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Old 06-14-2016, 09:49 PM   #1
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Dead Battery!!

We took our first official trip to Grand Canyon in our X17Z, stayed in a wonderful Forest Service campground 4 miles south of the Canyon called TenX - one mile south of Tusayan. As seniors it cost us $5.00 a night - some of the sites are reservable, some are first come first served. We had a visit from very large male elk! Our trailer did great! So big after tent trailers with a bunch of kids.

Our battery went dead and we ran out of water. My question for you experienced TT owners is:

1.Have any of you solved your battery issues by either a small generator (Honda EU 1000 26 lbs), a larger battery or a solar panel? We pull with a Toyota Tacoma 4x4 and are counting pounds.

2. Is it best to leave some water in the tanks for storage? (Summer time storage) or let them be dry?

3. How does one find a place to weigh the rig? We are both curious.

Hoping to get it right next time.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:59 PM   #2
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We took our first official trip to Grand Canyon in our X17Z, stayed in a wonderful Forest Service campground 4 miles south of the Canyon called TenX - one mile south of Tusayan. As seniors it cost us $5.00 a night - some of the sites are reservable, some are first come first served. We had a visit from very large male elk! Our trailer did great! So big after tent trailers with a bunch of kids.

Our battery went dead and we ran out of water. My question for you experienced TT owners is:

1.Have any of you solved your battery issues by either a small generator (Honda EU 1000 26 lbs), a larger battery or a solar panel? We pull with a Toyota Tacoma 4x4 and are counting pounds.

2. Is it best to leave some water in the tanks for storage? (Summer time storage) or let them be dry?

3. How does one find a place to weigh the rig? We are both curious.

Hoping to get it right next time.
1) Many of us use a small generator and/or solar panels. If you don't do something like that you will always be running down your batteries. Although the EU1000 will work for most things, you might be right on the edge for running the microwave. A 2000 watt would be better. Note: even a 2000 will not run your air conditioner. Solar, is also an option although it requires a bit more planning.
2) I am not sure if there is a right or wrong for the water tank. I usually drain mine at the end of each trip. But I have heard others don't bother until the end of the season.
3) You can weigh the trailer at most truck stops. You will see the large CAT sign outside the truckstop. Often you can also go to some of the unused weigh stations along the highway and use them.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:26 PM   #3
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Not sure that a 1000watt generator will run the microwave. Our small 900watt High Point actually requires about 1350watts to run. We carry a 2000watt Champion which weighs about 46lbs. It will run the microwave with no other loads, and will run our smaller A/C unit. In a pinch you should be able to get some charge back into the battery by plugging in your 7-pin umbilical and idling the tow vehicle for a while.

As far as leaving water in the tanks - during the camping season I always keep a gallon or two in both the gray and black tanks plus a few gallons in the fresh water tank. We try and get out for a w/e trip at least once a month so I don't completely drain things until time to store for the winter.

You can find the closest CAT scale from your location by going here:

https://catscale.com/cat-scale-locator/

Key in your zip code or city/state details and it will show you locations close to you. Cost is about $10.
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:12 AM   #4
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As mentioned in the previous posts, there are a few different ways you can go Generator/SOLAR/TV). Whichever one you select, you need to purchase a Digital Voltage Display. A lot of new campers drain their batteries until nothing works or the fans are barely turning. At that point you have already caused damage to your battery. As odd as it sounds a 12 volt battery should be disconnected when you reach 12.1 volts (50% rule).

You can get a Digital Voltage Display on Amazon, there are a lot of different types that plug into your 12Volt Accessory outlet. You may need to look at adding an extra battery to meet your dry-camping needs, but you still need a way to recharge them.

Don
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:26 PM   #5
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Trailer Brakes!!

I came home from a week long adventure and then found my battery dead a few days after returning. The battery was completely drained despite having a solar panel, so I thought perhaps it was a battery malfunction. However, my backup battery also drained! I verified nothing was on and began thinking of a short, especially after using a volt meter and watching it precipitously going down. After an hour of troubleshooting, I found the safety plug on the trailer brakes had fallen out, probably by accidentally hitting it when disconnecting the TT. The brakes were properly squeezing to stop the trailer and killing my battery!!

