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Old 02-19-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
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Well, we ended our Myrtle Beach trip with a two day stay in Richmond, VA to visit family. Temps were down to a breezy 16 last night so I took the hose in, shut the dump valves and drained the sewer hose. Even though the gas furnace ran nearly non stop to maintain a temp of 64 inside, there was insufficient heat in the utility compartment to keep the lines/pump from freezing. My old Adventurer put plenty of heat in the water tank/pump area...a bit disappointed in this rig on that issue.

I used a space heater to get things going..no damage to pump. Both the dump valves froze shut so I used a hair dryer to free them to dump the tanks. My TV antenna froze (we did have a snow shower Saturday so there was some moisture on the roof)...hair dryer again to get it to turn so I could lower it. Finally, the rubber seal on the LR slide froze along the top so we had to wait for about 2 hours to get the slide in. Learned a lot about using this rig in cold weather and what to do next time....like put the slide in the night before if you want to leave early in the morning and use a heater in the utility compartment.

Also, got home and noticed lots of evidence in battery compartment that two of the three coach batteries are boiling over. I keep my rig plugged into shore power at home and, according to the book on the 'Heart Interface,' it is not supposed to overcharge batteries. Any experts here got any ideas on that??
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Old 02-19-2006, 02:03 PM   #2
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Well, we ended our Myrtle Beach trip with a two day stay in Richmond, VA to visit family. Temps were down to a breezy 16 last night so I took the hose in, shut the dump valves and drained the sewer hose. Even though the gas furnace ran nearly non stop to maintain a temp of 64 inside, there was insufficient heat in the utility compartment to keep the lines/pump from freezing. My old Adventurer put plenty of heat in the water tank/pump area...a bit disappointed in this rig on that issue.

I used a space heater to get things going..no damage to pump. Both the dump valves froze shut so I used a hair dryer to free them to dump the tanks. My TV antenna froze (we did have a snow shower Saturday so there was some moisture on the roof)...hair dryer again to get it to turn so I could lower it. Finally, the rubber seal on the LR slide froze along the top so we had to wait for about 2 hours to get the slide in. Learned a lot about using this rig in cold weather and what to do next time....like put the slide in the night before if you want to leave early in the morning and use a heater in the utility compartment.

Also, got home and noticed lots of evidence in battery compartment that two of the three coach batteries are boiling over. I keep my rig plugged into shore power at home and, according to the book on the 'Heart Interface,' it is not supposed to overcharge batteries. Any experts here got any ideas on that??
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Old 02-19-2006, 04:51 PM   #3
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Gary - are your batteries original (circa 2002)?
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:34 AM   #4
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Gary,
I've been suspecting that with mine also. Since they are original (2002) I'm thinking maybe bad cells are fooling the inverter to keep charging.
Too cold right now to test.

John...What do you think?
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:21 AM   #5
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John:

According to the previous owner, due to miscellaneous electrical problems during the first year of his ownership (attributed to a defective inverter requiring replacement of front TV and the coach batteries), I suspect the batteries are at least circa 2003. They are group 31 Interstates.

I'm planning to get them out this weekend and check them thoroughly. If I need to replace, I may do the Trojan T105's. If I was using the rig more often (like you, you lucky dog....and I know you earned it), I would go AGM's.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:43 AM   #6
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Have wanted to post this but keep forgetting....Must fall under the "can't teach an old dog a new trick folder" though....

While I was at my dealer the other day,the "Interstate" truck pulled up with a delivery.
I engaged the driver in a conversation about AGM's and to my amazement, he advised against them.
It was his opinion that he always wanted to be able to "check that level",as opposed to the sealed AGM's.....I advised him that,in MY opinion,the benefits of the AGM's FAR outweighed the loss of the ability to check the water....His retort was that "it was my money."

I was confused on several "fronts",one certainly being the loss of a sale for that Interstate driver...I have since found a "better" deal on Interstate through a friend of mine this weekend who owns an auto electrical shop....never knew he could get batteries....DUH!!

I do intend to go to the AGM's.....right now it's just too cold to do much outside!!

