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Old 11-20-2016, 12:13 PM   #1
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Hydrometer test failed

Thought it would be better to start a new post for this.

I have been chasing a charging problem in another thread but this seems to tell the story. I've had the coach only 7 weeks or so and have been going through all the systems and now I'm to the electrical systems/batteries.

So, I thought I'd do a hydrometer test. The battery of the left (see link below) had good readings on 5 cells (all the beads floated) but had 1 cell bad. On the battery to right, no beads floated at all. That tells me that battery is no good. Looks like time for 2 new batteries.

So, I have in there now 2 - Marine RV Deep Cycle, SRM-24, 690 MCA, 140 RC for the house batteries which when I searched seem to be 12 volts each. After reading much on this subject in past and everyones opinions, I have the money so how about just buying these:
GPL-24T 12 Volt, 80 Amp Hour Deep Cycle AGM
I'm thinking of these because DW & I will be doing a lot of traveling in a few months and quite possibly some light boon docking so this should give use plenty of hours.

But then again I can't seem to find these Lifelines anywhere here in houston. I'm open for suggestions. Trying to find out exactly what batteries I need, like what group battery do I need, and where I can get them locally is tough. CW carries Exide, Costco carries another brand, Sams theirs, Walmart theirs...etc., etc. I'm ok with Walmart but I just need a little help on which ones to hook up a pair. I'm trying to get this done before we leave in the MH mid next week for the holidays. I'd like to just stay with 2 -12volt batteries because of room under the stairs and just keep my life simple with wiring them up.

These are my batteries now:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/attachmen...9&d=1479520703
And, is there any special procedure to changing out these batteries other than, disconnecting from shore power, turning off the batteries at the disconnect switch, and then removing the neg. cable 1st? I know with changing the chassis battery you can have computer memory issues if you don't apply supplement power prior to changing out.
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Old 11-20-2016, 12:42 PM   #2
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I am no expert but have used two 12v deep storage Class 8 wet cells with 440 AH of capacity. Now I use four 6v Golf Cart storage batteries with about 440 AH of storage at a lower initial cost.

Due to ease of handling and lower cost I would buy four Golf Cart batteries from Costco or Sams Club and get 400+AH of storage for dry camping.

But, I am not a brand name conscious buyer.
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:23 PM   #3
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Never mind. After reviewing other things I'm just going to replace with what I've got.
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Old 11-20-2016, 02:05 PM   #4
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Never mind. After reviewing other things I'm just going to replace with what I've got.
Not a bad plan but you should know the batteries you have are Maintenance Free batteries. The caps are not meant to be removed.
When you install the new batteries, smear the connections with grease. This will keep the terminals from corroding.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:03 PM   #5
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Never mind. After reviewing other things I'm just going to replace with what I've got.


This is a topic that will quickly leave your head spinning unless you have a really good understanding of batteries and knowing what type of connections are needed SERIES vs PARAREL

Go with what you have or be prepared to read a million reasons as to what battery brand is better and then the 6 volt vs 12 volt war
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
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This is a topic that will quickly leave your head spinning unless you have a really good understanding of batteries and knowing what type of connections are needed SERIES vs PARAREL

Go with what you have or be prepared to read a million reasons as to what battery brand is better and then the 6 volt vs 12 volt war
I hear ya. That's why I've decided to just replace with what I have. I don't want to go to Harvard and learn science. I just want batteries that will work.

I'm going to a Interstate store in the morning and buying a pair for $114EA.
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:49 PM   #7
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I hear ya. That's why I've decided to just replace with what I have. I don't want to go to Harvard and learn science. I just want batteries that will work.

I'm going to a Interstate store in the morning and buying a pair for $114EA.

Good plan, don't be prying the caps off your new Maintenance Free batteries.
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:49 PM   #8
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It is not unusual for 1 cell in a pair of batteries to create a problem with both batteries. However, when you get the new batteries installed, fully charge them and test them AND THE CHARGING SYSTEM. A problem in the charging system can kill batteries quickly.

Do some basic research on Converter/Charger charging schemes, and use a voltmeter to verify that everything is working well.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:03 PM   #9
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Good plan, don't be prying the caps off your new Maintenance Free batteries.
Check with Interstate about that their complaint on doing a warranty for my chassis battery was it was very low on water like from almost three years being plugged into shore power for a majority of the time.

I took it as a hint they would not warrant it again if I ran it low on water, the caps come off very easy.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:04 AM   #10
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I've written an article on Choosing RV Batteries that has been published in some RV magazines and websites. You can view a copy at Choosing a battery

There really isn't much to it once the myths are discarded. Group number refers to the battery case size & shape and Group 24 is a common 12v size/shape. You may have room for the larger but similar Group 27 if you want more capacity, but it doesn't sound like you really need it.

AGM deep cycle batteries will last long than standard flooded cell types but cost more. You can get AGM batteries in the Group 24 size - all the major battery brands offer them. Doesn't have to be Lifeline or Trojan, but those are premier deep cycle battery brands. Sears, Sam's Club, even auto parts stores carry AM batteries in the Group 24 size. They may not be the best at deep cycle use, but they are adequate.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:51 PM   #11
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Check with Interstate about that their complaint on doing a warranty for my chassis battery was it was very low on water like from almost three years being plugged into shore power for a majority of the time.

I took it as a hint they would not warrant it again if I ran it low on water, the caps come off very easy.
Did they suggest you cut their label and water the battery, or not keep them on a charger?
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:29 AM   #12
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Just that they were well below the plate level and I should check them more often, mine has two caps for the six cells which they were fairly easy to pry off. It was also the second one I had warranty on in about four years or so.
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