Took my 2009 KZ (bought in 2008) battery to be tested at Auto Zone and the young kid said that the battery only had 74% cranking ability. I keep my camper plugged in and from my understanding there should be no cranking amps on a deep cycle battery. Am I wrong about the cranking amp thing and shouldn't keeping the camper plugged in be helpful for battery life. By the way, its a 24 DC 3- When I was at the Auto Zone they had 24 DC 1 and 2 but no 3. Whats the difference and what should be the approx cost? Tbanks.
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edited 04/15/12 07:49pm by MALE*RN*777 *
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If you had a marine/RV deep cycle battery they are modified starting batteries and would have a listing for CCA (cold cranking amps). If it was a true deep cycle they generally have RC or reserve capacity instead.
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If you have one of those starting/deep cycle batteries and it is fully charged and a load test is put on them and it passes than you can pretty much assume that the amp/hours available are close to what it was rated for new.
If this battery is being used as a house battery then you are interested in the AH rate or the reserve capacity in minutes.
Deep cycle batteries are made to be discharged slowly over a long time. These types of batteries do not put out as much current in a short amount of time and take longer to recharge. A starting battery is made put out a large amount of current for a short of amount of time and recharge very quickly. A starting/deep cycle battery is combination of both. These type of batteries are fine if you are a typical go and plug in when you get there kind of camper. However they will not last long if you camp somewhere with out plugging in and run your furnace (one of the biggest amp/hour users), you might get a night out of a good new battery.
If you do much boon dock camping (no hook-ups) then you really should be using a true deep cycle battery. I prefer using two 6 volt golf cart batteries connected in series. They are the best bang for the buck for deep cycle batteries.
Many new trailers come with a starting /deep cycle batteries because they are cheaper than a true deep cycle battery and the will last much longer than a starting battery. You never want to use a starting battery for use as a coach battery. They do not like to be deeply discharged and if you do they pull lots of current when they are recharged. This causes heat build up in the many thin plates they have causing them to warp and crack thus reducing the life of the battery.
With all this said if you do have one of those starting/deep cycle batteries and it is fully charged and a load test is put on them and it passes than you can pretty much assume that the amp/hours available are close to what it was rated for new.
The best way that I now how to check the true amp/hour rating is to put a inverter on the battery and plug in a incandescent lamp and an old analog clock set to 12 o-clock while measuring the current going into the inverter with a amp clamp. There are a few different discharge rates that batteries are rated at. I use the 20 hour rate Dial in the amount of current that you need to use to test the battery and wait until the inverter shuts off. It will shut off when the battery reaches 10.5v; this is the cut off voltage that is used to determining the amp hour rating of a battery; for instance, if you have a battery that is rated at 225 amp hours than take 225 AH / 20 hours and your 11.25 hours. The battery should be able to maintain this 20 amp output for 11.25 hours. You can then determine the condition of this deep cycle battery based on the number of hours that it runs.
You do not want to do this type of test on a starting battery. If you do this type of test on a starting/deep cycle battery makes sure that you charge that battery back up slowly with a 2 amp charger.
Also if you have entry level "dumb" convertor/charger which most of the entry level RV's have, they are set up to charge a set lower than optimal voltage level. It charges the battery slowly and never shuts off, if left plugged in it will boil the electrolyte out of the battery. It will not fully charge the battery which will cause sulfating. These types of convertors are fine for the weekend campers that mostly plugged in. If you have one of these "dumb" chargers do not leave your rig plugged in, if you do you will be going through batteries very quickly. You tend to find out these things on a long trip. Ask me how I know.... |
Hope this helps, if you want an education on deep cycle batteries you can get all kinds of info off the web.
My 2008 POPUP camper came with Interstate GP24 deep cycle batteries installed by the dealer. The manf does not ship trailers with batteries. They are added at the dealer sometimes at an extra cost.
AS you can see by the label above my Interstate GP24 battery is not a true DEEP CYCLE as it has CCA value listed as 405 cranking amps. This battery is very popular with the dealers as the cost is around $80 I think.
If you left this battery on a non smart-mode converter/charger (Constant 13.6VDc) then it would most likely boil out the water. You would need to check this battery probably every two weeks to be on the safe side. I currently leave my three GP24 Interstate batteries on charge 24/7 when sitting here at Camp BACKYARD but I use a smart mode Converter/Charger system. I check my batteries about every two months now and have never added any water to them thanks to smart-mode charging techniques.
I did lose a Interstate GP24 battery this year which came from a 2005 Fifth wheel trailer so that is a pretty good battery life I would imagine (around seven years)... My other two Interstate GP24 batteries were purchased in 2008 so I think I better start saving for some new batteries now...
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