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Old 10-11-2015, 10:52 AM   #1
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Battery Maintenance

Spent much of yesterday washing the Escape, cleaning stuff out of the interior, winterizing, putting the cover on for winter storage, and topping off the water in the two 6V batteries. Shortly after we picked up our 19' in April 2013, I had placed a one gallon jug of distilled water under the dinette seats to use for topping up the batteries. (I use a large turkey baister and it works quite well.) After topping off the batteries yesterday, I realized that my one gallon water jug started about 2-1/2 years ago was now empty. I had never thought that those batteries would use such large volumes of water. I guess that this is my reminder to others out there to not forget to do your battery maintenance, or you may find that they have gone dry.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:05 PM   #2
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Good reminder, I need to check mine this soon this fall, it has been around 9 months since they were installed.
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:00 PM   #3
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I put a battery watering system on mine. Just hook up the hand pump, stick a tube into distilled water and squeeze until resistance is felt and all cells are filled to the correct level. Since it uses replacement caps that are part of the system, they don't have to be removed and there is no danger of over or under filling.
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Old 10-11-2015, 04:59 PM   #4
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Amazes me that the water 'vanished' into thin air as hydrogen gas. As I pour the water into the battery I am reminded to make sure the venting system is getting those gases out of the living areas (breathing) areas. And can't collect into a bubble and ignite.
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Old 10-11-2015, 05:51 PM   #5
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We bought new batteries earlier this year and had new ones in the 21', and in both cases, water was needed in the cells right away.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:55 PM   #6
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If you have the cover to your battery box off when checking water levels, take a quick look on the inside of the cover. With dual 6's on my 21 the cover has foam with a plastic finish taped to the inside as part of the sealing system. It was easy to see where the cover was fitting over the base because of the indentations, one strip of tape was not very straight and it appeared that there could be a gap when the cover was closed. It was a simple process of moving the seal and hopefully improve the seal. Now all those gases can go out the vent tube instead of into the trailer.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:26 PM   #7
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Do you have gobs of putty between the cover and box? I assume you have the wood with rods to clamp it down, however, we have to check our clamps as we could not tell if one screw was going to stay in place.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:55 PM   #8
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The closure system for the battery box leaves quite a bit to be desired. We found the seat did not close tightly due to the protrusion of the battery box rods. They were too high, it was fun shortening those. Woe to you if the rod closest to the stove slides down, fetching it out of those tight spaces is a joy.

The goobs of putty have been easy to deal with, kinda fun to reshape them into the wire opening.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:15 PM   #9
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Paul - could you maybe replace the putty with limited expansion variety of expanding foam Window Expanding Foam? I've used it for similar applications - using petroleum jelly on the parts I don't want it to stick to. So it would be made to adhere to the lid, but not the box. It can make a very airtight seal. Or more trouble than it would be worth ?
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
The closure system for the battery box leaves quite a bit to be desired. We found the seat did not close tightly due to the protrusion of the battery box rods. They were too high, it was fun shortening those. Woe to you if the rod closest to the stove slides down, fetching it out of those tight spaces is a joy.

The goobs of putty have been easy to deal with, kinda fun to reshape them into the wire opening.
Ours are across the back of our U from passenger side. If we lose the pieces to the rod on that side, it could be a slight problem retrieving them also. We do not have a seat problem that I know.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:03 PM   #11
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Paul - could you maybe replace the putty with limited expansion variety of expanding foam Window Expanding Foam? I've used it for similar applications - using petroleum jelly on the parts I don't want it to stick to. So it would be made to adhere to the lid, but not the box. It can make a very airtight seal. Or more trouble than it would be worth ?
We like putty! Actually, I am supposing it is all tight because of the wood and rod (and putty!) but want to check that periodically to make sure it is in place.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:41 AM   #12
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Lid on my dual battery box in the front dinette seat fits cleanly and the box is well vented to the exterior. Must only be the 21's that have this clearance issue.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:32 AM   #13
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When I installed my dual sixes earlier this year, I noticed the felt had not been seated so I reseated the felt on the top but due to my Battery Pro install the top sits up maybe 1/2" bit unless I compress it down, so I placed a flat grill attachment which was being carried elsewhere and when the dinette lid is closed it compressed the battery lid down tight. I then tightened the strap down tight so between these two items I should be good.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:43 AM   #14
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This battery talk's got me wondering about my 2 year old 6's so I went out to check water levels. No exposed cells but now I'll go buy some distilled water to keep on hand. I did, however, notice this corrosion build up.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:56 AM   #15
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How to clean your battery - with a base (baking soda) or an acid (Coke.)

How to Clean Corroded Car Battery Terminals: 14 Steps
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:00 PM   #16
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Battery location. Seems that the 21 batteries are located interior somewhere under the rear dinette.
Where are the 19 Batteries located. I was assuming they were on the tongue, but one post here seemed to indicate the were inside under front bench??
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:13 PM   #17
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the newer models are on the tongue, some older models are inside the front dinette.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
Spent much of yesterday washing the Escape, cleaning stuff out of the interior, winterizing, putting the cover on for winter storage, and topping off the water in the two 6V batteries. Shortly after we picked up our 19' in April 2013, I had placed a one gallon jug of distilled water under the dinette seats to use for topping up the batteries. (I use a large turkey baister and it works quite well.) After topping off the batteries yesterday, I realized that my one gallon water jug started about 2-1/2 years ago was now empty. I had never thought that those batteries would use such large volumes of water. I guess that this is my reminder to others out there to not forget to do your battery maintenance, or you may find that they have gone dry.
Thank you for the reminder.It was hard to believe ,considering my 21 was p/up this march.The batteries were all in need of a slight drink.Plugged the unit back in & will allow the batteries to charge fully.Other than the old 6volt Cat batteries,that I used years ago.My knowledge with filling them up,was very faint.Back then we never filled them,because I guess they didn't last a second season.Task accomplished thanks..
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:34 PM   #19
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I check my trailer batteries about every other month, and use the hydrometer to replace any water needed. After they've been topped off I wait a couple of days and test them with the hydrometer. Maybe I've just been lucky, but have never had to confront significant corrosion on battery terminals on any trailer I've owned.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by santacruzer View Post
I check my trailer batteries about every other month, and use the hydrometer to replace any water needed. After they've been topped off I wait a couple of days and test them with the hydrometer. Maybe I've just been lucky, but have never had to confront significant corrosion on battery terminals on any trailer I've owned.
Hydrometer? I gotta quit reading all these threads. Too many cool things to buy.

PS I open the little handle thingy so I can see inside the battery and use a flashlight so I can see to check water level ( the battery web site gave me the idea to use the flashlight). Liz cut a little drinking straw in half which we use to check water level - we stick the straw into the atte region and can see how much water is above the cell (for us cutting the straw in half is a mod . That, and hanging suction hooks for clothes. ). So far we've added water once since using "The Cute Little 17B" first used her September 2014

I check ever few months.

I'm warming to calling her The Cute Little 17B now that we've had the trailer awhile. Kind of like the First Nations people who didn't officially name their children right away but waited till the child developed and showed its character.
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