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Old 12-06-2015, 10:58 PM   #1
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Battery time?

The twin 6v batteries in my '09 19 are now 6 1/2 years old. I've always kept the water topped up, and I've plugged the trailer in for 36~48 hours monthly when not in use. They also have never suffered a really deep discharge. Today after 48 hours plugged in, I thought I'd check the voltage. Immediately after unplugging, my cheapo voltmeter read 13.1v; 2 1/2 hours later it read 12.5 volts; and 3 hours after that it read 12.4 volts. I have no idea if those numbers are good, bad, or ugly. Hopefully some more electronically oriented folks can weigh in. Even if it's time to consider replacement, I probably won't do so until I break out the trailer next spring.

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Old 12-06-2015, 11:12 PM   #2
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I'd start by cleaning all the battery terminals.
Because, that's all I know how to do, and usually it works.
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I'd start by cleaning all the battery terminals. Because, that's all I know how to do, and usually it works.
I don't even know how to do that.
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Wray View Post
The twin 6v batteries in my '09 19 are now 6 1/2 years old. I've always kept the water topped up, and I've plugged the trailer in for 36~48 hours monthly when not in use. They also have never suffered a really deep discharge. Today after 48 hours plugged in, I thought I'd check the voltage. Immediately after unplugging, my cheapo voltmeter read 13.1v; 2 1/2 hours later it read 12.5 volts; and 3 hours after that it read 12.4 volts. I have no idea if those numbers are good, bad, or ugly. Hopefully some more electronically oriented folks can weigh in. Even if it's time to consider replacement, I probably won't do so until I break out the trailer next spring.

Bruce
The numbers are not good, but there are still some variables to consider before calling the batteries a total loss.

Taking a measurement after 47 hours (still charging but full) will be helpful. Is the charger reaching the recommended voltage? (Guessing 13.8 to 14.4, but I don't have your batteries.) If the charger is not reaching the correct voltage than you might be buying a new charger, rather than new batteries.

Confirm that there is no to very little load when you take the after-charge readings. A led or two, or the drain from the propane detector is rather trivial for a well charged battery. Anything more and your voltage readings are suspect.
A well charged battery, totally disconnected from any load, 24 hours after the end of the charge should be close to 13 v. If properly charged and no significant discharge, you are seeing 12.4 v, then I would warm up the credit card.

But - 6.5 years is a solid lifetime for a battery. You did well...

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Old 12-06-2015, 11:21 PM   #5
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I don't even know how to do that.
There's a Utube for that
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:25 PM   #6
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I should add that I replaced my original 2008 Interstate group 27 in 2011 with a Trojan and I replaced the Trojan with another a couple months ago.
I too keep the water level up, and my trailer is normally plugged in unless I'm boondocking.
I think I pay too much attention to the voltmeter and start to worry too soon.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:03 AM   #7
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These are some good suggestions and I would certainly do them all. If you get down the list and consider purchasing a separate battery charger it appears the Battery Minder has a number of followers. Here is a link to a discussion of this unit.

I have found that a charge time of 24 hours is not enough to fully charge the batteries with the WFCO system that Escape provides. At least 48 hours on shore power before taking a reading several hours after disconnecting.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:17 AM   #8
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Bruce, besides cleaning the terminals, I'd recommend cleaning the tops of the batteries. I am very satisfied with BatteryMinder I bought, it seems to have increased the charge capacity of my over 5 year old dual 6v. They offer a 1 year money back guarantee, so I figured it was worth giving the charger a try. On the recommendation of the person I communicated there I bought the 12248 model. It is a bit cheaper at Amazon than direct, but sometimes they offer free accessories when purchased direct.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I don't even know how to do that.
if your battery is in a battery box of some sort, open the box and take a photo of the terminals as a reminder of the set up. Put on some rubber gloves. Remove all the leads that attach to the battery, and remove the battery. Pour some Coca Cola over terminals and wipe off with a cloth. Use the same cleaning cloth to wipe clean the previously removed wires. Check water levels and top up with distilled water if needed. Paint the battery terminals with battery grease. Replace all as per your photo.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:32 AM   #10
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What about Pepsi Cola?
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