Battery are working well -- after I maintained them

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 19, 2008 at 22:18
ThreadID: 124893 Views:3512 Replies:3 FollowUps:4
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Howdy all,
We had what looked like severe battery problems last year! However with consultation with Steve (Ranger) the solutions in mind were done and the results are as follows.
Van picked up Nov 2005, has travelled 34000k over some of Aust roughest regions.

They had badly corroded terminals and had been over charged some what via "Toyota reasons" & thus were gassing off vigourously. That was about Oct 07. One rebuilt and sealed battery box later, with batteries getting lots of Carb Soda washes etc and new stainless steel terminal bolts, as that happened, we have satisfaction.
Since then there has been 29 days away Dec 07 plus two separate trips, of 9 days ea in cold overcast weather, in 08 and we still have the system working just as new.
Cleaned the Wattle blossum 'gunk' off the solar panels today, this had built up over late summer! Now with full cloud and drizzling we get all three panels pretty well equal input of 0.4 A each and batteries still hold 12.8v with 190L fridge on !
Thankfully the original batteries are working fine!
Hope this report helps with others.
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 04:57

Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 04:57
Hi Ian & Sally - We are still wiping the leaky batteries with bicarb solution occasionally, and they are still working well. The fact that they leaked in transit (one dissolving it's box and couldn't be transported further - which Steve replaced), proved that it is nothing to do with overcharging. When we started having power problems this trip, we thought one may be failing, but testing proved they all still work well.

Our solar panels had never worked properly - only when we were alongside another BT getting 24 amps in from 4 panels to our 6 amps for the four, did it really prove where the problem was. When i finally saw 2001 date on two (our BT is 1998 so i never suspected we had the dodgy batch, did i really know what the problem was. We just accepted the amps we always got from when we purchsed the van - 7 amps was a very good day! Kyocera are replacing all four regardless of date. Good warranty, but a long wait for them, while we are sitting in a powered site in a crowded CP at Kununurra.

Happy travels

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 06:59

Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 06:59
Thanks for the info MH, food for thought!
Cp in Kununurra - can't be to bad! Which one? We had a great time in the Kona Waters one!
If you have the Guide to the Kimberleys by Ron & Viv Moon, try their directions to the Indigenous Art sites. It saved us $550 each on a Tag-a-long O/N stint! Maybe your F250 may not get around the sharp turns in the scratchy door, 2 wheel sand track, but its only a short walk through that part!
Keep the mail up - it is very enjoyable to read and have our memories refreshed!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 09:09

Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 09:09
Hi Ian & Sally

We got to Kununurra school holidays and show week. All CPs very tightly packed. The overflow area at the showgrounds was out due to the impending show. As we were for once NEEDING a powered sight, Hidden Valley managed to squeeze us in a very narrow site along a row of seasonal workers. Our neighbours are nice, even if we step out of our door almost into their open living area of their camper.

Instead of a lake view, we have the sun rise and set on the hills of Mirima or Kelly's Knob. It is a quiet park on the outskirts of town, but still only 5 minutes to the town centre.

We have taken a few of those tracks already - a member of another forum is giving us tips to spots only the locals know - and yes, they are a bit hairy with the F250.

There have been a few BTs through here - two here tonight; both Bog members who i was pleased to have the opportunity to meet in person.

Mh
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 04:33

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 04:33
Hello Ian & Sally,

I find it hard to believe that the Toyota could somehow overcharge your caravan batteries to that extent. It is more likely that the batteries were faulty.

My reasoning for thinking this is that there is a considerable distance between the Toyota battery and the caravan battery and unless you are using heavy battery cables there would be a voltage drop over that distance.

You haven't reported any problem with your Toyota batteries and if the voltage was high enough to cause problems with the caravan batteries, then the voltage at the Toyota batteries would have been even higher and they would have failed before the caravan batteries.

Just some food for thought.

Brian
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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 05:30

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 05:30
Howdy Brian - thanks for the input. We do have HEAVY wire to the back. It is 30 or 50 amp I am not sure which - I think it is 6mm copper (it just manages to fit into the sleeve in the 7 pin socket) - plus we did some Loooooong runs in hot sunny weather last year on the big trip we did!
Also I need to have some thick vinyl covers over the batteries in the 'Yota' as when we first got it, it already had an acid burn from the main battery on the under side of the bonnet and that was at 43000k! It was a Sydney Water Board vehicle used by a Water Board Surveyer in the Blue Mountains before we got it.
When we were Woomerites we got the Yota serviced in Port Augusta & the service guy in Port Augusta said good idea to this and that he advised all the station Toyotas and the Roo Shooter rigs to do the same as Toyota in the 80 series era was reportedly well known for the problem!
Van batteries have settled somewhat now and seem to be behaving well at present. At nearly three years on I guess we shall soon see what happens. Hope they keep on much longer yet!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 17:05

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 17:05
AGM batteries require much more TLC than flooded. When attempting to charge your van batteries from the vehicle it is possible and probable 14.5v will be applied to them when fully charged. This will shorten their life considerably.

To effectively use your vehicle generator to charge your van batteries requires much more complex circuitry than simply "hooking them together". SG is right when he says this will cause problems. There are a few ways of doing it properly and if anyone is interested I can elaborate on these. Cable size and voltage drop has nothing to do with the problem.

Being able to EFFECTIVELY and SAFELY charge the van batteries from the vehicle is a worthwhile investment to make.

Ern
AnswerID: 575565

Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 18:55

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2008 at 18:55
We for two would like some advice along ths line please Ern.
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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FollowupID: 849925

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