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Old 03-25-2015, 11:47 AM   #15
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The thief would have to have the manual jack wrench which should be stored in the tow vehicle to make it harder to find.

In the for what it is worth column, a cheap bottle jack can raise the Airstream tongue enough to fit onto a high hitch ball on the thief's tow vehicle. Once down the road, a quick torch work job can cut the jack shorter.

Perhaps having the WBCCI numbers on both ends of the trailer would make the thief realize that they are unique and easily seen by anyone on the road including police.....
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
First off why was the switch OFF while towing?

It is time to get out the volt meter. With the switch on plug the trailer into shore power over night. Record the voltage on the battery while plugged in. Unplug and record the voltage. Now hook up the TV and while the engine is running at about 1500rpm record the voltage on the battery.

After an over night charge with the convertor you should almost have a fully charged battery. The voltage just after pulling the shore power should drop a little but when you start the TV the voltage should go up. This will test the convertor and the TV charging system. Now leave the trailer over night and test the battery voltage again. If it has dropped below 10 volts you have a bad battery or a heavy drain in the trailer.

Are you sure the emergency brake away switch fir the trailer brakes is in place? That will kill your battery in short order.
Howie, this is what I had after a nights charging
13.28 volts with trailer still plugged in
11.62 volts after unplugging
12.53 volts plugged into TV and running at 1500rpm
I'll see what the voltage is after sitting overnight, I already sort of suspect it isn't the greatest battery. Thanks again.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:54 PM   #17
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Doa

JT,
I wouldn't waste another minute of time on that battery. With those results, your TV & TT are indeed charging the battery. Betya ten bucks you have several cells that are dead. If the battery is under warranty, take it back for a replacement.
You don't want to be out in the boonies with a battery that has a pulse like that. It's toast, and won't make toast either in this case!
Gavin
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by FishinHatteras View Post
JT,
I wouldn't waste another minute of time on that battery. With those results, your TV & TT are indeed charging the battery. Betya ten bucks you have several cells that are dead. If the battery is under warranty, take it back for a replacement.
You don't want to be out in the boonies with a battery that has a pulse like that. It's toast, and won't make toast either in this case!
Gavin
I figured, it's new or still under warrenty. I got the trailer new last Oct. put the battery inside with a trickle charger and "assumed" all was well when I put it back 3 weeks ago but obviously it was probably bad from the dealer. I've never really used it. Thanks for the help
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:42 PM   #19
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The reason the Airstream mechanics told you to keep the switch on is because it powers a relay that operates to disconnect the batteries from the 50 amp breaker that feeds the main trailer DC supply system. All of the DC breakers are supplied from this line. It is described on page 5-8 of the manual. The purpose of the switch is to disconnect your batteries from the system when in storage. There are lots of electric circuits (called phantom loads) that constantly draw power without you having to switch anything on. This includes radios, propane detectors, fire detectors, 12 volt TV, etc. Leave it on unless you are going to store the trailer.

Charging the batteries from the Tow Vehicle does not always work. You should obviously have the wires checked as well as the 30 amp circuit breaker in the charge line. Assuming this is all OK then your problem could be that you cannot get enough current through the cable wires to bring a highly discharged battery back to life. If your Tow Vehicle batteries are well charged than your alternator will be putting out just over 13 volts. If your Trailer battery just needs to be brought up to full charge this will work fine. If your batteries are really discharged then you will need over 14 volts to bring them back to life. You also get a significant voltage loss in all of the wiring from the Tow Vehicle through the cable harness.

If you are boondocking and cannot use the 110 VAC powered Converter to charge the batteries you could remove the trailer batteries and hook then directly to the TV batteries with jumper cables. Run the TV and put some charge on them. The key is try to not to let your batteries get into a deep cycle discharge. If all else fails remove the batteries and take them to a local garage to have them recharged.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:49 PM   #20
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I just saw page two. There is nothing wrong with your battery. A deep cycle discharge level is 12 volts. There is no way your TV can provide enough voltage and current to bring the battery back. A trickle charge will not do anything when the battery is in a deep cycle. You need a charger that can provide over 14 volts at a minimum of 10 amps to charge the battery. Your Trailer Converter should bring the battery up to full charge in about 6 - 8 hours.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:56 PM   #21
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Re charging with the TV... alternator output, alternator to trailer battery distance and wire gauge will influence how effective the alternator can be. While I can't provide numbers for you, they can be calculated. My recollection (when I chased this topic years ago) is that welding cable and a high output alternator would be required for effective charging. Since I planned solar panel install and a generator, I felt I had enough charging capability and thus avoided trying to connect welding cable to my 7pin connector. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:33 AM   #22
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When we rewired the truck properly for the Tuson brake controller (had to bypass the OEM system and not talk to the truck computer system) and trailer charging system, we used two 30 amp breakers for each run of #10 wire rated 30 amps coming directly off the battery.

