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Old 02-17-2004, 10:07 AM   #1
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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
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Hey Guys,

We have just ordered a 2004 Winnebago Journey 36G. It will be a long 5 or 6 weeks to wait for delivery!

My question, If I wanted to use a batteryminder to keep the chassis and house batteries up, how many batteryminder units do I need? It is my understanding that the Journey uses two 12 volt for the chassis and three 12 volt for the house (I ordered with the 2000 watt inverter). I am just not certain what I need exactly.

As always, I appreciate your ideas and comments. Thanks Dennis
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:07 AM   #2
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Hey Guys,

We have just ordered a 2004 Winnebago Journey 36G. It will be a long 5 or 6 weeks to wait for delivery!

My question, If I wanted to use a batteryminder to keep the chassis and house batteries up, how many batteryminder units do I need? It is my understanding that the Journey uses two 12 volt for the chassis and three 12 volt for the house (I ordered with the 2000 watt inverter). I am just not certain what I need exactly.

As always, I appreciate your ideas and comments. Thanks Dennis
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:22 AM   #3
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The spec sheet for the 36G says two house batteries. Your standard Winnebago-supplied converter will charge those, but the Battery Minder option would be a good choice. You only need one Battery Minder (for the one converter).
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Old 02-17-2004, 05:27 PM   #4
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If you leave your coach connected to power while not in use, the converter (if it is a "Smart" converter) will keep your house batteries up to full charge. Assuming it has a 50 amp shore power cord, you can get a 50 to 15 amp adapter which will give you minimum power for the converter but not much else. Having a "Smart" converter is critical to good battery health! If you don't have one I suggest the trusty Battery Minder for that bank.

The chassis batteries have no means to keep up to full charge even with the shore power cord, you can get a Battery Minder for those batteries.

Using a battery charger or Battery Minder on different types of batteries in parallel is not recommended. The chassis batteries are starting batteries and the house batteries are deep cycle batteries. Some people get away with it, others wind up with sick batteries! I suggest using different charging devices on each bank of similiar batteries.

Good luck with your new toy, of course after your long long wait.

Don Harris
Savannah, GA
1999 Winnebago Adventurer, 35C, Class A, Ford V10, 20,500 GVWR chassis. Sleeps 2 Senior Citizens only!
1995 Saturn SW2 Toad, Blue Ox Aventa towing system, SMI Toad brake.
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:46 PM   #5
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Don ,, if I understand the above post..The smart converter will take care of the coach batteries and use the battery minder on the chassis batteries?? Is this correct?

Thanks and by the way "Big Blue" is in the home driveway...Happy Trails.


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Old 02-18-2004, 09:00 AM   #6
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More questions: How do you desulfate 2 12V house batteries (parallel) while hooked to shore pwr? BatteryMinder on the chassis batt is not a problem, since it's not being charged while in camp. I have the standard converter, 45Amp I think.
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Old 02-18-2004, 09:58 AM   #7
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Thudman,

As I understand it, you will want to have your batteries sit for 8 hours without any use or charging. I disconnected the cables to take the solar charger out of the picture as well. If the batteries can be opened, you should do a check of the electrolite with those squeeze tubes testers with the balls in it to make sure the battery is savable. The instructions give detailed guidance on this.

If the electrolite is good in each cell, then put the Battery Minder on and give it up to 72 hours to start flashing. If it does not start flashing, you are in need of desulfating. I did this with each battery individually to make sure it was good and up to snuff. If desulfating is required press the button on the unit and the lite should start flashing.

I did not need desulfating on any of the batteries, so after completion of all this I now run the Battery Minder on the two house batteries together and run one on the coach battery, since they are differant types.

Here is a link that may help:

http://www.vdcelectronics.com/batteryminder.htm

I have seen a marked improvment in the voltage and endurance of my batteries since using the Battery Minder. My batteries were not in the best shape when I bought the unit as it had sat at the dealer for over nine months, and I'm sure the batteries were not a concern of theirs.

Hope this helps.

