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Old 08-29-2021, 05:46 PM   #1
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THOR #24508
Another Battery issue post

Sorry if this has been posted many times.

My wife and I purchased a new 24F RV this spring. Last week was our first time out with no Hydro.

With a fully charged battery and every thing off the best we could do was 5AM before the fridge alarm went off...We checked EVERYTHING (compartment lights, etc). We ended up purchasing a new bigger battery to get through the week. There still seems to be a significant parasitic load but I don't know what is normal and if I actually have an issue or is this normal ?

Solar panels are in the near future plans but won't fix the power draw issue.

Thanks in advance for any help/guidance.

Jeff in Ontario.

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Old 08-29-2021, 06:04 PM   #2
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Very common for the OEM Thor house battery to fail fairly quickly after purchase due to dealer neglect.

Suggest that if your battery tray has enough space, best to have a minimum two house batteries.
You will always have a small draw from miscl 12 volt items (includes CO2 & smoke sensor)
Also, the solar panel mod is a great way to ensure that the battery bank remains topped-off.
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Old 08-29-2021, 06:38 PM   #3
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My parasitic load was mainly three things-you do some simple process of elimination by pulling fuses. I tend to boondock without shore power for extended times, relying on 12v almost exclusively. 1) radios. I installed a toggle kill switch at the fuse panel and only turn it on when needed. Different coach- and I do have two radios, the dash and garage. 2) my powered tv antenna was turned on all the time- turned that sucker off and have never turned it back on. Switch for it was hidden in near the a/v cubby 3) donít turn your inverter on unless actively using a/c power.
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Old 08-29-2021, 06:58 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Kickstand;311612]My parasitic load was mainly three things-you do some simple process of elimination by pulling fuses. I tend to boondock without shore power for extended times, relying on 12v almost exclusively. 1) radios. I installed a toggle kill switch at the fuse panel and only turn it on when needed. Different coach- and I do have two radios, the dash and garage. 2) my powered tv antenna was turned on all the time- turned that sucker off and have never turned it back on. Switch for it was hidden in near the a/v cubby 3) donít turn your inverter on unless actively using a/c power./QUOTE]

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having an inverter? Doesn't he need his inverter to power the fridge?
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cormad View Post
Sorry if this has been posted many times.

My wife and I purchased a new 24F RV this spring. Last week was our first time out with no Hydro.

With a fully charged battery and every thing off the best we could do was 5AM before the fridge alarm went off...We checked EVERYTHING (compartment lights, etc). We ended up purchasing a new bigger battery to get through the week. There still seems to be a significant parasitic load but I don't know what is normal and if I actually have an issue or is this normal ?

Solar panels are in the near future plans but won't fix the power draw issue.

Thanks in advance for any help/guidance.

Jeff in Ontario.
I don't know what "no Hydro" means but I assume you are talking about no SP?
I also assume you have a residential fridge?

If not a residential fridge you would have to have a very bad battery for it to die with just control power to the fridge overnight.

If a residential fridge, a single lead acid battery does not have the capacity to power the fridge overnight; most RVs with residential fridges have at least two LA batteries which are usually good for an overnight but not much more.

Unfortunately, solar will not help your overnight problem. Only more battery capacity will.
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
Very common for the OEM Thor house battery to fail fairly quickly after purchase due to dealer neglect.

Suggest that if your battery tray has enough space, best to have a minimum two house batteries.
You will always have a small draw from miscl 12 volt items (includes CO2 & smoke sensor)
Also, the solar panel mod is a great way to ensure that the battery bank remains topped-off.
Thanks,
I think you are correct on poor OEM battery...it's a bit swollen that tells me it could have been dead and froze.
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
I don't know what "no Hydro" means but I assume you are talking about no SP?
I also assume you have a residential fridge?

If not a residential fridge you would have to have a very bad battery for it to die with just control power to the fridge overnight.

If a residential fridge, a single lead acid battery does not have the capacity to power the fridge overnight; most RVs with residential fridges have at least two LA batteries which are usually good for an overnight but not much more.

Unfortunately, solar will not help your overnight problem. Only more battery capacity will.
Thanks,
Yes , No Hydro means no shore power. It's a two way fridge so it should have little impact on 12V batteries (just the brains is 12V). It's 120AC or propane.
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kickstand View Post
My parasitic load was mainly three things-you do some simple process of elimination by pulling fuses. I tend to boondock without shore power for extended times, relying on 12v almost exclusively. 1) radios. I installed a toggle kill switch at the fuse panel and only turn it on when needed. Different coach- and I do have two radios, the dash and garage. 2) my powered tv antenna was turned on all the time- turned that sucker off and have never turned it back on. Switch for it was hidden in near the a/v cubby 3) donít turn your inverter on unless actively using a/c power.
Hey Kickstand,

I am leaning towards the inverter as the culprit. I'll see what my dealer and Thor says. I turned the antenna booster off and the cheap OEM radio could be sucking power when off. I can throw an inline amp meter on and trouble shoot but it is still under warranty and I will see what they say. Sounding like it is a normal issue.
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Old 08-30-2021, 01:03 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=16ACE27;311614]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickstand View Post
3) donít turn your inverter on unless actively using a/c power./QUOTE]

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having an inverter? Doesn't he need his inverter to power the fridge?
Dual mode absorption fridge run on propane when not attached to shore (or gennie). Only residential fridge folks need to run inverter continuously. And they would have a lot of batteries to support it.
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Old 08-30-2021, 01:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cormad View Post
it's a bit swollen
No need to troubleshoot further. Get new batteries.

