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Old 11-18-2009, 09:00 PM   #15
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my understanding is that agms CAN off-gas under extreme conditions.

imm, extreme conditions are REALLY HOT (100+) days and HIGH charge voltages (>14.2)

but there is NOT a way for the user to service AFTER those events, we can only try to prevent them from venting acidic gases.

these batteries should be USED/cycled but NOT abused or left dormant.

again my understanding is that agms self discharge at a MUCH SLOWER/lower rate than conventional flooded cells...

but DO still loose juice.

there is GOOD info on the lifeline site, with graphs and so on.

the a/s has some PHANTOM loads and 1 of the fume detectors is wired to 12v,

so the agms will drain if left IN the trailer, especially in COLD temps.

it does seem reasonable to TAKE THEM OUT/home for long/cold storage of the trailer.

either that or VISIT the unit and charge use/charge them occasionally.

a gen set fills this purpose, where wired power isn't available.

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2air'
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:36 PM   #16
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In case you didn't know, deep cycle marine batteries will be best suited for your application. They are designed to be discharged and recharged as your application may encounter.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:01 AM   #17
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Why are we talking about physically disconnecting the batteries when dropping power to the converter alone would suffice? If you know you will be loading the 12V side trip the timer, it will reset in less than 24 hours so no/low harm...

A quality 3-prong grounded timer in the supply line set for 30 minutes, an hour, two hours a day and monitor voltages (electrolyte specific gravity is more precise) to see where the battery is resting before the next charge cycle toward keeping battery at/near 90% state-of-charge (SOC) for our purposes is good enough.

Once or twice a month keeping the flooded battery on charge with full bubbling action to reach 97-100% charge and never deeper discharge than 50% and you've made paradise for your deep cycle. That final 10% of SOC can take 2 or 3 times (or more) the length of time of current flow and could be called 'equalizing' since it forces the individual cells into rejection of charge while it undoes plate sulphation etc..

The vent-of-death for AGM, gelled or semi-gelled batteries isn't really the direct loss of moisture, its the gas pockets or voids formed in the intimate plate spaces that resist gravity and reconsolidation and lower the plate surface area since the gooey electrolyte can compress it but not expel it...

When it happens once it's not like that will be the trouble spot next time since it never heals (like brain cells?) and an avalanche effect of more bubbles and lower plate surface area is injected into the schema which lowers the usual output and life span.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:32 AM   #18
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Just MHO which is not worth much sometimes but I would take those batteries out,they are toast.Just bite the bullet and replace them. Because of lack of water over the plates,because you did not check them once a month. I replaced my batt's with deep cycle group 27's from Auto Zone. They had the best price at the time. Do NOT buy NON-SERVICE type batteries. Just by checking the water and adding DISTILLED WATER when needed. Our PO had let them get low on water and discharged and they frost and busted. Batteries will self-discharge in about 30 day when not in use.
We have just been thru our 2 nd season with these batteries. No problems yet and we are still using the original Univolt that is 33 yrs old.I have had to add water several times in the 2 yrs of service.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:27 AM   #19
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A simple question:

What is the harm in not having any battery at all for 5 months
if connected to reliable shore power? If it will not harm the
converter, why go to the expense and trouble?
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:16 AM   #20
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A simple question:

What is the harm in not having any battery at all for 5 months
if connected to reliable shore power? If it will not harm the
converter, why go to the expense and trouble?
Depending on your usage, if you are using a mim. amount of current, it may not hurt the converter but it will hurt your lights. The life expectancy of a light bulb is a function of the voltage applied. The converter will put out more than 13.5 volts and that voltage is enough to kill your lights.

The converter is designed to RECHARGE a battery for a long period of time. It is not designed to replace a battery. Think of a converter as stream filling a lake behind a dam and that dam has generators in it. The lake fill slowly put constantly and has a very high potential. The generators, batteries, supply a regulated source of voltage, even while there draw down rate is greater than the stream flow, and remain available as demand is reduced.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #21
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Running the old-style univolt without a battery is the surest way of getting a new converter - they require the battery as a ballast load and will get increasingly louder with 60Hz buzzing over hours/days... when the buzzing stops you will need new converter.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:42 PM   #22
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Depending on your usage, if you are using a mim. amount of current, it may not hurt the converter but it will hurt your lights. The life expectancy of a light bulb is a function of the voltage applied. The converter will put out more than 13.5 volts and that voltage is enough to kill your lights.

I guess maybe as 2Air points out, it may depend on what setup you have, and that may be a confusing factor in many of us contributing to this thread.

According to my manual, my converter can put out something like 55 amps - more than any load I would impose. The manual also appears to confirm this by indicating that it can power all of the trailers 12v electrical needs.

I have a digital voltmeter installed in my trailer, and when the converter is on, the voltage reads at east 13.5 volts, whether or not the coach batteries are connected.

So in my case, if that voltage is sufficient to significantly shorten bulb life, I guess I'm stuck with that!

I don't seem to have a problem with too frequent bulb replacement though, although the trailer is pretty new to us - only two trips so far!

I'm in the process of converting all the interior lights that we use often to LED. So far, the reading lights at each end of the trailer, and the chandelier over the dinette. I wonder if the voltage will be detrimental to these?

Brian.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:59 PM   #23
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... I wonder if the voltage will be detrimental to these?.
check the voltage AT the fixture or bulb.

cheers
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:34 PM   #24
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I'm starting the third year with a pair of Interstates that stay in the trailer year round. I periodically plug the trailer in for a week or so to maintain the charge and, so far, I can't complain about the Interstates. That's with minus 15 degee nights and as long as a month with below freezing temperatures. For the cost, I'm perfectly content to get a solid two years - and possibly three - out of a set of batteries. I could pay twice as much but I'm not sure so doing would be cost-effective. In my cars and trucks I normally get a good 5 years out of Interstates.
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