400 is not operating at all on battery power

AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
While plugged into shore power, battery charge indicator on panel inside door shows 4 red lights, which I assume means it is fully charged. When we disconnect from shore power, we get no power to the tab from battery and no lights on indicator panel. Tab is sitting in driveway, not connected to vehicle. Thoughts? I have checked with battery switch both in online and offline position. I contacted my dealer this morning via text, but thought the wise ones here at the forum might provide a quicker response on this Sunday morning. By the way, we are not sure it was ever operable by battery, we have not camped in it yet.
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Comments

  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,170Administrator
    edited October 2017
    The battery is fused, have you checked the inline 30A fuse?  That'd be my guess that you have a blown fuse if you have no power and have checked the battery on/off switch.  You have fuses down in the electric converter too, but the battery fuse is probably blown at the battery.
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 T@B Max S
    Attached Image
  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    edited October 2017
    @Michigan_Mike Yes inline fuse was blown. We are going to replace it, while not connected to shore power, and then see if we have a charge. If so, then dealer said then we can connect to shore power to get battey charged up. He said that fuse is typically blown when battery discharges, and then you put it on shore power and it tries to recharge quickly and blows fuse.  But my question is now this:   frig was off, lights were off, alde was off... would carbon monixide detector and dim Jensen light discharge that huge battery in a week? (at least now we know to take battery offline when parked in drive, no shore power)
  • rfuss928rfuss928 Posts: 312Member
    edited October 2017
    AMac said:
    ... would carbon monixide detector and dim Jensen light discharge that huge battery in a week?
    YES!

    There are probably additional parasites you have not yet discovered.
                      Bob & Rosalie Fuss - Spencerport NY
                          ---SUNT@B - 2009 CS ---
    -------334 nights out ----  63445 miles traveled-------
    States Visited Mapstatemap

  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    Wow, so what is it reasonable to expect to be able to operate on battery power for a couple of nights of camping?
  • Tabaz Tabaz Posts: 1,320Member

    Your television set is also a source of parasitic draw.  I always unplug mine when not in use (T@B 320).  Check out "Fuses for Newbies" for more sources of draw.  BTW, someone needs to do a "Fuses for Newbie" post for the 400.

  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    edited October 2017
    Ok, here's follow up so far: 1) found our notes from time we first brought tab home and we noted at the time that nothing came on in the trailer until we plugged into shore power, so thinking fuse was blown at/before time we took delivery (we assumed battery needed to be charged up, so hooked up to shore power). 2) We kept trailer on shore power for next few weeks, and battery monitor panel showed 4 red dots = "C", so assumed that meant battery was charged.  Now we understand from dealer that all that means is that the converter is working if we are on shore power.  3) After discussion this a.m. with dealer, we checked and then replaced the (blown) green 30 amp fuse in the pigtail near the battery accessible from the exterior access door with a new fuse, with shore power turned off. 4) We then checked battery monitor panel with shore power off - battery power showed 2 red dots = "G" (whatever that means. 5) We then turned on shore power, with battery switch set to 'on line' position.  Now waiting to see if/when battery gets charged.  

  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,170Administrator
    It sounds like your trailer battery ran down between the time it was built and sitting in the dealer's lot.  I'm also guessing that the battery was isolated from charging and that as noted, the 4 red lights indicated that the electric converter was in fact providing 12 volts to the trailer, but yet the battery was isolated  and not being charged via the converter.  I would let it charge for a full day and check it again and via a 12 volt LED meter as lights on the panel won't give you a difinitive voltage reading.  

    I agree with the comments above, there is parasitic drain occurring and as noted, the LED light circuitry also draws a small amount of voltage even when off and will drain the battery, along with everything else.  
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 T@B Max S
    Attached Image
  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    @Michigan_Mike thanks so much for the info.  If you would be so kind as to tell me how to check the battery with a meter - the battery contacts are covered by/located under a wood cover with 4 screws attached to the bed framing.  Do we have to take off this wood panel in order to check the battery voltage? 
  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    edited October 2017
    @Michigan_Mike ; Here is picture of wood cover over battery terminals.  It appears only way to access terminals is to remove this cover.  Pretty awkward to have to do on a regular basis.

