Failed Battery Replacement Dilemma - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-20-2019, 09:38 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Perryb67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Lanesboro, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2018 5.0 TA
Posts: 402
Failed Battery Replacement Dilemma

In over 30 years and 14 campers I've never had a battery fail like this. I guess we were due.

Our Crown AGM batteries purchased new last October are failing. I’ve contacted both our supplier and Crown. We have to fill out a report and then they will replace the batteries, but we’re in Organ Pipe Cactus National Park where we can see Mexico, not Vinton, Iowa where we purchased the batteries. They will ship them to friends in Mesa, AZ, but that will take 7-14 days. The next 14 days of our trip will be in non-electric sites and Arizona is booked if you want electric sites where we want to camp.

In Organ Pipe (0 sites with electrical hookups) they let me charge the batteries using the electrical outlet at one of the campground entrance booths. I had to take the batteries out every morning and use a 20 amp AGM charger that took about 8-10 hours to charge the batteries up from the <10.5 amps we had in the morning. Those batteries are heavy, hard to remove and take out of the camper, put in the pickup, and then do the reverse at 6:30 in the evening. Besides how long can the batteries last if we draw them down to <10.5 amps every evening. Arizona is cold this winter and we need the heater.

Before anyone jumps on Crown, I’ve talked to two people who have or have had friends with Lifeline, and one with Trojan, that had the same dilemma. Wouldn’t it be nice if they only failed when you were next to your supplier. I also talked to another that found a Lifeline dealer away from where they live exchange for new. I’ve yet to talk to a dealer who will exchange them because they were not purchased there and they were already overloaded with work (imagine that RV parts dealers in Arizona might be overloaded in the winter!

So, do we purchase two Trojan flooded 105’s at $115 x 2 ($230 plus tax), two cheap Costco golf cart batteries, or one series 31 Interstate battery to use until we get home in April and can go to Vinton to get our replacements.

Or do we purchase a down blanket and not use the heater. I don’t think Terry will go for that choice!

Fire away folks!

Perry
__________________

__________________
Those who know everything use pens. Intelligent people use pencils.
Perryb67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 09:40 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Perryb67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Lanesboro, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2018 5.0 TA
Posts: 402
Victron BMV-710 Battery Monitor

On Friday or Monday we will be getting a Victron Battery Monitor (BMV-710) to better watch our batteries. Do we really need it? Time will tell. I was a tech person for 35 years and now I wish to keep with the KISS philosophy, but I’ll give in on this one. We’re hoping the batteries will last until I can install the battery monitor, but I doubt it. What if we have a parasitic draw?

Enjoy,

Perry
__________________

__________________
Those who know everything use pens. Intelligent people use pencils.
Perryb67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 09:48 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Trailer: 2014 Escape-21
Posts: 264
Shipping batteries is not cheap. If it were me I would buy two 6V lead acid batteries and roll on with your vacation and be done with it until you return home. Shipping things buy trucks in they winter can run into delays. Then sell the 2-3 MO lead acid batteries on CL when you get home.
Eddie
elongest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 10:25 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SLO County CA, California
Trailer: 2014 21
Posts: 3,359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
In over 30 years and 14 campers I've never had a battery fail like this. I guess we were due.

Our Crown AGM batteries purchased new last October are failing. I’ve contacted both our supplier and Crown. We have to fill out a report and then they will replace the batteries, but we’re in Organ Pipe Cactus National Park where we can see Mexico, not Vinton, Iowa where we purchased the batteries. They will ship them to friends in Mesa, AZ, but that will take 7-14 days. The next 14 days of our trip will be in non-electric sites and Arizona is booked if you want electric sites where we want to camp.

In Organ Pipe (0 sites with electrical hookups) they let me charge the batteries using the electrical outlet at one of the campground entrance booths. I had to take the batteries out every morning and use a 20 amp AGM charger that took about 8-10 hours to charge the batteries up from the <10.5 amps we had in the morning. Those batteries are heavy, hard to remove and take out of the camper, put in the pickup, and then do the reverse at 6:30 in the evening. Besides how long can the batteries last if we draw them down to <10.5 amps every evening. Arizona is cold this winter and we need the heater.

