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Old 05-17-2016, 10:32 AM   #1
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Batteries boiled dry.... WHY?

This is a bit strange (but I have a simple mind) Why would both batteries go dry during a 10 day trip when always on shore power? We have not dry camped yet.

Bad converter/charger?
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:52 AM   #2
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Much info here on converter overcharging.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:56 AM   #3
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I guess it could be the inexpensive "non-smart" (stupid?!) charger that AS install in our expensive trailers - if they still do so, I'm not sure.

Newer intelligent chargers back off o the voltage once the battery is charged - the older chargers just keep on applying a higher voltage to the batteries as long as you are on shore power.

Even so, I would have thought it would have taken more than ten days on shore power to cause your batteries to go dry.

Our trailer still has not had its charger upgraded.

So until I get around to doing that, I disconnect the batteries any time we are going to be on shore power for more than a couple of days.

To make this easy, I removed the original +'ve battery clamps and replaced them with ones incorporating quick disconnect knobs. These are readily available at places like Harbor Freight.

Brian.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:58 AM   #4
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Folks with the original converter (single-stage battery charger) should make sure they select the "Store" position when connected to shore power for extended periods. This disconnects the battery from the converter and avoids overcharging.

Some folks upgrade their converters to include a three-stage battery charger. Others like me that have solar don't bother upgrading their converters since my solar charger includes a three-stage battery charger. However even with my configuration it's important to make sure the Use/Store switch is in the Store position when connected to shore power to avoid overcharging.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:00 AM   #5
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Lots of threads on here about that. I don't know what converter you have, but the original A/S stock converter was a very simple device and has been reported to boil batteries dry when left connected for long periods.

Were they full before you left? How do you store it? If you have the simple 1 stage converter it should not be left for long periods connected to shore power. Different years of Airstreams have been wired differently. My 2001 Safari would continue to charge batteries from shore power when placed in the STORE mode. I understand that the newer ones don't do that but I don't know that for a fact.

Several things could play into that - how long have you had the trailer? How long did it sit on the lot before you bought it? Was it connected to shore power during that period? If not was charge maintained on the batteries? What is the manufacturer's date code on the batteries?

Al
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:02 AM   #6
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:15 AM   #7
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Had the same problem and after 4 months fighting this problem, guess what, its was a Bad converter/charger.

Took AS two time in the shop and finally on the last day at the shop it happen, they were very surprise and told me it had a gremlin in it and was causing a very over charge to the batteries.

Got a new converter/charger and two new batteries, things due go bad.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Lots of threads on here about that. I don't know what converter you have, but the original A/S stock converter was a very simple device and has been reported to boil batteries dry when left connected for long periods.

Were they full before you left? How do you store it? If you have the simple 1 stage converter it should not be left for long periods connected to shore power. Different years of Airstreams have been wired differently. My 2001 Safari would continue to charge batteries from shore power when placed in the STORE mode. I understand that the newer ones don't do that but I don't know that for a fact.

Several things could play into that - how long have you had the trailer? How long did it sit on the lot before you bought it? Was it connected to shore power during that period? If not was charge maintained on the batteries? What is the manufacturer's date code on the batteries?

Al
1. 2016 International
2. Original A/S stock converter
3. Connected to shore power for 10 days during Florida rally
4. Two Interstate Deep Cycle Group 24
5. Sat on dealer lot for a couple months without power - battery dates 10/15

Have made multiple trips under the same scenario and had no problems.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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If the batteries had a dead cell then they would never reach/hold a proper charge and the converter would continue to try, boiling them dry. Sounds like they weren't in good shape when you started out.

There are a number of threads here on various battery experiences. Go to the Google search and type Airforums Battery or Batteries. That should keep you busy for a while. Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:17 AM   #10
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Overcharging is a likely possibility. However, only 10 days seems very quick. Was the water level completely full when you started your trip?

Managing the batteries was something that took me a long time to fully understand. This is what I learned (the hard way): When NOT connected to shore power, it is easy to tell if you are in Use or Store mode by the red light. However, when connected to shore power the red light is always on. You cannot tell what mode the switch is in.

With shore power and Use mode, the batteries are being charged. With shore power and Store mode, they are not. So how do you tell? For me I shut off shore power and set the mode I want, Use or Store. I then turn shore power back on. It stays in that mode until you change it with the switch. When the batteries get near to 12.0V, I go back to Use mode for a day or so.

If you don't want to go through all this, upgrade to a three stage converter and stay plugged in without overcharging.

Ron
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:30 AM   #11
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To make a long story short I also have a 2016 Intl but a tab shorter twenty three. Bought used so took dealers word that batteries were fine. After first trip they were dropping 50% over nite. Dealer checked them out said I needed an upgrade to my charger. I installed a PD4655.

Batteries still would not hold a charge. Dealer says they are ok. Had to argue with them and they finally replaced the batteries. Guess what all is well.

My batteries were most likely not charged properly by the previous owner. It is very inexpensive and a easy replacement of the charger.

Dave
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:47 AM   #12
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I installed a better solar charger and just unplugged the Charger/Converter from shore power. That way the batteries can only get charged through the solar. All of my 12V stuff is low power. I replaced all fluorescent bulbs with led strips and most of the other bulbs are led as well. As long as I'm parked in such a way that there is sunlight on the panels it should charge the system. AC, micro, fridge as well as the hot water tank can still be run from shore power when plugged in. When no shore power is present these won't run anyway with the exception of the fridge and hot water tank which will run on propane.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:53 AM   #13
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When I have my trailer in long term storage, I use a Noma Block heater timer set for one hour /day. That way the batteries don't boil over, or leak away the charge.
I will be picking up my 'brand new' 30 FC. shortly, after winter storage at Canam.
I'll bet that it hasn't been 'trickle charged' over the Winter; so I have some trepidation about what I shall see here.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:22 PM   #14
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So basicaly I need to upgrade to 4 stage converter? Now do I go with a 45 or 60 amp Inteli-Power Converter/Charger?

What are the advantages/disadvantages between a 45 and 60 amp unit?
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