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Old 12-01-2019, 02:37 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Help with Bus Batteries - Fleetrite

Our bus is having a hard time starting up and batteries won’t hold a charge for too long. Also, when the bus does get up and running for some reason we have lost power to our internal things like fans, interior lights, windshield wipers but our headlights, brake lights and all essentials work fine.

So our bus battery bank consists of 2 - 12volt batteries run in parallel. All I know is that they are 12v Fleetrite Maintenance Free. They are the batteries that came with the bus when we bought it a little over 5 months ago and they aren’t twins, one is from 2017 the other one from 2016. So I think I have one old/damaged battery and another that is also old but holds a charge still. I’m going to go ahead and replace them with new batteries, but I have a few questions if someone could help me out:

1. Should I replace them with the same exact make and model of batteries?

2. Is there a more efficient option on the market compared to what we currently have?

3. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t wire in a 3rd battery as well?

Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydawg3000 View Post
1. Should I replace them with the same exact make and model of batteries?

2. Is there a more efficient option on the market compared to what we currently have?

3. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t wire in a 3rd battery as well?

1. Make/brand not important. Looks like standard, typical Group 31 batteries, very common in the truck and bus industry, which leads to ...


2. Shop around, last time I bought a pair of these for around $70 each.


3. That's up to you, if you want to spend another $70+ on a 3rd battery, the wires and hold downs (as necessary). I could do this on my bus (and may do so at some future point) but so far had no reason to.
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:46 PM   #3
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A good battery in parallel with a bad battery becomes a bad battery quickly.

I probably wouldn't add a third battery without a specific need to do it. My BBAA has a single 4D battery and I'm debating upgrading it to a pair od group 27 or 31 but even then it's more of a future maybe down the road thing.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:42 PM   #4
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Hmm, great info! I suppose I don't really have a need to add a third, bus started and ran fine when the batteries were holding charge. I'll keep searching.

And yes, I know one of them is still healthy, the bad one is just dragging the whole team down

Any suggestions on who might buy/trade-in used batteries?
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:45 PM   #5
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When you buy a batter they usually include a trade-in value, they call it a core charge and it isn't much.

If you can test your batteries individually and remove the bad one you might find that one is plenty to do the job for now.
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:58 PM   #6
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Any suggestions on who might buy/trade-in used batteries?

Many (most? All?) battery shops will want the old one(s) or you'll pay a "core charge" (usually refundable when you bring in the old part). The dead one(s) will head back for proper reclamation and recycling.


Last batteries I bought were at a mom-and-pop battery shop and I've had just as good of luck with these as I have any Big Box store, at a fair savings.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:47 PM   #7
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When you buy a batter they usually include a trade-in value, they call it a core charge and it isn't much.

If you can test your batteries individually and remove the bad one you might find that one is plenty to do the job for now.
Core charge isn't much. but always more than you want to pay when you don't have one.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:19 PM   #8
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If you can test your batteries individually and remove the bad one you might find that one is plenty to do the job for now.
Can a bus really start and drive on only 1 healthy battery? I need to take it into the mechanics and for spray foam soon so that could be helpful if it is a possibility lol.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:25 PM   #9
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Core charge isn't much. but always more than you want to pay when you don't have one.
Yeah..,.,.

I just put 3 x group 31's in my bus last week. I shopped the area for the best price I could find. About 75 miles I found them for $130 each and a $27 core charge on each.

I see regularly mentions of $75 Deka group 31's from Rural King. I wish we had them here
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:31 PM   #10
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Yeah..,.,.

I just put 3 x group 31's in my bus last week. I shopped the area for the best price I could find. About 75 miles I found them for $130 each and a $27 core charge on each.

I see regularly mentions of $75 Deka group 31's from Rural King. I wish we had them here

Yeesh, I think Walmart even has 'em cheaper, or even Autozone/O'reilly's (haven't checked recently).
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydawg3000 View Post
Hmm, great info! I suppose I don't really have a need to add a third, bus started and ran fine when the batteries were holding charge. I'll keep searching.

And yes, I know one of them is still healthy, the bad one is just dragging the whole team down

Any suggestions on who might buy/trade-in used batteries?
Sounds like you have parasitic drag when the ignition is off -- leave your batteries disconnected until you solve that so they don't get discharged while you're not using the bus. Just hook 'em up when you need 'em...

Have the batteries tested -- and even though they say maintenance free -- see if there aren't screw-caps under the white plastic decal -- if there are you can remove them and inspect -- add water as necessary...

Also make sure all your wiring connections are clean and solid -- to do this you need to take them apart and reconnect -- can be a pia but it's worth it.

