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Old 03-12-2011, 01:21 PM   #1
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Trailer Battery doesn't stay charged

Hello,
We just became new members. We have a 2006 International 22' Airstream trailer, love it, and would like to understand it a little better. Hope someone can help us.
Our battery loses its charge quickly in one overnight and this is even on a new battery. Alot of places we end up in have no hookups. We use the refrigerator, lights sparingly, and maybe the heater a little. We were told that the battery would last up to 3 or 4 days with normal usage when we bought it. What are we doing wrong here? Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:27 PM   #2
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You only have the single battery?

Do you know what battery group size it is?

How old is the battery?
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:32 PM   #3
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First thing to do is charge the battery over night, preferably on a charger, and then have a draw test preformed on the battery. If the battery passes the draw test than its time to look for something in the trailer.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
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Battery

Are you using 12V on the fridge? If so that is the problem. It will draw a considerable amount of power overnight.
It should be on propane when parked.
When you say "heater" I assume it is the propane furnace. Occassional use should be OK. But not if it is an electric heater such as a ceramic heater which will draw down the battery very quickly.
Is it a true deep cycle battery? or an automotive battery?
More detail from you will bring more answers from this forum.
Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by morrowtimber View Post
Hello,
We just became new members. We have a 2006 International 22' Airstream trailer, love it, and would like to understand it a little better. Hope someone can help us.
Our battery loses its charge quickly in one overnight and this is even on a new battery. Alot of places we end up in have no hookups. We use the refrigerator, lights sparingly, and maybe the heater a little. We were told that the battery would last up to 3 or 4 days with normal usage when we bought it. What are we doing wrong here? Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:40 PM   #5
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Our original battery was a GR 24 Interstate deep cycle. It would last 4-5 days but died after 3 years. We changed to a GR 27 and it does much better but then we replaced all the lamps with LED's.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
Are you using 12V on the fridge? If so that is the problem. It will draw a considerable amount of power overnight.
It should be on propane when parked.
I don't believe 2006 ccds have a 3-way fridge.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morrowtimber View Post
Hello,
We just became new members. We have a 2006 International 22' Airstream trailer, love it, and would like to understand it a little better. Hope someone can help us.
Our battery loses its charge quickly in one overnight and this is even on a new battery. Alot of places we end up in have no hookups. We use the refrigerator, lights sparingly, and maybe the heater a little. We were told that the battery would last up to 3 or 4 days with normal usage when we bought it. What are we doing wrong here? Thanks for your help.

Welcome to the forums.

There are several things to consider.

1) Be sure the battery is fully charged. With the stock converter that means plugged in for 12 hours or more.

2) Be sure that the charge line is wired properly on your tow vehicle. While you can't expect a great deal of charging from it, it nonetheless makes a difference.

3) Since your trailer is now 5 years old, if you have the original battery, it may be time to replace it -- especially if it has had a hard life. Batteries are relatively cheap and they don't last forever even if babied, and the capacity diminishes over time.

4) While you should be able to get a night or two, 3-4 days may be unrealistic. A fact to consider is that the halogen lights in the CCD, though pretty to look at, are electricity hogs. Some people have performed LED replacements for this reason.

I'd suggest starting by replacing the battery and then moving on from there.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:07 PM   #8
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They probably don't have a 3-way fridge (120/12v/gas) but they probably DO have a fridge that can be run on shore line electricity or propane gas. When dry camping without hookups you should automatically run the frig with propane. When you say "heater" if you are talking about the gas furnace and you are using it a lot, the fan will take down a battery pretty quickly. I doubt if you could successfully use an electric heater even with a converter because they would draw too much wattage.

More information about your rig and what you are running would be useful...
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:33 PM   #9
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More info

Thanks for all your suggestions. We have a single 750 ML Motorcraft BXT-65-750 that is 3 yrs. old. I don't know if this is a deep cycle battery or not. Would two batteries be better or do we need a different kind of battery? The wiring seeems to be good because the battery gets charged by the alternator when we are driving.
We use the propane furnace a little before we go to sleep and then a little in the morning maybe for 45 min. each time. Our fridge is on all night, how do we make sure it's running on propane all the time? We do have a 3 way fridge but even when the motor is run by propane the fan is run by DC and the fan seems to be on all the time. Should we turn our fridge off at night? I worry about food going bad. I think we will look in to getting the LED lights.
There is one other thing, we are not sure how to set the Store/In Use button,
any ideas on this?
Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morrowtimber View Post
Thanks for all your suggestions. We have a single 750 ML Motorcraft BXT-65-750 that is 3 yrs. old. I don't know if this is a deep cycle battery or not. Would two batteries be better or do we need a different kind of battery? The wiring seeems to be good because the battery gets charged by the alternator when we are driving.
We use the propane furnace a little before we go to sleep and then a little in the morning maybe for 45 min. each time. Our fridge is on all night, how do we make sure it's running on propane all the time? We do have a 3 way fridge but even when the motor is run by propane the fan is run by DC and the fan seems to be on all the time. Should we turn our fridge off at night? I worry about food going bad. I think we will look in to getting the LED lights.
There is one other thing, we are not sure how to set the Store/In Use button,
any ideas on this?
Thanks again for all your help.
The BXT-65-750 is an OEM battery for Ford and Mercury cars. It is designed for starting but is not a deep cycle battery. For your AS, you need a deep cycle marine battery.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:24 AM   #11
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The "STORE/USE" disconnect switch behind the couch removes 12 volt power from the batteries to the 12 volt circuit breaker panel. Anything else that is wired directly to the batteries like the LP Detector are still being powered. You can add a battery disconnect between the batteries and that will kill any 12 volt power.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:45 AM   #12
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Dump your existing battery and get 2 deep cycle batteries, preferably gel batteries. Use propane on fridge. Splice a on/off switch between the fridge fan. Set your furnace to around 55 at night and sleep with heavy blankets, and only crank it up in the morning. Next investment is a small generator if you're going to stay off the grid for 3 or more days.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:53 AM   #13
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Your propsnr frig. will use 20 amps when on propane. If you really start looking you will find led's and other draws as well. Our radio draws about 2 amps when it is off. We have 2 group 27s and solar which keeps us topped off pretty well. Good luck
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