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Old 10-09-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Battery Replacement

Newbie here. I need to replace my house batteries as all 4 are dead. recently found a short cable had come apart; acid all over the tops and on the tray. not sure how old they are as whoever installed them didn't punch out the month and year on the top. I have the U2200's. a couple of questions and thanks ahead for any help.

1. can I replace the 4 (6Volt I think) with 2 12 Volts?

2. I've read a lot of the posts on batteries and am a little confused as to which other brand(s) to go with. recommendations? best price would be helpful if anyone knows.

3. how would I verify that the entire charging circuit is working properly? can I hook up just 1 new battery to help verify this? (just in case there is a problem, I would only ruin 1 battery)

4. planning to pull the bad batts out; other than shutting off the big knobs for the house and chassis, disconnecting all neg and then all pos leads, (proper procedure?) is there anything else I should do?

thanks again, cheryl
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:25 PM   #2
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1. can I replace the 4 (6Volt I think) with 2 12 Volts?

Yes, however depending on the size you may loose capacity. Each pair of six volts is the equal of about a size 8-D 12 volt. that's one heavy battery. (220 amp hours)

Group 24, about 75 amp hours
Group 27 Just under 100
Group 29 Just over 100
Group 31 About 125

CG-2 pairs 220


2. I've read a lot of the posts on batteries and am a little confused as to which other brand(s) to go with. recommendations? best price would be helpful if anyone knows.

Not a lot to recommend one brand over another save for LIfeline if you want AGM and Trojan if you don't.. These are the best,, however are they the best "Bang for your buck" (I'm not so sure there)

If you want to stick with six volt pairs (2 pair) Sam's has good prices.

3. how would I verify that the entire charging circuit is working properly? can I hook up just 1 new battery to help verify this? (just in case there is a problem, I would only ruin 1 battery)

Hook a digital volt meter to the battery (yes one 12 volt is all you need) and see what happens when you plug into shore power.

NOTE: Depending on your converter: Downsizing your batteries may cause them to re-charge too rapidly... You need an ammeter for that one, automotive type

4. planning to pull the bad batts out; other than shutting off the big knobs for the house and chassis, disconnecting all neg and then all pos leads, (proper procedure?) is there anything else I should do?


Step 1: On the wires that run off to the coach from the POSITIVE terminal,, SPRAY PAINT RED

Step 2: On the wires running off into teh coach from the negative terminal Spray Paint BLACK

(Options, nail polish, colored electrical tape, brush on paint, red and black wire loom material.. But mark them RED for Positive and black for negative.

Then turn off as you described (or you can turn off first then mark, don't matter since marking is a "non electrical" step)

Then remove the NEGATIVE wires first.. These wires connect to the chassis so if your wrench slips and shorts the NEGATIVE terminal to the frame.. no damage.

Then disconnect the red wires...

Reconnect red first of course.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
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Costco is now carrying Interstate 6 volt batteries. $79.99. I really dont think the Trojans are any better than a generic 6 volt. Most people get the same life from the Costco and Sams units as the brand names. Take a digital photo before you dsiconnect any cables. Wear gloves when working with acid!
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikerGirl View Post
Newbie here. I need to replace my house batteries as all 4 are dead. recently found a short cable had come apart; acid all over the tops and on the tray. not sure how old they are as whoever installed them didn't punch out the month and year on the top. I have the U2200's. a couple of questions and thanks ahead for any help.

1. can I replace the 4 (6Volt I think) with 2 12 Volts?

2. I've read a lot of the posts on batteries and am a little confused as to which other brand(s) to go with. recommendations? best price would be helpful if anyone knows.

3. how would I verify that the entire charging circuit is working properly? can I hook up just 1 new battery to help verify this? (just in case there is a problem, I would only ruin 1 battery)

4. planning to pull the bad batts out; other than shutting off the big knobs for the house and chassis, disconnecting all neg and then all pos leads, (proper procedure?) is there anything else I should do?

thanks again, cheryl
First off, go with four six volt golf cart batteries from Cosco or Sam's Club. Keep them in the original configuration. Your post is a little confusing as to what may have caused the acid to boil out. If a cable came loose and shorted out then the charging system may be OK. If the charging system is not rolling back to stage two and stage three then you should be able to tell this from the Magnum Remote Display. After the new batteries are installed and you are connected to shore power, the Magnum Inverter will start to charge the batteries. The voltage will be displayed on the monitor. After a few hours the charger should drop back to Float Charging on the display and indicate something in the range of 13.5 VDC. If this all happens then your charge is OK and not what boiled the acid out.

Go ahead and put all four new batteries in at the start. If the charge is bad and running at bulk charge all the time, it will take days before the batteries are harmed. Just keep an eye on it and if the charge appears to be bad, unplug from shore power and disconnect the main battery cable.

Bob
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:37 AM   #5
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Hi, Just a thought. You might want to clean the terminals of your present Batteries, check water level reconnect the short cable and charge them. The 6 volt U2200 are tough batteries they might just work fine. At least it is worth a try.
Make sure you soak the tray with a Baking soda solution and flood well with water.
This has worked for me at times.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:58 AM   #6
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ok, wanted to say thanks to everyone here. I really appreciate the help.

so here is my plan:

-still replacing the 4 batteries because I tested them with a hydrometer and they are all kaput! dead! the water had been down and we did fill it while out last week, but I think it was too late after the cable was loose and acid all over. we had cleaned up, re-filled, had shore power then travelled the next day about 6 hrs. had power that night while boondocking, but went to pull slides in the next morning and nothing; couldn't start generator either. checked cables again and this time, the main positive one had a loose nut; tightened it all up, started the engine for a few minutes, then off, then just a little power to pull in slides. whew! went home.

