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Old 09-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #21
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Are these flooded batteries? Are they properly watered? Either purchase a quality battery tester, or remove the batteries and take them to your preferred battery store to have them tested. It's probably time to shop for replacements.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:55 PM   #22
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Jim, if those are the original batteries, you got 4-5 years out of them and that's about average. 8 volts is well below 50% charge, in fact, it is below 0% charge. The batteries are not holding a charge and you can test them with a hydrometer, and I expect you will have more than 1 dead cell in each battery.

Ours lasted almost 4 years and we replaced them with series 27 Lifeline AGM's. That's a big investment, but it should pay off as they are supposed to last a lot longer than the OEM series 24's. To install Group 27's, you will have to trim off a lip on the battery box.

Do yourself a favor and replace the converter with one with a multistage charger to protect the batteries.

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Old 09-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #23
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.................................

, and I expect you will have more than 1 dead cell in each battery.

....................................

Gene
Not that it matters at this point, but one of the batteries may still be capable of holding a charge to some extent. If two batteries are wired in parallel as they are in an Airstream, the voltage will always be that of the weakest battery, because it will draw the good battery down until they are equal. In any case I'm sure they are both beyond salvaging. You always want to replace both at the same time. If you don't you will always be limping along at below maximum performance.

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Old 09-05-2012, 03:14 PM   #24
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My battery distributor stated the AGM last 1.5 times as long for twice the money. I went with two group 29 lead acid batts and shoehorned them in.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:09 PM   #25
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My battery distributor stated the AGM last 1.5 times as long for twice the money. I went with two group 29 lead acid batts and shoehorned them in.
Where are your batteries? I would have thought they were the same as ours. Ours are in compartments in the front of the trailer. One on either side of the A frame. As it is I can just barely get the group 27 AGMs through the opening.

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Old 09-05-2012, 04:18 PM   #26
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Same, same. The 29s Just barely fit and you have to be very careful when removing them that the positive post doesn't contact the tang for the lock latch. They don't sit all the way in...by that I mean that the end sits up on the door frame. I put a sheet cut from milk jugs to protect the case and hel in sliding it in and out. Told ya it was shoehorned in...but it has worked fine for 2 years now.

Someone on here had cut away the door frame a bit, so their batts would sit flat on the floor, but I haven't seen a need to do that. At least, not yet. If you pack carefully, there's still plenty of room for the cables and the little 7 amp charge controller for my 15 watt trickle solar panel in there too. The length and height are the concerns, not width. I also have fitted nylon straps around the case to assist in getting them out, as there's not much room for hands in there.

BTW, They're Interstates...the only group 29s I could find. No way 31s would fit.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #27
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Whether agm or wet cell, remember to get deep cycle batteries. Automotive batteries are designed to deliver lots of current (to start the car) but not to be discharged very much. They will fail relatively quickly if fully discharged a few times. I use Trojan golf cart batteries in my ambassador. They are rated for 300 complete cycles. I have two big 6v batteries hooked up in series on a custom battery tray. Call your local golf cart dealer to get some good info on batteries.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:44 PM   #28
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If the batteries are sitting on the frame of the box, doesn't that stress the top of the batteries since all their considerable weight is resting on the top of the battery? I cut down the lip and it was not fun, but my batteries sit on the bottom of the battery box. I don't look forward to removing them, but they came with straps attached, so I just have to work them out carefully with the strap.

Another way to go is with 2 golf cart batteries, but I would have had to raise the battery box lid and I didn't feel I wanted to do that nor did I need more than Group 27.

How long AGM's last compared with wet cells has been a point of disagreement. Lewster, who has a lot of knowledge about this, says 2 times as long. That equals twice as much cost and means I don't have to change batteries as often. AGM's are supposed to work better with solar too.

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:01 PM   #29
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Dunno, Gene, I was a little concerned, but after 2 years.....so far, so good. No leaks, no cracks, no deformation. They don't bounce around too much in the front. If they were rear batts, I'd be more concerned. I take them out every fall, so I inspect them. If I see anything hokey, I'll be cuttin' like you did.

Suppose I could fashion a ramp too, that would just lay on the compartment floor.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:07 PM   #30
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Same, same. The 29s Just barely fit and you have to be very careful when removing them that the positive post doesn't contact the tang for the lock latch. They don't sit all the way in...by that I mean that the end sits up on the door frame. I put a sheet cut from milk jugs to protect the case and hel in sliding it in and out. Told ya it was shoehorned in...but it has worked fine for 2 years now.

Someone on here had cut away the door frame a bit, so their batts would sit flat on the floor, but I haven't seen a need to do that. At least, not yet. If you pack carefully, there's still plenty of room for the cables and the little 7 amp charge controller for my 15 watt trickle solar panel in there too. The length and height are the concerns, not width. I also have fitted nylon straps around the case to assist in getting them out, as there's not much room for hands in there.
BTW, They're Interstates...the only group 29s I could find. No way 31s would fit.
My grp 27s fit just as you say yours do with the exception that mine drop in to the floor. I am always concerned about the + terminal hitting the door frame. That would leave a nasty mark.


Are all batteries of the same group, the same exact dimensions?

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:51 PM   #31
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Sorry if we're bordering on hijacking here. W7, the only thing that can spark and arc on my Interstates is the secondary positive post with the wing nut. After making contact one time, I looked around the garage for a fix. I came up with the little white rubber nipply things that you put on the ends of the wire closet organizers. I put one on each wing of the nut and one on the threaded post itself. Works well.
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