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Old 10-25-2021, 03:00 PM   #1
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Help with Batteries

Hello,
I'm trying to identify if the batteries in my coach are shot or not.
They are the original batteries that came with the coach - 2 x 27Ds - and are ~ 1 1/2 year old.
As this is my first MH, I did deplete them 100% a couple of times by mistake...

Here is a load test I did to have an idea:
W/o load the voltage was 13.6V (after 1 week on shore power) with shore power connected.
I turned off shore power then I turned the furnace, all the lights and 3 TVs on and the voltage dropped to 11.5V.
I waited 5 minutes and the voltage was steady 11.5V.
AS far as I know, 11.5V is a discharged battery...

Is this normal or my batteries are shot?

Also, in ~ one year of ownership I saw 14.4V (Bulk charge) only twice... Is this normal or another indication the batteries are shot?
I ask this because the MH is at home, connected to shore for one week and the voltage is kept at 13.6V (bulk?)

If these batteries are shot, I'm thinking on buying 3 x VMAX XTR27-110...
Any feedback on these batteries or recommendations on good batteries?

I'd like to have 3 x group 31s but Thor welded the battery trays and they can't hold anything bigger than group 31s...

Lithium is out of question.

Thank you very much for any input!

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Old 10-25-2021, 03:47 PM   #2
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Model: Aria 3401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACarvalho View Post
Hello,
I'm trying to identify if the batteries in my coach are shot or not.
They are the original batteries that came with the coach - 2 x 27Ds - and are ~ 1 1/2 year old.
As this is my first MH, I did deplete them 100% a couple of times by mistake...

Here is a load test I did to have an idea:
W/o load the voltage was 13.6V (after 1 week on shore power) with shore power connected.
I turned off shore power then I turned the furnace, all the lights and 3 TVs on and the voltage dropped to 11.5V.
I waited 5 minutes and the voltage was steady 11.5V.
AS far as I know, 11.5V is a discharged battery...

Is this normal or my batteries are shot?



Also, in ~ one year of ownership I saw 14.4V (Bulk charge) only twice... Is this normal or another indication the batteries are shot?
I ask this because the MH is at home, connected to shore for one week and the voltage is kept at 13.6V (bulk?)

If these batteries are shot, I'm thinking on buying 3 x VMAX XTR27-110...
Any feedback on these batteries or recommendations on good batteries?

I'd like to have 3 x group 31s but Thor welded the battery trays and they can't hold anything bigger than group 31s...

Lithium is out of question.

Thank you very much for any input!
Have you kept the water level in the batteries at the required level? If not you might have cooked them.
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMCSW View Post
Have you kept the water level in the batteries at the required level? If not you might have cooked them.
Yes, the water is/have being kept at level.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACarvalho View Post
Hello,
I'm trying to identify if the batteries in my coach are shot or not.
They are the original batteries that came with the coach - 2 x 27Ds - and are ~ 1 1/2 year old.
As this is my first MH, I did deplete them 100% a couple of times by mistake...

Here is a load test I did to have an idea:
W/o load the voltage was 13.6V (after 1 week on shore power) with shore power connected.
I turned off shore power then I turned the furnace, all the lights and 3 TVs on and the voltage dropped to 11.5V.
I waited 5 minutes and the voltage was steady 11.5V.
AS far as I know, 11.5V is a discharged battery...

Is this normal or my batteries are shot?

Also, in ~ one year of ownership I saw 14.4V (Bulk charge) only twice... Is this normal or another indication the batteries are shot?
I ask this because the MH is at home, connected to shore for one week and the voltage is kept at 13.6V (bulk?)

If these batteries are shot, I'm thinking on buying 3 x VMAX XTR27-110...
Any feedback on these batteries or recommendations on good batteries?

I'd like to have 3 x group 31s but Thor welded the battery trays and they can't hold anything bigger than group 31s...

Lithium is out of question.

