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Hello all,

So I bought the Schumacher SC 1300 "Automatic Battery Charger" After about about 5 hours "green light" which according to the manual means " The battery is fully charged and the charger is in maintenance mode." GREAT, I thought.

So 24 hours later I thought I would check on my new toy. Something told me that "red light flashing" probably wasn't a good thing, as opposed to a "green light." According to Schumacher a red light flashing means - "The connections are reversed, or the batter is bad."

So I will I unplugged the device, plugged it back in and got a solid red light = The charger is charging the batteries. So I am not going to look again tonight, but tomorrow if the red light is flashing it may indeed mean that one or both of the chassis batteries are bad. Thus the question:

What is the life of chassis batteries?  My coach is a 2016, Thor Tuscany. I presume I am going to get lots of opinions as to this question.

So have at it and, as always, I appreciate your thoughts, comments.

 

Hope are are well. My wife and I have had our two COVID Shots. Yeah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Battery life is difficult to predict accurately as there are many variables in how they have been used, how well maintained, and such. Most of them have some type of prorated warranty for at least 3 years and some as much as 5 years. I usually consider replacing mine somewhere between 4 and 7 years, depending on the battery. The first thing to do is to take the battery to a battery seller and ask them to do a load test on it and nearly all of them will do so at no cost. 

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9 hours ago, Tim and Peggy said:

What is the life of chassis batteries? 

Having owned a ton of them (all different brands and ratings) over 50 + years, my experience has been say 3 to 10 years. Of course how long they last depends on several factors including but not limited to:

Initial quality, design, rating/capacity,,,,,,,,,Its rated number of "Life Cycles",,,,,,,,How well they were kept charged,,,,,,,,,,How well they were maintained (water levels if FLA, shock reduction, terminal maintenance) ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,How long they may have sat in a low charge state especially in cold temperatures,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,How deep they were discharged on a regular basis,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,How much current they had to deliver when starting the engine.,,,,,,,,,,,,The quality, completeness and proper levels (Voltage Regulation and control schemes) of however they were "charged"  

 A battery typically has so many "Life Cycles" and each time its discharged then re charged one of that finite number is used up 

In my battery maintenance "tookbox" I keep a good Voltmeter,,,,,,,,Hydrometer,,,,,,,,,,Load Tester. While a battery might indicate the proper full charge voltage level, it takes a Load Test to tell the whole story.

Maybe give Schumacher tech support a call after taking it to a shop for a good load test, many do that for free....

9 hours ago, Tim and Peggy said:

Hope are are well. My wife and I have had our two COVID Shots. Yeah!

 Congratulations and best wishes, I support those who freely choose to take the shot as well as those who freely choose not to

 

John T  Only this one mans opinion based on personal experience

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Both Kirk and John T have voiced good thoughts on battery life.

My take on batteries is that once they are out of warranty they are on borrowed life otherwise the manufacturer would warrant them for a longer period.

I personally don't think it is copacetic but I know of some folks that just before their Walmart battery 3 year warranty is up will return it to Walmart for a new one, whether it is bad or not, simply because of Walmart's very liberal return policy.

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52 minutes ago, Chalkie said:

Both Kirk and John T have voiced good thoughts on battery life.

My take on batteries is that once they are out of warranty they are on borrowed life otherwise the manufacturer would warrant them for a longer period.

I personally don't think it is copacetic but I know of some folks that just before their Walmart battery 3 year warranty is up will return it to Walmart for a new one, whether it is bad or not, simply because of Walmart's very liberal return policy.

We use Wal-Mart/Sam's Club battery warranty WHEN NEEDED, because they do take care of their customers. However, they only do that during the first three years from the original purchase.  Jay

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Several years ago I read an article that stated something to the effect that if you limited the discharge of your (flooded) batteries to less than 50% you would get TEN times the number of charge/discharge cycles out of them versus letting them discharge to 10% or lower (i.e., 200 cycles from 90% to 10% versus 2000 cycles of 90% to 50%).  Thus, I try to stay above the 50% level and the last two sets of batteries have lasted well over eight years!

I can remember years ago (40+) having to replace batteries every year.  Probably due to improper care on my part.

