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Old 06-27-2002, 11:42 PM   #15
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Wow, I'm impressed a red light! That's sort of self defeating isn't it.

My disconnect switch (minus a red light) is located on a horizontal ledge behind the back of the front sofa. You can look over the back and down and see it.

Jack
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Old 06-28-2002, 12:23 AM   #16
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Batteries discharge

Most lead acid type batteries will loose about 6% per month not connected. A slow easy charge does the best recharge or keeps a battery up full.
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Old 06-28-2002, 07:53 AM   #17
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Disconnect switch

On my International, the disconnect switch is in plain sight, right by the entry door, set into the side of the wardrobe. There is a toggle switch and a fairly dim red light that comes on whenever the battery is connected. No current is drawn when it is disconnected.

This is a handy place for it. The last thing when I step out of the trailer in storage is to hit the switch to disconnect the battery.

Oddly enough, the battery is mounted on the tongue of the trailer, yet I can hear the disconnect relay operate somewhere towards the rear of the trailer when I operate the switch. From the sound, I think it is a probably rotary solenoid. Oddly enough, I can't locate the disconnect solenoid on the wiring diagram, although I did find a 3-wire tap named "control panel" that I think is the disconnect switch itself.
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Old 07-01-2002, 04:37 PM   #18
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Jack,

I had the same problem with my '99 Safari. Infuriating, and the dealer was suddenly no help (and haven't been since then). The radio draws the most power when the unit is stored due to the memory and light display. Especially if it is the Sony or, like my rig, the horribly cheap and crummy sounding Audiovox.

I use the master cutoff each time when I store my rig and have not had any trouble since. It also saves me from having to take out the refer light when I leave the doors open to prevent mildew.

Regarding the Interstate battery, I wasted far to much time trying to weddle something out of them under the warranty than it was worth. They are not that good to begin with and don't offer true deep cycle capabilities. You're better off with two Trojan brand 6 volt batteries, wired in series for a total of 12V, that will provide you with solid, deep cycle capablility, than the Interstate. That is if dry camping without electricity is important to you.

My Power Jack is wired direcly to my battery, so can't help there other than to call Barker Manufacturing to see if they can help on the re-sync.

Good luck,
JCB
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Old 07-01-2002, 05:35 PM   #19
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We're back from our weekend trip with no further problem with the battery. My neighbor has an ammeter and will bring it home from work. We are going to try to determine the draw on the battery. We will probably pull some fuses to attempt to see what appliances are drawing us down if the disconnect switch isn't thrown.

Jace, I have the Sony radio in my Safari. I don't see any light display when it is powered off. I'll let you know what we find.

Jack
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Old 07-02-2002, 10:43 AM   #20
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Jack,
With the Sony, even if the display is off, it stilll draws power for the memory so you don't have to reset the stations each time you turn it on, etc.. I put in a Sony unit and 10 disc CD changer in this spring to replace the $4.00 Audiovox unit supplied by Airstream..

Since we generally travel out of our radio area, this is not a problem for me and why I use the cutoff switch. You may also want to consider the solar powered battery maintainers at Camping World or www.northerntool.com and simply set it on top of your propane tank cover when it is going to be stored for any period. It should overcome the drain from the radio and any other small drain on the battery.
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Old 07-02-2002, 11:14 AM   #21
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Jack,
Jace suggested the small solar panel and that is just what I did. I purchased a Solargizer 5 watt solar charger/maintainer that charges, desulfates and maintains the battery system. They offer a 10 watt unit also and have units that allow you to charge 2 seperate batteries. My unit has kept my two Delco Voyager batteries fully charged for a year now. I'm pretty conservative with my lights during the hunting season since I do not have access to 110 volts. The 5 watt unit is hooked straight to one of the batteries but charges both. The panel is placed on top of my 40 lb. tanks but has a cord long enough to run from my front battery box to the front vent on top of the trailer. I do not have a battery disconnect unless I pull my fuses. The trailer will sit from mid Sept. until late Nov. with use almost every weekend. I am also there an additional Thur., Fri. and Mon. at least 3 times during this period. No problem with the batteries. Do a search and check out Solargizer's web site.

