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Old 08-09-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
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Adventure with Battery and Generator

Learned a valuable lesson while camping without hook ups this weekend. Always make sure your Generator is working correctly before you leave home. I made the dumb assumption that it was fine, only to find out that I had some bad gas and it didn't work. That said how long do most batteries last? I arrived at my destination on Friday at 2pm. By Sunday morning the battery was dead. It is only a year old and it is a RV/Marine battery. We did not over use things since my generator wasn't working as of Saturday afternoon. I kind of figured I would get through the weekend, but nope. Any thoughts?

P.S. DW would like to know if we should store our trailer with the refridgerator door open. It smells every time we pick it up from storage.
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:53 PM   #2
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What trailer do you have? How big is your battery? If you dry camp frequently, you might consider replacing your battery for two 6 volt golf cart batteries. This will increase your capacity for your electrical. If you don't have them in your rig already, consider changing your interior lights to LEDs. The battery will also last mucho longer!

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Old 08-09-2015, 04:58 PM   #3
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Fridge door open for sure.
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Old 08-09-2015, 05:08 PM   #4
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DW has already ordered the LED lights. Sounds like a good first step
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Old 08-09-2015, 05:28 PM   #5
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With furnace, 24 hrs per group 24 battery. Without furnace, you might push it to 48hrs per group 24 with careful use.

We store with fridge door open
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:58 PM   #6
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Same thing happened to me, I've plugged the trailer into the truck with the engine running for a half hour twice a day, went five days like this with a stock battery, refrigerator door always opened with a fridge off, no smell at all
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:38 PM   #7
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Plug trailer into truck and it should charge your batteries while your vehicle runs
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:37 PM   #8
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Something is wrong somewhere.
A battery should last more than just two days during the summer. Especially if you were being conservative. We have gone far more days and only dropped the battery down to the 12.1 volt range. During spring/fall if you are using the furnace, you will suck the battery dry in no time at all.

Was it fully charged when you began your trip?
Are the cells full up with water?
What appliances (radio, TV, lights, etc) were you using and how often?
A 1 yr old battery should be good, unless it was abused. Somewhere there is a problem, either with the battery, or with the amount of use you placed on it.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:46 PM   #9
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Typically, plugging into your tow vehicle won't give much more than a trickle charge. I have charged camper batteries by using a good set of jumper cables with heavy gauge wire. For your fridge, door open is probably a good way to go. I would also recommend cleaning it before storage with a cleaner, and maybe using either one of those Arm and Hammer baking soda things in the fridge and freezer, or, if you are cheap like me, some left over charcoal briquets in an old sock. Either will help soak up the odors.

As far as battery use, there is not yet enough information to determine whether the battery should or should not have lasted. Were you using a lot of lights? Did you run any kind of inverter from the battery, maybe for a fan? If you are doing a lot of camping without electric, I would recommend upping your available amp hours, either by adding a second battery, going with the two 6 volts, or swapping batteries out with a tow vehicle battery (I had a set up where I could charge a battery in the back of the truck while we drove around, then I could swap the low battery for a fresh one as needed).
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:23 PM   #10
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Incandescent lights will gobble up battery power. The refer and WH both use battery even on LP. Water pump uses a bunch if you run it for long. If you leave out the breakaway plunger the battery will be dead very soon. Some of the newer light fixtures have 20W quartz bulbs. Doesn't take many of those to kill a battery in a few hours. And having an RV/Marine battery label is usually just a label.


If you weren't purposely working at conservation you probably did pretty good on a single small capacity battery.
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