  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,170Administrator
    edited October 2017
    I have a meter that looks like this one.   All you'll need to do is plug it in to the cigarette style receptacle in your trailer and it will give you the voltage read for the trailer.  
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 T@B Max S
    Attached Image
  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    I have a meter that looks like this one.   All you'll need to do is plug it in to the cigarette style receptacle in your trailer and it will give you the voltage read for the trailer.  
    Fantastic! Now we just need to find the receptacle!
  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 260Member
    Wouldn't the battery disconnect resolve the parasitic drain? I keep my 320s connect to the house, with battery disconnect "off" so my battery is tended, but for those who don't, put battery disconnect "on" and you should be disconnected from the trailers draw... yes/no?
    TV- '14 Jeep GC Eco Diesel & '09 JKU 
    2018 320S Outback
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,170Administrator
    AMac said:
    I have a meter that looks like this one.   All you'll need to do is plug it in to the cigarette style receptacle in your trailer and it will give you the voltage read for the trailer.  
    Fantastic! Now we just need to find the receptacle!
    Isn't there a receptacle back in the rear in the bed area?   

    4ncar said:
    Wouldn't the battery disconnect resolve the parasitic drain? I keep my 320s connect to the house, with battery disconnect "off" so my battery is tended, but for those who don't, put battery disconnect "on" and you should be disconnected from the trailers draw... yes/no?
    It should, but it is normal for a battery to have some discharge over time whether hooked up or not.   
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 T@B Max S
    Attached Image
  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 260Member
    AMac said:
    I have a meter that looks like this one.   All you'll need to do is plug it in to the cigarette style receptacle in your trailer and it will give you the voltage read for the trailer.  
    Fantastic! Now we just need to find the receptacle!
    Isn't there a receptacle back in the rear in the bed area?   

    4ncar said:
    Wouldn't the battery disconnect resolve the parasitic drain? I keep my 320s connect to the house, with battery disconnect "off" so my battery is tended, but for those who don't, put battery disconnect "on" and you should be disconnected from the trailers draw... yes/no?
    It should, but it is normal for a battery to have some discharge over time whether hooked up or not.   
    Indeed
    TV- '14 Jeep GC Eco Diesel & '09 JKU 
    2018 320S Outback
  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    edited October 2017
    @4ncar I've kind of got three separate things I had/have questions about:
    1) we inadvertently did NOT do what you suggested (take battery offline) while out of town for a week with trailer sitting in our driveway; it's still not clear whether that resulted in a blown bettery fuse when we plugged trailer into shore power on our return. We'll know better next time!
    2) Given small draws of various appliances/equipment, I still don't have any sense of how long we might reasonably be able to boondock with only battery power - I understand it will depend alot on what our power demands are.
    3) I am hearing that we can ruin the (very expensive) AGM battery if we let it discharge below a certain point and I am trying to understand how to monitor its charge accordingly. 
    I very much appreciate all the help from the seasoned t@b veterans on this forum!
  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    Found the cigarette style receptacle - it is near the sink (black square on this poor quality pic) - thanks @Michigan_Mike ! Now we just need to get the meter!

  • unclemikebobunclemikebob Posts: 7Member
    When we picked up our new 400 in July we had the same problem. Found the 30 amp fuse was indeed blown. The dealer called the manufacturer and it was suggested that we use a 40 amp fuse since the new model 400 came with a bigger battery and needed the larger fuse to operate correctly. So far its working quite well.
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 368Member
    Does the 400 use the same basic electrical gizmos as the 320 size trailers.  Would JKjenns electric use spreadsheets till apply?

  • ScottGScottG Posts: 1,764Moderator
    @AMac, I have the same meter Michigan_Mike recommended and have found it very useful for keeping track of battery health as it provides much more information than the basic "idiot lights" that come with the built-in system. However, to avoid being overwhelmed by that information, keep in mind a few limitations...

    - These meters are designed for testing automobile batteries and generators. The indicator lights will often show yellow or even red. Ignore them and focus on the actual voltage reading.

    - When under load (such as running the water pump or a bright light) you will see dramatic drops in voltage. This is normal. Accurate readings are taken in a no load (or an as-little-as-possible load) state.

    - When you are plugged into shore power, the monitor--like the built-in one--will reflect to voltage output of the converter, not the charge state of the battery.

    You are correct that the only way to get a true battery reading is to measure the voltage at the terminals, with the battery disconnected. Fortunately, there's no compelling reason to do that under normal use unless you trying to diagnose a truly bad battery.  
    2015 T@B S
  • We purchased our 400 back in July and had the same issue, we brought it home and plugged into shore power and then once it was off we assumed the battery was fully charged, nothing was working, fuse was blown, etc. After going back and forth with the dealer and nucamp, this is what was "said" to be our problem.

