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Replacing Batteries


rving4us

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I need to replace the 2 -6 volt batteries in the coach, now that we are full time and are plugged into shore power all the time is it safe to just remove the batteries and leave the rv on shore power or do I need to unplug while I go get the batteries? I need the old one's to keep from paying the core charge. also should I turn the battery switch off and then remove the batteries?
Just not sure if running only on shore power will damage the 12 volt side.
Cary

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I need to replace the 2 -6 volt batteries in the coach, now that we are full time and are plugged into shore power all the time is it safe to just remove the batteries and leave the rv on shore power or do I need to unplug while I go get the batteries? I need the old one's to keep from paying the core charge. also should I turn the battery switch off and then remove the batteries?

Just not sure if running only on shore power will damage the 12 volt side.

Cary

 

You got it. Turn the battery switch off, disconnect your batteries and go shoppin. You're fine on shore power alone as long as you're not towing. No need to unplug.

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I would unplug the shore power and turn off the battery switch. Disconnect the batteries and make sure that you dont have apower source on the disconnected cables such as solar or a connection to the coach engine batteries. Use your meter and make sure. If there is power on them from a source such as solar ....either disable the solar or tape up those cables until you are ready to connect the new batteries. Sparks are bad!

 

The above procedure is exactly how I replaced mine recently.....do not take chances with the shore power connected. Safety is paramount.

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Sparks are bad!

 

The above procedure is exactly how I replaced mine recently.....do not take chances with the shore power connected. Safety is paramount.

A great deal of the question is based upon just what you have. If your RV is one without solar, you could leave it plugged in but you do need to do this carefully, particularly if plugged in. Always remove the cable from the negative side first as that goes a long way to prevent those sparks. That is even more true if you are connected to any power source. And make yourself a diagram of the current cabling unless you are an expert as it is critical that you connect the new batteries properly. It is possible to destroy a new battery or two via wrong connections.

 

On the issue of core fees, nearly all stores will allow you to pay as you take the new batteries home, the refund that money when you return the old ones if you want to make absolutely sure that you do this properly. If you do it this way, it becomes even more imparitive that the first cable removed and the last reconnected be the negative one.

 

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To me the answer depends to some extent on what equipment and what switching configuration you have.

 

If its what I call a Combination Converter Charger, it might have an output circuit that feeds your 12 VDC distribution panel plus a circuit that goes directly down to your batteries to charge them (maybe its just all one???). Most of those work automatically to keep your RV 12 volts up and running as long as you're plugged into shore power, regardless if you have house batteries installed or not. If you have a "switch" that opens the connection to your batteries, of course, I would open the connection when changing out batteries. I remember years ago Converter Chargers that had a manual switch for Batteries or Shore Power (via Converter) to run the RV 12 volt systems.

 

My system no longer has a Combination Converter Charger (I disconnected my old DUMB Converter Charger), I have a Charger ONLY and the DC Distribution Panel is always wired to my batteries. Its just that when I'm plugged to shore power my Smart Charger charges my batteries.

 

There could be an issue depending on the Charger design, as to how it reacts if the batteries are removed so there's no load, but I suspect any quality Charger has its own detection and protection circuitry such that no harm results BUT I CANT GUARANTEE WHAT YOU HAVE??? But as long as its turned off you're fine.

 

BOTTOM LINE

 

Of course if you have a switch that disconnects the batteries from a Load or Charger or Converter Charger TURN IT OFF WHEN CHANGING BATTERIES

 

I would guess your existing Converter Charger still provides 12 VDC to the RV when your batteries are gone if that's an issue or a concern BUT I WOULD STILL TURN IT OFF OR DISCONNECT THE RV FROM SHORE POWER WHEN YOU REMOVE AND RE INSTALL BATTERIES PLUS TURN THE SWITCH OFF YOU MENTIONED. Likewise, when installing new batteries you don't want any charging source or loads connected.

 

NOTE if there's a load or even a small phantom load on your batteries (or a charger) you can get a SPARK when you disconnect (or reconnect the new batteries) them you know, and I'm not a fan of sparks near the tops of batteries where explosive gas may be present. Once they set a period and stabilize after use or after charging, chances of gas are diminished. IE don't have them charging heavy or loaded heavy and disconnect them right away as that's when gasses are more apt to be present.

 

Similar, you don't want any solar charger pumping current into your batteries when changing them out.

 

This isn't rocket science, but as an engineer and attorney I can make it sound that way lol, I cant help myself its in my DNA

 

John T

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  • 5 weeks later...

I think it's about time to replace my 6 6v batteries, in my RV, can anyone give me some pro's and con's about going from wet battery's to AGM? The batteries in my RV are not quiet 8 years old. According to the volt meter for my inverter they are all holding a good charge of 13.3 volts. I have 3 100w solar panels on the roof. I have an AM Solar system on the RV.

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w6,

 

Others here are more Solar experienced then myself, but I will offer this until the other fine gents arrive.

 

A big AGM advantage is NOT having to worry about electrolyte levels and checking and adding water or acid and being kept level.

 

They are more expensive, and I'm unsure if over the long run (longevity and life cycles over say 5 to 8 or more years) the payback figures justify their extra cost????

 

That 13.3 volts sounds like your batteries are charged are being maintained at a "Float" charge level by your controller.

 

AGM can be more sensitive to proper charging, so I WOULD FIRST INSURE BOTH your Charger and Solar Controller have settings for and are compatible with AGM battery charging. Both of mine have individual settings for which type of batteries I have. If the Charger or Solar Controller are not BOTH compatible and designed for AGM, I would be reluctant to make the change.

 

Best I have for now

 

John T NOT a Solar Expert

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I'm sure that CE is looking at the 2 trips to the battery store and in Michigan anyway, the state collects tax on the core payment but does not refund it. So, $20x6%x2 is only 2.40 plus the extra gas.

 

It's a principle thing, they tax for one thing and divert it to something else entirely.

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w6,

 

Others here are more Solar experienced then myself, but I will offer this until the other fine gents arrive.

 

A big AGM advantage is NOT having to worry about electrolyte levels and checking and adding water or acid and being kept level.

 

They are more expensive, and I'm unsure if over the long run (longevity and life cycles over say 5 to 8 or more years) the payback figures justify their extra cost????

 

That 13.3 volts sounds like your batteries are charged are being maintained at a "Float" charge level by your controller.

 

AGM can be more sensitive to proper charging, so I WOULD FIRST INSURE BOTH your Charger and Solar Controller have settings for and are compatible with AGM battery charging. Both of mine have individual settings for which type of batteries I have. If the Charger or Solar Controller are not BOTH compatible and designed for AGM, I would be reluctant to make the change.

 

Best I have for now

 

John T NOT a Solar Expert

 

 

John

My Solar System from AM Solar, and my 2500w Xantrex Pure Sine Inverter, both have seatings for AGM Battery's. I have both Owners Manual here at the house. It shows how to set the systems up for AGM or Flooded Battery's. I went to the RV last month and added water to the battery's, I need to clean the terminals they are getting bad. I saw the other day that trojan is now offering AGM Battery's anyone have any experience with them.?

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