Thank you very much for any input!
Generally anytime lead acid batteries are left discharged for any length of time they will not recover. Even discharging to below 11.6 volts for several times will seriously degrade their useful life. If you are buying lead acid batteries, the weight determines the batteries capability in amp-hrs. For house batteries, you need deep cycle or marine batteries because you want a battery that can deliver a steady voltage at a low current flow without decreasing the battery's life.

Battery choice is dependent on use, personal preference and maintenance. I prefer low maintenance or no maintenance batteries to conventional flooded batteries. Remember not all no maintenance batteries are AGM and there are many VRLA flooded batteries and many low maintenance batteries (lead alloyed with calcium instead of antimony). If you do not dry camp for long periods or store the coach for long periods, flooded batteries will work fine if you keep them watered and don't discharge them below 12.1 volts resting.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
Generally anytime lead acid batteries are left discharged for any length of time they will not recover. Even discharging to below 11.6 volts for several times will seriously degrade their useful life. If you are buying lead acid batteries, the weight determines the batteries capability in amp-hrs. For house batteries, you need deep cycle or marine batteries because you want a battery that can deliver a steady voltage at a low current flow without decreasing the battery's life.

Battery choice is dependent on use, personal preference and maintenance. I prefer low maintenance or no maintenance batteries to conventional flooded batteries. Remember not all no maintenance batteries are AGM and there are many VRLA flooded batteries and many low maintenance batteries (lead alloyed with calcium instead of antimony). If you do not dry camp for long periods or store the coach for long periods, flooded batteries will work fine if you keep them watered and don't discharge them below 12.1 volts resting.
Good info, Tks.
The VMAX I mention above are deep cycle AGMs.
What battery brand/type are you using?
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:41 PM   #6
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For the house batteries be sure they are deep cycle & not hybrid cranking batteries. If there's CCA, CA or MCA (cranking amps) listed on the tops they are the hybrids best for starting motors not a good choice for constant charge/discharge cycles in a RV.
For the chassis battery you want the highest number of CCAs as possible.
If you were testing battery voltage while on shore power with the batteries connected you were reading the converter output not battery voltage. Disconnect the batteries, wait about an hour then test them to find actual battery voltages or remove & take to your local auto supply store & have them load tested.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:48 PM   #7
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I like to use a Battery Hydrometer to test my Flooded Lead Acid batteries.
Generally itís just one or two bad cells.
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:17 PM   #8
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When you loaded the batteries with the furnace, lights, etc and the voltage dropped from 13.6 to 11.5 that doesn't mean that the batteries were instantly discharged. It does mean that drop to 11.5 volts is too much for the roughly 10 amp load you had on them. So they are probably shot.

AGMs are a good solution and if you can fit three G31 AGMs in your battery compartment that would be great. I put two G31 AGMs in my Axis under the steps compartment.

Don't know for sure but I think that there is little or no difference between a starting AGM battery and a deep cycle one.

David
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelin' Texans View Post
For the house batteries be sure they are deep cycle & not hybrid cranking batteries. If there's CCA, CA or MCA (cranking amps) listed on the tops they are the hybrids best for starting motors not a good choice for constant charge/discharge cycles in a RV.
For the chassis battery you want the highest number of CCAs as possible.
If you were testing battery voltage while on shore power with the batteries connected you were reading the converter output not battery voltage. Disconnect the batteries, wait about an hour then test them to find actual battery voltages or remove & take to your local auto supply store & have them load tested.
Any brands/models of non Hybrid AGMs you know that are good?
I disconnected shorepower before I run the test...
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
AGMs are a good solution and if you can fit three G31 AGMs in your battery compartment that would be great. I put two G31 AGMs in my Axis under the steps compartment.
David
Yes, 3 x 31s was my fist thought but unfortunately Thor welded the battery trays and their dimension can only accommodate 27s...
The Vmax I listed are 110 Ah tough but I'm not sure they are Hybrid or not.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RACarvalho View Post
Good info, Tks.
The VMAX I mention above are deep cycle AGMs.
What battery brand/type are you using?
<https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Lead-Acid-Marine-RV-Deep-Cycle-Battery-Group-Size-29DC-12V-845-MCA/20531543>
For all the naysayers, quote: Battery is maintenance free under normal operating conditions.
Mine are 3.5 years old and have never needed water.
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACarvalho View Post
Any brands/models of non Hybrid AGMs you know that are good?
I disconnected shorepower before I run the test...
No recommendations!
Always used FLA batteries cause I'm cheap! With periodic electrolytes added I was able to easily get 5+ years of service.
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:45 AM   #13
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Cheap skate here too. The dealer provided 12v deep cycle battery that came with our new coach was evidently abused like a red-headed step child. Most are.

