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Old 09-21-2007, 01:26 PM   #15
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Thanks Ham for clarifying, I wasn't be a smart-a**, I really didn't realize what you guys were talking about. See down here in the South, we need A/C almost 10 months out of the year and dry camping to us means running the generator. You guys totally cleared this up to me with the scenarios you pointed out, THANKS, learn something everyday!! Ted
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:50 PM   #16
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No problem. We in Arizona can drive <200 miles and be in the tall pines where nighttime temps are in the 50-60s. Personally, I head north for the summer months. This year Alaska and still in Rapid City, SD.
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:23 PM   #17
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Hi Dean,

I suspect that the need to add water comes from the batteries being charged and this charging causes the water to bubble and evaporate.

I had a similar problem with my batteries. I eventually replaced all of my batteries because they were bad. I then did something that I had read on the internet. I added an ounce of mineral oil to each cell. I have found two things with my batteries since adding the mineral oil. First, I rarely add water to the cells. The oil seems to keep the water from escaping from the cells. Second, the battery compartment is much cleaner. There is no corrosion on any of the terminals. I did use a protectant on the terminals when I installed the new batteries, and I feel the mineral oil prevents caustic gases from escaping the cells and causing the corrosion.

Dave
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:04 PM   #18
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In April, my dealer replaced my 2 coach batteries with 2 12V NAPA 8301's. Today I checked the batteries for the 1st time and found sunstantial corrosion on one of the + terminals plus every cell needed water. None were dry, but totally I had to put in about a QT of distilled water.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:55 AM   #19
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When everything is right, the batteries will not loose water under normal conditions. THe batteries must be perfectly balanced in cell capacity, the charging system must be performing properly and all cable must be in good shape and tight connections. The caps on lead acid wet cell batteries are designed so the battery can expell the hydrogen gas produced and capture the water by condensation letting it drip back into the battery cell. I have only had to add water twice in going on 6 years, although I check them monthly. I have equalized the battery bank on occasions whan I felt the batteries may be needing a good desulfatting prior to a dry camping trip. Read up on batteries from the manufacturers as there is a lot to lean about them. I like what one manufacturer has a a slogan. "Batteries don't die, they are murdered".
Bob, either one of the new batteries has a bad cell, bad connection or cable or the charger is not ramping down and overcharging. I would check the batteies first with a hydrometer, then go from there.
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Old 09-28-2007, 05:18 AM   #20
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Thanks Mike. I did have that one corroded cable so hopefully that was the problem. However, I had to add water fairly often on my original batteries too. Not sure if it's something I'm doing but I remember having to add water on previous MH also.

I'm leaving today for the WCC rally in Urbanna. Will check using a hydrometer after getting there.
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:15 PM   #21
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OK, here's the contrarian viewpoint ...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I said they were losing water not acid. A battery should never lose acid. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Discharging the battery looses acid, charging the battery builds acid. That is why specific gravity is a measure of state of charge as it measures the amount of acid in the electrolyte solution that is available to react with the lead to make electricity.

For the RV battery bank, specific gravity tests are no longer needed and there are many reasons to avoid them.

Loss of electrolyte in modern batteries is a primary indication of overcharging. This usually happens from a float charge during storage that is set at a voltage that is a bit too high. You can loose electrolyte from other causes but they aren't very common. Having to add water more than once every six months or so is an indication that you need to take a look at your charging and maintenance devices.

While a shorted cell might cause overcharging, this state is usually very obvious and many modern smart battery chargers will detect it and shut down.

The death of most batteries these days is sulfation due to aging. Premature aging happens when the battery is not properly used or cared for. Sulfation decreases the ability of the lead plates to react with the electrolyte and that means reduced capacity of the battery.

Note that state of charge and battery health are two different things. Modern battery testing devices will provide information on both.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The two 6-volt batteries provide for a deeper cycle than the 12-volt batteries do </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
This depends upon which batteries you use, not their voltage. In general, you will get best life from any lead acid battery if you discharge them more than 10% but less than 50% per use. Recharge promptly at about 20 amps for each 100 AH of battery rating with a 3 stage charging system and allow several hours to completely charge the battery between uses. When not in use for more than a couple of weeks, use a maintaining charge device that does equalization and desulfation.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">You can get more amperage out of a 6 volt battery that most 12 volts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
What you are interested in is the energy capacity and that is amps hours volts. Lower volts means more amps for the same capacity.

The most reliable rule of thumb is that bigger and heavier batteries will have more energy capacity. You can get big and heavy 12v batteries as well as 6v (as well as 8v and other voltages, too).

There is nothing special about 6v batteries over 12v or serial bank wiring over parallel. The difference is in the batteries you put in the bank. The 6v Trojan t105 or t125 (or clones) are bigger than a typical group 27, readily available, and generally cost effective. That is why you find a lot of them. If you take a look at Trojan's line (or any other battery OEM's line) you will find a variety of batteries to handle different requirements and needs.
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:34 PM   #22
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I had a similar problem. My coach came with two sealed engine batteries, but three 12v open lead acid deep cycle coach batteries. I dry camp a lot and the three coach batteries sucked up on water.

I replaced them with three sealed AGM deep cycle batteries -- they are not cheap, but I am totally happy now for two years. Not a single problem.

A digital volt meter is a better measure of battery state. A tenth of a volt makes a difference. One volt makes a big difference.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:42 PM   #23
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by hamguy:
Dry camping is dry camping. No generator. I can but try not to. Am I getting through to you yet or are you just being contrary? Besides my camping habits have nothing to do with my original question.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If dry camping is no generator the same logic means no water.

My definition of dry camping has always been no hookups.

When placed in an overflow area of a campground with no hookups I'd be dry camping....IMHO.

-Tom
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:49 PM   #24
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bob Russo:
In April, my dealer replaced my 2 coach batteries with 2 12V NAPA 8301's. Today I checked the batteries for the 1st time and found sunstantial corrosion on one of the + terminals plus every cell needed water. None were dry, but totally I had to put in about a QT of distilled water. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You should check your batteries much more often than every 5 months. Think every 2-4 weeks.

You can eliminate terminal corrosion by coating the terminals with grease, installing corrosion preventing felt pads on your terminals or spraying the terminals with red corrosion preventer. I use the red corrosion preventing spray. It's available at Walmart.

BTW, I've had to add water twice in 32 months.

-Tom
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