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Old 03-19-2019, 08:22 PM   #1
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Typically when is it time to replace Group 24 Flooded Batteries

I am about to start my 4th season with my 22FB Sport 2016 unit. At the time I purchased it I added a 2nd Interstate Flooded Group 24 battery. I've tired to manage and use my batteries wisely. Since i live in a harsh winter climate the batteries are always removed and placed on a quality trickle charger. I just put the batteries back onto the trailer and started prepping for the new season. The batteries were fully charged when I did this. Since then I've noticed they are losing their power quickly even though they are attached to a portable solar panel. Nights have been cold...upper teens low 20's however daytime high's have been in the 50's with bright sun. Is it time to replace them? The batteries are right at 3 years old.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:30 PM   #2
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Mine are the same age and I’m going to replace them before our planned trips. Better to replace them on your schedule than when you have to replace them on a trip.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:40 AM   #3
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I replaced my Interstate group 24 batteries after three years, but they were still working well. I just wanted to increase the AH capacity by going to 2 6V batteries. I agree with Bgibbs that is better to replace them on your schedule, than when on a trip. Also, if you don't have a quality battery monitor (Victron, Bogart, etc), you might consider that first to ensure there is not something else going on that is either draining your batteries, or preventing their charging.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:55 AM   #4
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leave them in, but unhook them from trailer. charge them up and check after about a week if there is little to no loss, you probably have something drawing them down; ie CO detector. by leaving them in, you will be working with temp changes.


I check my batteries for water and with a hydrometer and also have a volt checker that also does a load check. volt ? load tester at HF for about $20.00.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:11 AM   #5
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👍

^
X2

You didn't mention what you had running when they were on solar...but the route mentioned above it the easiest way to determine discharge/condition.👍

Bob
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airtandem View Post
leave them in, but unhook them from trailer. charge them up and check after about a week if there is little to no loss, you probably have something drawing them down; ie CO detector. by leaving them in, you will be working with temp changes.


I check my batteries for water and with a hydrometer and also have a volt checker that also does a load check. volt ? load tester at HF for about $20.00.
What does the "HF" stand for?
thanks
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:49 AM   #7
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Instead of asking the interweb if your batteries are ok, why don't you take them to a battery place and have them load tested? Then you will know.

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Old 03-20-2019, 10:02 AM   #8
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HF; Harbor Freight
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:05 PM   #9
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When is it time? When the bank no longer supports your use. Can be, because the bank is tired or when your use changes.

Years ago, I found that a car with less than perfect starting ability was best supported with a strong battery. So, at first hint of less than perfect battery performance, that car battery got replaced with the best that could be justified with the available budget.

Your trailer use is usually for times and trips that you want to enjoy. An expenditure of $200 will get you a new bank with a warranty valid in most places you will travel. Take advantage of that resource and enjoy your RV time. If you need more battery capability, your knowledge and management of the bank will need to go up. However, there is lots of info on those threads and they are easy to find with the search function. Pat
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:12 PM   #10
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Many decades experience in the automotive biz has me replacing flooded batts every 3 years ESPECIALLY Interstate brand.
You might want to look at SLA AGM (sealed lead acid, absorbed glass mat) for slightly longer life, properly maintained and monitored (4-5 years).
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:19 PM   #11
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Need to learn about batteries , using number & chemistry .
If you buy the right type & brand - then use them correctly .
You should easily should make the warranty ++
The only way to do this - is to understand the numbers & chemistry - REPEAT .
The numbers are your power usage & the battery capacity .
The chemistry is 3 fold , true DEEP CYCLE " not RV / marine / starting " but true deep cycle .
Part 2 and maybe the biggest single point for any battery chemistry - do not leave " ANY AMOUNT " of discharge percentage , sit for any amount of time - this can be problematic / difficult with out a well designed system - that means , any single discharge , needs to be planned / designed so that immediately after a discharge - it should be charged back up .
As an example , my last new system was started just as a 2 week cloudy weather happened , at the end of the 2 weeks , the battery bank was about 45% discharged [ never go beyond 50% discharged , now the batteries were getting charged at a high rate [ 50 amps ] from solar .
As the batteries are getting worked - discharge & charge - with no gap between [ do not let sit at any discharged level ] because of what is called sulfation = crystal growth between the plates of the battery .
My last battery bank [ Trojan L16 , x 4 ] lasted 13 yrs. , for over 40 yrs. I have never had a car / truck battery die before its warranty .
So repeat , the numbers power usage & capacity of battery - do not go beyond 50% discharge , [ even though the deep cycle batteries say 80% discharge is ok - they are sitting & waiting to sell you more batteries ] .
Do not give them more reason to raise prices - by going back before the warranty ask for the warranty - to makeup for you abusing the batteries .
Kinda too late , they are already charging too much .
That last bank of Trojan L16's cost me $600 , 13 yrs. later they are over $1,200 .
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:24 PM   #12
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Typically when is it time to replace Group 24 Flooded Batteries

