A little late to post this— I should have posted earlier because I've probably forgotten a lot of maybe-relevant details. But we need help determining if we have a problem with our 12v
power system or not.
About a month ago we picked up our used 2008 International 27FB from the dealer in Southern CA, and drove it the 450 miles north (with an overnight stop in the middle) to its temporary storage place near our home. For never having towed a trailer before, both my husband and I found towing a breeze! Even up the grapevine in (what some would call) our underpowered Silverado 1500
(granted, we didn't have much loaded into it).
The only thing that caught us off guard was when we camped in it that night. We were at an RV park and plugged into shore power. We had the galley lights on (there are a lot of them — about a dozen halogen pucks all on one switch) in addition to the kitchen and dinette lights (each a pair of halogen pucks), the built-in stereo (on the radio tuner), and the heater. After a short bit of time, the radio went off, then the lights started dimming.
We don't remember how much charge the batteries had at before all this started, but by the end of us trying to figure out what was happening, they were basically empty, or very close. But we figured that maybe we were using too much power and the converter couldn't keep up. And perhaps we were starting from a nearly drained batteries. So we turned off everything but a couple of lights and the heater for the rest of the night, and kept only the heater on (furnace, not heat pump) when we went to bed.
In the morning, the battery was still only 3/4 charged, according to the systems monitor. We were able to power up more in general that morning, but when we experimented with reproducing the situation the night before (turned on galley, kitchen and dinette lights and stereo), and though it was *slightly* less extreme than before, everything still dimmed.
So my question is:
• Does this sound like it's behaving correctly? I seem to remember all the new units at the dealer having lots of lights shining, along with the DVD player going with no problem. I kind of figured we could get more out of the batteries, when plugged into shore power. Does the furnace fan use a ton of power?
• If it doesn't sound right, what should we be looking at as the most likely culprit? Here's all we can come up with:
- The converter (standard Parallax 7300)?
- The batteries (brand new, installed by dealer on our request because the old ones were dead and corroded—so badly that it corroded the entire battery box- also replaced). They're Interstate SRM-24. I'm assuming they're the cheapest the dealer could get away with, but should still be good enough?
- The wiring (I hope it's not this one)!
- Insufficient shore power or bad power cable (this would be the best answer, but we haven't had an opportunity to test either yet, and our storage facility doesn't have shore power)
- Something else?
And while I'm asking power questions: Where do you find 30amp power cords that fit the airstream? We had bought one ahead of time to bring along, but the prongs were straight, whereas the airstream takes curved prongs. The dealer ended up giving us a cord, but whenever I look, I can only find the kind with straight prongs.