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Old 05-11-2021, 01:10 PM   #1
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House battery won't last the night

I have a 2004 Dynamax Isata motorhome. I have owned it for a year. The last owner replaced both batteries about 18 months ago. I did not have this issue when I camped last fall. However, this time, I am running out of battery power while boondocking by about 7am. The only thing I am running is a few lights for about an hour in the evening. My fridge and heat are running on LP. I leave the floorboard "running" lights on all night. I have read that I need to keep my batteries charged. I did not do this during the winter but had the "Storage" button engaged. I CANNOT charge it by plugging it into my house. (Long story - but I've already had a dedicated outlet installed in the garage but it blows my house circuit breaker blows every time I try to plug in. I've had 2 electricians look at it and they are dumbfounded. 3 other RV owners that i know are also confused about this.)

I begrudgingly accept that I cannot plug it in to shore power at home. It works fine when plugged into shore power at a campground.

Anyway, if I turn on my engine for about 20-30 minutes in the morning, i can get enough power to get me through the morning before driving again. I rarely drive more than 6 hours per day but this doesn't appear to charge the batteries enough to get through the night. I RARELY stay in a campground where I can charge by shore power.

What are my options?

Thank you
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:16 PM   #2
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Have you checked the water level in the batteries?
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:02 PM   #3
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It's obvious you are using a lot more power than you realize. For example, even in LP mode, fridge & water heater use a little DC power, plus the LP gas and CO detectors. If "heat" includes the LP furnace, that's a big DC power draw (the fan running). And those floor lights could be power hungry unless they are Leds.

The fact that plugging to the house outlet trips the house breaker tells us you have more than a few things sucking a fair amount of power (amps). Either you are vastly underestimating what power you are using or something is drastically wrong in your RV. It's not all that hard to verify where power is going, but you need some basic electrical knowledge and must be methodical in tracking it down.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:08 PM   #4
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Letting batty run down and remain uncharged during storage is very hard on them and given enough time will kill battys. They need to be kept at a reasonable state of charge or they will lose life. For max life they should be brought up to 100% charge ASAP after use.

You are likely not blowing a circuit breaker on overloading but tripping a GFCI outlet. That is likely what is installed in a garage to meet code. Many MHs don't play well with GFCI. If that is true you have a few possible solutions.

1. Install / have installed a non- GFCI outlet to p,ug into

2. Install a non- GFCI 30A outlet to handle the MH. This will handle a larger load if you are in fact tripping a CB on overload but you should be able to limit amps to 15 or 20 A by managing loads.

3. Use a battery maintainer to keep battys charged during storage.

Even with disconnect switches engaged most MH have parasitic loads that bypass the switch and will drain the house battys. ( propane / CO2 detectors + others) Same with chassis battys.
I use 2 maintainers one for chassis and a larger one on my house bank as I have 8 -6V GCs. Battery minders have no affect on GFCI outlets.

If you can't do any of the above then best to FULLY charge and disconnect the batty cables to eliminate any parasitic draw.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:25 AM   #5
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With that said, it takes a lot longer than a couple hours to fully charge 2 batteries. It’s likely you are not getting a full charge, hence, the batteries go dead at night.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:50 PM   #6
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Depending on the quality of the batteries, especially if they are RV/Marine, 18 months is all you are going to get. There are plenty of threads on the life of batteries. The RV/Marine battery will only have an 12 month warranty.
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Old 05-13-2021, 05:24 PM   #7
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Most converter/chargers have a control to limit the input current into the charger. You should be able to go into the control screen and set the max amps. Go into the controller and set the limit.

Just be sure to reset it when you have 30 or 50 amps available.

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Old 05-13-2021, 06:42 PM   #8
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Once they go dead they stay dead!
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rick3390 View Post
Once they go dead they stay dead!
Pretty much what he said. Yes, the quality of the batteries is big. Also if they go dead in storage and are not charged up pretty quick they will degrade. I don't know what climate you are in or type of storage but if they are discharged greatly and it gets cold they will freeze.

If they were completely discharged in the coach over the winter they should have been taken out or at least had the cables disconnected, put on a programable charger that takes the batteries through all 3 stages of charge, and each should be done independently.

You may end up replacing them again. In the future, if you are storing outside, without the ability to charge, they should be fully charged, then taken out and put in a reasonable environment, like a garage or shed where they don't freeze.

The concept of "my batteries were charged when I stored it and now they go dead fast" escapes me. Batteries are like anything else. They need maintenance.

There, you got your scolding. Must haves for any RV owner are a good VOM with a Clamp type current meter, a programable battery charger, and a hydrometer. All this can be had for under $200 and can add years to battery life and save many $$$$
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