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Old 09-29-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
Big G
 
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What should be the DC current load when all DC components are turned off?

I have a 2000 Bambi. It was after-market modified by the previous owner. He installed a roof-top solar charging system and an inverter/charger but didn't do much in the way of documentation. The manufacturer's schematics are a bit cryptic and may not reflect the 'as built' state. I am working on documenting and fine tuning my electrical/charging system because I have found DC current loads that are severely shortening autonomous run time.

My current question is: what should be the DC current draw when nothing is turned on? I am finding that I have a 1.3 to 1.5 amp draw when everything that can be turned off is off as far as I can tell. Tank sensors, thermostats and status displays draw a tiny amount of current. After putting an ammeter in the fuse sockets I determined that this current is going to the interior loom via the purple and brown wires which is also linked to the ceiling loom. Basically hundreds of items--nearly everything DC inside the trailer except the radio which is on a separate circuit. The inverter is turned off. My solar system is putting out 3 amps at midday in the summer time but in the course of 24 hrs. that is not enough to break even.

I have a Perko switch and a voltage regulated cut off switch, so no dead batteries, but want to minimize DC draws when not needed. What should be the base load on the DC circuit when everything is shut down? What components drain current when theoretically everything is off and how much? Is this indicative of a failed component? Not sure how to track this down inside the chassis.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:58 PM   #2
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Our Dometic Fridge by design draws a small amount of DC when it is "Off".
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bgmills View Post
I have a 2000 Bambi. It was after-market modified by the previous owner. He installed a roof-top solar charging system and an inverter/charger but didn't do much in the way of documentation. The manufacturer's schematics are a bit cryptic and may not reflect the 'as built' state. I am working on documenting and fine tuning my electrical/charging system because I have found DC current loads that are severely shortening autonomous run time.

My current question is: what should be the DC current draw when nothing is turned on? I am finding that I have a 1.3 to 1.5 amp draw when everything that can be turned off is off as far as I can tell. Tank sensors, thermostats and status displays draw a tiny amount of current. After putting an ammeter in the fuse sockets I determined that this current is going to the interior loom via the purple and brown wires which is also linked to the ceiling loom. Basically hundreds of items--nearly everything DC inside the trailer except the radio which is on a separate circuit. The inverter is turned off. My solar system is putting out 3 amps at midday in the summer time but in the course of 24 hrs. that is not enough to break even.

I have a Perko switch and a voltage regulated cut off switch, so no dead batteries, but want to minimize DC draws when not needed. What should be the base load on the DC circuit when everything is shut down? What components drain current when theoretically everything is off and how much? Is this indicative of a failed component? Not sure how to track this down inside the chassis.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.
With everything off, technically there should be zero draw.

All you can do, is isolate and more isolate, until you find where that drain is at.

Andy
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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With everything off, technically there should be zero draw.

All you can do, is isolate and more isolate, until you find where that drain is at.

Andy
I should have added, that you can also disconnect some circuits, to help you further isolate.

Andy
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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The LP detector always draws something. It stays on even in "storage" mode.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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Fridge, propane detector and tank monitor are always drawing some current. If you have a subwoofer, it does too. You could remove all the 12 v. fuses and try each one and see what circuit(s) is (are) drawing what.

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Old 09-29-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
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I believe that the radio - unless fuses (could be two) are pulled will still draw current to retain memory, although I would think it should be milliamps.

Likewise, you most likely have a gas leak detector installed and probably wired in such a way that it cannot easily be disconnected - that too will have a small draw, I don't know how much.

Seems to me that I have read that the fridge has a small draw even when turned of, but I'm not sure if that is correct.

I'll be interested to see what other replies you get to see what else might be drawinhg current.

I have cut out knobs on the terminals of my batteries. I too find the AS wiring diagram a bit hard to follow. I was finding that even when the battery isolation switch in the trailer was turned to "off" that when I touched the battery cable to a battery, I was still getting a spark - indicating current flow - I didn't measure the current.

I don't really understand why that should be.

The main reason that I put cutout knobs on my batteries though is that I have the original parallax converter / charger which I don't think is very sophisticated. I was afraid it might overcharge my coach batteries during a long stay at am RV park when on full hookups.

So if I am at such an RV park, I disconnect my batteries after a day or two at teh park and then re-connect when we depart.

Brian








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Old 09-29-2011, 06:19 PM   #8
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"nearly everything DC inside the trailer except the radio which is on a separate circuit."

Remove the radio face..... I kept forgetting to hold the off button 'til the the drn thing shut down completely. Now whenever not being used the face comes off.

Bob
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:32 PM   #9
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How much is small?
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:36 PM   #10
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I'm just trying to get a sense as to whether or not this is normal before I start pulling things out of their sockets and sticking an ammeter in there. I have an induction meter but you have to get it around the wire, otherwise its cut and splice. Trying to avoid that. If 1.3-1.5 amps was normal, so be it. I don't think it can be zero because of the tank sensors, thermostats and status panel. Perhaps the LP detector and the refer. Those will be first on my list.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:51 PM   #11
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Here are my notes from checkin my '91 a few months back

.9 fridge normal; .4 w/o defrost,
water heater in startup .5, .25 in fault and running
Heater 6.5 fan only, 7.8 running
Radio, below measure
fantastic fan 1.82 amps runnin on low, 2.5 med, 3.4 high
2.4 kitchen sink floruesent
1.9 stove fan,
1 typical small light
1.1 bath floruesent, 7 with mirror bulbs
11 living lights on high

Your Milage may vary....
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:48 AM   #12
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It is amazing how many little things contribute to the power draw, most mentioned above. One solution is to put a swtich right on the main power feed, sure you want it where the solar still charges. I changed many of my lights to
LEDs, not thrilled with them, but get light at almost no current!!!
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:37 PM   #13
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The parasitic drain -- due to current flow through switch contacts that are open, dirt between terminals, and that kind of thing -- shouldn't be more than around 0.1 A. If there's more than that, either something's wrong or you have some loads that are still operating. These might include the LP gas detector -- typically around 0.2 A -- the fridge, or the electronics.

Things like the CMOS memory in the radio shouldn't draw more than 0.05A or so.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:38 PM   #14
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with my current mystery...i am going from say at mid day 13.0 volts to next morning 12.2....hooked to shore power and nothing being used that i possibly know of.....
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