled by an ignition feed) , so the battery of the trailer is charged when the vehicle is running.
If your trailer wiring is a 7 pin plug in connector, you will have a wire on the trailer to feed the power into.
I'll see if there is a wiring diagram that I can post.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:00 AM   #13
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Here's a wiring diagram for a 7-way connector.
The auxiliary wire (orange) would be an 8-gauge wire coming directly from the battery of your tow vehicle (with a 30 amp auto-reset breaker in the line).



e-Trailer has a great set of wiring diagrams too. They are wired differently than the above image.

e-Trailer wiring diagrams
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:15 AM   #14
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Many trailers with a 7 wire plug would use the wire marked 12v, to charge the battery and the Aux ,center pin, would be Back up lights.
You have to know how the trailer is wired before you start.
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