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  • Trickle Charge Procedure

    When storing my DRV, I am connecting it to a 110V receptacle which connects to the 50 amp cord via a pigtail adapter. I left the trailers main “red” master button in the ON position thinking this was the proper way to trickle charge the trailer. Today, I went to the trailer and the batteries were dead. I checked the 110V receptacle and it was powdered so that eliminates a breaker trip of the main power. I’m thinking that I should have turned the master “red” switch in the trailer to the OFF position while in the trickle charge mode. By leaving the switch ON I probably drained the batteries while I thought they were being trickle charged. Any thoughts?
    Bryce & Kay Koslan
    Magnolia, TX 77354
    2018 Ford F-350 Platinum 6.7L 4X4 DWR
    2019 Mobile Suites 40KSSB4
    B&W Companion

  • #2
    First let me say that you probably don't have a "trickle charger". If you have the stock batteries and converter then all you have is a bulk charger and the batteries will "cook" if you don't check the water levels regularly. If you had an inverter installed then you have a 3 stage charger and all should be good.

    That being said....your battery cutout switch (the red master button) should be left in the "on" position. On my coach it's a blade type lever and the longer side of the blade should be pointing to the "on" position. Make sure the lever is in the "on" position and check your power in the coach. You should get 110V to the microwave even if the batteries are dead. If you don't have 110V in the coach then check your main power breakers inside the coach. You should also have a "Power Control System" panel in the coach. That will tell you what AC power you have available. (ie; 20amp, 30amp, etc).

    I don't think you drained your batteries....I think you have a power issue inside the coach itself.
    2017 DRV 38RSSA Mobile Suites
    2016 Western Star 5700xe
    Our YouTube Channel

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    • #3
      Think ewacowboy is correct--problem is with the converter that is supposed to power the batteries. Check it for a blown fuse(s) and then output to batteries. If the converter is no good, suggest you change to a Progressive Dynamics model with the 'Charge Wizard' that allows constant charging as the batteries show need. Cut out switch should be on. Do some good investigating/tracing of the power points to locate where it stops. A digital voltmeter is a necessary item. Of course, make sure the breakers are all on--any doubt, flip them off then on, do not depend on a visual look, reset them all.
      2005 36TK3 #1869
      2010 F450 Lariat

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      • #4
        Another thing to check might be. Which items are powered by the pigtail you're using. The 50A service is 2 ea. 120V circuits. By default circuit "a" (standard 30A service) should have most critical item(s) in service. It is possible a pigtail might energize circuit "b" with none critical items. Just a thought, good luck finding the culprit. Agreed that 12V isolation switch should be energized to charge battery bank, by means of said converter or inverter.
        J & J
        DRV Suites, ES-38RSSA #9679
        GM Denali, 3500HD-Max, 4x CC, 8' DRW
        EZGo-txt, ClubCar Precedent

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        • #5
          First of all, this question pertains to my trailer when it sits at the storage yard.
          We are only "some-timers" and thus, our unit is stored a majority of the time. I do however spend time doing maintenance on it when in storage.

          Currently, I am connecting the 50amp cord to a 110V extension cord (via a pigtail adapter) which is plugged into a 110V receptacle provided by the storage site. With the converter breaker in the ON position and the main "red" battery disconnect switch in the OFF position, I should be getting a trickle charge to my batteries when the unit is being stored. I keep the red disconnect turned OFF so I'm not supplying 12V power to the coach during storage.
          Is it acceptable to leave the trailer hooked to a trickle charge for 2-3 months or, is it best to remove the batteries and charge them at home on a smart trickle charger periodically?
          Does anyone know if the onboard battery charger (supplied by DRV) automatically turns OFF/ON depending on the charge of the battery? In other words, is it a smart charger?

          On my former 5th wheel, I used only (1) Optima 12V Deep Cycle battery and I would take the battery out of the trailer and charge it at home. The DRV's battery compartment is more difficult to access and I'd rather leave the two batteries in the camper and use a trickle charge at the storage site to keep the batteries from dying. I have Trojan T-105 batteries but I don't want to risk harming the batteries if extended trickle charging could damage them.
          Bryce & Kay Koslan
          Magnolia, TX 77354
          2018 Ford F-350 Platinum 6.7L 4X4 DWR
          2019 Mobile Suites 40KSSB4
          B&W Companion

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          • #6
            First of all=The disconnect switch has to be in the on position before the charge takes place. The dog bone adaptor is wired so that you will have 120v on both legs, but not 240v. And you are limited to the 15 or 20amp total supplied to the outlet you plugged into, not 15 on each leg. Total. I leave mine plugged in for multiple months with no problems and the batteries always stay charged. Yes, it is a smart charger supplied from the factory.
            DO NOT use a trickle charger. Use a battery maintainer, otherwise you can ruin the batteries.

            Bill

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            • #7
              Thanks Bill. I was incorrect in using the terminology of trickle charger, I meant a battery maintainer. I have two such devices in my garage which I used to keep my tractor battery and 12V Optima Blue Top Deep Cycle Battery charged. The DRV is my first experience with (2) 6V batteries so I'm learning. DRV does not explain what type of battery maintainer is installed on the coach and while I assumed it was a "smart" charger, it was never described. I very much appreciate the quick reply.