(Lucky dog John's already been said....)
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:52 AM   #7
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Bob:

My biggest concern with wet cell batts is the difficulty getting to them (especially the back two) to check water levels. I solved that with the Pro Fill manifolds. I get 4 - 5 years out of properly maintained deep cycle batteries in my boat so would expect similar performance in the coach. If I need to replace these, good lead-acid batts will likely last me as long as I will keep this rig.
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:11 AM   #8
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If I recall correctly, 2 group 31 12v batteries will have more capacity than 2 T-105 6volts.
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quoting trojan-battery.com

"What are the advantages and disadvantages of gel, AGM, and flooded lead acid deep cycle?
Generally, gel and AGM batteries have about 20% less capacity, cost about two times more, and have a shorter cycle life than comparable flooded lead acid batteries. However, Gel and AGM batteries do not need watering, are safer (no acid spilling out), can be placed in a variety of positions, have a slower self-discharge characteristic, and are more efficient in charging and discharging than flooded batteries (see table below). Gel batteries are more suitable for deep cycling applications whereas AGM batteries are more for light cycling and engine-starting applications."
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:43 AM   #10
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Went looking for an answer to Tom's question and found this interesting link.
Batteries....explained

Still searching for the right answer and will add it here...

Trojan's T105 is the smallest deep cycle battery we sell. With its low initial cost and 3 - 5 year life it serves well for all manner of golf carts and some small RV and Marine applications.

It is not appropriate for anything but the smallest remote RE applications. i.e. two batteries in series. If you want to learn about operating batteries, and have a very small system, this is the one to start with!

The T105 is rated at 225 A/H and will deep cycle 300 - 500 times
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:46 PM   #11
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Unless it is a premimum lead-acid battery (Rolls, etc.), I think they usually have reached the end of a trouble-free life after three or four years. Of course there are exceptions - I'm talking in general terms. It's not worth it to me to keep a battery longer than four years because I just don't want the hassle of waiting for the failure point of the battery.

Only one cell in one battery has to go bad in a parallel, series, or parallel/series bank of batteries to cause the charger to think the bank is not charged - it keeps pumping out the current and causes the electrolyte to gas.

Regarding wet-cell vs. gel vs. AGM attributes - I think there is an application for all three types. On my boat I started with 4D and then 8D Interstates and I did not have a good experience with them. There was a major migration in the marine circles to gel technology for deep discharge situations so I switched to Prevailer gels and never had a battery issue for years. AGM technology wasn't on the radar then or I would have gone to them. By the way, AGM is the current 'darling' battery technology according to my boating buddy (we sold our boat a few years ago - he still has his 44 footer.)
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:24 PM   #12
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smrangler ...

We have a 2002 Journey ... we have been out when the overnight temps were in the high teens and low 20s ...

I have never had any freezing in my compartments ... I run the GAS furnace when I expect the overnight temps to be in that range so there is warm air circulating through the ducts in the storage bays ...

When I expect the overnight low to be in the low teens or single digit ... I also carry a trouble light that I plug into the entertainment outlet and put it next to the water pump ... a second light in the dump bay would keep the valves from freezing (I have never threaded a cord over there but it should be pretty easy to run a cord from the engine block heater outlet)

I always dump and fill the fresh water tank ... and stow all hoses while it is "warm" in the late afternoon ... it only took one lesson of trying to roll up a frozen water hose for me to learn that lesson from the school of hard knocks ...

currently in San Diego
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:11 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by skigramp:
smrangler ...

We have a 2002 Journey ... we have been out when the overnight temps were in the high teens and low 20s ...

I have never had any freezing in my compartments ... I run the GAS furnace when I expect the overnight temps to be in that range so there is warm air circulating through the ducts in the storage bays ...

When I expect the overnight low to be in the low teens or single digit ... I also carry a trouble light that I plug into the entertainment outlet and put it next to the water pump ... a second light in the dump bay would keep the valves from freezing (I have never threaded a cord over there but it should be pretty easy to run a cord from the engine block heater outlet)

I always dump and fill the fresh water tank ... and stow all hoses while it is "warm" in the late afternoon ... it only took one lesson of trying to roll up a frozen water hose for me to learn that lesson from the school of hard knocks ...

currently in San Diego </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If there are any ducts to provide heat in any of the storage bays in my rig, I cannot see them. In my '97 Adventurer, there was a flexible heat duct that put heat in the bay with the pump and fresh water tank. I could also tell that some heat was getting to all the other storage bays in the Adventurer. In this Journey, I put a remote thermometer next to the pump and expected to see some change when the gas furnace would cycle. Temp in that bay continually dropped during the night and was at 24 when I got up around 7:00 am. The floor of that bay is thin and uninsulated. I will be installing some light sockets in those bays for future use.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:23 PM   #14
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Just a general comment to the topic title.

The colder the weather, the more voltage is required to obtain a full charge. So, rather than over charging, it's most likely that batteries will be under charged in very cold weather.

This assumes you don't have a temperature compensated charger.

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