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Old 06-26-2020, 02:50 AM   #1
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Question Replacing House Batteries

Hi!

We have a 2017 Windsport 34 J, and we've noticed that the house batteries are consistently draining so quickly that we often have difficulty sustaining enough power to release the automated jacks before the "Low Voltage" error code comes up. We are going to apply a couple of tests we found in previous threads and hope that they work. In the event that they do not, we are also considering replacing the house batteries altogether and considering our options, including going with the Lithium ion.

1) Has anyone had similar issues with maintaining charge on their house batteries (we have a 50 amp plug at home, so we're connected to shore power...thinking this should do the trick but it's not)

2) Has anyone converted to the Lithium Ion batteries? If so, tell me about the installation process and your experiences-- is it worth the investment?

Many thanks!
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Old 06-26-2020, 03:37 AM   #2
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How often do you check the water level in the batteries?
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Old 06-26-2020, 05:47 AM   #3
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Just changed out our house batteries-standard 6volt wired in series. $185 each x4 from General RV (the originals have been weak from the date of purchase and I am negotiating a refund).
GVP
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lt Keefer View Post
How often do you check the water level in the batteries?
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by HunterLa View Post
Hi!

We have a 2017 Windsport 34 J, and we've noticed that the house batteries are consistently draining so quickly that we often have difficulty sustaining enough power to release the automated jacks before the "Low Voltage" error code comes up. We are going to apply a couple of tests we found in previous threads and hope that they work. In the event that they do not, we are also considering replacing the house batteries altogether and considering our options, including going with the Lithium ion.

1) Has anyone had similar issues with maintaining charge on their house batteries (we have a 50 amp plug at home, so we're connected to shore power...thinking this should do the trick but it's not)

2) Has anyone converted to the Lithium Ion batteries? If so, tell me about the installation process and your experiences-- is it worth the investment?

Many thanks!
You do have the engine running and the emergency brake set when using the leveling system don't you?
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:05 PM   #6
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I just replaced my two 12 volt rv marine coach house batteries. One was bad and the other was on the verge of dying. They came on my 2018 Thor Siesta 24SS. The production date on each battery was July 2017. I figured I got my money's worth. Pep Boys had a sale on the rv marine batteries with 20% off each battery. I took several pictures on how they were wired before taking them out to be sure I wired them back up correctly. Not much room in the box that holds them.

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Old 06-26-2020, 01:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lt Keefer View Post
How often do you check the water level in the batteries?
Yeah... tbh, we were not doing that. We were newbies to all of this, and although we kept hearing about "topping off the battery levels", we couldn't figure out where the fill holes for the water are on the batteries that they installed...they look completely sealed. If we can figure out where the fill holes are, do you think it will help? Or should we just change them out and hope for the best?

The other problem we have is the people at THOR painted the entire top of each battery with red paint instead of marking just the positive leads...my husband is going to have to figure out the wiring if we do replace.
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by paulwadley View Post
I just replaced my two 12 volt rv marine coach house batteries. One was bad and the other was on the verge of dying. They came on my 2018 Thor Siesta 24SS. The production date on each battery was July 2017. I figured I got my money's worth. Pep Boys had a sale on the rv marine batteries with 20% off each battery. I took several pictures on how they were wired before taking them out to be sure I wired them back up correctly. Not much room in the box that holds them.

Paul
Iím in your camp on house batteries
Based on my needs, itís easiest to replace with two 12v flooded RV marine, use for 3 years and replace again.

I chose Costco Interstate as my replacements, they fit in battery box under the steps, and with my Solar set-up I rarely need to run generator or chassis engine specifically to charge house batteries when boondocking
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:55 PM   #9
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In addition to replacing your batteries you may want to consider getting a battery monitor like the Victron BMV 712. You can then pull up the app on your phone and see exactly how much amperage you are drawing and it gives an estimate of how many hrs/days your batteries will last with the current draw.
https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Energ...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
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Old 06-26-2020, 03:26 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=rcharrette;240289]In addition to replacing your batteries you may want to consider getting a battery monitor like the Victron BMV 712. You can then pull up the app on your phone and see exactly how much amperage you are drawing and it gives an estimate of how many hrs/days your batteries will last with the current draw.

