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Author Topic: 6 volt Coach battery question  (Read 841 times)

Darrell Terry

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6 volt Coach battery question
« on: September 23, 2017, 08:12:22 PM »
Our four  6 volt Coach batteries were replaced in 2010. They are still working fine but I noticed yesterday while topping off water that the sides are bowing out slightly.
Questions -
1) Do you just wait until batteries die or won't fully charge to replace ?
2) Is the bowing at sides a cause for concern ?
3) What is typical life span of a deep cycle 6 volt battery ?

Thanks in advance,
Darrell Terry
2004 Monterey

Bryan Beamon

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 08:58:03 PM »
Darrell, suggest you look at the responces on the Internet for swollen batteries. The majority of replies indicate causes could be sulfation, overheating, overcharging or freezing which could result in warp lead plates. Most recommended replacing the batteries. Good luck and be safe.
C & Bryan Beamon
2007 Contessa 42ft Cat C-9 400hp

Joel Ashley

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 09:13:06 PM »
Mine are over 11 years old but on their last legs;  I intended to replace them with Costco Interstates this year, but illness put the kibosh on our traveling, so I'll just wait, nurse them along, and switch them out next spring.  They've bowed out a bit since I can remember, but not to any extreme.  Just this summer one or two of them began demonstrating odd cell behavior, with a middle cell overflowing and the other two cells dropping;  so I suspect the internal walls have broken down and even solar charging is beyond their tolerance anymore.  If that worsens I may replace them prior to winter.

11 years is not the norm, but watching the water and letting solar keep them up during storage can help take wet cells to and beyond 7 or so years.  I intend to get a battery tester to replace my 40 year-old, long-ago failed one, as it can help monitor acid chemistry.  That may provide info that'll help me decide whether to switch out the batteries before winter.  My only reason to wait otherwise is purely to max the ultimate age of the new ones.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"
Beaver Believers
Oregon Pioneer Angler


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Gerald Farris

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 12:54:13 AM »
Darrell,
A slight bowing in the sides of 7 year old batteries is fairly normal. However, at 7 years of age, you are probably nearing the end of their life expectancy. As long as they are holding a charge, do not discharge rapidly when using the inverter, using excessive amounts of water, and are not gassing excessively, there is no need to replace them. But house batteries that are used regularly, rarely last longer that 7 or 8 years.

Gerald   
2002 Solitaire (2017 -  )
2000 Marquis, C12 (2004 - 2017)
1993 Patriot  (2000-2004)
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Tic Wilson

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 06:48:23 PM »
And FWIW, our batteries also appeared to be fine at 6+ years, then we burned up the alternator just after leaving Quartzsite last year.
I had the alternator rebuilt in Chandler, and the service tech said it was because the alternator was trying to build a charge on the batteries.  We replaced both chassis and house batteries.  I too would say bite the bullet at 7 years and replace soon.
Tic & Dusty Wilson
2005 Monterey Laguna IV Cat C9 - Wrangler Unlimited

Darrell Terry

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 08:43:38 PM »
I have decided to replace our 6 volt House batteries after 8 years of service.
I took a picture of wiring layout, is there anything else I need to do before and/or after replacing House batteries?
Do I need to disconnect from power pole or is just switching off House switch in battery bay OK ?
Thanks in advance
2004 Monterey

Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 10:30:29 PM »
Darrell,
I'd turn both house and chassis batteries off to be sure. I'd also turn off the inverter. You shouldn't have to disconnect from shore power though.
Steve
Steve
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2005-2013: 01 Contessa Naples, 3126B, 330 hp

Joel Ashley

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 06:57:13 AM »
I’d throw a tarp over the solar panel or pull its fuse;  it charges batteries even with their mains off, and some sparking can occur when removing and refitting battery connections.  I defer to Steve, but personally would not be plugged in to 110 if I didn’t absolutely need to be - my inverter charger at least floats whether the inverter or charge lamps are on or not.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"
Beaver Believers
Oregon Pioneer Angler


                          Godspeed Ken

Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 04:26:09 PM »
Joel makes good points. I agree. Thx Joel,
Steve
Steve
2015-          07 Contessa Bayshore C9,  400 hp
2013-2015: 00 Marquis Tourmaline, C12, 425 hp
2005-2013: 01 Contessa Naples, 3126B, 330 hp

Bill Sprague

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Re: 6 volt Coach battery question
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 06:43:55 PM »
And FWIW, our batteries also appeared to be fine at 6+ years, then we burned up the alternator just after leaving Quartzsite last year.
I had the alternator rebuilt in Chandler, and the service tech said it was because the alternator was trying to build a charge on the batteries.  We replaced both chassis and house batteries.  I too would say bite the bullet at 7 years and replace soon.

Back when Beaver held rallies and seminars the warranty manager held one on dry camping.  In it he explained that there was a high rate of alternator replacements under warranty.  He explained that even heavy duty alternators are designed to first replace the energy drawn down by starting the engine and then maintaining the lights and electrical systems.  If you add four to six deep cycle batteries that are dead from dry camping the load is beyond design capacity of the alternator.  The result is that the alternator gets hot and causes premature failure.

The solution is to run the Onan for awhile after dry camping. 
Bill Sprague
Past Region 1 VP
2015 PleasureWay Pursuit w/6.8 L Triton V10
PAST 12 year owner of '04 Monterey w/Cummins ISC 350