              The batteries in the DRV are not near as easy to remove as the single 12V battery in my Cedar Creek was and thus I plan to leave the batteries in the coach and use the on board maintainer to keep them charged. Also, the pull out tray does not even come out far enough to allow me to check the water level at the rear (2) battery cells without removing the batteries. I plan to look at MORryde's SP60-042 sliding battery tray, about $120. I believe this tray will extend much farther than what DRV supplied. Hopefully, this tray will extend the entire depth of the batteries which is what DRV should have installed to begin with.
              Bryce & Kay Koslan
              Magnolia, TX 77354
              2018 Ford F-350 Platinum 6.7L 4X4 DWR
              2019 Mobile Suites 40KSSB4
              B&W Companion

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              • #8
                Please post back if the new battery tray is an improvement over the factory unit. A lot of people here would be very interested. Good luck

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                • #9
                  Bill, I will report back on the battery tray. We won't be at DRV until mid-August and will plan to return home to Texas in early September. I'll report back when we return home. I'm going to fix this battery tray issue. I can't believe DRV is installing a tray that doesn't slide out far enough to service the batteries.

                  Another tray I've found is sold by Fleming Sales in Elkhart, IN (574-295-0234). The model is BT-1413100-BK EZ Glide 2-Battery Tray. Outside dimensions are 15.75" D X 15.75" W X 3.5" H. Inside dimensions are 13.25" D X 14.125" W X 2.5" H. Cost is shown at $140 and looks very nice. It should hold (2) Trojan T-105's.
                  Bryce & Kay Koslan
                  Magnolia, TX 77354
                  2018 Ford F-350 Platinum 6.7L 4X4 DWR
                  2019 Mobile Suites 40KSSB4
                  B&W Companion

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                  • #10
                    Original DRV Sliding Battery Tray Replaced...........

                    During our visit to DRV (Howe, IN) in August, we had our 2019 40KSSB4 in for warranty work. While there, I purchased
                    MORryde's SP60-042 sliding battery tray from MORryde in Elkhart for around $160 and had the technicians at DRV replace the OEM battery tray. The new sliding tray was a tight fit but it worked and does allow for a longer extension to allow for adding water to both Trojan 105 batteries. I don't understand why DRV installs a sliding tray that does not extend far enough out to inspect the battery cells or add water as necessary.
                    Bryce & Kay Koslan
                    Magnolia, TX 77354
                    2018 Ford F-350 Platinum 6.7L 4X4 DWR
                    2019 Mobile Suites 40KSSB4
                    B&W Companion

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                    • #11
                      To get rid of the hassle of watching water levels, change to AGMs, don't think you will regret the move. And the OEM battery tray is the same in my '15 as was in my '05--and nope, can't easily access the rear battery caps. Sooner or later, you will have to rehab the tray from battery acid fumes....
                      2005 36TK3 #1869
                      2010 F450 Lariat

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                      • #12
                        Wingnut60, Good point!

                        Prior to owing our DRV, we owned a Cedar Creek 5'er that used one battery. I had a Blue Top Optima AGM battery in that trailer and it worked great. When the time comes to change batteries in the DRV, I'll likely move to AGM batteries. They're a bit expensive but are clearly less of a maintenance issue.
                        Bryce & Kay Koslan
                        Magnolia, TX 77354
                        2018 Ford F-350 Platinum 6.7L 4X4 DWR
                        2019 Mobile Suites 40KSSB4
                        B&W Companion

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                        • #13
                          Tenbrooks, are you satisfied with how far out that new tray extends? I'm not a huge fan of the (stock) tray in our trailer for the same reasons you disliked yours. Are you saying you like the travel on the new tray?

                          Like you, I don't understand why DRV doesn't install a decent extending tray in that compartment in the first place!

                          What do you mean by a "tight" fit?? Were alterations required to the new tray or the door opening? I know the MORryde techs are great, we've been there twice for service work and they do EXCELLENT work! Not to mention the "free" stuff!

                          Dan

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                          • #14
                            " I don't understand why DRV installs a sliding tray that does not extend far enough out to inspect the battery cells or add water as necessary."

                            What I did NOT like was the tangled mess with the cables. Once I straightened them out the tray is fine IMHO. I can see the level of the back battery and use an eye dropper to add water.

                            Yes it would be nice if it came out further but not worth changing IMHO.
                            39TKSB3 "Highly Elited"

                            2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's 37,500# GCVWR "Towing Beast" "HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

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                            • #15
                              Dan,

                              The MORryde tray does indeed extend out farther than the OEM tray installed by DRV. I did not see the installation as it was done by the DRV guys while our warranty work was being done. The DRV techs commented that it was a "tight fit" but they did not state that modifications were required to install the tray nor did I not see any modifications to the battery compartment. The tray itself does not resolve the "tangled mess" of wires but it does extend out enough to access the rearmost battery cell to inspect the water level and add water as needed. This was my goal when I purchased the MORryde tray and I'm satisfied with the new tray.

                              I currently use (2) Trojan T-105 batteries; however, you may consider Wingnut60's post recommending moving to AGM batteries and the need for battery maintenance is minimized. AGM batteries are expensive but may be the best option.
                              Bryce & Kay Koslan
                              Magnolia, TX 77354
                              2018 Ford F-350 Platinum 6.7L 4X4 DWR
                              2019 Mobile Suites 40KSSB4
                              B&W Companion

                              Comment

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