Battery life

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by PJGWiltshire, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. PJGWiltshire

    PJGWiltshire Funster

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    Having had some very useful guidance regarding solar panel and inverter installation which is now proceeding well. Another general question for views. My two 110AH batteries are now 6 years old. These came with the MH when it was delivered new. Now taking into consideration the general use of the batteries these have been in active service throughout the past years Spring, Summer and Autumn months with a mixture of on and off EHU but generally very little use over the Winter, MH used on average once a month on EHU so gets a charge over the weekend use.
    The $64,000,000 question. Now that the batteries are going to receive general top up from the sun (Exept tomorrow morning around 9.30am) and I am going to be using a 1500w inverter regularly, can any of you see that this extra work by the battery can have an impact on the two batteries leading to failure.
    We are about to set of to Europe for a one year trip with a large part of it probably without EHU and trying to make a judgement call about the need to invest in a new set before we clear off if there is a likely hood of battery problems. Any feedback would be of great interest
     
  2. UK Pete

    UK Pete Read Only Funster

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    They must be coming to the end of their life, i find batteries are quite reasonably priced these days so i would be inclined to say change them for peace of mind
    pete
     
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  3. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    It may well be, given their age, that your batteries are no longer as efficient as they once were. They do deteriorate with age and of the plates of the batteries with have some deposits them. If you can give them a full charge and see how well or otherwise they hold up with no use at all and then with a reasonable amount of discharge simulating you intended use you may get a clue.

    We started a four month trip last year with 5 year old batteries which seemed ok at first but it became apparent they would not take or hold much of a charge after a few weeks and did not stand up well to moderate use. Wetness to be off EHU most of the time so we decided to replace them, not really a problem, they sell batteries at all of the motorhome dealers in Europe and so we simply bought two new ones. Got a good deal too.
     
  4. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Solar panels will mask a failing battery as the batteries are getting charged daily you will not notice the falling capacity until it's too late.
    I assume they are wet cells so probably coming to the end of their life, with the inverter taking a heavy load I would change them.
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Agree.. change them before you set off..
    a lot easier and probably cheaper than trying to source abroad..
     
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  6. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    I wouldn't set off for a year long trip with old batteries.
    Given the cost of new ones sub £100 each like these http://www.batterymegastore.co.uk/product/DC31/ maybe even cheaper from the same supplier on ebay, change them before you go. You'll pay more to change them enroute.

    EDIT:Measure the space you have carefully to ensure what you buy will fit.
     
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  7. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    They are the ones I use and four fit with 1mm to spare :LOL:
    They seem to have gone up in price :(
     
  8. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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  9. UK Pete

    UK Pete Read Only Funster

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    I also have the dc31 batteries, i was going to get two more and have found they have now changed name but the batteries are the same http://r.ebay.com/CdDpA3
     
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  10. UK Pete

    UK Pete Read Only Funster

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    You beat me to it andy
    pete
     
  11. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Only just Pete (y)
    The great thing about these batteries and their different branded counterparts is the connection options of traditional post and threaded studs. If Banner really want to compete they should do the same for what they charge. Threaded studs are far superior for adding extras
     
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  12. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    I didn't realise the name change the OP was after a pair and they do them as well
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2x-Hankoo...602?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3aa504c1f2

    I bought an original alphaline battery for our previous MH. The battery was in an external locker with a tray to catch any leakage. I measured it up and thought I had plenty of room but had failed to spot then there was a radius in one corner of the tray to fit the locker. The battery fitted but as you say just a single mm clearance.
     
  13. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    Andy, Arn't the threads some strange American thread making the nuts difficult to get?
     
  14. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Someone needs an avatar ;)
     
  15. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Yes they look like 8mm but as you discovered they are NOT so essential to check they are in the box on delivery.
     
  16. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    No!
    I find it character building to resist that nagware box in the righthand corner everytime I use this site:p
     
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  17. PJGWiltshire

    PJGWiltshire Funster

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    Again many thanks to you all for your views. I suspected the answer was change them but needed to be pushed. My wife is going to have a big issue with this spending.I wouldn't let her buy a few bits, "why do you need that" I said. Well at least I can say that to enable her to use a hairdryer without EHU, a must after last years trip, has cost around £700. That's solar inverter and now batteries
     
  18. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    Should have bought her a gas one...


    I'm in the change them camp too.. I changed ours and although I thought the old ones were ok I'm noticing better performance.
     
  19. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Can leisure batteries be tested with a meter thingy ?
     
  20. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    The meter thingy is a very crude test not recommended.

    Best way to test a leisure battery it to charge it full switch off the charger and disconnect the solar charger if you have solar panels leave to stand for at least an hour the battery voltage should be 12.7v.

    Then:-

    For e.g. for a 90A/H battery turn on some lights etc. in the van until you are drawing 5 amps leave on for 4.5 hours (this would be 25% of capacity) turn off the load and let it stand for at least ½ hour then measure the voltage, it should be 12.4v (75% charged), repeat the test and battery should read 12.2v (50%charge) repeat again and voltage should read 12.0v (25% charge).

    Don't take it below 25% of you could permanently damage the battery, these figures are for wet cells Gel's tend to be 0.1 v higher.
    Adjust the time/load to suit the size of battery.
     
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