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Old 07-04-2016, 11:52 AM   #1
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Are my batteries toast?

I took my trailer out of storage on May 20th. When I put it away in the fall, I brought the batteries (twin 6V golf cart batteries) home and charged them once every month or so over winter, and stored them in my garage (which is warm).

I didn't get a full charge in them on May 20th - trailer wasn't plugged in for more than an hour or two while I washed it up and de-winterized. I put it away that day, and took it back out this past Saturday, July 2nd.

They were pretty much dead when I hitched up. Could barely run the tongue jack. I took over manually, towed home (30 min) and plugged in for 4 hours. I moved it again to my summer spot, and after a night of not being plugged in, it could barely operate the tongue jack again the next day.

I have it plugged in now but I am wondering if they are pooched. Batteries should have been relatively fresh when I got it in May.

The guy I bought the TT from didn't remove them over winter and they sat dormant every fall/winter. The TT is a 2013, and the batteries came with it (bought summer 2013), so they are three years old.

Could they be done this early? What should I expect to spend on new ones?
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:27 PM   #2
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Have you checked the water in the Batteries? Never use tap water only distilled. Usually under a buck at Wal-mart. Have you tried using the jack with the trailer plugged into the tow vehicle? There are many phantom loads in an RV that will kill a battery in a week or so.. always pull the fuse at the battery bank or disconnect the black (hot) wire.
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:05 PM   #3
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Put what you believe to be a full charge on them then take them to your local auto parts store (Napa, Autozone, etc.) They will run a diagnostic on them for free and let you know their condition
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:17 AM   #4
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Storing them on concrete will kill batteries so i am told
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealsafetya View Post
I took my trailer out of storage on May 20th. When I put it away in the fall, I brought the batteries (twin 6V golf cart batteries) home and charged them once every month or so over winter, and stored them in my garage (which is warm).

I didn't get a full charge in them on May 20th - trailer wasn't plugged in for more than an hour or two while I washed it up and de-winterized. I put it away that day, and took it back out this past Saturday, July 2nd.

They were pretty much dead when I hitched up. Could barely run the tongue jack. I took over manually, towed home (30 min) and plugged in for 4 hours. I moved it again to my summer spot, and after a night of not being plugged in, it could barely operate the tongue jack again the next day.

I have it plugged in now but I am wondering if they are pooched. Batteries should have been relatively fresh when I got it in May.

The guy I bought the TT from didn't remove them over winter and they sat dormant every fall/winter. The TT is a 2013, and the batteries came with it (bought summer 2013), so they are three years old.

Could they be done this early? What should I expect to spend on new ones?
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:27 AM   #5
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Storing them on concrete will kill batteries so i am told
Totally debunked myth. Way back when battery cases were rubber, it was believed that concrete would speed up the drying-out (elastomer breakdown) process of the rubber.

Modern (1960's and later) plastic cases don't have that problem.

Not leaving batteries on a trickle/maintenance charger and not checking the water level every month or so, is what I consider abusing the batteries.




To the OP:
Your batteries may not be completely destroyed. But a steady 3 years of abuse has certainly impacted their capacity.


If you don't want the CO detector going off at 3:00AM, consider replacing them if they show any noticeable loss of capacity.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edowsfamily View Post
Storing them on concrete will kill batteries so i am told
This was true back in the 40's and early 50's when batteries had a rubber case, now with the plastic cases there are no issues. Below is a section on STORAGE from the Trojan website.

Battery Maintenance | Trojan Battery Company


Don
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BATTERY - Storing on Concrete.jpg  
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:41 AM   #7
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For what it is worth I check the water about every two weeks it only takes a few minutes. As for charging 4 hours for a low battery is not a enough time to replenish the voltage. I would slow charge for at least 24hrs before reinstalling.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:56 AM   #8
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It's possible that your converter isn't working correctly and might not be charging the batteries. Check the voltage at the batteries when plugged in to shore power- it should be 13.5 to 14.4 VDC.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by edowsfamily View Post
Storing them on concrete will kill batteries so i am told

Have not heard that before, thanks!

I keep them on a thick carpet tile with a rubber base. I think this would have provided a good layer of insulation against the ground. It is 18"x18" so both fit on it fine.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:07 AM   #10
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Sounds like you never really got a full charge on them then you let them discharge from the parasitic loads in the trailer. I doubt they are toast but it's always a good idea to leave batteries on charge long enough to get a full charge. Assuming you have a good automatic charger there's no reason you can't leave them on charge all winter.

I've had 6 VDC batteries in my off grid home that have been on charge for 8 years with no problem.

I'd check the date codes to verify the battery ages too.
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