Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-07-2014, 07:28 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 21' Globetrotter
staten island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
fridge killed battery

Hi all,

Getting the camper ready for a trip in two weeks and was checking various items. I switched the fridge over to DC 2 nights ago and went in today to check things out and I found a dead everything.

A quick overview, Battery, univolt, converter were all installed new last year, the fridge is 3 years old and I do not believe has ever worked correctly. The battery is always connected to shore power i do not let it drain down.

For the heck of it I connected the camper to my truck and I got interior lights to go on throughout the truck the fridges control panel did not light up.

i do not have any battery testing equipment with me. Th battery is a Napa deep cycle Marine so i'm headed there first thing to have it tested nd to buy my own tester.

Any thoughts as to how the fridge could have done this, if it was indeed the fridge.

Why does this always happen the week before i go away!!
__________________

__________________
dcorona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 07:53 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
jdalrymple's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,603
Sounds like the battery is toast, from being connected to shore power continuously.


Here is a paste from another thread discussing virtually the same problem:

The stock power converter is a crude battery charger.

Simply put, it supplies the same amount of power to the batteries without much regard to the condition of the battery charge.

When the batteries reach full charge, the converter will keep supplying power, which will finally boil the electrolyte dry. And, ruin the batteries in short order.


One can manage the charging rate manually, to some degree, by using the use/store switch to disconnect the batteries from the electrical system periodically when on shore power. The converter will supply power to the appliances without the batteries.


Others choose to upgrade to a more expensive converter that has a better charger built in. It monitors the charge condition, and limits the supplied power as the batteries reach full charge.



I hope it helps. Good luck.


Regards,

JD
__________________

__________________
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
jdalrymple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:01 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 21' Globetrotter
staten island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Hey JD,

Thanks for the reply. The new converter is a "smart" converter that does convert to a trickle charger once it senses the battery is fully charged. We shall see once I get it checked.
__________________
dcorona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:08 PM   #4
Site Team
 
Aage's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,204
Images: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcorona View Post
Hey JD,

Thanks for the reply. The new converter is a "smart" converter that does convert to a trickle charger once it senses the battery is fully charged. We shall see once I get it checked.
May I suggest that you update your Profile? That might avoid giving you information that is not applicable, and better hone in on what needs to be done to help you with your question.

I believe that that refer was never designed to be used for days at a time on a battery, since a cooler is a high-current draw item. I would only expect your battery to be a reliable source, but one that is only used for intermittent, short-duty use.
__________________
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:12 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 21' Globetrotter
staten island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
I'll do some profile updating.
__________________
dcorona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:35 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
There is not really enough information to say what the problem is/was. If you have a 3 way refrigerator, (120 volts, 12 volts, and propane) and you put it on the 12 volt supply input, the battery would be dead in less than 24 hours. Most 12 volt refrigerators have a heating element which takes 20 + amps, and they run almost continuously. That will exhaust the battery very quickly.

It sounds like you have upgraded the converter/charger to a more modern 3 stage one, which is good. Even so, batteries do eventually fail, and still could be the problem.

The newer refrigerators (you said yours is < 3 years old) take some 12 volt power to run the control board on either propane or 120 volts, but only in the range of half an amp, and that alone would not kill a battery in 2 days, assuming the battery is Ok to begin with.

So, more information is needed for real help to you.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:50 PM   #7
Superannuated Member
 
Aironius's Avatar
 
2001 19' Bambi
Beaver Lake , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 47
dcorona, sounds like you have it fixed with the "smart" charger. Assuming you have a new battery, that should be the end of it. The stock charger was a ticking time bomb for exactly what happened. You can't leave one of them plugged in for long term storage. One can use a float charger or solar panel in the 50mA range, but the battery should be isolated from the (power off) converter. Your new converter makes all that unnecessary. What kind did you get?
__________________
Aironius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:55 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 21' Globetrotter
staten island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
There is not really enough information to say what the problem is/was. If you have a 3 way refrigerator, (120 volts, 12 volts, and propane) and you put it on the 12 volt supply input, the battery would be dead in less than 24 hours. Most 12 volt refrigerators have a heating element which takes 20 + amps, and they run almost continuously. That will exhaust the battery very quickly.

It sounds like you have upgraded the converter/charger to a more modern 3 stage one, which is good. Even so, batteries do eventually fail, and still could be the problem.

The newer refrigerators (you said yours is < 3 years old) take some 12 volt power to run the control board on either propane or 120 volts, but only in the range of half an amp, and that alone would not kill a battery in 2 days, assuming the battery is Ok to begin with.

