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Old 11-30-2010, 10:30 PM   #1
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House Battery Issue

I replaced my 6v House batterys as the old ones were 4 years old. No prblms
just some prevenative maintenance. After spending a week of remote camping @ Nascar they were so low the generator would not start. I thought
they would charge up on the 300+ mile trip home. They only charged about
50% & the Bounder solar charger light is on while it's in storage. Battery
load test says batterys are o.k. just low on charge. Looking for some help.
Thanks much!
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:43 PM   #2
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If you got a week's worth of power from your batteries (I believe Bounders have only two coach batteries?) they're probably good but were so low that 5 hours' charge wasn't enough. Before doing anything dramatic, check the electrolyte level and then try hooking up an external charger for a few more hours.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:05 AM   #3
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Hi 95fwbounder,
It may take quite a few hours to recharge the batteries. If left in less than full charge state for a long time they may not come back to full performance. For me, I'd get a blast of charge into them (equalizing charge) then let them stay connected to a smart charger.

Anytime I've deeply discharged my coach batteries, it has taken a long time and several charges to get them back to full charge.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:39 AM   #4
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Letting the batteries to discharge below 50% will reduce their capacity and lead to a shorter life. Run the generator and charge a while before that occurs.
Allowing them to stay in a discharged state for a couple of days gives them time to sulfate, which further reduces capacity.
They should go through an equalizing charge if you have a charger that will do that. Next best thing would be to charge them fully, discharge to about 60% and charge again. Repeat if necessary. The little solar charger will do nothing to help restore.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:19 AM   #5
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All the above comments are good. Trojan Battery Company is a good site for more information than you probably want on battery selection, use, and maintenance. If you are careful never to let the batteries get below 11 volts (some people say 11.5!) they'll last many years. Enjoy!
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:02 AM   #6
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1.75 VPC is dead, and charge it completely

OK, the battery is dead when it hits 1.75 volts per cell, period.

When the voltage is 2.25 volts per cell without a charger the battery is fully charged.

The battery will take more amp hours to charge than is used, so it will take some time to recharge a depleted battery.

DO NOT EQUALIZE!, this overcharging placed high stresses on the battery and causes it to gass off more than is needed.

Unless the battery needs to be recharged rapidly there is no need to rush.

Driving down the road will recharge all battery systems if wired as such, but they will not be FULLY charged unless there is a lot of driving on a heavily depleted battery.

The battery systems prefer to have about 20 to 30 amp maximum charge current for a 100 amp hour batttery, this would take about 4 hours at this rate, but most chargers are constant voltage so the current goes down as the voltage gets close.

THe next number is float charge, the battery systems prefer to have a float charge current near but not to exceed 1% of their capacity, so a 100 amp hour battery should have a float charge rate not to exceed 1 amp.

So if you are weekend camper then after the drive home connect a battery maintainer to the battery systems, one to each one as the isolator seperates them.

The maintainer should be constant voltage and have minimal current, most are rated at 1 to 1.5 amp.

The generator could have a seperate battery added so it can be started regardless of the condition of the starting or coach batteries, then the generator output coul dbe used to charge the other batteries via the converter.

Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:12 AM   #7
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One of my favorite pastimes is riding motorcycles and tinkering on old cars. Years ago, I read a very interesting article on batteries....specifically, new batteries. The article stated that one of the biggest mistakes made by folks installing new batteries in motorcycles is adding the electrolyte to the new battery...and then not charging it to the usual 13+ volts. Most guys (including me!) would add the fluid, install the battery and then go for a joy ride to charge the thing. Wrong answer! The article stated that, under these conditions, the new battery would NEVER exceed 80% of its rated capacities. Interesting. Another common m/cycle abuse is to let batteries sit uncharged for a prolonged period of time....then go for that joy ride. A vehicle's charging system is really meant to maintain charge, not to charge dead or badly-discharged batteries. Oh the alternator can do that over a very long time, but this can put significant stress on the alternator and prematurely damage the diodes.

