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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  Maintenance Issues & Tips

 > Battery Maintenance

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Beaver Thunder

Washington

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Posted: 07/10/19 06:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We recently bought our first coach and need advice on maintaining the batteries.

Before I ask my questions, here is some history on the coach. When we fist bought it, the chassis batteries weren't being charged via the inverter. The previous owner recently had installed all new batteries and a new Xantrex freedom sw 2012 inverter/converter. He installed a battery fill system on the 4 6 volt batteries via a set of hoses and hand pump. He told me that he had to fill the batteries once a month with distilled water. After looking it over I determined that the Magnum smart battery combiner was installed incorrectly, after correcting it, the inverter is now charging both chassis and house batteries. So now that everything appears to be in working order I need to understand the best way to maintain the batteries when I'm not using the coach.

Is the Xantrex a good battery maintainer or should I be looking into adding a separate battery maintainer? With the inverter in charge mode, coach plugged, batteries are at 13.57 volts.

How often should I need to added distilled water to those batteries?

The rig is a: 2001 Beaver Patriot Thunder with 2 group 31 chassis batteries and 4 6 volt house batteries.

Any tips, advice will be appreciated. Sorry for the long post, thought the info would be relative.

Thank you, Kevin

et2

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Posted: 07/10/19 07:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it's a multi stage charger you should be alright. It'll go into float when the batteries are charged. Some new chargers like my MH will actually stop charging all together if needed and turn back on when charging is required. Google your model and see what it says.

We've had Flow Rite battery watering system in our last MH and I installed it in this one too. Yes you fill the batteries by squeezing distilled water from a jug into them. Doesn't use hardly any water at all. Monthly is more than enough. Unless you cycle the batteries often by using the invertor.

But do monitor each individual battery with a volt meter every month to make sure each battery is ok.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 07/10/19 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

just watch them on a monthly base, your volt reading is in great shape. as time goes on you,ll be checking them every couple months. do the same for the whole rv make a check list, then do it, hoses ,,lights ,belts etc.

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 07/10/19 07:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leave the rig plugged in. If the temp probe is not installed then install one on the house batteries. Be sure the battery/charger cables are correctly sized for the new installation.

Check the water level frequently until you have some history. I wound up checking every 3 months and water every year. Your mileage may vary. And expect storage vs usage variations.


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
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Bob


DFord

Near St Louis, MO

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Posted: 07/10/19 09:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Freedom series of Xantrex inverter do not have a true "float" charging capability. It will boil water out of the batteries and they must be refilled at least monthly. If you're charging the chassis battery with the inverter, I'd watch it too. I connected a small BatteryMinder true float charger to my chassis battery and it never needs water. My 4 coach 6v golf cart batteries take about 1/2 gallon of water every month. There are newer inverters available with true float capabilities. A true float type charger will completely stop charging when the battery is completely charged and wait till it needs a boost before turning back on. Ordinary battery chargers may have 3 stages but they never completely quit charging and boil the water out of the batteries they're attached to.


Don Ford
2004 Safari Trek 31SBD (F53/V10 20,500GVW)
'09 HHR 2LT Towed - BX1648 Baseplate
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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/11/19 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The batteries gas if the charging voltage is too high. If possible, add a temperature sensor on the battery bank and connect it to the existing Xantrex freedom.

BTW battery acid doesn't boil until 277 C. If it is that hot, you will have other fish to fry.


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.

Beaver Thunder

Washington

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Posted: 07/11/19 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Xantrex does have a temp sensor that has been installed correctly.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/11/19 11:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's great news! Now adjust the voltage set points for float down, if possible.

If you plan to boondock or want the best life span from the batteries add a modest solar charging system. Your batteries will thank you.


Beaver Thunder wrote:

The Xantrex does have a temp sensor that has been installed correctly.


Beaver Thunder

Washington

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Posted: 07/11/19 03:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

That's great news! Now adjust the voltage set points for float down, if possible.

If you plan to boondock or want the best life span from the batteries add a modest solar charging system. Your batteries will thank you.


Beaver Thunder wrote:

The Xantrex does have a temp sensor that has been installed correctly.


There's no adjustment in the inverter that I saw in the manual but there is in the magnum combiner, I have no idea what to set it at, any ideas? The coach does have a solar panel and best I can tell it charges but honestly haven't played with it yet (I store under a carport). Thanks for your help.

wa8yxm

Wherever I happen to park

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Posted: 07/11/19 05:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Xantrex Freedom is a programmable charger If it is set properly (The default should be proper for your batteries) it will do a very good job.

Monthly addition of water (Depends on how much) is Well you should check em monthly but Mine went 4 years before I needed to add. Progressive Dynamics 9180+ wizard.

But if you only need to add a cup or you are in about the same use rate.


Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377


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