So.... I've hauled my house batteries out of my rig and have them in the garage. Getting myself educated and setup to give them an equalization charge. Thought I'd say what I know here and seek advice from you wonderful folks...
Here's the info that I think is important:
3 of them are Interstate L16HCL batteries
1 of them is Interstate (US Battery) L16HC battery
I bought a hydrometer the other day and earlier today I measured the sp. gr. of the cells
(I only measured these once... really need to take a couple readings in each cell now that they are out of the rig... but the above should be representative/close)
The reason I have 3 L16HCL batts and 1 L16HC is that my rig was in the shop most of the winter getting minor stuff taken care of. During that time the dealer told me one of the battery case for one of the batteries had cracked and the battery was ruined. They didn't say, but I am guessing the battery froze when we had some really cold weather ( like -30C or so for a few days). Anyway, the dealer replaced the bad battery at their cost and so I have one that is a bit newer than the others.
Looking through the piles of manuals and materials I got with my rig when it was new in summer-2011, one of them is an interstate battery sheet. It says not to do periodic equalizing charges. It goes on to say that batteries should only be equalized if or when a battery or group of batteries illustrates uneven specific gravity reading of 20 points between cells.
All this leaves me with a few questions in. Some of those are:
When the interstate memo-sheet talks about 20 points between cells, is it talking about a specific gravity difference of 0.02? Surely it doesn't mean a sp.gr. difference of 0.2 does it?
Reading through the manual of my home battery charger it clearly has an "automatic" equalization mode and it talks about "A series of electrical pulses breaks the crystalline form of lead sulfate to return these chemicals into useful battery electrolytes". Advice I read here earlier was to just charge at a constant voltage (15.5V for 2 of these in series) and monitor the specific gravity until it stops changing. So.... should I hook these u to this automatic charger or would I be better off going and finding a different charger?
Should I equalize the entire group of 4 batteries all at the same time with the same charger? (setup in series and parallel just like in the RV) Or should I apply the equalize charge to 2 in series at a time, or even do it to each individual 6-volt battery provided my charger will apply the correct settings for that?
Appreciate any tips as I embark on my first equalization here in the next few days (I'm gonna wait till I read some of your responses and get a little more educated about whats best before I start).
Thanks for any/all tips and info.
Constructive disagreement is encouraged. It is how I/we learn!
If you have the 2011 Monaco Knight, your onboard system (xantrex?) should have a setting to "equalize" "de-sulfate" while installed in your coach. Take a look at what options you have with your charger/inverter setup. May save you a lot of work.
2005 Monaco Dynasty Diamond IV 42'
04 F450, 6.0 auto, 4:30 rear; BrakeSmart; 50 gal aux.tank, 01 HR Presidential 35CKS, 3 slides, axles flipped; TrailAir Pinbox. pin weight 2760. Total gross TV and 5th: 24,060 lbs.
Yes I could use the onboard system. But I don't have shore power at the storage location and I wanted to get the batts out anyway. I am thinking next winter I might take them out for the coldest part of winter. Not sure I'll do that but this is an easy test run.
Main things I am trying to figure out is if I should get a different charger or should I use that blackanddecker charger that I already have.
Afraid I only bought the hydrometer in the last couple of weeks and have only used it since then. So... I have no baseline from when the bank was "new" (or new to me since it probably sat on dealer lot for a period of 6 months or so before I bought it).