I know that car, truck and RV batteries these days are typically already full of fluid or gel upon purchase. And most parts guys tell you that their batteries are "fully charged" from the factory and ready to go. Nonsense! Do a load test on that new battery you just purchased BEFORE you install it. If you get better than 11.5 volts, yours is an exception. I just installed 6 new batteries (2 chassis, 4 house) in our coach. Each was slow-charged to 13.5 volts before installing them. And I keep them charged either via house current or the gen set.

I am not an expert on anything and I'm not trying to impress....honestly. Electricity and I have a kind of love-hate relationship. But if I had a couple bucks for every motorcycle and old car battery that I replaced rather than properly charged and maintained.....sigh.

Just my opinion....good luck, and I hope all of these replies are helpful.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:18 AM   #8
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:48 AM   #9
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Bounder Battery Charger Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95fwbounder View Post
I replaced my 6v House batterys as the old ones were 4 years old. No prblms
just some prevenative maintenance. After spending a week of remote camping @ Nascar they were so low the generator would not start. I thought
they would charge up on the 300+ mile trip home. They only charged about
50% & the Bounder solar charger light is on while it's in storage. Battery
load test says batterys are o.k. just low on charge. Looking for some help.
Thanks much!
One more thought: If your Bounder has an Intellipower converter, add the Charge Wizard. It will improve the charge rate when plugged in to shore power.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:42 PM   #10
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I had a problem today that I read information about on the forum about a dead cell in your battery and the charger cooking it. luckily I caught it before any damage was done because of the smell.

I am going to replace both of my house batteies but would like information about if I should just put back two Interstate SRM 27's or is there something else I could get better service from. I have replaced the batteries 3 1/2 years ago. I don't think this is a maintenance issue as I check them monthly.

Although they are more expensive I have considered Optima.

I would like to hear from others about this.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:10 PM   #11
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3 1/2 years too soon...

If you had new batteries at 3 1/2 years ago and you are checking them as you should, then you should not have had any issues unless yo just had a failure for no other reason.

There is no reason to swap to a different manufacturer or battery "just because", first you need to determine if there could have been something in your system that may have reduced the lifespan of the batteris then one this is repaired then replace the batteries.

Check your charging system, what is the float voltage? If this is too high it will certianly cause a short life in the battery.

In selecting the replacements consider the size of the mounting area, the duty cycle loads and all other aspects of your installation.

Once all of these are known then you can start searching for replacements that fit the mounting area and also meet your needs.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:36 PM   #12
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How do I check the float voltage. Is it something I need to go to a repair facility for?
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95fwbounder View Post
I replaced my 6v House batterys as the old ones were 4 years old. No prblms
just some prevenative maintenance. After spending a week of remote camping @ Nascar they were so low the generator would not start. I thought
they would charge up on the 300+ mile trip home. They only charged about
50% & the Bounder solar charger light is on while it's in storage. Battery
load test says batterys are o.k. just low on charge. Looking for some help.
Thanks much!
i like my lifeline agm's. i got them in 2008 from bd batteries online and they are still working well for me.
by mounting them on their sides, i went from 190 ah capacity to 300 ah capacity in the same space as the original batteries in the box under the entry stairs. they weigh 90# each. check this resource.

http://www.phrannie.org/battery.html
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:39 AM   #14
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infinity1,

My 2 cents-

The coach doesn't care one bit whose names are on the batteries-

You could save almost half your expense by going to Sam's Club, Walmart, etc. Their warranty and return policy usually exceeds, by far, other brand names return policies. They have a large turn over rate and you will get almost brand new, fresh (one month old) batteries every time. In a pinch I would buy whatever I needed to get going again, but if you have time check out it out--

I add a couple of ounces of baby oil to each cell of new batteries (lead acid) to slow down gassing and water useage. My house batteries are going strong at 4 1/2 + years old. Corrision has stopped and I need only to add a bit of distilled water twice a year. This "baby oil business" was told to us by some old timers, who dealt with batteries all their lives here on this forum years ago- It is not out of the realm of possibility to get 8 years, or so, out of new batteries. Also keep your battery connections clean, especially your grounds, tight and covered with Di-electric grease, or, as I do, use Vaseline.

Good luck,
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