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Old 03-03-2010, 03:58 PM   #1
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Battery eqaulization

I have a 2002 Monaco La Palma. Have the 1500 watt freedom inverter with 3 stage charger.Also have the option to equalize the batteries.I would like to know if there is any issues with any of the 12 volt circuits such as refer, water heater, furnace while equalizing the batteries.Should any of the fuses be pulled and if so which ones to prevent any possible damage to the circuit boards due to the higher voltages that are present during the process I understand the voltages could be as high as 18 volts. I maintain them well as these are still the original batteries and have lasted 8 years and still working fine. I have 4-6volt Workaholic batteries. I believe they are made by Interstate.The manual doesn't say anything about possible damage, but I don't want to find out the hard way. Wireman
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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I have equalized my batteries 3 times in 4 years. Never disconnected anything and have had no problems.
However, that said, many people advise against doing that. I would call Monaco tech support and ask them to be sure.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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I called Monaco a year ago and they wouldn't commit any advice to my question. I guess they donn't want to be liable for any damage. That said i would think if they are installing equipment in there motorhomes they would be able to give valid advice to there owners. Thats why I'm asking for real world input from Monaco owners. Thanks. Wireman
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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If you want to be on the safe side, rotate the two main battery disconnects in your electrical bay that control the coach batteries and the chassis batteries to OFF. That way at least those components that are in those circuits will be disconnected. I would also turn off your inverter/converter. I have included a copy of the instructions given for my coach and it came from the RC7GS remote where you actually start the equalizing process.

I am not an expert nor an electrical engineer, just using common sense.

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:56 PM   #5
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Steve.....I've never equalized my batteries since my coach was new (5 years). I use this BatteryDe-Mister.com - Up to 3 times Longer Battery Life! Guaranteed. battery desulfator product. I noticed a definite improvement in battery life when dry camping.

I also use their battery oil which now leaves my battery compartment completely dry and free of battery acid. I leave my coach plugged in 24/7 and use to fill my batteries every other month. Now I fill my batteries twice a year.

SIDE NOTE: There was a post a year ago or so that also talked about your Workaholic batteries. The coach batteries have obvious filler caps, but the starting batteries appeared to be sealed. If you look closely at the label on them you can see edges of the 3 hole caps. If you use a razor blade, you can cut along the edges of the cap, remove them and fill the batteries.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:16 AM   #6
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Until recently, I equalized my batteries a couple times a year. When doing that, I turned off the "Coach Power" switch near the entry door. On our coach, that is the only way to cut DC power to the fridge, thermostats, etc. Turning off the battery disconnect switch near the batteries will not do it. YMMV.

My first set of batteries started showing signs of wear after four and a half years. They had been discharged down to 11.8 VDC (measured under load) many, many times. I replaced them in August 2008.

A few months ago I installed a desulphator: 12 volt On Board Desulfator | BatteryStuff.com

We'll see how that works over the long term.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:00 AM   #7
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My coach comes with a PD-9180 with charge wizard so the equalization is automatic. Most 12 volt gear can take UP TO 16 volts safely, Equalization on my 9180 is 15.x as I recall...

I also have a Xantrex Prosine 2.0.. Now equalization on that is user settable (or installer settable) and Xantrex suggests disconnecting.. However the only device OTHER than the prosine on that battery bank is a 12vdc fan and it does not mind the higher voltage either.. Plus it cost me less than a dollar. (12 for 10 bucks)

I would hope that the hardware in a Motor home is designed to take equalization voltage less you get one particulicar (Johnson Controls) batteries in Canada, for some reason those take a higher voltage. (See Xantrex Prosine user guide for more info on that)
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denali View Post
Until recently, I equalized my batteries a couple times a year. When doing that, I turned off the "Coach Power" switch near the entry door. On our coach, that is the only way to cut DC power to the fridge, thermostats, etc. Turning off the battery disconnect switch near the batteries will not do it. YMMV.

My first set of batteries started showing signs of wear after four and a half years. They had been discharged down to 11.8 VDC (measured under load) many, many times. I replaced them in August 2008.

A few months ago I installed a desulphator: 12 volt On Board Desulfator | BatteryStuff.com

We'll see how that works over the long term.
Looks good Dave, I would be interested to see if it does as good as Pulsetec power pulse but that would take at least 6 yrs.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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Is "battery equilizing" recommended for the Monaco coach only? Or is this something I have missed over the years? First time I've heard of it.

My coach has 4 6 volt house batteries too and they were new May 2009.

Anyone know if this applies to American Coach too?

Thanks for the tip on "battery desulfator"

Dave
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denochs View Post
Is "battery equilizing" recommended for the Monaco coach only? Or is this something I have missed over the years? First time I've heard of it.

My coach has 4 6 volt house batteries too and they were new May 2009.

Anyone know if this applies to American Coach too?

Thanks for the tip on "battery desulfator"

Dave
Dave,

It applies to all flooded lead acid batteries whether they are in an RV or a gold cart. Batteries that are used frequently like a car don't seem to require this shock treatment to keep the sulfate from forming on the plates. If you don't use your coach often you may want to consider equilizing to extend battery life. I myself follow Diplomat Don.

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Old 03-05-2010, 09:53 AM   #11
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Not just flooded lead acid, but other types too (possible exception GEL, they don't take equalization well)

Here are a few equalization facts...

It is next to impossible to make all the cells in a battery exactly identical .. Now the difference may be small, but over time and many recharge cycles it can "Build up" and finally you have one cell that goes dead either long before, or long after the others.. This can actually lead up to a cell (or more) with "Reverse polarity" Not a good thing

Equalization overcharges all cells, slightly, now the over charge causes some of the water to boil out of the cell (The dilute acid is a combination of acid and water) but it also brings ALL the cells up to 100% full charge.. Thus equalizing them, Hence the term.

Also, in the case of FLOODED wet cells, like the common Interstate U-2200 or Trojan T-105.. The acid/water mix in the cells may "Stratify" that is the heavier (Denser actually) Acid sinks to the bottom of the cell leaving the less dense water at the top.. Well, when you over charge and thus "Boil" the cell, it stirs up the mix and makes it uniform once again throughout the cell, thus "Equalizing" the acid concentration from top to bottom.

Finally, Sulfur crystals, over time, build up on the cells, again this is worst in Flooded wet cells but it happens in all kinds of lead/acid batteries. and the overcharge may tend to burn them off as well... Though a de-sulfator is better at it.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:29 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info. I must have been in battery la la land thinking that I should simply replace the batteries when they get weak.

Keep up the good work.

Dave
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:47 AM   #13
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What happens during the equalization process when you do this with batteries that have been treated with mineral oil or other types of "battery oil"?

Just wondering??

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Old 03-06-2010, 10:41 PM   #14
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Dr4Film......I use the Desulfator liquid in my batteries. There is no need for the equilization process.
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