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Old 04-13-2016, 08:18 PM   #1
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Batteries

Ok, my step is in so I'm moving on to another project. This is a 2 part post, if I may. The first part is I plan on making a battery box that spans the extended frame behind the front grill, there's more than enough room for it. I thought about using 3/16" 3x3" angle iron and some kind of hold down bar to go across the batteries. Right now the chassis battery and my only coach battery is tucked way up in the driver's side of the firewall, someone moved it up there when the original one on the frame must have rotted or rusted away, either way it's getting move for ease of access. I also am thinking of making the box out of 2x12's. Any reason not to make it out of wood? The second part of the post is if I have gone this long (3 years) without using coach batteries, would I be wasting money having 2 rather than one just sitting there not being used? I don't know of course if we ever will boone dock or not but no planned. Most of our using the MH is at the rec club we belong too, which is 5 miles down the road. Do the batteries go bad sitting with no use?
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Deano56 View Post
.... Do the batteries go bad sitting with no use?
I suspect the main reason batteries go bad is improper charging. Since you don't use the batteries I would check the charging system (converter) first and make sure it's working properly before I bought new batteries.

Plastic containers and metal seem to be the material of choice for boxes. Pretty cheap on amazon, etc.

Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:14 PM   #3
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I suspect the main reason batteries go bad is improper charging. Since you don't use the batteries I would check the charging system (converter) first and make sure it's working properly before I bought new batteries.

Plastic containers and metal seem to be the material of choice for boxes. Pretty cheap on amazon, etc.

Good luck.
boxes for three batteries on Amazon? I'll take a look
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:19 PM   #4
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boxes for three batteries on Amazon? I'll take a look
no boxes for 3 27 series batteries on there
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:34 PM   #5
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Yes, batteries can go bad with no use even when properly charged. Batteries will last for "X" number of years or "Y" number of discharges. Think of battery life as a survival loaf of bread that will last for 10-years or until you eat it. After 10-years the survival bread turns to mold and isn't edible. Discharging the battery is eating some of the survival bread.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Deano56 View Post
I have gone this long (3 years) without using coach batteries, would I be wasting money having 2 rather than one just sitting there not being used? I don't know of course if we ever will boone dock or not but no planned. Most of our using the MH is at the rec club we belong too, which is 5 miles down the road. Do the batteries go bad sitting with no use?

C & P

Deep Cycle
batteries are designed to be discharged down as much as 80% time after time, and have much thicker plates. The major difference between a true deep cycle battery and others is that the plates are SOLID Lead plates - not sponge. This gives less surface area, thus less "instant" power like starting batteries need. Although these can be cycled down to 20% charge, the best lifespan vs cost method is to keep the average cycle at about 50% discharge. Unfortunately, it is often impossible to tell what you are really buying in some of the discount stores or places that specialize in automotive batteries. The golf car battery is quite popular for small systems and RV's. The problem is that "golf car" refers to a size of battery case (commonly called GC-2, or T-105), not the type or construction - so the quality and construction of a golf car battery can vary considerably - ranging from the cheap off brand with thin plates up to true deep cycle brands, such as Crown, Deka, Trojan, etc. In general, you get what you pay for.
Battery Lifespan The lifespan of a deep cycle battery will vary considerably with how it is used, how it is maintained and charged, temperature, and other factors. In extreme cases, it can vary to extremes - we have seen L-16's killed in less than a year by severe overcharging and water loss, and we have a large set of surplus telephone batteries that sees only occasional (10-15 times per year) heavy service that were just replace after 35+ years. We have seen gelled cells destroyed in one day when overcharged with a large automotive charger. We have seen golf cart batteries destroyed without ever being used in less than a year because they were left sitting in a hot garage or warehouse without being charged. Even the so-called "dry charged" (where you add acid when you need them) have a shelf life of 18 months at most. (They are not totally dry - they are actually filled with acid, the plates formed and charged, then the acid is dumped out).


Cycles vs Lifespan
A battery "cycle" is one complete discharge and recharge cycle. It is usually considered to be discharging from 100% to 20%, and then back to 100%. However, there are often ratings for other depth of discharge cycles, the most common ones are 10%, 20%, and 50%. You have to be careful when looking at ratings that list how many cycles a battery is rated for unless it also states how far down it is being discharged. For example, one of the widely advertised telephone type (float service) batteries have been advertised as having a 20-year life. If you look at the fine print, it has that rating only at 5% DOD - it is much less when used in an application where they are cycled deeper on a regular basis. Those same batteries are rated at less than 5 years if cycled to 50%. For example, most golf cart batteries are rated for about 550 cycles to 50% discharge - which equates to about 2 years.
Battery life is directly related to how deep the battery is cycled each time. If a battery is discharged to 50% every day, it will last about twice as long as if it is cycled to 80% DOD. If cycled only 10% DOD, it will last about 5 times as long as one cycled to 50%. Obviously, there are some practical limitations on this - you don't usually want to have a 5 ton pile of batteries sitting there just to reduce the DOD. The most practical number to use is 50% DOD on a regular basis. This does NOT mean you cannot go to 80% once in a while. It's just that when designing a system when you have some idea of the loads, you should figure on an average DOD of around 50% for the best storage vs cost factor. Also, there is an upper limit - a battery that is continually cycled 5% or less will usually not last as long as one cycled down 10%. This happens because at very shallow cycles, the Lead Dioxide tends to build up in clumps on the the positive plates rather in an even film. The graph above shows how lifespan is affected by depth of discharge. The chart is for a Concorde Lifeline battery, but all lead-acid batteries will be similar in the shape of the curve, although the number of cycles will vary.


And the simple answer is YES
Batteries definitely go bad sitting with no use.

But a good read & info... for sure...
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