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Old 05-26-2015, 02:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 46
Default RV battery not charging after trying fridge on 12v.

1991 Roadtrek/Dodge B230.

First problem is my Dometic fridge! I'm so glad it started working and a barely uses any propane. (It also works when I'm plugged in). However it's almost impossible to see if the pilot light is on. I've come to rely on the fridge the past couple months but slowly the dim pilot is getting dimmer and dimmer! Alas now it does not start at all. I'll hold it one and fired the igniter thing, and it'll flicker and barely be visible even in the dark. And even if I hold it on for 2min it will go out as soon as I release. I assume the pilot needs a cleaning, and I assume it's just not big or bright enough to warm the thermocoupler to fire up the system. Heater and stove work fine.

So there are instuctions on how to clean the pilot ; but it does not seem like a job for your average DIYer (as far as I can tell). I will give it a go though.

Meanwhile I never know the status of the House battery. It is new and it works, and the lights are always bright and the fan fires up fine, and water pump cranks. One time I left the fan on by accident for 4 hours and it was still wissing away. I hooked up a little inverter to it (400w peak) and charge all my batteries up with it (external iphone batteries and iphone, and garmin and such). (However when I plug in my laptop it sometimes works but sometimes it beeps and fails even though the laptop doesn't draw much wattage, so I was thinking I just need a bigger inverter)

Anyway, the electric has worked fine and though I need to hook up a guage to know it's status.

As the fridge is not working on propane and I didn't want to lose my food, so I put it on 12v for 1.5 hours while I was out. When I came back the fridge was not working and my electric was essentially dead. lights come on but barely, and fan barely hums. I driven now more than 3 hours since then and still very little power to the lights and fan and waterpump. Any ideas?

I read somewhere that when your house battery is topped up the vehicle engine will keep it well charged, along with the engine battery. but if the house battery is depleted and the engine battery is OK< it sort of stops charging the house battery thinking they are both OK. I have no idea if this is the problem and that perhaps I just have to externally charge the house battery to bring it back to life?

But this all arove putting the fridge on 12v, so I gotta think that has something to do with it. Maybe some fuse popped? (my panel thing seems OK)

I have not plugged in externally since this went down 2 days ago and I'm not sure when I'll next have access.

sorry for the l long post; hope you have some ideas!
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:48 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 8,828
Default Re: RV battery not charging after trying fridge on 12v.

3 hours charging is not long enough for a discharged battery. The battery will get charged but not fully charged. Try to plug in at least overnight to see if that helps bring it back.

This post might help re: solving the problem when on propane:

The burner jet is easily removed to be cleaned by soaking it in wood alcohol. The burner and flue tube are easy enough to clean.
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