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Old 06-01-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
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Battery Cooking?

Recently bought a used 2014 sunset trail. I had the battery charger on for almost 24 hours at 8 amps and the light on the panel said it was at 3/4. The battery is an Exide deep cycle. I have no idea how old. We are on our maiden voyage in Starved Rock, IL. Drove 2 hours to get here through some heavy rain. Pull in the campsite and the power tongue jack isn't working. I drop it manually. The power stabilizing jacks work. Check the panel, battery has one light. Hook up the 30 amp electric, panel shows 4 lights. More rain. A couple of hours latter, rain stops, so I go outside to walk around and smell something funky by the hitch. At first I thought it was propane but it didn't smell right. Then I saw stream coming out of the battery cover. I took the top off of the cover and it was Hot. It starts raining again. I leave the cover off and check it a couple of hours later, still hot and steaming.

Anybody have any idea what's going on?
Bad battery, something wrong with the charging circuit on the trailer, both, neither, something else?

I can't believe this is normal.

Thanks,
Rick
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Nailbender View Post
Recently bought a used 2014 sunset trail. I had the battery charger on for almost 24 hours at 8 amps and the light on the panel said it was at 3/4. The battery is an Exide deep cycle. I have no idea how old. We are on our maiden voyage in Starved Rock, IL. Drove 2 hours to get here through some heavy rain. Pull in the campsite and the power tongue jack isn't working. I drop it manually. The power stabilizing jacks work. Check the panel, battery has one light. Hook up the 30 amp electric, panel shows 4 lights. More rain. A couple of hours latter, rain stops, so I go outside to walk around and smell something funky by the hitch. At first I thought it was propane but it didn't smell right. Then I saw stream coming out of the battery cover. I took the top off of the cover and it was Hot. It starts raining again. I leave the cover off and check it a couple of hours later, still hot and steaming.

Anybody have any idea what's going on?
Bad battery, something wrong with the charging circuit on the trailer, both, neither, something else?

I can't believe this is normal.

Thanks,
Rick
I had a neighbor camper with same issue of hot battery. Didn't know cause. I know in past threads the discussion of hooking battery up correctly has come up. If you disconnected it, did you connect them the same. On these the black goes to the positive terminal.

Other than that, I think your other guesses could be accurate.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:22 AM   #3
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If the battery has set without charging for a long time, even with this being only a 2 year old trailer, uncharged batteries accumulate lead sulfate, and eventually "ground" out the circuit.
When that happens, there's tremendous resistance created, hence the heat and steam.
I'd disconnect he battery while on shore power. I'd also check your fuses in the converter as it puts lots of heat through them.
Time for a new battery.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:15 PM   #4
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This does not really have anything to do with the battery but.... Do you have the power cable connected from your vehicle battery to your wiring harness at the back of your vehicle? This will charge your battery when towing and if your battery is dead you can plug into the harness and use the tongue jack.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:47 PM   #5
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Disconnect the battery...trailer will work off 120 shore power. tape up pos terminal inside box. so thee is no spark if it grounds out.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:06 PM   #6
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Does the battery have the top plastic plates to take off to fill with distilled water. If so battery might be low on water. If it's low on water and you've charged it; the inside plates will swell and make contact with each other. If this is the case the battery is shot and has to be replaced.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:41 PM   #7
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Disconnect the battery and replace it ASAP, go to the nearest Walmart. You risk damage to the converter trying to charge a bad battery. You also risk damage to the converter and/or the 12v appliance controls by NOT having the battery as a load to stabilize the converter output, so keep a few 12v lights on to act as a load til you get the new battery.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:30 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the replies. I'm much smarter tonight than I was last night. The previous owner kept every brochure and pamphlet that came with the trailer and put them in a notebook. I found the one for the power converter. It told me to check voltage output, had a diagram. It was spot-on at 13.6 volts. So I replaced the battery as was suggested and it's running great.

I'm not new to camping or car maintenance, just new to rvs and trailers. The situation just didn't "smell" right, so I thought to ask people who have more experience than I. You guys didn't disappoint.

Thanks again,
Rick
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:45 AM   #9
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That's why this forum is so great. Even if we've been camping for years. Every once in a while we need a boost or a jump start. We all have those moments that we say. "Oh yea, I knew that." Everyone here is always helpful with comments and support. Happy Camping.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert View Post
This will charge your battery when towing and if your battery is dead you can plug into the harness and use the tongue jack.
Yes, the truck plug will charge a good battery but if you expect the 7 way plug to operate the tongue jack with a bad battery, you're probably going to be disappointed.
That jack needs some pretty high amps to operate and the plug isn't wired for that many amps, just to operate lower amperage needs.
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