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Old 07-16-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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2004 30' Classic
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battery discharge

On my 2004 30 foot Classic, I have a 15 watt solar charger to trickle charge the batteries. It seems that during the day the charge on the battery is full. The next day the battery charge is somewhat depleted. Nothing is turned on in the trailer. The batteries are not deep cycle ( installed by the previous owner) and are less than two years old. Is this to be expected?
Wolf Schneider
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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Hello... here is what I would do.

I would disconnect all power souces from the battery, including solar panel. So the battery is just sitting idle No power draw or charge, Then get a volt meter, prefferably digital. disconnect the negetive from the battery. Put the red lead from the meter on the neg cable that would have connected to the battery. Put the black lead from the meter to the battery post ( neg) Your volt meter will read or will not read voltage. Prefferably not. If not or less then 1/2 volt them you might have a bad battery. If it does read voltage... over 1 volt or so you have a draw. Start disconecting fuses till it drops, when it drops, your found the circuit with the problem. Good luck... hope this helps
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:00 PM   #3
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adding if you have no draw it is most likely the batteries, Deep cycle batteries allow you to discharge longer, and recharge. I would reccomend a good deep cycle battery Like a NAPA brand.
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
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battery discharge

thanks for the info. I'll try this tomorrow. wolf
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:17 PM   #5
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Lead-acid batteries have a normal life of about 18 months. Also, if they are ever fully discharged, the life is even less. Deep cycle batteries do a little better but they can also be damaged by fully draining the battery. Keep in mind that lead-acid battery technology is over 100 years old. The only reason we still use them is because they are cheap. You can install lithium-ion batteries that will last over 10 years but the cost is so high that it is still cheaper to by new lead-acids every 18 months.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up Fuse Buddy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang View Post
Hello... here is what I would do.

I would disconnect all power souces from the battery, including solar panel. So the battery is just sitting idle No power draw or charge, Then get a volt meter, prefferably digital. disconnect the negetive from the battery. Put the red lead from the meter on the neg cable that would have connected to the battery. Put the black lead from the meter to the battery post ( neg) Your volt meter will read or will not read voltage. Prefferably not. If not or less then 1/2 volt them you might have a bad battery. If it does read voltage... over 1 volt or so you have a draw. Start disconecting fuses till it drops, when it drops, your found the circuit with the problem. Good luck... hope this helps
This little gizmo has helped me in the same situation...

Electronic Specialties 302M Fuse Buddy Tester - Mini Fuse

Also is available for standard blade fuses..
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:58 PM   #7
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That "little gizmo" is indeed money well spent. I picked one up a couple of years ago to track down and intermittent draw in my mother's car. It works!

I now know exactly how many amps each and every lamp, motor, fan, etc. in my trailer draws. I even know that I have a .01 to .02 amp parasitic draw when everything is off. And the best thing is, for a mental midget like myself, it is very easy to use and understand.
Sam
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:57 AM   #8
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Wolf, Some comments from a guy in the Battery Biz...

1. NEVER use 'starting' type batteries in an RV for your accessories...they have thinner plates, and will fail after only a few 'use' cycles - they are built for a quick burst of energy to start an engine, and then be 'topped off' quickly by the alternator....

2. Select the heaviest DEEP CYCLE, in the size that will fit your battery box...the larger the battery, the greater the AMP HOUR rating so you can run your stuff longer in between recharge cycles...

3. Make sure your solar panel has a charge controller or at least an inline diode to keep the current from reversing overnight when dark, and draining the battery...

4. Quality DEEP CYCLE batteries should give you 4-6 years of service if maintained properly -
-keep charged up when trailer is idle or in storage
-recharge at first opportunity when using batteries
-check water level in cells about every 6 months, refill with distilled water
-flush the battery tops with clean water when you check the water level, to flush away any accumulated dirt - dirty batteries, when damp actually can provide a small electrical 'path' that can hasten discharge...
-coat clean battery terminals with an anti-corrosion grease to assure good cable connections

Happy trails....
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
This little gizmo has helped me in the same situation...

Electronic Specialties 302M Fuse Buddy Tester - Mini Fuse

Also is available for standard blade fuses..
Nice.... I am ordering one, and hope it works more easily then my proceedure.

It is affordable to, hard to beleve, affordability and functionality. WOW
cash well spent... thanks
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:58 AM   #10
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In adding to Mexray's statement which I fully agree with, one way to quikly find out if your getting a good battery, is the weight of the battery itself.

If you can pick it up, and it feels light... leave it

If you can pick it up, and it feels heavy... get it

That is a quik rule, but not always fool proof either

The weight will let you know how thick the lead plates are is all

also try not to drop it, even the slightest drop can brake off a corner of a plate inside causing it to lean against another and short out
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:03 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang View Post
Nice.... I am ordering one, and hope it works more easily then my proceedure.

It is affordable to, hard to beleve, affordability and functionality. WOW
cash well spent... thanks
Yep....you can thank the Snap-on guy for that one, usually has some handy stuff along with his excellent $ tools.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:56 AM   #12
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We'll be dry camping out West this summer. This is all new for us and we purchased two, new deep cycle 12-volt batteries for our 28' International I think our interior llights are halogen, but not sure. Other than lights, no drain. How many nights can we safely use and not drain our battery. It's been recommended that we attach a >>>>meter to our battery, not sure what you call it. Any suggestions.
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