My RV's Battery Froze, Now The Fuses In My RV Keep Blowing
I have a Scamp Travel Trailer with a blown 15 amp fuse. The only 12V accessories in the camper are three lights and a car stereo. When I parked the camper for the winter (in our unheated garage) I plugged it in to keep the battery charged.
Everything went fine for a couple of months, and then I went to check something inside and noticed no lights. The 15 amp automotive fuse on the light circuit at the converter panel was blown. Blew another as soon as I changed it. Checked the battery and found it sitting in 3" of ice in the battery box. The battery itself did not appear frozen when I pulled caps. Got the battery out, took it into the house and let sit for three days and charged. Did not appear to need much charge, reinstalled, changed fuse, and "pop".
I have been told that the plates in the battery may have shifted and could cause a short, though the fuse on the battery cable itself has not blown. What should I check next?ANSWER:
OK let's start with the basics, yes the electrolytes in a battery can freeze. When the electrolytes in a battery freeze they expand and can cause a crack in the battery case and the expansion can also damage the battery plate separators and battery plates themselves. The plates can get warped and create a short in the battery.
Just because the electrolyte did not look frozen when you looked into the battery, does not mean the electrolyte was not frozen at some other time. The quickest way to determine whether the battery is causing the problem is to temporarily hook up a known good battery to your Travel Trailer. If the fuse does not blow with the known good battery installed then you know that your battery is bad.
Even if the fuse does blow with the known good battery, you should take your existing battery in and have it tested before putting it back in your trailer. Good Sam Extended Service Plan is mechanical breakdown insurance for your RV, 5th Wheel, Trailer, and Tow Vehicle! FREE Quote
The fact that you found the battery sitting in 3" of frozen fluid in the battery tray concerns me. If your trailer was sitting in a covered garage, where did the fluid come from? The only logical explanation can be that the fluid came from the battery itself, either from a crack in the case or because your RV's Battery Charger is over-charging and boiling out the battery and that is where the fluid came from.
If the battery turns out to be good then you know that problem is in the 12-volt circuit in your RV. Unless you have experience finding shorts in electrical systems, your best bet is to take the trailer in and have a Certified RV Technician track down and repair the short. Yes, this is going to cost you some money, but in the long run, if you start messing around with the electrical system, you could cause even more costly damage to the system.
Hope this helps.
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