Battery Bank in Kimberley Kamper

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 13:21
ThreadID: 76415 Views:9639 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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G'day All,

After having my 2005 KK on charge for the past few months (I always have it plugged in whilst in the shed) we headed off for a weekend of camping. (Fridge was run down to temp whilst on 240 AC)

Once we got to our camp site I turned the fridge on (Eutectic Autofridge) and noticed the low-volt warning light was flashing on the fridge. No power had been used on the way up to camp. (30 minutes from home)

I'm thinking the 210A/hrs of batteries are cactus and will need replacing - Prior to packing up I checked the on-board monitor - the batteries were at 9V - but still showing 100% Charge. I'll get them load tested before replacing same.

My question is what have people replaced their Kimberley Kamper batteries with - do you replace 'as is' or go for something different that will fit? At present, being a Platinum KK, is 6 AGMs of 35A/Hr each.

Thoughts?


Tim - Stratford.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 13:43

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 13:43
I have found that due to their mounting arrangement and gap to the bed, there aren't really many options than the original Exides ED10S. I did the search and couldn't find any decent AGMs that would fit.

You should aim to get them for $150 each for comparison of pricing. (i have been quoted this price in NQ)

To check the batteries, look for bulges in them, especially in the centre ones, a sign they are stuffed.

Disconnect the postive terminals and check voltages across each. Not all of them will be low voltage as a guess, however it is safer to replace ALL of them at the same time.

Hope that helps.

Andrew
AnswerID: 406493

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 14:09

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 14:09
I should clarify that there are not many options other than the ED10S size. That is, others likeFullriver DC35-12A would work due to their size.
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Reply By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 15:34

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 15:34
Tim, not sure what charger you have but Karavans use a Xantrex 20 or 40 amphour charger. There is a capability to do a desulphation with the Xantrex, but I am not sure what capacity you have. In saying all that, by seeing the monitoring at 9v the batteries are FLAT and I don't know it would help!

I agree with Andrew above. I hope to be able to use a heavier battery bank when we get around to upgrading. I haven't measured all the dimensions - but am hoping.......

We actually keep ours charged with solar panels - 2x80w and keep the fridge going too.
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:07

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:07
Older models had the xantrex truecharge 10i with option of the 20A version IIRC.

Desulphation is pretty hard with a sealed battery.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 22:54

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 22:54
May be hard Andrew, but it is recommended by Kimberley. Could be that wrong voltage was selected that has allowed to not charge effectively on float.
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:21

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:21
Thanks John, haven't read that before....though i have the older xantrex which doesn't have a desulphation option.

Andrew
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Reply By: TF2 - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 15:36

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 15:36
The other Post is correct that you wont have much luck trying to get another brand of battery to fit in that space. I bought a 2005 platinum in April last year only to find that the batteries were stuffed. Two of the six were still in good condition but based on previous advice from many others. Dont mix old batteries with new so I replaced the whole bank.

One thing I have learnt since buying the trailer.
As a general rule dont run your batteries below 50% capacity as this shortens their life.

Check your charger to ensure correct operation.

Has your battery monitor worked correctly all the time? I found after doing the first couple of trips with mine that the battery monitor would work fine for a while then start giving incorrect readings. After closer inspection found that the incorrect cable had been run from monitor to the shunt causing the issues. It needs to be a shielded 2 core twisted pair. Once this was replaced all was good again. Unsure why Kimberley would not run the correct wire but thats what I found.
AnswerID: 406513

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 17:18

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 17:18
"Unsure why Kimberley would not run the correct wire"

- Carpenters don't get a lot of training in that area.
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:04

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:04
Have you seen the wiring Mike? LOL To be honest, the wiring in mine was very poor and needed replacing in many areas. I would not take credit for the work if i had done the installation.

No looming, cable tying, looping for extra cable etc.

Andrew
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Reply By: putrol - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 19:17

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 19:17
do not replace them with the exide batteries they are useless & fail on a regular basis use the full river dc35 for a lot longer life & once fitted have the ah metre recalibrated to make sure it is working properly after being disconected
& the batteries fit straight in
AnswerID: 406545

Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:55

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:55
I;m on my 2nd KK and have been away over 80 times in 5yrs and have not had 1 problem with Exides.....suggest everyone ( not only KK owners ) educate themselves with battery maintenabce issues..

Well maintained batteries rarely give problems....poorly maintained owners do ....lol ....
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Follow Up By: putrol - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:07

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:07
that's so true gronk but the fullriver handle the abuse better than the exide's
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 23:50

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 23:50
That may be true, but as said, look after the batts and in the long run it may just save you some big bickies !!
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:57

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:57
What I find dissapointing (on your behalf) is that you are stuck without many options! Can't you modify the battery trays to have a wider choice of battery?

AGM's are the way to go for any camper, even if some disagree at leats one should have a choice on what to fit

AnswerID: 406602

Reply By: Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 08:28

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 08:28
Thanks all for the replies.

I'll individually check the voltages (it's been on charge again since yesterday) to see if only one battery is cactus before getting them load tested if required.

I'll also price the Fullriver -vs- Exide and see who wins :-)

.....now to find that charger manual....



Thanks again.


Tim
AnswerID: 406618

Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 08:41

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 08:41
You should be able to get the charger manual online Tim. I have downloaded a whole heap of manuals for particular things for access on the laptop as I usually take it with me. Xantrex web site
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Gronk - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:20

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:20
Tim, straight after charging, disconnect all the batterues from each other and compare Voltages ( with a multimeter ).....if all seem good, then take them and get them load tested !!
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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 13:42

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 13:42
Hi Tim,
If you replace the batteries then try and get a brand that is available nation wide. Warranties ain't worth anything if you can only deal with an agent 1,000 km away.
If you need to replace one faulty battery in a bank then by using a commonly available brand you will be able to replace it with one with the same dimensions and not have to try and fit in some odd size. Batteries are a consumable item and do need regular replacement so best to go for a reliable brand mid price range. You will not be quite so upset then when your $$$$$ batteries give up in 5 years time.

KK
AnswerID: 406670

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