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Old 07-30-2014, 12:45 AM   #15
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The batteries supply 12 volt power to your house lights, air conditioner/heater controls, heater fan motor, water heater control, and refrigerator control, if you don't have a residential refrigerator. The battery charger is designed to charge the batteries, not be a stand along power supply.

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Old 07-31-2014, 11:53 AM   #16
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RE: 3 year old with bad cell....

Many years ago (1977) I put a new battery in my car, JC Penny auto, LIFETIME battery (had a lifetime guarantee) Lasted a week, yes a week then had a bad cell

The replacement lasted till my Brother got married for the 2nd time (years) and the replacement for that till the car hit the junk yard.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:48 PM   #17
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Sandi, I can almost guarantee you that you have a least one bad battery with a dead cell. Like others have said, it will cause the charger/inverter to keep charging and will draw charge away from other batteries when not plugged into shore power. I keep my MH plugged in all the time. I have a 50A circuit I wired on the side of my garage to plug my MH into. Don't know how many coach batteries you have. I have four 6v batteries and have replaced them twice since owning my MH new. The last time was 18 months ago. What you described is exactly what happened to mine each time. It is normal for your inverter's Charge/Gel 1 light to be on. My MH came with Trojan 105's. I've purchased Interstate batteries the two times I replaced them. I always replaced all four even though only one went bad. My last purchase was Interstate GC2-XHD-UTL. They are rated at 232 ah each and 122 mins@75 amps. Five to six year life span is normal.
Our son removed the sweating batteries and cleaned the compartments with baking soda….the bedroom slide was out… guess what does not work without the house batteries, the slides? So I had a technician come out who works for the local RV dealership. He tested the Xantrex, said it was working perfectly. He said the dealership never suggest you leave your RV plugged in 24/7 and if the converter/inverter is on 24/7 you will need to replace the batteries every 2 to 3 years because they are always on. I thought I was saving my refrigerator keeping the RV connected to 30amp service but according to him not so. RV’s were designed to have down time. He suggested that I plug in a couple of days before a trip to get the refrigerator cold. Our Dolphin manual says “when connected to 120-Volt AC shore power (campground or park) receptacle for a long period of time, check the electrolyte level of your RV batteries once a week”.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:54 PM   #18
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BTW, since one cell is always low on electrolyte, I suspect the cell is bad. With a bad cell the battery will never reach full charge and the charger will alway be at high charge rate. Also, if the charger is set for gel batteries it will never fully charge the batteries to 14.7 volts and never do an equalizing charge that all flooded batteries need occasionally to keep them healthy. Full charge of a gel battery is 14.4 volts and they never get equalized.

Chuck
I believe you are correct that the Dealership that did my pre-purchase inspection and installed these batteries did not set the inverter charger for Wet.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:06 PM   #19
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Our local dealership wants $165 each for 6 volt 75 amp GC batteries and $280 each for AGMs, plus $120 labor to install! The Xantrex Freedom 458 on our coach can be set for wet, gel or AGM so I'm researching if and where I can purchase the AGMs at a reasonable price or I have to remember to check the battery water more often (these I can find for $85 to $120). The tech that came out will be installing the batteries.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:19 PM   #20
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FWIW As you found out you do need some battery. If you really do stay plugged in when camping then you can reduce the number of batteries. If you are going to stop plugging it in when in storage then check the voltage/charge level occasionally. You might need to charge it for a day or two at a time. Especially an issue if it will be going below freezing.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:29 PM   #21
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FWIW As you found out you do need some battery. If you really do stay plugged in when camping then you can reduce the number of batteries. If you are going to stop plugging it in when in storage then check the voltage/charge level occasionally. You might need to charge it for a day or two at a time. Especially an issue if it will be going below freezing.
Oh, yes, I found out the house batteries do much more than I thought.

