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Old 11-11-2015, 12:09 PM   #1
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2015 25' FB International
Santa Barbara , California
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 10
Parasitic draws and 12V system

We have a 4-month old 25FB Int'l Sig. Our attempts at boondocking/dry-camping have been cut far too short, as the 12V system dies anywhere from 2/3 day to 1 1/2 days. Bummer. After numerous phone calls and our 3rd trip back to the dealer for warranty work, we found out that the Interstate batteries, with an install date of 4/15, were, in fact, dead. The dealer installed new batteries but found a 12+ amp draw. The service tech had great difficulty in locating the source of the draw, but after about a week, he determined it was a faulty LP detector. That was removed and replaced, but we still have what I believe to be a higher-than-normal amperage draw. We've been told that there are "parasitic" draws from 3 sources:

Battery disconnect
LP detector
Radio memory


Are there any other devices that will cause a parasitic draw when the trailer is not in use?

What kind of amp loss should I expect, if EVERYTHING in the trailer is turned off?

With minimal use of the appliances (ONLY occasional use of ceiling lights and water pump and refrigerator on LP; and ABSOLUTELY NO RADIO, TV, A/C, OR FURNACE) how long should the 12V battery system last?

Thank you for any responses. Happy Veterans Day.

Semper Fidelis!

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Old 11-11-2015, 12:45 PM   #2
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2003 28' Safari S/O
Atlanta Burbs , Georgia
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The radio and LP detector do not draw power when the battery disconnect is switched off on older units like mine. I believe newer models keep the LP monitor on.

The reefer draws around 0.5 amps to monitor status and another 0.5 amps to hold open the gas valve, so 1 amp. You might also have another 0.5 amp draw from the reefer for the 12v heating element which cycles occasionally to ward off condensation. Some condensation units can run continuously in certain conditions. Check your paperwork to see if you have a on/off switch for this feature. It is usually the blue wire connected to the T-5 terminal of the control board. You might also have draw from a fan in the reefer compartment if one has been added for better air movement.

You have additional draw from the water pump pressure sensor if you leave it on. Likewise, there is a draw of about 1.75 amps from a small sine wave inverter (300-400 watt) if so equipped.

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Old 11-11-2015, 01:40 PM   #3
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Venice , Florida
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To the best of my knowledge the only parasite draw is the LP detector, when in storage mode everything else is disconnected except the power tongue hitch which is wired direct to the battery & can't draw if not in use. As of earlier today I began disconnecting the negative battery cable when not in long term use, this completely prevents any draw & my batteries should stay fully charged for a long time. Also, it's important to know that when the AS is plugged in the disconnect switch must be in the USE position for the batteries to charge even though the red light stays on when in the store position.
Venice, FL
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:03 PM   #4
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2007 25' Safari
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Subwoofer draw

Hi, Having found the identical issue on my 2015 Serenity, battery dead in a day, I discovered the subwoofer is always on. So, installed a disconnect switch for it, problem solved. Another issue with the subwoofer was the hum it made when the overhead LED lights were dimmed. The dealer replaced the switch at least once, but the problem was solved only after I installed the subwoofer switch.

And, as I have replaced the Clarion house speakers with good Polk Audio units, I really do not even need the sub except for dramatic, heavy, music.

Another electrical improvement was the replacement of the converter charger with a four stage unit to extend battery life
Happy trails and Good Luck
Ms Tommie Fantine Lauer, Greensboro, NC
AIR #31871 K4MTL
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:23 PM   #5
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1987 32' Excella
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It's mindboggling what can be drawing current from your batteries. The problem is that you don't know because there is no monitoring circuit that shows this. That's why I close to install TriMetric Model Descriptions, Present and Past | Bogart Engineering - this tells me exactly what amperage is being drawn down and I can then hunt through the various possibilities. One, which eluded me for quite a while, was the amplifier for the television antenna. It is part of a 12-volt socket (small button with a small LED) tucked away in the back of the cupboard under the TV. I also have an added Wilson cellular amplifier - for that one I also installed an LED so that I know when it is switched on.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:10 PM   #6
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If you put the trailer into "store mode" the only parasitic draw should be from the propane leak detector which I believe draws about 70 milli amp hours. So if you have a total of 180 AH in your battery bank (90 AH available,) you should be able to "last" well over a month in store mode before you get to the magic 50% discharged status.

On the other hand, while camping and using the trailer, 90 AH is not a lot and if you are not careful can easily be used up in a couple of days.

If your batteries were not brand new, I would suspect that that they may be defective (this happens even in new trailers that have not been taken care of by dealers or when left plugged in all the time.)
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:20 PM   #7
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You might like to look at this thread for information which could help you:
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:00 AM   #8
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Euless , Texas
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12v current draw

While boondocking, any 12v charger or transformer plugged in draws current even when not in use. This includes the charger for you phone, computer, tv etc.. Unplug those when not in use. A 120v inverter will also draw current even if nothing is plugged into them. I have a Trimetric meter and use it to check everything.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:56 AM   #9
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Telluride , Colorado
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There is no way an lp detector is drawing 12+ amps! That's as much if not more than the AC unit draws after initial inrush!
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:38 PM   #10
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2012 30' International
Minneapolis , Minnesota
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Our parasitic load is about 2.0 amps/hr (as measured by our Blue Sky remote, we also unhooked our subwoofer).

I highly recommend a portable solar kit if you don't want to go full solar but just want to extend your boondocking time. We ran off of portables initially for months, probably 8 days being our record (under optimal conditions) before we had to use the generator to top off.
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
There is no way an lp detector is drawing 12+ amps! That's as much if not more than the AC unit draws after initial inrush!
Remember that the AC unit is drawing that 12 amps at ~120 volts, where the 12A drain discussed here is at 12v so it's not a fair comparison. I'm sure the defective LP detector wasn't all of the load but 12A at 12V is only 144 watts, and with part of that going to the fridge, etc (the dealer may have been quoting the 12A draw with the switch in "Use" mode, after all) it doesn't seem like a shocking amount, just way too high for boondocking.

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Old 11-12-2015, 03:25 PM   #12
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Being conservative we can go 3-4 days before we really need to start the generator....
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:09 PM   #13
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A DC 12 amp parasitic drain is a monster!
Your boondocking load should be down to millivolts if you'd like to survive. You ll have 3 loads.... Radio memory, fridge, lp detector. Everything else can be unplugged!
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #14
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2013 27' FB International
Arroyo Grande , California
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Thank you for this post. We have a 2013 27' International and we also had "bad batteries" from the factory. Interstate did step up and replace them but we still have an issue with the batteries draining quickly as soon as the sun goes down (yeah, we put in about 400w of solar hoping that would eliminate our battery issues) which we didn't think would be an issue. I will try some of the power saving tips on this thread. We are really hopeful that there isn't something else, like maybe another bad set of batteries, that is causing the rapid draining.

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