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Old 07-21-2019, 11:44 AM   #1
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2010 23' FB Flying Cloud
Alexandria , Kentucky
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 12
Battery leakage

23 foot Flying Cloud. Vintage: 2010. New batteries installed in August 2016. Just returned from 3 weeks of Florida storms and heat. Near miss accident in Punta Gorda causing AS to violently swerve, but i believe my battery problem started before this.

Yes, anti sway bars were in use at the time, but i consider myself very lucky. The pickup truck had to pass me...estimated speed 100 mph...in the middle of tropical downpour. Some people should recheck their thinking about speed and right of way.

When plugged into 30 amp, all lights seem to function at 100%. When unplugged from 30amp, the lights dim noticeably. Talked to my RV mechanic, who suggested the batteries might not have enough fluid in the cells.

HE WAS RIGHT!

I am now on day 3 of a full systems charge...and no longer need to plug in to get full power. However, I remain connected to land power. I have questions:

1. Why did most of the fluid leak out of the batteries? I thought the caps were there to prevent this type of occurence.

2. What problems should I look for on future use? Should I put "check battery fluid level on list of things to check before taking off in the AS?

3. Should batteries be removed as part of winterization as a scheduled item?

4. Do YOU check fluid level in your AS batteries? If so how often?

5. How long do your batteries last with moderate use?

Thanks for all responses.

Kurt
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:04 PM   #2
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2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
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Lots of threads on this here but I think a short answer is charging your batteries boils off water. If you never check levels it is going to bite you in the xxx. If you stayed plugged in to shore power for a period of time your built in charger did that and has a reputation for cooking batteries. Surprised you have not run into this before now. The right way to check your batteries is to check levels after any charging event, daily if you stay plugged in to shore power. Even better is check specific gravities, but most do not do that.
The life of your batteries is highly dependent on how you take care of them and how you use them. Regular cheapie batteries can be done after one major discharge event or they can last several years.
Larry
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:20 PM   #3
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Portland , Oregon
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Do yourself a favor. Go to the repair section of this forum and spend about 150 hours reading all the threads on battery/charging issues. When you have done this you will have a much better understanding of how to manage your batteries.

Mike
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:33 PM   #4
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Welcome Aboard....👍

...get new batteries, nine out of ten your's are shot.
Invest in a charger/converter that will manage the charge cycle more efficiently.
Contact Randy @ http://www.bestconverter.com for the best options that will meet your needs.

Bob
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:34 PM   #5
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

If you live where it's hot and store where it's hot, the batteries will get hot. Hot water or hot battery juice evaporates. The caps do nothing to stop this.

Charging batteries (especially with after market chargers) can take them to high voltages. That forces some of the water in the battery to convert to gas. Again the gas heads out. The caps are not gas tight. That's a good thing .... you don't want the battery to explode.

You *should* check fluid levels on a regular basis. Is that once a month or twice a year? It depends a lot on just how hot it is and your charger. It also depends a bit on the state of your batteries.

Batteries that have gone flat multiple times wear out quickly. Worn batteries likely dry out faster than good ones. If you still have the stock batteries, 9 years is a *long* time on a set, even if cared for perfectly. It's probably time to go shopping for a new pair .....

As mentioned above, there's *way* more to it than this very brief summary. Best to do a bit more digging.

Bob
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:51 PM   #6
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2010 23' FB Flying Cloud
Alexandria , Kentucky
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Response to original posting

Thank you for advice. I have never experienced anything like this fluid loss over 30+ years of RV use! If you all hadn't mentioned it I would have had a long search...so THANK YOU!

Makes sense to monitor this, so I will.

Kurt
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:24 PM   #7
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2010 23' FB Flying Cloud
Alexandria , Kentucky
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Response to original posting

Thank you for advice. I have never experienced anything like this fluid loss over 30+ years of RV use! If you all hadn't mentioned it I would have had a long search...so THANK YOU!

Makes sense to monitor this, so I will.

Kurt
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:08 PM   #8
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2002 19' Bambi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
...get new batteries, nine out of ten your's are shot.
Invest in a charger/converter that will manage the charge cycle more efficiently.
Contact Randy @ http://www.bestconverter.com for the best options that will meet your needs.
We have had a Progressive Dynamics Intellipower Charger/Converter for going on 15 years. It manages the charge cycle very efficiently and, as Robert mentions, Randy at Bestconverter can advise you about them and other such converters.

We store our Airstream in our driveway and often have it connected to shore power for months. We just replaced our 14-year-old AGM battery that the P-D Intellipower charged for it's entire life in our trailer. Was it completely shot? No, it just did not hold a charge quite as long as before and my paranoia about being on a trip and having the battery fail made me replace it.

My point? Battery life can be greatly enhanced by upgrading to a good, multistage converter.

Tim
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:31 AM   #9
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Here's another wrinkle to all this:

The battery people use a capacity number to decide when a battery is at end of life. Normally when it no longer will hold 80% of it's "new" capacity that is the end of the battery. That has absolutely nothing to do with it holding a charge for a day / week / month. Indeed holding a charge *is* important, it's just not what they test.

Why rate it this way? The normal thing that gets batteries tossed is: Went out to start the car / boat / truck / power levelers and the battery gave up. A lot of people don't really seem to need a battery in an AS at all. Just what "load issue" they might have to toss a battery is quite unclear. Others *do* use the batteries a lot. One might go crazy in 5 years, the other in a much longer time, both with identical batteries / chargers / maintenance and annual wear and tear on the battery.

So, how much did we run through yesterday.... click click click ... about 100AH ....

Lots of variables.

Bob
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