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

 > storage tips for keeping batteries in good shape ????

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brianseay

Bridgeport, Al USA

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Posted: 08/23/19 07:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have owned two motorhomes over the last 14 yrs. !st was a gasser, 2nd a diesel pusher. My questions are this,
1) do you keep it plugged up when not in use ? mine is garage kept at home and I always have left it plugged in. Are my batteries getting overcharged by doing this ?
2) what is the preferred method of storing one when not in use ?

3) does anyone have knowledge on the in motion satellite system ? I think mine has an lnb that has went out on it. Just wondering if I can buy a new lnb for it.
4) when storing one for long periods of time (months) and plugged up, do you keep the inverter on or off ?

I thought I knew how to do all of this, but apparently not. My batteries were dry as a bone but still held a 6.67 volt charge. I refilled the batteries with acid. Just wondering what I am doing wrong or right. Any info is greatly appreciated.


Brian & Neena Seay
1st time rv owners and loving it ( so far)
1997 32' Damon Challenger
2000 Mustang GT / 2005 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic
ROLL TIDE ROLL.......">
SCRC #217001 & #217002


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 08/23/19 09:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1 & 2 I do not keep the rv plugged in but I do have a solar system. Solar charge controllers are a lot more sophisticated than a converter. If you wish--get a timer and connect for only one hour per day. Battery life may be dramatically improved.

Never add acid to a battery. Only add distilled water.

There is no reason to leave the inverter on.


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.

garym114

Bluff Dale, Texas

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Posted: 08/23/19 10:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your batteries are dry because your charger is overcharging. They have to be on a battery maintainer or a three stage charger that provides a float charge.
You should go ahead and replace the batteries you added acid to.


2000 Sea Breeze F53 V10 - CR-V Toad
Some RV batteries live a long and useful life, some are murdered.
Get a Digital Multimeter and Learn How to Use It


CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 08/24/19 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1) Depends upon the charger, some charge correctly some don't.
2) A charger with maintenance mode or a maintenance only charger. Or fully charge then disconnect the batteries, I have a switch that completely disconnects the batteries, mfg switches usually leave some loads. Fully charge every month.
3) Google search for LNB's IF that is actually the problem. Do you have DTV or Dish?
4) Inverters convert DC to 120V AC, nothing to do with battery charging. If you mean charger/inverter combo then answered above.

Once the plates are exposed then that portion of the plates sulfates and you lose capacity which cannot be restored. Batteries could be weak or shot and voltage alone doesn't identify a weak battery. If weak but adequate for you then OK. BUT have them load tested so that you know. I'd go to a good battery shop and auto stores are not a good battery shop.

Adding acid changes the SP Specific Gravity and the battery will under preform. NEVER add acid.

I'll venture that there is a 99.9% change you need new batteries.


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob


CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 08/24/19 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Magnum charger has 5 charging stages. Float, bulk, absorb and off are automatic. Off occurs when batteries are fully charged and house loads are minimum for a period of time, when the voltage drops a little it recharges as necessary. Equalization is manually started.

The Magnum charging is superior to solar in that solar usually charges each day then turns off after a period of time. The Magnum is much more aware of battery charge state. The Magnum also has a battery temperature probe as does my Morningstar MPPT 60 solar controller.

I'd want a charger with a temperature probe to adjust the charging voltages as specified by battery manufactures. A temperature compensated battery maintainer is a good choice.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 08/24/19 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveller,

My solar controller is far more useful than the Magnum. For one reason. You don't have to plug it in.

full_mosey

Oklahoma

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Posted: 08/24/19 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveller;

Perhaps you are not using your Morningstar solar controller to its full capability.

I can assure you that I have programmed my SSMPPT15l to be smarter than your Magnum.

HTH;
John

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 08/24/19 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

CA Traveller,

My solar controller is far more useful than the Magnum. For one reason. You don't have to plug it in.
X2 But they don't work without sun.

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 08/24/19 10:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

full_mosey wrote:

CA Traveller;

Perhaps you are not using your Morningstar solar controller to its full capability.

I can assure you that I have programmed my SSMPPT15l to be smarter than your Magnum.

HTH;
John
Maybe I should check the manual after several years...

One aspect of the Magnum I like is that it detects battery charge vs house loads and changes amps but not voltage with house loads. Likely very hard for a solar controller to do this since the panel power is constantly changing.

full_mosey

Oklahoma

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Posted: 08/24/19 01:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:


Maybe I should check the manual after several years...

One aspect of the Magnum I like is that it detects battery charge vs house loads and changes amps but not voltage with house loads. Likely very hard for a solar controller to do this since the panel power is constantly changing.


Well, I believe that is not unique to Magnum. When your Magnum is regulating Voltage, it will increase/decrease Amps to maintain the set Voltage. It doesn't matter if it is the charge or float voltage. Timers are used to switch between charge, float, and standby. I believe this is how most decent chargers work. Does the Magnum adjust the times due to variances in draws?

I use the programming feature of my solar controller to automatically adjust these timings longer/shorter as needed. Each morning when the controller starts up, the overnight low Voltage is read and the length of time is set for charge(Absorption). If the Voltage is low enough then float is cancelled that day. This helps ensure that the charge cycle will catch up even if it takes more days.

I keep the solar connected year round.

P.S. Nice Alaska trip report. My bucket list includes spending the night inside the Arctic Circle on June 21st.

HTH;
John

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