Thank you! I will look into that.
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Old 06-26-2020, 04:10 PM   #11
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If plugged in to shore power & batteries not charging it sounds like the battery disconnect in set to "store" the batteries will not charge in this setting, turn it to "use" then give it a day or two, once fully charged then check the water levels.
To check the water levels you may need a flat screwdriver to pry the caps off, some simply need a quarter turn then lift off, then use a flashlight to see into each cell & top off with distilled water only.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:26 PM   #12
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Or a converter going bad mine was putting out 11.5 instead of the 13 plus Chhanged the converter today all good
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:35 PM   #13
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Battery r&r

As to the question of cost. I just replaced my 2 original 12V batteries after approximately 5 yrs. I went with flooded lead acid. I asked about AGM cost and longevity; AGM was double the cost and was told didn't last very much longer.
Don't have any info on lithium batteries, but would guess they are even more pricey.
BTW, my thoughts on lead acid batteries:
1. Procure a battery fill system and top off batteries ever 3-4 months
2. Come in from trip, plug in long enough to clean and unload, then put into "store" mode.
3. Plug in and put in use mode to prep for leaving.
4. Don't leave plugged in and in "use" mode for long periods of time.

Also, I dressed an cleaned the nest of cables and harnesses that Thor left in the battery compartment.. What a mess.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:01 PM   #14
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L A is the cheapest way to go but I sure love my AGM's. No hassles.

Lots of other advantages to AGM over L A that IMO make it worth it for me.

Granted some may not see a longer life (or perhap 6 mo longer?) yet others may get 2 years longer.... but Im fine with that either way.

Plus when I purchased mine from Battery Outlet (or was it Battery plus?) I asked for a discount and they gave me about 12% off of my TWO AGM 6 volt Full Rivers.

Advantages of AGM:

1. They are spill-proof
Unlike the traditional lead-acid batteries that freely flood their electrodes, AGM batteries have glass mats that prevent this. Additionally, it is the function of these glass mats to avoid spillage. Rather than absorbing the electrolyte, the glass mats work by holding the electrolyte in place, preventing it from spilling over, even when the battery is placed in odd positions.

2. They have a high-power output.
Because of the way that they are designed, the AGM batteries have minimal internal resistance. This, therefore, enables them to provide sufficient bursts of power when necessary, such as when one needs to start a battery. Due to this feature, these batteries respond better to loading than any other battery on the market.

3. They have a short charging time.
AGM batteries, compared to flooded batteries, charge quickly. When compared to flooded batteries of a similar capacity, the charging rate can reach five times faster with the same power source.

4. They have a longer lifespan
AGM batteries have a longer lifespan than traditional flooded batteries. Moreover, not only do they serve for a more extended period when they perform the same tasks, but they also last longer when they are not in active use. This is because self-discharging is minimized in these batteries, unlike other types of batteries, which is a huge problem. This ensures that one does not have to keep charging them after an extended period of inactivity.

5. They are durable.
These AGM batteries were originally designed to serve the aircraft industry. This means that they have a sturdy design, one that can handle conditions of intense vibrations, just like those in military and commercial aircraft. Because of this property, they are a favorite for high-end motorcycle riders and race car drivers. The sandwich construction method adopted in their design ensures that their internal components do not fall apart. Moreover, they are invulnerable to the subsequent wear and tear that may result from frequent and continuous vibrations. Furthermore, they can withstand extreme temperature variations.

6. They are unlikely to build up sulfation
Sulfation is the property of lead-acid batteries, where there is a gradual accumulation of lead sulfate crystals in the cells. In most cases, it is the cause of failure in lead-acid batteries. Sulfation mostly occurs when the battery is not fully charged, and thus the crystals continuously build up on the plates. When this process goes out of hand, it prevents the efficient conversion of chemical to electrical energy. Therefore, for other types of lead-acid batteries, it is essential to charge them every six months to prevent sulfation. However, in AGM batteries, sulfation is significantly reduced. Therefore, they can be stored for extended periods without needing a recharge.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:04 PM   #15
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Lithiums will cost you big buck but last you around 10 years. So unless your boon docking a lot and use your RV like 4 + mo a year IMO they are NOT worth it.

Im just a weekend user with maybe 1 or 2 weeks straight once a year.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
L A is the cheapest way to go but I sure love my AGM's. No hassles.

Lots of other advantages to AGM over L A that IMO make it worth it for me.

Granted some may not see a longer life (or perhap 6 mo longer?) yet others may get 2 years longer.... but Im fine with that either way.

Plus when I purchased mine from Battery Outlet (or was it Battery plus?) I asked for a discount and they gave me about 12% off of my TWO AGM 6 volt Full Rivers.

