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Old 02-17-2008, 01:00 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwd
L, it's your put down 'I am right' manner that puts people off. You have problems with this on every rv forum that you are active on.
Concur
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:08 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwd
L, it's your put down 'I am right' manner that puts people off. You have problems with this on every rv forum that you are active on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnerges
Concur
OK y'all... let's keep the discussion on Batteries and leave the psychoanalysis for another forum...
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:45 PM   #31
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Golf cart batteries

We had a 42' houseboat in the Sacramento River Delta for 27 years before we got our Airstream. I used four Trojan 105s for house power. Certainly, they had to be replaced every few years, but found them the best value. Trojans are made very well.

Last year I installed two Trojan 105s and a 350 watt inverter in our 1965 Caravel. Wouldn't have it any other way. Runs lights, water pump, TV, DVD player, satelite dish, laptops etc. for several days of dry camping before needing a charge.

Electricity? I've got it.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:22 PM   #32
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Well we did the battery replacement today. The original Interstate's lasted 4 years. I've normally only checked them when I winterized in the fall each year. In the fall of 2006 when I pulled them out of the Classic I noticed a cell on each of them showed plates high and dry. I went ahead and topped off all the cells and things worked out ok this last season. Last fall I forgot to pull the batteries so Saturday I went out to our storage locale and pulled the batteries.

I got them home and opened them up and every cell was dry. To say the least the batteries were toast. It took a gallon and a half of water to rehydrate both batteries. I put them on the charger and one showed a direct short. The other showed 100% charged within an hour. I rechecked it again today and it had hardly any charge it in. One hour on the charger and it showed 100% again. I know better and we went off to Autozone and traded them in for a couple of new 3 yr batteries.

I don't boondock so for all intents my batteries tend to do most of their work raising and lowering the hitch jack. We normally camp at powered sites and the trailer spends about one weeks connected to our home power before and after each outing. Considering prep time and being out on the road the trailer totaled about 10 weeks connected to electrical power. With that in mind I'm a little surprised that we found the batteries so deprived of liquid.

Well I'm starting fresh and we definitely will be doing at least a monthly check to make sure these new guys will stay hydrated properly. I guess I thought better of the charging system on a newer trailer.

Jack
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:44 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Well we did the battery replacement today.
I don't boondock so for all intents my batteries tend to do most of their work raising and lowering the hitch jack. We normally camp at powered sites and the trailer spends about one weeks connected to our home power before and after each outing. Considering prep time and being out on the road the trailer totaled about 10 weeks connected to electrical power. With that in mind I'm a little surprised that we found the batteries so deprived of liquid.
Jack
Same thing here with us as far as battery usage, Jack. Went in to the trailer the other day to get some stuff and the light was awful dim. Checked the batteries the next day and one was almost dry (the other one was fine). Rehydrated but it's not holding the charge, will have to replace both.

Even with my best intentions, I often find that I rarely check the batteries except getting ready for winter and then getting ready for the first trip of the spring/summer. We normally leave the trailer plugged in during the year, so the batteries are getting a charge.

Seems a sealed battery would be alot easier in the long run not having to continually check H2O levels... like low maintenance stuff, but love the NO maintenance devices. Am thinking this would necessitate changing out the converter I have and getting a converter/charger that monitors battery-life better...
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:19 AM   #34
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Jaxon,

Unfortunately, Airstream has chosen to skimp in the area of converter/chargers and has provided all of us 'newer' owners with a sngle stage charging system.