About a month before they fail . . .



Seriously . . . good comments so far . . . seems like having them load tested would be worth the cost and effort IMO.

Peter
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:52 PM   #13
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Typically when is it time to replace Group 24 Flooded Batteries

A battery monitor that uses a shunt to measure current both in and out of the battery plus voltage indication is a good idea to better monitor state-of-charge than just a voltmeter. Learned that one the hard way. Voltage does not directly equate to proper state of charge.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:04 PM   #14
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I must be a "serial battery killer" because my batteries never last very long.

We all use our batteries differently so I don't think there is standard for how long they should last. Some use their AS frequently (some don't), some store their AS on trickle chargers or leave their AS plugged into shore power constantly (some don't), some only camp with shore power (some only dry camp). An AS that is always plugged into shore power while in storage, always on shore power when in use, and always gets charged by the TV when traveling probably has a battery that a dry camper would consider dead. So its interesting to hear how long other AS owner's batteries last, but I don't think it translates into how long your own battery should last. Like propane exchange tanks, I replace my batteries when they run out of juice.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:59 PM   #15
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I am a firm believer in AGM batteries and have 4 in the trailer with several solar panels (some of which are 20 years old). Last summer my batteries died after I left our 5,000 watt inverter on overnight and we were boondocking. What they died? I thought they were about 8 or 9 years old but it turned out they were 15 years old! We use our trailer a lot. The batteries that died were Lifeline group 27 batteries. Given we were in Canada and after a lot of searching and comparing AGMs I purchased FullRivers group 27s from Prairiebattery.com
It will be interesting to see how long these last.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:03 PM   #16
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Battery

Here’s my .02.
I believe batteries will last 5-10 years if they are treated right.
When not using your Airstream keep the batteries on a quality charger like the “BatteryMinder”. The BatteryMinder will keep the batteries at their peak. Once they reach their peak the charger goes into a float mode. The charger will also go into a maintenance mode where it de sulfates the batteries.
Also having a battery disconnect switch so if you are not charging your batteries you keep them disconnected so parasite draw doesn’t ruin them.
When I am connected to shore power I don’t keep the batteries connected all the time. Maybe with the newer converters it’s okay.
Good luck
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:03 PM   #17
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You may consider replacing tired batteries with upgrades to absorbent glass mat (ABM) batteries. Two 12v Sun Xtender, AGM, 100ah batteries, together with a solar system, have provided me with great service for 19 years. The batteries are pricey, but they may be the last ones you will buy. Plus, you will never need to monitor the water in them.
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:09 PM   #18
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dual 6v voltage

Is 50% discharged with 2 6volt in series 6volts or 3 volts .
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:14 PM   #19
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Typically when is it time to replace Group 24 Flooded Batteries

Nope. 50% discharge on a 12 volt flooded lead-acid battery set is about 12.06 volts. Voltage, by the way is a lousy way to determine state of charge. Full charge on a 12 volt battery bank is 12.6 volts or more to compare. It matters not that they are a single 12 volt battery or two in series. The chemistry is the same, ditto the number of cells 6 total in this case.

If your battery is at only 6 volts it’s not just discharged, it’s likely damaged beyond reasonable chance of recovery unless you get it back to full charge darn near immediately.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:36 AM   #20
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I'm planning on replacing my batteries but I'm giving serious thought to changing over to 2-6v golf cart batteries. It looks very promising and I've heard a lot of positive comments. But, what is the "down side" of this change?
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