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Old 08-14-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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House Battery Issue

We have a 2011 5th wheel. The battery was overcharging. Took it to auto parts store and they tested it and said it was way overcharged. Assumed that the converter (which was a 3 stage) was bad. So purchased a new Power Max 4 stage converter (came highly recommended) and installed it. The battery is not overcharging and boiling over near as much as it did with the old converter. However, it still boils over. I am very cautious about the amount of distilled water I add -- I do not overfill it. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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You may have a battery(s) that are permanently damaged with a higher internal resistance than ideal. In this case you will continue to loose water at a higher rate regardless of the quality of the charger. If you have simple flooded cell batteries you may consider just replacing them.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I am the first to admit I don't know much about batteries. So am I understanding you that the battery can test as overcharging and it is faulty? What type battery do you recommend? What are your thoughts on a maintenance free.?
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
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You want to be able to maintain them if you want optimum life and capacity out of them.

Maintenance-free means "just use them until they die", with no real ability to control when they will do that. Of course, that usually happens at the most inopportune time.

Being able to add distilled water and dip a hydrometer into the electrolyte is a big plus in battery health maintenance.

'Sup to you.

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
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If you are like most and don't dry camp that often then a simple (and inexpensive) flooded (has caps) cell battery is fine. Something you can buy at Costco, Walmart etc. I have 8 of them in my coach in parallel (12volt). If you have room you could use golf-cart batteries placing two in series (2 six volt in series add up to 12 volts) and get excellent performance for low $ investment. Maintenance free on the other hand are used for starting only and do not endure a deeper discharge that Rv's need. The exception to that are AGM (absorbed glass mat), they are excellent for RV use assuming (likely) that your new charger can be set for them. The down-side is that they are expensive relative to flooded cells.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
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Best bang for the buck is still flooded wet cell batteries.
We got just a few motnhs shy of 10 years out of ours and they we still doing OK but we were headed out for the Phoewniz Good Sam rally and wanted to be sure they would be OK. Of course that's when the starter went out!
We had Interstate U-2200's and that's what I replaced them with. I did add 4 oz of mineral oil to each cell around 2004 to the OEM batteries too. Just did that to the new ones last week.
Costco has some deep cycle (NOT Marine) batteries that should do quite well, maybe not as well as the U-2200's we took out though, but they aren't as expensive either.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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Thanks
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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Try this website for some good, simple information about batteries - - all types, good and bad points, series and parallel hookup, etc. Good stuff.

Batteries -- and Other Electric Stuff by phred

Bob
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:04 AM   #9
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Thank much
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:26 AM   #10
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I'll guess you have a bad cell in one of the batteries. That can make a charger think it still needs charging. A "smart" charger will apply 14+ volts continuous which will boil the battery. I installed a PD 9200 series about a year ago and have yet added water and it stays plugged in 24/7. Me thinks you bought a new charger for nothing
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