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Asphalt and Battery

Posted by on May 6, 2010

I need your help and comments if you’ve had a similar problem. I dropped the motorhome off at my local Mr. Fixit for it’s annual checkup. I needed a new inspection sticker. The oil and filter needed changed, the generator the same. The separator needed checked for any water that needed removed from the diesel fuel. You know the yearly regulars. But I had one major issue that was bothering me. My inverter would only run for about two hours before it lost power. I noticed the DC lights going dim in time and if not plugged into shore power, my batteries were not powering up enough to move a slide out. A day after I dropped off the RV, I received a call noting that my house batteries were pretty much used up. Two were completely drained and the other four were on their way to the same demise. Now these batteries are the kind that don’t need serviced and I wondered what I was doing wrong. They were only 25 months old. They all need replaced to the tune of $1200. A bill I didn’t plan on, but you can’t live without house batteries. When I picked my rig up upon completion, I asked Bob, my Mr. Fixit if I had been doing something wrong. He told me that the battery salesman states the batteries are usually good for about four or five years under normal usage. You know, the average RVer who goes out for a few weeks here and there in the course of a year. However, since we are fulltimers and engage in daily use that the two plus years use we got out of them was about as good as it’s going to get. He stated that it is the norm for fulltimers to replace house batteries every two to two and a half years. This did the job as everything is running up to speed and I”m getting almost a days use out of the inverter before it needs charged again. However, I didn’t realize that two year is about as good as it gets for batteries on fulltiming. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. This unexpected purchase had me a bit bummed out until on the way home I was confronted with the dilemma of the driver of a car carrier. Apparently he miscalculated the degree of rise coming out of the local Sheetz gas station. He trailer bottomed out on the asphalt and he could neither go forward or in reverse. He had both lanes completely blocked at the busiest intersection in the township. Traffic had to be re-routed. Nothing short of a major tow truck was lessening his burden. It made my battery issue seem like a very minor issue. Check this out:

3 Responses to Asphalt and Battery

  1. Chuck

    I am not very smart when it comes to DC power, but my batteries are now 4 years old and of the no maintenance type.
    My inverter has always done a good job of keeping them charged. I have noticed just in the last few weeks they are not coming to a full charge like they have in the past. The inverter can be set to a number of charging options. Perhaps yours is set to a level that does not properly charge them.

    I can see new batteries are in my near future. Oh yes, we have been full timing for the last three and half of those for battery years.

    In short, I have done nothing special and thru benign neglect, they have lasted a lot longer than 25 months. Perhaps there is more to the story here.

  2. larry

    Chuck,
    Thank you so much for your comment. I shall look into the inverter charging options. You may have something there that I didn’t consider. I appreciate your input.
    Larry

  3. Don

    I’ve had my Winnebago Journey for four years and I’ve just replaced my three house batteries for the third time.
    The first two sets were manufactured by Interstate battery.
    The most recent set I purchased was from Walmart for about ninety dollars a piece. These are manufactured by Johnson Controls.
    I test the performance of the batteries by running a load of the TV, DVR, my Wi-fi setup and several lights, and then see how many hours it takes to drain the batteries down to about the fifty percent level. With the Interstate batteries I would reach this point in about three hours.
    I was never very pleased with this performance, but assumed this was normal.
    I’ve done the same test several times with the new set, and it takes an average of about eight hours to reach the fifty percent level.
    I have no idea what the life of these batteries will be, but if this performance is any indication of quality, they should last a reasonable time.

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