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Old 07-01-2019, 12:36 PM   #1
Drewandkaitlynwood
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2012 Keystone Cougar 29RBK - Electrical Issues - Battery Dying when Disconnect is OFF

Good afternoon, I am hoping someone can shed some light on an issue we are having with our 2012 Keystone Cougar 29RBK. We purchased this used in May, so it is basically new to us. We are having an issue with the battery dying when in storage. Here is what we know about it.

The battery is New with a sticker of 5/19 - installed by Camping World
The Converter is New - installed by Camping World when we bought it

We have taken it out 1 time - Memorial Day. We bought it beginning of May and had it parked at my in-laws' ranch until we hooked up to it to go camping. At that time the battery was dead. The battery disconnect was switched off - so that the battery wouldn't die...but it was still dead. I could not get the powered jack to raise the camper until I plugged my shoreline into a standard outlet using an adapter...At the time I didn't think much of it, other than maybe I forgot to switch the disconnect to the correct position when I parked it after the last use.

Fast forward to Friday. I went back to their property to hook up and pull the camper out and the battery was dead. This time I KNOW I disconnected the battery. I made sure of it. Yesterday, we installed a 30 amp circuit and a RV plug to the side of their house and plugged up the camper. The battery charged no problem, so my first thought was to have the battery inspected to make sure it didn't have any bad cells. We started checking connections to find that something was pulling 9 amps off the battery. With the main breaker off and ALL fuses removed, something is still pulling 9 amps. We tested it with the battery disconnect on and off.

My father-in-law is a jack of all trades and knows a lot about electrical stuff (thankfully so, because I do not. But I have a decent understanding). He is stumped. I am in the process of getting it back to Camping World to be inspected, but thought I'd ask on here if anyone would have a clue as to what could be causing this.

Also, now the powered jack will not raise, but only lower. It is connected to the battery, so I though maybe that was doing it, but we disconnected it and that wasn't it.

Thanks in advance, hopefully it's a simple fix.

-Drew
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:56 PM   #2
JRTJH
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There are standard equipment items installed in the trailer that, by RVIA (industry oversite organization) standards are required to remain powered at all times. Those items are essentially the safety monitors in the trailer (LPG detector, CO monitor and in some trailers, the fire/smoke detectors). Additionally, the tongue jack, slide motors, awning motor (if you have a power awning), the memory circuits and backlight in your stereo system and the safety break-away switch (to activate trailer brakes in the event of a hitch separation).

All of those items essentially "bypass" the trailer battery cutoff switch. I'm surprised that you have a 9 amp draw, as usually those items only draw about 1-2 amps maximum. I can't explain your increased amperage drain, but you might have a corroded break-away switch and, in a 6 or 7 year old trailer, your LPG and CO monitors may be "at the end of their useful life" which normally is about the 5 year mark.

Many of us (me included) have installed a second battery cutoff switch at the negative cable on the battery. That switch, when activated, completely removes ALL power from the battery and cuts off ALL drains from the trailer to the battery. That's the only way you'll be able to remove ALL power. The OEM battery cutoff switch does not turn off all equipment in the trailer.

As a note, there is some discussion whether to connect a second battery cutoff switch to the positive or to the negative cable. That discussion does get "heated" at times, so be prepared for this to occur as a response to my comment that I attached my BCO to the negative cable... I'm sure that almost immediately, you'll get a response that says, "NO NO NO, always use the positive cable to disconnect the battery from your trailer....

For the most part, either the positive OR the negative cable will work the same and provide a means to protect your battery from being drained within a few days of being placed in storage.

It's up to you which cable to wire to the switch, but it's completely "normal" for the battery cutoff switch to NOT cut all power to the trailer, only SOME equipment is affected and your battery WILL completely discharge in "short order" (usually within 5 or 6 days).....
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:22 PM   #3
travelin texans
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Put me down under the "negative cable" column. Been doing so for 40+ years with every rv, never had an issue from doing so.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:14 PM   #4
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Also, once a battery is drawn down extremely low, it is probably toast, or at least will never charge up close to the level it would when new.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:36 PM   #5
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I put 2 battery disconnects on my battery. One positive, one negative. There, argue with that and leave John alone.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:44 PM   #6
cerbyg
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Same Issue

I have a brand new 2019 Cougar 26RBS. I've only had for a couple of months.

First time I used it, it has sat in storage for about 4 weeks. No issues with Battery.

Second use, it had set for less than three weeks. Went to pick it up and the battery was dead (could not use the electric jack). There is no electric available at the storage lot so, after having it plugged into my car for a while, I was able to get the jack to work.

The factory cutoff switch was off and the key removed. As stated above, that evidently didn't make a difference.

Interesting that my battery box was nearly half-full of water. While we did get a lot of rain during that period, I cannot figure out how water got in there. I did check the battery cells and they were full...so it wasn't a battery leak.

I'm thinking about a cutoff switch. For those of you that installed one, where did you mount it? On the trailer hitch or some place else? Also, if you care to tell me what brand/model worked for you, that would be great.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for the responses! We were able to get the battery to charge to full, which is good. I am thinking I will install a 2nd disconnect at the battery, but in the mean time I am going to take it back to Camping World and have them check it out. I feel like 9 amps is WAY too much to be pulling when sitting there and nothing be on...
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:19 AM   #8
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There's a reason why auto manufacturers tell you to disconnect the negative post when repairing/replacing energized parts. Please don't ask me the reason
(I don't really want the answer)
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewandkaitlynwood View Post
Thanks for the responses! We were able to get the battery to charge to full, which is good. I am thinking I will install a 2nd disconnect at the battery, but in the mean time I am going to take it back to Camping World and have them check it out. I feel like 9 amps is WAY too much to be pulling when sitting there and nothing be on...
If your able to hook up a DC amp meter, then just start pulling fuses one at a time. That’s pretty much what CW is going to do, but they will charge you $$/hr.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:44 AM   #10
Drewandkaitlynwood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckster57 View Post
If your able to hook up a DC amp meter, then just start pulling fuses one at a time. That’s pretty much what CW is going to do, but they will charge you $$/hr.
We’ve done this. With all fuses out, it is still pulling 9 amps. I bought a warranty when we bought the camper so we’re hoping that covers this problem.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewandkaitlynwood View Post
We’ve done this. With all fuses out, it is still pulling 9 amps. I bought a warranty when we bought the camper so we’re hoping that covers this problem.
If you're drawing 9 amps with the disconnect open I'd look closely at the breakaway switch and make sure the pin is not pulled out. There's not many loads that would draw that kind of amperage without you being able to hear or smell something.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:29 AM   #12
Drewandkaitlynwood
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Originally Posted by Steveo57 View Post
If you're drawing 9 amps with the disconnect open I'd look closely at the breakaway switch and make sure the pin is not pulled out. There's not many loads that would draw that kind of amperage without you being able to hear or smell something.
I'll take a look at this today. We are stumped at what could be pulling so much amperage.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:22 AM   #13
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You can also follow the wires from the battery. The positive side of the battery will connect to one or two autoreset breakers right under the front of the trailer on the tongue. You can lift the wires there and see if that isolates it.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:05 AM   #14
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If you're going to have to pay to have the problem isolated/found I would do what Steve suggested. If you've pulled all the fuses there aren't a lot of places a 9A draw will come from - breakaway switch being first thought. If not, start disconnecting/tracing.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:05 AM   #15
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One more vote for the breakaway. It's either that or a short in the system somewhere. I'd disconnect power to the breakaway and see what amps are being pulled then.
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