Advantages of AGM:

1. They are spill-proof
Unlike the traditional lead-acid batteries that freely flood their electrodes, AGM batteries have glass mats that prevent this. Additionally, it is the function of these glass mats to avoid spillage. Rather than absorbing the electrolyte, the glass mats work by holding the electrolyte in place, preventing it from spilling over, even when the battery is placed in odd positions.

2. They have a high-power output.
Because of the way that they are designed, the AGM batteries have minimal internal resistance. This, therefore, enables them to provide sufficient bursts of power when necessary, such as when one needs to start a battery. Due to this feature, these batteries respond better to loading than any other battery on the market.

3. They have a short charging time.
AGM batteries, compared to flooded batteries, charge quickly. When compared to flooded batteries of a similar capacity, the charging rate can reach five times faster with the same power source.

4. They have a longer lifespan
AGM batteries have a longer lifespan than traditional flooded batteries. Moreover, not only do they serve for a more extended period when they perform the same tasks, but they also last longer when they are not in active use. This is because self-discharging is minimized in these batteries, unlike other types of batteries, which is a huge problem. This ensures that one does not have to keep charging them after an extended period of inactivity.

5. They are durable.
These AGM batteries were originally designed to serve the aircraft industry. This means that they have a sturdy design, one that can handle conditions of intense vibrations, just like those in military and commercial aircraft. Because of this property, they are a favorite for high-end motorcycle riders and race car drivers. The sandwich construction method adopted in their design ensures that their internal components do not fall apart. Moreover, they are invulnerable to the subsequent wear and tear that may result from frequent and continuous vibrations. Furthermore, they can withstand extreme temperature variations.

6. They are unlikely to build up sulfation
Sulfation is the property of lead-acid batteries, where there is a gradual accumulation of lead sulfate crystals in the cells. In most cases, it is the cause of failure in lead-acid batteries. Sulfation mostly occurs when the battery is not fully charged, and thus the crystals continuously build up on the plates. When this process goes out of hand, it prevents the efficient conversion of chemical to electrical energy. Therefore, for other types of lead-acid batteries, it is essential to charge them every six months to prevent sulfation. However, in AGM batteries, sulfation is significantly reduced. Therefore, they can be stored for extended periods without needing a recharge.
Thank you for the information! So, just to make sure I am not confused-- if we went AGM, we would need 4- 6v instead of the 2-12v batteries-- correct? Do 4 AGM's take up the same space as 2-12v? If not, I am not sure we have the space for that in the space they've allotted us (there's a tray in the cabinet to hold the batteries in place of the Windsport).
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by HunterLa View Post
Thank you for the information! So, just to make sure I am not confused-- if we went AGM, we would need 4- 6v instead of the 2-12v batteries-- correct? Do 4 AGM's take up the same space as 2-12v? If not, I am not sure we have the space for that in the space they've allotted us (there's a tray in the cabinet to hold the batteries in place of the Windsport).
They make 12 volt AGM batteries, you don't need to switch to 6 volt.

Have you had your batteries tested to know if they are bad or not?
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:56 AM   #18
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Exactly, They have 12 Volt as well but the 6 volts are more HD I was able to fit two of them under my steps just fine (Very tight fit but no mods needed). After doing my research on 6 volts I decided that was the way to go for me.
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:52 PM   #19
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Have the Hurricane 31s, same as Windsport - Had the same problem. There is an issue with the draining of the batteries even in the STORE state. I chance the batteries 3 times in 3 years. I figured out that the converter was not putting out enough voltage 12.4vdc. It should have been enough to maintain the batteries but wasn’t. So after quelling my frustrations I added a second inverter (Powermax 110 Volt to 12 Volt DC Power Supply Converter Charger for Rv) Pm3-55 (55 Amp) amazon $123.00 ) under the sink next to the water pump. I tapped constant power from the (Shore power hot) power plug and them #8 cables to the batteries. And got 13.1 to 13.7vdc charging as needed. Floating voltage is now 13.1vdc all the time instead of 12.1vdc – 12.4vdc or less. Fixed the problem.. I think the problem is the installed converter is nit truly 55A and it is too far from the batteries. There is a drain I can’t find. (too much time to find) Disclaimer - I do have shore power connected all the time. I keep my Hurricane next to my house. Good luck. Tom
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:03 PM   #20
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Biggest thing is how you will use them, we fulltime and are going to be boondocking almost exclusively in a few months so we are biting the bullet on lithium, if you are a summer wekender good rv/marine battery might be fine. But if you can swing it do the AGMs for reasons stated.
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