I'll still keep my coach plugged in in the really cold weather and when we have all the family here it is a great extra bedroom. Plus it is normally in use for a week or two each month in the warmer months so it will probably be plugged into the 30 amp between those trips. Like the tech said plug it in, turn on everything a few days before you are heading out to get everything cold and charged up.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:40 PM   #22
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I don't believe the tech that told you that MH's were not designed to be plugged in all the time really knows the full story or is not updated to current technolgy. What about those who travel south for 6 months and are plugged in all the time? How is that any different?? Yes when living in the unit you are using current from the batteries and they are constantly being re-charged. Maybe years ago or if you don't have a SMART converter that reduces the charge rate as the batteries become charged. Your batteries are being recharged all the time you are driving the coach.

There's no comments in the owners manuals in any coach I've ever owned that says to unplug your unit every few days so your batteries don't become over charged.

I think many on here will leave their coach plugged in all the time while at home or on the road. Probably a topic for another discussion.

TeJay
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:48 PM   #23
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Our local dealership wants $165 each for 6 volt 75 amp GC batteries and $280 each for AGMs, plus $120 labor to install! The Xantrex Freedom 458 on our coach can be set for wet, gel or AGM so I'm researching if and where I can purchase the AGMs at a reasonable price or I have to remember to check the battery water more often (these I can find for $85 to $120). The tech that came out will be installing the batteries.

Do you have a Sam's wholesale club, or a Costco warehouse ? Both usually have good prices on GC2 golf cart batteries
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:29 PM   #24
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I don't believe the tech that told you that MH's were not designed to be plugged in all the time really knows the full story or is not updated to current technolgy. What about those who travel south for 6 months and are plugged in all the time? How is that any different?? Yes when living in the unit you are using current from the batteries and they are constantly being re-charged. Maybe years ago or if you don't have a SMART converter that reduces the charge rate as the batteries become charged. Your batteries are being recharged all the time you are driving the coach.

There's no comments in the owners manuals in any coach I've ever owned that says to unplug your unit every few days so your batteries don't become over charged.

I think many on here will leave their coach plugged in all the time while at home or on the road. Probably a topic for another discussion.

TeJay
This tech was using my scenario of my house batteries and yes he is very up on the new RV’s. People do live in them full time but that is not what they were designed for. I don’t, mine is a recreational luxury that I use often. This tech was telling me for my situation and battery life and the higher chances of damage to the RV by keeping it plugged in 24/7 even with my super doper surge protector.

He is not a salesmen, he is a service tech with 30 years in the business.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:46 PM   #25
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I believe there are a few things that bypass the battery isolation switches such as CO2 detectors and LP Gas detectors. They will fully discharge the house battery if you don't plug it in to AC every now and then.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:55 PM   #26
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I keep my Dolphin plugged in most of the time when not in use, just to keep the batteries charged. If your not going to keep your Dolphin plugged in make sure you turn off the house batteries with the disconnect switch. One thing to remember, since National did not provide a chassis battery disconnect the chassis battery will go dead from parasitic power draw in a few weeks. With the coach plugged in the battery control center charges the chassis battery. If you stay with wet batteries the best thing you can do for yourself in install a ProFill battery watering system. I have one and it makes checking the batteries very simple.
https://www.flow-rite.com/battery-watering/pro-fill

BTW, my house batteries are two 6 volt GC batteries from Costco. At the time they were $79.00 each, going on four years and still work great.

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Old 08-04-2014, 10:11 PM   #27
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Most inverters will not charge without a load bank. So no batteries would mean no 12v at all in many coaches. We have this problem at many indoor RV shows where the fire marshal wants the batteries disconnected. And the inverter charger will not put out any voltage if they are unhooked. As to Gell Cell batteries that is your choice in all honesty I seldom see customers getting much more life out of them than wet cell but they do get to ignore them til they need replaced. However if you really don't dry camp you could just replace all the batteries with one 12v battery. The only loss would be the first time you need the inverter it would not last very long. I have setup a couple customers with a single Optima battery to replace their big battery bank and because they never dry camp it is no problem they run the gen most of the time on the road and the rest of the time the engine alt provides enough power when driving.
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