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Old 07-08-2017, 11:19 AM   #1
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 20
New AS - Old batteries?

My original 12v batteries stopped holding a charge over the past month or so. I ran them down once in early June more than I probably should have but I didn't think one instance would fry them.

I plugged it in periodically when in storage to keep the batteries topped up. I also didn't want to risk damage by leaving it on shore power full time with the OEM single-phase Parallax charger. So I don't think I abused them at all.

Anyway, after opening up the battery box, I just noticed that the date of manufacture is March 2013. We have a 2016 23D that we bought new last year. The difference in dates strikes me as a little odd. Is selling a new AS with 3 year old batteries normal? I know what I did with them over the past year but I have no idea what sort of maintenance they got in the 2+ years prior to that.

It's obviously still under warranty. Do I have any reasonable claim with the dealer for a replacement?

With the batteries now 4 years old - is this a normal lifespan for deep cycle batteries?

While I have the batteries out, I'm replacing the Parallax with a good Progressive Dynamics PD4655 converter/charger. I'm just trying to figure out if I should head to the dealer & haggle with them or just bite the bullet and move on to a 6v upgrade.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:26 AM   #2
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Yes the dealer should replace them for no charge IMO, assuming you are still in the warranty period [2016 date in your ID on the left -- purchased "last year"]. Shameful that they let your trailer off the lot with batteries that old. If you are handy, you could swap them out yourself to avoid taking the AS to the dealer, or take them to an Interstate dealer (if that is your brand) and have them tested/replaced.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- Please let us know what the dealer says, and their name if they hassle you.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:32 AM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
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Hi

No it's not normal to have two year old batteries when the trailer is delivered. The date to look at though is the date of manufacture for the trailer. Your 2016 might have come off the line in June of 2015. Even then, the batteries should have been < 6 months old at that point. Best guess is that the dealer was doing battery swaps and forgot to swap new ones back into your trailer.

4 years is not an unusual "lifespan" for the Interstate batteries.

Bob
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Thanks Peter & Bob.

I have the batteries out right now. I was either heading in one direction to the dealer or in the entirely opposite one to an Interstate store. Based on your comments, I think I'll try the dealer first.

The ID sticker on the left side shows April 2016 as a manufacture date. So 3 y.o. batteries were put in by someone at some point. I'll post here later about how the dealer responds.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:00 PM   #5
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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Maybe call the dealer, as they might send you to the battery store IMO. You would probably get the freshest batteries at Interstate.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:11 PM   #6
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2016 27' International
Anacortes , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2017
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A similar tale

We bought our new AS in April, 2016 and after a couple short trips to try things out, we headed onto a 2 week road trip and spent a few nights dry camping. But the batteries seemed to not hold up, but at that time we were inexperienced with them. When we came back i checked the fluids which were low and used the hydrometer along with charging them. Looked like bad cells to me.

I took both Interstate batteries into a local auto parts and mechanics shop so they could inspect them overnight. I went back the next day, and without any issue, they gave me two new replacements! Was I happy!

Much better than having to tow the trailer about 100 miles, and through really bad Seattle traffic to get to the dealer....and then return.

Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:03 AM   #7
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2016
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UPDATE:

Went to the AS dealer first with the batteries. Not terribly helpful but not totally dismissive either. They wanted the whole trailer brought in, not just the batteries, to test the entire electrical system (kind of a PITA). After a scheduling discussion- they said mid-August was the earliest the could do it and I have trips planned before then - we settled on earlier this week.

Drive up to the Interstate store. They tested them and said that while they were quite low, they weren't totally dead yet. Since they were Interstate batteries, they'd do a full check/clean/charge over the weekend.

One other thing to note is that the sticker on the top of the battery is not the manufacture date. It's the stamp on the side. They decoded it as April 2016. So in reality, the batteries are pretty new. We were all a little puzzled why they'd mark the batteries as '13.

Received a call a day later from the store. Turns out cells in each of the batteries are dead. So they're kaput...and 3 months out of warranty.

Moving on...ordered 2 6v Lifeline AGM batteries and a Zamp 160w portable panel. As noted earlier, also upgraded the Parallax to a PD converter/charger. Batteries & solar are on their way and the charger was an easy swap. I have a couple q's on the battery & solar part but that's a separate thread.

Thanks everyone for your input. Greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:12 AM   #8
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2017 25' International
Staunton , Virginia
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I can't believe they told ya mid-august.

My answer woulda been 'no problem, I'll be at the end of your lot plugged in to your shore power, just knock when you're ready to get me back on the road...'
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:55 AM   #9
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

If you are going the full upgrade route ... get a temperature probe for the charger. The batteries will be *much* happier run at the right voltages. The only way for even a smart charger to know what's right is if it knows the battery temperature.

Bob
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:15 AM   #10
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The life of the lead acid deep discharge batteries is about 1 year. Maybe 2 if you are lucky. So you definitely need new batteries. They are cheap so you have to decide whether it is worth the hassle with the dealer or just buy a couple more. I would not go to "better" batteries with a single stage converter.
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