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Old 01-16-2014, 07:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Is the stock charger capable of charging sealed gel

Hi Jayco enthusiasts,

I have a Jayco Eagle outback.

2 years ago I required a new battery and was sold a Sealed Gel battery from a 'the battery guy'. The first time I used the new battery I was away for over a week, and had no signs of power drain. The very next time i used it I got two days out of it and after that the water heater did not light, and the lights dimmed significantly when the water pump went on. This last trip after having the camper plugged in for 6 months at least after 1 day and and night, with minimal pump and light usage, I was not able to boot up an inverter (which I had tested that same day on a significantly smaller battery). I spoke to an auto electrician in a country town and was told that Sealed Gel batteries cannot be charged with either the hot wire from the car, nor with the built in camper charger.

Does anyone have experience with this? Are both statements true? If I can get it to charge from the car, I am better just buying a new charger for the camper, if it cant charge from either then I will go back to a SLA battery.

Any help or advice is much appreciated.


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Old 01-17-2014, 04:41 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Southwest Florida
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A gel battery would charge from either device if it was in good condition. You can have it tested free of charge at most auto parts stores. Gel batteries have different charge characteristics and are easily damaged if they are not met. There are some good electrical folks on this forum and will probably provide a better explanation.

If you prefer a sealed (dry) battery, AGM is a better choice. The life of an AGM battery justifies the cost.

A wet cell battery is the best power for the money if you don't mind doing the maintenance. But if the battery(s) are hard to reach, sealed makes good sense.

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Old 01-17-2014, 06:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by OnTheGo View Post
Gel batteries have different charge characteristics and are easily damaged if they are not met.
X2. That said, we used a sealed gel battery to provide "house" power on a sail boat for years and never had any issues keeping it charged. Sealed gel made sense for us as the battery was hard to get to for maintenance, and we didn't want to run the risk of battery acid slopping around in heavy seas. We had a cut-off switch in place that we'd shut down to eliminate any parasitic drain when the boat wasn't in use and would charge it periodically during the off-season.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:49 AM   #4
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If I understand right you have to have the converter "turned down" it charges gel cells to too high a point and over time ruins them.
2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
140 days boondocking in 2016
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