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Old 05-15-2019, 05:47 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 9
How to charge 2 dead engine batteries

I mistakenly let the engine batteries go without a charge and now they need to be re charged or replaced?

A couple of sources said once they are super low or no charge they can not be charged, I find that to be unlikely, but who knows?

I'm in a campground have been here for two months, only the coach batteries are in good shape because they are being charged from the 120Vac.

If the engine batteries can be re charged I want to make sure I do it properly and do not do any damage to the coach system.

One guess is I disconnect one of the engine batteries and put my charger on it and see if I can give it life again. then disconnect the other one and charge it separately? Not sure if I can hook up the charger to both batteries, I believe they are hooked in parallel? All five batteries are less than a year old.

Thank you for your help, I'm new to this and hope to be able to reply with a thank you, not sure how.

I have a 2005 Journey, 36G
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 5
Been there, wear the scars on my 2006 Journey 36G. I hooked a regular 12v charger to one of the batteries and let it charge.. I only charged mine to where I could start the engine to take it to the dealer for annual service. Both starting batteries in mine had to be replaced as they would no longer maintain a sufficient charge - but mine were weak when I put the coach to bed last November...
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:00 AM   #3
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Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 889
Usually what I'd do is to disconnect and then service the batteries. Add water as needed, perhaps a 'restore' to the cells. Then I'd try charging them up with the battery charger I have. Usually overnight.

Once that's confirmed if they'll take a charge, then I'd add a Trik-L-Start or other device to help keep them topped off by vampiring some juice from the house batteries as they're being charged by the converter. This is typical so nothing to worry about, won't damage anything. You can also just get a $25 Schumaker float charger from Walmart and attach that to the batteries too. Need to have a nearby 120 Vac outlet in a different compartment though. I did in my Bounder, don't in my Winnie so I'm using the Trik-L-Start instead.

Then whenever I started the RV, I'd always use the emergency start button to start the rig.

Doing the above, I limped along with a set of 12 volt batteries in poor shape in my Bounder diesel RV for 2-3 years before I got around to buying new.
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : https://chaos.goblinbox.com
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:41 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Lexington County, South Carolina
Posts: 50
How to recharge....1. With a credit card and
2. a trip to Interstate Battery. Worth every penny I paid for my 3 plus 1 for my SUV.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:41 PM   #5
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 9
Hey, thank you for your service to our wonderful country, we owe the military so much!
also thank you for your humor.........
My batteries are less than one year old and seemed to take a re-charge. I also bought the LSL charging device, when it arrives I'll hook it up and should not have any more engine battery issues for a few years...
Regards / Bob
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:27 PM   #6
Winnebago Master
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,327
There will be incremental damage to the starting batteries every time they go flat and eventually they will fail completely once its be done enough times. They will usually charge up but with somewhat reduced capacity each time until them become useless so getting a float charger or a charge leveling device to take care of them during extended stays and storage is the best course to follow. Many of the newer coaches now address this since it has been such a problem for so many.
Neil V
2001 Winnebago Adventurer WFG35U
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:33 AM   #7
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 9
Neil, I believe your 100% correct, hopefully once I install the electronic charger my engine batteries should stay charge. I'm full timing so I hope this doesn't happen again. One thing about it, I've learned something thanks to the wonderful support from you and others.

Thank you for taking the time to write me, I appreciate it very much.

Happy Trails / Bob
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:44 AM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 255
Replace. Once they get below 50% charge the wet cells begin to sulfate which is their death warrant. They are already damaged.............just replace, otherwise they will leave you stranded, especially with hot weather coming.
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