At least I found another quick check when I experience battery trouble. Has anyone else have this issue?
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:41 PM   #6
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Colorado... Word is, if the plug is disconnected for too long it will start to melt.
You might want to give it a thorough check, or just buy a new one.
You wouldn't want a malfunction doing 60 mph and have the brakes lock up.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:35 PM   #7
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Colorado... Word is, if the plug is disconnected for too long it will start to melt.
You might want to give it a thorough check, or just buy a new one.
You wouldn't want a malfunction doing 60 mph and have the brakes lock up.
Wow! I didn't even think it that. I'll check it out. Thanks so much!
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:47 AM   #8
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1) solar panels are your best option.. NO NOISE.. no running for gas..
2) Keep your FW tank DRY.. don't want nasty stuff growing in there. Gray and Black don't matter
3) Many truck stops have weigh scales.. you pull onto the scale push the call button tell them who you are the drive off and go into the station to pick up your weigh slip.. then you can do it with just the trailer and again with just the tow vehicle.. cost is nominal.. MAKE SURE when you go to weigh the trailer and tow vehicle are loaded as if you are heading out to go camping.. that includes passengers..
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:55 PM   #9
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#1) recharging options. I am no expect in solar or generators. Both will work, with the right plan. I have been considering a small EU1000. They cost almost as much as a EU2000. The small EU1000, is good for general purpose, and recharging the battery, watching TV, an not much more. The benefit is its small size and light weight.

If we are out for more than 3 days without electric, we operate in a conservative mode. We flip the light switch on for the ceiling lights, then go to each light fixture and turn them off. When we need light we just flip the one on we need, and not all of them. Now with LEDs it not quite as critical, but each LED still uses power. Motors consume a huge amount of power, the furnace is the worst. One cold night with the furnace on will drain your battery down to 50% charge.

#2 Drain the tanks dry or not? The FW (fresk water) tank is fully drained. If it will only be a few weeks before the next adventure, I'll leave water in the lines and water heater. Otherwise I pull the low point drains and open a faucet to drain them too. Some well water really smells after a few weeks.

As for the grey and black tanks. Expect for the winter (drained dry), I always keep a few gallons of water in each tank. I found this helps keep any odors to a minimum, as the bacteria in the tank is kept healthy and there is no or minimal bacterial blooms. Also in the black tank if the TP and poop pyramid dries, it is much harder to clean/drain the tank, as the debris sticks to the walls, sensors, gate valves, etc. So I always keep a few gallons of water in each tank. My tanks are fairly small like yours.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:25 PM   #10
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That really bad thing that has happened is your battery got run down probably to ZERO charge capacity (below 10.5VDC)... when this happens it drives a nail in the battery life coffin. They are never really the same after being discharged beyond that point. This is why you hear about everyone saying don't reduce the charge below 50% charge state which is apprx 12.0VDC,,,

Alot of us my self included really watches our batteries and know when to pull the plug on them to save them. I for one just can't afford to buy a new battery after every trip haha...

This is where you planning comes into play... You will want to beef up your battery capacity to cover what you all want to do when camping and then you will want to plan on what the best route for you is going to be to keep the batteries in a charged up state...

When my battery bank gets down to the 12.0VDC and I am not in a place where I can run my 2KW Honda Generator I will will disconnect my batteries until such timeI can get them re-charged back up to the 90% charge state. This takes me around 3-4 hours of running my generator to accomplish this... I can do some 10-12 of these 50% to 90% charge cycles without doing any damage to my batteries but after that I have to re-charge them to a full 100% charge state which in my case will take around 12 hours of charging... Like to do that at home so I plan my short trips around here not to exceed 10-12 days being OFF-ROAD... 12 hours is too long to run my generator in one run time period

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