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Old 03-22-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
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Batteries - what kind?

Ok ... I have searched the forums but is there a certain type of battery that should be used with a certain type of Airstream?I have a 2005 25'SS and my batteries are dead.I have been noticing this for a while now and it has been on a downward trend slowly getting worse in time.Today when I went to town to check on it I was going to fill up the toilet with a bit more water before it dried out and the pump would not work.I checked the batteries and they are dead.
So...What type of Battiery should I get.I dont really know much about them but I would like to get 2 really good ones.I have noticed that everyone talks about certain brands but what do you all think would be a good choice for me to use?
I dont really boondock and if I do it is because I am pulling over for the night to get to my destination.
Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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I like Optima, they are expensive though. I suggest you put a cut off switch on your batteries if you don't have one now, so you can do two things; eliminate the overcharging when shore power is on, and the constant drain when the trailer is stored. This would assume your converter does not have a charge wizrd type thing already on it.
I kep the Optima in my motorhome alive a long time with this set up.
There are other good brands, many have their favorite, but even a reasonably priced battery will last long if you do the above.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:24 PM   #3
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Batteries

Would anyone know if I have an automatic switch for the batteries or do I need to put one on also.
What would be a great switch to get if I do need one.
My Airstream is a 2005 25'SS Safari model.It is pretty much your basic model.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
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You can save $19 on the battere disconnect and use spade-type fuses--just pull them to cut off the battery (assuming the fuse panel is in a convenient location). Spade fuses are available up to 40 amp. I have used 25 amp for battery fuses for several years and never blown one.

I recommend the 115 A-h Marine battery that Costco used to sell for $55, but I've only found it lately at WallyWorld for about $67. They won't last as long as an Optima, but then I don't feel so bad when I fail to water them or don't disconnect them when I should and I have to get new ones.

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Old 03-22-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
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Switches

Would something like this work?
I dont really know about these either so be gentle.
Battery Switches & Isolators - BoatersWorld.com
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devoman
Would something like this work?

I dont really know about these either so be gentle.
Battery Switches & Isolators - BoatersWorld.com
Yes, but look at the ratings--275 Amps and more! Worst case you might have 60 Amps to your battery, but just for seconds. You're really dealing with 30, maybe 40 amps, max. The marine environment is a lot different than ours--lots of fuel, maybe a big engine, no place to escape to but jump in the water. So they need to emergency disconnect power quickly, in case of fire, etc. I don't think you need to spend $100+ on battery disconnects. You can get the $20 knife blade switch at most RV parts places, but that's a bare hunk of metal just asking for a short circuit unless it's mounted on a vertical surface and in an otherwise safe place.

I think you can just pull the fuze. Up to you, of course. In an Airstream, the "emergency" disconnect is the fuze--fuze values should be low enough to ensure they blow if something unexpected happens. We really use a disconnect to either prevent small sneak currents (like the radio) from completely discharging the battery over the winter or, if you leave your trailer on shore power all the time it's at home, to prevent overcharging an boiling all the water out. A fuze is plenty convenient for this purpose, IMHO.

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Old 03-22-2008, 08:09 PM   #7
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I recommend the Lifeline AGM's. They're expensive but, in my opinion, are well worth it. They came in my' 05', and are still going strong. They've never been removed, or disconnected.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:11 PM   #8
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I've said this before on the forums but, IMHO, if you're the typical Airstreamer - and not a full-timer - you'll be doing good to get 2-3 years life out of a set of batteries. I'm sure that it's possible to double that life expectancy but, at $60 +/- per battery, the effort just isn't worth it - especially up h'yar in the frozen north! I keep the AS plugged in year-around so that I can check things out - without using a flashlight - or just roam around inside dreaming about Spring. Right now, if I unplug the shore power, the current 3-year old batteries will discharge in about a day or so. I've checked for residual drainage - but, aside from the CO2 and smoke detector, there doesn't seem to be a problem. I know that, when new, the batteries will stay up all summer in between trips. That said, I'll pop a new pair in this Spring, with the highest amp-hr rating I can find at a reasonable price, and not worry about it for another two years or so. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devoman
Would something like this work?
I dont really know about these either so be gentle.
Battery Switches & Isolators - BoatersWorld.com
Devoman,
Do you mean a low voltage disconect? or a manual disconnect?

I have Lifeline AGM's and they are holding up well.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:26 PM   #10
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hey devoman how are you!

why are the batteries dead?

did something get left ON and drain them to zero?

have u tried recharging them?

did they boil dry or sulfonate? Sulfation

u can take a battery into almost any auto supply shop and have them charged/tested.

1. your unit already has a 12 volt disconnect switch.

it will disconnect everything from the batteries except the lpgas detector and the jack and the safety brakes.

2. the primary limitation on new batteries is the SIZE that will fit easily into the existing space.

the current batteries are group 24 or 27, this is printed ON the batteries themselves.

so the replacements need to be the same 'group size' to fit easily into the current space.

you have 3 choices, liquid lead-acid, gel cells or agms (all are deep cycle lead/acid)

the agms cost the most, need virtually no maintenance and will usually outlast the others.

otoh YOU never are away from 'hookups' so basic liquid lead acid deep cycles are the obvious choice...

again WHY are they 'dead' ?

knowing how/why they are shot helps to determine which replacement option...

cheers
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:43 PM   #11
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Batteries

How's it going 2Air?
I really dont know.They worked really well in the beggining but over time I noticed that they would die out faster and faster.I had it hooked up to shore power for several days and when I would unplug it the batteries were low and it seemed to not be charging like they should.It had power when I unplugged it and I turned the power off inside the Airstream at the little switch to make sure it was off.
It has been about a week or so now and they are dead.I checked everything to see if anything was on but I always turn everything off since I park it for the summer being that I work a lot then.
I will be back in town again and I am going to check everything out to see what is up with it.Hopefully I can figure something out.I will also take the batteries out to get them checked.
Funny how things take a turn when your warranty runs out.


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Old 03-22-2008, 10:01 PM   #12
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so right about the AFTER warranty issues, devoman...

more questions...

-when you aren't using the trailer is it plugged in or not?

-what is the LONGEST it has been parked unplugged?

-how many times have the batteries been below the 40-50% charge level?

-have u ever added or checked the water level in the batteries?

basic issues like these will greatly affect battery life.

cheers
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #13
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Batteries

You know I never have checked the batteries and looked at the level of it.I have had it plugged in for over a week and it never charged up half way.This was just before I took it to town to set it up for the summer.
Being that I have not checked it I can bet anything I killed my battery by not checking the level of liquid in it.

When I would go into town at least once to twice a week sometimes I would check it out to make sure there are no critters or anything like that or to just give it a bath so I would plug it up for a few days and then unplug it.Being that it was my parents place they could unplug it for me.Seems it was just getting getting worse as the days went by.I believe I have more than likely murdered my batteries.
I did not realize that they could burn out that fast.I really never used the batteries to boondock or anything except when I am traveling but I guess that can do it also.
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:17 PM   #14
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well...

3 years without checking water level IS a bit long...

otoh, i have killed rv batteries myself (long ago) that came back to life after adding distilled water!

so u might try this first. it may be 2 late but it's a cheap thing to try....

IF you don't ever wanna mess with checking fluid levels, in the NEXT pair of batteries...

get the maintenance free deep cycle batteries as replacements...

i really like the agms from lifeline...

Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries

but you might know someone local who can get ya a good deal on some other brand of sealed deep cycles...

just be sure they are the same "group size" as the current ones and will FIT in the battery boxes...

now, about those after warranty issues...

you need to make sure the charger/converter is working properly too!

cheers
2air'
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