Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-19-2015, 10:00 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
2001 30' Excella
Full-time traveling , Hmmmm. what day of the week is it?
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 131
Dead batteries? I can't figure out why

We just picked up our 2001 30' Excella on July 6th and drove it cross country from Mississippi to California.

Each evening, while plugged into AC power, we had no electrical problems, and during the day, stopped at gas stations, rest areas, etc, the batteries provided ample power to run the lights and water pump.

When we arrived in California, we put it on storage mode via the cut off switch. That should have stopped everything except the propane gas monitor.

Four days later, the batteries are dead. Totally.

I took them out, they are Interstates, and did a hydrometer test. With a total of 12 cells between the two batteries, 3 cells were dry, 2 were half charged, and the rest totally dead.

I have taken the batteries home and am now trying to charge them, but am concerned either my charging system is malfunctioning, the 3 dry cells were my problem, or the batteries are just in need of replacing.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Beaubeaux
__________________

__________________
JBBeaubeaux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 10:17 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,135
Images: 33
Did you get new batteries? If not you need too. Also consider upgrading your power converter to a modern multistage unit. Your new batteries will thank you for it.
__________________

__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 10:21 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
mandolindave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,115
Images: 4
If you don't know the history of the batts…..

And they aren't holding a charge….replace them.

You might be able to fill them with distilled water, desulfinate, charge them.
and get some more use out of them.

The test is to charge them up fully ( around 13.2 volts ) then turn them off. Let them sit for two days. If they are still good they will rest out at 12.6 to 12.8
__________________
mandolindave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 10:38 AM   #4
3 Rivet Member
 
2001 30' Excella
Full-time traveling , Hmmmm. what day of the week is it?
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 131
After 17 hours of charging

I have had one of the batteries on 6 amp charger for 18 hours.

Four cells show full charge and 2 show zero

I think I have batteries that I need to replace
__________________
JBBeaubeaux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 10:51 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,627
Images: 3
What do you mean by dry? If the electrolyte gets below the top of the plates the battery dies very quickly. Can work fine one day and will be dead the next, adding water won't fix them at this point, they will be dead and may seem to charge on a battery charger, but once you try to get any power out of them they will usually die in seconds.
Get new batteries and keep an eye on fluid levels. Even though the battery may say maintenance free, they aren't if you want them to last. Check fluids at least monthly until you get a feel for them. DISTILLED water only, clean the areas around caps before removing them to keep dirt out of the battery.
May also want to consider upgrading converter to a 3 stage if it hasn't been done yet. The old converters will cook a battery.
__________________
HiJoeSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 10:55 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 811
Don't forget to replace your single stage Paralax Battery frier like AWCHIEF advises or you will be replacing your new batteries within 2 years. A plug and play 3 stage converter is available at bestconverter.com for about $250.
__________________
handn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 12:00 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
2005 25' Classic
Conroe , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 13
possibility

In the past, I have left my TV antenna booster on after a trip. That will drain them faster than you might think if nothing else is on.
__________________
wrhnco68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 12:07 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
AnnArborBob's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,763
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBBeaubeaux View Post
I took them out, they are Interstates, and did a hydrometer test. With a total of 12 cells between the two batteries, 3 cells were dry, 2 were half charged, and the rest totally dead.
I think the answer to your question can be found in the part of your original post that I have quoted above. To expect batteries that have gotten to this state to work is unrealistic. Get new batteries (and a three stage charger) and then you should be good to go. I would consider getting AGM's rather than the maintenance-heavy wet cells. They cost a bit more, but work better and don't need to be topped up. AGM's are the closest thing to a "set it and forget it" battery you will find.
__________________
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
AnnArborBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 04:42 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
MaineStreamer's Avatar
 
2007 20' Safari
Saco , Maine
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 348
Was this a purchase through an RV dealer? If so, you may have a fraud case against the dealer, although the damages may not be enough to bother.
__________________
Marty Womer
Saco, Maine
MaineStreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 07:05 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
 
2001 30' Excella
Full-time traveling , Hmmmm. what day of the week is it?
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 131
I should have checked the water level before my trip. My fault.

Neither battery will hold a charge at all, even after 20 hours charging, so I am going to buy new batteries (and check to make sure I either have a 3 stage converter or that I get one)

There are a few AGM batteries out there, so does anyone have any suggestions for brands?
__________________
JBBeaubeaux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 07:49 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
mandolindave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,115
Images: 4
I have the Optima AGMs, about $200 each????

I had to get AGMs because I only had vented space for one. I have two, this time I am going for three. Two in one bank, one in another bank as backup reserve. They are really cool looking, not that it matters. You would want the Blue Top. They have an extra set of posts that are threaded.

Mine lasted seven years. Do your homework and get the right charger for them. I would call Optima and ask a tech what kind of charger they like, as far as amps and charging voltages.
__________________
mandolindave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 08:21 PM   #12
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
I had to get AGMs because I only had vented space for one. I have two, this time I am going for three. Two in one bank, one in another bank as backup reserve. They are really cool looking, not that it matters. You would want the Blue Top. They have an extra set of posts that are threaded.

Mine lasted seven years. Do your homework and get the right charger for them. I would call Optima and ask a tech what kind of charger they like, as far as amps and charging voltages.
Problem with Optimas is their energy density. The Blue top that has the same footprint as a standard group 24 battery only has a 55 amp/hour capacity, while a group 24 Lifeline has 80 amp/hours.

If you consider the capacity available from a 3 battery bank; Optimas will have a total of 165 amp/hours....of which 82.5 amp/hours is usable. A pair (2) of Lifeline GPL-24T AGM batteries will have a total of 160 amp/hours of which 80 amp/hours is usable.

You can place a pair of GPL-27T Lifelines in the same external battery box that Airstream places on the tongue and get a 200 amp/hour total of which 100 amp/hours is usable.

Sorry, but Optimas are no bargain.
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 08:27 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,135
Images: 33
After putting in a new converter my next project is to enlarge the battery box and install a pair of 6 volt AGMs. I have a local source where I can get Trojans at wholesale.
__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2015, 09:46 PM   #14
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
After putting in a new converter my next project is to enlarge the battery box and install a pair of 6 volt AGMs. I have a local source where I can get Trojans at wholesale.
The best liquid lead acid battery available! Their AGMs are OK too, but you can't argue with special pricing!
__________________

__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Batteries Dead after 3 weeks. Why? TankerIP Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 21 08-13-2010 02:27 PM
Can anyone figure out what happened here? Caryl Awnings 16 10-22-2009 08:28 AM
Can't figure out how to... 3streams Community Polls 2 10-02-2009 04:04 PM
Can't figure this out streamdreame Steps 6 04-09-2009 02:32 PM
How can I figure out the towing capacity of my 300TE? davida Tow Vehicles 5 06-05-2006 06:07 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.