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Old 06-09-2011, 08:01 AM   #1
fish8it
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Question Dry camping dead battery

I have a 2011 Cougar 326MKS with one group 24 interstate battery. I am only able to a half day before I have to charge my battery with my generator. The dealer where I bought it seems to think I need additional batteries but I still question how a battery could go dead overnight without using any power such as the interior lights. I am trying to find out what all uses battery power while the trailer is parked. I know the refrigerator uses allot and refrigerator cooling fan must also use allot. I hear the fan running during the day when it is hot but do not hear it so much at night. Anyway, every RV I have owned I have been able to go several days without charging the battery.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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That does seem quick. I've dry camped all weekend without having to recharge. It sounds like you might have a draw.

I know I've left my antenna booster on by mistake and it draws a fair bit (I'm thinking .5 amp).

There is a tool out there that you can plug in in place of a fuse to see what the circuit is drawing, or just put an ammeter in place of the fuse.

It does seem like you have something drawing more than just the fridge.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
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my experience is that the dealer puts in the least expensive 12v battery they can get, and not specifically designed for high draw. Go to Sams Club, get Two 6V golf cart batteries , hook them in series, and your good to go.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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I have dry camped for 5 days w/o charging w/2 6v golf cart batteries.

A 1/2 day on a single 12v seems very fast. Do you have any power inverters that might be running? Also, is your fridge a 3 way? If so make sure you are in propane mode and not 12v.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:27 PM   #5
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Your fridge should not draw that much from your battery.......BUT...... Not sure if you have noticed, but there may be a Climate Control Switch on certain Dometic models that should be turned OFF when you are not plugged in and utilizing your battery only. This small rocker switch is located on the right-hand side below the top front display/control panel. Check your fridge manual for the location and function of this switch.
Not all campers know about this little devil and are puzzled why their battery runs down so quickly--- this could be the cause.
When dry camping, turn it OFF. When plugged in, turn it ON. All it does is control the humidity level in your fridge and if it is turned off, your fridge will still work quite well!
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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Thanks Festus2, I didn't know that climate control switch was hidden there. Just turned mine on (now I have to remember to turn it off). I wonder what the logic was to hide that switch rather than put it on the front control panel considering it can drain the battery. Learn something new every day!
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:58 AM   #7
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We have 2 marine deep cycle batteries for our travels and have dry-camped up to 7 days at Custer SP in S. Dakota. We didn't want to take a change with one battery ever in case it went bad.

Happy Camping.

Jo
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:29 AM   #8
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Switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Festus2 View Post
Your fridge should not draw that much from your battery.......BUT...... Not sure if you have noticed, but there is a Climate Control Switch on your fridge (Dometic) that should be turned OFF when you are not plugged in and utilizing your battery only. This small rocker switch is located on the right-hand side below the top front display/control panel. Check your fridge manual for the location and function of this switch.
Not all campers know about this little devil and are puzzled why their battery runs down so quickly--- this could be the cause.
When dry camping, turn it OFF. When plugged in, turn it ON. All it does is control the humidity level in your fridge and if it is turned off, your fridge will still work quite well!
Do all Dometic fridges have this switch? I can't seem to locate it in either the manual or on the unit.

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Old 06-10-2011, 05:52 AM   #9
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Dave:
Not sure whether or not all Dometic fridges have this Climate Control Switch. Ours is 2008 model so perhaps the newer ones (or some models) do not have one or this feature. If it isn't mentioned in your Manual, then it appears as though you may not have such a switch.

I just checked on the Dometic website and the following models have the Climate Control feature :
DM2652, DM2662-63, DM2852, DM2862, DM3862, NDM1062, NDR1292.

In the user manual for these models, it states that "when turned on, the Climate Control will draw 12VDC continuously. Turn off when a charging source is not available".

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:34 AM   #10
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The switch (if you have it) is hidden, you have to open the freezer door to see it. Ours is on the right side above the freezer door. Here's the manual for the RM2652/2852 and I have highlighted the switch's location. http://eaa1358.com/Passport/Refriger...0Operation.pdf
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Festus2 View Post
Dave:
I just checked on the Dometic website and the following models have the Climate Control feature :
DM2652, DM2662-63, DM2852, DM2862, DM3862, NDM1062, NDR1292.

