General Hi-Lo camper discussion The perfect place to discuss your Hi-Lo camper
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-02-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 25
Red face 12 Battery usage/ charging

Hi all. We have a 2008 220T Towlite with a 12Vbattery up front by the hydraulic pump. We have never used the camper yet since we are hesitant because the battery keeps running out of charge without anything on. From what I can see there is no way to charge it except for a direct connect battery charger. There are some wires going to plug that goes into tow vehicle but not sure if it charges battery when under way. Battery is a couple months old and does take a charge to 100% well. Just can't figure out what the heck is draining it.

I wonder if there is some sort of guest trickle charger like for boats that may keep battery topped off because the 30amp shore power doesn't seem to charge it.

Please help...............
__________________

hfd500rkc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Upper left corner
Posts: 531
Default

First of all, you need to determine if there's in fact a drain on the battery, or if the battery is bad.

Your trailer should have a rocker witch next to the up/down switch that energizes the lift pump circuit in one position and the trailer 12v circuits in the other position. Look at this photo: http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/atta...b-800x600-.jpg. The switch should look similar to the black one on the right side. If the rocker is in the lift pump position (usually down) the only things that should have 12 volt power are the lift pump and the refrigerator. This may be a clue to the problem: the refrigerator may be running. Double check to make sure that it is turned off.

Another possible battery drain is the memory on a radio. Some radios have a wire that is connected to an unswitched 12 volt source. This provides power to keep all the radio memory presets and clock going. The power draw from this is minimal, so it would take quite a while to drain a battery.

A battery may take a charge, but not retain it for long. Try charging the battery and leaving it disconnected for a few days. Take it to an auto parts store and ask them to check it with a load meter (they will usually do this for free). If it fails, replace the battery.

Regarding your question about the charger, your trailer should have a built-in power converter/charger. The converter should automatically start charging the battery as soon as the trailer is plugged into AC power. The only issue with this is that the converters in most Hi-Lo trailers are not multi-stage converters and can charge the battery at too high a rate for too long. This will decrease the battery life. The solution is to upgrade the converter/charger or use an external multi-stage battery charger/maintainer.
__________________

__________________
Raul

2408T
2010 Nissan Frontier, 4x4, Crew Cab
Norton Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #3
Moderator
 
RichR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NW PA
Posts: 3,330
Default

If you have a volt meter check the voltage at the battery terminals, then plug the trailer into shore power and see if there is an increase in voltage. That should tell you if the converter is working. I would also suspect the refrigerator being turned to the 12 volt mode. That will drain a good battery in a few hours. If the battery gets completely drained it could very well be ruined and will need replaced. The battery test will tell you a lot.
__________________
My Great Wife Joyce
2018 Jayco Jay Flight 21QB
Formerly owned 1705T and 2310H
2012 F150 4X4 SuperCrew EcoBoost w/Leer Cap
Reese WD Strait-Line Hitch
Amateur Radio K3EXU
RichR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 09:25 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Gilbert AZ
Posts: 70
Default

My first post.
I also just bought a Hi-Lo and love it. Enough on that for now.
To the point..I used to work on RVs for 3 years and then 15 years at an auto electrical shop.
Agreed, the converter should supply charge to battery when plugged into ac power. Ideally, when battery is CHARGED and on converter you should see around 13.x volts. Mine hangs around 13.4 which is enough to charge a 12v PB battery but not boil out the liquid.
To test for a parasitic drain you can do this
Find a Parasitic Battery Drain - wikiHow
but I personally dont. I use a 12 volt test light with a 1891 bulb ONLY. Take off neg cable. Put test light in series between terminal and cable and it should not light. If it does you have a substantial drain which, from your post, we know.
Now...unplug each fuse one at a time to find the offending circuit. Once located connect battery again and find out what is not working and drill into that circuit.

I would test for...
Fridge (may not be fused?)
All lights
Radio for correct wiring. These need a 12 volt feed all of the time (station and clock memory) AND an ignition (toggle sw). You may have both connected directly to to battery. BUT this should not drain the good battery in under a week.
Propane 12 volt valve if it has one. These will pull 1/2 amp which is substantial. This is a safety so dont remove it if the cause. Just turn it off when in storage.

