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Old 07-19-2019, 07:45 AM   #1
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Dead batteries

My motor home has been sitting for a few weeks. When I tried to start it the starting and house battery’s we’re dead. So put starting batteries on charger for all day and she started right up. Left it run and generator for a couple of hours. House batteries still dead so put them on charger for a few hours. Don’t seem to take a charge for some reason. (Not very old)
The next day I went out and all the batteries were dead. Checked to make sure nothing was on.
Stumped??
Jim
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:53 AM   #2
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begin with the starting battery (assuming it is lead acid)

- disconnect cables
- visually check the cells to be water is at proper level. add as needed
-.connect battery to external charger overnight
-,disconnect charger and let battery ‘rest’ for 15-20 min
- using a hydrometer check the state of charge in each cell. replace battery if even one cell is bad.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrambeau View Post
Left it run and generator for a couple of hours. House batteries still dead so put them on charger for a few hours. Don’t seem to take a charge for some reason.
Using the generator to charge dead or almost dead batteries would take many, many, many hours.

By you putting the charger on it that gave you just enough to start it, but as you said, they don't seem to take a deep charge.

Once batteries experience "deadness" they are pretty much done. Doesn't matter if they're not that old or not. Sometimes you can get some life back into them, but usually they will never be healthy, or dependable again. Batteries should never be taken to less than 50%.

As rk911 said...do his steps and then use a hydrometer check the state of charge in each cell. Replace battery if even one cell is bad.

Batteries need to be monitored and maintained often like anything else.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:34 PM   #4
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When batteries are run dead, like zero volts dead, it could take many hours connected to a charger for it to start accepting current. Complicating factors, depending on the charger it may not put anything out until it detects a minimum voltage from the batteries it's connected to. One that I have needs to see about 4V before it turns on. So just to be sure, measure the voltage coming out of the charger when it's connected. Given enough time the battery voltage will come up and eventually start to take current, and charge up. From there you'd do a capacity test to see if they're damaged. Even if they're wounded they'd be good enough to work through the RV and figure out what condition exists that's discharging them.

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Old 07-19-2019, 06:46 PM   #5
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Even though everything is "turned off" there are always parasitic loads that the battery has to power. Computer boards in the furnace and the refridge, electronic clocks etc. AND batteries do self discharge somewhat just sitting there. I'll bet you can't park your car for as long as you parked your rig and have the battery work either.

Once they go really dead, they are damaged forever. You may get some capacity back in them with a good battery charger over a few days but they will never come back like new.

If you park it for weeks you need to disconnect the batteries completely from the rig. That means unhooking the battery leads and securing them away from the battery. Even doing this will still let the batteries self-discharge over time (but a lot longer time). I installed battery cutoff switches on mine. 1/4 turn and the batteries are completely disconnected from the rig.

As above you need a good battery charger and a few days of charging on all of the batteries to even see if they will return at all. Good luck to you in your efforts.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:01 AM   #6
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1) Trunk Lights? 2) Not plugged in, turn off coach battery switch? 3) ES switch should be OFF for storage without shoreline? (Can sometimes be used to trickle the chassis battery from coachm I occasionally do 4-12-hours) 4) Many have complained about radios that turn themselves ON and run battery down for Engine?
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:27 AM   #7
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Had this happen to me. Put a 10 amp battery charger on over night 8 hours plus battery was still dead. So I took out my big charger on rollers with a 100 amp booster turned it to 100 amps and after a few minutes the battery started to charge so I turned it back to the 10 amp charge and it took a charge. I bought a 100 amp battery load tester and it's was fine. That's been about 18 months ago and I'm still using it. I would try that first before I bought new batteries.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:44 AM   #8
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Yep, the boost can speed up the recovery process a bit. I've acquired batteries so flat I've had to use two chargers and a lamp ballast in series for a current limited 24V to wake them up.

Having them discharged so deeply is never good but they still might recover to some degree of usefulness. The degradation they suffer may be more on the "back end" where they may need to be replaced sooner than usual but if they work well enough for another season or two then there's no reason to replace them right away.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
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