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Old 12-16-2008, 11:33 AM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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I just got the m/h out of strorage yesterday for a Xmas trip. All ground cables disconnected at the batteries while in storage. The house batteries were dead; chassis fine.

When I plugged it in at home the Diminsions panel showed "Bulk Charge, 65 amps".

The batteries are about two years old and have been checked regularly and distilled water added as needed.

Winnie Cust Serv says I have bad batteries. I believe them but what am I doing wrong that they would go dead? Did I kill therm or is two years a natural life span? They're group 27 from Pep Boys that I had to buy on a trip to Annapolis two years ago.

I guess what I'm asking is what can I prevent from having to replace them again so soon?

The hardest part is convincing my wife they are necessary. She firmly believes you should just be able to get in anything and drive it forever with no maintenance. Convincing her that three batteries cost almost as much a one pair of her shoes is a very hard sell.

Finally, what batteries does anybody recommend? We have a Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Advance Auto in the area.

Im just got off the phone again with Winnie. They say the batteries should be Group 30.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:33 AM   #2
Winnie-Wise
 
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I just got the m/h out of strorage yesterday for a Xmas trip. All ground cables disconnected at the batteries while in storage. The house batteries were dead; chassis fine.

When I plugged it in at home the Diminsions panel showed "Bulk Charge, 65 amps".

The batteries are about two years old and have been checked regularly and distilled water added as needed.

Winnie Cust Serv says I have bad batteries. I believe them but what am I doing wrong that they would go dead? Did I kill therm or is two years a natural life span? They're group 27 from Pep Boys that I had to buy on a trip to Annapolis two years ago.

I guess what I'm asking is what can I prevent from having to replace them again so soon?

The hardest part is convincing my wife they are necessary. She firmly believes you should just be able to get in anything and drive it forever with no maintenance. Convincing her that three batteries cost almost as much a one pair of her shoes is a very hard sell.

Finally, what batteries does anybody recommend? We have a Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Advance Auto in the area.

Im just got off the phone again with Winnie. They say the batteries should be Group 30.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:35 PM   #3
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Doug it is hard to look back and tell why the batteries only lasted 2yrs. To get the most life out of them one should start with hi garde deep cycle batts, never let them go below 50% charge before starting recharge, recharge as soon as possible, keep clean and maintained and in a charged state, don't overcharge or over heat. If this is done they should last 5-7 years depending on brand. However 2yrs is not uncommon for the kind of batts you had. good luck with the new ones.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:48 PM   #4
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Autofish,

Thanks for the quick response. I guess I needed to vent like the batteries!

Winnie recommended NAPA Group 30. They said they have had very good luck with them. I had no choice when I bought the Pep Boys batteries. They were the only place that had any at all, let alone three.

I'll remove the old tomorrow in the AM and have new ones on Thursday. I don't know how they'll fit in a stocking over the fireplace, but there's my Christmas present!!!

I probably shouldn't have been so hard on my wife in the first post. She's no different than many people that don't understand the cost of having fun and maintaining the toys.


HO HO HO!!!!
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:19 PM   #5
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I am replacing my house batteries with Optima AGM's and also replacing my converter with the Progressive Dynamics 9260. I have been told this should solve my battery problems.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:21 PM   #6
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I bought my last set for my2000 35U from Batteries Plus. They have a good warrenty and a good selection
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:31 PM   #7
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We don't dry camp very often, and my interstate batteries series 29 lasted about 2 years. I didn't think I needed to but expensive Optima Bats at $200 plus each. I found a local bat supplier and put 3 Series 27 Deep Cycle Wet Cells in for $215. If they last 2 more years or more I'll be happy. By the way I do maintain them and keep them clean. The new Bats are DEKA
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:45 PM   #8
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Just lost the innermost of 3 Group 31's that were original and are now just turning 2 years old.

All batteries are checked frequently, but so it goes. So much for Napa batteries, don't know who makes them.

Changing over to 4 Trojan T 105's, 6 volts.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:21 PM   #9
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I swapped out my three 12 volt battaries for 4 6 volt lifeline battaries which fit into the same tray. I needed to create the hold down brackets for the new configuration.
The lifeline is expensive but I have been real happy with them. They do not need to be refilled with water and keep the bat compartment cleaner without the acid. www.lifelinebatteries.com/

I live in the desert. I leave the rig not hooked up to shore power. I turn off the inside switch and engine shut off as well. I use one float charger for the engine and one for the house battaries. Were into the third year and so far so good.
I believe that the hassel and constant filling of the lead acid battaries with water is their weak point. I have friends that installed the auto fillers and still had problems.
I puchased my battaries at Battaries Plus at a great price a couple of years back. They have increased a lot the last couple of years. But shop around, even the Battary Plus stores had a wide price swings.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:00 AM   #10
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I've had good luck with deep cycle batteries over the years although the ones in my MH had to be replaced this year after 5 years. The original DC battery in my boat that I bought in 1992 lasted 9 years.

Two things are important to get them to last:

1. Do not let them get low on water. I always use distilled water when needed.

2. Do not let the batteries sit low or dead for any length of time. If they get discharged recharge as soon as possible. If they are stored dead the plates will get sulfated and they will not come back when you charge them.

On my boat when it was winterized I would take the battery out and recharge every 8 weeks or so.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:08 PM   #11
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Well, an update on the charging problem.

I took the batteries all out to NAPA and they tested and found one with only 101 amps. We put it on their commercial charger for two hours and then took charger off and let it set for an hour. It had 717 amps. We just checked it again after 3 more hours and still had 717 amps so it looks like the battery is good. I'm going to check it again in the A.M. and see what kind of charge it's holding. If it's still 717 or close I'm going to reinstall my old batteries and make sure the cables on all three batteries are making GOOD contact.

The NAPA guy is very knowlegable and is pretty certain that the one battery wasn't taking a charge because of a poor hookup. Makes sense to me and might save me almost $400.00. He had already ordered me three new ones but said don't worry about it; they'll sell eventually.

In addition, Winnie said if one battery goes bad it can be disconnected from the battery bank and everything will still work, just not as long as with three batteries. Good to know if on the road and one goes bad.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:17 PM   #12
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Good to here it may not be bad batts keep us posted good luck
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:04 PM   #13
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Had to buy three new ones. One old one boiled about 30 minutes after hookup.

Leaving tomorrow for GA and don't want to start a trip with a problem already in progress.
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Old 12-20-2008, 04:51 PM   #14
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I had to replace all my batteries within the first year. The inner most battery went dry, despite my constant checking and topping off. The outer batteries were okay, but you can't mix old and new batteries. Because the battery was dry, it was not warranted.

I went and bought the Quick-Fill system from Camping World and once a week give a quick couple of squeezes on the bulb and top off the batteries with distilled water.

I originally thought that maybe I didn't fill the inner most battery because it is hard to see the cells. Since then, I have heard and read of others with similar MH's having the same problem. One theory is the inner battery is close to the very hot engine and loses water becasue of it. There is some thoughts about constructing a heat shield.

Since I've installed the Quick-Fill, I have had no problems topping off the batteries. It's a great system and only takes a minute to use, start to finish.

Best Regards!
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