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Old 10-21-2021, 08:21 PM   #1
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Batteries and certified preown.

I have a situation that I need help about what is reasonable. I bought a used 6 year old coach that was so little used and in such good condition that the dealer, after checking it out, declared it certified with a multi-year warranty. I will not identify the dealer.
Supposedly the coach was fully checked out and everything was wonderful. I get a few months down the road and find out the coach was stored unplugged by the previous owner and the gen set voltage protection failed and the batteries went to Zero for an extended period. I had a problem with the basic coach not running while dry camping but about 6-7 hours on the batteries until I was below 12. I asked them and was told the batteries passed a load test( whatever that really means) and they were fine. I had a chance to check my coach against a 21 and they , under the same circumstances, lasted 19 hours. I have a hard time with my batteries, which are 3years old, being declared fine. I read that no matter what, batteries that go completely dead are ruined, load check or not. This is really important in that we dry camp over half the time.
My question, should the dealer replace the batteries? Please tell me about a load test and how a battery that checks so weak in real life can be load tested OK?
Thank you
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:34 PM   #2
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Forget get dealer.. if you do a lot of dry camping.. and upgrade to the batteries that you need.. you are putting your enjoyment and time in someone else's hands.. the dealer.. if made to replace batteries... is just going to put the cheapest junk in.. and then you will have even more problems.. just go for it.. on your own.. some dealers just rob one vehicles batteries to put in next vehicles.. don't believe me.. just walk behind shop.. and watch.. they will go to the pile of batteries they keep out back and put them in vehicles.. not all are bad.. but if you really want a learning experience.. walk and back and watch.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:07 PM   #3
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"batteries that go completely dead are ruined, load check or not."

Deep draw batteries are designed to be resilient when deeply discharged. Flooded cell lead acid batteries will suffer if drawn down flat. However, if immediately recharged damage will be minimal.

On the other hand, the longer they are flat, the more the damage. If the load is still "on" while flat, damage to plate support structure is likely. Acceptable recovery is unlikely.

AGM batteries are much more resilient when drawn down flat. If immediately recharged, you will not be able to detect any loss of performance. However, storing at low SoC for long periods will damage capacity. Flat out discharge for a day or two will cause minimal loss. Storage for months will probably kill it.

Your testing has proven the battery bank is not up to the required task and it should be capable of more than it is.

"My question, should the dealer replace the batteries?"

The answer to this is in the contract you have with the dealer. You may be required to prove the batteries are defective. Finding an expert to fully test these deep draw batteries may be an issue.

Be insistent. Be a pain in his butt. Maybe he will relent.

"Please tell me about a load test and how a battery that checks so weak in real life can be load tested OK?"

In years past I would have performed a 20 hour discharge test to determine amp hour capacity at a low discharge rate. This is a load test, but takes significant time.

The load is 1/20th of the rated capacity. The battery should support the discharge for almost 20 hours. If it lasts less than 16 hours the battery bank is fubar. Replace it.

These days battery testers do all sorts of strange things. However, for the most part "load test" is used primarily for engine start batteries. It tests discharge at high current like engine starting. It does not test amp hour capacity.
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Old 10-22-2021, 07:25 AM   #4
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The 20 hour discharge test is the gold standard as it's the same metric used for specifying the Ah capacity of the batteries. It's a technically simple test to perform but if one doesn't want to do a full cycle, one can estimate capacity by doing a partial test, say 4 hours and gauging remaining capacity using terminal voltage. When I test batteries I can usually judge well before the full duration of the test whether they're "good" or not, if they're junk there's little value in finding out what the actual numbers are.

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Old 10-22-2021, 09:09 AM   #5
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You'll have to read the language of your specific warranty, but batteries and tires are usually excluded from a manufacturer's or dealer's warranty even on a new vehicle.
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Old 10-22-2021, 09:34 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that with most things considered, a 3 year old battery with less capacity than a new battery is to be expected. In other words, a 3 yr old battery will test out in most cases lower than a new battery, and that is fine for a 3yr old battery(s).

In any case, as GWBGE stated, most warranties do not include "wear" items such as batteries, tires, brakes, hoses, filters, belts, shocks, starters, alternators, etc., which means you really have to read the warranty you have.

I would add though, that a used vehicle certification is usually based on what was checked (or included in the certification checklist) which the dealer should be able to tell you. Even with that, they may tell you they checked the tires and batteries (and many other things) and they likely did, but the fact they checked the tires and batteries doesn't necessarily mean those items are warranted. ~CA
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:06 PM   #7
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First, there is a little confusion in your statement. You say it's a six year old coach, but the batteries on only three years old....how do you know that? If they're truly six years old and are lead acid, it's time to replace them. A dealer may say they're fine and technically they could be right, but in reality they're at the end of their life.

Even if they're AGM, they could be at the end of their life if abused over the six years. If they're truly just three years old, they should be still good, if they haven't been overly abused.

Load testing......load testing by a dealer is typically done by attaching a machine, which is basically an electric heater and turning the heater on for a period of time, maybe 20-30 seconds. The machine will then tell you if the batteries are still good, mediocre or bad.

You can't load test all the batteries at once, they need to be disconnected from each other and load tested individually. You could have five good batteries and one bad battery. The bad battery will drag down the others. So if they load tested all of them at once, it was done wrong.

Lastly, are you use to using an inverter on a large coach? Using your batteries for things like the water pump or lights does not take much out of the batteries. However, things like a residential refer, TV, satellite receiver, etc, using 110 volt power, can quickly draw down batteries.
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Old 10-24-2021, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trexrv View Post
I have a situation that I need help about what is reasonable. I bought a used 6 year old coach that was so little used and in such good condition that the dealer, after checking it out, declared it certified with a multi-year warranty. I will not identify the dealer.
Supposedly the coach was fully checked out and everything was wonderful. I get a few months down the road and find out the coach was stored unplugged by the previous owner and the gen set voltage protection failed and the batteries went to Zero for an extended period. I had a problem with the basic coach not running while dry camping but about 6-7 hours on the batteries until I was below 12. I asked them and was told the batteries passed a load test( whatever that really means) and they were fine. I had a chance to check my coach against a 21 and they , under the same circumstances, lasted 19 hours. I have a hard time with my batteries, which are 3years old, being declared fine. I read that no matter what, batteries that go completely dead are ruined, load check or not. This is really important in that we dry camp over half the time.
My question, should the dealer replace the batteries? Please tell me about a load test and how a battery that checks so weak in real life can be load tested OK?
Thank you
If the batteries can go 6-7 hours then they are not dead. Batteries are considered a Maintenance Item and not usually under an extended warranty unless a specific battery manufacturer warranty. You can always state your concern to whom you purchased the coach from but it they are not DEAD and do hold a charge then I believe you might not have much success. As one poster stated, especially if you'll be dry camping 1/2 you time I would upgrade your batteries to a longer lasting type like many here have done.
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