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Old 02-27-2024, 08:16 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2018 16' Sport
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Battery Drain?

I have not had luck with keeping my battery charged in our 16’ Bambi Sport. Anytime it is not hooked to shore power, it completely drains. I purchase a marine grade battery and a year latter it is trash. How can I check for an electrical drain or troubleshoot this problem? Has anyone else had this problem recently?
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Old 02-27-2024, 08:53 AM   #2
Rivet Master
1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3,161
There are phantom draws even with set to store position that will run batteries dead in 2-3 weeks on most trailers. Adding a true battery disconnect switch to eliminate them will help. A couple common ones are the propane detector, the inverter and sometimes the sub-woofer.
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Old 02-27-2024, 08:58 AM   #3

2003 25' Classic
Houstatlantavegas , Malebolgia
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Welcome Aboard...

It is a well-researched concern.

The easiest fix...a battery isolation switch.

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I’m done with ‘adulting’…Let’s go find Bigfoot.
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Old 02-27-2024, 12:06 PM   #4
Rivet Master
2007 16' International CCD
Vintage Kin Owner
Somewhere , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,576
It’s complicated. You might get more specific responses if you provide us with more information: what type of battery (regular lead acid, AGM, lithium?), size of battery in Ah, how long does it take to draw down, how is use/store switch set?

For starters, all batteries lose voltage over time even if they are not hooked to anything — the rate depends on battery chemistry. The Airstream use/store switch is not a true disconnect switch, it leaves several things powered. Once a lead acid battery is run down too far (your description “completely drains”) it loses ability to hold a charge.

To know what is going on you need a shunt based battery monitor like a Victron 712 and to troubleshoot you will need a multi meter. Or, professional help!
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Old 02-27-2024, 01:09 PM   #5
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2023 25' Globetrotter
2021 16' Bambi
Forest Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 902
More detail, if you are consistently draining a lead-acid battery below 50%, damage occurs and it will eventually no longer keep a charge. The only way to know is to either watch the voltage carefully (50% is something like 11V) or install a battery monitor/shunt as @f&s describes.

In our dearly departed 16' Bambi, we originally had AGM batteries and didn't have a clue what their charge state was until I put the shunt in. It wasn't too difficult installing it in the rats nest under the dinette seat. We also found out that we used a lot more electricity than we thought and the next year put in lithium batteries.

Also, with parasitic loads, a switch is nice as @wazbro says but if you're storing for any length of time remove the batteries and keep them on a trickle charger (lead-acid) or disconnect the negative.
2023 Globetrotter 25FBT "Curly"
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Old 02-27-2024, 06:45 PM   #6
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2008 22' Safari
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2,980
This association of forum participants really should get a commission for selling battery systems that are largely unneeded and unnecessary.

It’s unimportant what type battery the OP has if there is a constant parasitic drain on the system…. He/She merely needs to discover the drain and isolate it.

A true battery disconnect is a good solution … and completely irrelevant as for type of battery.
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