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Old 05-27-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
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How many hours does a batttery last

Please help we are new owners and never did this before. We just bought our first camper and it is a jayco eagle 1996. Went camping this weedend and our battery only last 2 hours only running the gas fridge and lights. what are we doing wrong, previous owner never explained anything. Is there ad switch for only running it on a battery?
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
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Was the battery fully charged?
What type of battery is it? If it's a car starting battery then it needs to be replaced with at least a marine battery. Better yet is two 6 volt deep cycle (golf cart) batteries since the marine battery is not a true deep cycle one.
How many reserve amps does the battery have at 20 amp hours?
How many watts did you draw out?
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
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The problem is probably lights. Some can consume as much as 6 amps. If you have a group 24 battery you only have 80 amps at the 20 hr rate. If you had five or six lights on you could use it up in two hours. You can add more batteries and change to LED lights which may consume as little as 1/2 amp.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:38 PM   #4
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What type and voltage battery(s)
How old is the battery?
Is the battery in good condition?
Charger working properly?
What loads were being used?
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:33 AM   #5
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The camper has been in storage for 2 yrs and we try different batteries still the same. The second and third night we only used fridge on gas and the pump kicked in for water. We were very cautious on what we used. Is it possibly hooked up wrong where it's drawing from the 110 system instead of DC.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:48 AM   #6
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I suspect two major problems, your power hungry and your batteries are the wrong type wnd or old.
This is not like home where you have an unlimited supply of power. Your available power depends on type,capacoty,quanity and condition of your batteries.
First things first. Take the house batteries out, have them fully charged and then have them load tested. Then go online and read the 12 volt side of life. Then learn to conserve
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mihounds View Post
Please help we are new owners and never did this before. We just bought our first camper and it is a jayco eagle 1996. Went camping this weedend and our battery only last 2 hours only running the gas fridge and lights. what are we doing wrong, previous owner never explained anything. Is there ad switch for only running it on a battery?
You are dry camping? (Camper is not plugged in to an outlet)
Do you have an inverter? Most camper fridges now run either propane or 110 with the control being 12 volt battery power.

2 hours, I would guess the battery might be at most the second battery in the camper. Check the date code on the battery. Anything over 4 years old is more likely than not bad.

As mentioned above charge it and then bring it in to a auto parts store/your auto repair and have them test it.

Bad battery: you might want to look at 2 golf cart batteries if you dry camp a lot ($300-$400). You will want to take care of them.

Dry camping: Batteries are why dry campers like LED lighting. We only use the LED lights when not wired to an outlet. (Mine are not all LED yet, due to cost)

If so it is absolutely possible to kill a marine battery over night, especially if you are running the heater and have standard lights. Trust me.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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Tell us more about your battery!

Regarding your RV's 12v domestic supply... keep these basic rules of thumb in mind...
  • A 100Ah (Amp Hour) battery will provide power at 1 amp for 100 hours or 100 amps for one hour.
  • Each 'standard' 21w light bulb uses 1.75 amps @ 12 volts. (A few of those old filament bulbs going at night will run down a battery pretty fast.)
Moving to LED bulbs is a good investment in terms of reducing power consumption...

Our LED bulbs are 3w each which draw 0.25amps per lamp.. In layman's terms, we can run 4 led lights for <400 continuous hours on our 100Ah leisure battery (in theory).

If we ran 4 standard 21w light bulbs, we'd only be able to run them for 14 hours continuous before the battery would be drained... (not a good idea BTW).

I learned all about being 12v power efficient when I had a sailboat with a crap engine alternator and a small wind generator. I became obsessive about how many amps everything used, because if I didn't, I'd be using candles to light the cabin by night...!

Have a look at all of the 12v appliances in your rig and look for the power consumption data. You'll be surprised at how hungry some of those suckers can be...

I'd put my money on your problem being one of the following...
  • Something is running in the background that you haven't found yet.
  • Bad electrical connections.
  • Battery Ah rating is too small for the demand.
  • Bad/old battery.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mihounds View Post
Please help we are new owners and never did this before. We just bought our first camper and it is a jayco eagle 1996. Went camping this weedend and our battery only last 2 hours only running the gas fridge and lights. what are we doing wrong, previous owner never explained anything. Is there ad switch for only running it on a battery?
as 450donn suggested check this resource.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:12 PM   #10
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I would get an amp meter and measure what is pulling the current... If it's lights, they are relatively easy to replace with LEDs that will use less than 10% of the power of the prior lights...
2 hours doesn't sound right to me... Unless you're running a big fan.
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