Lenp

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7 hours ago, lenp said:

Several years ago I read an article that stated something to the effect that if you limited the discharge of your (flooded) batteries to less than 50% you would get TEN times the number of charge/discharge cycles out of them versus letting them discharge to 10% or lower (i.e., 200 cycles from 90% to 10% versus 2000 cycles of 90% to 50%).  Thus, I try to stay above the 50% level and the last two sets of batteries have lasted well over eight years!

Good practice lenp, the less the depth of discharge and the fewer use of the limited number of "Life Cycles" the better for the battery. While its true its best NOT to discharge Flooded Lead Acid over 50% in 50 years of RV ownership I tried not to go much over 30% discharge and like you it has paid off in extended battery life. Over my RV years Ive gone full circle from starting batteries to dual purpose hybrid so called  RV/Marine to Full True Deep Cycle FLA then to AGM now researching Lithium, I enjoy the technology...

Best wishes everyone

John T

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1 hour ago, oldjohnt said:

Good practice lenp, the less the depth of discharge and the fewer use of the limited number of "Life Cycles" the better for the battery. While its true its best NOT to discharge Flooded Lead Acid over 50% in 50 years of RV ownership I tried not to go much over 30% discharge and like you it has paid off in extended battery life. Over my RV years Ive gone full circle from starting batteries to dual purpose hybrid so called  RV/Marine to Full True Deep Cycle FLA then to AGM now researching Lithium, I enjoy the technology...

Best wishes everyone

John T

 

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6 hours ago, Tim and Peggy said:

John and lenp, you two are so far over my head. I am printing out your replies (thank you). I am thinking about buying the following battery. What are your thoughts?

Tim and Peggy, you asked for "thoughts" so here are mine (Electrical Engineer and 50 year RV owner NOT any battery or solar expert) to take or leave as you so choose.

1) I LIKE the fact its AGM so you don't have to mess with checking and adding water

              Don't get me wrong sure it will "work" for RV dry camping energy storage purposes and it may serve to suit YOUR energy requirements (provided very very small),,,,,,,, space to install,,,,,,,,, and YOUR budget..

                                                                    HOWEVER

   2) I DONT LIKE that is a "Dual Purpose Hybrid Starting and Cycling" battery and used on several listed autos primarily for Starting      VERSUS     a Full True Deep Cycle Battery !!!!!!!!!!!!! that I highly recommend for RV dry camping purposes. 

   3) Capacity, its ONLY rated at 55 Amp Hours and shouldn't be discharged over 50% or 27 Amp Hours and that's not very much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

   4) Iffffffffff you have the room to mount,,,,,,,,,, and your budget permits,,,,,,,,,, and want to do at least some low energy dry camping,,,,,,,,,,,,and are satisfied with wet flooded lead acid,,,,,,,,  I would consider a beginner system maybe say a couple 6 Volt True Deep Cycle Golf Cart batteries (such as the classic Trojan T-105 or ones sold at Sams Club etc) wired in series (for 12 volts) and around 200+ Amp Hours  WHICH IS LIKE FOUR TIMES THE ENERGY STORAGE CAPACITY OF THE ONE YOU SHOWED

  5) Other choices to achieve around 200 Amp Hours (4 x your choice) at 12 Volts,,,,,,,,,, and use AGM chemistry,,,,,,,,, and use ONLY ONE battery versus two above,,,,,,,,,,,, and not take up much more space then two 6 volt batteries above,,,,,,,,,,IS ONE 12 VOLT DEEP CYCLE 200 AMP HOUR AGM BATTERY, they are frame size 4D and weigh around 130 lbs   

  6) Another choice if you ONLY have room to mount a single battery is a 12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM rated around 100 Amp Hours THATS STILL LIKE TWICE THE ONE YOU SHOWED, around same size,,,and a TRUE DEEP CYCLE not a dual purpose hybrid starting cycling like the one you asked about

  7) Of course you need a way to recharge the batteries, be it solar or a generator etc

 SHORT ANSWER SUMMARY......I do NOT like the one you showed,,,,,,,,If you ONLY have room for one battery Id go with a 12 Volt True Deep Cycle 100 Amp Hour AGM its not much more room or weight and you don't have to add water and gives you TWICE the energy storage....If you have room for two Id go with a True Deep Cycle 12 volt 200 Amp Hour AGM I have three of them.... YOUR BUDGET YOUR CHOICE.......