Before anyone jumps on Crown, I’ve talked to two people who have or have had friends with Lifeline, and one with Trojan, that had the same dilemma. Wouldn’t it be nice if they only failed when you were next to your supplier. I also talked to another that found a Lifeline dealer away from where they live exchange for new. I’ve yet to talk to a dealer who will exchange them because they were not purchased there and they were already overloaded with work (imagine that RV parts dealers in Arizona might be overloaded in the winter!

So, do we purchase two Trojan flooded 105’s at $115 x 2 ($230 plus tax), two cheap Costco golf cart batteries, or one series 31 Interstate battery to use until we get home in April and can go to Vinton to get our replacements.

Or do we purchase a down blanket and not use the heater. I don’t think Terry will go for that choice!

Fire away folks!

Perry
Yeah- get the "cheap" Costco golf cart batteries in Tucson. They're Interstates and should last five years. At less than $200 out the door they are the best value by far.
__________________
"We gotta get as far away as we can!"
- Russell Casse, Independence Day
Rossue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2019, 11:55 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
sclifrickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,479
Perry, would you mind sharing more about how the Crowns are failing? I’d be especially interested in how you ruled out other factors, eg charging system failure. Failures are always a learning opportunity, and the lessons are easier when they are learned vicariously.
__________________
💩-p+☕️+n
sclifrickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 06:19 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Chotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Naugatuck, Connecticut
Trailer: 2017 50 TA, 2016 F150, 2.7 Ecoboost
Posts: 788
I would also be very interested into as why they failed. My thoughts have been that when my OEM batteries fail (still good almost 2 years)to go with AGM. You have friends that also had early failures, any details? May want to rethink my upgrade. 🤔
Chotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 06:52 AM   #7
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,764
Think I'd call Napa in Ajo and see if they have any deep cycles, Tucson is a long way off unless you are headed that way.
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 07:15 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Lanark Camper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Trailer: Escape 17B, July 2019
Posts: 125
I've lived off grid on boats using a variety of battery chemistry's, monitors, chargers, generators and solar panels.

I think the flooded cell golf cart batteries are the best investment, as long as you charge them with a smart charger, keep them topped up with water and can equalize them once a year they will last 6 to 8 years. They like to be kept on a trickle charger off season, so solar is ideal for that. They don't need to be charged to 100% every day or so like AGM's like. In my experience AGM's don't have a long life if they are not charged to 100% daily, if left for longer periods with less than a full charge they will fail prematurely. AGM's have a low self discharge so don't need to be kept on a trickle charger if stored 100% charged and don't have any parasitic loads (CO monitor etc.). AGM's don't gas when charged so are ideal if stored in a locker with other electronics or if it would be difficult to monitor the water levels.

The Victron battery monitor is a nice unit and very useful. I've owned them and used them. It takes some knowledge to set it up. You need to know the Peukert Factor for the battery (try to find out what that value is from the battery manufacturer) as well as the actual current (no pun intended) storage capacity (Ahr's) at this time. These factors do change over time so the Victron gauge will need to be reprogrammed as the bank is used and ages. A new bank with a rated 220 Ahr capacity new will not have that in 6 months or a year, it will depend on how it was used. So its difficult to estimate. It can be measured if you haul them to battery specialist for analysis, it it takes a day or two to do the measurements. Not withstanding those issues the Victron is very useful and can provide a lot of useful information on the battery bank, but its good to know of its limitations.

The Balmar battery monitor is an excellent battery monitor. No shunt, no programming is required. It monitors the battery voltage and then calculates the real actual capacity of the battery bank. It displays the % state of charge as the battery is charged and discharged. No programming or adjusting is needed. My understanding is that it was developed for the US military. Smartgauge Battery Monitor | Balmar

Ask a sailor about why a battery died, he will tell you a "battery does not die, its murdered by it's owner..."

Bob
Lanark Camper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 07:51 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Perryb67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Lanesboro, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2018 5.0 TA
Posts: 402
All batteries can fail! My friend has a motto:

"I plan to live forever.
So far, so good."

The reality is last fall we had two instances:
  1. accidentally hit 12V on our fridge and the batteries went down to around 10.4. Wish one could disable that button. Spent one night in an electric site and then the next 11 days in non-electric sites, so I don't think that did any irreparable harm.
  2. woke up one night hearing the water pump on continuously and the batteries were down to 11.4. I turned the water pressure way down on the pump. 11.4v should not have done any harm.
The batteries worked perfectly for the rest of the trip and the beginning of this trip. If something else happened we didn't catch it. I doubt it though.

