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Old 08-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #1
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Dead Battery

Hi everyone, I have a question about the 12 volt system. I removed the battery to charge it up (it was dead) when the battery is out and the trailer is plugged in should any 12v lights work?

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Old 08-02-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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Yes, if plugged in to 120V your inverter should provide lights. However, it is highly not recommended that you ever run the inverter w/o a battery as your voltage fluctuates wildly. I have read that it can damage destroy your circuit boards on items such as your refrig, heating system etc. and if true, these are all expensive repairs.

I'm sure others will weigh in soon.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:11 PM   #3
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I have heard various things on running w/o a battery. I would say that if you choose to, make very sure that your positive battery leads don't accidentally touch the frame or any grounded part of the trailer.

I also had a problem with a corroded battery connection so it was essentially disconnected. I could not get my water heater to fire up, so I imagine w/o the battery that some AC is making it into the DC system and causing issues.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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I'm not trying to run without a battery. When I remove the battery and have the trailer plugged into shore power, I have no 12 volt lights. My thinking is that the converter is not working or a fuse is bad. This would explain the battery going dead.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exp19h View Post
I'm not trying to run without a battery. When I remove the battery and have the trailer plugged into shore power, I have no 12 volt lights. My thinking is that the converter is not working or a fuse is bad. This would explain the battery going dead.
If the 12V lights work w/battery and do not w/o, sounds very logical to me that your inverter is bad. We replaced one recently in my son's RV, very easy job to do.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exp19h View Post
I'm not trying to run without a battery. When I remove the battery and have the trailer plugged into shore power, I have no 12 volt lights. My thinking is that the converter is not working or a fuse is bad. This would explain the battery going dead.
If that is the case then it sounds to me like your Converter is bad. The fuses protect the battery, so if you get no lights with shore power - chances are your converter is bad. And I believe you said the lights work with a battery, so that indicates your fuses are good. Double check your 120 volt breaker that powers the converter just to be sure - that is really the only failure point.

As a stopgap - you can hook an external battery charger to your house battery and plug it into your shore power. That will at least keep you camping until you can get a new converter.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:58 AM   #7
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However, it is highly not recommended that you ever run the inverter w/o a battery as your voltage fluctuates wildly. I have read that it can damage destroy your circuit boards on items such as your refrig, heating system etc. and if true, these are all expensive repairs.

I'm sure others will weigh in soon.
I believe that this only applies to very old power converters that still use the battery to make the output smoother.
Any newer models don't need that. In fact, my Jayco trailer mentions the battery as being a "dealer installed option".
I contacted both Jayco and Progressive Dynamics (the power center maker) with this very question. Both replied that it is perfectly fine to run the power center and loads in the trailer without a battery.
In some trailers, there may be one exception: if you have a heavy slide with a big motor and a small power center, the power center alone *may* not be able to supply the starting amps of that this motor needs. In that case, a battery may be needed to help.
So I would not run the slide motor (if you have one) unless you are sure it draws less than the power center rating on startup. But, for everything else, it is just fine to run without a battery.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #8
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Another suggestion for battery life, install a battery cut off switch. I mounted mine on the cover plate of the 4x4 box on the front of the trailer frame just left of the tongue Works great, battery stays charged all the time when the trailer is not in use. Don't forget to turn the battery's off, if you store without shore power.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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2012X19H as far as the " dearler installed option" goes, if you have a breakaway disconnect for your breaks the battewry is a must and a law I think.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:56 PM   #10
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sorry for the misspelling " brakes" & battery"
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