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Old 11-02-2012, 06:45 AM   #1
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Charging batteries

I charged my Exide batteries that Im assuming came from Camping world..I just bought this Dolphin LX5342 from a private party and they may have lost charge from just sitting but Im not sure so I charged each of them about 20 hours on the first and now 12 on the second. I can only get the needle to come up to 50 amp charge..what surprises me is these batts were made Jan 2012 and shipped Mar 2012 from Exide and they could be bad already..Im not sure what that needle sould read after 20 hrs of charging..by the way the water level was good when I checked before charging. What do you think, they are bad,,the charge is up where it belongs?
Jerry
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:12 AM   #2
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I can only get the needle to come up to 50 amp charge..
Not really sure what you mean here. I'm assuming maybe you mean 50 % charge? Anyway, the easiest thing to do is to get the batteries checked. many auto parts stores can do this for you. Do you have a volt meter handy? If so what voltage are you seeing with the battery charger working, and after you remove the battery charger? Are the battery connections clean?
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:24 AM   #3
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Yes I mean 50% charge, sorry. I just thought maybe if it is taking so long to get to 100% maybe they are bad and Im wasting my time. I dont have a volt meter so I guess Ill have to take them in.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:53 AM   #4
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Batteries should Be charged slowly,, Three quarters of an amp for 72 hours should bring most batteries up to full charge,, 12 V battery should not drop below 9.6 V when cranking over the motorhome.. You should take the batteries after charging them to a shop they can put a load on them and see what the voltage drops to.. AGM batteries if they drop below 10 volts with out putting them in parallel with another bat. cannot be charged and should not be charged with the regular battery charger. Take the batteries back to interstate they are the experts
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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OMG 472hrs? Ive never heard of that. usually when I charge a battery and it turns out good its no more than 1.5 days to get it 100%.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:13 AM   #6
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Are you sure the charger is working? Thats why I asked about the battery voltage while charging and after charging. Were the batteries completely discharged when you got the RV? So many things could be going on you need to take them one at a time. First thing is to take pictures of the battery compartment and how the wires are connected. Make sure you take plenty of pictures from different angles. Then get the batteries checked. With the batteries being so new, they will have a warranty still left on them. Problem is some warranties are for the original owner only, but check and see what the actual wording says.

I do want to caution you about the gasses given off when charging batteries. Make sure the battery compartment is ventilated and all gasses are dispersed. These gasses are explosive.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:13 PM   #7
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it can take awhile to get that last bit of charge, particularly with batteries that have sat cold and dead for a time.
They could easily actually be cold and dead... but probably not.

I would "work em" a bit. put em under load and discharge to 12 volts..., then charge em again, repeat.

Go to your local home center and buy a cheap digital multimeter, rv owners use them a lot.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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Well thank you guys. I took the batteries to Camping World,,they sell them there. they checked both and one was bad..these bats were built in Jan 2012 and even without a receipt they gave me a new bat for the bad one..no questions asked. as far as charging, they told me I should have a charger that has a deep cycle setting on it..regular chargers won't charge deep cells. Thanks for all your knowledge and suggestions.
Jerry and Teri Lea
2004 Dolphin LX6342.
Tires are next.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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Many places sell Excide, I have friends who say don't buy Excide.. I do not argue with them.. I do not necessarly support them either.

That said.. Depending on the battery type, how long it sat, and how deeply it was discharged, it may be history.. DEEP CYCLE batteries recover from a low state of charge better than starting batteries,, MARINE/DEEP CYCLE are not deep cycle, they are starting batteries. First and foremost with a very slight nod to the deep end.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:14 PM   #10
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I went to Camping World because I knew they were purchased there by the former owner..If these batteries are not Deep Cycle why would an RV Sales and Service sell them as their only batteries. I must say I was very impressed by their service to me and the new battery, thank you very much.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:54 PM   #11
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Your coach has a pretty good charging system, probably a Magnetek 950, which produces up to 50A of charging current and tapers off to a float charge to keep it fully charged. It will bring the batteries to full charge in no more than about 48 hours if the batteries are all healthy.

I sense that you could use some education about RV deep cycle batteries and how to check and maintain them. Trojan Battery has an excellent series of articles and videos on the subject - see

Trojan Battery Company
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:34 PM   #12
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OMG 472hrs? Ive never heard of that. usually when I charge a battery and it turns out good its no more than 1.5 days to get it 100%.
Huh? ...where did you get 472 hours from???! That's over two weeks charging at 24 hours a day!

And with all due respect to wa8yxm, many of us use house batteries that are a hybrid-type marine/rv battery which, yes, are not a true industrial deep cycle battery but are still designed to be discharged more deeply than a regular starting battery. We've used Walmart marine hybrid deep cycle batteries with good results on several RVs.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:05 AM   #13
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lots of advice but no one advised using a hydrometer. then you can see what each cell is doing. old school ...
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:03 AM   #14
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lots of advice but no one advised using a hydrometer. then you can see what each cell is doing. old school ...

Excellent suggestion wonderer1 if you have the type of battery where the cell caps come off. I use one all the time and it can sure spot a failing battery cell in a flash. I do cheat a bit though, because the one I use the most just has 4 colored balls in it now. Oh if my daddy could see me now. He would surely be shaking his head at me for this type of devise.
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