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Old 01-22-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
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Battery Draw Down - LP Detector

Hi Folks,

Does anyone have a rough estimate on how long it should take for the LP detector to draw down the batteries when the trailer is in store mode? The batteries are two Interstate deep cycle group 24s, 550 cca, and are probably about 1 1/2 years old. The trailer is a 2012 Flying Cloud 25FB.

I've had the batteries go flat twice. About 2 months (or slightly less) ago, I first discovered it. I charged them, then put the trailer back in storage mode. This morning, the batteries were flat again. We have had some cold weather recently, which would have some impact.

When I spoke with the maintenance department at the dealership, they said that was roughly a normal period for the batteries to be drawn down. If that is the case, I guess I could either pop the fuse for the LP detector, or disconnect the ground lead on the batteries, or just remember to charge the batteries more often.

Your thoughts?

Thanks,

Drathaar
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:57 PM   #2
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You should have gotten a copy of the Newbies Guide when you bought your new trailer. Parasitic draws were discussed there, and the LP detector was specifically mentioned, with a time frame for how long before the batteries would go dead in storage.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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Soon Enough

Somewhere between the second and third week for me.
I rewired it so it is turned off with everything else when the battery isolation switch is turned off.
If a propane detector detects propane in an empty Airstream, and there is nobody there to hear it; does it still make a sound?
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
Stuff clipped....

If a propane detector detects propane in an empty Airstream, and there is nobody there to hear it; does it still make a sound?
That depends on the magnitude of the explosion when the spark meets the propane.

Thanks all, I will dig out my Newbie Guide...
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:15 PM   #5
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Drathaar, if you've run your batts flat, twice, they are now seriously and permanently compromised and will no longer have their rated Ah capacity. As a general rule, FLA or AGM batteries shouldn't be drawn down to less than 50% SOC. This is about 12.4 v. at 70 deg. F. In addition, if a FLA battery is totally drained it will freeze very easily and probably break the case. My MO for when my rig is in storage; I either: 1) remove the batts and put them in the garage on a maintenance charger, or 2) leave the batts in place, turn off the battery disconnect switch and connect them to a maintenance charger.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #6
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What Spark?

... your battery is dead, remember?

Anyway, I still pull my batteries and keep them on a Battery Minder at home if my Airstream is going to be sitting, unused for 3 weeks or more. I could not be more pleased with the Model 12248 Charger-Desulfator-Conditioner.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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Ken, thanks for the recommendation on the charger. Much appreciated.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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"... your battery is dead, remember? " Huh?

I have two of these smart chargers from Ctek: Battery Chargers - CTEK Battery Chargers
They have worked flawlessly for me. I leave one on my Interstate (parked in Sisters, OR) for months at a time. They are a little less expensive than the one Ken suggests. List $150, but $105 at Amazon.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:03 AM   #9
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LP Gas detector has a 1-amp in-line fuse, and so should draw no more than 24 amp-hours per day from your house batteries; probably a lot less since it would only draw anything close to a full amp while the alarm is blaring.

When you pop the fuse, take advantage of having a de-energized circuit to wire in a switch into the system, so that you don't have to pull the fuse again; just switch off. Then put a note by your propane tanks, "Turn on LPG Detector" to remind you to switch it back on whenever you open the valves on your tanks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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The batteries will discharge all by them selves after several months without a charger on them. The LP detector draws less than the normal battery discharge rate. If you store the trailer for months without any attention you need to use something to keep them up.
You have lots of choices. Smart battery charger, battery minder, solar cells or even take the battery out and keep it at home. Your choice.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drathaar View Post
Hi Folks,
Does anyone have a rough estimate on how long it should take for the LP detector to draw down the batteries when the trailer is in store mode? The batteries are two Interstate deep cycle group 24s, 550 cca, and are probably about 1 1/2 years old. The trailer is a 2012 Flying Cloud 25FB.
The LP detector draws around 150 mA or around 3-4 AH per day. It would deplete the charge on a pair of group 24s in about two weeks, maybe more.

I removed my LP detector because I don't believe it solves any problem that I actually have, though I don't necessarily recommend that sort of thing. Do your own research, make your own choices.

Quote:
When I spoke with the maintenance department at the dealership, they said that was roughly a normal period for the batteries to be drawn down. If that is the case, I guess I could either pop the fuse for the LP detector, or disconnect the ground lead on the batteries, or just remember to charge the batteries more often.
Even without a propane detector the batteries should be charged every month or so.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:50 AM   #12
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See link below for information on a marine battery isolator switch:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...ml#post1047933
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:16 PM   #13
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My LP detector is listed as using 0.010 amps in monitor mode. That is a total draw of 0.25 amp hours per day. Most batteries are good for about 60 amp hours. That would be 120 days before the battery is drained from the LP detector.
As I said before; all lead acid batteries will discharge internally. That is normally about 60 days. (give or take)
Ignore the LP detector, it makes little to no differance.
Just tend to the battery in any way you see fit.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:12 PM   #14
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Concur With Your Calculations, but

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
My LP detector is listed as using 0.010 amps in monitor mode. That is a total draw of 0.25 amp hours per day. Most batteries are good for about 60 amp hours. That would be 120 days before the battery is drained from the LP detector.
As I said before; all lead acid batteries will discharge internally. That is normally about 60 days. (give or take)
Ignore the LP detector, it makes little to no differance.
Just tend to the battery in any way you see fit.
... direct experience suggests that the LP detector may draw a bit more than the literature suggests.
With the propane detector, my batteries would last 2 to 3 weeks, and they were dead, really dead.
Once I wired LP detector behind the battery isolation switch, the batteries stayed charged well beyond a month.
Perhaps it's the combination of LP detector and normal discharge rate.
As I posted earlier, I routinely pull my batteries out of the Airstream and put them on a Battery Minder for maintenance charging and desulfation.
All the best!
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