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Old 02-03-2013, 07:25 PM   #1
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another stupid question about batteries

I have 92 country coach
I had the house batteries replaced a few months back and all I keep hearing is keep them maintained or else sure death will prematurely result.

I plug it in from time to time to my standard house outlet and I run the generator But how do I know when they are fully charged?

thanks for the help

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Old 02-03-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
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Easy way is to get the specifications for the on-board charger. If it is a three-stage unit with defined voltages during absorption and float stages and you trust the unit to be working, then you can assume it is doing its job. Or you can get a digital multimeter and read the voltages during a whole charging cycle and if they match what the specs state, you should be OK. As a final test, once the float stage is reached, disable the charger and fully disconnect the battery(s) and leave it sitting for at least 4 hours and then measure the voltage. Anything over 12.6 is a pretty good indication that they were 100% charged.

Also, need to check the electrolyte level every week until you get a feel for what is happening. Needing top-up more often than say two-monthly (but it varies from rig to rig) MIGHT be an indication that the charger is hitting the batteries harder than necessary and maybe the cycle settings need modifying.

Because every rig has an unique set of operating conditions so it is hard to give general guidelines covering all situations, but even though the resting voltage method has its inaccuracies, it is still a pretty good guide to actual state of charge.

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Old 02-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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in 92 you are likely to still have the ferro-transformer based converter, if you hear loud humming...

They WILL kill the Battery and your wallet if used for storage.

They pull 500 watts or more unloaded and the output voltage a tad high, takes very little current to boil out the batteries.

Leave the converter turned off in storage and use Battery minder type devices for each Battery.

If full timing either confirm/upgrade converter or be sure to check Battery water MONTHLY.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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As an additional note, the generator will likely not fully charge your battery bank without running for a very long fuel inefficient time.

The best way to get a full charge is via shore power and your convertor or inverter.
1995 CC Magna #5280
C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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to fully charge a Battery and NOT cause harm can take over 24 ours.

What you see at first is bulk mode where high charging currents exist.

As the Battery is charged the voltage rises, this reduces the charge current, but the charger usually is too high voltage, the absorbtion stage takes many hours until fully charged then it is floating, here the charging current should be less that 1/10 of 1% of the capacity.

This is difficult to measure so instead we make sure the voltage does not exceed 13.5 volts.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:29 PM   #6
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I have three solar panels up top of mine and it keeps the batteries topped up well.

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