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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Help - jacks are draining my batteries

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Dupa

Colorado

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Posted: 01/19/23 09:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 2020 camper came with HappiJacs which consume a ton of power from my 2 deep cycle batteries. Once the batteries are drawn down after removing the rig (3000 lb dry weight) from my truck, it's nearly impossible for the generator(s) to get them back up to an acceptable charge while camping so we're really limited in what we can do and for how long. We have plenty of power as long as we leave the camper on the truck, but that's highly undesirable. I have tried loading/unloading with gens running; have tried using power drill to get legs to/from the ground; batteries have been load & spec gravity tested several times and are fine; adding a 3rd battery and/or increasing battery size is not an option due to the size of the battery compartment and no other exterior storage options; the rig's entire electrical system has been diagnosed by a tech and it's fine; contacted the camper manufacturer and they simply shrugged their shoulders and have not offered any insights or solutions; adding solar would be an absolute last resort.

Do any of you experience this? How do you get around it? What input/suggestions do you have for me to solve the power issue? Do any of you have an alternative method for taking the camper off the back of your truck? Anybody tried an impact driver?

* This post was edited 01/19/23 12:18pm by Dupa *

2oldman

NM

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Posted: 01/19/23 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Run the generator while removing the camper.

ssthrd

Vancouver Island

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Posted: 01/19/23 10:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I leave both my camper and my trailer plugged in to my running truck (my cords are plenty long enough) until I get the thing where I want it. Then unplug and drive away............ No draw on the batteries at all as far as I can tell.

Maybe your genny isn't large enough.


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greenno

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Posted: 01/19/23 11:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having a 2020 camper and relatively new jacks I would suggest two things for you to try.

First thing find someone with a good knowledge for electricity and have him figure out the amperage draw for what each jack is supposed to draw and put a clamp-on ammeter on it and run them separately with a load and see what it draws.

I have a 2019 AF990 with Reico Titan 2500lb jacks and I have #10 awg wire connected to each jack and that wire is rated for 35amps for my case.

If all the jacks dont draw more amps than they are supposed to it's probably your battery's.

I replaced my two interstate group 29 battery's back in March of 2021. They were only 3 yrs old. They tested out good but would not hold a charge for long.
I replaced with some LIFEpo4 battery cells and now have 560ahrs of capacity compared to 90 before.

You should be able to remove and remount your camper a number of times with a good set of batterys.

Another thing is make sure you keep your truck plugged in and maybe running when you offload but you shouldn't have to.

Probably your battery's.

650cent

Madras, OR

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Posted: 01/19/23 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Use a battery drill w/adapter to run the jacks down to the ground first. Likewise use the drill to run the jacks back up once the camper is on the truck.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 01/19/23 11:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The solution is 100% not doing the jacks manually.
You could have 4 year old batteries and they’re weak.
But if your genny can’t get the batteries topped up just fine then the converter is probably lame. If you have a wfco converter that could be the issue or wiring.
If you have 12v batteries you don’t have as much useable capacity as you might think. And if they have a few years of not being used and maintained right they can hold a charge but are likely quite reduced in capacity.
If you’re not planning on a high $ LFP battery setup, a couple 6v 200ah or better batteries is MUCH better than the old 12V Fla batteries you probably have.
If height limited in the battery compartment and can’t use traditional golf cart batteries, I had good luck with mighty max 200ah 6v. They are much shorter with flush mount terminals and were the only 6v I could fit in our Arctic Fox TC compartment.


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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 01/19/23 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Make sure your converter is charging the batteries.
Check wire size between the jacks and the batteries.
Jacks could be drawing more amps. Have they been services and lubricated?
Have you checked what voltage the batteries are providing?
Adding battery may not help.
Verify that the batteries are wired correctly. Positive from one battery and negative from other battery. I am guessing you have two 12-volt batteries wired in parallel!


Bud
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Dupa

Colorado

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Posted: 01/19/23 12:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Running the gem while loading/unloading was my first thought as well but, unfortunately, the jacks only draw from the battery. So whether I am connected to the truck, gens or shore power while loading/unloading, the jacks discharge the batteries much faster than the truck/gen/shore can replenish.

Dupa

Colorado

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Posted: 01/19/23 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

Run the generator while removing the camper.


That was my first thought as well but, unfortunately, the jacks only draw from the battery. So whether I am connected to the truck, gens or shore power while loading/unloading, the jacks discharge the batteries much faster than the truck/gen/shore can replenish.

Dupa

Colorado

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Posted: 01/19/23 12:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

650cent wrote:

Use a battery drill w/adapter to run the jacks down to the ground first. Likewise use the drill to run the jacks back up once the camper is on the truck.


I'm doing that, but it does not seem to make a measurable/noticable difference.

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