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Old 05-13-2016, 01:42 PM   #1
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Is three years to short a time for batteries to last?

Our 2014 5.0 has dead batteries which is interesting because we just had it checked out for the season by a nearby R.V. shop and they said everything checked out fine. I'm going out to have a look and see if I can see why in an hour or so and would like ideas what to look for. Could they just be dead? We have the Interstates it came with, would Tojan be a better choice? Thanks for any help.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:47 PM   #2
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So much depends on use. If batteries are drained deeply - say down to 50% level frequently, 3 years might be a reasonable lifespan. I baby our batteries; never discharge them deeply and use a BatteryMinder charger on them in storage and our 6 year old Interstates still perform like new. They are expensive - make sure that they are really dead before you replace them.

I would first look for dirty, loose or corroded connections on the batteries. That seems to be the most frequent problem. Clean the tops of the batteries and check the water levels also.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:50 PM   #3
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My group 29 12 volt had one bad cell after 2 1/4 years. I switched to Us Battery after finding that Trojan moved production to Mexico and Saudi Arabia. I took the opportunity to switch to two 6 volts. Test the specific gravity to check the battery health.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:54 PM   #4
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We have never taken the batteries down below 90% and then not more than once or twice. We have about 240 watts of solar panel on the roof and always leave her plugged in when it is cloudy out and let the solar panels do the work when it's sunny.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:56 PM   #5
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We didn't know that about Trojan thanks for the info.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:57 PM   #6
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Al - in that case, unless you just got a bad one, it could well just be bad connections. I'd clean everything, charge them, then if you have a hydrometer check each cell to make sure that they are all about showing the same charge. If you don't have a hydrometer, check your voltage after letting it sit overnight after the charge.

Also, after the full charge be sure to turn the battery disconnect switch to the OFF position. That will make sure that there is no drain on them from anything.
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:58 PM   #7
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I you don't have a hydrometer, Al, I have two of them. You need to take a walk anyway.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:05 PM   #8
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I you don't have a hydrometer, Al, I have two of them. You need to take a walk anyway.
How many beers do you charge for the hydrometer rental?
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:54 PM   #9
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Al - in that case, unless you just got a bad one, it could well just be bad connections. I'd clean everything, charge them, then if you have a hydrometer check each cell to make sure that they are all about showing the same charge. If you don't have a hydrometer, check your voltage after letting it sit overnight after the charge.

Also, after the full charge be sure to turn the battery disconnect switch to the OFF position. That will make sure that there is no drain on them from anything.
I agree but I take it one step further. I remove the battery terminals to completely isolate it from the trailer. Charge and test. That way I'm absolutely sure that it's not something else like a poor connection etc. downstream.

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Old 05-13-2016, 03:56 PM   #10
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Good point Ron.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstock11 View Post
My group 29 12 volt had one bad cell after 2 1/4 years. I switched to Us Battery after finding that Trojan moved production to Mexico and Saudi Arabia. I took the opportunity to switch to two 6 volts. Test the specific gravity to check the battery health.
Where did you get that information?
Trojan site says they have plants in Georgia and that they are US made ( glass mat anyway ).
Trojan works for me and their web-site is a wealth of information.
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:58 PM   #12
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I was given that info from a battery supplier but was unable to verify online. As they say "how can you tell if a salesman is lying? His lips are moving."
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:20 PM   #13
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Given that Trojan sells batteries world-wide, it would make sense for them to have factories in other parts of the world. Not sure they are made out of sand though.
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:21 PM   #14
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I didn't think I could pay Glens' toll so went out to Canadian Tire to buy a hydrometer and ended going back there again when I discovered the thing inside was broken. (Must remember to bring glasses with me when shopping!) So...I have done precisely nothing on it yet. Better luck tomorrow.
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:26 PM   #15
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Sounds like my luck. Keep us posted as you learn more Al.
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:28 PM   #16
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If that hydrometer is too hard to read ( given your eyes - and mine ) I have another type that is easier to read. No toll.
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:29 PM   #17
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Thanks for your encouragement I am not know for my mechanical skills but I do my best.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstock11 View Post
I switched to Us Battery after finding that Trojan moved production to Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
If the reason for switching is wanting to economically support your own region, I understand that. If the reason is an assumption that quality would be inferior if made outside of the United States, I think a reality check is in order - quality depends on how products are made, not where they are made. In electronics, for instance, both the best and the worst both come from China... made to different standards at different costs.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:02 PM   #19
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Ours pooped out at 3 years and only 20 weeks of camping and about 15 weeks of that off grid .
Mind you there was almost 30,000 k of travel over this time . Rough roads do have a effect on battery life . Factory replacement cost 300$ for the pair of 6s . They don't last for ever but it would be nice if they did . I've considered jell cells but haven't checked if there available in 6Vs.
The only ones I've seen where 12 Vs . I hear there more road durable .
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:00 AM   #20
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Rough roads do have a effect on battery life .
...
I've considered jell cells but haven't checked if there available in 6Vs.
The only ones I've seen where 12 Vs . I hear there more road durable .
Are you thinking of AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)? They are the modern solution to rough conditions, rather than gel; AGM are available in a wide variety of sizes and voltage.
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