Charging the Battery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-30-2006, 05:00 PM   #1
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So over the weekend -- when others were out camping, I was home cleaning and getting ready for other trips. Since I got the S13 a couple of weeks ago, i've been learning. Over the weekend I got the fridge to work on AC, and Gas -- Very cool. I didn't try running it on the 12V b/c i knew this batt. was quite dead. When it was plugged into the 110v house outlet I never noticed the 12V chaging. So I've had it on a batt. charger over-night and most of today 2amp sitting so not to heat things up too much. The 12V now has a much better charge, however, the gage on the charger says it is still taking a change.

At this low setting how long do you think it will take for a complete charge?

Is this the best way to charge the 12V battery?

How long will this charge last given a "typical" use? a weekend? 1 day?

Thanks for you thoughts in advance...
-steve
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:15 PM   #2
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It is best to have an automatic charger, one that will step down and turn off when the battery is fully charged. If it is an old battery, it would be best to desulfate it. Some of the new chargers have this feature built in. (Vector) at JC Whitney carries them www.jcw.com

At 2 amps I would charge it for 2 to 3 days. You may get some scientific answers however over the past 50 years 2 to 3 days on 2 amp charged my batteries without damaging them, science or not. Make sure the battery is full of water. I have gone so far as to pry the sealed top open on a sealed battery to fill it with distilled water then glued the top back on. That worked quite well and is still in the antique car and that battery is 10 years old.

An old-fashioned battery hydrometer that sells for $5 to $10 at an auto parts store is the best way to check each cell of the battery to insure it is fully charged or gone bad.
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:18 PM   #3
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I have recently added a new converter to my electrical circuit that has a Wizard smart charger in it. See the thread under Mods. Now I can take a dead battery to full charge in just a few hours and then it lowers the charge rate so as not to boil out the water.

Paul
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:06 AM   #4
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If you have an 80 amp-hour battery and discharge it 50% (not recommended for long battery life), you have to replace 40 -- At a 2 ah rate, that should take about 20 hours.

Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:51 AM   #5
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Great source of battery info Pete!

"For batteries not in weekly use, people kill more deep cycle and starting batteries with bad charging practices than die of old age. To prevent permanent sulfation and especially in hot weather, in a well ventilated area, keep the battery continuously connected to a "smart" or float charger matched to the battery type; recharge the battery whenever it drops below 80% State-of-Charge (SoC); or use AGM (Ca/Ca) or Gel Cell (Ca/Ca) VRLA battery. A cheap, unattended, unregulated "trickle" charger can destroy a battery by overcharging it. (Please see Section 9. for more information on charging and chargers.)"
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:16 PM   #6
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Great source of battery info Pete!

" [i]To prevent permanent sulfation and especially in [b]hot weather, in a well ventilated area, keep the battery continuously connected to a "smart" or float charger matched to the battery type; recharge the battery whenever it drops below 80% State-of-Charge (SoC); or use AGM (Ca/Ca) or Gel Cell (Ca/Ca) VRLA battery"

Can a smart charger (i.e., Charge Wizard) be used on an AGM or Gel Cell?
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:11 AM   #7
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Can a smart charger (i.e., Charge Wizard) be used on an AGM or Gel Cell?
YES! It was mainly because I was going to an AGM that I upgraded my converter to a PD 9145 with charge wizard. I've had them for a couple of years now and am very please with the combination.
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:20 PM   #8
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Whether a particular brand and model of smart charger can charge different kinds of batteries depends on the design of the charger (some batteries charge at different rates and voltages than others, and some may be more sensitive to higher voltages) -- Best to do a careful reading of the charger instructions.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:07 AM   #9
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Well, now I'm in a panic! We have an RV/deep marine battery new last year. We don't often boon-dock. We plug our trailer into our house when we get home and before trips. I just can't understand all the good advice on the linked web-site. Can anyone tell me if we're completely ruining our battery? Please tell me in grade school English! It's sealed and we can't check out the levels.
Thanks for any help.
Christine
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:42 PM   #10
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Well, now I'm in a panic! We have an RV/deep marine battery new last year. We don't often boon-dock. [b]We plug our trailer into our house when we get home and before trips. I just can't understand all the good advice on the linked web-site. Can anyone tell me if we're completely ruining our battery? Please tell me in grade school English! It's sealed and we can't check out the levels.
Thanks for any help.
Christine
If you don't have your trailer continuously plugged in, you may be OK.

I had boiled my first new battery bone dry, [b]killing it after only 3 months, by keeping the trailer plugged in to shore power, and both circuit breakers on 24/7/365.
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:51 AM   #11
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Thanks Frederick, that's reassuring
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:18 PM   #12
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Christine, for those of us not familiar with the details of 1988 Scamp equipment, can you tell us what make and model of converter is in the trailer? Specific models have different characteristics, which will determine whether your pattern of use is appropriate - it may be just fine. Whatever it says on the label on the electrical box will probably be useful information.
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Old 09-17-2006, 05:15 PM   #13
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The converter that was standard in my 1991 Scamp 13' was NOT smart, and it's very unlikely that the original converter in an '88 was smart.
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:23 PM   #14
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We have a "20amp Power Converter and Charger" BW manufacture.
Not sure of the model.
Christine
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