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New to Camping; New R Pod

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TexasCruiser View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TexasCruiser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: New to Camping; New R Pod
    Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 12:32pm
My wife and I bought our first camper last month, a 2018 R Pod 179. We had it winterized and have it stored about a mile from our home in North Texas. We are retired and excited about hitting the road with our new "toy." We'll be towing it with a 2018 GMC Terrain which came with a towing package. We towed it about 4 hours from Tulsa, OK where we bought it and had no issues with the tow.

Over Christmas our son and grand kids visited and I took them to the R Pod and showed off the features. The battery had juice and I was able to turn on lights and work the slide out. But this week I went back to the unit and the battery appears to be dead. The battery is new so this surprises me. I turned off the refrigerator but I don't know what else I was supposed to do to stop the battery from draining. Now I need to know if I need to hook it up and bring it to my house and if I can run an extension cord from the unit to the house and if that will charge the battery. Or do I need to buy a battery charger and let it run overnight to charge it? I'm a rookie and would appreciate some guidance on this matter. Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pod_Geek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 12:47pm
Without having solar to keep the battery charged, parasitic draws like CO/Propane detectors, radios, etc. can slowly drain the battery if it's connected and they're not disconnected.  Plugging the R-Pod in to your home electric should charge it, but I'm gong to defer to the geniuses on this board as to whether allowing a lead-acid battery (assuming that's what you have) to fully discharge is the kiss of death for it.
2020.5 R-Pod 195 Hood River
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 1:43pm
Genius comment aside, there is a good chance it’s the kiss of death. Get the rpod plugged in ASAP. Be sure the circuit breaker for the on board charger is on and the panel battery lights indicate that you are charging. Check the water level in the battery if it has removable caps, fill with distilled water if needed. Leave it charging for at least a week or so. Then if you want you can disconnect from shore power and disconnect the negative battery terminal to eliminate any parasitic draw. Reconnect and recharge at least monthly. That’s about all you can do to salvage the situation short of just replacing the battery.

You can later see if decent battery capacity is still there by using the trailer normally for a day or two without connecting to shore power but do it at home or at a campsite with electric available so you can connect if needed.
2015 Rpod 179
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TexasCruiser View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TexasCruiser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 1:49pm
I appreciate both replies (so far). I had no idea that the battery would or could completely drain just sitting in a storage lot for 6 weeks. What's draining it? I'll hook it up and plug it into the house ASAP. I'll take a look at the battery but I'm not sure if I can tell if the cells are low on water.
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 2:07pm
The CO detector and maybe the TV booster are two items that could be drawing current. Might be something else accidentally got left on too. Disconnecting the battery after recharging it will keep that from happening but the battery will eventually self discharge even if not connected so you should recharge every few weeks. Only disconnect the negative terminal, if you disconnect the positive you can accidentally short out the battery through your wrench to the trailer chassis. That would be bad. You can also just leave it connected and charging all the time.

If there are caps on the battery they should either turn or pop off. If the battery plates are uncovered then add distilled water only, up to where the water comes in contact with the little slots in the holes when you look down in the battery. If you don’t see any caps then you have a “maintenance free” battery so can’t easily add water to it even if it needs it.
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jato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 3:03pm
Also, pick up a cheap voltmeter from Harbor Freight or similar.  Usually can be purchased for $3 - $5.  A fully charged 12v battery at rest after being charged should read around 12.72v.  When using don't take it below 60% S.O.C. or 12.2v.  I have a pair of 12v Interstates group size 24 that are now 10 and 9.8 years old.  As offgrid wisely stated, keep an eye on the electrolyte levels (if it isn't a maintenance free battery) and fill with distilled water to the 'full' mark. 

With proper maintenance batteries will last a long time.  What is done in this neck of the woods, northern Michigan, is batteries are pulled out of the 177 and brought inside an unheated garage and set on the concrete floor.  In early November they are each given a 24-36 hour 2 amp trickle charge and then sit in hibernation until the following mid to late April when the process is repeated and then re-installed in the 177.  Hopefully you will be able to salvage the battery.  After charging it off your house current for a week, disconnect the ground and let it set for a day and then read your voltage.  If it reads 12.7v or above - you are in luck.  If it reads less, like 12.5 or less, it has been hurt to the point that replacement will be in order.

BTW, congratulations on your R-Pod purchase and welcome to this forum!
God's pod
'11 model 177
'17 Ford F-150 4WD 3.5 Ecoboost
Jim and Diane by beautiful Torch Lake
"...and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mjlrpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 4:14pm
I leave my pod plugged into 110 at home, all winter long. Even in the summer between trips, I plug in. I wouldn't leave a battery without charging for more than 2 or 3 weeks, if it's connected to nothing. If it's connected to something, you gotta watch it often. 

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Pod People View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pod People Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 4:17pm
you can also install a battery switch that will turn the battery off completely.  this wou;ld eliminate having to disconnect a negative cable. they are easily available and installed. there are lots of different types-her is a simple one-
https://www.amazon.com/ABIGAIL-Battery-Disconnect-Isolator-Position/dp/B07Z8R59MM/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=battery+disconnect+switch&qid=1610576056&s=automotive&sr=1-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExTzUxMDRLMTZHSTBYJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMjEzMDkyUU8xTldSNDA3SVlYJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA4ODcwMDIyUklLNkVJNjVJNURUJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Welcome to the forum.  There are lots of 179 owners here-let us know if you need help
Vann
Vann & Laura 2015 179 R Pod
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TexasCruiser View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TexasCruiser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 6:38pm
I gotta tell y'all, this forum is awesome! I read a lot of questions/comments while I was waiting to get approved to join and I'm so glad I did. I appreciate all who have responded. Quality answers. I'm gonna add that battery switch to my list of items I'd like to get. I was also advised that I could get the solar panels and that would keep me charged but the advise to keep it plugged in or unplug the battery is good info. Of course nobody mentioned any of this when I bought the unit. And I've read the owners manual that came with it and it's pretty worthless and I can't find a real owners manual online. Any suggestions there?
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2021 at 6:49pm
+1 on the multimeter. You will find it a useful tool for numerous things as an rpod owner.

A battery disconnect is fine for the long term if you can’t leave the rpod connected to shore power while stored. The disconnect should go on the positive battery terminal not the negative. I know that sounds contradictory.

Why? Because it is a permanent disconnect device. Permanent disconnects per the electric code should always go in the ungrounded line, which is the positive in rpods. A temporary disconnect can be done on either the positive or negative, it’s just safer on the negative because you can’t accidentally short out the battery to the frame.

Hope that makes sense.
2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander
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