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Old 10-10-2014, 01:08 PM   #1
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Battery removal

Is there a "sequence" or appropriate order in which one is suppose to remove the batteries for winter storage? The cables and wires appear to have it wired in "series". I've snapped a picture so when spring comes I'll have a clue to how to re-hook. Can I just start unhooking without fear of injury or damaging the electrical system? Thanks
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:32 PM   #2
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Battery removal

Disconnect the negative cable that goes into the coach first. Then the coach positive cable. Be sure not to touch the positive cable if the converter is still powered. It's best to disconnect the shore power while disconnecting the batteries. Then tape off the positive cable to prevent it from contacting any metal. Then you can reestablish shore power.
If there is more than one battery and they are 12 volt. They are wired in Parallel. Positive to positive. Negative to negative between all batteries.
If they are 6 volt batteries and no more than 2 they are wired in series. Positive from battery 1 to negative on battery 2.
If there are more than 2 6 volt batteries, it gets more complicated. As they are wired in banks of 2 in series, then each bank is wired in parallel to other banks.




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Old 10-23-2014, 05:57 PM   #3
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Battery Storage

Now that the batteries are removed and stored in a location where they won't freeze, do they need to be periodically recharged through the winter? If so, what is typically done to recharge?
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
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Look at this post for my comments on the subject.'

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ge-126765.html
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Look at this post for my comments on the subject.'

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ge-126765.html
Good link. Why remove the batteries has confused me for years. With a multi stage converter/charger I see no reason to. I don't think Northern states/Canadians take their car or truck batteries inside each night when its -30 and the possibility of freezing is just not an issue unless you neglect them. Having lived in Idaho for 10 years and 8 years on my current batteries, I can assure its not an issue. I know we like to protect out investments but I would not pull a battery from service unless I wanted to monitor some conditioning I was attempting. Also, if I were to pull batteries from service, the concrete floor would be a perfect resting place in case anybody was wondering about that old tale.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:44 PM   #6
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It doesn't 'freeze' here often or very deep....

The story about batteries dying when placed on the ground/concrete.. I had that happen... because there were contaminants on the floor and acid all over the outside of the battery. Placing on the ground ( and out of the charging cycle) allowed the battery to 'drain down' through the increased ground contact and completion of the 'external circuit' via the conductive acid..

On the other hand, clean and properly maintained batteries have lived over 2 years on the ground with no issue.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:53 PM   #7
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I think if you placed them on a work bench or top of the barn roof with contaminants you would have had the same problem. I don't believe concrete/cement has ever discharged or damaged one battery.
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:17 PM   #8
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We purchased a 28 2015 FC this past August. The AS has been stored for the past five months without any power to the AS. Yesterday I took the batteries out and took them to be charged. I was surprised when the salesperson at O'Reilly's told me that one of the batteries needed to be replaced and the second battery was almost at the end of it's life (25% of its life remaining). These are Interstate Batteries that came with the AS, they are only eight months old. Shouldn't I expect to get more than 8 months life out of these batteries? Did I cause the problem by not taking the batteries out of the AS when I stored it for the five months. What type batteries should I replace these batteries with? The salesman told me about "no maintenance batteries" but the price for 2 was $500. Any help and advice that you can give a "newbie" will be greatly appreciated! Will my brakes in the AS work without having the batteries working even it if is plugged in to the TV?
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:31 PM   #9
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You CAN NOT leave most lead acid type batteries without some type of boost charge for extended periods without experiencing 'sulfation'.......which is a condition that causes the formation of sulfur crystals on the lead plates.

As a lead-based battery drops in voltage during storage (this happens due to the ever present internal resistance within the battery), the sulfur leaches out of the acid solution (electrolyte) and gets deposited on the plates. It takes a very high charging voltage called an equalizing charge (applied to the battery AFTER it has been otherwise fully charged) to scrub the plates clean and force the sulfur back into the electrolyte.

The only problem with equalizing a battery is the extreme loss of water during the process. This is no problem for a liquid cell battery, as you simply add back any water lost during the charging process. For AGM batteries, improper 'conditioning' that results in the loss of water from inside the battery (which is then vented to the outside thru their one-way valve) usually results in the ruination of said battery, as there is NO WAY to add back the moisture that is lost.

Water loss is a characteristic of the charging process for ANY lead based battery. A valve regulated sealed lead acid battery (VRSLA), otherwise known as an AGM battery, is designed to recombine this vapor loss back into the porous glass mat that is the material that separates the plates. Once you lose any amount of this moisture, the battery is usually toast!

I have had Lifeline AGM batteries retain their full charge over 7 months when fully disconnected and in storage. They have a much lower internal resistance (and a self discharge rate of 2%) and are not as susceptible to self-discharge as a liquid battery, which typically has a self discharge rate of 12% or more.

In addition, if your batteries were not properly and fully charged when you put the trailer in storage, you had little to no chance of finding good batteries after the storage period..........and if you are dependent on the stock single stage converter that Airstream provides, you had absolutely NO CHANCE of having a properly charged battery.

SUGGESTIONS:
1. remove the stock converter and upgrade to a 'smart' multi-stage converter/charger or even smarter inverter/charger with full temperature compensation.
2. invest in a quality set of batteries, a group that Interstate is NOT a member of
3. if you will be storing your trailer without power for extended periods, consider a small solar charging system to maintain your battery charge while in storage (note: this DOES require sunlight).
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Brownfield View Post
We purchased a 28 2015 FC this past August. The AS has been stored for the past five months without any power to the AS. Yesterday I took the batteries out and took them to be charged. I was surprised when the salesperson at O'Reilly's told me that one of the batteries needed to be replaced and the second battery was almost at the end of it's life (25% of its life remaining). These are Interstate Batteries that came with the AS, they are only eight months old. Shouldn't I expect to get more than 8 months life out of these batteries? Did I cause the problem by not taking the batteries out of the AS when I stored it for the five months. What type batteries should I replace these batteries with? The salesman told me about "no maintenance batteries" but the price for 2 was $500. Any help and advice that you can give a "newbie" will be greatly appreciated! Will my brakes in the AS work without having the batteries working even it if is plugged in to the TV?
There is a high probability that the batteries in your AS were damaged by use and no charge while on the lot of your dealer. So, when you took delivery they were already in trouble. Then, if not charged fully and properly they sat sulfating, as Lew mentions. In addition, unless they were totally disconnected (at least the negative battery cable removed) some always on items, such as the propane detector put a constant load on them causing more damage.

Your dealer may be willing to replace them under warrantee. That is the first thing I would do.

It is unfortunate that Airstream puts a poor quality converter/charger in their units at the factory. The second thing you should consider doing is to replace the factory single stage converter/charger with a better three stage one, such as a Progressive Dynamics PD4655. Many of us have done that conversion, even on our brand new Airstreams.

Re read the other posts in this thread for more information.
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