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Old 09-02-2019, 06:26 PM   #1
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How to Get to the Batteries

I admit that I'm a newbie and after doing a lot of general stuff on my trailer today in 95 degree heat, I lost my patience. I wanted to check the water level in my batteries having never done this in the three months I've owned the trailer. I could not remove the battery compartment cover (big box holding the dual batteries). Is there a secret way to do this? Did I simply not apply enough pressure? It's in an awkward corner location with wood braces over a portion of the battery box.

Thanks for any help!
Leslie
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:40 PM   #2
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I just was working on my batteries today on a 2018 21

Did you undue both of the wing nut fastener at each end of the wood holding on the lid? if so there is some putty that seals the hole for the conductors leaving the box and be sticky making it difficult to get the top off.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:47 PM   #3
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There's a wing nut on each end of the wood piece that clamps the battery box lid in place. One end of the wood piece has just a hole, the other end has a slot. With the wing nuts loosened, you can slide the slotted end of the wood piece out of the metal post and rotate it to the side, freeing up the battery box cover to lift off. Those two metal rods with the wing nuts hook into a fitting down low on the battery box, it's not uncommon for one or both of them to pop out of that when you are taking the cover off. You just have to hook the metal posts into those fittings again when you put it back together - not a big deal, but with the back one you can't see it and just have to work by feel.

After you do it the first time and determine how it works it will be easier next time.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:18 PM   #4
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in addition, it is doubtful your batteries need water after only 3 months, so if unsuccessful, at least wait until it gets cooler.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:42 PM   #5
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I have the dual 6V batteries and a U-shape dinette. It's a PITA to check the battery water level. There's a reason the passenger side dinette isn't sealed. Need to get to that back wing nut on each end of the wood piece that clamps the battery box lid in place. Once you've done it, you'll do it by feel. Thankfully, the battery water levels only need to be check a couple of times a year. YMMV
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:55 PM   #6
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Maybe mine's different, but I only need to remove the wingnut on the drivers side of the battery box, I can get away with just loosening up the passenger side, which is good because I kept dropping it when I was removing it. The sealer can hold pretty good, takes some oomph to break it free. Pull one side up first so you're only fighting one hunk of the putty.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I have the dual 6V batteries and a U-shape dinette. It's a PITA to check the battery water level. There's a reason the passenger side dinette isn't sealed. Need to get to that back wing nut on each end of the wood piece that clamps the battery box lid in place. Once you've done it, you'll do it by feel. Thankfully, the battery water levels only need to be check a couple of times a year. YMMV
If the battery box is properly sealed, it's a PITA to get the cover off. If the cover is not properly sealed, the propane alarm keeps going off. That's why I did this.

21' Dual Battery Filler
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:49 PM   #8
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We are mercifully unaffected by the issues listed above, having a 19 with easy battery access, no need for putty, and no propane alarm issues. And for this I am truly thankful.

But, in thinking about the battery box sealing issues faced by all you 21ers, (and 5.0ers?), would closed cell foam do the trick? As in, the same stuff used to seal around our doors and windows? Just spitballing here.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
We are mercifully unaffected by the issues listed above, having a 19 with easy battery access, no need for putty, and no propane alarm issues. And for this I am truly thankful.

But, in thinking about the battery box sealing issues faced by all you 21ers, (and 5.0ers?), would closed cell foam do the trick? As in, the same stuff used to seal around our doors and windows? Just spitballing here.
There is a piece of closed cell foam on the inside of the top cover of the battery box on my new 5.0, seems to seal well and doesn't stick when removing. And with the batteries all the way under the back bench, and the propane detector all the way up front under the steps, hopefully that will not be an issue.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:29 PM   #10
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batteries

I just checked my batteries on Saturday. We picked up our 21 in May and have camped in it for 5 weeks so far. It is difficult to get at the batteries for sure.
I also had to remove the ground which is farthest under the seat as we have the booth. It looks like the ground was a little short and without removing it I could not get off the tab to get at the 3 openings to check the water in the battery closest to the wall.
I had to add about 1 cup of distilled water to each battery, I am not sure if that is a lot or not? That brought the water level to about 1 inch below the top or just where the inspection hole opens up. The plates were under water so I guess that is good.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:38 PM   #11
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I had taken the wood piece off and tried to take the lid off, but I had no idea that the container box would be sealed in such a strong manner. I will work on this again next weekend. Thank you all for the feedback - very helpful.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
If the battery box is properly sealed, it's a PITA to get the cover off. If the cover is not properly sealed, the propane alarm keeps going off. That's why I did this.

21' Dual Battery Filler
My propane alarm went off yesterday when I was checking the level of the water. It didn't happen right away but when it did happen I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:02 AM   #13
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My alarm did the same thing after checking the battery fluid level. Reset it and it did it again. So I went out bought a new to install when I brought the trailer home for next trip but after airing out, no more alarm going off. Now I have a replacement alarm in the side box with the new water pump. I am sure I will need them one of these days.

Give it a chance to air out and clear, then see if that takes care of the problem.
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:26 PM   #14
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i had my step father open up the wood on top at the end of the battery and make it removable so its easier to see the water levels when i open the battery box and fill the battery.
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