Sometimes batteries just fail for various reasons out of our control.

We're driving to Apache Junction today to camp at Lost Dutchman State Park (non-electric of course) and have called at least ten parks in the area for an electric site, but no luck.

I've also been calling all over the Phoenix area for service, but everyone is a minimum of seven days out. The one guy said, "Everyone seems to have a poorly installed solar system." It does appear that ETI has installed our system correctly. I had a low-voltage electrican's license in Minnesota until retirement (that of course makes me dangerous to myself) and can see nothing wrong with ETI's installation of the simple GoPower solar.

However, I will be installing a Victron Battery Monitor (BMV-712 Smart). If I find a parasitic draw I'll inform this group.

Still haven't decided on what batteries I'll replace our Crowns with. Am leaning toward two Trojan 6v flooded 105's, but the Costco's (Interstate) are tempting.

Enjoy,

Perry
__________________
Those who know everything use pens. Intelligent people use pencils.
Perryb67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 08:46 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: East Dover, Vermont
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0 TA!
Posts: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
In over 30 years and 14 campers I've never had a battery fail like this. I guess we were due.

Our Crown AGM batteries purchased new last October are failing. I’ve contacted both our supplier and Crown. We have to fill out a report and then they will replace the batteries, but we’re in Organ Pipe Cactus National Park where we can see Mexico, not Vinton, Iowa where we purchased the batteries. They will ship them to friends in Mesa, AZ, but that will take 7-14 days. The next 14 days of our trip will be in non-electric sites and Arizona is booked if you want electric sites where we want to camp.

In Organ Pipe (0 sites with electrical hookups) they let me charge the batteries using the electrical outlet at one of the campground entrance booths. I had to take the batteries out every morning and use a 20 amp AGM charger that took about 8-10 hours to charge the batteries up from the <10.5 amps we had in the morning. Those batteries are heavy, hard to remove and take out of the camper, put in the pickup, and then do the reverse at 6:30 in the evening. Besides how long can the batteries last if we draw them down to <10.5 amps every evening. Arizona is cold this winter and we need the heater.

Before anyone jumps on Crown, I’ve talked to two people who have or have had friends with Lifeline, and one with Trojan, that had the same dilemma. Wouldn’t it be nice if they only failed when you were next to your supplier. I also talked to another that found a Lifeline dealer away from where they live exchange for new. I’ve yet to talk to a dealer who will exchange them because they were not purchased there and they were already overloaded with work (imagine that RV parts dealers in Arizona might be overloaded in the winter!

So, do we purchase two Trojan flooded 105’s at $115 x 2 ($230 plus tax), two cheap Costco golf cart batteries, or one series 31 Interstate battery to use until we get home in April and can go to Vinton to get our replacements.

Or do we purchase a down blanket and not use the heater. I don’t think Terry will go for that choice!

Fire away folks!

Perry
If you are going to get the replacement batteries from the manufacturer in a little while and are looking for a stop gap measure....I would just buy one middle of the road 12v deep cell battery and hook that up...if you are careful that should be enough to get you through and not spend too much money. You will need to temporarily eliminate the extra wires but that should not be a big deal and a lot cheaper than buying two 6v.
Ian and Sue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 08:55 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
rubicon327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Burlington Twp., New Jersey
Trailer: 2010 Escape 19
Posts: 3,228
An interruption to your trip like this is not fun. Could this also be a bad solar controller and you aren't charging your batteries? If you are confident it is a battery problem I would take the advice of others and just get something installed to continue your trip without the inconvenience.

I would call a few places and see what they recommend. Here are a few in the area:

Battery Center
1743 N Country Club Dr, Mesa, AZ 85201
(480)-833-1650

Interstate All Battery Center of Mesa, AZ
1427 W. Broadway Rd. Mesa AZ 85202
(480) 962-3800

Robinson Golf Cars (carry Trojan 6V)
2165 S Coconino Apache Jct, AZ 85120
(480) 983-1234
__________________
“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”― W.F.
rubicon327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 09:29 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Perryb67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Lanesboro, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2018 5.0 TA
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
[FONT=&quot]An interruption to your trip like this is not fun. Could this also be a bad solar controller and you aren't charging your batteries?
The batteries go down to <10.5 if I use my ChargeIT battery charger or the charger in the camper when at an electric site. Don't believe it's the GoPower. It's either bad batteries or a parasitic draw.

