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Author Topic: House Batteries for 2008 2551  (Read 808 times)
desert340
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« on: March 02, 2014, 11:54:21 pm »

Getting ready to replace the original batteries on my 2008, 2551 Phoenix.  What are the recommended engine and house battery replacements.
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 12:22:36 am »

Everyone has their own idea as to what is best in regards to cost versus benefit.

A year ago I replaced the original Ford chassis battery with a sealed Sears AGM at a steep price of around $200 on sale.  Time will tell if it was worth the cost.  

Our coach batteries are Walmart MAXX now near 6 years old and are still performing well.  They cost near $100 each.  I think today they are $6 higher per battery.

Battery life is greatly extended by disconnecting them (must be fully charged) when the rig is not in use....while in storage.  I was real good doing that with our first rig and the batteries all lasted over 10 years each.  I've gotten back into that routine just this past year with our PC.

ADDING ON February 2016
Since I posted this reply, the trip we took later in 2014, one battery failed which caused boil-overs.  Thinking about it, I really should have taken that bad battery offline and finish the trip with one house battery.  Off season between 2014 & 2015, I replaced the batteries again, now on the 3rd set (2nd replacement set), this time with two-6V sealed AGM batteries.  Our 4 week trip in 2015 with them worked perfect as expected.  As the years pass, I will see if they were worth the extra investment.

The chassis battery replacement Sears AGM is doing it's job well.

We have been 100% AGM for a year now.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 11:41:30 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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BarbRN
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2016, 10:13:36 pm »

Getting ready to replace the original batteries on my 2008, 2551 Phoenix.  What are the recommended engine and house battery replacements.

We've been plugged in for the winter too.  Battery was dead on the engine on our 2008.  I thought the house batteries helped start the vehicle in this case.
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Barry-Sue
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 06:44:00 am »

Barb,

There is a white switch on the drivers side dash, ours is to the left of the steering wheel, you need to hold that in for a few minutes to place a charge into the cab battery.   There needs to be a good charge in your house batteries and make sure you are in the use mode and not the store mode.

When you think you have enough charge (could be 5 minutes or so) release the switch and try to start your engine.

Sue
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 11:23:31 am »

Barry-Sue has it right.  But that works only if the engine battery can hold a charge.  If not, holding the switch will only drain the house batteries.

I carry 20 foot long jumper cables that reach between batteries.  Speaking from experience with our PC, jumper-cabling a truly dead engine battery through the house batteries, will start the engine and get you on your way to a battery store.  If our engine battery fails us again in any manner, my first choice would be to pull out the jumper cables again.

Holding the switch in for 5 minutes is good to try if you don't have jumper cables with you.
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 11:26:05 am »

Excellent idea, Ron!  I've just added jumper cables to my list of "should have" items.

Jim
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 11:47:47 am »

Excellent idea, Ron!  I've just added jumper cables to my list of "should have" items.

Jim
Jim,

Be sure to purchase high quality jumper cables in such long lengths.  The thicker, the better.  That means the lower the number of the gauge, the thicker the cable will be.  It's the opposite of what you would expect.

Too thin of a cable might not do the job for jump starting.....only good for charging.

First measure the distance between house and chassis batteries.  The 20 footer works great on our 2350.  But each PC model has different distances.  Don't buy a set that turns out to be too short.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 11:53:36 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2016, 11:59:28 am »

Ron,

Thanks for the additional information.  Here is the note I made to myself (I have a running list) - "Jumper cables that are long enough (20' for Ron Dittmer's 2350) to reach from house batteries to the engine batteries for times when engine batts won't start engine."  I've now added that they be heavy duty.  Thanks again!!

Jim
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Doneworking
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2016, 02:14:10 pm »

I think it is always a good idea when jumping from the house to vehicle battery to start the generator first, let it run a minute or two and then jump.  You are getting a higher voltage that way since the genset is charging the house batteries at the same time you are draining it for the chassis battery. 

Paul
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TomHanlon
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2016, 03:41:35 pm »

Another option that I use is to carry a battery charger and a 25 foot extention cord. When I Want to charge the battery, I plug into the outside plug by the door. If the coach is not plugged into 120v, I just start the generator.
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2016, 04:22:26 pm »

Paul and Tom went the extra steps on "Efficient & Effective" jump starting.  I too have practiced both the one time we got into a real pickle.  Sharing my own little jump-starting drama next......


A few spring times ago with the original 7 year old Ford engine battery, I used our hibernating 2350 to transport my area family from the Chicago region to Louisville for a funeral.  All ready to go, the PC wouldn't start because the engine battery had died while in storage.  I quickly jump started the engine with the jumper cables and we were off under the assumption the battery would get charged during our long voyage.  Unfortunately the battery was truly dead for every time I turned off the engine, I had to jump it to start it again.  That ritual worked for the over-night trip until our final stop in a rest area heading back home.  My wife was driving and I made it extremely clear "DO NOT turn off the engine after putting the vehicle in park", but habit kicked in the 10 seconds after given the instruction and that was the end of the end.  We were stranded for 3 hours.


The usual jump starting from the house batteries had gotten very "testy" the time prior so I ran the generator when jump-starting, but it was not enough to turn over the engine.  We also got a powerful jump from a Good Samaritan with an 18 wheeler yielding the same ineffective results.

What finally worked was recharging the house batteries to "full" using our 40 amp secondary charger powered by the generator, then jumping from those batteries again along with the 40 amp secondary charger hooked up directly on the dead battery.

Everything has it's limitations.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 04:28:53 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2016, 04:29:07 pm »

Also a great idea!  I guess it would come down to which was most easily stored and took the lesser of available space.

Thanks!

Jim
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BarbRN
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 04:42:54 pm »

Thank you all.  It's been a while so we forget a few things and our manual has nothing about this issue.  You're the best! Hug2
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Doneworking
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2016, 09:24:04 pm »

We go to some pretty remote, off grid, off cell service places.  So, I don't try to maximize the life of the chassis battery on our PC or any vehicle for that matter.  My experiences with OEM batteries have been mixed over the century I have been driving (well, just a little over half that long).  Those of us of a certain age remember six volt vehicle batteries and generators, not alternators.  The faster you drove at night, the brighter your lights!

In any event, I replace the vehicle battery every four years.  Good battery, bad battery, questionable battery:  48 months and I go get a new one (usually at Walmart), put it in and I haven't had a battery failure in a long time unless I do something stupid and leave something on.  Also, we need to remember about parasitic draining on vehicle batteries.  Even when parked and stored they are discharging from clocks, etc.   Every four years, out the door.  That costs me less than two dollars a month to follow that procedure.  Could I get another six months or three years out of a battery?  Maybe, if I was lucky but it is just my little luxury of life for the price of a cup of coffee every month. 

Paul
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