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Old 03-16-2011, 07:44 PM   #1
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Question Coach Batteries

I wondering if I need to replace the coach batteries. I have been doing some cabinet work and have had three of four 12V lights going the last week or so. After a few hours the other day I got a low voltage alert from the panel and I noticed that the lights were very dim. I did have a 30amp shore line hook up through the winter and used lights several times without a problem.

I have a 2005 Lexington 210 with (I assume) two 12 volt batteries. I would assume that the batteries are OEM and have NOT been changed. Am I looking at batteries well past their prime? I checked the voltage at the battery terminals I could reach, around 9.5V at the alert, and I did a slow recharged to 13.5V. Within two hours the alert sounded again. Shouldn't the shore line keep up with the draw of a couple of lights?

Overnight the batteries appear to recover, didn't check with a meter (it was raining) but I had as much time before the alert as when I charged the batteries. I plan to check the cell "water" levels before I pull the batteries. Would a low cell act this way?

My next question would be what are the advantages and disadvantages to going with two 6V batteries. Is there any other pieces-parts that need to be changed if you go to 6V? Cost difference? After tomorrow my next question may be where to find good batteries....
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:29 AM   #2
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I think there is nothing wrong with your batteries. I think you need a "short course" in how they work. I am on the iPad and do not have access to my files, so I ask you to search for a post (there are several) for a doc and pdf file called "the 12 volt side of life" for the long course.

While at 6 years old, your coach batteries are getting "long in the tooth" if you run the motor or generator regularly they should have been fully charged when you started. Incandescent lights and radio pull an awful amount of current from the batteries. The house charger/converter will modulate the charge rate to you do not boil out the water quickly.

Basically, you can pull all the available amps out in a heartbeat, but it could take DAYS to replace what you took out. There are also several posts and threads here about using three stage external chargers to help things along, but even those can not work miracles. It is going to take a LONG TIME to bring a battery with 9 volts on the meter up to 13.2 volts with no load.

You may also have sulphated the plates running the batteries so dead. You will need a charger with a "de-sulphate" setting to recover those batteries,
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769
I think there is nothing wrong with your batteries. I think you need a "short course" in how they work. I am on the iPad and do not have access to my files, so I ask you to search for a post (there are several) for a doc and pdf file called "the 12 volt side of life" for the long course.

While at 6 years old, your coach batteries are getting "long in the tooth" if you run the motor or generator regularly they should have been fully charged when you started. Incandescent lights and radio pull an awful amount of current from the batteries. The house charger/converter will modulate the charge rate to you do not boil out the water quickly.

Basically, you can pull all the available amps out in a heartbeat, but it could take DAYS to replace what you took out. There are also several posts and threads here about using three stage external chargers to help things along, but even those can not work miracles. It is going to take a LONG TIME to bring a battery with 9 volts on the meter up to 13.2 volts with no load.

You may also have sulphated the plates running the batteries so dead. You will need a charger with a "de-sulphate" setting to recover those batteries,
thanks for replying ,I was hoping you would reply .I'm also on my droid ,and have limited ability to reply back . thank you I'll get back to you later .
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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Here are some files that might help.
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File Type: pdf The 12 volt Side of Life.pdf (438.4 KB, 40 views)
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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I have twin Deka DP27 Marine Master, label differs slightly from PDF i found online.

770 MCA @32F

625 CCA @0F

175 min @ 23A

Pulled the batteries. Cell levels are good, added LESS than a cup of distilled water between 6 cells on each. voltage taken at same battery terminals was approx. 11.5V (dial meter) after 24h of non use. I plan to apply a fast charge for a hour or so and switch to slow charge for the until the voltage peaks.

I am in the process of reading The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1) I'm wondering if my problem in a failing converter??? I see about 10.25V on the cables from the converter when they are disconnected from the batteries. If so, are there 3 stage chargers that fit the space of the converter???
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:28 PM   #6
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The rules for Coach batteries are slightly different since they are still needed to start your engine (I think as I don't have a MH). So in this case you have the correct Dual Purpose batteries (assuming they are the only two you have in your camper and you do NOT have a dedicated starting battery in the engine compartment).

CCA Cold Cranking Amps and MCA Maximum Cranking Amps are important numbers when you are looking at cranking up your motor on a cold day (hopefully to head SOUTH). They mean almost nothing when wondering how long your battery will last supplying the house with 12 volt power.

