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Old 01-09-2018, 06:38 AM   #1
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Batteries when buying used

I've done some reading here about battery issues when rigs sit on dealer lots. I'm interested in buying used, and have two questions. First, is there a way to assess batteries during the purchase process? And second, is it common to negotiate new batteries when purchasing?
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:04 AM   #2
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Yes and yes.....

Batteries have a date code stamped into the side or end wall. You might have to pull the battery out to see it. If you can find it try taking a picture of it with a smart phone while it is in place. Phones are thin enough to fit in some pretty tight spaces.

When looking at the new to me coach that we bought a few months ago I popped the caps off the 2 6V house batteries and they were bone dry. The dealer put new batteries in as part of the deal.

As for the engine battery, I didn't check it(since it was starting the coach fine) until long after I got it home. Turns out it's original equip from 2005 Although that says a lot for the on board battery charger, it's getting replaced before we go anywhere this spring.

Of course none of this will guarantee that the batteries were not mistreated repeatedly. So, if you use the on'es that came with the coach be ready to yank them the first time they show signs of failing.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:07 AM   #3
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Personally, that's the least of the worries and I wouldn't give it a second thought whatever was there. My working assumption is that I'd be replacing the batteries when I get a chance and needed. That way I know that the batteries would be brand new and good. Who knows what the seller would put in claiming they're new, could be a fairly new problem battery they pulled out of some other coach.

Batteries are cheap in the overall cost.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:20 AM   #4
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I agree with both of the above. I don’t think the date code is worth a darn as it does not tell you if the batteries were abused or not. A good tech can do a battery capacity test, but I would not trust the selling dealer to do this, and it will tell you the present condition but is no guarantee for the future.

I recently changed the AGM house batteries on my 2013 model coach because they had lost their oomph. They were allowed to go flat by the selling dealer 4 years ago, who said they capacity tested them at that time and and said they were okay. The worked well for three years but pooped out before their time. Hoping for 6 years or more on these new AGMs, as I won’t let them be abused.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:42 AM   #5
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Really can’t say what an RV will do to check the life of the batteries but the automotive dealer can run a test on the batteries and the charging system so you may want to ask if the RV dealer can do the same.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:47 AM   #6
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Personally, that's the least of the worries and I wouldn't give it a second thought whatever was there. My working assumption is that I'd be replacing the batteries when I get a chance and needed. That way I know that the batteries would be brand new and good. Who knows what the seller would put in claiming they're new, could be a fairly new problem battery they pulled out of some other coach.

Batteries are cheap in the overall cost.
+1 on this comment. Plan to replace them down the road. You'll have to do that anyway if you keep the RV long enough.

Rob
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:31 AM   #7
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If the batteries are obviously near-new, by visual condition or a sales receipt, that's a plus. Otherwise, I would assume that new batteries will be needed within a year or so.

The date on the battery isn't much help since condition can vary hugely with use/abuse. You could test the cells with a hydrometer (flooded cell batteries only) or do a load test with a $40 device called a battery load tester (Harbor Freight or an auto parts store).

I wouldn't bother, though, for the reason that Kiaweh stated.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:46 AM   #8
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I would give a quick look at the batteries and if they seem to be operating ok I'd do as said above. I would be more concerned about tire dates (nothing over 3-4 yrs old giving you a few years of use). Oil leaks, service records,air conditioning -heating systems, dirty radiator, all operating systems. Make sure they demonstrate everything works. Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:34 PM   #9
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I would be more concerned about tire dates (nothing over 3-4 yrs old giving you a few years of use)...Make sure they demonstrate everything works. Good luck!
Amen BIG TIME.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:50 PM   #10
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Whether buying an rv or boat unless they are proven to be a year old or so I have always just bought new batteries. It's a cheap expense for peace of mind and dependability.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:03 PM   #11
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Assume the house batteries have been abused and need replacing. Either have the seller replace or figure them into your offer.

Chassis batteries don't get abused like house batteries, for the most part. But again assume they need replacing unless only a couple year old coach.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiawah View Post
Personally, that's the least of the worries and I wouldn't give it a second thought whatever was there. My working assumption is that I'd be replacing the batteries when I get a chance and needed. That way I know that the batteries would be brand new and good. Who knows what the seller would put in claiming they're new, could be a fairly new problem battery they pulled out of some other coach.

Batteries are cheap in the overall cost.
I agree!
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