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rvjimzhr 03-11-2009 07:44 PM

Storage - Batteries - Questions
My rig is a 2000 Tradewinds 7371 which I've owned for just over 2 years.

I stored the rig for 3 months in late '07; was at a park on shore power for 3 months following; stored again for 7 months in '08. During storage, I was not hooked up to shore power and I started the engine once or twice and ran it very briefly just to make sure it would start. It always did and was ready to travel in late '08.

During my recent 3 month stay on shore power, after 2 months, I found the 12v batteries completely dead. I put a good charge on them and they were ready to go when I left the park a week ago.

My questions will be "telling" as to my knowledge of batteries and power systems but here they are:

Re: my recent discharged 12 batts---is this indicative of bad batteries which are at or very needing to be replaced? I thought when I was hooked up to shore power all batts, house and otherwise, were being charged as necessary.

When in storage I inadvertently left my house batteries "on" but was checking them every couple of weeks and now and then adding a little water. When in storage can I disconnect the house batts, leave off the shore power and just ignore the rig? If I can disconnect the batts do I still need to check water level during the storage period? Pros and cons of either way?

Any help from you experts out there GREATLY appreciated! Thanks.......Jim

rjf7g 03-12-2009 08:23 PM

Do you have a 3 stage charger?

rvjimzhr 03-13-2009 01:19 PM

I don't know what i have....unfortunately.

Mike Canter 03-13-2009 06:04 PM

Do you have any idea how old your batteries are. Have you looked top see if they have a sticker on them with a date or a date code on top of the battery?

rvjimzhr 03-13-2009 11:25 PM

I know nothing about the age of the batteries but I'll try and get a look at them tomorrow. Not sure just what I will be able to see/read because of where the tops of the batteries are located.

RV Wizard 03-14-2009 04:11 AM

Here is a few links for battery info:

You can disconnect the batteries and store the coach for long periods of time if you have good batteries and they are fully charged . The battery could loose as much as 10% of is ampacity per month (usually less), when stored with no current draw.
I like what one manufacturer's saying is," Batteries don't die, they're murdered" !

Mike Canter 03-14-2009 08:35 AM

I totally agree with the RV Wizard on that we kill our own batteries but in Jims case the crime maybe just old age or happened before he bought the coach.

Jim, if you have never put new motor batteries in the coach since you have owned it and it is 8-9 years old means that it probably either has the original batteries in it or the batteries are half that age. Most of the time there is nothing wrong with the charging system and it is just the battery(s) is old or the posts are corroded or just dirty inside and you can't see it. My recommendation is to pull all the batteries out of the coach and take them in somewhere and get them checked under load. Sears can do that for you and so can NAPA or many other car places. When they check the batteries they can probably tell you the date the batteries were made. Then you can check the warranty on the batteries. If the batteries have exceded the warranty time then replace them. If they check good and still within the warranty time then get a battery terminal brush and clean the inside of the cables ends and the battery terminals, check the water and put them back in and see if what happens.

If thes battery(s) is close to the end of its life, or it checks weak, or you have never replaced them and there is no date then replace them. A bad battery can just take the fun out of it and can end up costing you more than the battery replacement if you get stuck somewhere and have to get help.

Also, it helps to get one of those small battery charger maintainers for when the MH is stored. I always have one hooked up to my batteries. I have a small jumper wire with alligator clips on it and hook both the motor and house batteries together in run them off one charger.

I use the Autometer 9201 charger and have been real happy with it

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