Battery Maintenance

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Battery Maintenance

Postby IndyTom » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:35 pm

Ok I am trying to decide where to put my batteries and I got to thinking about doing maintenance. With normal moderate use (draining less than half way between charges etc.) do I need to check my batteries? If is every day, then I'll have need to change my plan. If it is once a week, or before every weekend trip, then that is ok, I will leave them where I am planning.
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby noseoil » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:38 am

About as often as you would a car battery, if it's a flooded lead-acid type. I went with the AGM type, since the location I chose makes it a bit more difficult to check on the build.

Access to the battery is a key factor in maintaining the battery to have it last as long as it should & function properly. The harder it is to check, the more likely it will be to fail when you need it most due to simple maintenance issues (cables, fluid levels).
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby Dale M. » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:10 am

With new batteries there is not much maintenance other than keeping it at proper charge through winter months or long time with not use, a battery maintainer (smart trickle charger) will do the chores, main thing would to take a peek at would be to see that there is no corrosion build up on terminals... Other than that they are pretty much install and just use them...

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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby tony.latham » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:44 am

I think you need to also consider your winter maintenance plans. This would be a good time to figure out if you are going to pull it in the winter and keep an eye on it or charge it in place with a maintainer.

My battery stays in my tongue box in the winter with a 20 watt solar panel keeping it a live. When it snows, I brush it clean. Once a week I check the voltage to make sure the system is keeping it alive.

You're a planner, that's a good thing.

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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby IndyTom » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:12 pm

Thanks for the replies. Yes, I am planning to buy flooded deep cycle batteries, because of cost, and I am seriously considering buying golf cart batteries. The space I am considering is in the cabin, under the bed. I know the space needs to be sealed from the rest of the cabin, and I plan to vent the box through the galley. It sounds like the maintenance schedule is pretty minimal so I am good with going under the bed once a trip or so to check on things.
Thanks everyone.
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby tony.latham » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:47 pm

so I am good with going under the bed once a trip or so


Just wire in a voltage meter and eyeball it after your battery has been at rest for a half hour or so:

https://www.amazon.com/ZJchao-zjchao030 ... B00JUI7VW8

(Just one example)

They pull so little amperage that it won't draw your battery down.

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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby bdosborn » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:33 pm

I check mine quarterly when the trailer is in storage, monthly if I'm camping a lot.

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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:37 pm

The one thing you need to check above and beyond state of charge in a conventional Lead Acid is water level, mine is AGM so not an issue but it is something you need to do and add distilled water.
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby IndyTom » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:02 pm

Shadow Catcher wrote:The one thing you need to check above and beyond state of charge in a conventional Lead Acid is water level, mine is AGM so not an issue but it is something you need to do and add distilled water.

That was actually the question I was trying to ask originally. I am planning to have a volt meter to get a rough idea of state of charge, but was wondering how often I would need to check the water. I think I have a good idea of that now.
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby lfhoward » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:33 am

I also would like to know, so subscribing to the thread...
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby Graniterich » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:41 am

tony.latham wrote:
so I am good with going under the bed once a trip or so


Just wire in a voltage meter and eyeball it after your battery has been at rest for a half hour or so:

https://www.amazon.com/ZJchao-zjchao030 ... B00JUI7VW8

(Just one example)

They pull so little amperage that it won't draw your battery down.

Tony

My experience was that these due drain down, best to install a switch.
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby tony.latham » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:53 am

Graniterich wrote:
tony.latham wrote:
so I am good with going under the bed once a trip or so


Just wire in a voltage meter and eyeball it after your battery has been at rest for a half hour or so:

https://www.amazon.com/ZJchao-zjchao030 ... B00JUI7VW8

(Just one example)

They pull so little amperage that it won't draw your battery down.

Tony

My experience was that these due drain down, best to install a switch.


I use one of these GT Power meters: https://www.amazon.com/GT-Power-Analyze ... tery+meter

Those devices are great, BTW.

It measures down to .001 of an amperage and will give you a readout of how much power you consume during a trip (amp hours). I can't measure an amperage difference between when it's off or on if I pull the fuse. I believe the drain on a marine battery from these LCD devices (and their LED lights) is inconsequential. But if in doubt, wire a switch.

I can't imagine not having the capabilities of monitoring resting voltage.

Tony
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby bdosborn » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:07 pm

bdosborn wrote:I check mine quarterly when the trailer is in storage, monthly if I'm camping a lot.

Bruce



I should have clarified, this is how often I check the water in my DEKA GC batteries. I have a Progressive Dynamics charger and it does a great job of maintaining the batteries without excessive water loss. I check it more often when camping as charging is when the batteries lose the most water.

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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby IndyTom » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:06 am

Bruce,
I understood what you were saying. I was planning to go with a WFCO converter, and just check the batteries fairly often when charging.
Thanks again for all the input.

Tom
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Re: Battery Maintenance

Postby bdosborn » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:47 am

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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