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Old 02-25-2021, 07:25 AM   #1
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Jacksonville , Florida
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Airstream draining truck battery and more

I am having an issue with my 2016 23FB draining the truck battery plus the onboard batteries.
When I drive for 4-5 hours and turn off the truck, it won't start and I need a jump. After unhooking from the trailer and getting the jump, truck battery is okay. In a few minutes I can shut it off and restart with no issues. I hook it back up to the Airstream and it happens again. This has happen the last 3 times I've been out. I thought it might be the truck so I took the 2018 F-150 to the dealer to get it checked out. They gave it a once over including testing the battery under load and everything came back good.

I hadn't been out since April 2020 and it has been parked on shore power 100% of the time. Last week I was going to move it to wash and wax it. After unplugging the 110, I tried to engage the power jack and there was nothing. I put a meter on the 2 batteries and they were dead. Both of these Interstate batteries were installed new in June of 2020.

What could this be? It appears something in the Airstream electrical system is malfunctioning.


PS: The Use/Store switch has been in the Use mode while on shore power and all lights have been shut off including the refrigerator.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:31 AM   #2
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Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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TEST the AS batteries, at going on 6yrs lead/acid may be due for replacement. Consider AGM or Lithium if the budget and SWMBO agree.

Bob
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:40 AM   #3
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That's unusual. Never heard of a trailer draining the tow vehicle battery while driving. I might suggest disconnecting the power wire (from truck to trailer) in the umbilical at the junction box inside the trailer. At least your truck battery shouldn't drain again.

Even when the trailer switch is set to "store" there are some small parasitic losses. But you were plugged into 110 the whole time so the converter should have kept the batteries charged. Try totally disconnecting the batteries. Unfortunately your batteries at this point are probably no good and will have to be replaced.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:01 AM   #4
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First of all, never leave your batteries connected to the charger for an extended period of time, with your 2016. In USE your charger is connected and, I feel certain, cooked your batteries. After you replace the batteries, you can charge them until charged, but your charger really doesn't float. If you are using the trailer, that is OK, but in storage it is better to just make sure everything is off or disconnect the batteries and put them on a maintainer. It is possible that the batteries had an internal short that put a very high drain on your truck when connected, although I would have thought the alternator could overcome that. However, I don't really know how those control circuits work in the truck.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:27 AM   #5
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Have converter tested. I had very similar issues. Problem solved.
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:06 AM   #6
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Check the water in the batteries..? They are shorted out
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:13 AM   #7
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The batteries are most likely cooked and shorted. New batteries and a better converter should be on you list to buy.

With you functional battery on the trailer, your emergency breaking is the trailer detaches will not function.
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Old 02-25-2021, 03:13 PM   #8
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2020 27' International
Neptune Beach , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny2 View Post
I am having an issue with my 2016 23FB draining the truck battery plus the onboard batteries.
When I drive for 4-5 hours and turn off the truck, it won't start and I need a jump. After unhooking from the trailer and getting the jump, truck battery is okay. In a few minutes I can shut it off and restart with no issues. I hook it back up to the Airstream and it happens again. This has happen the last 3 times I've been out. I thought it might be the truck so I took the 2018 F-150 to the dealer to get it checked out. They gave it a once over including testing the battery under load and everything came back good.

I hadn't been out since April 2020 and it has been parked on shore power 100% of the time. Last week I was going to move it to wash and wax it. After unplugging the 110, I tried to engage the power jack and there was nothing. I put a meter on the 2 batteries and they were dead. Both of these Interstate batteries were installed new in June of 2020.

What could this be? It appears something in the Airstream electrical system is malfunctioning.


PS: The Use/Store switch has been in the Use mode while on shore power and all lights have been shut off including the refrigerator.

Go on Youtube and look up Loloho. It's a youtube channel about airstreaming and they had the same issue. They had switched to lithium batteries and needed to upgrade the truck alternator.

NN
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:02 AM   #9
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Trailer Drain on Truck Batteries

Your F150 has a 'trailer tow battery charge' fuse located in the underhood power distribution box; it's a 25A fuse located in cavity #30. If you don't need that feature, you might try pulling the fuse. But...

There's a relay that should electrically disconnect the trailer once the truck is powered down to prevent battery drain, so you might confirm that by checking the voltages at the plug on the rear bumper. If you do get voltage at the plug with the truck not running, suspect that the relay's faulty or have your dealer check it out if you're still under warranty.
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:49 AM   #10
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You’re misunderstanding the problem. My secondary issue was the battery drain while on shorepower. My primary issue is It drains the truck battery while I am driving. And I have to stay plugged in to have the electronic trailer brakes and lighting on the trailer to operate.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:47 AM   #11
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Your trailer must have some serious short in there somehow. I would seem impossible for that small gauge power wire in the umbilical to be capable of drawing down the truck battery while under way. So something else. Do the trailer brake and turn signals, taillights, electric brakes, work correctly? Check the trailer battery, are the cables correctly attached to the positive and negative studs, they're not reversed by mistake?

I'm surprised your truck even runs when towing. To drain the truck battery while underway would mean the trailer is sucking every electron generated by the alternator and stored in the battery.
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