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Old 02-26-2016, 08:36 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2016 16' Sport
Santa Barbara , California
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 10
Drained battery

I'm a newbie with a 2016 Bambi. I'm not an electrician. Most times I can't spell the word. Anyway here is my issue. My AS is parked right next to my business so every morning I go out and plug in a Solar panel and charger I got from Renogy. I charges most of the day at around 30 watts and somewhere between 11.5 and 13 volts. At the end of the day my battery readout says I have 12.6 to 12.8-9 volts which I understand is full charge. The next morning I come in and check the voltage and it has dropped to the low 12s or high 11s. This seems weird to me. I have been told not to run it below 11.6 so it's almost discharged every am. Everything I can find to turn off is off except propane detector. Is this normal or does anyone think I have a leak or short or whatever. All help appreciated. Thanks

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Old 02-26-2016, 08:54 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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Posts: 4,592
Something is drawing down your battery, of course. I am assuming your USE?STORE switch is in STORE. Do you have an inverter option? Is it OFF? That will kill the battery pretty quickly.

A 30 watt solar panel will not recharge the battery very well. Although the voltage comes up, the battery may be only marginally charged, especially if it goes that low at night. The battery also may be defective, even though the rig is new.

So, some load, or a minimal battery charge, or a bad battery would be my guess.

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Old 02-26-2016, 11:30 PM   #3
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2016 16' Sport
Santa Barbara , California
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 10
Thanks for the response. I guess I read the book wrong. I thought that the battery wouldn't charge in the store position so it's on use. Don't have an inverter and the battery is brand new, I mean the dealer gave me a new battery. They are 150 miles away and I hate to haul it up there unless I have to. I am using a 100 watt panel but it's only putting out 30-35 watts. I can see where I might be getting a light charge. I guess I'll plug into shore power for a day or so to get a good charge and put it on store and see if the same thing happens. I just don't want to get out in the boonies and have something go wrong and I have no power. Thanks again for the input.
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Old 02-27-2016, 12:42 AM   #4
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2007 20' Safari SE
2005 19' Safari
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
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Something else I would probably do is either install it yourself or have someone install a dedicated real battery monitor such as the TM2030( Trimetric) so you can easily see what the draw is and if and when your batteries are actually fully charged.

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Old 02-27-2016, 04:37 AM   #5
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Trent Woods , North Carolina
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Another point, if you are looking at the voltage with the solar panel connected you are not really seeing the battery voltage, you are seeing the output of the solar panel. The only true way to see the battery voltage is when the solar panel is disconnected and the battery is under no load. Or when it is too dark for solar charging. You should usually wait about 30 minutes after disconnecting a charging source.
Also, as has been said many times on this forum, dealers have a way of destroying batteries and the symptom is that the battery will not hold a charge. You could be in that predicament.
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:56 AM   #6
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1958 18' "Footer"
Idyllwild , California
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Try to get ahold of a Clamp On DC Amp Meter and clamp it straight away to the + side of the Battery(s) Cable. This will tell you if there actually is a drain on the battery and then you could turn things on/off to help identify what is going on.
Be careful about disconnecting the battery cables right after or during a charge cycle! the battery gasses and could be explosive!
1958 California Built 18' #18-4092
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:46 AM   #7
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,840
After charging take the battery cables off and see if it drops. That should tell you if the battery is bad or something in the Airstream is drawing it down.

Yes the propane detector is always connected regardless of the Battery Disconnect Switch position and does have some battery current draw.

Know that your converter/charger is a single stage battery charger than will ruin the battery if you leave the trailer plugged into external power for long periods. The solutions are to replace the unit with a multi-stage converter/charger, or when plugged into external power put the Battery Disconnect Switch in USE position only long enough to charge the battery, or when plugged into external power let your solar system charge the battery and always leave the Battery Disconnect Switch in STORE position.

Doug and Cheryl
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2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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