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Old 02-15-2021, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default Battery Replacement

Has anyone swapped out new coach batteries replacing worn out ones in a Winnebago Era? Can I do it myself? Any tricks or precautions to know about.
My 2017 Era 70A ASM house batteries are three plus years old and no longer hold amps. Is three years normal for those batteries to last? I'd rather do it myself than take it in for service appointment.
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Old 02-15-2021, 03:28 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have a lot to learn, may as well start there. Put in a battery monitor while you are there. Bogart or Victron work. Batteries can last longer than that but it is difficult to take care of them without a coulomb counting battery monitor.
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
Sounds like you have a lot to learn, may as well start there. Put in a battery monitor while you are there. Bogart or Victron work. Batteries can last longer than that but it is difficult to take care of them without a coulomb counting battery monitor.
Apparently I,, too, have a lot to learn, so hopefully you can share your expertise in layman’s terms. I have a 2015 ERA 170A with the original coach batteries that are performing just fine with no battery maintenance from me. And so, what battery maintenance should be done? I just check the power levels inside on the panel. They’re always fine. What am I missing?
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:32 PM   #4
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Apparently I,, too, have a lot to learn, so hopefully you can share your expertise in layman’s terms. I have a 2015 ERA 170A with the original coach batteries that are performing just fine with no battery maintenance from me. And so, what battery maintenance should be done? I just check the power levels inside on the panel. They’re always fine. What am I missing?
Pretty much all of it.

Doing a search for "battery monitor" will yield a lot of threads on this already.

I use this on my Safari Trek:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

$45, a deal for what it does. It can be a bit of a challenge to set up but you can always post up for help.

There are other monitors out there that are pretty trick and can tie in nicely with a new solar install but they do get a bit spendy.

The key on a battery monitor is to get one that is "shunt based". Pretty much everything else out there is not a whole lot better than the idiot lights on the factory monitor.

Boondocking/dry camping without a shunt monitor is like driving without a gas gauge and banging on the side of the tank to determine the fuel level. Yes, it can be done, but why...
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by KYRuss View Post
Has anyone swapped out new coach batteries replacing worn out ones in a Winnebago Era? Can I do it myself? Any tricks or precautions to know about.
My 2017 Era 70A ASM house batteries are three plus years old and no longer hold amps. Is three years normal for those batteries to last? I'd rather do it myself than take it in for service appointment.
I have the exact model and year as you. Both of my batteries were drained completely several times when I first bought it. The problem was the switch that connects the batteries to the van charging system was never hooked up properly. I only discovered that when I tried to use the manual switch to boost the van battery with the coach batteries. The house batteries would charge when plugged into shore power, and they would get a small boost from solar so I didnít notice the problem for a few months. Very long story but I did end up replacing both batteries a couple years ago. I looked at everything I would need to do to hold up everything. I saw how corroded everything was and made the decision to let the dealer to it for me. Best $200 Iíve spent in a while.

It would not be too difficult if you had an extra set of hands, but you will be laying on the ground for a while. Earmuffs for the children playing nearby recommended!
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:32 PM   #6
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Thank you! I’ll definitely be looking into this as I prefer boondocking. Call me lucky that I haven’t had any problems so far.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:12 PM   #7
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Thank you! I’ll definitely be looking into this as I prefer boondocking. Call me lucky that I haven’t had any problems so far.
Lead Acid batteries need to be fully charged as often as possible. The definition of fully charged is 14.4 volts and charging at 2 amps for a 100AH battery. You need to have a way to observe that 14.4 volts and 2 amps. Having a percentage charge read out is important, too.

Battery Monitors

The Bogart monitor does not require a 2” hole to be cut for mounting.

https://shop.pkys.com/Victron-Energy...or_p_2810.html

I don’t know anything about the $45 dollar monitor. Maybe it is a good deal. I couldn’t tell if it displayed percentage of charge. I think it does.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:13 PM   #8
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Lead Acid batteries need to be fully charged as often as possible. The definition of fully charged is 14.4 volts and charging at 2 amps for a 100AH battery. You need to have a way to observe that 14.4 volts and 2 amps. Having a percentage charge read out is important, too.

Battery Monitors

The Bogart monitor does not require a 2Ē hole to be cut for mounting.

https://shop.pkys.com/Victron-Energy...or_p_2810.html

I donít know anything about the $45 dollar monitor. Maybe it is a good deal. I couldnít tell if it displayed percentage of charge. I think it does.
Yes it does show the percentage. Also the amps going in or out, amp hours available, and voltage. The back light on it fades in and out when receiving a charge. Installing in an out of the way place may be desirable as the in and out thing could drive one nuts. Not too difficult to program values once the concept is understood. The manual that it comes with is not the best, but workable. It's been installed for about three months now and it seems to be performing well.

