care of Deep Cycle Batteries

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 17:41
ThreadID: 92818 Views:1897 Replies:2 FollowUps:4
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I have a Deep Cycle Battery in our Jayco Caravan and was wondering about its Maintenance. Can you overcharge them? I have heard it is bad to let batteries completely run out of charge. What is the min Volts and Max volts to maintain in good order. I have a Voltmeter and use it to check the charge,but I am sure there is more to it than this. thanks john
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 18:07

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 18:07
Have a bit of a read here.

Battery Info
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Follow Up By: johno59 - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 18:27

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 18:27
Thanks Notso
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 18:47

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 18:47
John,

The Wind&sun site shown by Notso is an excellent reference for battery and battery charging information. At the bottom of the web page is a coloured graph, showing the Green, yellow and red levels of a battery's state of charge voltage.

In short though, yes, you can certainly overcharge a battery if using a "dumb" charger that just pumps a constant voltage and current into it.
The maximum volts for a battery is approximately 12.8v (fully charged) and should be measured without a charger operating at the time.
The "minumum" voltage is 10.4v (dead flat)
A deep cycle battery can survive a reasonable drain on it's capacity (up to 70% drained) but just a few cycles of full drainage of a battery can render it "buggered" due to plate sulfation.

The best investment you can make is a muli-stage charger to look after your battery.
A multi-stage charger goes through several steps to supply a good charging regime, ending up with a maintenance charge mode that ensures the battery has reached 100% capacity and will not be overcharged. The charger can be left on for prolonged periods without damaging your battery.

Another good investment for remotely mounted batteries such as that in your caravan, is the ability to charge it while travelling from your vehicle alternator.
To give the best possible charging process for this method and overcome voltage drop from a long cable run, a dc-dc charger which is also includes a multi-stage process is the best solution. Some models also include the ability to add solar panel input when stationary, in situations where you are camping away from 240v sources.


Bill


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AnswerID: 481539

Follow Up By: johno59 - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 19:04

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 19:04
Bill, Thanks for this info. I am a bit of a dud when it comes to electrics,so this info is most helpful. My battery can be charged while the van is unhooked and stationary from a 240 volt supply.You just connect the lead to the van and it charges. Can this method cause overcharging. How long should the lead be connected from the 240 supply? john
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Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 21:27

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 21:27
Hi John,

As long as the charging end voltage stays under 14.8V (deep cycle AGM battery), and the charger switches back to 13.6~13.8V after a couple of hours, everything's under control.
Only when temps go below 15 or above 35 degrees, you should consider a charger with temperature compensation (battery temperature sensor).

Use a multimeter connected directly to the battery terminals to observe the voltages.

cheers, Peter
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 22:28

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 at 22:28
John,

Depending on your particular model of Jayco Caravan, you may well have a multi-stage charger installed.

The best advice I can offer is to ask your Jayco dealer if the charger is a multi-stage "smart" charger.
I doubt if you would be given inaccurate advice.
If they confirm the charger provides a maintenance type (pulse) charging technique this can be left active for a prolonged period without detrimental affect to your battery.



Bill


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