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Old 03-13-2012, 06:40 AM   #11
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Sounds like maybe you were a tad bit low...

Assuming you can get it charged up, the hydrometer will tell you the real condition of the battery. From everything I've seen, the hydrometer will give you the most accurate reading so David472 was spot on.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:44 AM   #12
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Ok. I bought the hydrometer and a gallon of distilled water. No way to check it since no fluid was visible in any of the six fill holes. Added water to each and now charging overnight. It took nearly 1/2 gallon to fill all six cells. Making hissing sounds and warm after an hour. Battery meter showed 2/3.
Oh oh, this is not a good sign. If the fluid has boiled off, exposing the plates to the air, the battery has been damaged.
Likely it had sulphate problems first though.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:14 PM   #13
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So I went out this morning and checked with the hydrometer... got nothing from any of the cells... I was able to get fluid out but the float never floated... perhaps I need to charge it longer? Two of the six cells had cloudy liguid, the other four looked like clear water if that makes any sense. From what I can see in the paperwork given me by the original owners, the battery has been replaced twice in the 10 years it has been alive. It's an '02 that had the battery replaced in '04 and '07. Both times it was replaced with an Interstate SRM-24. I realize most batteries last 5 years but on an RV that never gets used?
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:48 PM   #14
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Okay, well to avoid early battery failure, keep the battery on a battery tender, otherwise known as a float charger. The current delivered by those is less than 1 amp, but keeps the battery from developing the problems you see there now. Even sitting unused for one month will shave time off its life. By using a battery tender, life expectancy of 7 years is achievable. From your descriptions, I would say your present battery is beyond hope. Sorry for that.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:02 PM   #15
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Thanks David, that's my thought too... I keep my ATV's on a tender. Looks like I need one for the RV now. I have the IOTA DLS-45 that apparently only does 2-stage. Would you recommend I get the IQ-3 add-on or do I need to upgrade the converter altogether?
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:11 PM   #16
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There are several things going against this battery, From your first post it was stone dead to begin with, possibly for an undetermined amount of time. Not good. Then there is the very low water level, and age of the battery. Yes 5 yrs I would consider a good life for an RV battery, lucky to get that with the limited use which can actually harm a battery if it is not tended to properly and is discharged too low several times. I would go get a decent deep cycle battery right now and eliminate that from the unknowns. Not good starting off with a 5 yr old battery with unknown past care, even if it takes a charge it will come back to bite you at an inconvenient time. (Been there, done that!)

BTW welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:35 PM   #17
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Thanks Lee... online looking for replacement battery now. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:55 PM   #18
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If you are going to be camping where there are always electrical hookups, you do not need anything fancy or special. A Group 24 Deep cycle Interstate battery like the dealers install would be fine. Some even use Marine/Starting batteries with good success. If you will be boondocking with only your battery(s), you would want to step up to something better, perhaps one of our boondocking experts can recommend what is best size and amperage wise.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdomke1 View Post
Thanks David, that's my thought too... I keep my ATV's on a tender. Looks like I need one for the RV now. I have the IOTA DLS-45 that apparently only does 2-stage. Would you recommend I get the IQ-3 add-on or do I need to upgrade the converter altogether?
I'm not familiar with the options for upgrading your converter. Having a 3-stage converter either through upgrading your present one, or another model would be nice if the dollars are available. A TT dealer may be able to give you some options there. As for battery types, mine is an Interstate SRM-24. Generally they seem to have a good reputation. You may try using a tender between camping trips, and keep the present converter for now. Comes down to personal choice.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #20
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The current battery is a SRM-24 so I'll probably stick with that. There really won't be a way to use a battery tender between trips because the unit will be at a storage facility. But now that I know more about batteries than I ever expected to, I can probably get the next one to last longer by checking the water levels and hydrometer readings on it. I'm not finding one of the IOTA IQ-3 smart chargers anywhere online. Looks like they are long past their life expectancy and the IQ-4 won't work on the older DLS series.
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