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Old 12-22-2014, 12:47 PM   #15
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When I first got my TT my batteries were shot as well, and the Dealer replaced them. As I had to go in for several other warranty items, it was not a one-issue trip it was about 70 miles one-way. Sadly, as mentioned on other threads, you will have many warranty issues to address on a new TT, so I would use the rig to as much as you can, and make a list of "dealer fix items" to make the trip worthwhile.

Use the two year AS warranty to your advantage!
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:58 PM   #16
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I had a very similar story that I reported on extensively. My batteries went through 2liters of water in 6 months. Mine was a factory order,so it didn't sit on the lot and the batteries were supposedly new when placed in the trailer. They were taken out and bench tested and came out perfect.( for interstate). 1 month later, same problem and my dealer just traded them for new. No more problem with the new ones. Have not had to add water for 8 months.
Also have since changed out converter to PD 4655 just in case.



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Old 12-22-2014, 03:45 PM   #17
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Mystery solved - not bad batteries

Mystery solved. I think anyway. I'll man up and take the full blame, even though dealer could have helped me avoid this with a little better coaching during the hitch explanation.

Bottom line is that the electric brake break-away pin was removed, to detach the safety cable when I unhitched (it was looped through itself on my TV), and I didn't plug it back in. So brakes were drawing a bunch of current all that time. I was under the impression all power for the brakes came from TV, but thinking about this more makes sense. Gee do I feel silly.

My first time with electric brakes.. We have had surge brakes on our boat trailers for years. The AS dealer could have mentioned to keep that safety pin unhooked for very short periods, due to high current draw, and I would have got it, but they didn't mention that. Only the clever part about unhooking pin to be able to loop it through itself. Oh well, live and learn.

On our sailboat, all electronics are solar-powered and we have a Victron BMV 600 battery monitor that carefully monitors all juice in and out of the battery. I know precisely how much current everything on the boat uses independently (lights, nav equipment, autopilot, radar, AIS, etc..) This experience makes me wish I had one on the AS. Would have instantly realized that something was drawing a few amps even with everything else off. I would have searched until I found it. As it was, I had no way to tell if something was using power (unless I disconnected battery and put an ammeter in line with it).

I will consider mounting a Victron in this trailer. I don't like not knowing what's going on electrically with the battery.

Thanks anyway for all the ideas. All should be good.
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:52 PM   #18
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Glad you figured it out.

www.amsolar.com has a selection of battery monitors for RVs.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:31 PM   #19
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Glad you figured it out.

www.amsolar.com has a selection of battery monitors for RVs.
Ditto!
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:09 PM   #20
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Don't do that no more.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:48 PM   #21
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Yes, a battery monitor is a very nice thing to have. My Tri Metric is in the negative line to the batteries and sees all the current from everything, including the inverter, the tongue jack, break away switch, and the propane detector. It allows me to monitor the charge current from the Tow Vehicle, the solar system, and the converter/charger. It tells me the % of charge in the batteries and it resets itself when the batteries go to full charge.

Each brake magnet takes about 3 amps, so you had about a 12 amp load on your batteries, so no wonder they were flat. Glad you found it and did not have to take it back to the dealer.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:41 AM   #22
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Well, giving credit where due, I did take it back to the dealer. After unhitching and driving off with the break-away cable in the back of our TV, they called us shortly thereafter (before getting more than 15 minutes away) and said they were fairly positive that was the issue. We drove right back and got it.

Was a nice drive anyway, getting used to it. We then drove to some scales and weighed everything out. It was very close to expectation. Also drove to a high school parking lot and played around with making some turns; measured tail swing while pulling away sharply from a line representing a curb or lane edge; saw how tight of a turn we could make without the trailer clashing with our car, real close to a 90 degree angle, etc.. So that was all useful. Not a bad day. Learned a lot about our new toy.

I likely will install a battery monitor - it's so important on our sail boat to know where every Coulomb is going and how many are coming. We're hoping to get by on this AS too without a generator. On the boat, the battery and battery monitor are quite close together so wiring up the shunt was easy. I still need to do my homework to do this the right way with the battery being relatively far from where I would install the monitor. Anyway, homework and a project for another day.

By the way, disconnected the shore power later in the day and the battery showed 13.2V and held steady. Yeah!

thanks everyone,
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:44 AM   #23
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Lost in the shuffle was a right on comment from a previous poster about upgrading your single stage Paralax battery fryer to 3 or 4 stage converter.
I spent a lot of $$ on batteries before I made the switch. Even agms lasted only two years and at $180 a battery that hurts. With the upgrade, my drowned cell batteries lasted 3 years with 30 or more days a year boondocking.
Cost is about $250 and a handy (and limber) do it yourselfer can make the switch. Check them out at bestconverter.com.
Until you make the switch, plug in your trailer only when camping.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:54 AM   #24
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I have a PD4655. I was able to install it myself. I haven't installed a Trimetric monitor. One look at the instructions and I was totally lost so I won't bother.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:35 AM   #25
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Is the problem with the stock converter that it over charges?

We have 160w of solar, so far, so likely can get by without shore power while not in use, as long as it doesn't get too cold. The Zamp 30A controller has a 5 stage PWM control so that should not hurt the batteries.

It was typical Oregon winter cloudy yesterday and being only 1 day after winter solstice the solar generated only about 6AH, so not much to work with this time of year as far north as we are.

Will consider a converter upgrade sometime but will have to think about how much I mess with while things still under warrantee..
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:12 AM   #26
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FWIW a new converter will not effect your warrantee at all give Randy a call he won't steer you wrong.

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Old 12-23-2014, 05:50 PM   #27
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Is the problem with the stock converter that it over charges?

We have 160w of solar, so far, so likely can get by without shore power while not in use, as long as it doesn't get too cold. The Zamp 30A controller has a 5 stage PWM control so that should not hurt the batteries.

It was typical Oregon winter cloudy yesterday and being only 1 day after winter solstice the solar generated only about 6AH, so not much to work with this time of year as far north as we are.

Will consider a converter upgrade sometime but will have to think about how much I mess with while things still under warrantee..
You have a solar controller and a house converter/controller that converts ac power to dc, to run your 12 volt system and charge your house batteries when you are plugged into shore power.
The problem with your house converter/controller is it puts a set amount of charge into your battery whether the batteries are fully charged or not. When the batteries are fully charged, all the overcharge does is sulphate your batteries, burn off the fluid and shorten their lives.
You need a smart house charger like the one you have on your solar side. The smart charger will trickle charge your batteries when they are fully charged and/or being charged by solar.
Don't assume that Airstream always has it right on new trailer. They have used Paralax converters for years. Perhaps that is what they use to meet a certain price point.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:47 PM   #28
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The converter upgrade is super simple - and with the price of batteries, it is nice to have for the piece of mind. Randy at bestconverters.com recommended the PD 4655 for my Paralax replacement.
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