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 > Help - jacks are draining my batteries

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joerg68

St. Ingbert, Germany

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Posted: 01/21/23 02:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

jack motor amperage specs

I was interested in the answer to that myself, but could not locate the info on the web. What I did find: the individual channels on the circuit board have 25A fuses

[image]

The actual current used will be a lot lower than that. Most of the time the jack motors are not under a lot of load (extending to the ground, retracting).


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enblethen

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Posted: 01/21/23 06:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should note that the wire size is number 8.


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bighatnohorse

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Posted: 01/21/23 06:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Either you're leaving your refrigerator set for DC power (powered by battery) or you have a bad battery.
Or both by now.


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3 tons

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Posted: 01/21/23 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3 tons wrote:

Dupa wrote:

3 tons wrote:

Regardless of the seemingly recent shelf date on your batteries or the voltage readout (at best, a marginal estimator of true battery condition…) using only the principle of Occam's Razor (from afar…) I’d say (from same issue past experience…) the root problem is that your batteries are near dead, yet ostensibly appearing satisfactory per voltage readout - Try as you might, wet-cells can act like this - this very situation is NOT unique or uncommon, and is a precursor to an internal cell or post connector failure.

The fact that the batteries ‘appear’ satisfactory yet are not (“say it ain’t so”!!) is from my perspective the true source of your dreaded frustration…JMHO

3 tons


This would certainly be the easiest solution, but I can't help thinking (perhaps because I'm a little out of my element on some of this) that if they were "near dead" this would/should somehow show up, at least a little bit, on either the load test or the specific gravity (both were fine)?


Specific gravity no, carbon-pile load test ‘maybe’ but not always - this is why in my previous I suggested (assuming you are slightly handy…) acquiring a clamp-on ac-dc type meter of sufficient amperage capacity (say, from HD or similar)…Note that not all clamp-on meters are dc capable, and ‘for dc’ service be sure to follow the meter’s clamp-on directional orientation instructions…Clamping it around one of the battery cables (while under load…) will tell the tale - but first try to locate jack motor amperage specs…Worse case scenario is that you’ll end up with a relatively decent meter for future use, yea!! (or maybe return it - I donno??)…

Note: the meter can also be used to determine receptive charge amps into the battery…No substitute for solid data…

3 tons


Having thought about this over night, an alternative to using the aforementioned clamp-on meter would be to obtain a Victron Smart-Shunt (w/ Bluetooth - installs in NEG batt cable) which would provide the same information (and much more!) via Smart phone - this would also provide you information on an ongoing basis with SOC (state of charge in %), volts, amps available and consumed and history.

3 tons

otrfun

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Posted: 01/21/23 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dupa wrote:

I am using all 4 jacks simultaneously. Maybe a little overly simplistic way of thinking about it (and also maybe a little out of my element here) but it seems like the same amount of power/energy is needed to raise/lower the camper, so whether you break it into pieces (1 or 2 at a time) or do it all at the same time (all 4 jacks) shouldn't matter all that much. If I'm wrong, and doing 1 or 2 at a time would help solve my problem, please let me know.
When all 4 Happijacs on our 3000+ lb. 2019 TC are raising the TC up at the same time they draw approx. 25a in warm weather, 30-35a in cold weather (we have the direct drive units). Current draw drops approx. 15-25% when lowering the TC. Two fully charged, reasonably *healthy* group 24/27 batteries should easily power these jacks for at least 1.5 hours before discharging the batteries anywhere near 50%.

Unless you're taking more than 1.5 - 2.0 hours to unload your TC, there is a problem. Either the batteries are not getting sufficiently charged (for any number of reasons) and/or there's excessive voltage drop and/or current draw somewhere in the system. Bad batteries, wiring, connections, converter, motors, etc. can all potentially play a part in this problem.

One could write a small book on how to troubleshoot this. IMO, a good tech should be able to narrow down the source of this problem with a few voltage/current measurements fairly quickly.

Lots of good troubleshooting tips being provided here. Good luck!

Grit dog

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Posted: 01/21/23 10:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

5 pages later, all the hypotheses about the finer points of batteries are fun to read but OP,
In this order.
Dueling 2k gennys is overkill for anything but running the AC. Will easily power a normal size converter on a single 2k. Not the issue.
You just need to figure out what’s not working right. (And make sure you’re not unnecessarily draining the batteries like by running fridge on DC)
Easy simple way.
Charge up batteries with a battery charger. Surely you have one. If not, get one. Assuming it’s just got 2 run of the mill 12v batteries.
Then run the camper up and down through a basically full cycle. Not hooked to shore power.
If it does that ok then the batteries aren’t bad. If it does it twice, batteries are just fine.
If it doesn’t then the batteries are junk.
If you’re actually charging the batteries appropriately with the converter and don’t get the same result the converter isn’t doing as good as it should. But you gotta know you’re at least roughly charging long enough on shore power (converter).
And until you do that and give a clue as to what converter you have and the other questions you haven’t answered, this is the best approach to figure it out yourself.


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bigfootford

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Posted: 01/21/23 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just get a DVM and have someone measure the voltage on the battery while raising the camper.
Disconnect the shore power.

Voltage should remain above 12vdc unless the battery (s) are not fully charged or gone.
Think the HJ controller has a cut off at 11.5....

Jim


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greenno

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Posted: 01/21/23 01:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP not sure if your actually trying to get to the bottom of this but as I stated earlier in this thread find a good electrician and be done with it.

Do me a favor and pull the battery from your truck, assuming it's in good working order and fully charged.
Disconnect both your present camper batteries to isolate those out of the picture and connect up your truck battery to the camper.

If it does better than before then the camper battery's are not doing what there supposed to. Easy.

You dont need to use a drill for goodness sake. You have a nearly new camper. If it's been doing this since you've owned it .....

Isolate your systems and test them out.

If I had 1/2 hr at your camper I would tell you absolutely what the issue is.
Pretty easy to fix if you ask me.

Do what I suggested above and then post the results.

Guessing is just that guessing. Get some concrete answers and we'll get you squared away..

StirCrazy

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Posted: 01/24/23 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dupa wrote:


The batteries (2 x grp 24 wet cell deep cycle Interstates) were new when I bought the rig


the problem with these batteries is there only 81ish AH total, and to maintain there life you shouldnt use over 40 of thoes AH so with two batteries you have 80AH o play with. even time you use over 50% of the capacity you can weaken the battery. also leaving it plugged in can eveporate some of the water, so I am assuming your topping of the water the water level , unless there a maintanence free type. if you have ran them down quite often there is a good possibility you need new batteries, did everything work good when you go it in 2001?

Steve


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 01/24/23 10:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^This. Even on their best day, that’s about the weakest dual battery setup you can have. Typical for oe batteries.
That aside and likely part or even all of the issue. If you can’t get them fully topped up in camp with your genny, then you’re not doing it right or you have a poorly performing converter.

But it feels like we’re over your head, OP, and you’ve checked out.

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