Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-03-2014, 05:46 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
hoboz2's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Batteries are run down and need charging

I'm new to the motorhome world and bought a 2001 Winnebago 36DL. Love the coach. We have it stored outside in a storage lot, and after this very cold winter, I went to start the MH and the engine would not start. Engine battery shows 11.5 volts and coach battery shows 8.5. I tried to start the onboard generator and it wouldn't start either. My question is, can I use a portable generator, connected to shore line just to recharge the batteries? Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
__________________

__________________
hoboz2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-03-2014, 05:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
CJBROWN's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Orange County CA
Posts: 936
Yes, you could do that, or even just get a jump from a running vehicle to the chassis battery.

The problem is all your batteries are now ruined. None of them are made for going flat - it sulfites the plates and they won't hold a charge now.

When storing you either need a 5-7w solar panel, or a trickle charger too keep the chassis batt up. If you have a master shut-off the coach batts should survive for a couple of months just sitting if they're fully charged beforehand. They really should have a trickle charge on them as well.

So now the question begs why did they go flat. Most RV's don't have a proper charge system so they probably never really got completely charged in the first place. And lead-acid batteries discharge about 1% per day, so after a couple of months they're already half dead, and that's about the limit of what they'll tolerate for any length of time. And that's why batteries usually give it up within 3 years or so in RV's.

The alternator will peak up the chassis batt and then the regulator will back off the amps so the house batts never get fully charged. Plugged in the standard converter in the majority of them also don't have a proper charger built in, so they either don't get them fully charge and/or will boil all the water out of them.

So it's time for a couple of golf cart batts or some really heavy duty deepcycle rv-marine 12'v's and a proper converter/inverter/charger, or some solar panels.

Here's a good place to start for some 12v batt 101, Handy-bob's blog: The RV Battery Charging Puzzle « HandyBob's Blog

Read up on getting a proper charging system for your 12volt system.
__________________

__________________
Chris & Sherry Brown - 2014 Anza Borrego Weekend Trip Report
2005 Itasca Sunrise 31W - W20 and 8.1
2015 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Toad
CJBROWN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 05:59 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
dennis45's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 6,467
If that's your most convenient power source, by all means. Should take 3-4 hours at least. Before you start charging, check the water levels in each cell and to make sure they are not frozen. If you have to add water, make sure to fully charge them or they will freeze.
Fully charged batteries do not freeze but when they run down, likely hood of being froze goes up.
If they have froze, you will need to replace the full set.
__________________
Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
dennis45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 07:47 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Damon Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Annapolis,MD
Posts: 1,195
CJBROWN hit it on the head. Your batteries are toast. Get
a complete new set of AGM batteries, and make sure you
adjust your inverter/charger to the new type of batteries.
__________________
macandphyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 08:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
CJBROWN's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Orange County CA
Posts: 936
Quote:
Originally Posted by macandphyl View Post
CJBROWN hit it on the head. Your batteries are toast. Get
a complete new set of AGM batteries, and make sure you
adjust your inverter/charger to the new type of batteries.
Whoa, AGM's are not mandatory, in fact they're more than double the cost of flooded-cell, so I would never tell someone that was the only or best choice. The most important thing is they get a handle on a good charging regimen and maintainer so what they have stays charged.

There's a lot to be said for golf cart bats for house, either 2 or 4. The big advantage of AGM's are fast charging and no maintenance. You REALLY better have your charging under control or you toast those too.

We need to hear what OP has for charging. They probably don't even have an adjustable converter or inverter.
__________________
Chris & Sherry Brown - 2014 Anza Borrego Weekend Trip Report
2005 Itasca Sunrise 31W - W20 and 8.1
2015 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Toad
CJBROWN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 08:03 PM   #6
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,919
I would not count the batteries toast yet. I received a few perceived bad batteries and through them on our Midtronics GR190 battery charger at work. Those batteries lasted another 3 years until the body shop let the batteries go down to less than 5V for less than a month. Then they were bad. I would not expect someone to buy a $1K charger but I have a smart charger at home that does a very good job and also does similar battery management as the GR190. The charger I bought was from a local store but this NPower Automatic Battery Charger/Maintainer — 2/8/12 Amp Charge Rate, 12 Volt Batteries | Battery Chargers| Northern Tool + Equipment
appears to be the same charger only a different name. It may take a full day or so to fully charge and test the battery but I would not be surprised if your batteries are ok. Deep cycle batteries seem to take a little longer to fully charge.

