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Old 06-28-2017, 11:06 PM   #1
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
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Posts: 19
Battery drain at night

My battery has some significant drain at night. Everything is off - refer fan, refer on gas, lights, stereo, tv, pump but battery drains 1-2 volts during night except when I leave it in store mode. Which I can do but then no light for middle of night needs. There must be some parasitic drain I am unaware of. Please help it is driving me nuts. 2016 FC19
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:46 PM   #2
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Tracktown USA , Oregon
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Sgilcrest, on our 2014 FC20, the propane detector and the stereo are always hot although some have owners have moved the PD to the other side of the use switch and installed a toggle for the radio. Some posts have indicated that in some models the woofer is also a draw.

BTW you can go dark manning turning off the stereo's default (the light show goes into effect even with the stereo off) to the advertising light show. I have a Sony and it's in the radio manual. Note however that turning off the use switch resets the default to the light show.

Here is a thread from a local friend with a 19' re the radio. Note he has a pioneer but I suspect a similar/interchangeable process.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f317...ns-129460.html

and here are some threads on the subject from IDROBA (RIP)

Going dark (turning off the light show and the parasitic draw)
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...-148311-2.html

my Sony solution is post # 15 & and OTRA15's post (quoted in post 15) same vintage AS but with a pioneer. also read IDROBA's post #7

Since it's in the same folder IDROBA was a master elecgricianl and osted this device amp draw. He had a 20 so should be applicable to our 19.

Happy Trails

Bob

Ex of Clayton...sure don't miss the YVR commute to WC
Attached Files
File Type: docx IDROBA Amp draws FC 20 devices.docx (21.1 KB, 9 views)
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:49 PM   #3
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Thanks so much
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgilcrest View Post
My battery has some significant drain at night. Everything is off - refer fan, refer on gas, lights, stereo, tv, pump but battery drains 1-2 volts during night except when I leave it in store mode. Which I can do but then no light for middle of night needs. There must be some parasitic drain I am unaware of. Please help it is driving me nuts. 2016 FC19
The phantom draw from the fridge control board, Propane detector, stereo...is minimal and wouldn't kill healthy batteries overnight.

If your batteries are dropping 2 volts overnight they are shot. Full charge of 12.7V. 50% capacity drop (which is the most flooded cell batts should be drawn down to) is just over 12V. 10.7 volts is completely discharged or maybe 10% remaining. Essentially completely dead.

It sounds like your issue isn't a phantom draw, your issue is damaged batteries that can't hold a charge. Assuming your measurements are correct.
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
The phantom draw from the fridge control board, Propane detector, stereo...is minimal and wouldn't kill healthy batteries overnight.

If your batteries are dropping 2 volts overnight they are shot. Full charge of 12.7V. 50% capacity drop (which is the most flooded cell batts should be drawn down to) is just over 12V. 10.7 volts is completely discharged or maybe 10% remaining. Essentially completely dead.

It sounds like your issue isn't a phantom draw, your issue is damaged batteries that can't hold a charge. Assuming your measurements are correct.
I would tend to agree with this.

Sgilcrest, what is your experience with this trailer and the batteries? Is it new to you? A few more historical details might help with further diagnosis. If you don't have any other strange phantom draws -- thanks CruizinDux Bob for the links -- batteries appear to be the chief culprits IMO.

Have you double checked that you don't have any lights on in hidden storage compartments? Or an exterior light by the dump valves, trailer steps and so forth?

How about the battery water levels and specific gravity of each cell? Hydrometers are fairly inexpensive. Worth testing the batteries IMO.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:22 AM   #6
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
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Trailer is new to me and batteries were tested by Bay Area airstream and found to be at 90%-95%. I have been vigilant in maintaining water levels
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:57 AM   #7
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Personally, I would not trust the airstream dealers eval of the batteries. Are they the original interstates? Take them to a battery shop for testing. Read the threads on battery failures/maintanece. It's eye opening.

Mike
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:10 AM   #8
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Trailer is new to me and batteries were tested by Bay Area airstream and found to be at 90%-95%. I have been vigilant in maintaining water levels
Thanks for the reply. Welcome to Airstream ownership, and needing to be proactive in double-checking systems and verifying what the experts say. Measuring the specific gravity of each battery cell would still be a good idea IMO, if taking the batteries to an Interstate dealer is not convenient as just suggested by Mike.

Airstream dealers do not generally have the same test equipment as do battery stores, to determine battery health in all respects. A cursory check of overall battery health on a fully charged set of batteries may not reveal a bad cell or two, which would be my guess here.

Hydrometers are available in most hardware and auto parts stores for $10-12. Well worth keeping with the AS.

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7001145

In the earlier posts a few possible phantom loads were suggested, so are these all negative?

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- edit -- You probably know this -- "measure twice cut once" -- batteries take only distilled water. If anyone ever added non-distilled water to them, that would ruin them.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgilcrest View Post
Trailer is new to me and batteries were tested by Bay Area airstream and found to be at 90%-95%. I have been vigilant in maintaining water levels
Saying they are 90% to 95% is not a measure of whether the batteries are bad or not. It is the SOC (State Of Charge). A battery can have a 95% SOC, and be dead if a 1 amp load is put on it.

Carry the batteries to a big box auto parts store. They will load test the batteries for free.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:58 PM   #10
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Battery Drain

I have a 2015 FC purchased in the fall of that year that has had chronic problems with Interstate batteries (2nd set). AS is going into dealer next week for the 3rd time to have inverter tested. Been through the whole power down checklist several times. Trailer stored inside batteries removed for winter and stored on wood shelf in low heat warehouse. Becoming very disenchanted with the whole idea of relying on this trailers electrical system.
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:00 PM   #11
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1973 25' Tradewind
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load testing

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Carry the batteries to a big box auto parts store. They will load test the batteries for free.
If nothing else, load testing will cross that off the list.
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:07 PM   #12
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Lazy woman here. I fulltime, have the factory converter, factory batteries, and semi-occasionally remember to check my water levels (DO know the difference between purified and distilled water and only refill with distilled). I do have the factory solar panel which I generally ignore, and I've almost never used the store switch. My original batteries lasted from late 2011 until March of 2017 when they started draining prematurely like yours. I can easily go 5 days boondocking in sunny weather.

I am happy with 6 year year lifespan... could I really expect much more if I checked them more often or upgraded the converter/charger or cut the parasitic draws? anyone care to comment on how much more? Always willing to learn more!

Paula
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:15 PM   #13
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The OEM charger/converter works fine if you use the trailer all the time, as you do Paula. That is what Airstreams are designed to do -- get used! Ditto for the waste tanks being agitated while towing and being easy to dump often without back-flushing.

Batteries only get fried by the OEM converters when they are plugged in to shore power and left unattended for weeks at a time.

A 6-year lifespan for standard lead acid wet cell batteries is fine in my opinion. Our 25' in the 1990's followed this path, as does our current FC20, with the OEM batteries and charger/converter, and constant monitoring in the driveway (because we do not travel as much).

Keep It Simple Stu.



PS -- This battery school site should be required reading for all RV owners IMO:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm

Note the many links and FAQ for further details.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:37 PM   #14
2016 19ft flying cloud
 
Spokane , Washington
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Your bass sub woofer is on all the time unless you crawl under the table and unplug
it, also make sure your awning isn't turned on,,tv booster and idles fans will draw current unless turned competely off
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