Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-17-2017, 12:58 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Bus Battery tending?

Hey all,

My girlfriend and I are super new to owning any sort of vehicle that might sit around for lengths of time.

Our questions is this:

What (if any) sort of routine should we go through when parking the bus long term? Is there a smart way to maintain the Bus Batteries health for the longevity of always being able to fire it right up? About how long should we go between starting it before worrying about the batteries health?

We've leveled it out but that's an obvious thing it seems. We're not too mechanically/electrically advanced so any advice or a link to what we should even just buy would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time!
BigBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 02:26 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 279
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Rated Cap: 50k
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlue View Post
What (if any) sort of routine should we go through when parking the bus long term? Is there a smart way to maintain the Bus Batteries health for the longevity of always being able to fire it right up? About how long should we go between starting it before worrying about the batteries health?
I'm assuming there are absolutely no loads on the battery and it is in good health. Typical lead- acid battery will self-discharge at about 5% a month at 60 degrees temperature. The colder it is the slower the self discharge... , it should be able to go several months without worry. However; if there are loads, you need to do something to ensure it does not become depleted below 50% state of charge. It would be preferable to connect to a "good" trickle charger of some sort to keep the battery fully charged. "Good" = a trickle charger that knows how to maintain a proper float voltage and not overcharge the battery.
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 02:32 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Wow so they're pretty much built to sit around all summer and fire right up I assume :P

I'd have to get a volt meter on it soon to check that they're in good health. 14.1 is the normal voltage that we want?

As far as I know, with the ignition completely off it's got nothing running from the battery. I assume that's what "no loads" means? Sorry I'm not the greatest with all this stuff!

Thank you for your reply!
BigBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 02:37 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 279
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Rated Cap: 50k
There may be many things running from the battery without your knowledge. The clock in the radio, the engine ECU, some relay for something... These loads are often called parasitic or ghost loads. It is impossible to know unless you connect a meter to the battery and confirm. Or.. you can just use a trickle charger/small solar panel and not worry too much (until you know that the trickle charger is providing sufficient current to keep the battery charged).
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 03:43 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 7
Awesome, thank you so much for clarifying that one. Hmm now to go ghost hunting! It's a 1993 Thomas Saf-T-Liner so I assume there's not too many modern gadgets running in the background, but I'll have to double check that one.
BigBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 03:48 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 592
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas Vista
Chassis: International 3600
Engine: Navistar T444E 7.3 Turbo Diesel
Doesn't take much of a draw to end up being significant afer a few months of sitting. Another straightforward option is a cheap solar charger that plugs into your cigarette lighter outlet and gives you a little charge action while the sun is out. Just plug it in and let it sit on your dashboard and forget about it.

Here's an example: http://amzn.to/2t9oydn
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 03:52 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 836
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
I was wondering about these solar chargers. I don't drive my Suburban much and the battery was weak on it last time I needed to move it. How well do they work? Might get one for ... wait, the bus doesn't have a cigarette lighter ... yet.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 04:07 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 592
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas Vista
Chassis: International 3600
Engine: Navistar T444E 7.3 Turbo Diesel
The one I linked claims to have a 5 watt output. The Yuasa tenders I've had in the past were 6 watts in maintenance mode. It'd take a very long time to charge a dead battery, but keeping a full one healthy and full is a pretty easy job. It also comes with clips to connect directly to the battery but using a cig outlet is much more convenient in my mind.
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 04:14 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Ont, Can.
Posts: 420
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
[QUOTE=Brad_SwiftFur;214888]I was wondering about these solar chargers. I don't drive my Suburban much and the battery was weak on it last time I needed to move it. How well do they work? Might get one for ... wait, the bus doesn't have a cigarette lighter ... yet.[/QUOT

My Suburban does the same if not driven pretty regularly. If I disconnect the ground for the battery it won't discharge but then it has to relearn how to shift being an automatic. This can take a day or so depending on mileage but sure is a bother.

Those solar chargers do require a voltage controller as they are able to overcharge when not attended to.

John
__________________
Question everything!
BlackJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 04:26 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 592
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas Vista
Chassis: International 3600
Engine: Navistar T444E 7.3 Turbo Diesel
A charge controller between a 5 watt charger and a bank of Group 31 (or similar) batteries seems like over engineering to me, but it would be technically better.
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
batteries, battery, bus, electrical, tender

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.