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Old 12-01-2013, 05:26 PM   #1
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Any ideas on why my coach batteries only last a year?

I've had my 2004 Jamboree just over a year. I had to have new batteries installed just two months after I bought it. Thirteen months later I need new batteries again. I have two six volt deep cycle batteries. They were installed by an RV dealership. Only in warranty for a year. I'm wondering if it's possible that my inverter is bad. How can I check that out without taking it to the Rv dealer?

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Old 12-01-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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Sure it's possible that your inverter is bad but I really don't think (guess) that it is. After all, it kept them charged for a year.
At what point (state of charge) are you recharging your batteries? Assuming you have flooded cell batteries they are considered at 50% SOC when the no-load voltage is 6.05 volts or 12.1 volts for the pair. They should be recharged when the state of charge is 50%. Running hte batteries down further will negatively impact the life of them.

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Old 12-01-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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How often are you watering these batteries? If they are gassing excessively, they'll be short-lived.

Check the charging profile for your inverter/charger. Insure that you are not putting too much current into the battery bank during charging.

Some inverter/chargers have adjustable charging current. Also, some provide for selection of the battery type.

I have found that when batteries are idle, they should be left fully charged and disconnected even in winter.

When you replace the batteries, check the manufacturer's instructions for optimum charging voltage, charging current and maintenance.

I just spent $$550.00 on house and chassis batteries for my coach. I also upgraded the inverter/charge so as to have improved load detection as well as a charging profile that fits the house batteries.

Good luck to us both.

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Old 12-02-2013, 10:12 AM   #4
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There are 3 suspects in this mystery.

1: Maintenance: As someone said, how often do you check them and add ***DISTILLED*** water. If you add tap water it will shorten their life.

2: CONVERTER: one popular converter in days gone by was the Magnetek 6300 This series was known to boil batteries dry.. Today it has been more or less replaced by the Parallex 7300 which is better, but still my LAST choice in converters you can buy today.

3: Storage: You need to insure the batteries are FULLY CHARGED before temps get into the freezing area, and in fact should alway fully charge them before any storage. The parallex 7300 can not do this, you need a battery tender to finish the job (Battery Tender (TM) or Battery Minder (TM) either one can do the job).

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Old 12-02-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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They may have been sitting around for years before they got installed. On the top of the battery there will be a code stamped in the plastic. Normally a couple letters and numbers, you could ask the manufacturer the age of the battery based on it
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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2X with wa8yxm. My Interstate coach batteries lasted 12 years. I was lucky having them last that long. I have a 3 stage inverter/charger. The coach was always plugged in when not in use. I checked the water every two weeks and only used steam distilled water in them.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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When I had my trailer I went through a lot of batteries and it appeared to be the charging circuit. After your batteries are charged your charger should assume a maintenance role or trickle charge. My trailers Magnetek did not and it boiled the batteries dry.

In contrast, I l leave my MH batteries charging and never had a problem. Very seldom does the water levels go down. So I assume my charger has a good maintenance mode.

Maybe a clamp on DC amp meter would reveal what is going on. After use and your batteries are charged I would expect only a trickle charge to be present.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:07 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for your response. I have a lot to check out now to see if I can figure out why my batteries don't last.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:18 PM   #9
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I have the same converter and I have been going through exactly the samething, sdding water at least weekly. About a year ago I killed the AC power going to the converter and keep the batteries charged with a small automotive changer, have to be careful or run out quick but have not added any water for a year and my battery is still good. This is what I am considering, https://bestconverter.3dcartstores.c...II_ep_8-1.html. I would appreciate any thoughts and/or opinions. Thank you.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fcarr5 View Post

I've had my 2004 Jamboree just over a year. I had to have new batteries installed just two months after I bought it. Thirteen months later I need new batteries again. I have two six volt deep cycle batteries. They were installed by an RV dealership. Only in warranty for a year. I'm wondering if it's possible that my inverter is bad. How can I check that out without taking it to the RV dealer?
Your inverter draws voltage FROM the batteries to power 120 VAC devices. The only way an inverter can ruin a set of batteries is when the RV owner runs the batteries down more than 50% SOC all the time. By doing so it shortens the lifespan of the batteries significantly.

Your charger is responsible for keeping the batteries at Float SOC. It actually should have three stages of charging, Bulk, Absorption and Float. If your charger is malfunctioning then it could impact the lifespan of the batteries.

If you're having to add a lot of water, chances are they are being overcharged. I use Water Miser Caps on my 6 VDC batteries and I only need to add a little distilled water maybe twice a year.

Are you keeping the Jamboree plugged in when not in use?

Also, if you have a Costco or Sam's Club nearby, their 6 VDC Golf Cart batteries have a lot better warranty than one year. Plus they aren't that expensive.

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