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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 6 Days Ago
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Thumbqdm Thumbqdm is offline
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Default Batteries Toast?

I'm looking for confirmation of my conclusion that my Lifeline batteries are shot. I have 3 of the Lifeline 4DA batteries that I believe are the originals from 2004. We don't boon-dock at this time, so I haven't focused on the batteries in the year since we bought the coach. I have a battery tester capable of testing these big batteries, but I elected to do a simple functional test instead of getting into the battery box and disconnecting / testing. Yesterday I unplugged the coach from the 50-amp in the barn and plugged in the blower from my shop vac. The fist pic is the blower. The 2nd pic is the Xantrex without the blower running. The 3rd pic is with the blower running. I see 12.5 volts available when fully charged. I see it dropping to 11.5 volts when drawing 125 amps. My thought is that at 11.5 volts I've dropped below what's acceptable.

Am I correct in my conclusion?

If so I'll move batteries up the to-do list. Any recommendations on best price for replacement Lifelines? I'd entertain another brand as long as they fit in the M380's battery box.
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Paul Plantinga
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Old 6 Days Ago
mahansm mahansm is offline
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Quick answer(s):
1. At 16 years old, they're old. Age alone makes them a candidate for replacement.
2. The voltage under load will be lower than at rest because of the losses due to the internal battery resistance and the cable resistance. With 125 amps flowing, it only takes about 8 milliOhms resistance to show a 1 volt drop. What does the voltage recover to when the blower is turned back off?


It's hard to find deep cycle batteries in a 4D form factor; all the wet cell I've seen are starting type cells. You can get AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) for $250 or more each. 200 AH, with usable 100 AH capacity.



You might consider lithium ion cells, they're much smaller and lighter and have 100 AH usable per battery. Battle Born is probably the best know of this type. They have internal monitoring and charge control and are supposed to last at least 10 years. Drawback is the $1000 per battery cost.
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  #3  
Old 6 Days Ago
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I actually spent the extra money and replaced our wet cells with AGM batteries. Know I dont have to worry about checking water levels all the time. My hopes in justifying these is they should last longer
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Old 6 Days Ago
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16 years is absolutely spectacular, you're on borrowed time. The numbers aren't way out of whack, but I'd also want to see the voltage after you turn off the vac.
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Just to clarify a couple points. These Lifelines are AGM. I'm assuming they are original because I can't find any date labels on them. The Zantrex drops immediately to 11.5 volts when the blower is turned on. When I turn the blower off it goes back to 12.5 volts. Should I just let the blower run and see how long it takes to die?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumbqdm View Post
Just to clarify a couple points. These Lifelines are AGM. I'm assuming they are original because I can't find any date labels on them. The Zantrex drops immediately to 11.5 volts when the blower is turned on. When I turn the blower off it goes back to 12.5 volts. Should I just let the blower run and see how long it takes to die?
That's a way to load test, as long as you know how many amps the blower pulls. Otherwise you aren't accomplishing much.
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Drawing 125 amps will drop voltage. The key is how long can they support a load and what is the resting voltage when done. It is generally recommended you not take lead acid batteries below 12.2 resting volts.

A battery load tester might be handy as you can test each battery alone.

In order to monitor the state of my batteries while boon docking I installed a Victron Battery monitor. I got the Blue Tooth version so I can monitor it via my smart phone. They are available via a number of vendors.
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Old 5 Days Ago
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My 450 has Deka 4D AGM's that are 3 years old. I've had the bus going on 9 months now and I will probably get the same ones when needed. To me AGM's are very cost effective. My PO emphasized to disconnect the batteries when stored unthered. They are in very good condition and I hope to get 5 years or more out of them.
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Old 5 Days Ago
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Thanks to all for the comments. As I reread the posts I got to wondering if a blower could pull 125 amps. Thats 2 1/2-times my 50-amp service. I know just enough about the science of electricity to be dangerous
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumbqdm View Post
Thanks to all for the comments. As I reread the posts I got to wondering if a blower could pull 125 amps. Thats 2 1/2-times my 50-amp service. I know just enough about the science of electricity to be dangerous
It's actually about 10 amps AC...
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