Rick
slider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ohio North Coast
Posts: 833
Post

Another possible battery drain is the break away brake switch located on the trailer tongue. The switch could be bad or the part connected to the cable is not inserted all the way in allowing the contacts to touch. This would cause a major drain on the battery and possibly damage the magnets in your brakes. Just another possibility.......

Bob
__________________
2014 FR Heritage Glen 282RK
2013 F250 HD 6.7L Diesel
Formerly Owned: 1995 22D Fun Chaser & 2901L Classic
retiredcamper47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2013, 05:46 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 25
Default Battery drain

Thank you all for the replies. I will document all possibilities and test battery for drainage possibilities. I would of never checked electric braking system but that make sense.

Battery is new, refrigerator is always off and radio is not "hot" wired and doesn't keep memory as a result. Black switch in camper is always turned off so I guess it will be a single circuit causing drainage.

Keep everyone posted. Anyone know where that inverter should be? I didn't see it and traced all wiring already.
hfd500rkc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
Moderator
 
RichR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NW PA
Posts: 3,330
Default

The converter should be located between the fridge and the couch if it is a 2008. If it is a 220T, you have me confused, it should also be up front. Hint: follow the shore power cord from the outside, the converter is usually close inside. If it is a 220TD or TL look on/in the compartment under the seat. There should be a cover that has the fuses and the converter behind it. They have moved things around over the years and aren't always in the same place in similar models.
__________________
My Great Wife Joyce
2018 Jayco Jay Flight 21QB
Formerly owned 1705T and 2310H
2012 F150 4X4 SuperCrew EcoBoost w/Leer Cap
Reese WD Strait-Line Hitch
Amateur Radio K3EXU
RichR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Rolff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SLC Utah
Posts: 289
Default

Could it be something as simple as a corroded battery cable or loose negative ground? Not to be insulting, but I have been burned by skipping step one.

I am glad I have my old '95 Tow Lite. Nothing on it to drain the battery. There are a lot of posts like this on newer models. Mine and never drained except when the break away switch got pulled. There was a breaker that I had to reset before I got the 12v power back.
It's like my '68 Ford F250. The vent is a panel that you pull open with your foot and the A/C is 2 wing window. No servos, or compressors to go bad.

And Slider - Thanks for your first post.
Rolff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2013, 09:27 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Memphis
Posts: 276
Default Wing windows?

Rolff, I wasn't jealous until you mentioned wing windows. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a pair on my '01 F250.....
__________________
Jim in Memphis
Wife of 45 years is Brenda
Recently sold our 1997 24' Classic
2014 Ford F-350 6.7 Diesel Crew Cab
notanlines is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2013, 10:07 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Wrascal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Lower Alabama (LA)
Posts: 551
Default

I've long forgotten about the amenities found on these older buggies. Another often overlooked feature was the single speaker AM radio; wow ... just to listen to the buzzing/static was mesmerizing.

UPDATE: I just had an even greater memory, trying to execute a high speed emergency stop with heated drum brakes (Garden State Parkway).
__________________
2014 Ford F250 6.7 PS
formerly a HiLo TD2401
now an 08 Jayco Eagle
Wrascal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2013, 04:17 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Rolff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SLC Utah
Posts: 289
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrascal View Post
I've long forgotten about the amenities found on these older buggies. Another often overlooked feature was the single speaker AM radio; wow ... just to listen to the buzzing/static was mesmerizing.

UPDATE: I just had an even greater memory, trying to execute a high speed emergency stop with heated drum brakes (Garden State Parkway).
The Wing window was a great invention.
I had replaced the AM with a AM/FM Cassette.
I had gone up a road that turned steep and rocky without anywhere to turn around until I reached the top. The downhill 5 mile ride was terrifying in my Old Ford and an 11' Slide in camper. When we rounded the last turn with a cliff and and came to a stop when I threw it into Park at 5 mph the front disc brakes (1st year they were used) were smoking and my wife and I were shaking.
Of Course with out the 390 V8 we would have been stuck on the uphill and been forced to attempt a backward downhill drive along a cliff with mirrors. My Truck has been known ever since as General Sherman.
Rolff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2014, 02:28 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Riverside County, CA
Posts: 663
Default dead battery

While in transit, your battery should get a charge from your TV. Check your TV fuses and make sure you don't have a blown fuse. I'm not an expert, just personal experience.
__________________

Garry is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Hi-Lo Trailers Worldwide or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
HiLoTrailerForum.com Copyright 2010
×