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Old 06-09-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
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Our battery burned up...question about keeping it plugged in all the time

We have a 2012 Jayflight 29RLDS. We have kept it plugged in most of the time at home. We tried putting our trailer on the hitch without it plugged in and nothing happened. We decided to take it to our Jayco dealer on our way to a family gathering this weekend to have them determine if our power lifter was at fault. When they uncovered our batteries, one of the batteries was fried and the other one was on its way. The cable ends had been burned through and that was why our lifter would not operate on battery power.

We were told that we could not leave the trailer plugged in all the time. It was suggested that we only plug it in a couple of days before we were going to use it. Do any of you know what the proper amount of time you can safely have it plugged in and then give it a breather????

Have any of you had this happen? We thought by taking the batteries out and storing them while it's plugged in would be a solution but the mechanic at the dealer said no way because this system works all together or not at all.

Any answers would be greatly appreciated.


2012 Jayco Jay Flight 29RLDS
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:20 AM   #2
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Hi Mary, i leave our trailer plugged in from March until October without a problem. You need to check the battery ever now and then to make sure the electrolyte level is ok. Over time you need to add distilled water. The battery charger has a storage mode which desulfates the battery. It sounds like your lead acid battery had its level too low and had the plates exposed. A sealed battery may be the answer here if maintenance is going to be an issue. I'm sure others will add to this to help you out. Good luck

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Old 06-10-2013, 05:44 AM   #3
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Mary - Alot of us leave our trailers plugged in 24/7 when parked at the house. I have two trailers here at my CAMP BACKYARD that are plugged into my Garage 120VAC circuits. One is plugged into a 15AMP circuit and the other is plugged into a 20AMP circuit with no ill effects. We use both trailers here at the house on a regular basis as a getaway second bedroom, use the extra fridge, etc. I'm always working with my two way radio setups in my off-road POPUP trailer.

Your 2012 trailer should have the smart-mode technology converter/charger unit installed. You might pass along the model number just to be sure. If you are using this modern smart-mode technology type of converter/charger unit it should take care of your batteries automatically when parked at home. I would still set up a monthly schedule of checking your battery fluid levels just to be sure they do not drop below the cores of the batteries. My batteries are all over 5-years old now and doing just fine sitting for long periods of time here connected up to shore power from my garage. My converter/charger unit is a PD9200 series which replaced a WFCO WF8900 series converter/charger unit which would not go into smart-mode charging when you thought it should have. Perhaps you may want to change out the converter/charger unit if it happens to be a WFCO WF8900 series type unit. Pass along the manf and model number and the guys on here can tell you what you have.

You must have had a battery short out on you possibly from running without the proper battery fluid levels. I am surprised to hear that battery cables were melted down however as most battery installations have catastrophic fuse or manual circuit breakers installed right at the battery terminals to protect the battery wiring cables. Melting the cables like that can only be done with a large short circuit. Perhaps this was caused by loose terminal connections over time... I almost suspect something else has shorted the battery cables...

At any rate you should replace both batteries as mixing old and new batteries does not work out as the older battery will draw down to the new battery to its somewhat aged operating characteristics. You new battery's extended life will be shortened.

The wiring on the melted terminals and all will most likely have to be replaced as well... Just make sure all connections are solid and clean. Also make sure you re-connect your battery terminals back up in the proper positions. You hear alot of comments about how easy it is to get the battery terminals connected in REVERSE POLARITY since the same size battery terminal lugs are used on both sides of the batteries unlike how a car battery is installed. Operating batteries in REVERSE POLARITY blows fuses in your Power Distribution Panel.

Alot of folks will take photos of their battery setup connections using their cell phone cameras prior to disconnecting them so they can reconnect the cables in the proper order. I have all my cables that are connected to the POSITIVE battery terminals marked with a large DAB of RED fingernail polish...

Keep in mind the batteries is your trailer's lifeline and demands you check on them on a scheduled basis. Hope your upcoming trip has not been put in jeopardy because of this... I always carry an inexpensive multimeter in my RV TOOL box. A charged up battery without shore power should read 12.6-7VDC. Then go turn ON the shore power and the reading at the battery terminals should jump up to 13.6VDC indicating that battery connection to the on-board converter/charger is OK... These $10-$20 multimeters are available from AMAZON-LOWES-WALMART-any number of auto parts stores... Looks similar to this

Just my comments
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:31 AM   #4
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Ditto what he said. I keep my rig plugged in all the time unless the wheels are moving.

This should be a good lesson for you on getting a wide variety of opinions from a dealership. Some of them may be correct. This one was not.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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We keep our plugged in a lot but we have a quick disconnect on the battery so its not connected when we are plugged in.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:13 PM   #6
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My 5er in plugged into a 30 amp receptacle from the time we park it at home until the next camping trip - usually a month or so between trips. And it sits plugged in all winter (Oct - March or April), every year. We have the same batteries that came with the used trailer several years ago, and there has never been a problem. Therefore, I must conclude that your battery has a problem, and probably not the act of leaving it plugged in.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:01 AM   #7
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I also had a dealer tell me you cannot run the converter unless a battery is connected. I knew better. And showed him in the converter manual where it actually stated the converter could run with or without a battery.

As for the problem described in this thread there should be no ill effect from being connected 24/7. Assuming the converter is not defective and the battery is properly maintained.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:51 PM   #8
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Our trailer is always plugged in. You do need to check the water level in the batteries every 4 months or so.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:39 PM   #9
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Ditto mines plugged in all year no problems . There has to be something wrong with your system. Is your unit still under warrantee?
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:51 PM   #10
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Plugged in. All the time. Both trailers I have owned.

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