The factory charge circuit had #14 wire rated at 10 amps. By the time the power covered the nearly 30 feet to the trailer batteries through the seven way plug, there was enough voltage drop and power loss from the small diameter wire resistance that it was almost useless. It was in effect just a trickle charger.

If you want to be able to charge from the tow vehicle battery system, a through check of all the wires used to running to the tow vehicle seven way plug and boost wire size to #10 or larger. Having said that, you may want a relay that closes only when the ignition is on so a low trailer battery does not suck the tow vehicle down overnight. The alternative to a relay is either to always unplug the seven way cord or install a manual disconnect on the firewall of the tow vehicle for that charge circuit.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:39 AM   #23
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Battery switch needs to be on while traveling if you want to run the refridge via propane, we found out the hard way after a long trip.

Deep cycles can go down to just about zero and be brought back. In my work life we used thousands of them and each fall my techs would go out and discharge every battery in customers vehicles prior to putting the vehicles to sleep for the winter, but after discharge using a discharge machine they would fully charge them using a 12v charger. Keep the batteries alive and useful for years.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:26 AM   #24
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My TV delivers 8 amps at idle to a partially depleted AS battery bank. (as measured by the TriMetric).

That's with the stock charge line from Chevy, which is about a 10ga...As I recall.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Lefkowitz View Post
I just saw page two. There is nothing wrong with your battery. A deep cycle discharge level is 12 volts. There is no way your TV can provide enough voltage and current to bring the battery back. A trickle charge will not do anything when the battery is in a deep cycle. You need a charger that can provide over 14 volts at a minimum of 10 amps to charge the battery. Your Trailer Converter should bring the battery up to full charge in about 6 - 8 hours.
The battery was down to 6.73 volts this morning. The switch was on but the only think on in the trailer was the propane detector and I doubt it ran the battery down that far. So it seems to me either the battery is bad or there is some other issue that drains the battery in the trailer.

I'm not looking to make sure the battery charges from the TV, just wanted to make sure there wasn't some issue there. I did assume that the TV would at least have enough juice to keep it from running down further. Anyway it's to the dealer with this rig. thanks all. Jeff
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Old 03-28-2015, 05:10 PM   #26
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jtwind, we typically rely on driving to recharge our 2 batteries after a spell of boondocking. However, we have to put in a lot of miles to recharge them fully. We're currently in the midst of a 6-week camping trip in the desert southwest. We intersperse boondocking in the desert with a night or two in an RV park (mostly to catch up on laundry & Wi-Fi.) On this trip, we got the bright idea of bringing our electric battery recharger, and charging the batteries with it at the RV park while we use the electrical hookup for our typical uses. This works pretty well, but it still takes a very long time (like overnight) to charge one battery. We've also discussed traveling with a second set of batteries that could be swapped out. Or just going solar.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:23 AM   #27
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Unless it was removed, Airstream installs a converter that will charge the batteries when plugged into shore power. It is a fixed rate charger that could cook your batteries over a long storage period.

Many folks remove the factory unit and install one from Best Converter that is three stage charging:

DLS-55 (55 Amp Power Converter w/IQ4)

The swap out took me (in our 2013 25FB International Serenity) about two hours as I double check each step. My only challenge was loosening the external wire clamps and pulling an extra inch or two of wire into the box to reach one terminal. I did have paper and pen to carefully write down the color codes and their related terminals to preclude a mistake.

A proper solar system inverter/converter should also have multi-stage charging and the Magnum series can be programmed for the proper charge cycle for the specific type of batteries.

Home - Magnum Energy, Inc.

If you are contemplating solar, this link takes one to an excellent primer to bring you up to speed on the language and technical details that need to be considered before writing a check. As a disclaimer, we did install an eight hundred watt solar system acquired through these folks and installed by a third party.

AM Solar's Educational Pages for RV Solar Systems

Best of luck doing your homework.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:11 PM   #28
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there really seems to be conflicting information on the battery subject. Here's weird, at least to me ... My system goes to a higher final voltage charging off my TV than the converter from the AC/120-30 AMP hookup

can these batteries be fully discharged and recharged ? should they be for some sort of winter deep storage as described ? are they marine grade or hybrid marine/auto ? if you're in "Store" will the propane detector still run them dead in 2 weeks and "ruin" your battery anyways ?

Should you plug in a trailer you are storing in if you can, or only after you buy the magic "magnum" charger ? Or plug it in for short periods ? How long ?

it's a crap sandwich of contradictions to me.
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