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Old 08-02-2018, 10:44 PM   #21
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Equalizing the batteries is primary for stationary batteries. The theory is the acid stratifies and sinks to the bottom and the water floats on the top of the acid. Overcharging the batteries dissociates the water forming oxygen and hydrogen gas which stirs up the mixture. Then there is a lead sulfate problem. A fully charged battery contains pure lead (anode) and lead dioxide (cathode). As the battery discharges the lead sulfate forms in an amorphous compound on the plates and the reaction is easily reversed. If any battery sits long in a discharges state, the amorphous lead sulfate will crystallize and become hard to recharge. Many claims have been made that equalization breaks up sulfate crystals but that has not been proved scientifically.



Driving a coach regularly stirs the electrolytes quite well, equalization is not necessary. If you dry camp for long periods in one place, or store your coach for long periods the equalization will help revive your batteries, or you could just drive 60 mph on I-57 in Illinois, I-10 in Louisiana or I-65 in Indiana. If you choose to equalize you will loose significant distilled water and it should be replaced immediately. If any part of the battery's plates are exposed to the air. the battery will suffer major irreparable damage.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:01 PM   #22
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THOR #7035
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Equalizing the batteries is primary for stationary batteries. The theory is the acid stratifies and sinks to the bottom and the water floats on the top of the acid. Overcharging the batteries dissociates the water forming oxygen and hydrogen gas which stirs up the mixture. Then there is a lead sulfate problem. A fully charged battery contains pure lead (anode) and lead dioxide (cathode). As the battery discharges the lead sulfate forms in an amorphous compound on the plates and the reaction is easily reversed. If any battery sits long in a discharges state, the amorphous lead sulfate will crystallize and become hard to recharge. Many claims have been made that equalization breaks up sulfate crystals but that has not been proved scientifically.



Driving a coach regularly stirs the electrolytes quite well, equalization is not necessary. If you dry camp for long periods in one place, or store your coach for long periods the equalization will help revive your batteries, or you could just drive 60 mph on I-57 in Illinois, I-10 in Louisiana or I-65 in Indiana. If you choose to equalize you will loose significant distilled water and it should be replaced immediately. If any part of the battery's plates are exposed to the air. the battery will suffer major irreparable damage.
Submarines drive through and on top of the ocean but they still equalize their batteries once a quarter.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:11 PM   #23
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Submarines don't have to deal with frost-heaves, and potholes...

But since the Government owns and operates them: they might as well do it!
(After all: that's our money!)
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:12 PM   #24
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Perhaps that is because sailing under the water there are few bumps (hopefully) to stir things up. Maybe a few emergency dives and emergency blows could be substituted for equalization.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:15 PM   #25
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Perhaps that is because sailing under the water there are few bumps (hopefully) to stir things up. Maybe a few emergency dives and emergency blows could be substituted for equalization.
But that's my point; despite all the rocking and rolling they still equalize quarterly. It's more to drive the sulfates from the plates than it is to agitate the electrolyte. In fact, as I recall they may have an electrolyte agitation system installed on each cell. Realize each cell is bigger than a person.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:35 PM   #26
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yeah
bigger than a person. Big, expensive, and critical.
Ours are cheap little marine hybrid batteries...or a step up if you have true deep cycles
but yeah, a dollar is a dollar so take care of your stuff....I agree.

My read on the whole desulfication and equalize thing...and the advice that driving does it enough vs the navy doing it...
It's probably good practice, and probably does help
but for our purposes the resulting difference or advantages of doing it are probably slight. Maybe slight enough to be considered "negligible".
I recon there are enough other variables also affecting the state of our cheap little marine hybrid batteries that it's all just not worth the trouble...
again, just my read on it...intuition

I've killed and replaced more batteries than I care to admit, on boats and campers.. i'm a slow learner...but I did eventually learn at least enough to make my batteries last...
1) learn about self discharge rates of these lead acid batteries (they loose a little bit of charge over time... even without anything connected)
2) leaving things connected will draw them down faster.... residual loads, small loads such as the clock on the radio....
3) understand that they don't like to be discharged too deeply. general rule of thumb commonly said to be 50%...meaning don't take it down to half charge. Keeping them at 100% charge or nearly so all the time is I suppose best, but the manufacturer specs I've read indicate they can acceptably be drawn down lower than that... with the real deep cycle golf cart type batteries I think down to something like 20% to 30% (I've forgotten the exact number I read in my golf card battery user manual). that said, I suppose 50% is a decent number to keep in mind.
4) any time the battery is brought below that level it is harmed. even just It will never again hold as much charge as it did before. (again the level isn't like a switch or a magic line..it's more like the lower you take it the more harm is done.) Take them to zero once or twice, they may not take a charge at all.

So I think the best things you can do within reason is to keep the batteries charged.... and disconnect them when in storage...and top up the charge every few months if stored a long time...and of course keep the water topped off...
The other stuff, yeah probably some benefit, but is it worth the worry?
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:31 PM   #27
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THOR #11130
In "battery school" years ago with Amoco, a trainer explained it to us like this..."a fully charged battery has the acid totally in the solution...as the battery starts to discharge the acid separates from the solution and adheres to the plates...if let sit too long in this state, the acid will start to deteriorate the plates and cause irreparable damage".
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:18 PM   #28
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Even AGM batteries?
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:15 AM   #29
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Old days...lead acid.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:56 PM   #30
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Lots of battery misinformation here.....

Equalizing charges do a lot to maintain batteries in good condition. Equalizer charges are performed to drive the sulfates from the plates. Over time, as you use the battery, the sulfates fail to absorb back into the acid with normal charging procedures. The sulfates build up on the lead plates reducing the specific gravity of the solution and the reserve capacity of the battery. Most of the high end chargers take very good of the batteries.

If you want them to last - then do not discharge to more than 50% life (~11,9VDC), maintain water levels (distilled water) after charge or monthly, check specific gravity and perform equailizer charge when necessary.

There is a lot of information on the net if you care to read about it.

I am one of those "Sub" guys... EM1(ss) and looked after batteries for more than 10 yrs on them

FWIW
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:36 AM   #31
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THOR #7188
Battery watering with Flow-Rite

My Thor Vegas has the coach batteries under the entrance steps and could be filled with a ketchup bottle or the like, ALWAYS with distilled water. But the engine battery is so buried that it is impossible to fill. So I installed the Flow-Rite system on the engine battery. Besides the fill kit, you will need their proprietary hose with pump bulb. Also get a substantial gallon jug, fill it with distilled water and you are set. This worked so well, that I went all in and installed a fill kit on the coach batteries too. Now that it is convenient to water the batteries, I do it after every trip, and as often as necessary.
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