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Old 05-26-2018, 09:34 AM   #1
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Battery Bank Corrosion and RE-DO w photos

We have a 16 DS 4369 purchased new in April of 16. We have had problems keeping the batteries from corroding even with monthly maintenance and cleaning. So after 2 years and a month and the condition of not only the batteries but the bay they are stored in, refinished and replaced 8 Interstate 6volts which is what coach came with. Took over 6 hours this week. Below are my observations, comments and photos.

Observations:
Considering we/I do not ignore regular maintenance, it was a surprise to me but have found several friends who have same coach have had same problem. Over the last 6 or better months I would have to "de-corrode the battery bank and batteries (even after anti corrosion/ battery terminal protectant... etc)

I have tried to get an answer to why this occurred (did not have this issue with my other 2 diesel coaches) and what I think is that the system/batteries were being overcharged. I had what I thought properly set up the charging specs on the Magnum. Now , later this week I will called them to verify all of my settings and ask for assistance.

By the time I worked up to deciding to replace, some batteries were starting to show swelling.

We have 23000 miles on the coach.

Comments:
I chose not to replace with Lifelines. I know the argument. However, I will most likely upgrade my coach within the next 4 years and did not want to spend the extra $2050.

Because of the bay restoration, I chose to do the job myself (and my son).

One really helpful idea, we did this work at the RV park where we store. We had electricity and water to use sanders, dremel, vacuum and water for cleaning and soaking parts in water and baking soda. We also used our 10x10 canopy as a work cover to provide shade and cooling. We also used a pair of sawhorses with a board to create a work bench. Both of these made the work environment clean, cooler and efficient.

I did some internet and You Tube research which was very helpful. Here is what I did, some based on my research...

  1. Took photos of existing set up and wiring
  2. I labeled each battery in the bank 1-8 in the photo I took
  3. I drew a diagram of the battery bank (photo attch)
  4. At time of work, I had the photo and the diagram placed in a plastic sheet protector. I then taped the two to the side of the coach (photo) and used it for constant reference. This too ended up being a good idea.
  5. Most important, I labeled each wire with tape before I disconnected and noted each ends position... ie 1- to 4- , same for the main leads. This turned out to be invaluable because once you take wires off and have them all over the place, if you don't the photo doesn't help as much
  6. Turned off all sources to the batteries including (extra precaution- the chassis batteries off)
  7. Of course disconnect main negative lead first then the rest.
  8. Removed batteries (we did this the first day, then went and picked up new batteries and did the exchange.
  9. Day one, after removing, did all of the bay and battery drawer refin.
  10. Day two, installed and wired all new batteries
  11. We installed a gray rubber mat on the drawer floor to catch any future corrosion so we don't have to later replace the floor.
  12. checked and double checked all the wiring agains photo and diagram then crossed our fingers and turned everything on.
  13. WAH LAH....not sparks or explosion.
  14. Total cost of supplies and batteries....under $1400.
Now we are ready to join our friends in Gillette Wyoming for International rally. Couple of my Newmar friends now want to make appointments for theirs......Sorry guys, I already have a job!
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:41 AM   #2
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Looks good. Did you use an acid resistant paint so it last?
When I did ours I used the POR15 and a coat of their Chassis black over that.
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:57 AM   #3
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Battery Bank Corrosion and RE-DO w photos

We have a 16 DS 4369 purchased new in April of 16. We have had problems keeping the batteries from corroding even with monthly maintenance and cleaning. So after 2 years and a month and the condition of not only the batteries but the bay they are stored in, refinished and replaced 8 Interstate 6volts which is what coach came with. Took over 6 hours this week. Below are my observations, comments and photos.

Observations:
Considering we/I do not ignore regular maintenance, it was a surprise to me but have found several friends who have same coach have had same problem. Over the last 6 or better months I would have to "de-corrode the battery bank and batteries (even after anti corrosion/ battery terminal protectant... etc)

I have tried to get an answer to why this occurred (did not have this issue with my other 2 diesel coaches) and what I think is that the system/batteries were being overcharged. I had what I thought properly set up the charging specs on the Magnum. Now , later this week I will called them to verify all of my settings and ask for assistance.

By the time I worked up to deciding to replace, some batteries were starting to show swelling.

We have 23000 miles on the coach.

Comments:
I chose not to replace with Lifelines. I know the argument. However, I will most likely upgrade my coach within the next 4 years and did not want to spend the extra $2050.

Because of the bay restoration, I chose to do the job myself (and my son).

