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Old 08-11-2019, 10:50 PM   #1
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Electric problem

Pulled into camp. Unplugged the trailer from the RAV. Monitor in trailer read "Good" after 5 hours driving.
Left trailer for dinner in my buddy's trailer. Had nothing running in my trailer. Came back to my trailer and 12V outlet reads 7.1 and in the red.

I topped up the water in 2 year old Trojan batteries a couple days ago. Trailer is always plugged in.

I have reconnected to the RAV and engine is running. Trailer monitor reads "charging". Voltmeter reads 7.59.

A few days ago, at home, I had an issue with GFCI tripping. Never figured that out except the problem seemed to occur when the fridge was switched to electricity. When I put it on propane and reset the GFCI, everything worked.
ETI did work on the MaxxFan and repaired a wire above the fridge. That is my suspect.
Any advice welcome.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:10 AM   #2
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Yikes. How old are your batteries, because if you keep this up you may need a new set.

Wish I could offer some advice on troubleshooting. Maybe pull all your fuses then put them back in one at a time until you find which circuit is the big power suck?

Also, not sure how a tripping GFCI could be affecting the 12V systems when unplugged.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:19 AM   #3
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First off, make sure you have lots of gas in the RAV4, and move the beer to your buddy's fridge.

It might be hard to trouble shoot until the battery comes back up to a normal voltage, unless you have an ammeter. it seems like you have a short in one of your 12V circuits. You could try pulling one 12V fuse at a time on your converter to see if you can tell which circuit is causing the problem.

Good luck, hope your problem is solved before the beer or gas runs out.


Edit: Scott types faster than I do.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:45 AM   #4
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I agree about having ETI or someone recheck the work they did. You could pull the fuse for the fan and see if that's the source. Do you know what the wire they repaired over the fridge was for?
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:24 AM   #5
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You might have a couple of shorted cells in the batteries. Lead breaks off of the plates and when enough piles up on the bottom it shorts the plates together. The batteries can show as fully charging and once current is removed the battery voltage drops very quickly with no external draw.
Check each cell with a hydrometer to see if this is the problem
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:55 AM   #6
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Most refrigerators do not switch to 12 volt automatically. Does yours?
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:20 AM   #7
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I believe Glenn's refrigerator is a RM 2510, which is only AC or propane, so switching to 12V isn't the problem.

Check that you didn't activate the breakaway switch when unhooking the trailer. The fan might be the problem, but there isn't much else in the trailer besides the brakes that could pull down a pair of 6V batteries that fast without showing smoke...
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:22 AM   #8
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Are you sure you did not pull out your brake away plug. Sounds like your electric brakes are on. That will drain your battery
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
there isn't much else in the trailer besides the brakes that could pull down a pair of 6V batteries that fast without showing smoke...
I agree, if the load didn't blow a fuse, it is probably not a short circuit.
So it's time to suspect something that takes alot of amps normally, Trailer Brakes, inverter, furnace, water pump, tank heater blankets,
The inverter would probably drop out after about 10volts is reached but the others would just keep sucking until the battery was zero.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
...
I have reconnected to the RAV and engine is running. Trailer monitor reads "charging". Voltmeter reads 7.59.
...
Any advice welcome.
Just to be on the safe side, use your multimeter and measure the voltage right at each battery - on the post - to eliminate the possibility that the monitor is flaky or that one battery is "dead" and the other is alive.

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Old 08-12-2019, 12:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I agree about having ETI or someone recheck the work they did. You could pull the fuse for the fan and see if that's the source. Do you know what the wire they repaired over the fridge was for?

It was the source of power for the Maxxfan.

Have to keep in mind that NSRV pulled the fridge a couple times to work on it, so they may have broken that wire.
It's probably also the source of power for my two 12V outlets, which are recording 7.56 at the moment.
Multimeter at the battery terminals reads 12.7. I just attached my two 40 watt solar panels to the terminals.
Fridge is old one that only needs 12V to light it up. Once lit, I don't need DC power to it.

Last night the trailer monitor read charging and then good after I unhooked power from the RAV. I ran the furnace for a good hour and the trailer monitor still read good.
Gonna make an appointment with ETI to fix DC outlets.
BTW, checked my voltmeter against my buddy's voltmeter and they both read 7.56.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
Just to be on the safe side, use your multimeter and measure the voltage right at each battery - on the post - to eliminate the possibility that the monitor is flaky or that one battery is "dead" and the other is alive.

--
Alan

I have one 12V battery. No inverter.

All indications are that the problem is with the 12V line to the 12V outlets1. So, I just have to charge phone etc in the RAV.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:53 PM   #13
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My two 40 watt panels have the battery fully charged. Beautiful sunny day.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:56 PM   #14
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:28 PM   #15
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At least you have cold beer........
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:08 PM   #16
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At least you have cold beer........
I'm having one right now to celebrate your success!
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:39 PM   #17
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Bully good idea. We are camped and ready to make BLTs in a little bit. The moon will be at about 3/4 full tonight and I think it looks a little blue at least it did last night.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:56 PM   #18
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You might have a couple of shorted cells in the batteries. Lead breaks off of the plates and when enough piles up on the bottom it shorts the plates together. The batteries can show as fully charging and once current is removed the battery voltage drops very quickly with no external draw.
Check each cell with a hydrometer to see if this is the problem
Just what I was thinking! With a battery voltage of 7.1 what else but a short?
I'm not sure why folks are saying "pull the fuses one at a time." With a battery voltage of 7.1, something's seriously wrong. Why not just clamp an ammeter around each lead and look for a large amperage draw. If none is found, then RotorBudd is spot on.

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Old 08-12-2019, 06:23 PM   #19
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Multi meter on battery terminals read 12.7 volts so the problem is with the 12V outlets in the trailer. They are at 7.57 or so. Furnace works, trailer monitor says Good or Charging when sun hits the solar.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:43 PM   #20
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Multi meter on battery terminals read 12.7 volts so the problem is with the 12V outlets in the trailer. They are at 7.57 or so. Furnace works, trailer monitor says Good or Charging when sun hits the solar.
You might want to check how tight the connections are on the WFCO converter 12v connections. I would check all of them but especially the large connections on the left side of the 12v panel marked Neg- and Pos+.
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