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Old 05-11-2005, 04:44 PM   #1
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Battery woes

I've been "Thored" again!

I found the batteries low last week, so I charged them on my smart charger and put them back in the trailer after checking that there were no loads such as the storage compartment light which pulled them down once in the past.

Last night, I turned the battery switch on and lit off the refrigerator to prepare for tomorrow's trip. At noon today, I went to load the refrigerator and found the lights dim and the monitor on red.

A quick check of the batteries found them punched out in March, 2002! My trailer is supposedly a 2003 and I bought it in October, 2003. It had apparently sat somewhere for a full 18 months with the batteries certainly flat discharged for most of that time.

The bad news is that there is a one-year replacement based on the punched-out date, not the trailer sale date. Beyond that, there is another year of prorated replacement (which is about monetarily useless). I'm way beyond that time frame and out of luck.

My trailer apparently was built about March, 2002 and at some time rebadged as a 2003. I was suspicious of that based on the 75-year, 2002 medalian on the side which is on no other 2003 that I have seen. Outside of the outdated batteries, I have no quarrel with the trailer, but the battery warrenty is pretty useless in most cases and totally useless in my case.

I have my portable starting battery kluged in at the moment to keep the refrigerator running. I can make it through the upcoming rally and then I'll replace the batteries when I return.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:09 PM   #2
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BUMMER!
That's noes not seem right. I wonder if you can request new batteries at time of the trailer being picked up for the first time from the dealer. They should at least do what auto manufacturers do, they leave the battery disconected all the time unless the car has to be started and moved, then its diconected again, untill the new owner takes delivery of the vehicle.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:34 PM   #3
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I would write it off as a sunk loss and replace the batteries. This seems to be one of the unfortunate sides of the business that we have to live with.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan
I would write it off as a sunk loss and replace the batteries. This seems to be one of the unfortunate sides of the business that we have to live with.
I agree as bad as it sounds, it's prob easier to get write it off as a sunk cost....spoken like a true accountant.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:56 PM   #5
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John,
I have to agree with Alan's comment.
I've read in the recent Blue Beret magazine the recommand choice is replacing with the AGM batteries for the long term. Logically, it's the best choice for our lifestyle.
Airstream doesn't offer these AGM batteries except as an "option" with the solar package, if you want them. (priced extra)
My battery is now over 2 yrs old and, I'm planning on a new AGM for replacement when the time comes. (Thinking outloud)"Just wished I hadn't bought that univolt inverter/charger at the factory, now that I'm more aware of its pitfalls."
We wish you better luck in the future~
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Old 05-11-2005, 10:14 PM   #6
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Cloud, can you link me to the batt you are talking about? I'm interested in what you're talking about....
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:56 AM   #7
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batteries

I don't know if I would spend the extra $'s for AGM unless I install a smart battery charger and a battery moniter. I've already "cooked off" two sets of batteries in four years with the magnatek that is in my unit. I'm in the market for an intellipower converter and a Xantrex battery monitor. I think with these two additions to the AS the batteries should be able to be maintained for 6 or 7 years. Just my humble opinion.

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Old 05-12-2005, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Cloud, can you link me to the batt you are talking about? I'm interested in what you're talking about....

see, now...if you were in the WALLY club...you'd already know all about it

(sorry. the devil made me say it)
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Old 05-12-2005, 12:06 PM   #9
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We are currently testing the Lifeline AGM batteries with the Inteli-Power converter charger (with specially calibrated charge wizard) and they are very compatible. I ran the numbers and a group 27 that has a life expectancy of about 7 years will cost about $30 per year. That is just for the battery. The price you are willing to pay to never worry about water levels might make it priceless. AGM technology is rapidly catching on.
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Old 05-12-2005, 12:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
see, now...if you were in the WALLY club...you'd already know all about it

(sorry. the devil made me say it)
Sinner!
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:18 PM   #11
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With either AGM or wet cell the first priority for good battery life is the battery charger and maintainer. This usually means dumping the factory supplied converter and using something like the intelli power with charge wizard. A 100w solar panel with a better grade charge controller is also a possibility.

An AGM isn't really necessary unless you have some special need for its sealed or 'operate in any position' capabilities. Of course an AGM is nice but I can get a nice standard deep cycle wet cell for $50 while the AGM is closer to $200.

As Randy appears to have considered, an AGM should not be subject to equalization charges so a maintainer that can be set to AGM or a special version for those batteries is needed.

Until you gain confidence in your battery maintainer, you need to keep an eye on battery water levels if using wet cells. An overcharged AGM, though, is just a destoyed battery so be very careful of float voltages on those during storage.

An AGM will, supposedly, handle longer storage without attention. But you shouldn't let your RV sit for more than a month alone, anyway.
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Old 05-12-2005, 05:02 PM   #12
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So true

Quote:
Originally Posted by markjoandall
I don't know if I would spend the extra $'s for AGM unless I install a smart battery charger and a battery moniter. I've already "cooked off" two sets of batteries in four years with the magnatek that is in my unit. I'm in the market for an intellipower converter and a Xantrex battery monitor. I think with these two additions to the AS the batteries should be able to be maintained for 6 or 7 years. Just my humble opinion.

Mark
Mark,
You're right on target~!!
Silvertwinkie~
You know you wanta do it...More numbers for you too ..
ciao
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