-did a small cleanup while out on the last trip, but will do even better on the tray and probably scrape, prime and re-paint it first. anyone know of the best process for that? rustoleum spray?

-get the new batts; do I charge them externally first or let the inverter do it before connecting?

-verify the 3 stages of charge occurring properly; this did show on the xantrax before, but I will call them to verify the settings are proper.

anything else?
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:00 AM   #7
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I recently replaced all four bats in our 04 HR Imperial. Probably an identical set up to your Windsor. I tooks pix before I removed the old batts so I'd get the new ones back in the exact same way as the old ones. I throughly washed the bvay out with soapy water and then did a baking soda solution wash down to be sure. After cleaning up the rust and corrosion spots I repainted the tray with black Rustoleum, two coats. I'm sure someone will advise different paint, it's up to you. I thoroughly cleaned the cables and re-wrapped sone that had holes eaten in the plastic sheathing over the wires. I also cleaned and greased the slide rails for the tray. Everything now looks and acts like new.
Ron
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:37 AM   #8
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Not to steal the thread. I am at a Sams Club in Sioux Falls,SD, the Tech here said they no longer carry Interstate Batteries. They have switched to Energizer. Anybody know how they compare with Interstate?
Robert
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:38 AM   #9
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just wondering if anyone has used duracell 6v batteries? Sams club has switched from Exide to Duracell. cost is about $80 vs my local interstate at $111

appreciate any info
cheryl
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikerGirl View Post
just wondering if anyone has used duracell 6v batteries? Sams club has switched from Exide to Duracell. cost is about $80 vs my local interstate at $111

appreciate any info
cheryl
I bought the Duracells at Sams in Corona, Ca. So far they are working flawlessly, however I don't stress them much either!!
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:49 AM   #11
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Found this post on a sailboat site: Battery Buyers = Good News

Hi All,

I just came from my local Sam's Club and noticed that they have changed their battery manufacturer from JCI (Johnson Controls) to Deka / East Penn. I was told this is a new account for East Penn and the Duracell branded East Penn batts may not yet be in all stores. If the batteries still say Energizer on the label they are JCI batteries...

I took some pics at the store and then called Deka / East Penn tech support and spoke with a very nice lady, and very knowledgeable, named Carol G.. She informed me that they DO NOT build the Sam's Club, O'Reilly Auto Parts, NAPA or West Marine batteries any differently and they are all the SAME. They all roll off the same assembly line and get the sticker for the retailer they are going to.

The only thing you want to be certain of is the type. Deka makes dual purpose and deep cycle marine batteries. NAPA & WM sell both the dual purpose and deep cycle versions as does Sam's so be sure to read the labels.


Flooded Deep Cycle Marine Batts:

The batteries Sam's Club is buying are the Deka / East Penn deep cycle marine batteries and the dual purpose/starting versions. This is GOOD!!! What is even better is that these are the EXACT SAME battery that West Marine sells only for LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE! These batts have a 12 month free replacement warranty, same as West Marine.

As an example the Group 27 Deep Cycle at Sam's Club is $69.87 the SAME EXACT battery at West Marine is $169.99 (2010 catalog price).

There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in the WM battery compared to the Sam's Club, NAPA or other resellers battery other than the label/sticker. Sam's is using the Duracell brand name on these East Penn batts but they are the same high quality battery.

They offer two 6V GC2 batts one with a 215 Ah rating and one with a 230Ah rating and are $78.87 (GC2) and $84.87 (EGC2).

AGM Batteries:

Once again these are the SAME EXACT AGM batteries WM sells and they stock the group 24, 27 & 31 and 6V AGM's.. As an example the group 31 AGM at Sam's Club is $166.32 and at West Marine this SAME BATTERY runs $299.99. The 6V AGM is even more drastic at Sam's it runs $159.73 and at West Marine it costs $389.99!!


This new deal between Sam's Club and East Penn represents a tremendous value for the American boater..
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:52 AM   #12
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Barlow 46,

thanks for the great info! still a little confused as to which one I should buy at sams club:

You said: "Sam's is using the Duracell brand name on these East Penn batts but they are the same high quality battery.

They offer two 6V GC2 batts one with a 215 Ah rating and one with a 230Ah rating and are $78.87 (GC2) and $84.87 (EGC2)."

so which is the better one for the motorhome? GC2 or EGC2?? what is the difference of group 24 over group 27?

thanks for your help, cheryl
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrier2 View Post
Not to steal the thread. I am at a Sams Club in Sioux Falls,SD, the Tech here said they no longer carry Interstate Batteries. They have switched to Energizer. Anybody know how they compare with Interstate?
Robert
How do they compare: Both are made by Johnson Controls. Beyond that I can not comment.. but both are made by the same manufacturer.

To the original poster: I am fond of saying there are no six volt batteries IN RVs (I stress the word IN) Just 12 volt batteries broken into two pieces for ease of handling. (They are, of course six volts when removed from the RV)

How do you charge them... Wire them up, as they should be (Each pair is wired in series, making one 12 volt battery, and then the two 12 volt pairs are wired in parallel) And charge them as you normally will, with the 3-stage converter in the motor home or trailer.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #14
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Our Interstate U-2200's are now 9 years old and still doing great for our use. Probably wouldn't be the same if we boondocked all the time. I hope I can get as good a life out of any replacements!!
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