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Old 02-20-2004, 07:13 AM   #1
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Battery Condition

Aside from the LP and CO detectors, what else will pull batteries down on a 2000 Excella? Our temperatures have been below freezing for quite awhile. In order to see how the batteries were holding up I unplugged the trailer about 10 days before I checked the meter over the stove. The batteries were reading 1/2 charged. These are the original batteries - and I really have no idea how the PO took care of them. I would have expected the batteries to stay up but maybe I'm missing something?
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Old 02-20-2004, 07:22 AM   #2
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Cooooold

Batteries will dwindle in cold conditions.

But, I would check the fluids in the batteries if possible.

Maybe get a hygrometer, (I think that is what it is called), and verify the state of the fluids.

Check and make sure the lights in the storage compartments are off. The refrifgerator may be operating on 12 volts, (if it has that capability), The gas must be on and pilot ignitor functioning for the automatic rollover to work properly. The Furnace could be cycling on and off and that will certainly wear a battery down.

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Old 02-20-2004, 08:14 AM   #3
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Battery condition

With the trailer parked and everything turned off, my trailer has a "normal" load of 1/4 amp. I think this is the moniter panel and the circuit boards. There also is a very common over looked switch in the fridg, usually in freezer compartment. Called a climate control switch, keeps the moisture off the door seals. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-20-2004, 09:02 AM   #4
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We had a thread on this topic of which I pulled my findings. I borrowed some digital equipment and did some measuring on my '01 Safari. If you do the math you can pretty well calculate the life of the battery when you are storing your trailer.

"After many weeks since I started this thread I have finally borrowed a meter to see what's going on. With the master disconnect switch set to off (no voltage to 12 volt fuse panel) I found that the draw from the battery (propane detector bypasses this switch) was .09 of an amp. With the disconnect switch set to on with no appliances operating the draw was .10 of an amp."

My battery "is rated 105 amp hours at a 5 amp draw. So the draw with the master switch on of .1 amp translates into 2.4 amp hours draw per day. This will kill the battery somewhere in the area of 45 days or so. This pretty well falls in line with my experience that the trailer sat in the storage lot for 60 days unused. No wonder the hitch jack didn't work."

Bottom line is use the master disconnect when you store your unit for longer periods.

I'll be interested in doing the same exercise on the new Classic. With two batteries I should at least have a little more breathing room.



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Old 02-20-2004, 02:06 PM   #5
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Freezer Switch & Compartment Lights

The subject possibilities are certainly two that I had not thought about! The heater is definitely off - as is the propane. With respect to using the master switch, I read that the propane and CO detectors need to have constant current to maintain the sensors (--something about periodically burning a "coating" off the sensor elements?) That's been my primary reason for keeping the trailer plugged in rather than just periodically checking the battery condition. Has anyone else heard about this detector requirement? On the other hand, if the wiring for the detectors bypasses the main shut off switch, as pointed out above, I could at least pin the drainage down to just the detectors.
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Old 02-20-2004, 02:39 PM   #6
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Re: Freezer Switch & Compartment Lights

Quote:
Originally posted by Cracker
The heater is definitely off - as is the propane. With respect to using the master switch, I read that the propane and CO detectors need to have constant current to maintain the sensors (--something about periodically burning a "coating" off the sensor elements?) That's been my primary reason for keeping the trailer plugged in rather than just periodically checking the battery condition. Has anyone else heard about this detector requirement?
Cracker, FYI the heater spoken about is a 12 volt electric heater that is built into the refrigerator cabinet and warms the surface around the door to keep moisture from condensing. It has nothing to do with propane. A lot of folks forget about this and drain their batteries fairly quickly since that switch is independent of the refrigerator off/on switch and is hidden.

There is a note in the manual that if you remove the power from the CO detectors for a long length of time, you may get alarm initially until the unit "burns" off the dust in the sensing unit. I pull the batteries in the winter for up to 6 months and have not had any kind of false alarm problem with the detector. My advice is to pull the battery out (or disconnect the main cable) and don't worry about the detector. Worst case if it goes off when you reconnect, close the door of the trailer and let it go through its burn cycle.

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Old 02-20-2004, 04:11 PM   #7
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How do you deal with Corrosion?

I went outside today and checked my batteries. I had left a light on not long ago and they were dead. Usually, I disconnect them and remove them for the winter; that didnít happen this year! The thing I noticed is somewhat of an aggravation as to how corrosion will build up in the battery compartment. I cleaned up the mess and then I plugged in the shore power for a charge.

What do you do in order to prevent the corrosion from appearing and keep things clean?

Here is a picture of what I found today.

Oh, BTW, itís 55į F here today!
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Old 02-20-2004, 05:43 PM   #8
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What do you do in order to prevent the corrosion from appearing and keep things clean?
twinky

word: matinence.

looks like you need to remove your batteries and give everything a good washing with water and baking soda to neutralize the acid spray.

you can also wash your batteries this way with the caps on. get a battery brush and clean the connectors and terminals until they are nice and bright.

reinstall them with a coating of white litheum grease smeared liberally on the terminals.

check your water level after charging them and top up once a month or so.

they will do better if you either remove them for storage in a cool place or keep the trailer plugged in and check the water once a month.

just letting them sit is not good.

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Old 02-25-2004, 11:46 PM   #9
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If you need to replace a battery............look at the Optimas.
They are sealed at the terminals so they don't leak acid gas and corrode you terminals.
They don't spill acid either when they charge so they don't corrode any metal in the compartment.
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