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Old 01-09-2011, 11:47 AM   #15
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I really appreciate the response and am going to go buy a couple of regular lead acid batteries. I was really suprised at the baby oil. I thought putting any type of oil in a battery would cause a chemical reaction and possible explosion.

I am going to give the new batteries a shot of one ounce of baby oil per cell and see what happens.

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Old 01-09-2011, 01:28 PM   #16
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Location: Pikeville, NC
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The theory behind the baby oil is this-

- Water weighs in about 8 lbs a gallon

- Oil weighs in about 6 lbs a gallon. From my 'ole flying days, jet fuel (JP-4- highly refined kerosene), was 6.7 lbs a gallon.

The baby oil floats on top of the battery acid (water) and helps prevent boil off. Just make sure the lead plates remain covered with water- Don't let the water touch or get below the top of the lead plates. You'll get a feel for your water usage if you check it initially about once a month. My B.I.R.D. (charging unit) keeps my batteries at 13.7 volts while plugged into shore power. Yours might be more, or maybe less on the voltage. The higher the voltage, you'll use more water.

Good luck,

Max H,
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire, 37', 3778, W-22, 8.1 Vortac, Ultra Power upgrade, CAI (cold air intake), Taylor wires, colder plugs, Koni shocks.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:47 PM   #17
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Float is simple, careful of Walmart and Sams club

First, float voltage is the voltage present while the battery plant is fully charged and there is a small "trickle" charge present.

The term is the batteries are "floating", not sure where it came from, telecom probibly source for this.

The proper time to measure this voltage is on a good battery when it is fully charged.

If you have 2 "jars" (term for a battery unit) in parallel, and one is bad, then disconnect the bad one and let your charger do its thing.

Measure the voltage, it should be below 14 volts, the optimum is 13.5.

If the voltage is below this point then either the battery is not charged or the charger has too low of a voltage, you can disconnect the battery and measure again, now it should be above the 14 volt point.

If you have an amp meter you can measure the charging current, during float conditions the current should not exceed 1% of the capacity, and during recharge periods it should be lass than 30 amps per parallel string or battery.

Baby oil in the batteries...
No argument here, different folks have their opinions and I am not going to start or continue that argument.

My input for consideration is simple enough, the oil is said to create a film on top of the water to reduce evaproation, I believe this is a valid point. The battery caps have a limited air flow so there is little are change between the inside of the battery and the outside, so the caps if properly installed should reduce evaporation.

If there is a lot of gassing from the battery then there will be bubbles of hydrogen, this is going to pop right through the oil anyway so the oil is not going to provide mush help here.

What is critical is to avoid bubbles as much as reasonably possible.

The bubbles are created as the battery charges, the higher the rate of charge the more bubbles, so it is better to slowly charge the battry rather than quickly charging.

If you are full timing and connected to shore power then the converter is supplying most of the loads and floating the batteries.

If you go off line and deplete the batteries then the recharge is going to be the difference.

If you need to quickly recharge then let the converter do its thing, but if you are home and no need to use the batteries until the next trip then shut off the converter and use a trickle charger to bring them back up, there will be very little gassing of the batteries and the stress on the batteries will be far less than letting the converter charge them.

You have 2 batteries in parallel, so you can see upwards of 60 amps charging current to recharge a dead battery and after it is charged with group 27 batteries that are in the 90 to 100 amp hour range (each) you should see about 1 to 2 amps when floating.

If you see more than this amount of current and the voltage is above 14 then your batteries will suffer a premature death.

Regarding batteries at Sams club, they have a good product and do stand behind it, this is a good thing, but buyer beware, verify the date code on each and every battery, have the person helping you decode the date code and insure it is fresh.

Common batteries that they sell a lot of will most likely be fresh to a point, but if you are purchasing something like an 8D truck battery they may be over a year old.

These batteries only have a 1 or 2 year warranty and any lead acid battery has a limited shelf life, a year on the shelf is no good.

