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Old 08-15-2015, 01:00 PM   #1
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Class A House Battery Test?

When I bought my 2005 Airstream 396XL (Freightliner) Diesel Pusher MH last November I did not think to ask about the age of the house batteries. It has 2 Lifeline 4D batteries which are not marked as to their date of manufacture (at least that I found on a quick inspection). Is there a way to check capacity or some other way to measure how good they still are. We have dry amped for a day and they seemed fine but we used very little capacity (just Fantastic Fans) so it wasn't much of a test. Would like to check their status before I really need them!
Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wobster View Post
When I bought my 2005 Airstream 396XL (Freightliner) Diesel Pusher MH last November I did not think to ask about the age of the house batteries. It has 2 Lifeline 4D batteries which are not marked as to their date of manufacture (at least that I found on a quick inspection). Is there a way to check capacity or some other way to measure how good they still are. We have dry amped for a day and they seemed fine but we used very little capacity (just Fantastic Fans) so it wasn't much of a test. Would like to check their status before I really need them!
Thanks!
The first thing I would do is check them with a hydrometer. If all the cells are good and read reasonably close to each other they are probably fine. Also inspect the cases for bulges, cracks, etc.
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:34 PM   #3
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They are AGMs so I can't test with a hygrometer as far as I know???
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:59 PM   #4
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When batteries are at rest, no load (all accessories that use 12vDC power OFF) coach battery disconnect OFF and all other charging sources turned OFF, i.e. converter OFF chassis engine not running etc..

Then check voltage at battery terminals. If voltage reads 12.7 or more, batteries should be OK

Let us know the results...
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:34 PM   #5
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Lifeline batteries are a totally sealed heavy duty AGM battery that can only be tested by using a load tester or the preferred method of an electronic battery resistance tester that cost wise very few people except battery shops can afford.
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:03 PM   #6
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You should go to the lifeline web site and do some reading.
Your batteries are rated at 210ah.

You can buy a tester, or just monitor how much current you use in a day and see what terminal voltage is at the end of a day. This is only a rough measurement.

Your battery should measure 12.9v when fully charged and rested.

Check out a Solar BA9 CCA battery systems tester, good item to have if you have a RV.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:10 PM   #7
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Here's a link to a video if you might want to recondition for batteries for longer life.

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Old 08-15-2015, 09:26 PM   #8
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Regarding equalizing your batteries.
I read on another forum the Lifeline now recommends equalizing their batteries when needed.
However they need around 16v for this.
Confirm with Lifeline that thus info is correct.
And make darn sure the rest of the RV is disconnected so you don't damage other 12v devices.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:08 PM   #9
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There should be a round sticker with a letter and number that will tell you the date of construction .The test are done with a voltage tester at rest. Lifeline is helpful in going thru the process and if faulty will discount replacement's accordingly.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
You should go to the lifeline web site and do some reading.
Your batteries are rated at 210ah.

You can buy a tester, or just monitor how much current you use in a day and see what terminal voltage is at the end of a day. This is only a rough measurement.

Your battery should measure 12.9v when fully charged and rested.

Check out a Solar BA9 CCA battery systems tester, good item to have if you have a RV.

Regards,

Dan
I've got the Solar BA7 Battery Tester (about the same as the BA9) and it works very well. In fact, just used it today to double check my chassis battery.

http://www.amazon.com/BA7-100-1200-E...113W7AD2GVBSH6
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:48 AM   #11
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There is one way to test capacity that requires some math and effort.

First you need to locate the manufacturer data sheet with all of the charts.

Next you need to configure a load for testing.

A voltmeter will be required.

Inverter and heater or other large constant power load that inverter can support will be used for load.

Now the math explained with simple made up numbers for demonstration.

Your battery is 210 amp hours at 8 hour rate and the data sheet will list rating at other hour rates so using inverter WILL BE DIFFERENT!

Inverter has overhead and we will use 10% as it is close enough.

For today I will use 20% since using phone and calculator a pain when posting...;-)

If your heater is 1000 watts then consider 1200 watts consumed from battery.

Watts are watts so 1200 watts at 12 volts is 100 amps.

You will NOT get 2 hours...battery is likely rated for 120 amp hours per jar at this load.

Make sure battery is fully charged and turn everything off except inverter then plug heater in and fire it up and record the time.

Measure voltage at battery and monitor this voltage.

A full discharge for this test is preferred as you want to be sure of full capacity.

The inverter may shut off at some lower voltage but stop when voltage hits 10.5 (1.75 volts per cell) and record the time.

Convert the total time to hours and multiply by the amp load (100 in this example) to determine capacity.

This will count as a full discharge cycle and others will argue not good.

A full discharge is best process to determine the capacity and for a one time test will do no long term harm.

You will know the condition of your batteries but you need the data sheets to determine capacity first.

Google the manufacturer model number to get correct one as 4D is just a generic number and there are many different capacities.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:42 AM   #12
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Battery tester on order, thanks for all the great information!
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