You could take this opportunity with bad batteries to hone down your parasitic loads and the new batteries will last that much longer when you address those. Itís easier to find them on bad batteries. But no need to wonder whatís ďwrong.Ē

You would try to get the dealer to replace swollen batteries under warranty. It might be a battle- but physically deformity isnít right- not in under a year.
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Old 08-30-2021, 02:21 AM   #11
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We have a 2020 24F. One of my first projects was to replace the totally inadequate dealer supplied house battery - which was probably mistreated worse than a red-headed step child.

I modified the battery compartment by slightly raising the step to accommodate two GC2 6volt lead-acid batteries. Then I upgraded the factory solar charge controller to a 40amp MPPT. Finally, I installed two 100watt panels on the roof.

No worries now about "parasitic draws", and boondocking, the fridge (propane) and furnace will both run all night without a hitch.

Without a doubt - the single biggest improvement Thor could make is a minimum of 100watts of rooftop solar on EVERY coach it builds. It completely eliminates the "dealer destruction" of batteries... especially if it's a sealed battery.
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Old 08-30-2021, 03:16 AM   #12
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Let me get this straight, are you guys saying that OP should expect a single or even two FLA batteries to run the Absorption Fridge all night on Inverter without draining the batteries? Shouldn't he be running that fridge off Propane? I am surprised it was hooked up to the Inverter?

I made mod to hook mine to the Inverter, but I only use it as a backfill when traveling on the road or when a few hours are needed. I really only hooked to the Inverter so I could run it and NOT use Propane while driving.

We have Outdoor Fridge that is residential and it will run days on the batteries.
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Old 08-30-2021, 05:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
Let me get this straight, are you guys saying that OP should expect a single or even two FLA batteries to run the Absorption Fridge all night on Inverter without draining the batteries? Shouldn't he be running that fridge off Propane? I am surprised it was hooked up to the Inverter?

I made mod to hook mine to the Inverter, but I only use it as a backfill when traveling on the road or when a few hours are needed. I really only hooked to the Inverter so I could run it and NOT use Propane while driving.

We have Outdoor Fridge that is residential and it will run days on the batteries.
No, it was not clear in his first post whether he had an absorption fridge or a residential fridge since all he complained about was the fridge alarming at 5 AM due to low battery voltage.
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Old 08-30-2021, 05:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
We have a 2020 24F. One of my first projects was to replace the totally inadequate dealer supplied house battery - which was probably mistreated worse than a red-headed step child.

I modified the battery compartment by slightly raising the step to accommodate two GC2 6volt lead-acid batteries. Then I upgraded the factory solar charge controller to a 40amp MPPT. Finally, I installed two 100watt panels on the roof.

No worries now about "parasitic draws", and boondocking, the fridge (propane) and furnace will both run all night without a hitch.

Without a doubt - the single biggest improvement Thor could make is a minimum of 100watts of rooftop solar on EVERY coach it builds. It completely eliminates the "dealer destruction" of batteries... especially if it's a sealed battery.
You’ve got a nice set-up
Dual battery + solar is the way to go

Now just add a small integrated inverter with auto-transfer-switch to your outlet line and you are golden.
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Old 08-30-2021, 12:33 PM   #15
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No, it was not clear in his first post whether he had an absorption fridge or a residential fridge since all he complained about was the fridge alarming at 5 AM due to low battery voltage.
Hi Ted,

Ya my bad for not saying I had a two way ammonia absorption fridge ( I'm a licensed refrigeration mechanic..lol) I think people get confused because the fridge requires 12V to operate the controls/electronics but the heat source is either 120V heater or propane.

I'll be doing a dual battery solar panel setup in the near future. I'm thinking about connecting a splitter at my roof connection and go with 1 permeant mounted 170Watt flexible panel and one I can locate where ever I want (within cable distance). More research to do
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Old 08-30-2021, 12:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
You’ve got a nice set-up
Dual battery + solar is the way to go

Now just add a small integrated inverter with auto-transfer-switch to your outlet line and you are golden.
That's in the plans. I'd LOVE to have around 300AH useable, but I have two issues... first is a place to put batteries. Second... if I splurged with lithium, it's the $2,500 expense, then removing/storing in winter - unnecessary with my old school FLA batteries. So I'm keeping the status quo which is serving our needs well... so far.

The only items we'd ever run from inverter would be the 2-way absorption fridge (on AC at gas stations), a 32" LED TV and possibly a dedicated outlet for a laptop. At full load, those could easily be handled by a 1,500 watt inverter. It would be overkill in our use case to install/wire another transfer switch just for those items.

I'm thinking about installing a simple switch/breaker for the fridge, to switch safely between shore power and inverter. Then run the TV exclusively off the inverter. The additional outlet would be a dedicated inverter outlet.
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Old 08-30-2021, 02:34 PM   #17
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Please realize that the effectiveness of solar totally depends on where you camp while boondocking. We camp mostly at state parks and USFS campsites in the NE. I rarely see any significant solar input while camping as it is almost always shaded. Even a portable panel that you could theoretically move into the sun won't work much where we camp.

Having said all of that, with our absorption fridge on propane and 200 Ahs of AGM batteries those will get us through 4 nights of camping without going below 50% SOC. Then the chassis alternator will recharge it pretty well on our way home, starting at 30 amps and dropping to less than 10 as it gets home.

Our 100 watt rooftop solar panel is really only good for keeping the batteries topped up in storage. It does a great job of that, despite the cloudy, rainy weather we have had most of this summer.

David
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