Wierd battery drain

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by RobertGreenlee, May 25, 2013.

  1. RobertGreenlee

    RobertGreenlee Member

    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    I have been fighting with this issue for a while where my group 24 battery dies quickly over 5-6 hours even with nothing on. I thought it was the old battery which I replaced. We arrived at our first boondocking trip of the year yesterday and I hooked up the solar panel to top off the battery and after an hour it was topped off. When we went to bed I checked the batt and it was down to 70%. WTH. Wanting to conserve the batt for the morning I turned off the furnace.

    It got COLD last night. Was 27 when we woke up and between being cold and thinking about this issue I did not sleep. I got up at midnight to check the battery and it was down to 30%. I yanked the main fuse to keep it from totally killing the battery.

    So I had all night to think about this. I knew I had a drain somewhere since when hooking up the battery I always get a spark so I made it my goal this morning to find it. I don't know why exactly but my first thought was the radio so I pulled it off and unhooked the positive and as a test I touched the wires again and they sparked. Bingo.

    So I left it unhooked and I'm waiting for the battery to charge back up again to see if the problem is gone but I'm pretty confident. Before if I pulls the top fuse on the converter it would beep momentarily and then stop. Now its a long beep and the blown fuse light actually comes on where it didn't before.

    I'm guessing some kind of internal short in the radio. I'm just hoping we will have heat tonight. Any thoughts?
     
  2. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Is the propane detector still hocked up? If so, there is your drain.

    Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. Sonshine

    Sonshine Member

    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    I doubt the propane detector is the issue because they dont draw very much current. Think about it, its the same as a smoke detector and those run on a 9volt or 4 AA's for 6+ months. I leave my battery connected all winter long in storage and in the spring it still has plenty of charge. I think it is something else. possibly a bad ground???
     
  4. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

    Messages:
    14,279
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    CO, LP and smoke detectors can kill a battery but they need a few months to do it.* These are definitely not the cause of overnight discharges from 100% to 30%. BTW, discharging a battery to 30% is a no-no.

    * Batteries should be disconnected from the PUP during storage.
     
  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,593
    Likes Received:
    876
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Location:
    Elkins WV area
    What are you running the fridge on???
     
  6. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,245
    Likes Received:
    921
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    Propane detectors have a heated element, the draw is way more than a smoke detector.
    Bad isolation diodes on a solar panel would do this.
    Can't see how a bad ground would draw current.

    Tom
     
  7. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Messages:
    6,662
    Likes Received:
    285
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    TX
    I've got a clamp on amp meter to isolate loads.
    I've blow a few fuses in amp meters using em incorrectly. [;)]
     
  8. RobertGreenlee

    RobertGreenlee Member

    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    I'm pretty sure it was the radio. The solar panel and controller were unplugged after it got dark. After the battery charged I unplugged the panel and let the battery equalize over the next hour and saw no big drop in voltage beyond the normal cool down.

    Since the converter is working normally now pertaining to alarms I'm more convinced of some type of fault in the radio. When we get home I'll take it out of the pup and hook it up on the bench to see if I can find any fault.
     
  9. carolinacampers

    carolinacampers Nights camped: 2008-10, 2009-25, 2010-6.

    Messages:
    663
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    Hilton Head, SC
    RobertGreenlee, we have a similar issue with the battery and think it too is related to a problem with our radio. I was wondering if you resolved your problem. Any update?
     
  10. RobertGreenlee

    RobertGreenlee Member

    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    I think the radio itself had a issue which was causing a huge drain. We replaced the radio but I also added on a external lighted switch inline with the positive lead. When we are not using the radio we turn it off so no drain at all.
     
  11. Phranc

    Phranc New Member

    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    If that radio has a clock, it will slowly drain the battery.
     
  12. drosengrant

    drosengrant One Day at a Time

    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    Mine Hill NJ
    I did drain a battery that fast once by accidently forgetting to remove brake brakeaway cable and having brakes on camper active all night. [:O] Just something I learned the hard way.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.