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Old 04-03-2014, 04:46 PM   #1
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We're traveling in central america. Our converter died in Mexico and have no solar so we rely on the car to charge our battery whilst driving.
We have a generator and smart battery charger to use if needed (long periods of boondocking).

Usually driving 3-4 hours fully recharges the battery to about 12.80

However, this morning the battery was around 12.50 and after driving 4 hours it only went up to 12.68

Does this signal a potential battery issue that it's not charging fully?
I refilled the fluid about a week ago (regular filtered tap water) and after driving almost every day, every night the battery was up to 12.80

It's a regular RV deep cycle battery.
Does it make sense to invest in an AGM or gel cell battery; if I can find it on the trip down here (maybe in a boat store at a harbor)?
Someone told me those are more reliable; can be fully discharged without wrecking them and there is no need to check the fluid level.
If theres one thing I don't like about RVing it's the battery issues ... those things don't last long when used constantly on long trips.

Thanks!

Jorn
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:04 PM   #2
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Alternators charge till they see a fully charged battery. That battery in this case is the TV battery. Once the alternator shuts down the TV battery will discharge some to the trailer battery but never bring it up to full.

I have hard the opposite. Trailer plugged in all day and the TV out for a lot of short trips during the day. Next am hooked up drove a while and stopped. Went to start the truck and the truck batteries were dead because the alternator saw a fully charge battery in the trailer.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
I refilled the fluid about a week ago (regular filtered tap water) after driving almost every day, every night the battery was up to 12.80
You should only use distilled water. Filtered water can still have dissolved minerals and metals that can damage your battery.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:46 PM   #4
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I think the alternator will generally charge the TV battery and the trailer battery more or less simultaneously, however I reserve the right to be wrong concerning some late model vehicles that may employ some type of switching device I am unaware of.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:07 AM   #5
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try the gen & smart charger to test if bat will take a full charge, if yes use it to limp home.
Can you use the smart chargrer on shore power ?.
Third world electric power can be REAL bad and trash inverters.
AGM by Lifeline are great (2 /6 volt in series= 12 volts) they need a charger made for them or a charger inverter combo.
Good luck
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:37 AM   #6
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Your batteries will charge up to the voltage of around 14.5 volts from your alt on your T.V. ,you can then measure battery voltage after 4 hours with no load or charge on the battery you should have around 12.8volts, for a good fully charged battery,But if your r.v. Battery was very low on charge it may not be fully charged because your alt on your tow vehicle looks at combined voltage of both batteries and once 14.5 volts is achieved it stops charging, the batteries are also to different types ,different age,different sizes, 99% of chargers don't charge batteries properly! a charger must #1 bulk charge ( this is maximum output of charger) then once the voltage reaches around 14.5 volts the charger goes into the absorb state of charge (this state is to top up the batterie lower charge usually one hour) then after a hour in the absorb state of charge ) the charger enters float state of charge ( this state just float charger output ) and once battery voltage drops the charger then goes back to bulk charge and the cycles repeat as needed, on some really good chargers there is a charge state called equalization this is to get all six cells of your battery equal voltage(state of charge) because after a while the cells of the battery become unequal because of there position ,outside cells get most of the charge, this equalization charge should be done at least 4 times a year ,this also stirs up the acid in the battery needed for proper lead acid battery operation (in a car your driving around on bumpy roads this stirs the acid solution but if your rv sits around you need to do this battery equalization charge to stir up the acid, oh don't buy a gell battery there no good ,the best type is aborb glass mat battery ( AGM) they cost a lot but they don't get damaged from freezing and you don't have to add water and they don't vent explosives gassed like normal lead acid wet batteries, so you can use a ( AGM )battery indoors !
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:40 AM   #7
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Short answer, this drop in charge of a few tenths of a volt is not a problem in itself, but may be an indication that you need to watch things for a while just in case it is a problem.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:54 PM   #8
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What is the rating in the panel of a fully charged 2015 Flying Cloud 28 ft? The panel says 13.7 sometimes and then 12.8. At what point do we need a new battery. We bought unit in August 2014 and it spent the winter in storage from Nov.-March in Arizona.

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Old 04-29-2015, 08:47 PM   #9
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When a battery is actively being charged the voltage will be higher, 13-14 volts. When charging stops, a good battery will relax its voltage to around 12.6 volts.

IF the battery is being charged when it reads 13.7 and 12.8 when relaxed, it is likely that those readings are normal.

Al
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:03 PM   #10
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batteries are not replaced as function of time. Duel battery systems usually have to be replaced , as a set, when one battery has a lower charge voltage than the other and draws the better battery down.

Disconnecting the ground wires and testing the voltage on each battery is a test for balance. Batteries that will no longer hold a charge equal to the past is the other indication.
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