Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-25-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
TJStew
 
tjstew's Avatar
 
2004 22' International CCD
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7
Battery Killer! What could it be?

Something is killing my battery. I have a '04 22 International CCD with a solar charger mounted on top. Since last fall, I have replaced the battery 3 times (following some body work). Once on the road last year, and twice this spring. I recently upgraded to the Optima blue top (#3) thinking the cheap batteries where the issue. The blue top drained too. All fuses are ok (I think) in the TT. Seems to not fully recharge while on shore power or during towing. Everything works fine while on shore power or plugged in to TV. I have noticed the fan on the inverter/converter (?) fuse box runs more now than it has in past, but it has been unseasonably hot this year. I have tried the store/use in both modes without luck, thinking it might be a phantom load. Is my problem with (1) the solar charger, (2) the store/use disconnect switch, (3) the inverter/converter, (4) a phantom load, (5) or a short somewhere. How do you troubleshoot a battery killer? If I bring the TT into a shop, what should I expect to pay to have electrical system diagnosed? Thank you in advance for any guidance.
__________________

__________________
tjstew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 02:20 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Dave Park's Avatar
 
2005 22' Safari
Hyde Park Place , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 972
Do you have a charge regulator for your solar panels? Also, do you have a blocking diode on the panels to prevent them draining the battery after dark?

Not the likeliest problems, but the problems I have personal experience with!
__________________

__________________
TX-16
Dave Park is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 02:41 PM   #3
TJStew
 
tjstew's Avatar
 
2004 22' International CCD
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7
Yes there is a regulator on the solar chargers (GoPower) and not sure about the blocking diode, but I would think so since haven't had any issues until recently. Would a blocking diode be a part of the solar charger regulator or a separate device?
__________________
tjstew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 02:49 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Dave Park's Avatar
 
2005 22' Safari
Hyde Park Place , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 972
"Usually" it's a separate device, either built into the panel or close to it. In my case, it wasn't installed. It's not likely you don't have them, but it's an option and something to rule out.

I put the "usually" in quotes because there's just so little standardization of practices with solar panels...
__________________
TX-16
Dave Park is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 03:09 PM   #5
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
no offense but the primary problem maybe a poor understanding of an rv 12v system or trouble clearly expressing things.

-define KILLED battery

-explain WHY the battery/ies were replaced (process used to determine replacement required)

-'blue top' isn't any better battery depending on what 'better' means...

in fact they have LESS storage capacity on an amp/hour/size basis than the interstates that probably came in the unit.

-none of these rv batteries will "fully charge" from the 7 pin while towing in a typical day.

they may not even fully charge on shore power, depending on time and loads and charge/discharge state.

-the "fan" runs when charging, this has very little to do with OUTSIDE temps, but suggests the battery/ies is NOT fully charged.

-really really HOT temps reduce the output from solar and affect how 'receptive' the batteries are to charging.

-the store/use switch doesNOT cut all phantom loads, but it DOES shut OFF charging to the battery/ies.

-using a multimeter one can explore many things...the charger OUTPUT for example.

looking for phantom loads is a bit more complex/involved.

each circuit on the 12v and 120 side can be examined, as can most of the gadgets running on juice.

-body work? well IF the wiring was altered secondary to an accident OR repair, there could clearly be charge/drain issues.

-what body work, why and so on....

>>>if damage and repair are the ONLY recent changes

and the system worked fine BEFORE, that's seems like the place 2 start<<<

-shop LABOR rates dictate cost to find the issue/s.

a savy a/s tech might do a full check in 1-2 hours and make a repair equally as fast.

a clueless tech will throw parts at it, take a LONG time to find issues and still might not find THE problem.

that you are frustrated is pretty clear, but there is NOT much of substance in the info provided.

do MORE splainin'

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 04:10 PM   #6
TJStew
 
tjstew's Avatar
 
2004 22' International CCD
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7
no offense is taken and astute observation - little 12VD knowledge on my part.
-define KILLED battery

