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Old 05-14-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
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Can I resurrect this battery?

2010 16' International CCD, didn't realize it came with one-stage charger (Parallax 7355), so I've apparently been cooking my battery by leaving it in for many days at a time, frequently. Also didn't realize there were inspection covers on battery, and when I looked in there, I see no liquid, just dry dark gray material. Battery isn't holding a charge at all.

So... now that I realize the mistakes, I'll convert to a three-stage converter/charger, and will most likely have to replace battery.

Is this right? Is the battery likely toast? What do I do, add distilled water? To what level?

Rant: I paid $40K for this trailer. And it doesn't come with a three-stage charger? I can live with doing halogen-to-LED conversions and other customizations, but the converter/charger is harder to replace and is I'd consider it more fundamental. Don't get me wrong, I love my trailer.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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You can try wit filling with d-water....but it is probably toast if you ran it dry.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:55 PM   #3
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If the battery has been 'dry' for any length of time, it's now 'toast' and will have to be replaced with another Deep Cycle battery...

Updating to a current style 3-stage converter/charger is an easy conversion... contact Randy at BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics for the straight scoop!

The Conv/Chgr unit is usually just attached to the floor or a cabinet, and powered with a regular AC plug - the 12 volt wiring is easily removed from the old C/C and attached to the new unit...
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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I have seen some batteries come back after being boiled dry, so it's worth a try. However, it may take a couple of days on an automotive charger; and you'll probably have to keep adding more distilled water, as it will get pretty hot and bubble/outgas a lot. After it looks like it has recharged as much as it is going to, I'd take it to AutoZone, O'Riellys, or other auto parts store, and have the battery load tested (for free) to make sure it's OK. If not, you'll have to replace it. NOTE: Do NOT refill with battery acid; water only.

By the way, a cheaper alternative to replacing the converter is to install a marine battery isolator switch. That way you can leave shore power connected 24/7 and control when your batteries are being charged. After replacing our OEM batteries in the first two years of ownership, I installed a battery switch; and we haven't had any battery problems since then. Besides keeping your batteries from boiling dry, it will also help them hold a charge during storage. Send me a private message, if you'd like details.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by amm3824 View Post
Is the battery likely toast?

Rant: I paid $40K for this trailer. And it doesn't come with a three-stage charger? I can live with doing halogen-to-LED conversions and other customizations, but the converter/charger is harder to replace and is I'd consider it more fundamental. Don't get me wrong, I love my trailer.
A) The battery is toast! The likelihood of that battery having any capacity left after this is nil.

B) Even a three step converter will not prevent another failure of this type if you do not check the battery electrolyte levels regularly and top off with "distilled" water. Buy the converter if you want but the real problem was a lack of maintenance......

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Old 05-15-2012, 12:14 AM   #6
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By the way, a cheaper alternative to replacing the converter is to install a marine battery isolator switch. That way you can leave shore power connected 24/7 and control when your batteries are being charged. After replacing our OEM batteries in the first two years of ownership, I installed a battery switch; and we haven't had any battery problems since then. Besides keeping your batteries from boiling dry, it will also help them hold a charge during storage. Send me a private message, if you'd like details.
Are you using the switch to remove all parasitic loads from the battery? I only wonder because our trailer comes with a remote battery switch near the door. It disconnects the battery from the trailer when opened and it would prevent the converter from over charging the battery. It does leave substantial parasitic loads attached to the battery though so the battery will discharge unless there is an alternative charge source. I'd bet you might re-wire the parasitic consumers to the converter (switched side) if you wanted, it might be easier than adding a battery switch....
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:15 AM   #7
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"Rant: I paid $40K for this trailer. And it doesn't come with a three-stage charger? I can live with doing halogen-to-LED conversions and other customizations, but the converter/charger is harder to replace and is I'd consider it more fundamental. Don't get me wrong, I love my trailer."

POI...our Interstate's were toast right from the dealer, sitting on the lot for extended periods plugged in, no attention paid, pro-rated replacement from Interstate. First major up-grade, new Iota DLS IQ4 55a from Best Converter.

The changeover was very straightforward, 1hr 4 wire plug & play.

Bob
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses. Here's my plan going forward:

- buy a new lead-acid battery and properly maintain it (water level)

- switch to three-stage converter (mainly as a backup/safety in case I inadvertently leave shore power connected too long)

- Hit "battery disconnect" when shore power is on

Bottom line is simply watch the water level and keep battery on a good charge/discharge routine.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:17 AM   #9
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If you get an AGM battery you don't have to monitor the water level.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amm3824 View Post
Thanks for all the responses. Here's my plan going forward:

- buy a new lead-acid battery and properly maintain it (water level)

- switch to three-stage converter (mainly as a backup/safety in case I inadvertently leave shore power connected too long)

- Hit "battery disconnect" when shore power is on

Bottom line is simply watch the water level and keep battery on a good charge/discharge routine.
There was a thread some time ago about not using battery disconnect when you were on shore power or running shore power without a battery in place. I forgot whether this was information supplied by Airstream. The information was that by turning off the master disconnect, you would be inducing higher DC voltage to any appliance left on due to the converter not having as much load to support. The higher DC voltage could cause early lamp burnout or other damage to 12 volt appliances.

Has anyone checked the 12 volt output when either running without a battery or shutting off the master disconnect?

Jack
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:54 PM   #11
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Jack,

I had the same concern after I installed the IOTA DLS IQ4.

I guess it depends on the Converter.

The reply I got from tech support...

Hi Bob,
Yes, it is fine to use our converters as a power supply without a battery attached. The IQ4 will not sense a battery voltage so it will simply remain in the float stage, (13.6v).

Let me know if you have further questions.

Jay Settlemyre
Iota Engineering Tech Support
IOTA Engineering Emergency Fluorescent Ballasts, Emergency Lighting Inverters, and AC/DC Power Converters
1-800-866-4682 ext 160

Bob
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:56 PM   #12
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If you get an AGM battery you don't have to monitor the water level.
Correct. Though now that I am aware of the fact that it's not a "maintenance-free" battery, I'm fine with monitoring the level. Bought a replacement (identical to stock, Interstate Batteries SRM-24) today, just topping it off on my 3-stage motorcycle charger right now, and will install battery in the 'stream for a weekend trip to Vermont. I really don't find that keeping an eye on water level is a big pain, now that I'm aware of the need to do so. Another reason for opting for the leaded battery was that 1) I have a trip coming up this weekend, not much time left... and 2) the identical replacement perfectly matches the stock CCA and physical dimensions... truly a drop-in replacement, and 3) it's cheaper than AGM in the short term (which is important to me at the moment).
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:28 PM   #13
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Jack,

he IQ4 will not sense a battery voltage so it will simply remain in the float stage, (13.6v).


So if you are receiving 13.6 volts, is that detrimental? I'm going to have the trailer home in a couple weeks to dewinterize. I'll check some voltages at the 12 volt plug by the TV antenna with shore power and with the master disconnect in the off position. We will see if the voltage differs. My fully charged batteries off the trailer are sitting at 12.7 volts each after running through my three stage charger that I keep at home.

Jack
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #14
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Jack,

I did some work in the trailer over the Winter, the batteries were out, all the 12v worked fine when I plugged into shore power, Volt Minder read 13.5.
When I put the switch in the store mode the 12v shut down.
13.6 will not cause a problem, full charge is 14.2 with 50% discharge so I can't see it being a concern.

Bob
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