When I bring my trailer back from a weekend where it has seen heavy 12 volt use, like this past weekend, I will hook up a BatteryMinder from www.batterymart.com. It charges, desulfates and maintaines the batteries. It takes 3 days to complete the process but I know that the batteries are in top shape. I then disconnect the charger/maintainer and let the solar keep it up.
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Old 08-12-2002, 09:50 PM   #22
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Re: Power Draw

Quote:
Originally posted by Pahaska
A lot of folks don't realize that the propane detector pulls a steady draw in the order of milliamps. It's enough to completely drain a battery in a few weeks
After many weeks since I started this thread I have finally borrowed a meter to see what's going on. With the master disconnect switch set to off (no voltage to 12 volt fuse panel) I found that the draw from the battery (propane detector bypasses this switch) was .09 of an amp. With the disconnect switch set to on with no appliances operating the draw was .10 of an amp.


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Old 08-13-2002, 07:51 AM   #23
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Batterys self discharge. I doubt if there was no draw if it would have enough power to raise the trailer after 312 days. Depending on the battery age, condition, temperature, etc. 4-6 weeks might be all you are going to get and still be able to use the jack.

John
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Old 08-13-2002, 08:56 AM   #24
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Bill Darden's site at www.geocities.com addresses the deep cycle discharge rate. He says, "Deep cycle batteries discharge at a rate of 1% - 15% per month. Lead sulfation starts occurring when the state of charge drops below 80%". This causes additional problems and is what kills a battery. If your discharge rate is more than 50% of your battery rating, you are not helping your battery. Each time the discharge drops extremely low, it takes a little out of your battery. Based on this plus your parasitic charge of .09, your battery is a gonner well before the 312th day. If your vehicle sits outside and is not used much, I advise a 5 watt solar panel to keep the charge at 100% or at least a battery maintainer such as the BatteryMinder hooked up the entire time. It will not boil out your battery fluid.

As an interesting side story, I am an electronic restraint device instructor. The batteries used in some of the first handheld electronic stun guns were 9 v. nickle cadmium rechargeable. These batteries lose 2% of their power per day if they are left on the shelf or in the stun gun. You must not let the charge go below the top 25% or it might not function the entire unit. Each second of use loses 1% of its power. Newer devices use lithium batteries which have a 5 yr. shelf life and have 1800 seconds of power i.e. 30 min of continuous power. They are not rechargeable.

I found early in my hunting escapades that Ni Cad batteries did not last long in aluminum flashlights and when they went, they went. I use nothing but good alkaline batteries now.
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Old 08-13-2002, 09:13 AM   #25
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It looks like from their web page that the battery is rated 105 amp hours at a 5 amp draw. So the draw with the master switch on of .1 amp translates into 2.4 amp hours draw per day. This will kill the battery somewhere in the area of 45 days or so. This pretty well falls in line with my experience that the trailer sat in the storage lot for 60 days unused. No wonder the hitch jack didn't work.

So the math works out. Now the issue is to add a solar panel or disconnect the battery when I know I won't be using the trailer for an extended period.

Jack
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Old 08-13-2002, 09:24 AM   #26
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Jack,
I know the feeling. I had a rough night last night. My 17 yr. old and I both have a stomach or intestinal virus that has been running around and we have not been sleeping well the last several nights. Something told me that the figures were high but I didn't have the energy or focus to do the math. I was thinking 105 amp hr and working off that. Since I have made previous posts on this subject, I am still pleased with my combination of Delco Voyager sealed deep cycle batteries, BatteryMinder charger and Solargizer Solar battery charger/maintainer.
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Old 08-13-2002, 09:46 AM   #27
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Jack,
I wanted to add that disconnecting the negative cable or just pulling the battery(s) out may slow the discharge rate down. Some individuals take the batteries out of their trailer and place them in the garage with a maintainence charger attached. Why go to the trouble. I would investigate some of the solar chargers as I have done and you don't have to worry about hooking up a 110 v. cord for the charger. Do an engine search for Solargizer or Unisolar or look in Camping World for their solar chargers. Make sure you get one that has the blocking diode to prevent discharge at night. I place my Solargizer on top of my propane tanks when at the house and on top of my trailer when at the hunting site. When on the road, I just place the panel in the bed of my truck so that I do not have to disconnect the ring terminals from the battery it is connected to. I guess I could mount it permanently to the top of the trailer but chose to leave it mobile to take advantage of where the sun is shining. The panel charges both of my batteries at the same time.
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Old 08-13-2002, 09:55 AM   #28
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I like the idea of a portable set up David. Unfortunately my A/S sits in a public RV/boat storage lot, so I wouldn't be surprised that it might walk away. If I do anything in this vein, it probably will have to be rooftop mounted. I might also find some type of knife switch that I can place on the positive battery post.

Jack
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