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Old 07-07-2016, 03:31 PM   #1
ADS99
 
2007 19' Safari SE
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Monitors/ Phantom draws on DC power

When I am on DC power, I would like to know what specifically is drawing down my batteries - that is when all appliances and lights are off. In other words, what are my phantom systems (monitors), and how much power are they each using.

I have a Tri-Metric battery monitor, and the lowest ever reading on current usage is -12.9 watts, and it typically reads about -20 watts. My Airstream is a 2007 19 Safari, equipped with a World Friendship 7300 inverter. Thanks for any info.
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ads99 View Post
When I am on DC power, I would like to know what specifically is drawing down my batteries - that is when all appliances and lights are off. In other words, what are my phantom systems (monitors), and how much power are they each using.

I have a Tri-Metric battery monitor, and the lowest ever reading on current usage is -12.9 watts, and it typically reads about -20 watts. My Airstream is a 2007 19 Safari, equipped with a World Friendship 7300 inverter. Thanks for any info.
I don't know how yours is equipped, but on mine the LP leak detector, TV antenna booster and the sub woofer all eat juice. The radio has to be completely off (nothing on the screen) to shut off the sub, and the TV bolster is way to forget and live on. Also, turn off the inverter.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:09 PM   #3
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Although you stated all appliances off, my refer is on if I'm using the trailer. Even on propane, the refer draws power for the thermostat and the cooling fan. This is one reason why I want some solar power. I would hate to wake up and find my food spoiling because the battery went dead and the refer shut down in the middle of the night.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:17 PM   #4
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Let me be a little more precise. My radio is off, my refer fan is off, my tv antennae off, and of course my inverter is off. My LP detector is on (draw?), and my Tri-metric battery monitor is on. Those two should not eat more than 4 or 5 watts I'd think. So what other hidden draws do I have? Thanks
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:51 PM   #5
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The radio imposes a slight load even when off... its a memory saver thing.
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Old 07-09-2016, 02:31 PM   #6
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Let me be a little more precise. My radio is off, my refer fan is off, my tv antennae off, and of course my inverter is off. My LP detector is on (draw?), and my Tri-metric battery monitor is on. Those two should not eat more than 4 or 5 watts I'd think. So what other hidden draws do I have? Thanks
With the fridge fan off, it still draws some current. Depending on model of fridge, it may have a "low ambient" switch. This runs the light all the time, not just when the door is open.

LP detector is typically 50 mA or so, some as much as 100 mA, but figure 1/2 to 1 watt.

If you have a fuse panel (some have auto-reset DC circuit breakers) you could pull fuses while watching the Tri-metric to determine which circuit is drawing current. Things you might not notice are storage compartment lights, the light at the dump connector, a light on your tongue jack, feedback into the tow vehicle (are you disconnected?)

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Old 07-09-2016, 03:01 PM   #7
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I took tv out, do not use radio, mostly because I have no idea how to get my stations in my own driveway, never used converter, and dont ever want to accidently leave trunk light on, so....can I pull those fuses to save? We have one folding zamp solar panel to top off, but would be best getting rid of everything I do not need.
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Old 11-06-2016, 03:09 AM   #8
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Hi! I recently upgraded from a 19 to a 2016 25 ft. I had a solar system on both. No matter what I did to reduce my power consumption, I just couldn't get ahead in the new trailer. I consulted the solar panel and controller manufacturer and performed multiple tests to confirm it wasn't that or my battery, so a parasitic draw was the only answer. I went through differences between the trailers with the solar panel tech, when I said inverter, he said that was it. They draw up to an amp an hour even when switched OFF. If you are leaving it on it definitely takes an amp just for the fan. I confirmed this with Airstream and the inverter manufacturer. In the short term, I disconnected it at the battery and eventually had a battery cut off switch installed in case I want to use it for a brief stop with some DC outlets to use for small appliances with 200 watt inverters which are way more efficient than running a 1000 watt inverter for a tv.
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:11 AM   #9
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Robi: Interesting! I suspect that's the issue I have as well! My 23D sits in storage in between trips (usually 3-4 weeks), since we don't have power to plug into at our storage facility, I bought a fairly large solar charger to keep the batteries topped off. Even with that, I'm never keeping the batteries fully topped off. I'll have to investigate adding a switch in the battery box to really disconnect everything! Thanks for the tip.
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:16 AM   #10
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You need to put a power switch in the sub-woofer circuit as it is on all the time.
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Old 11-09-2016, 02:30 PM   #11
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Not sure where your inverter is located, mine is enclosed behind a panel secured with screws in the rear of a galley storage compartment. I had the cut off switch installed inside the compartment, so if I want to use it I can do so without having to go outside in bad weather or while spending the night at a rest area full of folks I don't want to run into in the dark. The switch and installation was just over $100, including installation of the dc outlet next to the tv so I can use a smaller 200 watt inverter most of the time just to watch the tv. Using a 1000 watt inverter just to power a tv is very inefficient at such low draw, due to the conversion, and also having to power the inverter itself. I am in the same situation as I keep mine at storage. I always use the main battery cut off switch by the door to prevent all of the parasitic draws while in storage. This won't help with the inverter since it is wired directly to the battery. You can just disconnect the negative cable from the inverter at the battery to solve your storage issue, but then you will have to mess with it outside to hook it back up if you want to use it during your travels. I hope this solves your issue. Happy trails!
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