Please Help - Power / Battery after Lightning

Discussion in 'Towables' started by shanangibson, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. shanangibson

    shanangibson New Member

    Our 2008 Prairie Schooner received an indirect (we think) lightning strike while we were camping (full hoook-ups). We saw extensive St. Elmo's Fire dancing across the ceiling and it killed our fireplace, computer monitor and stereo tuner - but we thought everything else was OK. It took a few hours for the camp's power to come back on and equalize but everything came back on and appeared functional at 3am (AC units, TV, fridge, all circuit breakers and fuses looked good, etc). Returned to camper around 5pm the next day and everything was dead; discovered battery looked fried (heavy corrosion that was not there before). Bought a new battery, cleaned terminals, installed and all seemed fine. We were happy. In the middle of the night we woke up to beeping and the new battery appears dead. So, why would a brand new battery drain so quickly? Why does the camper need the battery if we are using the electric hook-ups (or why would it pull enough to drain it so quickly)? Does this sound like a power source problem (electric hookups), power plug/cord, internal wiring, or something else? We are at a loss and appreciate any help or suggestions. There are very few people who repair RV's where we are and it's not an option to pack up and go home right now. We bought this used and love it, but don't know much about campers. Thanks in advance! :(
  2. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: Please Help - Power / Battery after Lightning

    Hi Shanan and welcome to the RVUSA Forum. Sounds like your inverter (the thing that changes 120 volt AC shore power to 12 volt DC power to run your RV and charge your battery) took a hit, fried your old battery, and won't charge your new battery.

    Your AC, TV, fridge and microwave all work on 120 volt AC and it sounds like that part of your trailer is okay (thank goodness). Everything else, lights, sensors, monitor panels, etc, work on 12 volt and if your new battery wasn't fully charged before being installed, it would drain down pretty quick.

    While your RV is plugged in, check to see if you are getting 13 to 14 volts DC out of your inverter. If not, you need a new one - and you might want to invest in a surge protector as well, to hopefully prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

    Post back and let us know how you do or if you have any more questions. :) :) :) :)
  3. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Please Help - Power / Battery after Lightning

    That is exactly what happened, the charger got fried in the strike. You will find it in the front storage compartment hanging from the roof of the compartment. It is a silver box and made by Inteli-Power. You need to read on it how many amps yours is. Probably 45, and you need to replace it with the same or higher amps, do not go smaller.

    You need a battery on the trailer because most of your elec. items actually use 12 volt to work. The AC, Refer and Water Heater have 12 volt controls and won't work without 12 volts in the trailer. Also, most of your lights are 12 volt. In theory those items use the battery to operate and the charger recharges the battery as voltage goes down in the battery. If you remove the battery, the charger will have to work all the time, and will work the trailer for a while, but it will be overworked and you would have to replace it way earlier than it was designed.

    Usually the battery protects the charger from a spike in power or strike, sorry yours got it anyway. Be glad a lot more items did not get damaged.
  4. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Please Help - Power / Battery after Lightning

    Does the Inteli-Power have a reset on it? Check that the inverter has 120 volts to it.

  5. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Please Help - Power / Battery after Lightning

    No reset, but it does have 2 fuses that protect it if you hook up the battery backwards (yes that does happen). It would be a good idea to make sure that the plug is powered...did not think of that.

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