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Old 04-28-2015, 12:08 AM   #1
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2014 27' FB International
Media , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Unhappy Over charging battery problem

My battery died last winter after charging over 6 weeks. AS service man told me that I charged too much and killed it.
I have replaced new batteries and worried what to do now?
Should I charging battery or not?
I want to connect to main power (30Am/110V) for my son and myself for men's cave.
Battery indicator shows 11.5 - it's getting lower then last week.
Manual book said 'check your battery once a month' ' if it's low, charging.'
But 'what is low battery level? how long should it be charged to be full?'

When I connect to 30Am/110v, should it be on "USE" or "STORE"?
Once again, I will use my trailer as a man-cave daily basis.
Please, help me. So confused...
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:38 AM   #2
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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If your charging with the UniVolt it will boil the batteries. Replace it with a smart converter.

Like this Progressive Dynamics with smart pendent.
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:07 AM   #3
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At 11.5 V that's around 20% charged and may be damaged. The AS charger is that only. A fully charged battery is 12.6 V or above. Run the batteries until they're in the 12."teens" and you'll be at 50%+/-. Toggle the Battery switch to USE until the voltage is restored, then toggle STORE and start the cycle all over again. I leave mine plugged in year round and the last set of batteries lasted over 5.5 years. One cell in one battery failed so I replaced both batteries which, I understand, is the way to do it.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ice Man View Post
At 11.5 V that's around 20% charged and may be damaged. The AS charger is that only. A fully charged battery is 12.6 V or above. Run the batteries until they're in the 12."teens" and you'll be at 50%+/-. Toggle the Battery switch to USE until the voltage is restored, then toggle STORE and start the cycle all over again. I leave mine plugged in year round and the last set of batteries lasted over 5.5 years. One cell in one battery failed so I replaced both batteries which, I understand, is the way to do it.
Thank you so much !!!
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:16 PM   #5
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1977 31' Sovereign
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To prevent over-charging, I've got my inverter plugged into a timer - there's four, 2 hr charges in a 24 hr period.

When 12 volt lights go dim, I give the timer dial a twist and inverter will engage. When inverter fails to charge batteries (12 volt lights stay dim), I know it's time to replace them.

BTW - I check battery acid levels twice a year and the check specific gravity of each cell with a hydrometer. That way, if you've got a weak cell, you'll know it.

Tom
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Old 04-29-2015, 01:28 PM   #6
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If you are going to keep the trailer for a long time I would highly recommend getting rid of the single stage charger that Aistream supplies right away and get a so-called smart charger (three stage) such as the one in the link below. With a good three stage charger, your batteries will be well taken care of, will last longer, and most importantly, will be a reliable source of short term electricity. You still have to check water levels if not using a sealed battery such as AGM.

If you are interested in learning more about what's possible from an electrical point of view, use the "search function" on this forum and look for three stage chargers, AGM batteries and solar. Airstream ships their trailers with a very basic 12 volt set up that is oriented for users who mostly go from one full hook up campground to another. If you ever want to spend some time "off grid" you will find the basic AS setup to be woefully inadequate.

But, other than getting rid of the stock charger ASAP, all that can wait until you figure out how YOU are going to be using your trailer.

http://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-804-12...antrex+charger
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:49 PM   #7
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Battery Charging Tutorial | ChargingChargers.com

This is what I found on the Net. It closely matches what my solar panel controller does in our AS.

I have had the UNIVOLT on one of my trailers run as high as 15 volts which simply boils the battery if there is no draw in the trailer. A good 3 stage charger will pay for itself over the life of a set or two of batteries

JCW
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:46 AM   #8
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Had the same prob for years with our vintage trailer/Univolt/Sears Die-Hard. Bought a new Die-Hard every year. Univolt died which was a blessing in disguise because the PD9130R inverter that replaced it coupled with an Optima AGM battery has now lasted almost 6 years and still going strong (knock on wood).
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:01 AM   #9
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When I picked up my 2006 in 2009 the batteries were fried. The PO left it plugged in 24/7 and never dry camped so he didn't know his batteries were bad.