PS Search for 12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM RV Batteries a few brands are Lifeline and Full River and Renogy and Trojan and many others. 100 AH and 200 AH are common sizes.

An Energy Audit is good to determine your actual requirements !!!!!!!!!!!! Then choose and size your batteries and charging schemes 

NOTE Im talking about RV house batteries here NOT the engine starting battery  For the engine STARTING battery its more the Cold Cranking Amps CCA you're concerned with versus the Amp Hours of energy storage capacity needed for dry RV camping !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If your ONLY using the battery to start an engine Id opt for a pure Starting Battery versus an RV/Marine or other dual purpose hybrid Starting/Cycling battery.   IE I dont like the dual purpose hybrid RV/marine Starting/Cycling for EITHER RV or strictly engine Starting   

If you want ONLY an engine "Starting" Battery Id shop at like Walmart or Interstate Batteries or Batteries Plus and buy (especially if for a V 6 or V 😎 the higher rated Cold Cranking Amps CCA battery sure AGM is fine but NOT a Deep Cycle and NOT a Dual Purpose Hybrid RV/Marine unit...

 

 John T  NOT any solar expert see what they say this is one engineers opinion

Edited by oldjohnt
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1 hour ago, Tim and Peggy said:

John and lenp, you two are so far over my head. I am printing out your replies (thank you). I am thinking about buying the following battery. What are your thoughts?

https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/battery/rv/dual-purpose-(starting_cycling)/12/sli34agm

 

 

Unless there's a reason you'll be drawing the batteries down for house use, I would just go to your favorite retailer and buy a good set of starting batteries. I wouldn't spend extra money for a "dual purpose" battery. Starting batteries have thin plates for fast access to high amperage, deep cycle batteries have thick plates for long deep discharge life. In my opinion, you can't successfully do both in the same battery. Jay

Edited by Jaydrvr
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22 hours ago, Jaydrvr said:

Not any longer. It's a full replacement. They did away with proration several years ago. Jay

I think that I can confirm this.
My new (at the time) F350 diesel pickup factory batteries lasted only three years before failing to crank the engine.
I bought a new pair of lead acid Interstate batteries at Costco - they had a three year warranty.
Last week I noticed the date on the Costco batteries - 3/18 (March 2018)
And one battery had evidence of acid weeping and corrosion starting.  The truck still started with the batteries.

Not wanting to get stuck somewhere, I pulled out both batteries and took them down to Costco to purchase new replacements.
The guy on the battery desk at Costco said simply to take them to the return counter and they will replace them for free.

Costco returns desk confirmed the original purchase date and gave me a full refund on both batteries.
I don't know why.  Nobody asked if the batteries were defective - maybe they could see the surface staining from the acid?
Anyway - I bought two new replacement batteries for the same price as the old ones.

 

 

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Tim and Peggy to save you some time should you choose to go with (my advice) a True Deep Cycle 12 Volt AGM battery that is rated at 100 Amp Hours (Twice your post) to 200 Amp Hours (Four times your post) here are just a few of the many brands out there.

This is NOT any brand suggestion ONLY some info so you can compare the 12 Volt 55 Amp Hour Dual Purpose Hybrid Starting/Cycling battery you asked about against True Deep Cycle 100 Amp Hour rated AGM's. 

YES the dual purpose Starting/Cycling battery you asked about will "work" even if its NOT this engineers choice. Some of the True Deep Cycle batteries below are near the same size but twice the energy storage capacity, while the higher rated (should you need that much??) are of course nearly twice the size and weight...I purposely did not go into Lithium based on your information

PS Amp Hours is a batteries energy storage capacity as when dry camped that's what's needed to know. The more AH the more energy available to power your appliances when dry camped.. 