One should ALWAYS check the yellow pages for a battery shop, the mom and pop battery supply may have the exact same battery or a better one, maybe not in stock (prefered so they get a fresh one from the warehouse) for less money, and sometimes you get the install for free or at least real cheap.

In our case, we bought 7 8D batteries, 3 for the fork lift a year ago and 4 for the coach a couple months ago, both cases Sams had batteries 9 to 12 months old in stock, and they were only 1100 CCA.

The local supply had fresh ones (date code the next month after purchase) next day, same manufacturer but 1400 CCA instead of 1100 CCA for $15.00 less per unit and they tossed in for free marine adaptors for all of the posts
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:32 AM   #18
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A point of interest-

If you are full timing and connected to shore power then the converter is supplying most of the loads and floating the batteries.
I just recently added a TRIK-L-START unit to a friends '02 HR Endeavor DP. I looked and looked for a converter- He doesn't have one . His unit has a 1500 watt Modified Sine Wave inverter that is a combination inverter and battery charger. Shore power goes directly into the so called "combi" unit. I just didn't know that- . There was no internal system to keep a "float" on his Chassis batteries. He had to start the rig every month for an hour just to keep his chassis batteries charged. The TLS solved that problem.
Max H,
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire, 37', 3778, W-22, 8.1 Vortac, Ultra Power upgrade, CAI (cold air intake), Taylor wires, colder plugs, Koni shocks.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:46 AM   #19
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!2 volt loads...

I forgot to be specific regarding the shore power and loads...

The discussion is regarding the battery plant and 12 volt power system only.

So the statement regaring shore power providing the source for loads via the converter is specific to those.

The unit listed as inverter and charger with no converter may be one where there are few 12 volt devices so converter not needed.

For those, the same rule applies, the battery rate of charge and float voltages still must meet the needs of the battery to insure optimum performance of the battery plant.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:10 AM   #20
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Most, if not all, Inverter/Chargers utilize a multi-stage charger that is better than the average converter. They are installed on most high-end coaches and several of us have converted older coaches to use these units. If factory installed, the manufacturer will not install both an I/C and a converter.

They certainly are not designed for smaller (fewer) 12v loads as previously stated. The typical I/C can deliver 80 to 100 amps of DC power to the batteries and/or 12v loads.

The converter (if factory installed) is regularly removed or crippled to prevent trying to charge the batteries in parallel with the I/C, and more importantly, to prevent it from trying to charge the batteries when in the invert mode.

If not removed, the converter will soon drain the very battery that it is trying to charge. No a good thing.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:59 AM   #21
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I read the posts;; Interesting;. I have spent some time at a battery factory Here in Seattle.. You want to get a chuckel from the guys just tell them you add oil to a battery;; Oh oil is oil is oil;;; Oil goes it an engine, Or softens the skin. Lets take the subject of batteries. They are only a storage unit. Like a cup Stores liquid. A battery stores Electrons;; Witch flow from pos to neg. Or neg to pos. However Unlike a cup it can be left 1/2 full with no adverse affects. NOT so with a battery. It MUST be recharged/filled immediatly. Or bad things occure; When you install your new batteries, buy a Good battery charger and hook it up perminantly. While boondocking. Start your gen. in the mourning for 15 minutes . we have a 38' diesel I installed ne batteries it 2001 they were the best I could get; I took them to the factory I was going to replace they they put the carbon load on them ; The power out put was the same as a new battery;; That converter/charger at best is just an excuse of a charger. With it your batteries normaly will make it 3 years;OH someone will say I've had my batteries in For ^ years . We all know there are Exceptions;;. Life is good;
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:46 AM   #22
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I installed two new Sears Diehard deep cycle batteries after a lot of reading, pricing and warranty checking.

I am sure that my charging system works and after removing and having the old batteries checked I know I need to do a better job of maintaining them.

I checked the dates prior to purchasing and they are November 2010. They were at 12.4 and 12.7 volts when I installed
them and I intend to check them again after a few days of being hooked up.

Thanks so much for all of the info and advice from everyone. It was a big help.


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