The 23 amps for 175 minutes will tell you what you want to know about how long they will last if they are the house batteries ONLY. IE they start camping full and you use them to run the house. Drawing ONLY 23 amps steady, the battery will last 175 minutes till dead. You have two in parallel so they will last 350 minutes until dead with a 23 amp steady load. About 6 hours.

If they are needed after that to start the camper you are pretty much toast.
Hopefully they are not your only batteries. If they are you should have a battery management system installed to prevent the house from pulling down the starting battery (Primary). This is good and bad, since then you rely only have ONE house battery not two. So back to a 3 hour run time at 23 amps.

DW has the PC tied up again but there is a file here somewhere that someone posted with instructions on how the MH battery managment system works.

Someone please take pity on me and post that link please.

More batteries

POST #35
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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There is a dedicated battery for the "engine". The coach batteries are suppose to supplement the engine battery and/or maybe vise versa. But I would think the coach doesn't draw from the engine battery, even under the low current alert I had a crisp start of the engine.

I'll dig down and check that link, no need to post it now....

the first battery jumped to just under 14V off of an hour on full charge. I understand that is not a proper reading, but it does show improvement i'll continue for on a low charge.... how long?

I can see some of those LED replacements lights in our future... I already bought some 2" round LED's for the front clearance lights. of course, those run off the engine battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
The rules for Coach batteries are slightly different since they are still needed to start your engine (I think as I don't have a MH). So in this case you have the correct Dual Purpose batteries (assuming they are the only two you have in your camper and you do NOT have a dedicated starting battery in the engine compartment).

CCA Cold Cranking Amps and MCA Maximum Cranking Amps are important numbers when you are looking at cranking up your motor on a cold day (hopefully to head SOUTH). They mean almost nothing when wondering how long your battery will last supplying the house with 12 volt power.

The 23 amps for 175 minutes will tell you what you want to know about how long they will last if they are the house batteries ONLY. IE they start camping full and you use them to run the house. Drawing ONLY 23 amps steady, the battery will last 175 minutes till dead. You have two in parallel so they will last 350 minutes until dead with a 23 amp steady load. About 6 hours.

If they are needed after that to start the camper you are pretty much toast.
Hopefully they are not your only batteries. If they are you should have a battery management system installed to prevent the house from pulling down the starting battery (Primary). This is good and bad, since then you rely only have ONE house battery not two. So back to a 3 hour run time at 23 amps.

DW has the PC tied up again but there is a file here somewhere that someone posted with instructions on how the MH battery managment system works.

Someone please take pity on me and post that link please.

More batteries

POST #35
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2005 FR Lexington 210 6.0L 8500 miles
2007 2500 Silverado Ext. Cab, 6.5' bed 5.7L
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
1963 Ford 861 5 speed with loader
1958 Ford 800 Select-O-Speed (parts tractor)
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:25 PM   #8
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I found the link and added it. Click on "More Batteries" and scroll down to post 35.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post

Someone please take pity on me and post that link please.

More batteries

POST #35
More batteries

Georgetown Battery Connect Center 113174 1 OF 1.pdf
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:53 PM   #10
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Cool BATTERIES CONSTANTLY DRAINING Lexington 2005

[QUOTE=herk7769;89181]I think there is nothing wrong with your batteries. I think you need a "short course" in how they work. I am on the iPad and do not have access to my files, so I ask you to search for a post (there are several) for a doc and pdf file called "the 12 volt side of life" for the long course.

While at 6 years old, your coach batteries are getting "long in the tooth" if you run the motor or generator regularly they should have been fully charged when you started. Incandescent lights and radio pull an awful amount of current from the batteries. The house charger/converter will modulate the charge rate to you do not boil out the water quickly.

Basically, you can pull all the available amps out in a heartbeat, but it could take DAYS to replace what you took out. There are also several posts and threads here about using three stage external chargers to help things along, but even those can not work miracles. It is going to take a LONG TIME to bring a battery with 9 volts on the meter up to 13.2 volts with no load.

You may also have sulphated the plates running the batteries so dead. You will need a charger with a "de-sulphate" setting to recover those batteries,[/QUOTE

I just bought a 2005 Lexington GTE. The batteries just keep draining even if I turn them to storage. I got new tires, and they checked the batteries and said they were ok, however were "2 gals" low on water. They were drained by the next day with no use I knew of. I see that they are dated 2007. I am single. Would appreciate any thoughts. Just get new batteries or?? and which would be the best. Putting water in the coach batteries is impossible without taking a bunch of connections off.
Bobbie
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