So, more information is needed for real help to you.

Lets see how much info I can give you all.

The battery was installed a year ago and kept on the 3 stage charger throughout the year. I did not check it recently so i do not know it status before this all happened.

I know that the camper was plugged into shore power when I switched the refer over to 12 volt does that mean that the power it takes to run the refer off of 12volt is stronger than the ability of the converter to charge it from shore power? If so that;s a lesson learned for me.

The entire camper went through a major overhaul last year partly by me but the electrical and plumbing by a reliable service center and since then all systems have been functioning correctly except the refer.

Last November we were at WDW Fort Wilderness Campground, which we loved btw. and hooked up to shore power the refer would cool down than stop cooling. I'd have to turn turn it off than turn it on to get it to col down again. We weren't using down there so it wasn't a big deal except for the annoyance factor that it wasn't working correctly.

I am mentioning this because out of the entire camper i keep looking at the refer as a red flag.
__________________
dcorona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 08:57 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 21' Globetrotter
staten island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aironius View Post
dcorona, sounds like you have it fixed with the "smart" charger. Assuming you have a new battery, that should be the end of it. The stock charger was a ticking time bomb for exactly what happened. You can't leave one of them plugged in for long term storage. One can use a float charger or solar panel in the 50mA range, but the battery should be isolated from the (power off) converter. Your new converter makes all that unnecessary. What kind did you get?
Aironius,

The 3 stage converter has been installed for about a year now which is why this entire event is so confusing to me.
__________________
dcorona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 09:08 PM   #10
Site Team
 
Aage's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,204
Images: 25
More questions for you, Chris:

How old is the refer?

Does the book for it give you the stats on how much current it draws?

Does the book also give you what, precisely, Dometic planned for its use on 12V?

We'll track down your problem, you'll see
__________________
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 09:13 PM   #11
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
The 12 volt part of the fridge is only supposed to be used for limited amounts of time, and will barely keep the fridge at whatever temperature it was when you turned it to 12 volt. And it will completely 100% drain a standard group 24 deep cycle battery within 6 hours.
The 12 volt element can very likely exceed the capacity of a smaller amperage converter, especially if there is anything else at all in the trailer on.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 09:43 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 21' Globetrotter
staten island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
More questions for you, Chris:

How old is the refer?

Does the book for it give you the stats on how much current it draws?

Does the book also give you what, precisely, Dometic planned for its use on 12V?

We'll track down your problem, you'll see
Fridge is 3 years old, the book is in the camper i'll look at it in the morning.

Thanks for your help.
__________________
dcorona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 09:45 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,472
Chris

Since you have been hooked up to shore power, was there any particular reason why you were using the 12v mode to operate the fridge? It would be much better to operate it on 120v AC power.

I did not know you could still get a fridge that was 3 way power.

BTW, my Dometic fridge is about 2 years old. It has a 12v connection, for the controls, I presume, but it does not seem to draw any 12v power when I boondock. I can boondock for 4 days and the battery voltage typically only drops from about 12.9v to 12.7v. No solar, and don't see any reason for solar since my battery power usage is so small. I have actually operated my fridge for days without any batteries installed and I was not connected to shore power.

Sounds like your battery might be toast, but I would take it out and charge it with a trickle charger and then have it tested at your local auto parts store.

As for bad luck, Chris, when I went boondock camping two weeks ago, my electric jack would not work and my water pump sounded like it wanted to quit and leave me without water. After that trip I installed a manual jack and a new water pump! With a manual jack one less thing to fail.

Good luck, Dan
__________________
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2014, 09:45 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 21' Globetrotter
staten island , New York
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
The 12 volt part of the fridge is only supposed to be used for limited amounts of time, and will barely keep the fridge at whatever temperature it was when you turned it to 12 volt. And it will completely 100% drain a standard group 24 deep cycle battery within 6 hours.
The 12 volt element can very likely exceed the capacity of a smaller amperage converter, especially if there is anything else at all in the trailer on.
I'm starting to get the feeling that I goofed turning it to 12V…….. besides the propane sniffer the only thing on was the refer.

Thanks for the help Overlander.
__________________

__________________
dcorona 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
CROCODILE HUNTER Steve Irwin Killed by Stingray rseagle Off Topic Forum 14 10-03-2006 07:58 PM
Someone Killed Bambi .. airstreamcaravel Our Community 4 05-15-2003 11:26 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:22 PM.


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.