So i will start with some background information. we bought a new travel trailer just over 2 years ago. we have always taken the batteries out for the winter went to put them back on the trailer in june but they wouldnt charge past 70%. Took them into battery direct and determined the were dead they covered them under warrenty and sent us on our way with 2 brand new 6volt deep cycle batteries. we went out for 2 nights no problems went out again for four nights no problems never had to use the generator once either time. watched movies, played music left lights on etc. went out this pass sunday for a week 1st night woke up to dead batteries charged them up with the generator and made sure nothing was left on barely used lights, didnt watch any movies played no music etc batteries were dead again this continued all week. my question is could the batteries be duds or do you think there is a short somewhere causing the batteries to go dead? Any ideas?
After the second outing(4 nights) did the batteries get recharged at home? Do you leave the batteries hooked up when you are home or do you have a battery cut-off switch?
You can use a hydrometer to check the cells in the batteries.
Really need more info on your charging regimen and maintainence.
Golf cart batteries can take a beating and recover, much better than a 12 volt battery.
How high is the voltage on your converter?
I would have asked how long you recharge the battery between trips, but I think you answered it was on shore power 5 full days, and that normally will fully charge the battery, and that is why I asked about how good is the converter/charger, and is it possible it tripped it's GFI, and did not charge that whole time?
Was it charging fine from the generator, in that case I would say that the charger/converter is working OK.
In that case, if the charger / converter is putting out 14 volts or so when you first plug in or recharge the battery from 12 volts, then tapers down to about 13.5 volts +/- about 0.2 volts, your charger is doing a good job. But if it rests at 12.5 or 12.7 volts, then it is not fully charging the batteries.
So if the charger is doing a good job, then unplug the trailer, and see how quickly the voltage drops from 12.8 volts to 11.8 volts. If it is a matter of 30 minutes or less, then the cell is bad in one of the batteries. If the battery voltage stays above 12.4 volts overnight, this would be normal for the battery without a load or short someplace in the wiring.
Having an on-board smart-mode converter/charger solves these problems pretty easy. This can re-charge your batteries in as little as 2-3 hours by connecting the 30AMP trailer shore power cable directly to the 2KW type Honda generator 120VAC receptacle using a RV30A-15A Adapter 18-inch long (Walmart).
If you used the plug on the generator that says "BAT CHARGE" it will take several days to re-charge your batteries. You have to apply 14.4VDC around 20AMPS to start off re-charging your batteries and that will drop down to 6AMPS or so after a short time as the batteries are being charged. Then the smart-mode Converter/charger will switch to 13.6VDC after two hours of 14.4VDC charging to seal in a good 90% charge state on the batteries. The whole process takes around 2-3 hours of generator run time. Then you are good to go for the next day/night battery run...
Consider this from the Progressive Dynamics brochures on how long it takes to re-charge a battery...
Progressive Dynamics ran this test on the amount of time it took a PD9155 (55-amp) converter/charger set to three different output voltages to recharge a 125 AH (Amp Hour) battery after it was fully discharged to 10.5-volts.
"14.4-VOLTS (Boost Mode) – Returned the battery to 90% of full charge in approximately 3-hours. The battery reached full charge in approximately 11 hours.
13.6-VOLTS (Normal Mode) – Required 40-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 78-hours to reach full charge.
13.2-VOLTS (Storage Mode) – Required 60-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 100-hours to reach full charge."
As others have stated here once the battery gets below the 10.5VDC charge state for any long period of time they are usually toast after that.
We re-charge our battery banks everyday when making breakfast and this keeps our batteries up and charged and ready to go when camping off the power grid... Another trick we did in the beginning was to setup in the CAMP BACKYARD and simulate a week-end camping trip and run the generator at the proper time and observed what was happening with the batteries charge states. Much better to figure out the process sitting n the back yard them way out in the woods somewhere where getting dark on you has alot of meaning to it. We also beefed up a few things on our trailer as well icluding a good smart-mode converter/charger unit install, additional batteries and larger battery cables, converter lights over to LEDs, and installed a couple of Inverters to run our 120VAC appliances. Having done all of this has made is very "SUCCESSFUL" for us to camp off the power grid. We do just about everything we normally do at a regular campsite with electric except no air conditioning. Our camping in the woods is lit up with exterior/interior lights, watching HDTV using the OTA antenna system, playing radio and DVDs, sitting around the camp fire with a 20-inch box fan blowing away the mosquitoes, momabear using an electric blanket if she needs one, and all of the trailer 12VDC needs work just fine. I even get to play with my Ham Radio toys. Then the next morning we re-charge the batteries in the 2-3hour generator run time and can do all of this over again for the next day/night battery run... My battery bank started out being four each GP24 Interstate batteries with a total of 340AHs and unfortunately I am down to two good 85AH batteries now after over five years. Time for me to get some new batteries. I want to have around 450AH battery bank capacity. (Two groups of your 6V 225AH batteries would be perfect for us)
My camping in the woods story which works great for us...
* This post was
edited 07/14/12 05:57am by RoyB *
My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me Roy and Carolyn
RETIRED DOAF/DON/DOD/CONTR RADIO TECH (42yrs)
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one other thing to look at is the break away switch for the electric brakes. If the plunger is pulled out somehow it will throw a ton of power to your brakes and kill you battery's. Just something to check.....