BTW because you mentioned 11.5V and 8.5V I suspect you have all 12V batteries and not 6V.
__________________
jamesrxx951 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 08:29 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
AlanTerry's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 184
Question? Should the house and engine batteries be taken out of the RV during the Winter sit due to the cold? I ran my coach at the end of November and used a battery charger on the house batteries. I am hoping mine will be okay. What do you think?

Alan & Terry
__________________
AlanTerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 09:05 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 332
1. I might TRY to save the 11.5V battery...it is probably toast and certainly has lost a lot of life but still might be salvagable for a while. The 8.5 is toast.
2. Batteries charged at 100% are good to 91 degrees below zero. as long as they are disconnected (remove the NEGATIVE WIRE to insure no parasitic loads)...they can be left several months in VERY cold weather if first charged fully.
How do you KNOW they are fully charged???...either get a GOOD battery monitor OR charge and wait 24 hours with them disconnected...then take a voltage reading and hope you see 12.6V...otherwise keep charging and repeat the 24 hour wait.
3. The 8.5V battery is certainly toast.
4. Wet Batteries will SELF discharge at about 10% or LESS in cold weather per month. 3 months of discharge at least before you have to start to worry even way up north. THIS is where AGM's have an advantage in that they only discharge 1-2% a month and you can store for 1/2 a year with no worries once charged. All depends on what you need.
__________________
Cam... Georgetown 280DS 2015
Vespa Lx150 2013 Stella Auto125 2014
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 09:47 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 527
Get everything running and make sure they are all toast. These battery posts do not cover several important issues. If you spend the RVing time always plugged into shore power then you can use the lowest cost batteries available. Your shot batteries would probably do just fine. As for the starting batteries, the only issue there is if the engine does not start and that will be obvious. On the other hand if you boon dock a lot then you want the best battery you can afford. And if you boon dock in cold weather you will think you need even better batteries as well as solar cells and other power saving devices. We are plugged into shore power all of the time except for a night once a while during warm weather. Therefore, we have been happy with the Walmart type marine deep cycle batter. Also the engine battery comes from Walmart. If they do not last two years we take them back and we get a new one. Stores are all over. Try getting warranty on your top end battery out in the middle of nowhere. Many people are simply paranoid about their batteries.
__________________
targaboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 10:42 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ & Plover, WI
Posts: 1,725
I was told my battery bank was "toast" after a light was left on and the six bank of 6 volt batteries were dead. They would not take a charge from the inverter/charger. I separated all of them and slow charged each one and brought them up so that the inverter/charger could take over. Once charged up, the specific gravities were not even, so I equalized them and continued to charge with smart charger. Finally the SG was at 1.265 or higher on all cells which was fully charged. A year later when we traded the coach, they were still fine. This occured in the summer, so freezing was not an issue. Your case might be different.
__________________
Crasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 09:16 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Country Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 929
No matter if you have to get new batteries or not long term you're going to have to have some kind of solution to your storage. Hopefully your coach has a battery isolator switch. If it does check and see if you have any draw when it is turned off. If so you need to track it down or disconnect your batteries after you make sure they are fully charged. Another option is to plug it in or install a trickle charger or perhaps a solar panel. But I tend to agree that your batteries are probably damaged by running them so low.
__________________
pumper9x9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 09:39 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
CJBROWN's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Orange County CA
Posts: 936
Quote:
Originally Posted by targaboat View Post
Get everything running and make sure they are all toast. These battery posts do not cover several important issues. If you spend the RVing time always plugged into shore power then you can use the lowest cost batteries available. Your shot batteries would probably do just fine. As for the starting batteries, the only issue there is if the engine does not start and that will be obvious. On the other hand if you boon dock a lot then you want the best battery you can afford. And if you boon dock in cold weather you will think you need even better batteries as well as solar cells and other power saving devices. We are plugged into shore power all of the time except for a night once a while during warm weather. Therefore, we have been happy with the Walmart type marine deep cycle batter. Also the engine battery comes from Walmart. If they do not last two years we take them back and we get a new one. Stores are all over. Try getting warranty on your top end battery out in the middle of nowhere. Many people are simply paranoid about their batteries.
Which were the 'important issues' you reference?
Why do you suppose people are 'paranoid about their batteries? Would it be because they go dead?

