Batteries Discharging Quickly/ Not Charging

EClaussen

Member
I just bought a new 2021 Heartland North Trail 33RETS

I am boondocking on raw land while I build a house.

My current power is coming from a 30 Amp generator. The northtrail model I have uses a 50 Amp plug so I am using a simple adapter to plug the generator into the Trailer. I also have Furrion solar battery maintainer hooked up through the 10 Amp solar prep in the front.

After about 2 weeks I noticed my batteries were draining faster than the solar could charge them. It would take about 4 hours on battery power before I had no power at all.

So I added a NOCO Gen1 10 amp battery charger/maintainer to the set up to top off the batteries while the generator was running.

Unfortunately, that charger made no difference, The battery was still dying in about 4 hours after generator is turned off.

I figured I damaged the original battery by letting it get so low (a local battery store confirmed my suspicion) so I purchased a new 12V deep cycle battery and hooked it up.

However, same result, that evening after the generator was off about 4 hours, all power went out.

I've asked heartland and they think the converter may be bad or wired wrong but I'm curious if anyone else knows what might be the issue.

I bought a 50Amp generator in the hopes the standard converter on the trailer will be able to charge the battery.

Anybody else had this issue?
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
You may have a problem with output from the Power Converter. Check at your tank level test panel - one indicator is for battery level. While on generator, it should show 4 lights. If you have a volt meter, while on generator, measuring voltage at the battery, you should see at least 13.2V. If neither, you may not have any output from the Power Converter. If the battery was ever hooked up backwards for even a second, you'll have blown the onboard fuses on the Power Converter. If that's not the problem, it may be you have a bad 30--->50 adapter and it's only getting power to one power leg inside the trailer. And of course, it's possible the Power Converter has failed.

Take a look at our 12V Block Diagram and Diagnostic Guide. There's a troubleshooting flowchart that may help.
 

EClaussen

Member
Thanks! I have the tank meter and when the generator is on, I have 4 lights. After the generator is off I lose 1 light per hour or so until dead.

In that case it sounds like it may be the adapter or an issue with the converter. Hopefully the 50amp generator will fix the issue.
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks! I have the tank meter and when the generator is on, I have 4 lights. After the generator is off I lose 1 light per hour or so until dead.

In that case it sounds like it may be the adapter or an issue with the converter. Hopefully the 50amp generator will fix the issue.
If you've got 4 lights while on generator, the Power Converter is getting power from the generator and is probably ok. If the lights stay on from battery after the generator is shut off, the path from battery to fuse box is ok as well.

That suggests that something is drawing a lot of power from the battery.

The next thing I'd do is disconnect the solar components and your additional battery charger. That'll simplify things down to factory installed components. You probably have all LED lights in the trailer, so even with them on, they're not drawing very much power.

What type of refrigerator do you have? Some new builds are shipping with 12V DC compressor models that don't use propane. They draw more power than the traditional gas absorption fridge.

It's summer, so I'm guessing you're not using the furnace.

The water heater uses some power for the control board and gas valve and igniter, but that should be causing what you're experiencing.

You might pull a few fuses out of the fuse box to get down to the absolute minimum of 12V devices. If battery life increases, plug fuses back in 1 at a time and see what happens to battery life.
 

EClaussen

Member
Interesting. I disconnected the extra battery charger and the solar a few days ago. The fridge I have is an Everchill 12V Fridge. I couldn't find out if it uses propane or not but I thought it may be drawing power so I turned it off and checked the battery condition. Same as before, I got about 4 hours before dead.

The lights are LED and the battery is dying at night when most of the time I have nothing on at all, no furnace, no lights, only the fridge and any other things I can't turn off.

To add to the issue, I had a battery store check the battery and after 3 weeks of use it was showing a 12.9V on a meter but it couldn't carry a load, it started dropping fast when any load was added. I swapped that battery out but the same issues continued.
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
What you need is to get some help to read the current drain on the battery with everything turned off. Then if there's any significant current draw, unplug the fuses one by one. If the drain goes away from a particular fuse, you'll know what branch circuit is draining the battery. If all fuses are out and there's still a drain, it's going through the 12V DC mini-circuit breakers near the battery - powering landing gear, or stabilizers, or possibly a slideout.

Another possibility is the emergency breakaway switch that powers the brakes if the trailer separates from the tow vehicle while towing. The brakes could draw the battery down very quickly. If that's the case, you'll need to have the brakes and bearings examined for damage, after fixing the problem.
 

EClaussen

Member
That's it! I just checked and the breakaway pin is gone. Must have come out the last time I moved it. I'll get that replaced and let you know if that doesn't fix it. Thanks so much! I never would have thought to check the breakaway.
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
Brakes and bearings may be damaged from heat while magnets were energized for long periods. You may also have damage to the breakaway switch.
 

EClaussen

Member
Thanks for the heads up. It's going into the shop next week so I'll have them check things out.

Thanks again for all your help.
 
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