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Total Loss of Battery Power

We have a 2019 Oli Elite solar and Norcold fridge (the one with the touch panel controls) and 2 6V AGMs.    A week or so ago while getting ready for the season,  the fridge was accidentally turned to DC and drained the batteries  I hooked to shore power and charged things back up.  Everything worked in both AC and DC modes.   While doing a 1 night boondock 2 days ago, I put the fridge on level 2 and we travelled about 2 hours.   We arrived to see the Zamp controller flashing and battery status low and the condition low.   Nothing in the trailer would work on DC.  We drove home,  hooked to shore power, and battery indicators showed everything was full.   All systems worked while hooked up.  This morning I disconnected the shore power and all indicators again said full.  I turned on the lights and water pump and they pulsated. Within 30 seconds the lights and water pump shut down and the Zamp controller showed battery status low and battery condition low.  

Clearly my batteries are not holding a charge.     

Any ideas?   I'll contact the service department  on Tuesday the 26th but though a little insight may be helpful.  We have a big trip planned in 2 weeks and are too far from Hohenwald to drop by.   

Thanks!

 

 

 

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Randy,

It sounds like one or both batteries were damaged when the were completely drained.

To confirm, take your batteries to an auto parts store or somewhere else where they sell batteries, and have them load tested.  That is they only way to know for sure.

We switched to LiFePO4 batteries from Battle Born to never have this worry again.  Also, we never run our refrigerator on DC as it is a very high draw and solar can't keep up.  We tow with the propane on, as do many others.

Good luck and let us know what you find out.

Andrew

 

Edited by AndrewK
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Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


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Do you remember what the voltage reading was when the accidental discharge occurred? If they were very deep discharged, you may or may not be able to bring them back to life.

When you're hooked to shore power, your seelevel guage reads the charging voltage, not the actual state of your battery. This is also true for a period of time after you've disconnected from shore power,  around 15 to 20 minutes or so, so your battery reads "full", when it's not. Also true if charging from solar.

To get a true reading of the state of your batteries, disconnect from shore power, cover the solar panels,  and after 30 minutes, take a reading with your multimeter. Or, as Andrew suggested, remove your batteries and take them to an auto parts store. Agms are capable of deeper discharge than flooded batteries, but even if you are able to bring them back to life, they may never be 100 per cent again. It's a shame, with your batteries only a year old. 

Sherry

 

 

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I had trouble with my batteries and was told they are pretty hard to destroy. I therefore went another direction and suspected it was my solar charge controller. There are tests that Zamp can lead you through (as well as Jason) plus the directions are on their website. The short story is my controller was bad. Jason sent me a new one, I installed it as directed, and my solar charger is working like a charm. So well, in fact, that I purchased a portable Zamp solar panel to use when my trailer is parked in the shade.  Pretty frustrating when you depend on solar power and it isn't there. When we travel I always run my fridge on DC as the automobile keeps my batteries charged until I can get to shore power, or the sun. 

roguebooks

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14 minutes ago, roguebooks said:

I had trouble with my batteries and was told they are pretty hard to destroy. I therefore went another direction and suspected it was my solar charge controller. There are tests that Zamp can lead you through (as well as Jason) plus the directions are on their website. The short story is my controller was bad. Jason sent me a new one, I installed it as directed, and my solar charger is working like a charm. So well, in fact, that I purchased a portable Zamp solar panel to use when my trailer is parked in the shade.  Pretty frustrating when you depend on solar power and it isn't there. When we travel I always run my fridge on DC as the automobile keeps my batteries charged until I can get to shore power, or the sun. 

***I wanted to add that after stopping for the day I run the fridge on gas if there is no shore power. I NEVER run the fridge on DC except when driving down the road.

roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

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We have the Dometic fridge and have never run it on 12v. If we don’t have shore power it’s on propane. Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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15 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

We have the Dometic fridge and have never run it on 12v. If we don’t have shore power it’s on propane. Mike

Yep - one time - just to see if it worked. Propane or AC shore power. 

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

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Thanks for all the input.   Great food for thought.   I took the batteries to an auto parts store and they were only able to check the voltage which was fine on each battery,  They did not have a multimeter.   Will a multimeter tell me the amps that are available in the batteries?  I think I have learned  that I can have adequate voltage but not enough amps available? Will a multimeter tell me amps? As you can see I have very little knowledge of electricity and recognizer that I have some learning to do.

Randy

 

 

 

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Randy - 

As AndrewK said above - you should have those batteries "load tested". That is the only way to know for sure that they are still good.  Most auto parts stores have a load tester (it is not the same thing as a regular multimeter).  I'd call a couple of these stores near you in order to save time.

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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