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Old 07-23-2015, 05:43 AM   #1
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Dead Batteries

Went out to my 5th Wheel and discovered the batteries are dead. What is the best way to charge them back up. If I connect a battery charger to one will that charge both of them since they are connected together. Or do I need to unhook them and charge them seperately? I know they charge when hooked to my tow vehicle going down the road.

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Old 07-23-2015, 05:55 AM   #2
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I have found that if the batteries are truly dead, and not just low, your charger may not be able to charge them at all. I know my battery charger at home will not come on if the voltage is below a certain point. But if they are just low in voltage...

If your batteries are 12 volt batteries, then you can just hook the charger to one battery and it should charge both.

If your batteries are 6 volt, and you have two batteries, then you will need to hook the charger to the positive of one 6 volt battery and the negative of the opposite battery. If you have multiple 6 volt batteries it does get a bit hard to explain without a picture of you battery area.

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Old 07-23-2015, 06:39 AM   #3
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The charger should be connected to the positive of the first battery and the negative of the last battery in the bank for even charging. The battery acid should be checked after to see if the batteries are still good.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:34 AM   #4
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First off, if they are dead, they've been damaged and won't last much longer no matter what you do. Secondly, be careful recharging them as any charger will start putting a lot of amps into them. Take the vent caps off and be certain they are full of fluid. Use distilled water only to fill if needed. They will probably boil some during charging, so leave the caps loose. Check the fluid level periodically while charging.

With any luck, you won't have to buy new batteries for a bit longer, but you'll probably notice that they won't work as well as they did before. Might last you another year though.
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:39 AM   #5
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Generally each time the battery runs dead the life is cut in half and unless you determine the fix for stopping the batteries from going dead again, then another cut in battery life of what is remaining will happen, and so on and on. When the battery won't take a charge because of low voltage, I have a battery charger that has a reconditioning feature that takes about 24 hours to complete and it seems to extend the life somewhat.
I experienced this recently while over a couple days working on a project in my TV Ford E350 Quadvan that has many interior lights, power step, exterior lights, etc. that go on and eventually off every time I open a door. After a couple days of this while not having started the engine to charge the battery I found it was dead. The same thing happened again on another TV project only this time in about a day the battery went dead. The final blow to the battery was when I left a map light on over night, dead again. I learned the hard way the FIX for me was to replace the main battery and install a dual (deep charge) battery system because I can't stop the power draw opening the doors or my occasional senior moment that will happen again leaving that interior map light on.
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