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Old 12-21-2007, 11:46 AM   #1
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Battery Dilemma

My darling Sue was cleaning the TT before storage and accidently hit the wrong switch on the fridge. Since the doors were propped open, not only did she completely empty a bottle of propane, she killed the batteries dead. They were so dead, the meter did not register at all. I recharged them VERY slowly and so far they are holding charge fairly well in the basement. I know both batteries are damaged but how damaged are they. Should I go ahead and replace them now and use the old ones for my tractors or will they be okay for a season or two.

One more piece to the puzzle, next year's schedule has us dry-docking quite a bit in West Virginia and Maryland. Thanks.............Marshall
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Battery Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplesuebug
... I know both batteries are damaged ...
Marshall,

Why do you think both batteries are damaged?
I'm not a battery expert, but I would think that if they're just drained, you could recharge them and they would be ok.

Hutch
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:48 PM   #3
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I would charge them slow and get your self one of those battery testers. The cheaper kind uses a series of balls in an eyedroper an checks the specific gravity of the solution. Then there is the load tester which hooks up like a set of jumper cables and then you apply a load and read the condition of the battery. At least you would have some kind of idea. I would also keep them in the house and put a float charger( Harbor Frieght $8.00) on them during the winter
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:48 PM   #4
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I was under the impression if you went beyond that 80% threshold of a "deep cycle" you did damage to the battery that in return shortened the life and lessened the ability to hold charge. Maybe a one time ordeal does not hurt them as bad as I thought. I hope so as they are pretty expensive!!!! Marshall
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:03 PM   #5
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Marshall,

You may want to check out this web page:
http://www.batteryfaq.org/
It has some good information.

Check out myth 14.12, which states:
14.12. MYTH: Lead-acid batteries have memories.

False! Lead-acid batteries do not have the "memory effect" mistakenly identified with first generation Ni-Cad batteries; however, continuous undercharging will lower the capacity of the battery over time due to the accumulation of permanent lead-sulfate or "sulfation". Deep discharges below twenty percent State-of-Charge (approximately 12.0 volts) can damage batteries and will shorten their service lives.


My suggestion would be to recharge the batteries and see how they work next season. You can always do a usage check at home before your first camping trip to see if they're experiencing a shorter life.

Hope this helps.
Hutch
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:14 PM   #6
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Marshall

See if this helps any. To help prevent the draining over time, I turn the battery disconnect off when not camping. As if I do not the propane detector will drain the battery down by itself.

I'm assuming you have wet cell batteries. To your deep discharge, something you can do to help is to desulphate your battery. They sell battery minders that have this feature or some of the more higher end battery chargers. It boosts the voltage to 14 volts which burns off the sulfate that builds up from discharging.

And if you are going to dry camp and want to come as close to 100% full charge, this desulfating will help get you there. If you do not desulfate every so often, over time you will start loosing the ability to reach full charge.

There are a few brands of the battery minders out there with this desulfation feature. I did just get one of these.

http://www.vdcelectronics.com/camping.htm

I also have the $8.00 float charger from Harbor fright like nickster60 stated that I use on some of my other batteries.

Now to buy new or what. He is a thought, get a battery minder with desulfation. First charge the battery up, then put the battery minder on it. It may take a while to desulfate the battery but once done, let the minder stay connected,. They then go into float mode. Then come spring, take it to a garage and have them load test it. They can tell you the statis of the battery. Some Advance auto stores do this for free. If the battery is good, your good. If itís not, well you know. And using the battery minder all the time when not camping will keep you up at the 100% charge area and desulfate as needed.

Good luck

John
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:41 PM   #7
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Hey Marshall, since Sue was the one who made the mistake, tell her that you want a few new Lifeline AGM 6-Volt batteries. By wiring them together, you'll double your capacity and since they are AGM's, they never need any maintenance - EVER!!

Just my two cents, and you get brand new batteries out of the deal, sounds like a win-win in my book

Good Luck
Pat
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