fully discharged battery incapable of maintaining a charge

-explain WHY the battery/ies were replaced (process used to determine replacement required)
1.) After driving 600 miles (10 hours) showing up at an RV park, battery (12VDC) was dead -- no lights, water pump, heater fan, radio, etc. Shore power worked on all systems. Replaced the water based battery with similar type the next day while traveling. It seemed like a typical dead battery issue. It was the first trip following body work done last summer.
2.) The new battery was put on battery minder for the winter months, and installed in April for the summer. All was well. Traveled to favorite spot in April and all 12 VDC systems working (lights, pump, radio, jack). After spending 3 day weekend on shore power, while disconnecting I noticed all 12 VDC systems were inoperable (immediately when unplugging from shore power). I brought battery (#2) to retail store (chain store) and they informed me it was only at 4.2 VDC. I was encouraged by a friend (RV Buddy) to replace the dead battery with a Optima Blue Top as he hasn't had any problem with his. I was able to locate one and purchased it (#3). I put the new blue top on the battery minder for one week to fully charge. I installed it and all was well -- all systems worked and battery status from control panel and solar regulator indicated a fully charged battery. The TT sat one week with the store/use in store mode. I went to hook up and no power at the jack (or inside the TT). I used the 7 pin cable and TV to power the jack and hook up. I drove 60 miles in 1 hour and the blue top was partially charged (dim lights as an indicator) but connected to shore power for the week. After the week, the blue top seemed to be recharged according to the control panel and regulator displays. Returning home, I disconnected the black cable at the battery. That is how it is currently. Before I bring it to the dealer (100 mile away) I thought I would try to trouble shoot the issue if I can.

-the "fan" runs when charging, this has very little to do with OUTSIDE temps, but suggests the battery/ies is NOT fully charged.

I had never heard that fan before. In fact, I had to follow the sound since it was a new sound to me. It also seemed to be on a lot, considering I had never heard it before. Also it kicked on many times in the middle of the night. To the best of my knowledge, nothing was on in the TT that would require power (no fans, radio, lights).

-really really HOT temps reduce the output from solar and affect how 'receptive' the batteries are to charging.

It was hot outside! Near 100 for the most part. It did cool to the 60s at night.

-the store/use switch doesNOT cut all phantom loads, but it DOES shut OFF charging to the battery/ies.
I read in my AS manual that the battery can be charged when in store mode via 7 pin (and solar). My regulator indicates it is charging while in store mode. When I depress the button (use mode) I hear a click sound (power being distributed) and then my radio always turns on. I assumed it was a disconnect switch from the battery and the TT. Is this not the case?

-using a multimeter one can explore many things...the charger OUTPUT for example.

I will get a multimeter - I do not own one now.

-body work? well IF the wiring was altered secondary to an accident OR repair, there could clearly be charge/drain issues.

I had to replace the top rear 3 panels due to a backing up error (AS vs. Garage) on my part and thought maybe something is shorting out and draining the battery. There are running lights on the top near the repairs. The trouble started since the work was done.

I hope this helps, and sorry not to include more in the original post.
__________________
tjstew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 04:19 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
r carl's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Lin , Ne
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,056
Were the batteries that were replaced charged and load tested? How did you determine they were bad other than them being discharged? Were any replaced under warranty?
__________________
r carl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 08:09 AM   #8
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
ok, good info maybe some ideas will roll in now.

the timing may be coincidental but there is wiring in the ceiling.

is the shop that did the skin repairs AWARE of the problem?
________

understand that the display panel info for battery charge state is VAGUE at best and often misleading...

100% on the display right after some time connected is often NOT 100%.
________

if the original battery was from 2003/4 it may have needed replacement,

but the 2nd battery even if drained once should have taken REcharging, how was the water level?
________

obvious things to check (including voltage, corrosion, contacts) ...

-7 pin output (from the tv) and 7 pin INPUT wiring.
-juice TO the charger
-juice OUT of the charger
-all/most 12v wired things (especially the jack)
-don't forget to turn OFF the antenna booster and stereo (or disconnect it briefly)
-battery wiring/grounds/box and so on...
-any burned out 12 bulbs (like the storage bays or jack light or dump valve light)
-shore power connections (outside/inside wall)

and so on....

if the charger is the oem unit it may be DEAD after 6 years.

the solar charger will still provide SOME juice to the batteries,

but not nearly enough to offset even basic use.

same for the 7 pin, it may be providing SOME recharge while driving.

the display panel typically will show FULL/100% after a little juice from either source...

but that 100% will quickly DROP with use, because it really is NOT 100%.

the charger AND solar may have boiled the older battery dry,

but surely someone checked WATER in the newer battery?

the NEWEST battery (blue top) is an agm right?

while water cannot be added that battery is STILL just a simple storage device...

and if USAGE exceeds REcharge it will go to a very low voltage just as quickly as the last new battery.
_________

exploring ALL of the above requires a few basic tools, especially a multimeter.

best o'luck and don't give up.

