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Old 06-03-2018, 06:55 AM   #1
Len
 
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Batteries

I noticed one of my batteries was hot to the touch and appears to be bulging. I immediately shut my battery disconnect switch off. I leave my battery switch on when connected to shore power. Should I leave my battery switch on when connected to shore power and will I need to replace one or both batteries? My warranty ran out in May on my silver back 5th wheel.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:04 AM   #2
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Yes, that battery is probably toast and should be replaced. When our unit's in storage we have it plugged into a pool timer so it charges about 6 hours a night. That's enough to keep up with parasitic drains on the battery, while giving the converter and our electric bill a break. Don't forget to check the water levels in your battery a couple times a year, too.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:20 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information. So I shouldn’t leave the battery switch on when on shore power all the time?
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:54 AM   #4
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RE: I noticed one of my batteries was hot to the touch and appears to be bulging.


Careful, battery may explode!
Wear safety glasses and other protective clothing when handling batteries in such a state.
----------------

RE: I immediately shut my battery disconnect switch off.
Does not necessarily shut off battery connections to all things. It is best to disconnect the battery.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:55 AM   #5
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This is a long debated question, and many leave their rigs plugged in without problems. I kinda depends on the quality of the converter, and it it is a cheap one, they have been known to over charge the batteries over time.

I personally favor unplugging the negative terminal on the batteries when in storage for awhile, and then hooking them back up to charge for a day or so every month. Others do the same thing but hook them up to a trickle charger such as a battery tender.

In your case, I would not leave them plugged in all the time, although it could simply be a bad battery that has an internal short, and not the converter. YES, replace your battery (s) with good deep cycle RV batteries, if you dry camp, or cheapee's if you plug in all the time.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:06 AM   #6
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I noticed one of my batteries was hot to the touch and appears to be bulging. I immediately shut my battery disconnect switch off. I leave my battery switch on when connected to shore power. Should I leave my battery switch on when connected to shore power and will I need to replace one or both batteries? My warranty ran out in May on my silver back 5th wheel.
you should replace both.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:12 AM   #7
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if in storage disconnect the battery. Remove the neg cable. If you using your rig and plugged into shore power, leave it connected. You don't want to depend on the converter to supply 12-volt power all the time.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:10 AM   #8
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Not to get deep into a technical debate, but depending on which battery and what source, I've been told that if a 12V battery reads 12V, it's 90% discharged and should read anywhere from 12.8 to 13.4v at full charge, again depending on how new it is.

When in storage, I pull both positive and negative leads off. When at home we keep it plugged into shore power with a 30 Amp RV outlet I installed.

If in doubt, pull in when traveling, or take the battery to an O'Reilly's or Autozone and have them load test it.

You can also get battery tenders for less than $30 when in storage if you have access to 120V circuit, but still disconnect the pos and neg leads to your camper.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:14 AM   #9
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If the two batteries are about the same age, I would replace both. Adding a new battery to a bank with a much older battery will result in them charging and discharging at different rates due to the internal resistance differences. This will eventually cause premature failure of the new one. If you leave your unit connected to shore power when stored and the batteries connected, you should check the water levels every two months or so. As batteries start to age, they can eventually develop a shorted cell which will boil out the electrolyte.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:13 AM   #10
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This might help:
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Old 06-04-2018, 12:18 PM   #11
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Here is a valuable tip. You donít want to move that bulging battery unless you have full PPE full rubber acid suit, full face protection, eye goggles, and rubber acid gloves. Sulfuric acid will burn the crap out of you. Hook your camper up and take it to Batteries Plus, Auto Zone, or the dealer and have them put new batteries in for you. Tell them what is going on with the bulging battery. They will have the equipment to change it out safely. Be safe not sorry!
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:54 PM   #12
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Thank you. Detailed and helpful.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:59 PM   #13
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Thanks. I just might do that. I wasnít aware auto zone change out batteries.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:03 PM   #14
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Here is a valuable tip. You donít want to move that bulging battery unless you have full PPE full rubber acid suit, full face protection, eye goggles, and rubber acid gloves. Sulfuric acid will burn the crap out of you. Hook your camper up and take it to Batteries Plus, Auto Zone, or the dealer and have them put new batteries in for you. Tell them what is going on with the bulging battery. They will have the equipment to change it out safely. Be safe not sorry!
Don't be so sure. I have yet to see a chain auto parts store employee wear rubber gloves while handling a battery, bulging or not. They usually have a universal clamp type battery carrier that they grab the battery with, haul it to the back, and then dump it on a pallet with the other worn out batteries. The only concession to safety I've observed is that most do wear safety glasses.

Rubber suit? Really? Not even the employees at the local interstate battery "depot" wear one. Maybe an apron and the rubber gloves, but a "moon suit"?
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:11 PM   #15
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They will here in AZ I donít know about FL. Check around Pep Boys, Batteries Plus etc point is let someone else do it that does this and knows the dangers. Not worth the risk in my books. Be safe and good luck.
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