Prolong the life of a dual battery

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 20:50
ThreadID: 8456 Views:2087 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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I was told a deep cycle battery should be used constantly to maximise it's life . As I only go camping every month or so it sits in the engine bay doing bugger all. I was thinking of plugging a small load ( la amp or a resistor ) into the cig lighter to provide a small current draw for the battery when I am not out camping. Any thoughts if this would help the life expectancy of the battery?
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Reply By: Member - Ross - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 21:26

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 21:26
I assume the batteries are connected in parallel (if not you've got mucho problemo in a 12V system). In which case why not leave the 2 connected, that way they both get a go at starting the beast and both cop a charge from the alternator.

Just bought a aux battery today which I've mounted on the CT, hence it will be disconnected for longer times than I would like.... obviously being out there is much more to my liking than at the coal face.

Anyway, bloke from battery shop advised minor discharging was not as important as hooking up to charger (regardless of charge level) every 4-6 weeks.

That way hopefully I should maximise the life span.Rosco
AnswerID: 36917

Follow Up By: duncs - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 23:07

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 23:07

I use one of those $50 solar panels that sit on the dash and plug into the cig lighter to trickle charge the battery.

My camper has a cig socket on the back and the solar panel sits on the roof of the car port. Had it going for about 9months now on a second hand battery. On our last trip to the centre and Simpson desert I had no problems with the battery running lights and the 40l Engel. FIrst trip it hasn't gone flat after 10 min.

FollowupID: 26710

Follow Up By: Member - Ross - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 07:45

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 07:45
Hey Duncs

That sounds like a good idea, where do you get these el cheapo panels and would 6m of wire (say 3-4mm) be OK.

Perhaps yopu could advise also Dave.

FollowupID: 26731

Follow Up By: duncs - Monday, Nov 17, 2003 at 21:28

Monday, Nov 17, 2003 at 21:28
Further to the follow up. My battery is NOT a deep cycle. It came out of a mates diesel troopy and has worked pretty hard but been well maintained. It is mounted in a camper trailer. My aux battery in hte dar is a calcium, which I am told lies somewhere between a deep cycle and a normal starting battery in characteristics

The littles solar panel is available at most of the auto accessory chains as well as some of the department stores like Kmart, Target and Big W.

FollowupID: 27226

Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 21:31

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 at 21:31
Just keep your fridge hooked up and running 24 -7......................_____________________________________________

AnswerID: 36921

Reply By: David N. - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 06:10

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 06:10
Lead acid batteries have a limited lifetime in cycles- the more deeply discharged the sooner they die.
Lead acid batteries when used for standby power and kept on trickle charge can last 10 years or more.
Why on earth would you want to "use" your battery unnecessarily?
Do keep it fully charged.
Do keep it as cool as possible.
Do avoid vibration as much as possible.

I think you've been given misinformation by someone trying to sell you another battery ASAP. (I DO have a degree in electrical engineeing so have SOME idea what I'm talking about....)
AnswerID: 36965

Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 09:36

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 09:36
Good advice David!
It seems that the number of sharks out there telling people to discharge there batteries by "using" them is growing....
The more you cycle it the more batteries you will need from them.
FollowupID: 26736

Follow Up By: basecamp15 - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 10:55

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 10:55
Yeah dave's right.
One suggestion though. If you're still concerned about buggering your deep cycle, purchase a normal battery (say, EXIDE Extreme, it's what I have in my system) and run it for everyday use and swap to the deep cycle for your trips. Just a thought.
FollowupID: 26744

Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 11:17

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 11:17
THe best thing I have used for a deep cycle battery (and I must admit that I was very reluctant and sceptic at the start) is a megapulse.
This device creates a high pitch pulse which apparently removes all the sulphation from the plates.
It has worked for my deep cycle batteries and a few people I know had similar results...
Boating and Caravan People use it all the time.
FollowupID: 26747

Follow Up By: Mickl - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 17:51

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 17:51
David N is correct. I use a Panasonic LC-X(65ah deep cycle) series battery which comes with an extensive data sheet. It confirms Davids advice. Life of 10yrs plus if trickle charged. It also recomends low voltage cut out to prevent unnecessary deep discharge. Avoid vibration, and high temperatures.

I found temperature to be an interesting one... for every 5 degrees increase in average exposed temp a loss of 3yrs battery life...
Time to put my batteries in boxes! I've noted a lot of new cars have insulated batteries from the factory, also noted that most people with dual battery set ups don't use a battery box or any insulation even when their second battery is mounted exhaust manifold side. Seems to me like a cheap way to extend battery life.
FollowupID: 26771

Follow Up By: Fenno - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 22:26

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 22:26
this forum thread couldnt have come at a better time. I am right now installing dual batteries in my 2.8 GU patrol. I bought the battery carrier and "smart solenoid" from ARB (the whole kit was way too much $$).

If I just have it installed and use it periodically to run my accessories such as fridge, radios etc, but it charges constantly when the vehicle is running will I need a deep cycle or just a decent heavly duty, will I get good life etc.

What do you think.

FollowupID: 26805

Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:27

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:27
Initially I did not get any more than 12 months from my deep cycle battery installed on an ARB tray (4.2TD GUPatrol).
Nothing wrong with the charging/use.
On the last one I replaced I added the same original insulator box that comes from factory on the other side (bought it from Nissan) and also added the megapulse, no other changes, same battery brand, same use.
So far I have 20months and going strong.
FollowupID: 26850

Reply By: Charlie - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 17:13

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 17:13
4WD Monthly keep pushing the line that not using your battery will kill it, I'd sure like them to quote the source of this information. Overchargong is defintely bad but a decent charger should not cause any damage.
AnswerID: 37031

Reply By: Member - Bob L - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 23:13

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 at 23:13
I was advised to use a standard battery as 2nd unit on the basis that it could replace the startup battery in need. I also have a 2.8 GU and find the battery can get very hot and will spit(spray) acid if overfilled has happened to me following a routine service.

To help reduce the heat problem I have riveted an aliminium heat deflector to the battery carrier and this appears to help.

On the positive side ths setup is over 3 years old and still going strong. Runs radios,fridge and camping lights.

Dick Smith sell a voltage indicator kit with a single diode which shows green when above a preset voltage and red when below. I built one and set it at just under 11 volts. Only cost $10 and fits easy behind switch blank(Just a small hole for the led.)

As other have stated, Lead acid batteries love to be kept charged and fail very quickly if left in a discharged condition.

Cheers Bob

AnswerID: 37094

Reply By: AK - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 21:52

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 21:52
Thanks guy's, I guess I'll keep her fully charged.
AnswerID: 37239

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