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 08:49 AM   #9
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
too late to edit but REreading...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjstew View Post
...Traveled to favorite spot in April and all 12 VDC systems working (lights, pump, radio, jack). After spending 3 day weekend on shore power, while disconnecting I noticed all 12 VDC systems were inoperable (immediately when unplugging from shore power). I brought battery (#2) to retail store (chain store) and they informed me it was only at 4.2 VDC....
this bit of info suggests the primary P-lax charger is inoperable...

checking the OUTPUT voltage from it (while plugged in) will confirm this...

the voltage should be around 13.5-13.8 when plugged in.
_________

replacing the p-lax is not complicated and often done DIY.

the largest issue is access/removal, and many folks opt to have an rv tech to the duty.

sorting out WHAT to replace it with is trickier with so many options.

progressive dynamics makes the intellipower line of charger/converters and has a good rep.

they are widely available (look for the vendors online) and reasonably priced.

models in the 40-60 amp range provide PLENTY of capacity for 1 or 2 batteries in the grp 24/27 range.

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 10:39 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
When I removed the twin beds from my trailer I found a 12 volt light just inside the exterior access cargo door that opened into the space under the bed. I thought to myself . . . that could have been left on a LONG time before I'da ever found it.
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 11:07 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
arcamedies's Avatar
 
1993 30' Excella
Lakeland , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 343
Images: 69
Blog Entries: 5
The dead battery who done it

[QUOTE=tjstew;875568] I have tried the store/use in both modes without luck, thinking it might be a phantom load. Is my problem with (1) the solar charger, (2) the store/use disconnect switch, (3) the inverter/converter, (4) a phantom load, (5) or a short somewhere. QUOTE]


Troubleshooting a mechanical problem with to many veriables makes for expensive troubleshooting with any technician.

Three batteries dead , are the batteries at fault, NAHHHH not a shot.

When towing you have to be towing a conciderable time to recharge a completely discharged battery.

A short lets the smoke come out of the wires, NOT GOOD, you can arc weld with a battery, no smoke or fried wire or blown fuse, that's not it.

Charger crapped out, AH HAH could be it.
PHANTOM LOAD AH HAH could be it too. Leave your inside car light on for 24 hours and see how the car likes it, errrr errrr dead battery.

The solar charger, disconnect it and see what happens once the battery is charged fully by the charger, if it can charge.

Otherwise have an electrical tech check the charger and the system for another PHANTOM LOAD (light left on somewhere) easy to do.
__________________
arcamedies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 12:38 AM   #12
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
New Borockton , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,288
Images: 21
I presume you have the Parallax converter or power center, probably the 7300 series but maybe the 7400 series. It has a nominal constant output of 13.8 volts. Its not enough voltage to fully charge a cold deep cycle battery and too much for storage in warmer climates.
__________________
Randy...Converters, Inverters, Trimetric, Surge Protectors, Zamp Solar, AGM Batteries
www.bestconverter.com
68 Overlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2010, 08:45 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Bowmans's Avatar
 
1979 31' Sovereign
1950 22' Liner
Powhatan , Virginia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 520
Blog Entries: 45
I am not the most knowledgable person in 12v but noticed one thing in your post that got me thinking tjstew. You said "After drive 600 miles the battery was dead". Does it only drain down while traveling (or dead on arrival)? If so, could the 7 pin connector wires be setup wrong on TV or camper in such a way that the vehicle is using the camper batteries for lights, brakes, etc during transit instead of charging them?
__________________
Tadd, Beth, Grundgetta and Weeble
Our blog
Proud to be Air #37137
Bowmans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #14
TJStew
 
tjstew's Avatar
 
2004 22' International CCD
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7
I found it! It was the emergency brake disconnect switch. Crazy search... It would apply the brakes while disengaged, and drain the battery. The solar would kick everyday so the battery would get a little charge daily, but drain at night. Solution=keep brake away cable plugged in ALWAYS!
__________________

__________________
tjstew is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
battery box bear4500 All Argosy Trailers 1 05-11-2006 05:44 AM
New 12V battery last 5 hrs PhilMateo Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 8 12-25-2005 12:22 PM
Wiring Sequence to hook up 2 x 6 volt battery pack to your 12 volt trailer battery TobyJH Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 0 05-21-2004 01:04 AM
Battery check--why don't I ever have to add battery water? Kistler Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 8 05-17-2004 10:03 PM
Battery Use bwj1450 1974 - 1979 Sovereign 3 04-06-2003 08:33 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.