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Old 06-09-2017, 08:01 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2017 25' International
Durham , North Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 31
Weak batteries

During my last service/inspection, batteries were filled to overflowing. I did not notice until my own inspection a month later. Noticed this problem during a 111-day trip. Decided to investigate further upon returning home.

Now, after disconnecting from shore power, the voltmeter reads 12.7 initially but settles at 12.4 an hour later. Tried this several times with the same result. The load test on each battery indicated they were still good. I decided to remove the excess water ( down to the split ring).

Have these Interstate srm-24s been permanently damaged?
Can the electrolyte be replaced?
Replace batteries and move on?
Opinions/suggestions greatly appreciated!

"It’s better to wear out than to rust out."
Wally Byam
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:14 AM   #2
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3,978

Pick up (or borrow) a hygrometer and check the electrolyte. That way you will know what's going on. If bubba poured his coffee in the batteries, you have a problem. If he used DI water, they probably are fine.


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Old 06-09-2017, 08:21 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
2016 28' International
2015 28' International
2013 28' International
Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 161
What type of "load" tester are you using? If the computer type, if it says good, they are good! I wouldn't worry about the small voltage drop above 12, I'm assuming that distilled water or electrolyte was used, overfilling is not a big deal other that the mess that it creates but it will not harm the battery.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:45 AM   #4
Rivet Master
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 7,309
Echoing earlier good comments --

Overfilling with distilled water was likely not a lasting problem. Specific gravity testing with hydrometer advisable.

Are you sure that the batteries were fully charged before you did your voltage testing? I would plug the trailer into shore power for a couple of days, then unplug, wait an hour, and test the voltage again. If it drops down to 12.4 right away (or lower), I would take the batteries into an Interstate store for testing, and ask for replacements under your warranty. Call the dealer also IMO.

Are you sure all your 12-volt loads are off after you unplug from shore power? Other than the propane detector, check for:

hidden storage compartment lights
stereo/radio/sub-woofers hidden
fridge humidity control switch
fridge off
inverter off and no 120 volt loads

Different AS models have various phantom loads, such as these.

Good luck!

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Old 06-09-2017, 10:49 AM   #5
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,617
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Testing specific gravity is good advice.

When you're reporting the voltage, are you looking at that voltage inside on the SeeLevel meter? Or are you using a real multimeter at the battery posts? Assume the SeeLevel reads a little low until you prove otherwise. I'll see 12.65 on the Fluke at the battery posts and the SeeLevel reads 12.5. It worried me at first until I tested with the reliable meter.
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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