Chris & Sharon Dellinger
'03 33V Adventurer, W20
'00 Ford Ranger Toad
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Old 02-18-2004, 04:41 PM   #8
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Ichin,
Yes, the Battery Minder automatically desulphates batteries due to its pulsing voltage mode.

A Smart Converter, such as the Intelli-Power 9100 series Charge Wizard, has an automatic cycle every 21 hours that switches the converter into a 14.4 volt boost mode for 15 minutes which is the desulphating/equalizing charge. The desulphating mode clears/prevents lead sulfate accululation on the battery plates. The equalizing mode prevents acid stratification.

I had to read my little booklet to refresh my memory on the above facts, I have severe CRS!

Prior to installing the Intelli-Power I used 2 Battery Minders, one for the coach batteries and one for the chassis battery. When the coach was not in use I turned off the converter circuit breaker and let the Battery Minder do the charging/desulphating.

About 2 years ago I took the advice of a friend and added mineral oil to the coach batteries. The mineral oil stopped a lot of excess boilover caused by my dumb converter, however, it was no longer possible to use a hydrometer to test the cells, duh!. Now I have 4 new 6 volt golf car batteries and one new 12 volt starting battery stuffed under the steps. I also installed panel mounted voltmeters to each bank of batteries. Oh yeah, I had to buy a new hydrometer, seems like the mineral gummed up my 40 year old one!

End of my rambling.

Don Harris
Savannah, GA
1999 Winnebago Adventurer, 35C, Class A, Ford V10, 20,500 GVWR chassis. Sleeps 2 Senior Citizens only!
1995 Saturn SW2 Toad, Blue Ox Aventa towing system, SMI Toad brake.
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Old 02-29-2004, 07:19 AM   #9
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Those 6-volt golf cart batteries seem to be the way to go. I have one group-24 Interstate deep cycle and was hoping to just add a second in parallel, but from what i've been reading two 6-volt in series (12v)produces way more Amp-Hours.

Anyone have any experience with having two 12v deep cycle in parallel and then changing to two 6 volt golf cart batteries in series? Were the results much better? I just can't stand losing my heat in the middle of the night.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-29-2004, 09:20 AM   #10
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Just re-read this post & have more Q's: I'm full-timing & don't move much. Hooked up to 50A shore pwr. Have BatteryMinder on Chassis batt (one 12V). Have two parallel 12A house batts. Can a BatteryMinder be hooked to the house batts while they are "in play", or do I need to shut down shore pwr for 72 hrs so the BM can do its job?

I know 2 things about electricity: On and Off

Thudman

03 Adv 38G, W22
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Old 02-29-2004, 07:00 PM   #11
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Outlander,
A pair of 6V golf cart batteries will provide about 230 amp-hours. A pair of Group 24 12V's yields only about 170 amp-hours. So yes, you will see a big difference. And the Golf carts are a much more robust deep cycle battery (they have to be to handle golf cart loads and recharging) and should last you 2-3 times as long as most Group 24's.

However, a pair of Group 27 12V's would give you about 210 A-H and Group 31's would be about 230 A-H.

Gary Brinck
2002 Dolphin LX - W22 chassis
2003 Chevy Tracker ZR2 4WD
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 02-29-2004, 07:06 PM   #12
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Thudman,
I don't think you can have another battery charger pumping current into the batteries and still have the BatteryMinder do its stuff. It's small output would likely be overwhelmed by a typical RV converter/charger. Generally speaking, running more than one charger to the same battery at the same time doesn't work very well.

Gary Brinck
2002 Dolphin LX - W22 chassis
2003 Chevy Tracker ZR2 4WD
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:16 AM   #13
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Gary B: Thx. I'll leave the house batts in the factory configuration. Thudman
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:14 AM   #14
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I asked VDC Electronics if their Battery Minder can be used while other systems are charging a battery. Here is their Tech Support reply:

"There is no harm leaving the BatteryMINDer on with another charger,
inverter, alternator, however other chargers should be disconnected when
maintaining the batteries. This gives the desulphation process a chance to
work and will prevent over-charging."
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:25 AM   #15
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You may want to check your options. As I understand it winnebago has installed a charger to deal with chassis battery drain issues on 06 models..
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