I modified my class C step to accommodate two GC2 6volt flooded batteries $89 each from Sam's Club.

Simple fix...

As suggested above, get a battery hydrometer. Test the cells in your current battery... forget the load test. If ANY cell is bad, the battery is toast.

Step two: Replace the battery with what you feel comfortable $$$.

Step three: Invest in a minimal solar setup to prevent a repeat of this scenario.

If you use ANY lead-acid battery, you MUST keep up on the charge cycle. Discharged below 12volts even a few times will RUIN a deep cycle battery. You can get a 170watt Rich Solar panel for $180. I consider that - even with a cheap PWM controller - a wise investment for battery maintenance.

You'll notice many motorhomes now come with at least one panel on the roof. That's all you need... unless you heavily boon-dock.
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Old 10-26-2021, 04:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
Cheap skate here too. The dealer provided 12v deep cycle battery that came with our new coach was evidently abused like a red-headed step child. Most are.

I modified my class C step to accommodate two GC2 6volt flooded batteries $89 each from Sam's Club.

Simple fix...

As suggested above, get a battery hydrometer. Test the cells in your current battery... forget the load test. If ANY cell is bad, the battery is toast.

Step two: Replace the battery with what you feel comfortable $$$.

Step three: Invest in a minimal solar setup to prevent a repeat of this scenario.

If you use ANY lead-acid battery, you MUST keep up on the charge cycle. Discharged below 12volts even a few times will RUIN a deep cycle battery. You can get a 170watt Rich Solar panel for $180. I consider that - even with a cheap PWM controller - a wise investment for battery maintenance.

You'll notice many motorhomes now come with at least one panel on the roof. That's all you need... unless you heavily boon-dock.
Tks,
We never boondock, except the regular Walmart overnight between destinations were we usually turn on the generator for AC...
I did make the mistake to spend money in solar and installed a 100W solar panel ( coach came prepared for that) with the illusion it would keep the batteries in shape....
Yesterday it was cloudy and the solar panel was pumping an amazing 0.3A into the batteries and when we have full sun the max I got was 4 amps for a few seconds so for my use/location, it is worthless.
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Old 10-26-2021, 05:08 PM   #15
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I have 200 watts of solar on the RV roof. In Ohio, the sun currently is at an extreme angle from the south - not even close to being directly overhead. Even so, I'm getting almost 5 amps into the batteries. With fairly heavy overcast I still get around a constant 2 amps... PLENTY to keep the batteries "healthy".

I did not install solar as a replacement for traditional battery charging (Shore power, generator, coach's alternator). It is merely a supplemental charging source when NO DRAIN (other than normal self-discharge) is placed on the batteries.

Mainly it's a storage solution - providing PLENTY of amperage to keep the batteries fully charged/cycled when the RV is sitting idle, or in winter storage. The alternative was to run an extension cord to the RV and use a battery maintainer.

If you're only getting .3 amps from a 100 watt panel (in direct sun), I would suspect there is an issue with your solar installation. I would check cabling, etc., because the numbers don't add up.
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Old 10-26-2021, 05:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
I have 200 watts of solar on the RV roof. In Ohio, the sun currently is at an extreme angle from the south - not even close to being directly overhead. Even so, I'm getting almost 5 amps into the batteries. With fairly heavy overcast I still get around a constant 2 amps... PLENTY to keep the batteries "healthy".