I spent a total of 6hrs going through my wiring just disconnecting, cleaning, and reconnecting every + & - connection to from the batteries to the starter and fuse block because I had similar starting issues...
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Yeah..,.,.

I just put 3 x group 31's in my bus last week. I shopped the area for the best price I could find. About 75 miles I found them for $130 each and a $27 core charge on each.

I see regularly mentions of $75 Deka group 31's from Rural King. I wish we had them here
RK aren't Deka but they're great for $75!
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:39 AM   #13
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Can a bus really start and drive on only 1 healthy battery? I need to take it into the mechanics and for spray foam soon so that could be helpful if it is a possibility lol.
I'm guessing temperature will be a big factor. If it's warm, it should start with no problem. Colder temperatures MAY require a 2nd battery. I've been lucky so far... us has started with only one battery with temps in the teens.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:45 AM   #14
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My BBAA came from Pennsylvania and only has a single battery. Count is not a critical factor, capacity is. It's easy to add capacity by adding a second battery. That doesn't mean that a bus with 3 batteries needs 3 batteries to start of course. Your big draws obviously will be your glow system if equipped and then your starter.

And of course, the only way to know for sure is to try it.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:05 PM   #15
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Great info everyone, thank you so much!

Anything against these batteries??:
https://www.samsclub.com/p/duracell-...1c/prod3590235

They meet our battery compartment requirements and exceed the current CCA and Reserve Capacity of our existing batteries. Gotta good price at our local Sams Club!
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:35 PM   #16
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Our bus is having a hard time starting up and batteries won’t hold a charge for too long. Also, when the bus does get up and running for some reason we have lost power to our internal things like fans, interior lights, windshield wipers but our headlights, brake lights and all essentials work fine.

So our bus battery bank consists of 2 - 12volt batteries run in parallel. All I know is that they are 12v Fleetrite Maintenance Free. They are the batteries that came with the bus when we bought it a little over 5 months ago and they aren’t twins, one is from 2017 the other one from 2016. So I think I have one old/damaged battery and another that is also old but holds a charge still. I’m going to go ahead and replace them with new batteries, but I have a few questions if someone could help me out:

1. Should I replace them with the same exact make and model of batteries?

2. Is there a more efficient option on the market compared to what we currently have?

3. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t wire in a 3rd battery as well?

Thanks![/QUOTE]
��. ������������ �� �������������� �������� �������� ������ �������� ���������� �������� ������ ���������� ���� ������������������?

No, only batteries of the same CCA output. "Group 31's" are a good bargain, and I have had good luck with 850 CCA "Marine" batteries from Auto Zone. VERY good price, look for those that cost about $95.00.

��. ���� ���������� �� �������� ������������������ ������������ ���� ������ ������������ ���������������� ���� �������� ���� ������������������ ��������?

Option for what? Batteries?

��. ���� ���������� ������ ������������ ������ �� ��������������’�� �������� ���� �� ������ �������������� ���� ��������?

Yes, it is unnecessary if you have good batteries. Charge them thoroughly, and then test them with a "Shunt" type tester. (see pic)

(hmmmm where is the option for uploading a pic? I'm new here.)
OK try this: https://ftaelectronics.com/image/cache/catalog/FOSN%20Tools/Battery%20Load%20Tester%20125%20Amp%20Load%20Type% 206V%2012V%20Mechanics%206%2012%20Volt%20Van%20Car %20Truck%20(1)-600x400_0.jpg
-------------------------------------------
p.s. next time please list your bus' make model year and engine.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rydawg3000 View Post
Great info everyone, thank you so much!

Anything against these batteries??:
https://www.samsclub.com/p/duracell-...1c/prod3590235

They meet our battery compartment requirements and exceed the current CCA and Reserve Capacity of our existing batteries. Gotta good price at our local Sams Club!
If you have a Rural King store nearby they have group 31's for $79.99.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:16 PM   #18
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EastCoastCB - Sadly, the closest one near us is about 3 hours drive away. I’m gonna go with these Duracell and see how it goes!
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:30 PM   #19
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I used those same Duracell batteries in my m1009 and they were fine.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:53 PM   #20
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EastCoastCB - Sadly, the closest one near us is about 3 hours drive away. I’m gonna go with these Duracell and see how it goes!

I'm assuming the location in your profile is correct - Pensacola. If so, I found this in your area:


https://batteryguyz.com/product/gold...group-size-31/


Found a couple more mom-and-pop places in the area. Call around, I've had just as good luck with these as I have the Big Box stores.
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