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Author Topic: Battery Woes  (Read 5157 times)
Kwajdiver
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« on: February 22, 2009, 08:45:09 AM »

What is the life span of "D" Battery's (bus battery) ?   Mine are two years old and seem to be dead.   I keep a trickle charge on them when not in use. The disconnect switch stays off when not in use.

On the connect side of the disconnect switch I see two cables.  One must go to the engine, where does the other go?

Thanks for the help.

Bill
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Auburndale, Florida
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 09:13:24 AM »

 Sad  the 8D that I keep the charger on is dead.  Measured 2.97 VDC across it (left battery).  The other battery measures 12.67 VDC.
Now the question, did I help kill it by keeping a charger on it?   I wouldn't think so.

Bill
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Sean
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 10:38:09 AM »

Bill,

It is possible that the charger killed it, if not the "smart" type.

Are these batteries sealed?  If not, check the electrolyte level, and add distilled water as necessary.  It's possible that so much fluid is depleted that the battery simply will not work.

Flooded lead-acid battery life span depends on many factors, including number of discharge/charge "cycles," charge rate, discharge depth, and electrolyte maintenance.  I have one FLA in my coach (the genny start battery) that is over 7 years old and still works like a champ.  OTOH, I've had FLA 8-D's that didn't last a year.

-Sean
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 10:49:13 AM »

 One of the reasons I converted from 8D to group 31's was 8's came with a one year warrenty and with 31's I could get up to a 7 year warrenty!!  I have no scientific or enginering reasons to justify that part of my decision, just there must be a reason for the one year warrenty.
 This were other reasons involved, but the warrenty played a part.   HTH   Jim
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009, 11:30:01 AM »

Bill, I have 2 8D's that or over 7 years old never been a problem it is like anything you buy in a battery there are good batteries and not so good and Costco and Sam's 8D's are not so good. Cat batteries (sealed) are hard to beat and my 8D's came with a 3 year free replacement but were about 55.00 more each than Sam's or Costco   good luck   


« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 11:36:02 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 11:46:53 AM »

... Costco and Sam's 8D's are not so good. Cat batteries (sealed) are hard to beat ...


Given the described symptoms, it is highly unlikely that brand choice is a primary factor in the failure.  Any battery will die if it is mistreated, and even cheap batteries can last a long time if well taken care of.

Note, also, that neither Costco, Sam's (Wal-Mart), nor even Caterpillar makes batteries.  These are all private-label from one of the big manufacturers.  We've discussed this extensively here before:
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=3291.msg29687#msg29687
(Note that Bill Darden's excellent web site, which I referenced in that post, has moved.  It can now be found at http://www.batteryfaq.org)

-Sean
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2009, 12:10:19 PM »

Hello,

to answer your question, on my MCI the one cable goes to the starter and the second one goes to the mid panel - HVAC system.

About the inbalance between the two batteries was a common problem on both of  my units. It seems the PO thought it wise to source 12 volts from just one battery (usually the top one - lazy PO) check it and buy a 24olt to 12volt transformer - or if you have the cash, buy a vanier equalizer.

Obviousy poor charging will ruin any well thought out system. Also, your system is really only as good as the weakest battery...

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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 12:26:02 PM »

Sean, I don't care who makes Cat batteries Johnson Control,Exide or any other manufacture. I have good luck with CAT batteries and they have a good warranty and never had luck with the cheaper 8d's from Costco or Sam's but hey I don't have luck with LifeLine AGMs     good luck
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2009, 01:46:04 PM »

Water levels are alway maintaned, and are at a normal level.  Looking at the date code, this battery is 2 years 3 months old.

The second cable that goes to the HAVC, if I don't have the coach air, that cable can be removed, it that correct?  I was wondering if it feed someother 24V panel.

Bill
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JackConrad
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2009, 02:22:54 PM »

The second cable that goes to the HAVC, if I don't have the coach air, that cable can be removed, it that correct?  I was wondering if it feed someother 24V panel.
Bill

Bill,
   I think from the HVAC panel, it goes to the front panel.  Jack
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2009, 02:35:43 PM »

 Bill if you disconnect any wire, do not chop it off right away. You nevver know what someone has done previously!!
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2009, 02:48:42 PM »

On an Mc5 it goes to the panel in the forward compartment. It looks to feed both the ac aswell as the heater fan and a number of smaller lugs. I would have to check my manual before I could know.

R
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2009, 03:01:11 PM »

Exercising a battery with normal everyday use will give better longevity than just keeping one at full charge and never using it.
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2009, 03:02:25 PM »

We had a problem with batteries giving it up.  We decided it was a combination of the trickle charger on all the time and the heat in the summer.  The sun blasted that side almost all day during the summer right on the battery door.  They kept loosing water like crazy in just a couple weeks.

We started running the charger once a month, shaded the bay door, and had a disconnect between the batteries and everything else.  Haven't had any problems since.

Don and Cary
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2009, 03:55:44 PM »

If I read some of the old threads, I can replace these 2 8D's with two group 31's?HuhHuh

How much to the 31's cost?

Bo;;
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