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Old 11-21-2016, 04:45 AM   #1
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Default 6 Mysterious Amps

Last week I took my 2016 Travato into the shop to check out a couple of the LED lights. They haven't replaced them yet, but determined they needed to be changed out. Ever since I got it back, my Power Control System says I'm drawing 6-7 amps regularly. This is with zero lights on, furnace/AC/fans off, fridge off, nothing plugged in. Before I took it in, it would normally read 0-1 amps being drawn in this scenario. Each day I wake up, half of my battery is depleted, running 2 Lifeline 6v batts, fully charged from the day. If I turn off the Coach Battery switch, while plugged in and my lights etc are still working, it drops down to the normal 0-1 amps. If I turn the switch back on, jumps back up to 6 amps used, but again there is no noticeable change.

Any idea on what I might do to locate where all these amps are being drawn from?

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:18 AM   #2
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Last week I took my 2016 Travato into the shop to check out a couple of the LED lights. They haven't replaced them yet, but determined they needed to be changed out.
::

Thanks!
Not quite sure what you are talking about...

What LED lights?
What check out?
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:39 PM   #3
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Does the Travato have any storage area lights?

Start pulling fuses till you find which circuit the drain is on and go from there.

Switch the inverter off if it has one.

Keep experimenting till you get it turned off then solve the problem. Six amps shouldn't be hard to find.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:19 PM   #4
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The cabin's main overhead lights. Two of the four went out completely, and I mention ten because it was the only thing electrical the shop looked into.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:53 PM   #5
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I just went through each fuse, I removed 9 out of 10 without it changing the read out. The 10th fuse is the power to the control panel/tv/radio so I can't pull that and see. The radio and tv is off. Hmm��
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:39 PM   #6
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So it is in the control panel or before the battery switch. With the battery switch off do the batteries still discharge overnight?

DVMs typically have a 10 amp capability. Put it in the power line to the control panel. You could also get a fuse ammeter from Harbor Freight and put it in the fuse slot for the control panel.

If you have a DVM pull the control panel fuse, put the probes in the slot and set it on amps. Again, six amps has got to be easy to find. You need a DVM to run an RV. Get one.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:52 PM   #7
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Maybe unrelated, but...I had a short in my Travato that would blow that radio/TV fuse and the fuse that protected the lights. The wires were pinched and shorting each other. It was also intermittent and difficult to trace.

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Old 11-22-2016, 12:07 AM   #8
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An RV with an electrical system with a 6 amp phantom current draw is not usable. You must solve this.

It is possible that this is an error in instrumentation but from your note it appears that the batteries do discharge. Please post the results. Most likely it is something simple.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:41 AM   #9
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I don't know if this is even on track maybe someone will know but could it be energizing a relay that is drawing the load
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:43 AM   #10
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Just as an update, earlier this evening when I plugged in again and could read the Power Control System, it was quickly jumping all over from 1 to 3 to 7 to 2 to 5 amps, etc. After awhile it dropped to a steady 3 amp draw, despite everything being turned off. Now it's sitting at 1 amp with 2 lights on.

I'll keep an eye on it and what it's doing to my battery through the day, and also will bring up the points made in the thread to the shop when they return my call.

Thanks for your help! I'll keep this thread updated with anything I learn.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:08 AM   #11
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Is it AC amps like this:

AC Amps.JPG
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:10 AM   #12
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Ah it is. Does that change things?
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:08 PM   #13
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It would be normal for there to be current flow on the AC side when you plug in. There would be some current flowing even if the batteries were fully charged and no AC items running.

The 45 amp DC converter/charger in my van can use 700 watts AC at full output I think. That would be around 6 amps AC.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:15 PM   #14
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Ah it is. Does that change things?


YES! You are reading the 120V AC current on that panel. Your readings sound entirely normal and are not directly related to the drain on your 12V DC battery powered systems. If your batteries are going flat too quickly you might have something unintended turned on. Most RVs delivered today do not have a meter to read the current drain from the batteries - which is a real problem when trying to monitor battery use.


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Old 11-22-2016, 06:48 PM   #15
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Ok that makes sense. What doesn't make sense is why up until the other day, a normal reading was 0-1, then all of a sudden was steady at 6, and last night was rapidly bouncing between multiple amps being drawn.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:47 PM   #16
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The jumping numbers do seem a bit odd - it might or might not be normal.

Some devices might might go through a power up initialization before settling to a standby state. If the batteries were low then I'd expect full converter output. Then, as the batteries charge, that load will decrease.

Lead acid batteries take a long time to finish charging. Additionally, the charger will progress through its stages automatically so the load will vary. A good way begin troubleshooting would be to start with fully charged batteries. That would probably mean charging them at least overnight.

I'd make sure the faulty leds lights switch is off or bulbs removed to eliminate them as a source for problems.

If the batteries are still discharging overnight with no apparent loads then that still needs to be solved.
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Old 11-23-2016, 02:55 AM   #17
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Any idea on what I might do to locate where all these amps are being drawn from?
Thanks!
Does your Travato have heated holding tanks?
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Old 11-24-2016, 02:39 AM   #18
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vanBramf: you took your Travato to the shop "to check out a couple of the LED lights." Were the LEDs simply not working, or were the lamps suspect? Did both fail at the same time? How old is your Travato?

Maybe their branch circuit has a short: if so, pulling their fuse would of course eliminate the loss, but if you were going by the AC amp reading at that time, I'm not clear you would have seen any indication of it.

I assume you are sure you did not have the battery draw before going into the shop. If so, something happened between leaving home and returning. I would want to know from the tech who worked on it exactly what he did.

If you don't have one, I recommend borrowing or investing in an inexpensive clamping multimeter (I won't go on a trip without one). They are invaluable in such situations. With shore power unplugged and everything 12vDC switched off, I would first measure amps by clamping the battery bank positive lead: that should measure your battery drain directly and be your base reference. (Please post the result.) Leave the meter in place.

Next, I would pull the fuses one-by-one, record the result (which should be 0 to a few milliamps less than the base reading (and less than the accuracy of the meter, probably): the difference is the actual value); replace the fuse and go to the next. Include any circuits directly connected to the battery+ terminal, including the power lead from the alternator. That should document the phantom draw (if any) of all circuits tested, except for losses directly from appliances that are turned off (that's more difficult to isolate, except for lamps, where you can remove the bulb, then switch on (with fuse still pulled).

Do the total phantom loads add up to the baseline? Usually not - there is frequently an amp or so that cannot be accounted for. If there is a large discrepancy, look for the loss between the 12v distribution panel and the battery.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I am something of a newbie at this kind of thing, but it happens I am going through my own trial of fire the last few months, and have been reading a great deal as a result. If my logic is incorrect, I ask that someone quickly corrects it.
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Old 11-24-2016, 05:12 PM   #19
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Does your Travato have heated holding tanks?
It is starting to get cold so.... If your Travato has a Winnebago feature called "Electric Heated Drainage System" maybe it is coming on?
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:48 PM   #20
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With a fridge on and the furnace blower (even on a Truma) you can deplete the two AGM batteries overnite.

The numbers on the AC panel can bounce around a little as the battery charger does it thing and other loads come on and off. It should settle down pretty quickly though. If it doesn't, then I'd have it checked out.

Also, there is a recall on the transfer switch. Turns out that on some units, WGO did not torque down the wires sufficiently and some wiggle loose, causing arcing. You might want to check out that angle as well.
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