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Old 07-12-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
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House batteries

Hi everyone, I am in need of new house batteries pretty soon. the current batteries are 4 1/2 years old and I think they are on their last leg. The OEM batteries are NAPA Class 31. I have been to a couple of battery places and checked into maintenance free batteries (Gel batteries) and the regular batteries. I could not justify the cost for gel batteries based on what the "experts " were telling me.
Can anyone here give me some more information. I am pretty good about maintaining my batteries with water. The only thing I don't like is the corrosion on the terminals. The straps holding the batteries down were completely eaten away from the acid. I am in the process of making new clamps. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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A search of the forum for "AGM or Gel vs flooded cell" will give you a bunch of reading material.

Generally speaking, I think most of us come to the same conclusion you did about the cost difference. Unless you have an unusual mounting situation, the benefit of AGM over flooded cells isn't usually considered worth the increased cost just to avoid the maintenance.

Spending a few hours per year to remove and clean all of the batteries and connections is a real pain but necessary with flooded cell batteries.

I'm sure our experts on the subject will be along with advice.

Best of luck

Rick
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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Corrosion is easily stopped using a number of products. It must happen with any battery. As far as which type of battery, it depends on how much maintenence you like to do.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:36 PM   #4
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I have AGM's and love them. My coach came with them in 2005 and my battery compartment looks new. Last December my charger cooked my batteries(no fault of bats) at over 16volts! New inverter/charger and bought 4 new Lifeline AGM's. I had AGM's in my previous coach with no problems and the compartment also looked new.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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Corrosion is easily stopped using a number of products. It must happen with any battery. .
Except AGMs?

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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Ok, forget GEL, finding a Group 31 Gel is next to impossible, also it's a very bad idea.

That leaves

AGM
Maintence free (Liquid however)
Flooded wet cells.

If your batteries are properly maintained Flooded wet cells you SHOULD have years left in them.. Maintence free, likely will have years left.. AGM's about due for replacement. If not over due.

Source: Lifeline and other battery maker extimates of the life of their battery PLUS personal experience, I had AGM's. 1.5 years younger than the RV, Plus Maintence free's older than the rig Those have all been replaced, the FLooded wet cells still test good. Of course they are true deep cycle (Interstate U-2200) so they handle the occasional Ah S!!! better.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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I would forget AGM and GEL. If you can find a true deep cycle (avoid anything thats says marine) Group 31, that would be fine. Personally, I would switch to CG2s. Trojan T105 and Interstate U2200 are the best but not the only. These are 6v and well suited for RV use. You of course have to wire them in series. The Group 31 is a bit taller, but a bit shorter and narrower. So you need to check for proper room.

As far as your corrosion and water replacememt intervals, it sounds like you have a single stage charger. They put out a continuous 13.6v which boils the batteries, creates excessive out gassing and greatly increases evaporation. A multi stage charger will charge them quickly and reduce voltage during the process. Once fully charged, voltage is reduced to 13.2v to maimtain them. At that voltage there is no boiling, evaporation and out gassing is at a minimum. It's been a year since I put in a new "smart charger" PD9245, I have no more corrosion problems and haven't added water yet. It stays plugged in 24/7 too.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
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As far as your corrosion and water replacememt intervals, it sounds like you have a single stage charger.
I don't believe there's any way he has a single stage charger in that rig.

However, I'll bet he has the same Dimensions inverter/charger that's in my rig and they are notorious for cooking batteries if the current isn't limited by the user at the control panel. I cooked two sets in my coach's first year (under wty) before my dealer got a clue and called Dimensions. Reducing the current from the default of 25 amps to 10 amps "solved" the boiling problem.

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Old 07-12-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
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I have had zero corrosion with AGM's in two coach's.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO

I don't believe there's any way he has a single stage charger in that rig.

Rick
This dang APP I use most of time, doesn't show sigs Anyway, sounds like you nailed it. Boiling = excessive out gassing = corrosion.

What I'm not understanding is, amps available *shoudn't* have any effect on the ability of the charger portion to reduce voltage to the normal 13.2 volts for maintaining. Does this inverter/charger have 3 manual voltage settings as well as an auto mode?
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:31 AM   #11
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house batteries

Thanks everyone who has posted.
I have checked my inverter. Here is what I have found out. It is a Dimension inverter (model # WIN-12X20B3R1T)
charger input - 120V AC, 60hz at up to21 AMPS
Charger output - 100 AMPS - transfer rating 30 AMPS
Is this something I should have checked or something I can check myself

I went to a battery place that sold Trojan Batteries. they told me they were group 31 don't know the model number they trying to sell me, but I will check. They were more expensive, but I would be willing to pay the extra $
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:31 AM   #12
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house batteries

Having coffee this AM and the thermostat starts clicking. Checked batteries and they are only 8.8 volts. Shut down all 12 volt lights and batteries have come back up to 9.4 volts. Still way too low. I think it's time for some new batteries now.
I still want to check out the inverter though to see if it is overcharging the batteries
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moldmkr
Having coffee this AM and the thermostat starts clicking. Checked batteries and they are only 8.8 volts. Shut down all 12 volt lights and batteries have come back up to 9.4 volts. Still way too low. I think it's time for some new batteries now.
I still want to check out the inverter though to see if it is overcharging the batteries
At this point doesn't appear the batteries are getting a charge at all. That would point to an inverter setting, tripped inverter breaker or possible failure. Not being familiar with your inverter, I tried to find a manual earlier, but no luck.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clyon51 View Post

What I'm not understanding is, amps available *shoudn't* have any effect on the ability of the charger portion to reduce voltage to the normal 13.2 volts for maintaining. Does this inverter/charger have 3 manual voltage settings as well as an auto mode?
I hear ya. The key word you used is "shouldn't".... but it seems that it does. There aren't three manual voltage settings. It's all auto but the user can limit the amps available from the control panel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moldmkr View Post
Charger output - 100 AMPS - transfer rating 30 AMPS
Is this something I should have checked or something I can check myself
Are you familiar with the Dimensions Inverter/Charger control panel? It's probably located in your "one place" control panel... probably near your bath room where the tank indicators, etc are located.

At that panel, press the "display" button to light the display. It should tell you your current status... if it's charging... what voltage it's charging at... etc. The button on the far right I believe is labeled "charger/limit" or something like that. If you press that button it will show you what the current is currently set at. The default I believe is 25 amps. Dimensions told my dealer that this is why I was cooking batteries. I now keep it set at either 10 or 15 amps except in unusual circumstances. Repeated pressing the "charger/limit" button will change the current setting by 5 amps at a time.

Rick
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