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Old 08-18-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
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Electrical Problem

Ever since I got my trailer I felt that the battery was not charging correctly. I never got a full charge even when driving all day. When I plugged in to charge the battery at home I would always pop my CFCI breaker, so I plugged it into a regular receptacle. This summer we went for a month with electricity at all the sites. No problems except at a site in Idaho where the site had one of those CFCI breakers. The fellow at the campground gave me a three prong to two prong adapter and told me that there was one or two trailers every year that had that problem. Did not give me a comfortable feeling. This week off to Kananskis and no power sites to be had. I did not really worry, plugged in the trailer overnight and before we left put the fridge on gas. When we got there the monitor said the power was poor and shortly after the fridge stopped. I guess it needed some power to keep working. This was at the start of a 9 day trip. I thought that maybe the plug was not pushed all the way into the Rav so I managed to find a site with electricity for a night. Had to use the adapted that I made for CFCI breakers. The next day power was good and I had to move back to a site with no services. Within 2 hours the battery was back down to poor. I am now at home, hoping to get a few more days in camping at unserviced sites before she has to go back to work. Any suggestions?? Thanks

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Old 08-18-2009, 11:26 PM   #2
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Location: St. Thomas not BVI., Ontario
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 5,515
Re: Electrical Problem

Hi: Greig... I'm no wiz at electrickery but are the batt. termoils clean and the connections tight Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie p.s. could be a bad cell in the batt. Wouldn't be the first time!!!

Quote Bugs Bunny..."Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it ALIVE"!!!
'10 Frontier CC. S.E. 4X4 Lng. Bed V6 '14 Escape 5.0TA
St.Thomas Ont.( Not the Virgin Islands)
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:38 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Southern Alberta, Alberta
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 1,495
Re: Electrical Problem

Hi Greig

I would start with the easiest and charge up the battery then disconnect it,
and let it sit overnight, if it runs down with nothing connected its the battery.
A hydrometer is also a good way of testing the battery for bad cells.
Just a thought, have you checked the fluid level in the battery?
Doug & Eileen
2015 Escape 5.0TA
2015 GMC Sierra Crew 4X4 6.2 8 speed
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 19
Re: Electrical Problem


By CFCI I assume you mean a GFCI receptacle. The GFCI is Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. These trip when the return current flowing through the neutral doesn't equal the curent flowing through the hot wire meaning that a return path through ground is being used. This could be a dangerous situation if you become part of that ground path and it should be corrected by a qualified electrician. It could also be that your using a long extension cord in high humidity or wet locations in which case leakage from the cord could be casuing the GFCI to trip.

It might be that you have two separate problems: GFCI and battery charging. You should make the situation safe first by fixing the GFCI problem.
Using a two prong plug to avoid the problem does not remove the electrocution risk.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:11 PM   #5
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Re: Electrical Problem

I went and took the battery in to be checked and they said it had a bad cell. There has been a problem with the trailer charging from day one, it just never dawned on me that a new battery could be a bad battery. I turned off the main breaker in the trailer and it still popped the breaker on the receptacle so I think the short must be in the line that goes into the inverter. It is something that I am not going to mess with. You were correct in that it was two problems, not just one. I will take it to an RV place and get it done right. Thanks for your input.
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