This charges at 13.8 volts constantly and will boil your batteries dry if left unattended (as you have found out ). The first thing I did when I got my CCD was to change out the converter for a WFCO with 3-stage charging, so I could leave it plugged in all of the time and come back to the trailer with happy, full batteries. The next thng I did was to replace the liquid cell Interstates that Airstream provides with 2 AGM golf cart batteries from Lifeline. No more battery issues!!
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:37 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxon
Seems a sealed battery would be alot easier in the long run not having to continually check H2O levels... like low maintenance stuff, but love the NO maintenance devices. Am thinking this would necessitate changing out the converter I have and getting a converter/charger that monitors battery-life better...
I could understand if you keep the trailer plugged in year round but 10 weeks out of 52? I'm a little surprised. I considered a sealed battery but I figured if I ponied up the extra dollars for a maintenance free battery, and my converter did the same thing it did for the current batteries, I'd really be unhappy. Maintenance free is ok if you have a decent charger that can go to a maintenance mode. Apparently as others have noted, ours does not.

Bottom line I'll just start checking them every time the trailer comes home to get ready for a trip. That will keep them topped off and happy. I think if those darn battery storage compartments weren't so tight, I might have been more inclinded to check them more often.

You know when you are dealing with a premium product I wouldn't mind spending the extra dollars to see a charger in place that wouldn't burn out a battery.

Jack
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:14 AM   #36
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We are still on our original Interstate Batteries. So that makes these going on five years with alot of boondocking, a few battery no-no's, and charging with a generator at least every other day for a few hours.

It is time for us to get new batterys and I sure wouldn't hesitste to to replace the old ones with new interstates.

If we bring in the old batteries, I think the cost is somewhere around $75.00 per battery.

I religously check the batteries each time I go to the trailer, before I turn anything on. I also bring the batteries in for the winter and keep tham on a battery-Minder.

Jonathan
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:56 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev
We are still on our original Interstate Batteries. So that makes these going on five years with alot of boondocking, a few battery no-no's, and charging with a generator at least every other day for a few hours.

It is time for us to get new batterys and I sure wouldn't hesitste to to replace the old ones with new interstates.

If we bring in the old batteries, I think the cost is somewhere around $75.00 per battery.

I religously check the batteries each time I go to the trailer, before I turn anything on. I also bring the batteries in for the winter and keep tham on a battery-Minder.

Jonathan
There is no doubt that I solely am responsible for the early death of my Interstates. If I had kept them hydrated they would still be there today. I ended up taking the easy way out and went down to the local Autozone and bought their house brand group 27 batteries @ $57 each. 115 amp hours. Based on how I use them (and treat them better), this should be more than satisfactory for a few years. It surprising to look at the manufacturer's of batteries and see how many brands are made by the same company. Also interesting is that multiple companies produce the various lines of batteries sold under a single brand name.

Here is a link to a fairly recently update manufacturer/brand name list. You can do a find function on your browser and scroll through by battery name. For example my new batteries are branded DuraLast. I found that multiple manufacturers produce batteries under that name.

Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ, Battery Manufacturers and Brand Names List, and

Jack
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:31 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Unfortunately, Airstream has chosen to skimp in the area of converter/chargers and has provided all of us 'newer' owners with a sngle stage charging system.

The first thing I did when I got my CCD was to change out the converter for a WFCO with 3-stage charging, so I could leave it plugged in all of the time and come back to the trailer with happy, full batteries. The next thng I did was to replace the liquid cell Interstates that Airstream provides with 2 AGM golf cart batteries from Lifeline. No more battery issues!!
Thanks Lewster - that's what I was thinkin' of... I agree that A/S definitely skimped... seems if the decision for how to do things were left to folks who actually camped in the trailer vs. the MBA that read about it, perhaps details like this would of been included (for the price we paid for them!). Heck, even make it an option!

And.. I guess I could pay attention to the batteries and take responsibility for my own negligence, huh?

Will be pickin' Artstream's brain this weekend on this very subject (& lighting with neon!), as he installs solar panels on his 'Stream. Off course, during happy hour...
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #39
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"I have 8 of the Optima group 27 D31M batteries and they have worked great and no venting."

Where do you put 8 batteries?
Also, does AS offer a bigger battery tongue box than the one issued for the later yr models? It seems to be the limiting factor for many.

Tom
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