    The battery was below the capacity for the converter that the 400 comes with and it cannot supply enough charge to recharge the battery from that low. So every time we tried to charge it the fuse kept blowing, it was trying to overdo itself so to speak. The solution for us was to take the battery out or get access to it and put it on a charger until it was fully charged. So basically, it had been sitting at the lot and and lost too much battery life, we don't know a lot about batteries, voltage, etc. But after the battery was fully charged we have not had any problems with it since and we have essentially gone camping every weekend since then. Hopefully your issues were solved!
    2018 T@B 400 Silver and Black "Luxo" / 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo - Jeremy and Andrea - Southport, NC
  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    The fuse replacement appeared to fix the problem. Battery charged on shore power for over 24 hours, and now is fully charged. I've ordered my plug in voltmeter per @Michigan_Mike.  We sure did learn a lot - glad it happened in the driveway! Now that we solved our first problem with the help of this group, in retrospect it was actually fun.
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,367Member
    Does the 400 use the same basic electrical gizmos as the 320 size trailers.  Would JKjenns electric use spreadsheets till apply?
    I think there are enough differences between the models that we would need a new worksheet. I am willing to do it if I can access someone's 400 for an hour so in the western PA or NE Ohio areas.

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • ScottGScottG Posts: 1,764Moderator
    Excellent information, @WanderingWonder. In hindsight, I know that some stand-alone smart chargers also won't charge a battery that has dropped below a certain voltage. Something to keep in mind when shopping for a charger.

    Of course, it's far better not to let your battery get to that point, but unfortunately we can't control what happens on a dealer's lot.
    2015 T@B S
  • icesk8ricesk8r Posts: 5Member
    After reading all this, I am so glad that I have the solar panels on mine.  When on shore power, we disconnect battery to prevent overcharging.  If not plugged in, the solar keeps the battery charged. 
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,367Member
    edited October 2017
    Isn't there a battery monitor by the door on the T@b?

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    Since we replaced the battery fuse, I've been keeping an eye on the battery charge while the tab is sitting in my driveway over the last 2 weeks. I've turned the Jensen lighted display off, unplugged the TV, but still a draw from the CO detector. I've run the fan and water pump a few times, listened to the radio and turned on lights. Battery still showing full charge on monitor. I'll update post with actual voltage reading later. This weekend I'm going to experiment with using electricity like I think we will when camping, and monitor voltage throughout the weekend. I intend to try and correlate the monitor readings (red lights) with actual voltage readings from the voltmeter.
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,367Member
    I might need to put togetger a new spreadsheet for the 400...

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • AMacAMac Posts: 69Member
    edited October 2017
    AMac said:
    Since we replaced the battery fuse, I've been keeping an eye on the battery charge while the tab is sitting in my driveway over the last 2 weeks. I've turned the Jensen lighted display off, unplugged the TV, but still a draw from the CO detector. I've run the fan and water pump a few times, listened to the radio and turned on lights. Battery still showing full charge on monitor. I'll update post with actual voltage reading later. This weekend I'm going to experiment with using electricity like I think we will when camping, and monitor voltage throughout the weekend. I intend to try and correlate the monitor readings (red lights) with actual voltage readings from the voltmeter.
    4 lights on monitor panel correlated with voltmeter readings from ~12.6v to to 13.6v (fully charged battery).  Today 10/28, 12 days after turning off shore power, voltmeter reading is 12.43v, panel has 3 lights illuminated. 10/29 update - fridge has been on about 20 hours at mid-range cold setting, vm reading 11.83v with fridge on, still 3 lights on monitor panel
  • SAMSAM Posts: 1,613Member
    @AMac ; If I were you, I would ignore the lights and charge your battery.  
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • VernaVerna Posts: 4,386Administrator
    I have a battery meter that is always on at the rear under my light, and it shows exactly what a volt/ohm meter shows when testing the batteries. I prefer to trust exact voltages rather than ones that do not show me estimated voltages.  I would highly suggest purchasing an inexpensive battery meter that plugs into a 12V accessory plug and a volt/ohm meter (also known as a multimeter).  You really are taking a chance on ruining your new very expensive battery. 

    And I agree with @SAM
    Verna, Indianapolis, Indiana; 2014 T@B S M@X, white/red, INDIANA  H@@SIER; towed by 2015 Toyota Tacoma V6 TRD 4x4; T@B Administrator
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