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Old 12-13-2008, 11:22 PM   #1
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I think I messed up my batteries

I left a fan on in the bathroom to help dry out our carpeting. I thought that we had our land line hooked up, but it was not. I went into the trailer and the batteries were TOTALLY dead. I have heard that when you take the batteries (2 years old, wet cells) down to zero, they are ruined. Do I need to buy 2 new batteries for Christmas, or can they old ones be resurrected?
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:24 PM   #2
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Bring them up on a slow charge. They should be fine.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:27 PM   #3
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I just plugged the AS to shore power and left it at that. I had to leave town. Will the unit bring the batteries up OK?
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:35 PM   #4
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Well, I think i would use my external charger thats designed to bring a battery up to a proper charge. I have a trickle charger i use for this type of thing. The charger / inverter in your trailer will do this but its really designed to work with fully charged or weak batteries. It might be rough to bring them up when completely dead. I bet it works out fine in the end but I would imagine there will be folks that would disagree.
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:03 AM   #5
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If you have it charging now, that is good. Don't worry too much until you see what if anything happened.
When you get back, remove the charger and do a hydrometer check on the cells. You might get lucky. You can also have them load tested and go from there.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:23 AM   #6
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A total discharge usually doesn't kill the battery immediately, but it usually does shorten their life expectancy.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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Make sure you check the water in those batteries if they are service type.
Add only distilled water to the cells. Make sure each cell have water above the plates.
U should be fine But if ya have the time Id bring them up slowly with a regular battery charger.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:39 AM   #8
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Doing it once simply degrades the battery, won't kill it. I did it 3x and they still worked, but didn't last all that long after each following dead event.

I decided not to replace them until I got a 3 stage charger. Now that I have a 3 stage installed, I'll be replacing the batteries (which I've used for 5 seasons). In all honesty though after the 4th season they were degraded enough to be fairly useless if I had boondocked any duration over a few days.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:57 AM   #9
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As others have said, it is always better to use a three stage charger designed to charge, maintain and recondition

Iv'e used this with great results the last three seasons. VEC1093A. Just desulfated, and now have the coach batt's on the maint charge. (out of coach in basement)
Good deals on the net.


Vector Manufacturing VEC093 VEC1093 VEC1093A VECo93 car battery charger
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:19 PM   #10
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Don't the newest trailers have a three stage charger? Altamont has a 2007, but Bob and Silvertwinkie have 2003 and 2004. Did they start installing 3 stage chargers only recently? I would think the internal charger would be ok, but a separate trickle charger better. Even then you should take the covers off the cells to prevent gas buildup in the batteries and before charging, check the water in the cells.

When traveling, I wonder if the TV alternator would charge a dead battery as I've always believed it will not charge the TV battery if it's dead. What about the generator option if the trailer batteries are dead—you can charge through the 120 v. system or directly to the batteries with the 12 v output. If you use the 12 v output I guess the batteries would have to be watched because you could overcharge unless there's a 3 stage unit in the generator, so it might be safer to charge through the 120 v. system. So many questions….

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Old 12-14-2008, 12:49 PM   #11
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Question Parallax

Our 03 Classic does have a 7400 series Parallax 3 stage. It has worked satisfactorily for the last several seasons. BUT... The batteries were one of the first things we had to replace. When I asked the dealer about it I found out that the coach had been plugged in for at least a month before we picked it up and I figured that was the reason they were boiled dry. Interstate did replace them under warranty. Ever since I have been a little gun-shy, and check them frequently when on shore power.

Will the tv charge the coach battery, in my experience, not very well. In our 63 with one battery it took forever for a 145amp Burb alternator to even make a dent in a 11.5v coach battery.

Our Honda 2000 does a good job of charging, when the coach needs a "real" charge I connect directly to the gen. Plugging the coach into the gen will bring it back some but I never use it that way when the batteries are below 12v.

Be safe and check levels often on shore power.
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:04 PM   #12
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I have generally kept the trailer plugged into shore power and over several months they have needed a little water, but not much. They lose more water in the summer regardless of when and how the shore power is used. My experience with a 1,000 watt Honda gen. is that it doesn't charge too fast, but will do ok over an hour or so plugged into the 120 v cable. I have thought of looking for a shorter cable since it's a long, long way (about 50 feet) from the male plug to the converter and then to the batteries.

I have unplugged it for a while to see what happens to the charge. Right now there's a couple of inches snow on the solar panel, so this would be a good time to see what the battery voltage is.

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Old 12-14-2008, 01:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Will the tv charge the coach battery, in my experience, not very well. In our 63 with one battery it took forever for a 145amp Burb alternator to even make a dent in a 11.5v coach battery.

Our Honda 2000 does a good job of charging, when the coach needs a "real" charge I connect directly to the gen. Plugging the coach into the gen will bring it back some but I never use it that way when the batteries are below 12v.

Be safe and check levels often on shore power.
Aproperly wired charge line, should provide about 40 amps per hour to charge the trailer battery.

The size of wire, connections, terminlas, all have an effect on voltage drop.

Tow vehicles from the last 20 years, should all charge the trailers battery, in short order.

Of course, double that time if you have 2 trailer batteries.

Andy
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:23 AM   #14
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Slow Charge

Hi, The best way to recharge any totally dead battery, [FLA] flooded lead acid, is to slow charge it. You need to charge dead battries at 2 amps or less for 24 to 48 hours. Fast or high amp recharges, cook batteries and or burn out battery chargers.
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