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Old 09-09-2012, 10:47 AM   #1
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battery voltage

I recharged my two 6 volt batteries on the bench with a trickle charger. My volt meter read 13.24 after the charge, but kept dropping every couple hours. 24 hrs later it was down to 12.66. Is this normal or are they in need of replacement?

They are 3 yrs old and I thought well maintained.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
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Re: battery voltage

I recall 12.6 is 100% fully charged, anything over that means it has not fully rested, like in the 13's- here is a handy chart to refer to at bottom of page-
http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: battery voltage

Thanks for the link to the article. I'll go back and read it in more detail.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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Re: battery voltage

I'm new to the RVing world, so I'm trying to absorb as much information from these forums as I can find...

I'm reading through "The 12 volt Side of Life" linked to by Jim, above. It talks about how standard converters don't make good chargers, and that you should use a 3-stage charger to prolong your battery life.

The Escape web site says the 19' comes with a "55 Amp Converter with Battery Charger". Does anybody have any details about what this is?

I guess before I commit to purchasing anything I'm going to have to spend a lot of time finding out manufacturers/model#s for all the individual components...
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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Re: battery voltage

Just like there are over 100 different car manufacturers, there are dozens of converter brands. Some are basic, some are quite complicated. The one in the Escape is a capable 3 way charger and if you get the solar option your batteries will be extra happy.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:01 AM   #6
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Do you recharge 2- 6 volt batteries the same way as a 12Volt with a battery/trickle charger? Or do you do something different with the 6 volts?
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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I just treat dual batteries like one big 12V; works fine on a 12V charger since they're in series
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:28 PM   #8
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I guess I will step to the pulpit of the great battery debate. In any charging situation you should start with the battery manufacturer. See what their recommendations are for charging voltages. If you are still OEM and using dual 6 volt you will have Interstate U series or its replacement the GC2-XHD. Secondly, as prior posts said, you should use a three stage charger: bulk, absorption and float/trickle. The key number is the absorption charge rate, this is what stage your battery will be in the majority of the time it is needing a charge. Compare the rate your battery manufacturer recommends with what your charger of choice will deliver.

I have gone through this process and was surprised at what Interstate Batteries or Trojan recommend and what most chargers deliver. If your charger does not publish charge rates for the three stages stated above you can be assured they are woefully inadequate.

After reading the blog by Handy Bob, the RV battery guru and researching what chargers are provided by Escape the best of those methods to charge is the built in WFCO battery charger. Notice, I am qualifying this by saying of the provided options, there are better methods to charge and to get more charge into you battery but they require options other than come standard on your Escape. It does not appear that there are any "bench" chargers that can do as good a job as the built in charger made by WFCO.

The big controversy is over how much charge these devices are putting into your battery, surprise! they are only filling the tank about 75%. Now if you only use your batteries for 2-3 days between shore power or you do not have much need for solar power you can stop here and everything will work just fine. However, if you are off the grid for extended times and have numerous power needs or desires; then you should Google Handy Bob and read his blog.

The battery voltages you read after disconnecting are irrelevant, you need to wait several hours for the surface charge created by the charging process to dissipate. A full battery will read 12.6 to 12.8 volts but the problem is; a battery charged to 75% of capacity will read the same as one fully charged. Those voltages, while useful, do not fully measure the charge in your battery. There is more to measuring a battery than volts.

So the easy answer is, charge using the built in charger provided by Escape, but run that charger for at least 24 hours. The hard answer is you are only getting to 75% of that batteries capacity.
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:14 PM   #9
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See: Xantrex Charger Installation and Wiring Upgrades
and post #10 in: newbie electrical issue
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:39 PM   #10
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Doug, thanks for posting the work of Harold in replacing the WFCO controller with the Xantrec. That is a nice article he published on the process and logic of the conversion. What Harold did not mention in his article is the bad rap, perhaps deserved, that the WFCO never achieves a charge to your batteries at the bulk rate of 14.4 V. Several users talk about tricking the WFCO into bulk mode by turning on lights, pumps and furnace before charging. All in an effort to get to the bulk rate. Unfortunately unless you are successful you will get the absorption charge rate of 13.4 V.

What's wrong with 13.4 V you may ask? Here is where the 75% fill comes into play. If you are filling the tank (battery) at 13.4 V you are not even close to the charge rate that Interstate recommends. When all is said and done you are left with a functional battery but not one with the charge it could have if charged at the proper rate.
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