One of the first things I did was replace the original converter/charger with an IOTA 3 stage charger and now I don't worry about it. I have had the batteries in since 2011 and so far, so good. This is the answer to your problem. I am surprised that your new trailer has a single stage charger.
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:29 AM   #10
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The LP leak detector is on the battery side of your Use/Store relay and when the in the Store mode it will draw your batteries down over a couple of months. With the trailer plugged into shore power and the switch on Store the batteries are disconnected from the converter/charger.

You can move the LP leak detector to the other side of the relay so it won't draw upon the battery when in store mode or you can remove the negative battery cable from the batteries. While plugged into shore power the trailer's converter will supply 12v to the lights and 120v to the electric outlets even when in store mode. Just charge the batteries to 12.6v or more before you unplug the negative cable. The batteries should be OK like this. You can always connect the battery cable and then select Use on the switch to charge the batteries for a couple of hours then turn it off and disconnect the battery cable again. Note, that when on shore power the Use/Store switch light is always on no matter if its in the Use or Store mode.

You can then purchase a 3 way converter/charger when time/funds permit and just leave the batteries connected full time.

Kelvin
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:18 PM   #11
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My 2008 22' Sport Owner's Manual states it is OK to keep the battery charged with the (OEM) WFCO converter as it charges ...then "trickle" charges the battery. It specifically states it will not overcharge the battery.
Good, general maintenance practices will dictate that electrolyte levels be checked regularly (which in my view means at least monthly.)
That said... I charge my battery until 13.6 and then remove it (store position) until I have occasion to visit the trailer again, when I re-check the battery charge voltage. When it drops below 12-12.5 I reconnect it to charge (use) again.
This seems in accordance with AS's intentions and OM comments.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:46 PM   #12
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Thumbs up Thanks but more questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
If you are going to keep the trailer for a long time I would highly recommend getting rid of the single stage charger that Aistream supplies right away and get a so-called smart charger (three stage) such as the one in the link below. With a good three stage charger, your batteries will be well taken care of, will last longer, and most importantly, will be a reliable source of short term electricity. You still have to check water levels if not using a sealed battery such as AGM.

If you are interested in learning more about what's possible from an electrical point of view, use the "search function" on this forum and look for three stage chargers, AGM batteries and solar. Airstream ships their trailers with a very basic 12 volt set up that is oriented for users who mostly go from one full hook up campground to another. If you ever want to spend some time "off grid" you will find the basic AS setup to be woefully inadequate.

But, other than getting rid of the stock charger ASAP, all that can wait until you figure out how YOU are going to be using your trailer.

Amazon.com : Xantrex 804-1240-02 TRUECharge2 12V 40A Parallel Stackable Battery Charger : Boating Battery Chargers : GPS & Navigation
Thank you for your detail info.
I'd like to take your advice and would buy the one you recommend.
Then, can I replace it myself?
If I can, would you explain more info please.

Pictures are welcome ^^
my e-mail: zinovet@hotmail.com

Thank you again,
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:22 AM   #13
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Kooskia , Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
My 2008 22' Sport Owner's Manual states it is OK to keep the battery charged with the (OEM) WFCO converter as it charges ...then "trickle" charges the battery. It specifically states it will not overcharge the battery.
Good, general maintenance practices will dictate that electrolyte levels be checked regularly (which in my view means at least monthly.)
That said... I charge my battery until 13.6 and then remove it (store position) until I have occasion to visit the trailer again, when I re-check the battery charge voltage. When it drops below 12-12.5 I reconnect it to charge (use) again.
This seems in accordance with AS's intentions and OM comments.
A few lines of Airstream do not use the Paralax single stage converter/charger. Apparently they use a WFCO 3 stage converter/charger, which is good. However I have heard that the WFCO seems to have a somewhat short life, but that is only rumor at this point.

So, if you have a WFCO converter/charger, you probably don't need to do anything but leave the rig plugged in when not in use. That is unless it dies.
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