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Old 03-24-2008, 10:27 AM   #1
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2007 20' Safari SE
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"New" Batteries Dead

We purchased our 07 Safari SE at the end of November last year from a dealership in Connecticut and drove it back to Wisconsin.

We stored the two marine batteries that came with the camper in our basement from November 30 until we used the camper last week.

On the fourth day of our trip last week, we noticed that the batteries were no longer charging.

We stopped at an RV dealership in Alabama, had them tested, and discovered that the batteries had around 8 amps (volts??) each, and had to be replaced.

I am a little miffed that the batteries did not last longer than one use for us, and am considering writing a letter of complaint to the dealership, since the Safari was brand new when we purchased it.

Could we have reasonably expected more life from these batteries?
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:38 AM   #2
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The batteries should be covered under warranty.
The trailer could have sat for an extended period before you got it, and the batteries could have gone bad from sitting (called sulfation). Normal lifespan for batteries in deep cycle use is around 2 years.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:39 AM   #3
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Battery

If you placed the batteries on wood, you should not have had any problem. If you placed the batteries on concrete, the batteries will tend to loose their charge. Take Care.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:41 AM   #4
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During the off season, remove the batteries, store on wood and do a monthly trickle charge. This has worked successfully for us and we typically get 4 years out of a battery.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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Hi Marta. Even with your power switch off, parasitic loads will drain some current from the battery if left connected in the trailer for lengthy inactive periods. A removed battery without connections will show some discharge in 3-4 weeks. Secondly, it will affect your battery life every time they're discharged >50% (watch out when boondocking). A discharged battery can freeze.

I'll generally agree with yukionna's suggestions. Take out the batteries. Bring them into your basement (I use a firewood carrier). It's okay storing them on concrete -- see this thread. And definitely put a charger on them about every three weeks.

The coming season will be the 4th year on our original lead-acid batteries. One of my two seems a bit weaker. I'll be very happy if I make it all this season before replacing.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:08 PM   #6
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The thought that storing batteries on concrete is bad for them is not true.
If it makes you feel better go ahead and place them on a piece of wood.
Al
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:14 PM   #7
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I keep the batteries on the Airstream with small marine type solar panel strapped to the top of the propane tank cover. No problems so far.

Like most plain ole lead acid batteries they will destroy themselves if they sit uncharged for a long time.

If you are replacing them, I suggest using Optima batteries. They are glass mat gel and can sit uncharged for years without damage. They need no maintenance (unlike sealed lead acid) and won't leak acid even mounted on their side.

..........Scott
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl
The thought that storing batteries on concrete is bad for them is not true.
If it makes you feel better go ahead and place them on a piece of wood.
Al
Years ago when the case were not made of plastic this was a common trend. It appears the newer batteries do not require this but I still do it out of habit.
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HowieE
Years ago when the case were not made of plastic this was a common trend. It appears the newer batteries do not require this but I still do it out of habit.
This effect ended with the demise of the old tar-top batteries, as the link in canoestream's post points out.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyd
If you placed the batteries on wood, you should not have had any problem. If you placed the batteries on concrete, the batteries will tend to loose their charge. Take Care.
PLEASE GET OVER THIS HERESY!!!!!!!

Every time someone tells me that batteries discharge faster on concrete, I go ballistic!!!!! This is total rubbish and a first class 'Old Wives' Tale' if I ever heard one.

One of the first things that we did in RV Tech certification school was a little experiment with batteries. We took 2 identical, fully charged (13.2VDC)12Volt wet cell, deep cycle batteries and placed them on the floor with nothing attached to them. One was on the bare concrete and the other was elevated on 2 blocks of 4 X 4.

The last thing we did right before graduation (10 weeks later) was to test the voltage in both batteries. Guess what?.....................THEY WERE IDENTICALLY 11.3 VOTS EACH (both having self-discharged from their inherent internal resistance. )

PLEASE, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT LEAVING A CHARGED BATTERY ON A BARE CONCRETE FLOOR WILL HAVE NO GREATER EFFECT ON THE DISCHARGE OF THIS BATTERY THAN LEAVING IT ON A SHELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew, I'm done now!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:37 PM   #11
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Wow, Lou, Why don't you tell us what you really think???? But, you are right - there is so much misinformation concerning batteries and their care that it does get frustrating. BTW, you'd better hang around Florida a while longer. It's still winter in the NW. Darol
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:41 PM   #12
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Wow, Lou, Why don't you tell us what you really think???? But, you are right - there is so much misinformation concerning batteries and their care that it does get frustrating. BTW, you'd better hang around Florida a while longer. It's still winter in the NW. Darol
Sorry Darol,

I'll try to be a little clearer next time .

Anyway, thanks for the weather update. I don't plan on hitting Hood River until the end of June this year.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:19 PM   #13
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In 8 years of owning two Airstreams, a '77 31' and an '86 25', I have never removed the batteries from their compartments to store them during the off season. I maintain the '77 with Delco Voyager batteries with either a BatteryMinder 1 amp charger/desulphator or a 5 watt Solargizer solar charger. I never used the onboard Magnetek converter unless I was in a campground for short periods where the lights were getting a workout. The '86 had a Walmart Duralast that I replaced last year only to find that it is just fine even under load. I guess it was my imagination that it was going bad. It is almost 5 yrs. old now and maintained by that same 5 watt Solargizer I used on the '77. I replaced it with a Trojan 27MTH 12 volt and it has done well. When at home the trailer is plugged into shore power and the Intellipower converter with Charge Wizzard will handle the charging duties.

The trailer has been at the turkey huntin camp for a week now and is being charged by my 265 watt solar system and boost charger. When I arrived there 12:30 a.m. this past Sat. morning, battery voltage read 12.70 volts. It will sit there for a month until I tow her back home. No electricity is available.

I guess what I am trying to say is that batteries will slowly discharge sitting on the shelf each day. A small trickle charger or better yet a smart charger like the BatteryMinder connected to them will keep them fully charged and ready to go no matter whether you pull them out of the trailer or not.
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