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Old 08-05-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
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Help w/ house batteries after changing van batteries (6.0L)

Hi Guys I recently changed my Ford batteries after 65,000 miles or so. I am the third owner. After this I found my house batteries running around 10.7 w/ solar. I know this is not good from reading the posts on the forum. After about two days I am finally seeing the house batteries around 13.7 for some reason....possibly the sunny weather here in utah? Before this my SMB sat in the sun for a week or so, with nothing running.

I have found that the house batteries are in two different compartments outside of the frame. I am assuming that I have to access these from the top, which will require me to remove a water tank on the passengers side (see pic).

Is this normal? Should I look for lifeline batteries or something else? I have not checked to see what batteries are currently in it.

How do I determine if the solar is charging? How do I tell if the house batteries are toast? I have limited electrical/mechanical abilities but I am tempted to change the house batteries myself if I can save some money.

Thanks for all your help. This is an awesome website for the knowledge.



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Old 08-05-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
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Re: Help w/ house batteries after changing van batteries (6.

Are you sure the house batteries are toast? The voltage going to 13+ volts w/o the engine or charger running is an indication that the solar is working. If the batteries drop to the low 12volt zone by morning and nothing is on, the batteries could be failing. You should be able to leave the porch light on all night and still be above 12v by daybreak. Still there could be a connection issue or ghost draw of some sort but that's somewhat rare.

As far as the battery make and size, that is usually determined by the owner and what he/she requested.

The house battery location also depends on the build. Some have inside/outside locations. It can depend on the space that was availiable and how it came from SMB. Sometimes an owner will want to add a second battery and SMB will just find a spot for it. I doubt SMB would install it where the water tank would have to come out unless the owner requested it to be that way. I have seen it where the seat has to come off though.

The only true way to test the batteries is to pull each and test each by itself. One bad cell in a bank of batteries can kill the whole banks making the other(s) look bad. Still if you do have one bad battery it's best to replace them all with same model, size, make, and age.

A good battery like a Lifeline can be brought back to life with a good hard charge...after that test it again
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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Re: Help w/ house batteries after changing van batteries (6.

After plugging in the van to my residence for about 18 hours my volts are showing 13.4. Then Fter driving it for a few miles the volts read 10.4. The only thing running is the fridge.

Do most RV dealerships have the ability and knowledge ton test and troubleshoot, then replace batteries in the coach if necessary? I would do it myself but I am leaving for a month for work.

Can anyone recommend a good repair shop in the SLC area?

Thanks
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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Re: Help w/ house batteries after changing van batteries (6.

So far so good but you're not out of the woods yet. Now put a load on it for about 1 min and then check the voltage. If you have 12.4V or better, they are probably usable.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:21 PM   #5
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Re: Help w/ house batteries after changing van batteries (6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepone007
After plugging in the van to my residence for about 18 hours my volts are showing 13.4. Then Fter driving it for a few miles the volts read 10.4. The only thing running is the fridge.

Do most RV dealerships have the ability and knowledge ton test and troubleshoot, then replace batteries in the coach if necessary? I would do it myself but I am leaving for a month for work.

Can anyone recommend a good repair shop in the SLC area?

Thanks
Does the van have a battery separator? More than likely it does. If so you should disconnect the bond between the chassis and house battery. If the van doesn't start after that you might have a vehicle charge/chassis battery problem. The solar should be hooked up to the house side. If that's the case the house side will drop to below 12v after a night if the fridge is running. At least that is where I'd start.

If you can find an honost RV dealership they should be able to take care of you. Post back what they want to charge you for the job.
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