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Camper Memo: Dead and Demounted

Randy Smith unloaded his camper in a shady campsite and made the best of the cloudy weather.  Then he went to reload the camper and made a draining discovery that made him cranky.  And cranky.  And cranky.

Dead and demounter camper batteries

Dead Batteries In A Demounted Camper
Submitted by: Randy Smith, 2017 Ram 3500, 2016 Adventurer 910DB

We went on a multi-night boondocking adventure in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest.  When we arrived, we unloaded the camper at our campsite to have the use of the truck for exploring the area.

To make life easier, we lowered the camper on the corner jacks to the reduce the climb into the camper.  We really didn’t think about how the weekend’s cloudy weather and tree canopy shade would impact our solar panel’s ability to keep our battery charged.

It did.  The morning we decided to leave, the camper battery was completely drained.  There was our camper squatting about a foot off the ground without enough battery power to run the jacks.

We couldn’t get the truck under the camper.  We couldn’t get the camper’s pigtail close enough to the truck to plug it in.  There wasn’t even enough juice left in the battery to turn the generator over.

So, we got out the crank arms and manually cranked the jacks.  And cranked.  And cranked.  And cranked.  If you’re looking for an upper body workout while truck camping, this is a good one.

The Camper Memo

Since this happened, we have added a second battery to our camper’s battery bank.  We also keep a keen eye on the charge level of our battery bank, especially if the camper is off the truck.

The lesson here is to watch your camper’s battery level carefully.  I check our battery bank at least twice a day.  I am also more aware of the weather for our solar panels.  If it’s cloudy, or we’re in the shade, I am even more vigilant about our battery charge levels.

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