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power went out in our camper


Dirtyhip
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I suspect there's something I'm not understanding, for if the camper battery is a 12 volt auto battery you could use jumper cables to charge it from the battery in the vehicle that's towing the camper.  :scratchhead:

You wouldn't want to leave them connected for a long time, but you could charge it enough to at least get lights back on in the camper.

You could also simply disconnect the dead battery and use the jumper cables to connect to the good battery in the vehicle, being careful not to run that  battery down so low it won't start the vehicle.

I would first suggest you recharge the battery, then put an ammeter between one of the battery terminals and the battery connector.  You may have everything off, but there may be some devices that draw energy anyway even when switched 'off'.  These 'parasitic' loads are common with electronic equipment that draw small amounts of current to keep the memory stored or active. 

The ammeter should show any current drain from the battery with everything 'off'.  If the meter reads current, then it's a matter of disconnecting devices one by one until the current drain disappears.  Once you find the culprit device(s), you can put a switch on the line to each device to shut it off when you're not using the camper.

I would then suggest considering a battery isolator that allows one alternator to charge two batteries.

2334254.jpg

You could run a couple of wires from the battery isolator to the camper, and the camper battery would charge while you're towing it.  If the camper is parked, then you could pull the vehicle up to it, connect the cable, and charge the camper battery from the isolator in about 15 minutes or so.

The solar panels mentioned would be a good idea to trickle charge the battery while you're away, assuming the parasitic loads aren't more than the solar panel can put out.  If the camper is left unattended at a place away from home, you may want to consider putting the panel up on the roof or inside the trailer up against a window so you don't lose it to someone's Five Finger Discount Supply Store.

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3 hours ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

I suspect there's something I'm not understanding, for if the camper battery is a 12 volt auto battery you could use jumper cables to charge it from the battery in the vehicle that's towing the camper.  :scratchhead:

You wouldn't want to leave them connected for a long time, but you could charge it enough to at least get lights back on in the camper.

You could also simply disconnect the dead battery and use the jumper cables to connect to the good battery in the vehicle, being careful not to run that  battery down so low it won't start the vehicle.

I would first suggest you recharge the battery, then put an ammeter between one of the battery terminals and the battery connector.  You may have everything off, but there may be some devices that draw energy anyway even when switched 'off'.  These 'parasitic' loads are common with electronic equipment that draw small amounts of current to keep the memory stored or active. 

The ammeter should show any current drain from the battery with everything 'off'.  If the meter reads current, then it's a matter of disconnecting devices one by one until the current drain disappears.  Once you find the culprit device(s), you can put a switch on the line to each device to shut it off when you're not using the camper.

I would then suggest considering a battery isolator that allows one alternator to charge two batteries.

2334254.jpg

You could run a couple of wires from the battery isolator to the camper, and the camper battery would charge while you're towing it.  If the camper is parked, then you could pull the vehicle up to it, connect the cable, and charge the camper battery from the isolator in about 15 minutes or so.

The solar panels mentioned would be a good idea to trickle charge the battery while you're away, assuming the parasitic loads aren't more than the solar panel can put out.  If the camper is left unattended at a place away from home, you may want to consider putting the panel up on the roof or inside the trailer up against a window so you don't lose it to someone's Five Finger Discount Supply Store.

Good advice, but you gotta remember you're dealing with a nurse and a secretary. 

Muahahahahahahahaaha

<<ducking>>

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4 hours ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

I suspect there's something I'm not understanding, for if the camper battery is a 12 volt auto battery you could use jumper cables to charge it from the battery in the vehicle that's towing the camper.  :scratchhead:

You wouldn't want to leave them connected for a long time, but you could charge it enough to at least get lights back on in the camper.

You could also simply disconnect the dead battery and use the jumper cables to connect to the good battery in the vehicle, being careful not to run that  battery down so low it won't start the vehicle.

I would first suggest you recharge the battery, then put an ammeter between one of the battery terminals and the battery connector.  You may have everything off, but there may be some devices that draw energy anyway even when switched 'off'.  These 'parasitic' loads are common with electronic equipment that draw small amounts of current to keep the memory stored or active. 

The ammeter should show any current drain from the battery with everything 'off'.  If the meter reads current, then it's a matter of disconnecting devices one by one until the current drain disappears.  Once you find the culprit device(s), you can put a switch on the line to each device to shut it off when you're not using the camper.

I would then suggest considering a battery isolator that allows one alternator to charge two batteries.

2334254.jpg

You could run a couple of wires from the battery isolator to the camper, and the camper battery would charge while you're towing it.  If the camper is parked, then you could pull the vehicle up to it, connect the cable, and charge the camper battery from the isolator in about 15 minutes or so.

The solar panels mentioned would be a good idea to trickle charge the battery while you're away, assuming the parasitic loads aren't more than the solar panel can put out.  If the camper is left unattended at a place away from home, you may want to consider putting the panel up on the roof or inside the trailer up against a window so you don't lose it to someone's Five Finger Discount Supply Store.

That's what I was going to say.

:whistle:

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17 hours ago, BR46 said:

Is your trailer set up so when it's hooked up to the vehicle it changes the camper battery? 

No.

We believe it is a bad battery.  Nothing was running on the camper that uses DC.  We turned on the light, when it got dark and it was dim.  No juice. All of my electronics were on their own charge, or recharged with the truck.

So, we unplugged the trailer tow light cord, in the event that something was wrong causing a drain. Getting stuck in the woods would be a call to AAA.

The solar panels would be nice, but what about being gone from camp for long periods of time?  Thieves suck.

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3 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

No.

We believe it is a bad battery.  Nothing was running on the camper that uses DC.  We turned on the light, when it got dark and it was dim.  No juice. All of my electronics were on their own charge, or recharged with the truck.

So, we unplugged the trailer tow light cord, in the event that something was wrong causing a drain. Getting stuck in the woods would be a call to AAA.

The solar panels would be nice, but what about being gone from camp for long periods of time?  Thieves suck.

I've never had a problem with anyone messing with mine, but your mileage my vary. I've seen plenty of rigs where they have a panel or two flush-mounted on the roof--not as efficient as being able to move them around and change the angle for maximum exposure, but it does eliminate the threat of theft.

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