 

NOTE Im talking about RV house batteries here NOT the engine starting battery  For the engine STARTING battery its more the Cold Cranking Amps CCA you're concerned with versus the Amp Hours of energy storage capacity needed for dry RV camping !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If your ONLY using the battery to start an engine Id opt for a pure Starting Battery versus an RV/Marine or other dual purpose hybrid Starting/Cycling battery. IE I dont like the dual purpose hybrid RV/marine Starting/Cycling for EITHER RV or strictly engine Starting   

If you want ONLY an engine "Starting" Battery Id shop at like Walmart or Interstate Batteries or Batteries Plus and buy (especially if for a V 6 or V 😎 the higher rated Cold Cranking Amps CCA battery sure AGM is fine but NOT a Deep Cycle and NOT a Dual Purpose Hybrid RV/Marine unit...

Here are some of the the Deep Cycle AGM's for RV Dry Camping: 

Renogy 12 Volt 100 Amp Hour $234

Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 100Ah | Renogy Solar

Renogy 12 Volt Deep Cycle 200 Amp Hour $400

Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 200Ah | Renogy Solar

 

Lifeline Deep Cycle 12 Volt AGM in 80, 100, 105, 125, or 210 Amp Hours

 America's Best Deep Cycle RV Battery| Lifeline Batteries

 

FullRiver Deep Cycle 12 Volt AGM

Batteries | Fullriver Battery

 

Shop around its YOUR choice

 

John T

 

 

Edited by oldjohnt
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On 3/14/2021 at 7:26 PM, Tim and Peggy said:

Hello all,

So I bought the Schumacher SC 1300 "Automatic Battery Charger" After about about 5 hours "green light" which according to the manual means " The battery is fully charged and the charger is in maintenance mode." GREAT, I thought.

So 24 hours later I thought I would check on my new toy. Something told me that "red light flashing" probably wasn't a good thing, as opposed to a "green light." According to Schumacher a red light flashing means - "The connections are reversed, or the batter is bad."

So I will I unplugged the device, plugged it back in and got a solid red light = The charger is charging the batteries. So I am not going to look again tonight, but tomorrow if the red light is flashing it may indeed mean that one or both of the chassis batteries are bad. Thus the question:

What is the life of chassis batteries?  My coach is a 2016, Thor Tuscany. I presume I am going to get lots of opinions as to this question.

The problem may not be with the battery.  If it's a diesel pusher the large 8D starting battery may be too large for an automotive charger to determine when it's fully charged.

The charger determines the battery is good by shutting off after the charging current tapers to zero at the end of the charging cycle and seeing if the battery holds it's surface charge.  If the battery doesn't let the charger taper to zero current the charger thinks the battery has an internal short and flags it as bad.

It may be the large 8D battery has enough natural leakage or normal parasitic loads on the battery are preventing the charger from tapering to zero current, thus it flags the battery as bad.

Try disconnecting the battery from the RV (lift the negative battery cable) and see if the charger then says it's OK.

On a seperate note, I really like WalMart's $50 Value Power batteries.  They're made by the same company as the rest of their batteries (Johnson Controls) and as far as I can tell the only difference between them and the more expensive batteries is the length of the warranty and about 10% less CCA.  I've had one in my toad for 3 years so far and in my gas motorhome for about a year and they're doing fine.

Edited by Lou Schneider
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Tim & Peggy,

Concur with John 100%.  I always tell people if they are looking at a house battery DO NOT consider a battery that has a CCA rating.  To me CCA means thin plates and a starting battery.

Good luck in your search!

Lenp

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8 hours ago, lenp said:

Concur with John 100%.  I always tell people if they are looking at a house battery DO NOT consider a battery that has a CCA rating.  To me CCA means thin plates and a starting battery

Lenp, while I cant say for sure (I havent seen all the batteries lol) were on the same page here. "Typically" batteries specifically designed for Engine "Starting" carry a CCA Cold Cranking Amps rating,,,,,,,,,"Typically" batteries designed for lower current longer time deeper discharge  such as Golf Cart and RV's  carry a Amp Hours rating. Then there are so called dual purpose hybrid RV/Marine batteries I have seen used on boats that have to start a fairly hefty engine and then run say a trolling motor long term for fishing....... My choice are to use a battery designed for the specific purpose, Starting for starting, deep cycle for RV, perhaps ????  RV/Marine for certain boats

Thats my story n Ima stickin to it lol

Fun chattingn with you lenp   

John T

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