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Old 07-26-2018, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default House battery is dead on roadtrek 1992

ok, I am new -------and i have not used it hardly at all-I finally go ahead and take a road trip and no power to flush the toilet. Ok learned that if you do not use the battery it goes dead. The engine battery has a shut off switch which I now use.

What do I do to prevent in the future?
have an shut off switch installed

Would solar help? I do not use frequently would like to do a trip but not sure about anything. Or why should I get some solar.

What do people use when there is no cell service?

Might also have a leak around windows from the gaskets---have no idea about this

Thank you

I have an appointment at a local RV shop
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:26 PM   #2
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Batteries can either be disconnected when sitting or hooked up to a trickle charger (if the electrical system does not maintain the battery when plugged into shore/house power). I usually leave my Roadtrek plugged into my home power and the inverter keeps the battery charged.


Solar can be installed to maintain your batteries. I use a small ebay solar trickle charger on my dashboard to keep the chassis battery charged, works well.


If there is no cell service? Land line, satellite phone or handheld radio are your options. If my phone doesn't get reception then I'm over it.
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:35 PM   #3
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I can offer advice on two out of three of these issues.
I just replaced the isolator under the hood of my '96 RoadTrek. It's the thing that is supposed to stop your cabin battery draining your starter battery. If it's old, like mine was, and your starter battery is poor or you leave your accessory light turned all the way to the left, you will drain your batteries. In my case, I had that light switch turned to the left and some phantom drain occurred. I replaced the isolator myself and problem solved.

With regards to your cabin battery, you may need a new one after having been fully drained like that. Then, you need to determine if your isolator is bad, which is really tough unless you disconnect the wires to check those diodes. If that's too much of a hassle, I recommend adding a knife switch to your cabin battery to manually disconnect it if you know you're going to leave it sitting for long periods of time. Obviously, the previously mentioned methods of keeping it constantly charged is good too.

As for leaking windows, welcome to the Roadtrek Club of Wetness. Those skylight windows are a nightmare... are those the ones you suspect? Or some other windows. If it's the skylight windows, I have some advice, but you might not like it!

-Pete
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:43 PM   #4
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Thank you for your reply. I have an appointment at a RV repair shop. The top windows are ok its the side windows or the gaskets. There is a cut off switch on the engine battery which I am now using. Because I have not gone anywhere - I just want to feel good and get on the road and go on a trip---then based on that either I keep or sell.
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:46 PM   #5
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Currently there is no plugging into electric----maybe ever unless I visit and sit in a driveway. Either this will work out or not. Thank you
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:34 AM   #6
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1. I always disconnect the negative lead on my cabin battery. Place where I store has no power.

2. I bought a folding solar panel and use it to keep the battery charged when I'm out. Seems to work pretty well. I'm trying that because I always park the rv in the shade and a simple extension allows me to put the panel somewhere in the sun.

3. We have a Garmin Explorer. It connects to satelite service and allows two way texting plus an emergency SOS. Like a cell phone you have to buy the device and subscribe to the service. The cheapest service they offer gives you unlimited preset texts but only 10 real texts. Plus the SOS. Costs $15/mo if you buy a months worth. Less if you buy the 12 mo contract.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:25 PM   #7
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Thank you, can you tell me more about the folding solar panel. If I drive for 6 hours would I have power that night? I would like to go on a small trip just do not know how I will have power at night and keep the house battery healthy and working.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:32 PM   #8
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.

drive for 6 hours?

Your RV's alternator would pack more juice in the batteries in 2 hrs
than 8 hrs of sunlight.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:33 PM   #9
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BBQ is correct, Nadine. I only got my folding panel kit for times when I don't drive anywhere for 3 or so days. For example on BLM lands (no campground) visiting friends who had the jeep and drove all of us every day. So my rv just sat. Also in places like Bryce and Zion, where you can't drive within the body of the park. It's all shuttle buses so, again, my RV sat during those times. BTW: I never had a solar panel until this year. My RV has one small (group 24) battery and we've never had any problems with the battery keeping up unless we weren't driving during the day. I believe that even when we did Bryce (stayed for 3 days) we were okay and weren't on solar at that time.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:41 PM   #10
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Default Roadtrek house battery maintenance

If your water pump works when your vehicle engine is running, but stops shortly after you shut down the engine, your alternator and battery isolator diodes are working fine and you just have a dead house battery.

Roadtreks do have a battery disconnect relay. It's on your holding tank control panel, it's the switch labeled "Battery." You can use it to shut down all the little things that drain your battery (like the CO detector, etc.) when your RV is placed in long term storage, but you shouldn't need to use it day to day. Batteries are supposed to last through a couple days of normal RV activity.

Old or neglected batteries die and need replaced, it's just part of normal RV maintenance. The problem is the house battery is so buried in back under the storage area that it's difficult to access for regular maintenance. So don't replace it with a flooded battery that needs the water topped off, get a maintenance-free battery that's sealed, like AGM, or LiIon.

But if you can add a 100 or 200 watt solar panel, it will change your life. Even when you're not paying attention, it's topping off your battery and provides extra power for charging your devices. Flexible panels work well on the Roadtrek fiberglass roof. They can be taped down flat on top of the roof (with Eternabond tape) and this won't create drag that hurts your gas mileage. Getting the wires inside is a little challenge, but remember it's a non-conducting fiberglass roof, so you can drill right through the fiberglass and use two ring terminals and stainless bolts on each wire to send the power inside to your solar controller.

Now I that I have solar, I don't worry about keeping the battery charged, even when I'm in storage. Also, I don't need shore power when I'm camping unless it's really hot and I need air-conditioning.
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