I did not install solar as a replacement for traditional battery charging (Shore power, generator, coach's alternator). It is merely a supplemental charging source when NO DRAIN (other than normal self-discharge) is placed on the batteries.

Mainly it's a storage solution - providing PLENTY of amperage to keep the batteries fully charged/cycled when the RV is sitting idle, or in winter storage. The alternative was to run an extension cord to the RV and use a battery maintainer.

If you're only getting .3 amps from a 100 watt panel (in direct sun), I would suspect there is an issue with your solar installation. I would check cabling, etc., because the numbers don't add up.
So you paid for 200watts and you are getting 60watts ~ 30%
Your numbers match mine in percentage.
I park by my house and I do have an independent 20A battery charger/maintainer in the battery bay that I connect via cable to my house but my initial idea with solar was that during summer that 100W panel could keep the batteries in shape w/o me having to deal with the power cable...
It can't so that is where I'm coming from.
It is also useless for winter storage since I keep the MH under a cover during winter....
So, for my use, it is useless.
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Old 10-27-2021, 02:21 AM   #17
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In my (less than ideal) scenario, I would still get 2.5 amps from only one 100 watt panel... 30 watts @ 12 volts. You stated you were only getting .3 amps?

I modified my RV cover (a hole) to expose one of my solar panels for winter storage. Regardless of exact numbers, I haven't had to deal with a dead battery for over two years.

Maybe a battery maintainer would work better for you.
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Old 10-30-2021, 07:33 PM   #18
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The OE battery was dead within a year. I bought 2 Deep cycle from Walmart, they lasted 6 years, I just replaced them with the exact same thing. You could do 6v golf cart batteries also if you hook them up to produce 12v .
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Old 10-30-2021, 10:26 PM   #19
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I have had great luck with Odyssey over the years ... in cars, boats, and now the house batteries on the RV. They may seem expensive at first but I just replaced the backup Odysseey in my Jeep TJ couple of weeks ago and the date on it said 11-05 ... it had been in there for over 15 years and is still able to start the engine when I need it (smaller pc1200 model). I had another in my old S10 blazer that was in there for than 16 years as a backup battery and I sold it with the truck. I have a few others that are at least 5 years or more old ...

Now the problem is, I don't know if the newer ones are as good as the ones I have gotten over the years ... unfortunately only time will tell that ... but I was able to fit two 31-925S (was ~$330 each from autozone online) in my Vegas 24.1 last year. So far, they are working as expected.

I absolutely hate hate hate wet (not-sealed) batteries and will try my hardest to never own one again.
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Old 10-30-2021, 10:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACarvalho View Post
Hello,
I'm trying to identify if the batteries in my coach are shot or not.
They are the original batteries that came with the coach - 2 x 27Ds - and are ~ 1 1/2 year old.
As this is my first MH, I did deplete them 100% a couple of times by mistake...

Here is a load test I did to have an idea:
W/o load the voltage was 13.6V (after 1 week on shore power) with shore power connected.
I turned off shore power then I turned the furnace, all the lights and 3 TVs on and the voltage dropped to 11.5V.
I waited 5 minutes and the voltage was steady 11.5V.
AS far as I know, 11.5V is a discharged battery...

Is this normal or my batteries are shot?

Also, in ~ one year of ownership I saw 14.4V (Bulk charge) only twice... Is this normal or another indication the batteries are shot?
I ask this because the MH is at home, connected to shore for one week and the voltage is kept at 13.6V (bulk?)

If these batteries are shot, I'm thinking on buying 3 x VMAX XTR27-110...
Any feedback on these batteries or recommendations on good batteries?

I'd like to have 3 x group 31s but Thor welded the battery trays and they can't hold anything bigger than group 31s...

Lithium is out of question.

Thank you very much for any input!
Lithium is out because of cost or compatibility? How compatible in general are lithium to replace existing lead acid house batteries?
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