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Old 12-25-2015, 11:01 AM   #1
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House Battery Replacement Advice

Friends,

I have had my Discovery 39s for about 6 weeks now. The chassis batteries will not charge when plugged to shore power. i finally got a load tester and found one of the four house batteries is bad.

I have 4 AGM 6v DEKA Intimidator golf cart batteries with installation date of march 2011. So batteries are over 3 years old. I don't think there is any remaining warranty, but will call the shop that installed them to find out.

The rest of the house batteries test OK. Should I just replace the bad one with the same brand/size? I am not sure what to expect out of the life of the rest of the batteries. I would prefer to wait to replace the entire bank due to cost considerations.

Thank you
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:14 AM   #2
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The general wisdom is to replace them all at the same time. Sounds like it's time to buy yourself a nice Christmas present.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by montyhp View Post
Friends,

I have had my Discovery 39s for about 6 weeks now. The chassis batteries will not charge when plugged to shore power. i finally got a load tester and found one of the four house batteries is bad.
I have 4 AGM 6v DEKA Intimidator golf cart batteries with installation date of march 2011. So batteries are over 3 years old. I don't think there is any remaining warranty, but will call the shop that installed them to find out.
The rest of the house batteries test OK. Should I just replace the bad one with the same brand/size? I am not sure what to expect out of the life of the rest of the batteries. I would prefer to wait to replace the entire bank due to cost considerations.
Thank you
montyhp
IMO replacing only one of 4 batteries in a house battery bank will not be problematic... however the new battery will only perform as good as the weakest of the other 3.
Mel
'96 Safari
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:26 AM   #4
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Being 6 volt batteries, you at minimum, need to change the 2 in series.

In series one weak battery will over work the other.

The other set will give you some service, but you will need to keep an eye on them.

An older pair of 6 volts won't give you as much capacity as the new ones but if not actually shorted out, they will not suck life out of the newer pair.

Not charging the chassis battery when on shore power may be another issue. Take out the bad battery and it's mate and see if your chassis battery charges.

Some do, some don't. A bad house battery may not let the combining system reach the combining voltage.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:42 AM   #5
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Being 6 volt batteries, you at minimum, need to change the 2 in series.

In series one weak battery will over work the other.

The other set will give you some service, but you will need to keep an eye on them.

An older pair of 6 volts won't give you as much capacity as the new ones but if not actually shorted out, they will not suck life out of the newer pair.

Not charging the chassis battery when on shore power may be another issue. Take out the bad battery and it's mate and see if your chassis battery charges.

Some do, some don't. A bad house battery may not let the combining system reach the combining voltage.
I think that is exactly what is happening. The house battery bank is never reaching the voltage to cut the solenoid over to charge the chassis battery. That said, I may have a bad chassis battery also, (looked pretty weak on the load test), but it also may be because it was not fully charged.
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Old 12-25-2015, 11:44 AM   #6
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Seeing as I only got 3 years out of the AGMs, it is very tempting just to replace the entire bank with inexpensive Duracell lead acids from Sams Club. (~$500 for the whole bank). Any advice there?
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:09 PM   #7
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Seeing as I only got 3 years out of the AGMs, it is very tempting just to replace the entire bank with inexpensive Duracell lead acids from Sams Club. (~$500 for the whole bank). Any advice there?
Nothing wrong with wet cells. The key to Any battery system is the charge rate from the converter. Should not exceed 13.8 VDC.
With proper maintenance and charge rate you should see at least 8-10 years of service.

Battery Maintenance | Trojan Battery Company
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:10 PM   #8
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Seeing as I only got 3 years out of the AGMs, it is very tempting just to replace the entire bank with inexpensive Duracell lead acids from Sams Club. (~$500 for the whole bank). Any advice there?

I wouldn't. I would take out the dead battery and charge it separately with a real charger, not a trickle charger and then load test it.

I would also charge the chassis battery and load test it.

FYI, I have Lifeline AGMs that were installed in 2004 and are still servicable
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:17 PM   #9
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Seeing as I only got 3 years out of the AGMs, it is very tempting just to replace the entire bank with inexpensive Duracell lead acids from Sams Club. (~$500 for the whole bank). Any advice there?
montyhp
If you only got 3 years out of new batteries of any kind me thinks something needs fixing that new batteries will not fix.
In my coach I got over 8 years out of each of the 2 sets of flooded lead acid house batteries I've used.

Did you change from flooded lead acid batteries to AGM batteries?

If you did and neglected to change the "charge parameters" of your inverter/charger to the correct setting for AGMs that could be the cause of your premature AGM battery failure.

Mel
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:20 PM   #10
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Seeing as I only got 3 years out of the AGMs, it is very tempting just to replace the entire bank with inexpensive Duracell lead acids from Sams Club. (~$500 for the whole bank). Any advice there?
I purchased 4 Sams Club GC batteries back in 05. Current owner still using them! GO FOR IT
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Old 12-25-2015, 01:05 PM   #11
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Since you only know 6 weeks of history, there is a good chance that the batteries were abused. AGM batteries need to be charged to 100% often ( lifelines words ) . The previous owner may have left them in a discharged state often.

This is not a good situation for any battery but my understanding is that an AGM will be dead in 2 years doing that.

You can't mix the 2 types, so IMHO, buy 2 expensive batteries or buy 4 inexpensive batteries and probably get the same service out of them.
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Old 12-25-2015, 01:17 PM   #12
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montyhp
If you only got 3 years out of new batteries of any kind me thinks something needs fixing that new batteries will not fix.
In my coach I got over 8 years out of each of the 2 sets of flooded lead acid house batteries I've used.

Did you change from flooded lead acid batteries to AGM batteries?

If you did and neglected to change the "charge parameters" of your inverter/charger to the correct setting for AGMs that could be the cause of your premature AGM battery failure.

Mel
'96 Safari, 145k miles, (now in the 3rd set of house batteries).

Mel,

I am not positive that the inverter/converter (xantrax freedom 458) is working properly. The instructions say to hold down the invert switch for 5 seconds to check the setup, but mine doesn't do anything different when I hold down the invert switch. Possibly a bad switch. I'll be on the horn with xantrax (if they still exist) tomorrow or first part of next week.

Monty
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:55 PM   #13
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Mel,

I am not positive that the inverter/converter (xantrax freedom 458) is working properly. The instructions say to hold down the invert switch for 5 seconds to check the setup, but mine doesn't do anything different when I hold down the invert switch. Possibly a bad switch. I'll be on the horn with xantrax (if they still exist) tomorrow or first part of next week.

Monty
Try both at the inverter and the remote panel. That will tell ya if it is a switch or not.
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:56 PM   #14
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You have only had your coach six weeks. So you don't know the history before then. I can tell you from personal painful experience that storage places that park your coach and do not turn off everything and run your AGMs to zero can kill them in a couple of years. Very likely something like that killed your batteries. If your budget allows stick with AGMs. In hot weather you will have to be vigilant to make sure the water in lead acid batteries is full. I saved a few bucks by putting in lead acid last Spring instead of the AGM's that had been in the coach. I did change the charger to adjust for lead acid. When it was hot my house batteries went through quite a bit of water. If you do not mind checking the water then lead acid work just as good as AGM.
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