Trojan battery

hi all, first time user
looking for help with a Trojan battery in a camper trailer. haven't used since last Easter and just came back from 4 great days in the bush camping over Easter. Camper has a 15a ctek 5 stage charger and sunday of weekend before Easter starting charging. didn't check water level till Tuesday or Wednesday night and 4 of 6 cells were below plates. wont hold charge so had to rely on generator to keep fridges etc. running
is this $400 battery saveable?
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Reply By: oz doc - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 14:18

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 14:18
Hi Gv- don't chuck it out just yet. The Trojan in our camper trailer has suffered some pretty serious abuse and accidents over the years and only now(5years old) is it in a state to consider replacement. I would top up your water levels, charge it up and see how you go. It may take a few 'cycles' until you really know if it is stuffed or not. (Helps if you have another battery in the camper as a back up if it is stuffed). doc.
AnswerID: 452349

Follow Up By: gv930 - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 15:06

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 15:06
thanks for that oz doc
i'll try plugging camper in to house mains and use camper charger to charge it and drain it with frig running for a few days and see if it comes good. 2nd battery also a good idea, mechanic mate advised the same, have the room so might look at a cheaper backup battery
FollowupID: 725020

Follow Up By: oz doc - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 15:41

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 15:41
Hi Gv- just another small suggestion(which I'm sure many others will disagree with) from my personal camping experience- if you are going to have two batteries in the camper- keep them separate, and don't bother with fancy isolator switches and circuits. Just keep it simple.doc
FollowupID: 725027

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 14:20

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 14:20
You have probably murdered it.
But it may come back if your charger has an equalisation setting on it.
This will put 15 to 16 volts through the battery.
Make sure it is topped up and the lids are off the cells when you do the equalisation.
AnswerID: 452350

Follow Up By: Member Al (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 15:22

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 15:22
Best to NOT take the caps off cells whilst charging. Spray from within the cell will coat the battery top with acid. Cell caps are designed to manage venting even with high charge rates.

If you feel you MUST remove the cell caps, then unscrew them but leave the cap sitting over the opening to prevent spray.


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FollowupID: 725024

Follow Up By: gv930 - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 16:00

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 16:00
thanks al
battery has 2 x 3 cell push on covers so its either on or off
i'm checking it regularly and there is little or no spray when charging. have got compartment cover open to get rid of gases
FollowupID: 725030

Reply By: Member - Steve M1 - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 15:27

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 15:27
Hi gv, PLEASE DONT TOP UP TROJAN WITH TAP WATER ! Top up with rain water only or clean creek water. Chloirne in mains supply WILL stuff your battery.

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AnswerID: 452360

Follow Up By: gv930 - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 16:05

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 16:05
got that one covered
have only been topping up battery with distilled water while charging
going to invest in a hydrometer tomorrow also
FollowupID: 725032

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 21:07

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011 at 21:07
Sorry, sounds dead to me. I've been in the same situation before - if you've recharged it on the Ctek for a few days and its still losing charge, then I have doubts you'll be successful.

Lots of people telling you to top up the water, but a thoroughly flattened battery will have the level drop below the plates. Then as its recharged, the level will rise again. The problem with topping it up with extra water, is that if you are successful in resurrecting the battery, you might find yourself having to remove acid because the battery is then overfull.

Also a totally flattened battery will take at least a week to recharge. The problem is that its internal resistance rises heaps, so it will be slow to accept charge. I can remember one battery being restored after if was flattened dead by a 3-way fridge, but I've seen others since that never get back to normal no matter how long they are charged.

Now that you're back home, give it another go on the Ctek on and off for a week and see what happens, but my guess is that its a lost cause. I have a switch to isolate my camper battery when not in use and hook it up to the charger every few weeks to keep it healthy.
AnswerID: 452392

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