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Old 06-07-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
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1983 31' Airstream310
Brighton , sussex
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 80
310 Coach batteries

How long should the coach batteries last?
I have had the lounge lights on high (not the map reading swivel bulbs) and the bedroom 2 no. fluorescent tubes on occasionally while I've been working inside (serious rain and leaks here today).
When checking th battery on the panel it read Poor and improved when I turned the lights off. Voltage measured 11.75V. When I started the engine all was well and they ready about 12.7v. I have had a split charge installed which will charge (hopefully) the engine battery as well as the coah batteries when plugged in to the 240 volt supply. Had a 'Velus' charger fitted next to the fridge. The Univolt is still there but just lurking and not connected I guess. It failed as predicted a few weeks back.
I also noted that the furnace will not heat with low battery's. It worked when the engine was running, raising the coach battery voltage. It did say it in the manual. I have all for every applicance fitted. I can't believe I'm getting excited about this but the more time I spend in it the more I really like what they were doing with them in the 80's. It just works.


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Old 06-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2007
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How old are the batteries? The El Cheapos do not last very long.

"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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Check along the 'lid' of the battery. Somewhere along there, should be a 4-digit number stamped. (Ex: 0506), would mean, May of 2006. Sometimes there will be a placard on the top of the battery, and sometimes the seller would've punched out the month and year the battery was sold. Depending on use, how often the battery was charged, or under-charged, it just may be time for new batteries. Hope this helps.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:30 AM   #4
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1983 31' Airstream310
Brighton , sussex
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 80
Hi D, Thanks I'll check the date when they're in the trash (the bin in English).
The new charger is working constantly to charge them when hooked up and there is not enough juice to run the furnace after be unhooked for about 30 mins.
What specs should I go for for this sort of battery?
I know that a starting battery should have 'high cold cranking amps' but what about coach batteries. Keyair has done a 6volt conversion. If I used 4 6 volt golf cart batteries would it be a straight swap other than new connector wires or is a convertor/transformer required somewhere? I need to get something done as were staying in it for another 2 weeks in wet Wales.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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2000 31' Land Yacht
Central , Florida
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Wet Wales with electric hookup or without?
With and converter connected time used doesn't matter, electric failure and you will be without battery operated stuff. To go two weeks without electric, charger, solar, wind whatever would be hard even with gc batteries unless they were the best on the market fully charged and you knew how to reduce the normal living load.

If you are referring to life of battery, 2-8 yrs starting battery, but I did have a set of deep cycle gc that lasted 11 by having a solar charger connected, and twice a year check of acid level, keeping topped up with distilled water.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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I would recommend two 6 volt golf cart batteries in series as the best bang for your buck (P for your pound?). However, if you do that, you will need to change the battery connection system somewhat, so you have series connection, vs. two 12 volt ones in parallel, which was the original configuration on an '83 310.

Unfortunately, to put the taller golf cart batteries in, you need to deepen the roll out drawer as it is too shallow to accommodate them. That makes the conversion more difficult than just a battery swap. The original batteries in the 310 were (US) #29 deep cycle batteries. #31's might fit, I no longer have my 310 to measure to see. Of course I don't know how the battery number system works in GB, so that may not help you any. You do need deep cycle batteries, not normal starting batteries used for the engine service.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Posts: 526
I replaced what were probably good batteries last year and in the process found a loose cable connection on the back of the battery compartment that was the real problem.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:54 AM   #8
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1983 31' Airstream310
Brighton , sussex
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 80
We've been away for almost 3 weeks on and off in the 310 on some great sites on the Welsh border. Most things are working well on the electric front. I changed the batteries as they were really not holding charge and I feared a disaster and some dark nights. The new ones are in and everthing seems brighter. The charger made by Vetus is not working so hard but comes on boost after the bathroom/overhead reading lights and the furnace have been on for a while. I have some Lucas 100Ah deep cycle batterys that went straight into the box. I think the way to go is to use LEDS light bulbs everywhere to keep them good and a solar trickle charger. Nothing fancy.
I did read a theard about the LED bulbs. Did Keyair change all of his? I want to find out what size/model of LED's to buy to replace my 8 standard reading lights and the main lights hwich are behind the perspex covers. I have not worked out how to take the strip lights out yet.


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