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Old 03-11-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
Ggroth's Avatar
2011 25' FB International
2013 Interstate Coach
Franklin , Wisconsin
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12
Battery Recharge

Arteries are dead on my 2011-25 International. Must have forgotten to turn off the battery switch a couple months ago. Will hooking up to 110 shore power recharge the batteries or do I have to hook up a battery charger directly to the batteries?

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Old 03-11-2012, 12:53 PM   #2
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2002 22' International
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 209
On mine the batteries need just a few volts (I think about 8) to close the relay that will let me connect the batteries to the trailer charger. So I do one of two things (1) I just connect a battery charger direct to the batteries and charge them that way. (2) I connect the same charger only for a very few minutes to get a little power. Then close the relay to connect the batteries to the trailer inverter and complete the charge while plugged to shore power. (I use this when I don't want to leave the charger outside. i.e., rain).

A third approach might be to use jumper cables from a car to the trailer batteries to give enough voltage to the relay that will let you complete the charge using the trailer.

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Old 03-11-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10

12v Batteries that are discharged can crack in freezing weather. The fluid in the battery freezes and can crack the case like when you forget to turn the fridge down and your diet coke freezes and bang you got a mess.

Look the batteries over for signs of fluid loss or cracking. Check the water/acid level to make sure its correct and use distilled water for top up's if needed. Its so much nicer to have the sealed kind of battery....

I would first plug trailer in to 110 and wait a few hours then unplug to see if you have any juice in the batterys. If so I think your good to plug back in and let the trailer do its work. If not, give them a charge with a battery charger after unhooking from the trailer so they are stand alone. Most people dont do this but I'm always worried about the expensive circuit boards in the fridge ect getting fried.

Please use glasses and gloves when messing with batterys....
Hope this helps you,
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:43 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, if they have sat dead for any length of time (like a week or two) they probably are never going to be able to be restored to full working capacity. Fully discharging flooded cell batteries is very tough on them, and when they sit discharged it is even worse. So, even if you can recharge them, you may find they have very little capacity. Even if they have not frozen, I expect you will be looking at the purchase of new batteries soon.

Just a heads up
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:34 PM   #5

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

A discharged battery in a Wisconsin Winter.....

You could try a tickle charger...but at two years old and dead, prepare for new batteries.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
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Posts: 3,122
even with the batteries disconnected there will be parasitic loads on the battery that will run it down in fairly short order. do a search for "parasitic load" and you will find many posts.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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2011 25' FB International
2013 Interstate Coach
Franklin , Wisconsin
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12
Thanks for all the feedback. The trailer is in a heated airplane hanger so no cold weather related contribution to either the discharge or the degradation of the batteries. I took the advice to first hook-up the charger, let it charge for 10 minutes until I got a red light on the battery switch located inside the trailer. I then hooked up to shore power and took the charger off the batteries. Now here's a comment that shows I have no memory whatsoever, instead of leaving the batter switch in the "store" position, I flipped the switch up to the "I don't remember" position. I am hoping the inverter is charging the batteries as I compose this. I'll know next time I visit the trailer in the next couple days. I will have the dealer check out the batteries for irreparable damage after I put the AS on the road (couple of weeks). Thanks again for all feedback and I'm sure I will be using the Forum for future questions. I did read the "Newbies Guide to Airstreaming". The read was very helpful and hopefully will limit the number of times I have to address the Forum.

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