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Retired VSP

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Posted: 06/04/19 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just purchased two 12 volt conventional bouse batteries. (Duracell Ultra 1 year warranty) What can I do get the most out of these batteries. I leave the mh parked at Hilton Head for about 3 months during the winter unattended. I keep the water levels checked and frequently charge them most of the rest of the year. I had one year conventional Interstate before that lasted less than 3 years. Disappointed.

I need advise on routine maintenance. I've read the web advise and that is somewhat helpful but I would like to read some of your experiences. I had a tendency to overfill with my last batteries. I read where deep cycles should last 4-7 years. Wow! Thanks for any advise.

And which batteryminder is appropriate for the 12 volt deep cycle lead acid battery. Thanks.

* This post was edited 06/05/19 12:31pm by Retired VSP *


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Posted: 06/04/19 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Next time, get 2 6 volt golf cart batteries from Costco or Sam's Club and wire them in series. Same price as 12 volts, but, with maintanence, will last much longer. You can get the battery watering kits that will let you keep them full with a couple pumps on a squeeze bulb so you never have to open the caps. The golf cart batteries are the most bang for the buck and are true deep cycle, unlike a lot of the RV/boat batteries out there. If they will be "unattended" for 3 months, just fully charge and do not put a trickle charger on them. Last thing you want to happen is for them to boil dry over 3 months. Sitting unused for that length of time is tough on any battery but that will make the best of it.

2oldman

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Posted: 06/04/19 08:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My advice is next time get AGMs. They have very little self-discharge and don't need watering. When sitting, just disconnect them.

And why is this in Dinghy Towing?

pianotuna

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Posted: 06/04/19 09:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Add a modest solar system with a good temperature compensated charge controller. My marine batteries from Walmart lasted over nine years.

My current telecom AGM jars are 5 years old and still just fine.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

DFord

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Posted: 06/04/19 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I second the advice to buy true deep cycle golf cart batteries. There are no 12 volt batteries that will perform nearly as well in this application.

Other than that, keeping the batteries connected to a BatteryMinder whenever possible will help prolong their life. These chargers pulse the battery after their fully charged to prevent the sulfation that kills batteries. The cheapest place to buy them I've found is Northern Tools - https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200332201_200332201

[image]


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rrupert

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Posted: 06/04/19 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DFord wrote:

I second the advice to buy true deep cycle golf cart batteries. There are no 12 volt batteries that will perform nearly as well in this application.

Other than that, keeping the batteries connected to a BatteryMinder whenever possible will help prolong their life. These chargers pulse the battery after their fully charged to prevent the sulfation that kills batteries. The cheapest place to buy them I've found is Northern Tools - https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200332201_200332201

[image]


You don't have to keep the charger going continuously, just plugin for a day or two every month.


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Posted: 06/04/19 12:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Water: Water level s/b 1/4" to 1/8" below the split ring that extends down into the cell. Just touching is absolute max and even then may cause some electrolyte to be pushed out of the cell causing corrosion. Check levels every 4 months. More in high use or high temperature conditions.

Charging: Getting the battery to 100% tip top charged before storage is very important. Voltage needs to be 14.4 to 14.8 volts on the battery terminals 2 to 4+ hours to get a full charge. What are your charging voltages?

Float charge in the 13.2 to 13.4 range. Temperature compensated is best in climate extremes. If you cannot float charge... give them a good charging 24 hrs and then disconnect a cable. Clean the battery tops as dirt/crud will conduct and discharge the battery.

Careful how you handle the terminals during installation. Too much twisting or banging can cause the seal around the terminal to break and contribute to corrosion of the terminals.

Don't overly discharge the battery. Down to 12.2 volts or about 50% is time for a heavy recharge with 14.4 volts for at least 3 to 4 hours. OK to charge more often when in use.


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Retired VSP

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Posted: 06/04/19 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone...good advice for sure.....

Sam Spade

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Posted: 06/04/19 01:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rrupert wrote:


You don't have to keep the charger going continuously, just plugin for a day or two every month.


That is assuming that you don't have any significant parasitic loads....AND that they aren't old enough to have a significant self-discharge rate.

If you have a good, well designed maintenance charger, there is no reason to NOT leave it connected 24/7......if you have access to shore power.


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DFord

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Posted: 06/04/19 10:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The BatteryMinder float charger is meant to be left on the battery ALL THE TIME! That's what it's designed for! It constantly pulses the battery to ensure sulfation doesn't occur. Read up on them, you'll be surprised! I get 5 years or more out of my riding lawnmower 1 year batteries with no problems using one that's left connected to the battery any time the mower isn't in use - summer and winter.

They never boil any of the water out of the batteries. It sounds like Rupert isn't knowledgeable about "Float" chargers. They don't taper down when the battery's full, they stop charging and monitor the battery till it needs another boost.

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