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Old 03-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
Jorme
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Possible battery issues....need help

I have always run 2 12v batteries in my trailers......Well after my batteries went completely dead after a couple of months sitting last year, I decided to put 2 6v batteries in because of all of the dry camping we have been doing. Well, here is my issue. When I put them in, brand new, my battery gauge in the trailer read 2/3 and as soon as I would turn a light on, would drop to E. So I charged them up to where the meter read full. Turned on a light and it dropped to 1/3. I unplugged the charger last week after a full charge and didnt plug the trailer in to shore power. Yesterday batteries read E. So I plugged the trailer in and went out tonight with the trailer plugged in and the meter still reads E.

Is it the 6v batteries acting up, or is something else going on??
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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I believe that the battery monitor bases its readings off battery voltage. My wild guess is that the 6V batteries aren’t putting out 12.75 volts the monitor is expecting. Have you measured your battery connection with a voltmeter? This should be your first step.

http://www.sandiegorvandgolfcartbatt...batteries.html

Or maybe you hooked the 6V batteries in parallel like your 12V batteries were, instead of serial.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sdayman View Post
I believe that the battery monitor bases its readings off battery voltage. My wild guess is that the 6V batteries arenít putting out 12.75 volts the monitor is expecting. Have you measured your battery connection with a voltmeter? This should be your first step.

http://www.sandiegorvandgolfcartbatt...batteries.html

Or maybe you hooked the 6V batteries in parallel like your 12V batteries were, instead of serial.
They are definitely in series. I will check the outgoing voltage on them. What would explain why the trailer meter would read full, then a couple days later read empty?
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:28 PM   #4
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They are definitely in series. I will check the outgoing voltage on them. What would explain why the trailer meter would read full, then a couple days later read empty?
1 more thing.......why wouldn't the batteries have recharged after 2 days of the trailer being lugged in?
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #5
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Something could be left on and draining the battery. It could even be something you never see, like a storage compartment light. I believe that the fuses are for the 12V devices, and removing them would eliminate any drain on the batteries. But that’s just a hunch.

What trailer do you have? Mine has a new charging system which works pretty well. Some trailer converters are pretty primitive for charging batteries and do a poor job of topping off the batteries.

The other possibility is that one or both of your batteries are faulty. When you do your voltage test, completely disconnect the batteries from the trailer and test them one at a time, then measure total voltage.

EDIT: Oh, I just read you’re using an external charger. You’re charging both batteries in series at 12V? Have you tried charging by plugging into shore power and letting the trailer charge the batteries?
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
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Oh, and have you checked the water levels in your batteries?
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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Not sure about your unit but when I am connected to shore power, the monitor (Battery) always reads "Full" - no matter what the actual charge on the batteries is. If the batteries go down to say 75% charge and I am not plugged in, the monitor will read 3/4 full. As soon as I hook up to 110v, the monitor will read fully charged even though the batteries have not yet reached their fully-charged state.
You might want to take a hydrometer and check the SG in the 6v's while you are taking a reading with a voltmeter (should have some kind of load on the batteries).
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sdayman View Post
Something could be left on and draining the battery. It could even be something you never see, like a storage compartment light. I believe that the fuses are for the 12V devices, and removing them would eliminate any drain on the batteries. But thatís just a hunch.

What trailer do you have? Mine has a new charging system which works pretty well. Some trailer converters are pretty primitive for charging batteries and do a poor job of topping off the batteries.

The other possibility is that one or both of your batteries are faulty. When you do your voltage test, completely disconnect the batteries from the trailer and test them one at a time, then measure total voltage.

EDIT: Oh, I just read youíre using an external charger. Youíre charging both batteries in series at 12V? Have you tried charging by plugging into shore power and letting the trailer charge the batteries?
I have a 2005 Copper Canyon 28fwbhs. The shore power has been plugged in for 2 days and the battery monitor in the trailer reads E
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:56 PM   #9
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Oh, and have you checked the water levels in your batteries?
Yes.....both full
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Festus2 View Post
Not sure about your unit but when I am connected to shore power, the monitor (Battery) always reads "Full" - no matter what the actual charge on the batteries is. If the batteries go down to say 75% charge and I am not plugged in, the monitor will read 3/4 full. As soon as I hook up to 110v, the monitor will read fully charged even though the batteries have not yet reached their fully-charged state.
You might want to take a hydrometer and check the SG in the 6v's while you are taking a reading with a voltmeter (should have some kind of load on the batteries).
With the 12v batteries it has always read Full when plugged in also..Now with the 6v, it reads E.

I am 1/2 tempted to just put 12v back in and see if that solves the issue. The one thing that is puzzling me is why did my 12v batts go completely dead in just 2 months after using it. I am gonna have to do some digging to make sure nothing is left on anywhere.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:55 AM   #11
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Some things are on all the time unless you disconnect them. Your radio/CD player console light, the propane leak detector. These two items stay on all the time unless you pull the fuse. Its called residual draw. Other things could be the culprit if left on but they should be obvious.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:43 AM   #12
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Think a battery disconnect switch would be my first fix. Then let them fully charge for a couple days on your external charger. Bring them up to full charge (check with a external hand held meter About $10) and then check them a few days to a week later.

