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Old 04-17-2021, 07:30 AM   #1
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Cigarette Lighter Sockets

Do you use the cigarette lighter sockets? Mine seem to pull the current when something like a phone charger in them, even on shore power. Maybe itís another issue with my charging system or batteries. 2006 Safari 25í FBQ.
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Old 04-17-2021, 09:31 AM   #2
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You have two power systems in your trailer. The 12V DC system, and the 120V AC system. The cigarette lighter sockets are attached directly to the 12V system, so yes, if you plug something into them, they will draw power from the battery, which, in turn will put demand on the converter (battery charger) that is attached to the shore power. So it sounds like everything is working as designed, unless I misunderstand what you mean by "pull the current."
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Old 04-17-2021, 09:36 AM   #3
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Back in the day with your vintage trailer, it was not unusual to own power chargers or plugs that used those cigarette lighter outlets for charging or operating some 12 volt appliances like GPS units, cell phones for example. I even once owned a small TV that used a 12 volt plug as a power alternative.

Obviously when you were plugged into electric your power converter supplied 12 volt power from those outlets. When not your trailer battery supplied the 12 volt power.

Unless you have something plugged into those outlets, they draw no power. One draw that some folks forget to turn off is the preamp for the TV antenna. Your trailer probably has a small push button next to the TV antenna connection that will pull 12 volts even if no TV is connected. There is also a constant voltage draw however from many 12 volt appliances in your trailer. For example even in the off position, a small amount power is drawn to the refrigerator control board for example. That's why you have a store/use switch in your trailer. That pretty much removes the parasitic load that different devices have on the batteries.

However your propane detector is wired around that switch and power is always being drawn for it. My batteries with the store/use switch set in the use position will exhaust my batteries within about 30 days or so. With the switch in the store position I will get about 3 months of power.

Many folks install a disconnect at the battery side or will remove a cable(s) to fully disengage the batteries. In my case when I know there will be long term storage, I will remove the batteries.

Hope this helps.

Jack
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Old 04-17-2021, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
You have two power systems in your trailer. The 12V DC system, and the 120V AC system. The cigarette lighter sockets are attached directly to the 12V system, so yes, if you plug something into them, they will draw power from the battery, which, in turn will put demand on the converter (battery charger) that is attached to the shore power. So it sounds like everything is working as designed, unless I misunderstand what you mean by "pull the current."
Sorry. I meant that they seem to pull a LOT of current. The furnace blower slows down when I use them, for example.
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Old 04-17-2021, 03:57 PM   #5
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Back in the day with your vintage trailer, it was not unusual to own power chargers or plugs that used those cigarette lighter outlets for charging or operating some 12 volt appliances like GPS units, cell phones for example. I even once owned a small TV that used a 12 volt plug as a power alternative.

Obviously when you were plugged into electric your power converter supplied 12 volt power from those outlets. When not your trailer battery supplied the 12 volt power.

Unless you have something plugged into those outlets, they draw no power. One draw that some folks forget to turn off is the preamp for the TV antenna. Your trailer probably has a small push button next to the TV antenna connection that will pull 12 volts even if no TV is connected. There is also a constant voltage draw however from many 12 volt appliances in your trailer. For example even in the off position, a small amount power is drawn to the refrigerator control board for example. That's why you have a store/use switch in your trailer. That pretty much removes the parasitic load that different devices have on the batteries.

However your propane detector is wired around that switch and power is always being drawn for it. My batteries with the store/use switch set in the use position will exhaust my batteries within about 30 days or so. With the switch in the store position I will get about 3 months of power.

Many folks install a disconnect at the battery side or will remove a cable(s) to fully disengage the batteries. In my case when I know there will be long term storage, I will remove the batteries.

Hope this helps.

Jack
. Thanks, Jack. Yes, I have the little button next to the coax plug. Iíll make sure that itís off.

Do the store/use switches ever have malfunctions?

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 04-17-2021, 10:46 PM   #6
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Unless the thing you're plugging into them are high draw, it sounds like you may have weak batteries.
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:08 AM   #7
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I would experiment with a few different plug-in items. At a glance, I would not expect a phone charger to pull much current, but maybe there is something wrong with the one you are using. I would try to eliminate the "thing" before starting in on batteries and converter.

Next, I would try checking multiple sockets to ensure you don't have a problem with a single socket. Look into the sockets and confirm that you don't have a bunch of corrosion or something that would result in high resistance.

Next, I would check the battery voltage, and confirm that the converter is putting out an appropriate charge value.

good luck!
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:12 AM   #8
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Cigarette Lighter Sockets

Iíve not heard anything over the years regarding store/use switch malfunctions. My average battery life is about 4 years. You do have to watch the water level in those batteries if you keep the trailer plugged into power when itís not in use. Those older converters like mine has, will boil the water out of those batteries.

I did borrow an amp meter and measured the amperage draw with the store/use switch on and off and the amperage draw pretty much was inline with the amp hour rating of my batteries. In essence 30 days of no charge with the store use in the use position equaled the amperage supply that my batteries could supply when not being charged.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
I would experiment with a few different plug-in items. At a glance, I would not expect a phone charger to pull much current, but maybe there is something wrong with the one you are using. I would try to eliminate the "thing" before starting in on batteries and converter.

Next, I would try checking multiple sockets to ensure you don't have a problem with a single socket. Look into the sockets and confirm that you don't have a bunch of corrosion or something that would result in high resistance.

Next, I would check the battery voltage, and confirm that the converter is putting out an appropriate charge value.

good luck!
Multiple plug-ins tried and all had same effect. Even a USB socket with nothing connected. Both sockets had same problem. Also, the overhead recessed lights also seem to impact the batteries. The furnace blower slows down with the use of the overhead lights in the rear, ie 10 LEDs.

Weak batteries? Short?
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:00 PM   #10
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Sounds more like a resistive ground. Hunt down your 12V ground wire and make sure it is kosher.
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:34 PM   #11
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Sounds more like a resistive ground. Hunt down your 12V ground wire and make sure it is kosher.
Close. Positive terminal on battery was loose. Guess PO didnít know what he was doing. Batteries are nearly new. My fault for not checking that. Simplest things first.
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Old 04-18-2021, 03:08 PM   #12
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Thanks for the update. Suggest checking every 12-volt connection you can access, all over the trailer. Outlets, pump, lights, etc.. Did the trailer ever live close to foggy salt-water locations? That salt fog can corrode stuff in all kinds of hidden spots, which is why marine electrical wire has tin coating each strand.

Also suggest listing your 12-volt devices and the mfg. draw for each. We try to have all devices charged when we leave for a trip, and keep them charged in the tow vehicle if possible, or with smalll solar chargers. Even a cell phone, if fully discharged, can draw quite a bit of energy to charge fully. Two phones double, an iPad more, etc..

Portable solar chargers for your main batteries can make a big difference too.

Good luck.
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