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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for engine battery info. I have searched different sections and levels of the forum, and of our owner's manual, and can't find info about the recommended engine battery for our 2015 Promaster 3500, converted to an RV. We had a replacement engine battery installed 6/2018 when the original was only 3.5 years old because it wasn't holding a charge. Seemed early. Now the replacement installed 20 months ago dies only 2 weeks after being charged (it is sitting in driveway over the winter in Massachusetts). Shouldn't need replacement. Am wondering if the shop put the wrong battery in it. We have not found a repair shop that knows Promasters anywhere reasonably near; Dodge Ram places do not seem to know anything about Promasters. Its current battery is marked Mopar Group H8 [BBOH8800AC, 800 CCA(SAE), 95Ah; RC150 MINS SAE]. I'm listing all this because I have no idea what it means, or which info a knowledgeable person might want. Any advice will be appreciated.
 

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2019 159 EXT HR (3500) in WA
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Putting in "2015 Dodge Promaster 3500" at AutoZone gives this:

"Duralast Platinum Battery H8-AGM Group Size 49 900 CCA"

Doing the same at NAPA gives:
"NAPA The Legend Premium AGM Battery BCI No. 49 850 A"

They are both listed as "exact fit" . . . I imagine either would work fine.

If I store any vehicle (boat, car, tractor) for more than a month, I like to put a trickle charger / battery maintainer on it. I think it is even more important the newer the vehicle is since I believe there is more phantom power loads on the newer stuff.

We bought our van in October, and it has been under cover in the barn since. When I am working on it I use the LED cargo lights, but almost never turn on the key. Even with this minimal use, it was so dead lately that the cargo lights were dim and I had to put a charger on it overnight.

(fair warning: affiliate links in this post)
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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@archeogal
A standard OEM PM with a fully charged battery will do 21 days or 3 wks of storage, and can sit for 4 weeks and should start the van.

But a van that has had a conversion done to it should be checked by the owner for phantom draws, you'll never know if you don't check.
 

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. . . A standard OEM PM with a fully charged battery will do 21 days or 3 wks of storage, and can sit for 4 weeks and should start the van . . .
Wow ! one month do draw down that huge battery seems so quick. It does agree with what I observed with a new, stock vehicle.

Is that data from FCA / RAM ?
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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I did a test just to answer the unknown.
To wrap this up, after 30 days of sitting it started right up like normal.
starting with 12.88v
ended with 12.36v
After I my test someone else posted they stored their van for over a month and it started right up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, Baxie. I should have thought of trying websites like AutoZone/Napa. We have resisted thinking we needed a trickle charger since we've had 6 different small RVs over the past 25 years and never had a problem with the batteries though they sat here idle most of the winter many of those years. But 5 of the 6 were 2001 and earlier, so maybe your thinking about the newer vehicles being prone to phantom leaks is going in the right direction. Also we have often left our various vans plugged in over the winter to prevent the cabin battery(s) from going dead. Since we got solar on this one we haven't done that, thinking that the solar would keep up the cabin batteries. But we shut off the connection between the cabin and engine battery. I wonder if we turn that connection back on, if there is communication between the cabin and engine battery sufficient to keep the engine battery up from the solar. Maybe we'll try that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@archeogal
A standard OEM PM with a fully charged battery will do 21 days or 3 wks of storage, and can sit for 4 weeks and should start the van.

But a van that has had a conversion done to it should be checked by the owner for phantom draws, you'll never know if you don't check.
I wish that I knew how to check for phantom draws! Know any good website for a how-to on that?
 

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In theory, with the car off, doors closed, radio & lights off etc for several minutes you would connect your DMM (in 10 amp range) between the battery post and the cable. Then--without breaking the connection through the DMM--you would disconnect the battery cable from the post, forcing the current to go through the DMM. Record the value. If it is small enough, reconnect the battery cable and repeat in the 200mA range.

Be prepared to blow a fuse in your DMM if you break the connection or turn on the lights or ignition or try to start it.

What is normal? Frankly I don't know. Maybe when I get back I'll give mw 2019 a quick measure.

Note that lead-acid batteries also have self-discharge - - essentially it takes some power to keep the battery powered on - - so you have to tske that into account too.
 

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Back in the day (10-15 years ago) 70mA was a good rule of thumb for parasitic draw (key off, engine off) battery drain tests. Sometimes it took 60 minutes for the amperage to settle. This allowed time for the many different computers in the vehicle to turn off or go to sleep.

As someone else mentioned, I too recommend a trickle charger if the vehicle sits for more than 3 weeks.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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I used a HF meter and connected it inline between the negative battery terminal and ground wire clamp.
I put it on the seat so I could read it from outside when I locked the van.

Did another test run approx 100 mins,

Bounced around .01 - .00 amps.

So now I know what my parasitic draw is.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of your input. Not being very knowledgeable on electrical systems, we may just go the simpler route with a trickle charger.
 

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I have bad experience with using battery maintainers on AGM batteries. I have been away from my van for 3 months with AGM as a starter battery. I have it on a timer so the maintainer runs about an hour a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK, after all your above comments, we've been investigating this more, and found one more question. The battery we had installed in June 2018 says on it: Mopar 36 mos. Free replacement 2017. Does that mean 36 months from when it was installed? Or from when it was manufactured? Can't see a manufacture date on it. It is in the floor, front, of course, so would have to take it out to find that I guess. But I'm thinking that the statement "Free replacement 2017" likely means not after 2017, so maybe we were sold a battery that had already been sitting somewhere for 2 or 3 years when it was installed? Seems to me that would be a ripoff, but am not sure what the typical practice is on storage of new batteries before they are installed. Any ideas? I'd like to be well-informed before I go back to the dealer who installed it, who is not well informed about Promasters, although they do sell them.
 

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Usually its from date of sale but with a dealer one can never be sure.
 

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If it's a Mopar battery I would say just take it to the Dodge dealer and ask them to service it. If they give you an undiscounted high price go to Napa and get your own battery.

But you might get lucky and they might just warranty service it out :)
 
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