If they are maintaining the charge, it's not the batteries. If they are drained significantly, you may have a couple bad batteries although it's unlikely since you were having similar problems with the 12v batteries. Willing to bet it is your radio and the CO/Propane and smoke alarm all drawing power along with any 12v llight or another 12v draw somewhere your not aware of that you may have left on. Even if there is no light on, those 4 items drawing could potentially be enough to drain your batteries in a few days.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:27 AM   #13
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Hi you have gotten good answers but thereis always a but. maybe take the batteries to a garage and have the load checked on a good load tester not a toster type you may have a problem with one of the batteries. what is the rating in CCA cold cranking amps the more the better. You may find you have a bad cell. good luck
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:37 AM   #14
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If you are plugged into shore power and your batteries are not charging I would check to see if your converter is putting out a charge. Unhook your battery leads and check leads with voltage meter while trailer is plugged into shore power. You should be getting a reading of around 14 volts if your not I would check your fuses and/or the breaker for the coverter, I would also check the 120v connection to the converter to make sure you don't have any loose wires. If all of this checks out then I would try charging each battery separately with a 6v/12v battery charger and then monitor the voltage after the charger is removed. If the voltage stays steady with no draw on the battery say for several hours then I would say batteries are good. I would then look into maybe a bad ground or a short in the battery leads going to the converter. We had a similar problem and it ended up being our converter had gone bad. We were able to charge battery by plugging into truck and running truck but would not charge while trailer was plugged into shore and 12v would not work with battery disconnected. Another sign that there is a converter problem would be if you unhook battery while plugged in and you have no 12v power. I hope this gives you some ideas and helps you find your problem.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:40 AM   #15
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With a 5 year old trailer, you've probably also got a 5 year old converter/charger. If, as you say, when plugged into shore power, your status indicator shows the batteries as "less than fully charged" then I'd suspect you've got either a bad converter or a blown fuse in the converter.

Remove the batteries and disconnect trailer shore power, take the front off of the converter, and you'll find two big 12V fuses. They will be either 30 Amps or 40 Amps. when you were changing out the batteries, you may have touched a ground and blown a fuse or if you may have inadvertently hooked the batteries up backwards initially, those fuses are there to protect against "reverse current" to save your converter.

If those fuses (one or both) are bad, then you will not charge the batteries, but will have what power is in the batteries available to run the 12 VDC trailer function.

If those fuses are good, then plug in the converter and check its output, should be about 13 VDC... be CAREFUL !!! There are live 120VAC connections exposed when the front cover is off the converter!!!!

if that's all good, then reconnect the batteries and see if things work. Doublecheck all the electrical connections to the batteries, Keystone puts a couple of circuit breakers (autoreset) in those lines, so you might have a loose connection in the wiring from moving it around when you were changing out batteries.

When connected to shore power, the status light on your monitor panel should ALWAYS show your 12VDC status as 4/4 or "full"
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:37 AM   #16
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Battery issue

If your battery is OK, then I would start with this:

http://www.wikihow.com/Find-a-Parasitic-Battery-Drain

Then get one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002OR4242/...SIN=B002OR4242

Converter/chargers have come a long way in 5 years. Your golf car batteries should not be acting like that...
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:00 PM   #17
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Ok, little update. Batteries have been on the charger for a couple of days. Output on batteries reads 13.06v and trailer monitor reads full. Turn on 1 set of lights, trailer monitor reads 2/3 and output on batteries dropped to 12.85v. Turned on every light, fan, accessory in the trailer, monitor reads E and output on batteries dropped to 12.65.

Next step, I unhooked the trailer from the batteries and left the batteries hooked to each other, battery output was 12.9v. Unhooked the batteries from each other and 1 battery reads 6.41v and the other is 6.38v.

Going to leave them unhooked for a couple days and read them then.

Here is my question.....where is the converter on my trailer? 2005 copper canyon 297fwbhs.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #18
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In most RV's, the converter is located at floor level and has a louvered panel at the front. It is usually close to the input coming in from your shore power and when it is "running" , you may be able to hear a humming sound coming from its internal fan at times.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:36 PM   #19
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In most RV's, the converter is located at floor level and has a louvered panel at the front. It is usually close to the input coming in from your shore power and when it is "running" , you may be able to hear a humming sound coming from its internal fan at times.
Ok didn't realize the converter was in the same panel with all of the fuses. Makes sense now.

Ok...found the 2 40amp fuses. There are 2 burn marks on the sides of one of them, but there is still continuity in the fuse. Going to replace it.




Worst part of this whole thing is I'm a car guy and it's really annoying me that I can't figure this electrical out. UGH!!!!!




And upon further review.....shore power connected to the trailer, I have 0v going to the terminals that connect to the batteries.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #20
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My guess (only a guess) those two fuses that you found the burn marks on were supposed to blow to protect the diodes in your converter/charger. Apparently, if you have 0VDC out from the converter, you won't charge your batteries. I'd suppose the fuses failed to protect against a short/reverse polarity and you fried the converter. You can buy a replacement to fit the existing power supply from your dealer or from most online RV supply sources. I'd advise, if you're not familiar with what you have and what to replace it with, it'd probably be wisest to consult your dealer with the name, part number and serial number of your power supply and let him suggest which replacement to buy. Once it arrives, it really is simple to take the old one out and install the new one.

If you want to assure that the batteries are working, put them on a 12VDC charger (wired in series) and charge them for 12-14 hours. Once they are charged, reinstall in the RV and turn on lights, check your voltage monitor, it should show 4/4 llights initially and after time (30 min to 60 min of continuous use) should drop down to 3/4 lights Hope this helps, PM me if you have questions,
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