In a perfect world I would have purchased a Victron monitor so the Victron solar charge controller and remote wireless battery voltage and temperature sensor would all talk to each other but at the time I bought the monitor I was leaning in a different direction on a charge controller. I wanted the monitor in place to figure out my electrical needs before setting up the solar. I did have a China MPPT controller that did not work out so I gladly went with the Victron, a much better unit for care of the batteries than the el cheapo.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:15 PM   #9
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Hi Steve; a couple of battery questions. I’m replacing my two coach batteries in our 2007 RT 190P the old ones are lead acid and I’m wondering if I replace them with AGM’s , do I need to consider changes in other areas of the electrical system, ie; isolated/ charger-inverter? Also, if I drive the van with the batteries removed, and no load on the charging system, is there any possible damage to inverter charger. I believe the charger engages automatically when you start the engine. Will protecting the battery terminal cables from touching anything suffice to avoid further problems.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:40 PM   #10
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To update...I had my batteries and charging system looked at and evaluated at the Winnebago service center at their factory in Forest City, Iowa in June. The charging system was working fine, no problems there. BUT, the batteries were in very poor condition, one having a big bulge on the side of it. Both were pretty much dead. My theory is we had a two week long excessively cold snap in December of 2020 that pretty much did them in. Got three years out of them, hoping the new ones, Napa, will last longer.
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:42 PM   #11
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My theory is we had a two week long excessively cold snap in December of 2020 that pretty much did them in. Got three years out of them, hoping the new ones, Napa, will last longer.
If a Kentucky cold snap did them in, they were not fully charged before storage. Google "auto battery maintenance" for things to consider. At the least, check the water level before a big trip and after a big trip, and quarterly otherwise (with flooded lead acid batteries). Be sure they're fully charged before storage and recharge monthly. Unless your rig uses a smart charger, do not leave the camper plugged into shore power for extended periods. You risk overcharging.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-30-2021, 01:06 PM   #12
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If a Kentucky cold snap did them in, they were not fully charged before storage. Google "auto battery maintenance" for things to consider. At the least, check the water level before a big trip and after a big trip, and quarterly otherwise (with flooded lead acid batteries). Be sure they're fully charged before storage and recharge monthly. Unless your rig uses a smart charger, do not leave the camper plugged into shore power for extended periods. You risk overcharging.
I completely agree with this, except for the "recharge monthly" part. The self-discharge rate of a healthy FLA battery is no more than 5%/month, and AGM is closer to 1-2%. Plus, cold weather actually SLOWS this. As long as the battery is FULLY-DISCONNECTED from all parasitic loads, you can charge it up, put it to sleep and forget about it for a long time.

I recently retrieved a car that was stored in the mountains of New Mexico from a Covid-induced coma that ended up lasting for 15 months. I flipped the battery disconnect switch and turned the key. It started right up.
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Old 07-30-2021, 01:27 PM   #13
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It would be of interest, I think, to know what the battery brand and model number are. For instance, two 12v wet combination batteries like are seen in some OEM builds, can have quite short life and very poor tolerance for abuse. Two high quality 6v golf cart batteries generally do much better in the harsh real world of RV use, especially in wet cells.
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:04 AM   #14
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I completely agree with this, except for the "recharge monthly" part. The self-discharge rate of a healthy FLA battery is no more than 5%/month, and AGM is closer to 1-2%. Plus, cold weather actually SLOWS this. As long as the battery is FULLY-DISCONNECTED from all parasitic loads, you can charge it up, put it to sleep and forget about it for a long time.
You are correct, but I was addressing the OP's situation. From context, the OP probably doesn't disconnect his batteries and a monthly charge anticipates possible parasitic load. While it never hurts to top them off, any deep discharge shortens their lives.
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:27 AM   #15
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............................
I recently retrieved a car that was stored in the mountains of New Mexico from a Covid-induced coma that ended up lasting for 15 months. I flipped the battery disconnect switch and turned the key. It started right up.
I have a Varta battery fully charged and disconnected since 10/19 and plan to use it in 6/22, so 2 years and 3 month. I will likely find it totally dead and not recoverable.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:39 AM   #16
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I have a Varta battery fully charged and disconnected since 10/19 and plan to use it in 6/22, so 2 years and 3 month. I will likely find it totally dead and not recoverable.
Maybe. But I wouldn't bet on it.
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Old 07-31-2021, 04:48 PM   #17
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Hi Steve; a couple of battery questions. Iím replacing my two coach batteries in our 2007 RT 190P the old ones are lead acid and Iím wondering if I replace them with AGMís , do I need to consider changes in other areas of the electrical system, ie; isolated/ charger-inverter? Also, if I drive the van with the batteries removed, and no load on the charging system, is there any possible damage to inverter charger. I believe the charger engages automatically when you start the engine. Will protecting the battery terminal cables from touching anything suffice to avoid further problems.
Usually the AGM have similar but not identical charging characteristics. I'm not well versed with inverter/chargers or AGM charging profiles but hopefully the charger that you have can be adjusted for AGM.

The isolator or separator will be fine with flooded or agm, but lithium would be a different ball game.

On TDY near Montrose, CO.
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