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Old 09-16-2018, 07:32 PM   #1
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Battery question

First time posting. We installed new batteries. What do we need to do when we camp with full hookup? We do not want to overcharge them. Thank you for all ideas. I follow the forum daily.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:02 PM   #2
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Hmmmm. Need a little more info.
What charger converter do you have installed currently.
What batteries did you install.
If you are not going to be hooked up for an extended period of time. It should be a non issue.
You can install a progressive dynamic 4 stage charger and I will never be a problem.
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:08 AM   #3
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We just have the converter that is original to our trailer. We installed the Interstate Marine Batteries, I don't have the specific information handy right now. We will be camping for a week and have full hookups. We didn't know if we needed to turn the converter off or remove the neutral from the batteries, etc. We are new to this and the batteries that came with the trailer were already extremely low so we didn't have to worry about it at that time. Still learning about the airstream. Anything information is appreciated!
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:18 AM   #4
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Welcome Aboard!! 👍

Take a good clear photo of the converter and post it.

Some of the older units will not operate unless a battery is in the loop.

To insure battery protection...
A good modern 4 stage converter is not a lot of $$$, swap it & camp without worry. 👍

Bob
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:36 AM   #5
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Good advice so far. This Battery School is a good source for general info:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm

We have an older single stage converter which works fine if you manage the charging correctly. Our AS is in the back yard where we can turn shore power on and off, monitor battery water and voltage, etc. Our old 25’ had batteries which lasted for many years with similar hands-on attention.

More details of your situation would result in better specific advice IMO.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:55 AM   #6
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Hi

Keep in mind that you will need to run a charge into your batteries at least once a week. That's true when camping or when in storage. Twelve hours of charge ( run it overnight ) is not a bad way to do it.

With brand new batteries, running them on the charger for about two days is a pretty good idea as well. You never really know what the state of a brand new battery really is .....

Bob
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:32 AM   #7
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If our FC20 in the driveway is in the "Store" mode, we can squeak by for 2 weeks, with the voltage staying above 12.3 [50% +/-]. We prefer to aim for 1 week as you say, and the voltage usually stays above 12.5 [~90%]. [*]

Voltage and state of charge chart in Battery School linked in Post #5.

Peter
[*] with the propane detector still online.
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:47 AM   #8
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You will have no problem. When you camp just leave the converter on. When you store the trailer put it on a timer and only power it for 1 hour per day. The main thing that kills batteries is discharging them too low. Do not go under 12 volts and 12.2 would be a lot better.

The “best” thing you could do is to put in a new, better converter. But it will work the way it is. You will have to buy new batteries every 2 years or less if you mess up and discharge them too low a few times. And I do not have to fool with cables or timers when stored.

We did change to a new converter this year. I think it gets the battery more nearly fully charged than the old one did so it seems to last a little longer when camping without hookups.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:35 AM   #9
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Battery question

Thanks to everyone who replied. I am not sure how to take and upload a picture yet. But the converter we are using is the converter switch (looks like a light switch) located on the right wall after you enter the trailer behind the curtain. I turned the converter off when we hooked up to power at home in order to run the dehumidifier in the trailer. I hope this was the correct thing to do. Karen.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:12 AM   #10
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If you turn the converter off the batteries will run down because there are still small loads on them. If you leave the switch on all the time the batteries will be overcharged and need water added every month. Those are pretty much the choices with a stock converter from that era.

Discharging the batteries is worse for them than the overcharge if you keep water in them. Letting them dry out is dangerous. Discharged batteries can freez and break in cold weather.

There is a good reason for switching the stock converter for a modern one with stages. Bot the timer trick will work until you decide to upgrade the converter. I did the timer for several years with no issues.
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:16 AM   #11
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Battery question

Thanks Bill M. We will look into a new converter. Question, what is the best type to get and how are they installed? My husband is an electrician but we are totally ignorant about anything on the trailer as far as replacing/switching things out. How would he go about doing this?

This is our first trailer and we are finding the air stream has more bells and whistles than we dreamed of getting. But we do love it!

Karen
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:29 AM   #12
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I found out that the batteries we just installed are sealed batteries, they do not require water. Will these work ok?
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Take a good clear photo of the converter and post it.

Some of the older units will not operate unless a battery is in the loop.

To insure battery protection...
A good modern 4 stage converter is not a lot of $$$, swap it & camp without worry. 👍

Bob
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does ROBERT CROSS know ?
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lattimore View Post
Thanks Bill M. We will look into a new converter. Question, what is the best type to get and how are they installed? My husband is an electrician but we are totally ignorant about anything on the trailer as far as replacing/switching things out. How would he go about doing this?

This is our first trailer and we are finding the air stream has more bells and whistles than we dreamed of getting. But we do love it!

Karen
Call Randy...very helpful folks!👍

Sealed wet cell batteries are ok...they do still need to be vented though.

Bob
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:55 AM   #15
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Hi

If you have AGM / sealed batteries (as opposed to flooded batteries) you do not *need* the 4 stage converter. The stock converters going back quite a ways will do what you need to do. That's not to say they are perfect or that they last forever. Simply that the "benefit" of swapping out a converter from three stage to four stage isn't there.

Bob
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:22 AM   #16
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If I'm using the trailer I don't worry about overcharging.
But when it goes to storage, even though I have 30 amp power, I leave the trailer unplugged, turn off my battery disconnect, and run an extension cord to a NoCo Genius 3500 float charger on the batteries.
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lattimore View Post
I found out that the batteries we just installed are sealed batteries, they do not require water. Will these work ok?


When your batteries are charged up fully, the trailer will likely change to a float charge and not the high amp output that it would apply if they were say, 60% discharged.

Connected for a few days, or even a week at that float charge will likely NOT hurt them. Them being sealed or not does not really matter. The only difference is you dont have to check the battery water levels like I Do since mine are not maint-free like yours.
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:42 AM   #18
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Sealed AGMs, also known as valve regulated lead acid (vrla) batts, aren't exactly sealed.

True, they don't (can't) be watered. It's both their greatest quality and detriment.

AGMs don't like excess heat and voltage. Too much of either, or both, and they will prematurely wear as they dry out. Flooded batts have the advantage in this regard as they can tolerate more extraneous heat and charge, with the only consequence that they need to be watered and topped off.

Because of this, AGMs needed tighter charging profiles to ensure their longevity. You won't find me bothering with AGMs as I don't mind checking the water levels 1-2 times a year to ensure their performance, longevity, and value.
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