Hope this helps.
I have a DM2652LBX and no switch. I even took the top panel that has the controller off looking for it. No switch, no wires. There is what appears to be a knock-out in that location to mount something though. Again, I am assuming that if I open the freezer it would be above the freezer opening just below and right of the control panel. A rocker switch facing down. Correct?

EDIT/UPDATE: Oops, my bad. I was looking at the installation manual last night. According to the owners manual the 2652 does not have this feature and there would be an indicator on the panel if it did. No worries. I didn't realize how basic my controller is until I looked at the upscale models. Don't need it if I didn't know it existed

Thanks
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:25 AM   #12
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Our new Cougar came with two 12-volt batteries and they would discharge about 40% overnight on our first trip when only using the refrigerator. Turned out that one battery had a dead cell and the other one was "borderline" according to the dealer. The dealer replaced both batteries and the problem went away.

Note that at first, the dealer said they had checked for draws and checked the batteries and everything was fine. As this made no sense, I asked them to check again. This time they found the bad batteries. You definitely have to push back when your dealer is obviously wrong.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:44 PM   #13
fish8it
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Thanks everyone for replying to my battery issue. Trailer is currently at the Dealer and hopefully (fingers crossed) I will get it back soon. I will let everyone know what the outcome was. I really hope they find the problem. I have never, never, never had a battery go dead in a half day.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #14
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Battery Dead....Fridge too???

Hello all,

Still new to the trailering game, and this past weekend while dry camping and when our older battery went dead (was expecting this), the LP portion of the fridge stopped working as well.....thus my beer wasn't staying cold

Does there absolutely need to be battery power in order to run the fridge on propane??

My fridge model is DM2652, but there is nothing helpful in it's owners manual with respect to LP operation only.

Thanks,
Ziggy
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:59 AM   #15
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12v is needed to operate the gas valve.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:51 PM   #16
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Talking Shame on you Ziggy

Ziggy, shame on you for letting your beer get warm. You must always have a back up called "ICE". Either that or drink it really fast.
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:23 PM   #17
Rich of Des Moines
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Duration of Recharge?

Newbie here takin' notes...Can anyone tell me how long (estimate) it takes to charge a battery off an alternator (1994 v8 Dodge ram van)? I'm hoping to only run a laptop, a few lights, maybe a small stereo 9 hrs a day (im probably getting a gel battery, hopefully a marine 12v). What I'm up against is 2-4 hrs drive-time, to (hopefully) 9 hrs (or more) of power.

I'm a musician traveling on his own, and am really trying hard to figure this out. i know technically ill have to do math, but some basic estimates would be very much appreciated.

Thank You.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:24 PM   #18
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About 2 Hours

I recently had to charge two 12v deep cycle marine batteries on my Cougar with my 2007 Escalade. I was able to take them from 50% to 90% charged in 1 hour and 45 minutes with the Escalade idling. I think it would have taken at least as long to go from 90% to 100%.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:08 AM   #19
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that time can and will vary wildly, depending on the size of the wire from the truck to trailer plug, and the rpm of the engine (driving vs idle).
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:15 PM   #20
KMH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txoutback View Post
I have a DM2652LBX and no switch. I even took the top panel that has the controller off looking for it. No switch, no wires. There is what appears to be a knock-out in that location to mount something though. Again, I am assuming that if I open the freezer it would be above the freezer opening just below and right of the control panel. A rocker switch facing down. Correct?

EDIT/UPDATE: Oops, my bad. I was looking at the installation manual last night. According to the owners manual the 2652 does not have this feature and there would be an indicator on the panel if it did. No worries. I didn't realize how basic my controller is until I looked at the upscale models. Don't need it if I didn't know it existed

Thanks
I know that this is an ancient thread, but wanted to clarify that the 2652 model does have his feature, he manufacturer just removed the switch and the ability to shut it off. Feel the frame between the fridge and freezer while it is on, and it will feel warm.

I installed a rocker switch on the light housing, where the thicker gauge red wire that powers the heater runs parallel with the fridge light. Dometic just got cheap, and didn't think about those of us who dry camp regularly.
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