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Old 10-20-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
dooubravsky's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 59
What's up with my coach batteries?

I purchased a 2015 Four Winds 31W... went on a couple trips and then had it at the dealer for 6 weeks fixing a bunch of problems we found... nothing major, mostly cosmetic.

It has two coach batteries (they say 27 series but are smaller Harris batteries... ) and an 1800w inverter... (residential fridge).

When I got it home, I plugged it in for 24 hours to charge, unplugged, hit the battery disconnect switch, and left it for 2 1/2 weeks.

So yesterday I went out to check on it, and the batteries were dead enough that they didn't show a reading at all when I turned on the inverter to look at the charge. I went to start the generator and had to start the car first... too dead to turn it over.

Ran the generator for two hours. At that point when I turned it on, the inverter reading said 12.2 ... still really low. So I plugged it into shore power overnight.

So then 18 hours later, I went out... and I could hear the batteries bubbling. Opened the cover to the compartment and one of the two batteries was warm, there was a little water around one of the two cover thingies, and it smelled a little bit, and my CO sensor was flashing and occasionally beeping.

I unplugged the shore power, turned on the inverter and it reads 12.4 .... so I turned it off, hit the battery disconnect, and opened vents and windows and left a message art the dealer.

Before they call me back... can anyone shed some light on what the issue might be? I didn't seem to have this problem before leaving it at the dealer... although it seemed early on that the batteries discharged pretty quickly (maybe 4 hours with fridge on).

Thanks for any info!
2015 Thor Four Winds 31W Class C
Riverside CA
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:56 PM   #2
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Posts: 3,701
I suspect the main thing is that your batteries can only really support the tv and lights for extended use. All you really need is a cheap meter to verify you're charging the batteries correctly.
If you have the time you could read handy Bob's blog about batteries and solar.
HandyBob's Blog ¬ę Making off grid RV electrical systems work
Sorry I couldn't be more help but informing yourself about the different types of batteries and what you can run will help.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 59
Thanks OKC... I have been reading a good bit on batteries and solar. Committed to going for the solar system... just haven't had time to do it... as soon as we got back from our inaugural trip, it went to the dealer and they had it forever....

I think that doubling the batteries and adding 400W solar will be a long time solution... just trying to figure out...

why would the batteries be boiling under charge... and what does that mean for those batteries.... no good? Did they leave them dead at the dealership? When I brought it in... the problem didn't exist. 6-7 weeks later I get it home and now it does... trying to determine why to avoid it int he future....
2015 Thor Four Winds 31W Class C
Riverside CA
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:58 AM   #4
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I've never had true flooded batteries myself. I normally have marine batteries in the boat and I have AGM's in the RV.
If your batteries require Maintenance/water than you could try the following;
Trojan Battery Company

According to Solar Bob and others controlled boiling of the batteries can actually help the batteries. This is just a slightly higher equalization voltage and can take a full day to complete. I know you're not trying to boil the batteries right now I'm just saying that this should not kill the batteries. Pick up a meter and start measuring the voltage at the batteries with your different charging methods ( Alternator, Converter, Inverter/charger if present )

I think that for people even considering solar you could start with the Trimetric TM-2025. I "guarantee" ( in my Cajun Justin Wilson voice ) that you will never have another MH without a meter once you have this installed. Of course, if you only run on shore power than it's not as useful. Even then it can help troubleshoot your charging systems.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:18 AM   #5
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4 hours on two batteries (200 amp hours) is pretty good considering the amp hours required to run the fridge.
2007 Fleetwood Bounder 38V
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