AGM Battery Camper Trailer Problems

heydeman
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AGM Battery Camper Trailer Problems

Unread post by heydeman » June 27th, 2015, 7:58 am

Hello All,

In 2010 I bought a new 220AH AGM Battery (SSB Brand from All Purpose batteries) and mounted it in a custom made box on my camper trailer, all 66 kgs of it!

The box has an isolation switch, 100A Blue Sea fuse, and the about 3 metres of 4AWG cable to a distribution box at the back of the trailer. It is always charged using a Projecta IC3500 35A smart charger (7 stage, on its AGM setting).

It is used primarily for an Engel fridge and LED lighting, but also runs a 300VA inverter from time to time for a myriad of chargers etc.

Recently when connecting the inverter the power will sometimes drop to 1, 2 or zero volts.

Turn the isolator switch off and on a few times and it goes back to normal.

My first thought was an automatic fuse - but there are none. All the fuses in the system (100A in the battery box and 50A in the distribution box) are traditional blow and stay blown types.

Second thought - the inverter itself. We also have a portable 120AH AGM battery in an ARK battery box - it runs the inverter happily.

Also the battery often trips out now when the 35A Projector charger tries to charge the battery.

I have pulled the whole system apart and put it together again twice, looking for resetting fuses, replacing components etc.

Perhaps the battery itself is to blame, but I am in denial over that possibility. Not in a position to spend ~$600 to replace it.

Can anyone recommend a place that can test the AGM and tell me conclusively?

I think we have treated this battery well and don't know why it might have failed.

- Gets used about 7 or 8 times a year
- Is always fully charged as soon as we get home, and usually gets a top up charge before we go away (but this charge completes in minutes)
- Gets charged while we are away if volts fall below about 12.3. Run the same Projecta from a Gennie for about 4 hours, every 2 to 3 days.
- Estimate it has been recharged about 80 times in its life.
- Battery box is on top of the wheel arch of the trailer. Has some rubber under it for shock absorbing, its only about 4mm thick - but didn't think an AGM needed much, and space is very limited for such a big battery.
- Cover of the battery box is sheet steel. It gets no direct sun when it is parked at home. It would get some sun when we are camping, but we mainly camp in the cooler months.
- Speaking of cooler months, the coldest the battery box has ever been exposed to would be maybe minus 5, minus 2 more common, but the battery box is well sheltered and I doubt the battery itself has ever fallen below zero.
- Only tow the trailer to and from our camp sites - it hasn't be subjected to that much off road conditions at all.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.

Tony

Dmaxqld
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Re: AGM Battery Camper Trailer Problems

Unread post by Dmaxqld » June 27th, 2015, 7:15 pm

Vibrations kill batteries. 5 years for an AGM is pretty standard. I reckon it has dropped a cell. You didn't say your location but most battery shops can load test. Some tyre shops also can. Should be a free test.

Red04VXE
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Re: AGM Battery Camper Trailer Problems

Unread post by Red04VXE » June 28th, 2015, 8:14 am

What trips out when you are charging?
New Toy, 1982 HJ60 2H 4spd 33's soon to have F&R LockRights and LongFields.

heydeman
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Re: AGM Battery Camper Trailer Problems

Unread post by heydeman » June 30th, 2015, 1:11 pm

Thanks DMAXQLD.

Had my dates wrong - found the receipt for this battery, it was purchased August 2011 - so not quite 4 years old.

I am in Blacktown district in Sydney - so plenty of battery and tyre shop options around here. Will make some enquiries before I drill out all the rivets to open the battery box!

Thanks again.

Tony

heydeman
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Joined: June 27th, 2015, 7:17 am

Re: AGM Battery Camper Trailer Problems

Unread post by heydeman » June 30th, 2015, 1:18 pm

Red04VXE

That as they say is the $64,000 question.

As soon as the Projecta charger starts its bulk charge (35A) the voltage sometimes goes to zero and then charger resets and tries again. After a few attempts the battery accepts the charge and completes the full charge successfully.

Acting like there is an automatic fuse in the circuit somewhere but there isn't!

Either that or the Projecta just isn't liking what it sees and disconnecting from the battery itself. Unfortunately it doesn't give me any error information to work with.....

Charlie250
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Re: AGM Battery Camper Trailer Problems

Unread post by Charlie250 » July 15th, 2015, 2:38 am

Place piece of high density foam under your battery. Trace the battery footprint and go to Clark rubber and have a look at their heavy duty black foam.

Make sure it's quite firm and get something that won't compress more than 25% when the battery is first placed on it, as the weight of the battery will compress it somewhat over time.

This will insulate the battery from virbations and extend its life significantly.

Clark Rubber will cut to size for you

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