We're at an electric site in Why, just north of Organ Pipe, and have charged the batteries all night. They are now disconnected and will be tested by me (simple volt/ohm meter) in Mesa. If they test OK, I'll take them to Battery +/- Center in Mesa to have them properly tested. The weather is really bad here (storm/wind) so it will be a slow drive to Mesa.

We're off as soon as I post this.

Perry
__________________
Those who know everything use pens. Intelligent people use pencils.
Perryb67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 10:18 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Bobbito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Trailer: 2015 Escape 21
Posts: 641
We camp off the grid the majority of the time. We frequently draw down our Interstate 6 volt deep cycle duo to around 1 light on the battery status indicator and then recharge a few hours every 3 days at the same time we recharge our 12 volt battery for our boat’s electric motor. We went through two sets of batteries in our Nash trailer over 12 years and currently have 4 years out of our Escape’s Interstates. I’m guessing you have a pair of lemons in your AGMs.

Bob K
Bobbito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 11:14 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Greg A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Seventy Degrees"
Posts: 2,812
My vote would be after you confirm batteries are the culprit and not something else going on, to just get some low cost temp batteries and enjoy the rest of your trip.
Worry about the Crown replacements when you get home.
Greg A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 11:34 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Farther's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: USA, Washington
Trailer: TBD
Posts: 352
Could this be a good excuse to purchase a generator?
__________________
Thanks,
~Farther
Farther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 11:40 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,673
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farther View Post
Could this be a good excuse to purchase a generator?

Well, that would give you one more thing to maintain.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 11:52 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Upfisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Yarnell, Arizona
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19, 1980 Tayana Vancouver 42, sold Jan 2019
Posts: 237
Send a message via Skype™ to Upfisk
Our clouds have been abnormally thick in AZ for the past month. Blame the weather not the charger. Go to Costco and buy their in house batteries, under $100 with a no questions asked 1 year warranty.
__________________
Myrl and Gary
Upfisk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 12:05 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
sclifrickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,479
Failed Battery Replacement Dilemma

It’s hard to diagnose problems like this without good diagnostic tools, eg a good battery monitor. There are a myriad of possible failure points, that can work against you if you don’t understand them, or even if you do understand them. This was why my curiosity about diagnosing bad batteries (and how that diagnosis was made) instead of shore charger malfunction, incorrectly programmed solar controller, mechanical failure of wiring harness, repeated or prolonged undercharging of batteries, to name only a few. This issue particularly caught my eye as it concerns Crown batteries, which I have come to consider some of the very best on the market, ahead of both Interstate and Trojan in build quality. Being AGM makes it even harder to diagnose, unfortunately, as you can’t easily check each cell individually to see if one went bad. There’s a lot going on in these systems. Maybe you did get bad batteries. But if not, and it’s due to some other issue, then you’re bound to repeat the problem and have to shell out for new batteries yet again. I’d start with checking the solar controller programming first, then invest in a good battery monitor. And of course, make sure that’s programmed right.
__________________
💩-p+☕️+n
sclifrickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 04:17 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Trailer: 2015 17A - Ready for 4th Maiden Voyage
Posts: 792
Farther suggested a generator and that would be on my thinking horizon too. I live off the grid and power my cabin with a 2000 watt inverter generator from Costco (1600 watt continuous). They are made by Yamaha and cost $550. I have had three of them and I get 2 - 3 years of run time before they are worn out …. don't know how many hours that is but I do pile up the run time. The price is right. Also I don't know if it will start your AC. I'd also get the Costco Interstate 6V batteries and get on with my vacation.

Costco has such a generous return policy …. I once saw someone return for a refund a half eaten turkey the day after Thanksgiving.

Tom
__________________
Health is your own, Money belongs to others, Power is temporary, and Reputation is eternal.
Charsen Sirivadhannabhardi
StarvingHyena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2019, 09:53 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
emers382's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Emerson, Manitoba
Trailer: 2016 Escape 5.0TA, 2015 F150 2.7EB
Posts: 1,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarvingHyena View Post
Costco has such a generous return policy …. I once saw someone return for a refund a half eaten turkey the day after Thanksgiving.
Tom
We returned to Costco a washer and dryer after six months use without boxes!
__________________

__________________
Adrian (and Beth)
We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.
Robert Louis Stevenson
emers382 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×