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Old 02-25-2018, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default 2012 GWV Legend EX, All four house batteries dead!

In 2012 I purchased a GWV EX new, then sold to a friend in late 2013 with 20K miles on it.

I'm taking the GWV back in a trade arrangement - he is taking my 2013 Airstream 19 Intl. Signature plus a few bucks and I'm getting the GWV back with 35K miles on it.

He is a pilot and did not have much chance to use it BUT it has sat for the last 4 months NOT plugged into electric and no charge to the house batteries. He did put a trickle charger on the engine battery fortunately.


Exchange of "toys" will be this Wednesday BUT I am aware that all for of the house batteries are dead. His voltmeter showed 0.3 volts! Batteries are four Power Sonic PS-62000B units, 6 volts, 210 Amp. Hrs. Looks like $300 each to replace!

Now, as I remember the GWV, their switches to control charging, usage, storage can be a bit confusing. This rig has the solar package and I would expect that to have charged the rig in storage, but apparently not.

So, seeking advice:
1. Much chance the batteries, already 6 years old, can be brought back to life? IF so, best way/brand of charger/routine.

2. If not, just replace with the same Power Source units?

3. A way to start the generator when the house batteries are dead on the GWV?

4. He just check the Samlex Solar panel and can't get any reading off of it for incoming voltage BUT could that be because the all batteries are dead and the panel needs more current than the panel alone puts out to define it's status?

5. What else am I not smart enough to ask here?

PS: My passion is Landscape Photography and thus the van will be taking me to many campsites that do not have a power source. Thus, I'm not keen on cutting way back on the Amp Hours of dry camping time that the manufacturers original gear gives me.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:55 PM   #2
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1. Much chance the batteries, already 6 years old, can be brought back to life? IF so, best way/brand of charger/routine.
Maybe. But, a 6-year-old battery that has been poorly treated has got to be near the end of its lifetime, so I'm not sure it is worth the effort.
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2. If not, just replace with the same Power Source units?
I wouldn't. I would just replace them with a pair of 12V Group 31s. I have had good luck with the NAPA 9833 (which is actually made by DEKA, apparently). Less than half the price.
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3. A way to start the generator when the house batteries are dead on the GWV?
Long jumper cables from the chassis battery? You might be able to do it by forcing the isolation relay closed (or bridging the terminals).
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:52 PM   #3
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It came from GW with 420ah of batteries? That is a lot for a stock class B in 2012. As Avanti says, you could go with less capacity, if you don't need that much power, but I think I would go with just two of the 6 volt instead of four of them rather than using 12v versus going to 12v versions. Personally, I like Lifeline AGM batteries. Lifelines would be about the same $300 each.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:58 PM   #4
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.

6 years old house battery?

It does not matter if he had plugged it in; it's time to change them anyway.

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Old 02-25-2018, 04:05 PM   #5
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It came from GW with 420ah of batteries? That is a lot for a stock class B in 2012.
I was wondering about that, too. Where did they even put four batteries? Can 2 6V batteries fit in each of the side battery compartments?
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Old 02-25-2018, 04:58 PM   #6
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They are 6v batteries.

Net AH should be 210.
He said there were four of them.
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:42 PM   #7
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I was wondering about that, too. Where did they even put four batteries? Can 2 6V batteries fit in each of the side battery compartments?
Correct, four in the van's floor contained in 4 separate compartments, two on the right and two on the left. Each is 210 Amp 6 volts with solar panels and a propane generator to support them.

Please remember, this is on the 3500 chassis and 26.5' long.
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:49 PM   #8
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It came from GW with 420ah of batteries? That is a lot for a stock class B in 2012. As Avanti says, you could go with less capacity, if you don't need that much power, but I think I would go with just two of the 6 volt instead of four of them rather than using 12v versus going to 12v versions. Personally, I like Lifeline AGM batteries. Lifelines would be about the same $300 each.
About a year ago I put Linelines into my Airstream 19 Bambi and have been happy with them. Just could have an issue with dimensions. Wish I could find a way to load up a photo of the rear compartment under the bed to show how they positioned them in the floor.
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:50 PM   #9
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Correct, four in the van's floor contained in 4 separate compartments, two on the right and two on the left. Each is 210 Amp 6 volts with solar panels and a propane generator to support them.

