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Old 05-31-2015, 10:04 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Granville, NY 12832
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Question Help! Battery not charging?

Just finished a five day camping trip with not hook-ups on an Adirondack Lake Campground.
After one day it was evident that the battery was run down dispite my 3100 watt generator in use 2 hours AM and 2 hours PM (max allowed by campground).

My travel trailer is a "Trail-Lite by R-Vision...mfg in 2001"
My generator is a Champion 3100watt inverter type.

Now I am trying to determine if the problem is with the battery (I have no idea how old it is...bought trailer used last year...battery was fine last year).
Battery was stored inside for winter with a trickle charger on it all winter to maintain it. It was on the on board system plugged into house power for about a month before this trip. The problem now it I never checked the power status before this first trip of the season. Battery power seemed O.K. The first day of camping....now it is almost dead and will no longer power the refrigerator on gas. The water pump runs "low and slow" on battery power. The monitor panel says it is charging when either the generator or the house power is on but the battery is "dead".

I plan to try a direct charge by removing the battery tomorrow and putting it on my battery charger to see if will take a charge...If it will not charge I then will assume the problem is the battery.

If the battery proves to be bad I need advise on what is the best to buy...we do a lot of no hook-up camping.

If the battery takes a charge then I have a problem with the system in the trailer and I have no idea how to test that. The monitor panel says it is working and the battery monitor panel in the trailer does say the battery is down. The panel also says the system is charging the battery....can I even trust that??

Any help from someone who may have been down this road would be appreciated!!! I hope there is a systems expert out there....so far I am using my own logical progression of tests trying to avoid a trip to a RV repair facility.


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Old 05-31-2015, 10:23 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
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A single 12v, deep cycle battery is of limited use when dry camping, and I suspect you'll find yours is shot.
Look into a pair of 6v golf cart batteries as replacements, you'll be power up for almost twice as long. ( But you'll still have to manage power, by limiting use.)
The next variable is the charging from the gen set.
Were you powering the whole RV and charging through the Converter/Charger , or hooked up direct to a 12v output on the gen set?
If powering the whole RV then there are limits ; C/C max output , will slow the recharge.
More info on this web site.
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

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Old 05-31-2015, 10:44 AM   #3
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Posts: 164
Test, test, test. See:


First of all, you can’t believe the little “idiot light” panel that came in your rig. That thing is very optimistic and tells you the batteries are full at 13.4 volts, when they are actually nowhere near it (14.4 volts). It works by looking at the voltage present on the wiring, which will be much higher than the battery voltage while charging & much lower than the battery voltage when running loads. If it says your batteries are “full” while you are charging, you could be anywhere from 40% to fully charged. People that run their generator until the idiot light says “full” are only getting their batteries up to about 40 or 50%.
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battery, charging

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