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Old 10-11-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
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Batteries discharged already?

We purchased a new 27 foot Flying cloud earlier this year. We store it a camp site not far from our home, so it has recently been left without being plugged in for about 6 weeks. When we arrived this past weekend the batteries were dead although I believe that I had disconnected them through the battery disconnect switch. After being plugged into shore power for 3 days the batteries were still not charged-this is a surprise. Also when I turn the battery disconnect switch off or on I get three short beeps and am wondering what this means. Unfortunately the manuals are in the trailer and we needed to leave in a hurry today.

I have to tow the trailer up for servicing in about a week and the front power jack doesn't work so will likely have to crank manually.
Thanks for your help. We are new to Airstream but not new to trailering [although it has been awhile]. Haven't run into this particular problem before.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:55 PM   #2
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i think the batteries will not switch to "use" if the batteries are dead. if you plug the umbilical cord into the tow veh. the jack should work. this info is from memory and from reading here so someone may have detailed info.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:57 AM   #3
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Regarding the jack, if the battery voltage became low, the jack motor will draw more current and possibly blew the jack fuse. Check the fuse. I believe it is in the electrical wire line just under the jack and propane bottles.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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The propane alarm and other unknown parasitic loads that cannot be disconnected will drain your batteries down in only a couple of weeks.

Search for threads regarding "marine battery switch", "battery isolator" and "Perko" and other related topics to learn about isolating your batteries completely while in storage. With a battery switch completely disconnecting your batteries from your trailer, they should last several months without a charge. Optima and similarly constructed batteries may last even longer (per manufacturer's claims), although we have never gone that long without either charging or hitting the road.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:30 PM   #5
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On my '01 Safari I got an amp meter and measured a draw of .1 amp when the battery disconnect was left on the use position and all appliances and lights were turned off. When the disconnect was switched to off the draw was .01 amp. You can do the math on the amp hours capacity of the battery and will find that the battery won't last a long time if you are in the use position. That draw when in the use position is all of the circuit boards on your various appliances including the furnace, water heater to name two.

Puzzling though is the lack of charge when you plugged into shore power. I think on my Safari if the disconnect switch was left in the off position, the battery would not charge. Could you have had the disconnect switch off when you plugged into shore power?

As noted by others the propane detector cannot be bypassed unless you put a switch in which completely isolates the battery circuit.

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Old 10-12-2010, 05:38 PM   #6
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Parasitic load - even with battery switch in the store position - a silly arrangement in my view! I think that in store position, the batteries should be completely disconnected and isolated, that is what one would expect, but they are not.

I installed battery disconnect knobs right on my batteries. I don't bother with the store switch any more. Now I can leave the batteries installed without current draw.

They are AGM batteries and have a low self-discharge rate. I remove them only when I put antifreeze in the trailer for winter.


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Old 10-12-2010, 10:46 PM   #7
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Thanks to all of you for this. I will look into a battery kill switch. The inline fuse is not the problem as none of the interior lights work either. If plugging it into the tow vehicle is the answer I will try this but may need an extension on the cord. I think I left the battery switch off on our last trip and this may be the reason they didn't charge. Will check this next time. Also does anybody know about the "beeps" from the converter.
Thanks again.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:06 PM   #8
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hi willy

are the 2 batteries totally DEAD?

by that i mean, checking the voltage on the battery posts=zero?

it is my understanding that the p'lax c/c will NOT function connected to dead batteries.

it needs something like 9-10 volts to come alive and charge/convert.
_________

my guess is u plan to let the dealer/service tech sort out the issues after towing it there,

but just in case you might wanna sort this out...

the simplest way to do this is remove the batteries and charge them ONE TIME with some other charger.

for example take them to an auto parts store and have them do a 'rapid charge' one time.

now re install/connect and put the switch in USE position.

after reconnecting and plugging into shore/ac/120v check the p'lax for output...

it should be around 13.5v to 13.8v or up to 14.1 volts.

connected to shore power it will now take 1-2 days to fully charge the 2 batteries.

it would be wise to also check both batteries for WATER LEVEL, not assume, check it.

add distilled water as needed.

the basic trouble shooting guide for the p'lax is here...

http://www.parallaxpower.com/7300/Flowchart7300.pdf
_______

fully discharged but otherwise NEW batteries can usually be revived.

their service life may be shortened a bit.

IF the batteries have been at ZERO volts for a long time, they may not be salvageable.

the auto parts shops can 'load test' them but that may not be needed,

get them UP to ~10 volts, reinstall, flip the switch and plug in for a few days.
____________

the owners manuals are all online and downloadable.

the tongue jack needs a minimum of voltage too or will just burn fuses.

it is not that hard to use the hand crank and u might as well practice with it now.

plugged IN to the tow vehicle the brakes should work but the tongue jack may not.

don't try charging FROZEN batteries either.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:50 AM   #9
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Another little oddity that will drain the battery, every time I cycle the "use/store" switch on mine, the sound system turns on by itself.

Doug
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #10
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yeah the stereo is a real hidden juice sucker...

i got burned by this a few times early on,

and the fact that it is INSIDE a closed overhead locker adds to the gotcha part...

removing the face plate is a reliable way to keep it OFF, on the older sony units.

cheers
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:06 AM   #11
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btw, if you tow with dead batteries your brakes will not operate in a breakaway situation.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:09 AM   #12
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Thanks 2air', I wasn't sure if removing the radio face plate would actually shut down the sound system, or allow it to remain on without me knowing it.

I have a list as long as my arm of things that could have been engineered into this trailer so I wouldn't need a check list every time I use something.

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #13
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Dead as a doornail

I purchased a new 27FB International in April. I had an tremendously busy spring, summer and fall with my business and wasn't able to use my new "toy" even once. I store it indoors. I would go pick it up and put it in the driveway every couple of months for a day or two. I always used the battery disconnect switch when I put her away. The batteries were always dead when I went to pick her up.

After winterizing this past week I took both batteries out...brought them home and hooked them up to trickle chargers. 24 hours and still not charged. I finally hooked up one of the batteries to a regular charger. Waiting to see if it charges. Water level is fine.

Do I have dead batteries? Not sure just yet.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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Those batteries sound about dead. Might be time to just replace them....
A trickle charger is nice but you would need really a good equalize charge to beef up those batteries. You may want to look at getting a simple solar charger to keep those batteries topped off in storage.
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