Please remember, this is on the 3500 chassis and 26.5' long.
Ah, right. I forgot they put four battery boxes in the EXT version.
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:56 PM   #10
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That is interesting, it looks like they have six volt batteries in a group 31 case. You might need to use 12v batteries if you change brand.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:02 PM   #11
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That is interesting, it looks like they have six volt batteries in a group 31 case. You might need to use 12v batteries if you change brand.
I want to keep the replacement as simple as possible, or course that is to drop in what is already there. Of course, if for same amount of cash or less I can improve on what I have, I'm all for it.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:07 PM   #12
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If it means being able to get to better batteries, the change from two sixes to two twelves is not much cabling in most cases. Certainly nothing major. My experience with Powersonic is limited to small batteries that are for the string trimmer, burglar alarm, and the 12ah one I just got for the testing on the AGM and lithium combo installation we have been talking about elsewhere on the forum. They have been OK, but the application is totally different.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:09 AM   #13
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Is there ANY real advantage to the 12 volt batteries verse 6 volt?
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:38 AM   #14
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Is there ANY real advantage to the 12 volt batteries verse 6 volt?
In a lot of batteries it is the other way around as the 6 volts would be golf cart batteries, which tend to have the manufacturers concentrate on deep cycling performance. Lifeline claims this is not true with their 12v batteries, and when I was looking at our setup they said that four 12v batteries would have essentially the same performance and life as the 6 volt GC batteries.

I think the Lifeline group 31 batteries are a bit taller than what you have, however.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:40 AM   #15
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I think the Lifeline group 31 batteries are a bit taller than what you have, however.
I looked at Lifeline, as I mentioned above I put them into my Airstream 19, but none that they have will fit.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:42 AM   #16
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In a lot of batteries it is the other way around as the 6 volts would be golf cart batteries, which tend to have the manufacturers concentrate on deep cycling performance. Lifeline claims this is not true with their 12v batteries, and when I was looking at our setup they said that four 12v batteries would have essentially the same performance and life as the 6 volt GC batteries.

I think the Lifeline group 31 batteries are a bit taller than what you have, however.
I suspect since I had a 2011 Great West Van with group 31 12v batteries the boxes will accept them. All you have to do is measure the box.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:52 AM   #17
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Just got an email from the chap I'm trading with. He arrived in SC and will spend a couple of days with the family before coming here on Wednesday.

PROBLEM - first chance he has had to plug the rig into 35 amps. Says all 110 outlets working and microwave BUT nothing on a 12 volt circuit works. The electronic panel of controls/gauges for the solar panel, etc has no power.

My guess, the charger/inverter has failed?
I've not seen the rig since 2013 so I don't remember for sure.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:56 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by CleanLivin View Post
Just got an email from the chap I'm trading with. He arrived in SC and will spend a couple of days with the family before coming here on Wednesday.

PROBLEM - first chance he has had to plug the rig into 35 amps. Says all 110 outlets working and microwave BUT nothing on a 12 volt circuit works. The electronic panel of controls/gauges for the solar panel, etc has no power.

My guess, the charger/inverter has failed?
I've not seen the rig since 2013 so I don't remember for sure.
Don't panic. If you said the batteries are dead then nothing on the 12V side is going to work. If you plug into shore power the 120V stuff will work.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:58 AM   #19
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Even if the batteries are dead, would not the inverter drop 110 to 12 volt and pass it through to the 12 volt lights?
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:58 AM   #20
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Just got an email from the chap I'm trading with. He arrived in SC and will spend a couple of days with the family before coming here on Wednesday.

PROBLEM - first chance he has had to plug the rig into 35 amps. Says all 110 outlets working and microwave BUT nothing on a 12 volt circuit works. The electronic panel of controls/gauges for the solar panel, etc has no power.

My guess, the charger/inverter has failed?
I've not seen the rig since 2013 so I don't remember for sure.
Very possible the batteries are too low to initiate the battery charger. Most need to see about 9v of battery power or they won't come on. If it is possible on that van to get the engine to charge the batteries, which is likely, then running the engine while plugging in will likely get the charger to start.
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