Battery quality for off-grid is not as important as a sufficient charge process, be it a converter with smart charger, inverter with charger, or solar grid. Even a cheap battery, if it is kept properly charged, will work just fine. They may not last as long as a higher quality battery that will generally have heavier plates and longer useful life.

From what I can gather from your post is that you buy and use walmart batteries because you always plug in. That's fine, there's nothing wrong with them, they are lead acid flooded cells that mostly come from Johnson controls. My chassis batt is a walmart (3 years) and house from Sam's (5+ years) and all are working fine. They are not any cheaper than any other cheap battery from any number of retailers. Some last just fine and some don't.
__________________
Chris & Sherry Brown - 2014 Anza Borrego Weekend Trip Report
2005 Itasca Sunrise 31W - W20 and 8.1
2015 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Toad
CJBROWN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 03:08 PM   #13
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,919
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanTerry View Post
Question? Should the house and engine batteries be taken out of the RV during the Winter sit due to the cold? I ran my coach at the end of November and used a battery charger on the house batteries. I am hoping mine will be okay. What do you think?

Alan & Terry
I never remove the batteries from my coach over the winter. I do try to start it every month but it tends to be every two months. The battery that was perceived as toast that I used for another 3 years after the first owner never had any issues with winter storage. I do turn off the coach and chassis switch's so there is not current drain. That coach didn't have a solar charger either. At work I had an inverter go bad on one of our fleet trucks. I remove the batteries and they were only a few volts. In fact my charger would not recognize it so I had to use a jump box to trick it to seeing 12V. After a minute of charging I reset the charger. Both batteries came back to life after a full smart charge. The $800.00 midtronics battery tester showed them to pass with flying colors and had a higher CCA rating than advertised.

As long as your coach does not constantly drain the batteries or if it does you have some sort of low watt solar charger there is no reason to remove them.
__________________
jamesrxx951 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 05:30 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
ladagobago's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DW Driver -Winter Englewood FL, Summer Willingboro NJ
Posts: 1,192
Blog Entries: 11
Don't let all these answers scare you. some of you batteries my recover just fine but some may not. First try to charge them up for a few days. when storing over the winter you could simply remove the negative wires off the battery to isolate it from parasitic current losses. but it is to late for that now.

go to auto zone or other type of store and pick up an inexpensive battery tester. get one with a pointer that will give you a relatively close reading of the specific gravity. you hope that the level will be up or above 1275. these things only cost less than 7 bucks and will let you know real quick if you have a bad cell with a low reading.

A low reading would indicate a new battery is needed. for the house batteries I would suggest the use of a set of 6 volt batteries some call golf cart batteries. these have a very good history for deep cycle batteries. I have given up on deep cycle marine combination batteries. 40 years of boating has relieved a lot about cheap batteries.

As far as AGM. I have a double set of deep cycle marine AGM about $266 each. these are for starting my diesel like in about 5 seconds. I also use them in my boat to crank the 454's. I use them because I don't like to crank starter very long. they tend to not like the heat from the long crank and are a real pain to replace on a boat.

If you have access to a good charger inverter you could try to equalize the batteries but first they need a full charge. at equalization for eight hours at 16 volts has brought back what was dead batteries.
__________________

__________________
La Dagobago
99 36 FL Winne Chieftain 5.9 ISB Turbo Cummins DP, 24' box with 1972 V12 XKE Jag and HD Sporty Hobby of 1970's Suzuki dirt bike restoration. Visit my blog.
ladagobago is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
batteries, charging



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.