One really helpful idea, we did this work at the RV park where we store. We had electricity and water to use sanders, dremel, vacuum and water for cleaning and soaking parts in water and baking soda. We also used our 10x10 canopy as a work cover to provide shade and cooling. We also used a pair of sawhorses with a board to create a work bench. Both of these made the work environment clean, cooler and efficient.

I did some internet and You Tube research which was very helpful. Here is what I did, some based on my research...

  1. Took photos of existing set up and wiring
  2. I labeled each battery in the bank 1-8 in the photo I took
  3. I drew a diagram of the battery bank (photo attch)
  4. At time of work, I had the photo and the diagram placed in a plastic sheet protector. I then taped the two to the side of the coach (photo) and used it for constant reference. This too ended up being a good idea.
  5. Most important, I labeled each wire with tape before I disconnected and noted each ends position... ie 1- to 4- , same for the main leads. This turned out to be invaluable because once you take wires off and have them all over the place, if you don't the photo doesn't help as much
  6. Turned off all sources to the batteries including (extra precaution- the chassis batteries off)
  7. Of course disconnect main negative lead first then the rest.
  8. Removed batteries (we did this the first day, then went and picked up new batteries and did the exchange.
  9. Day one, after removing, did all of the bay and battery drawer refin.
  10. Day two, installed and wired all new batteries
  11. We installed a gray rubber mat on the drawer floor to catch any future corrosion so we don't have to later replace the floor.
  12. checked and double checked all the wiring agains photo and diagram then crossed our fingers and turned everything on.
  13. WAH LAH....not sparks or explosion.
  14. Total cost of supplies and batteries....under $1400.
Now we are ready to join our friends in Gillette Wyoming for International rally. Couple of my Newmar friends now want to make appointments for theirs......Sorry guys, I already have a job!
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Ciao for Now, Sal
2016 Dutch Star 4369
"Harley's & Guitars" USAF 71-77
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:18 AM   #4
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Nice write up. I would love to see the pictures.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:34 AM   #5
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Excellent job..looks great and thanks for the write up
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:54 AM   #6
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Can't wait to see you and your handiwork in Gillette
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:04 AM   #7
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Battery Bank Corrosion and RE-DO w photos

Good job! Hopefully they’ll stay clean. Did you apply a mineral oil float to the cells?

I redid my battery compartment four years ago (summarized as “Cleaning Up Battery Tray” in Quick Tips & Easy Mods 3, above). I did not add mineral oil then, and now my corrosion has gradually returned. I need to do the job again, but this time I will try the mineral oil preventative.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:53 AM   #8
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I am having the same problems as you and am going to have to do the same thing. I clean and maintain the battery bay and can't stop the corrosion either. My batteries are also starting to swell a bit. When you find the correct setting for charging please post the results. I have mine set based on input from this site but have never talked to Magnum. The results look great!
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:59 AM   #9
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Next time disconnect one neg. cable off one battery, and using a volt meter, one lead on post, drag the other slowly across the top of case toward other post.......dirt and corrosion will surprise you...if you're watch'n the meter...there also is a product called Copper Coat that eliminates corrosion...
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoDents4U View Post
I am having the same problems as you and am going to have to do the same thing. I clean and maintain the battery bay and can't stop the corrosion either. My batteries are also starting to swell a bit. When you find the correct setting for charging please post the results. I have mine set based on input from this site but have never talked to Magnum. The results look great!
Thanks Mark, I will post what I hear from Magnum
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFXG View Post
Good job! Hopefully they’ll stay clean. Did you apply a mineral oil float to the cells?

I redid my battery compartment four years ago (summarized as “Cleaning Up Battery Tray” in Quick Tips & Easy Mods 3, above). I did not add mineral oil then, and now my corrosion has gradually returned. I need to do the job again, but this time I will try the mineral oil preventative.
John, Can you tell me more about this mineral float process. Is it adding something to the cells or ???
Thanks
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:02 PM   #12
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Scott, Hopefully you won't have this problem, but it seems somewhat pevasive in these all electric coaches.
Look forward to seeing you there. Then I will tell you all about my roof rail that went flying off my roof while driving down the interstate, and the fact that I was sent a replacement that was 7 inches too short. Didn't know it til the body shop that installed it sent me a picture........
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:15 PM   #13
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Yes. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but the rationale works like this. Whenever the batteries are in charge mode the acid in each cell outgasses to one degree or another because the acid heats up and vaporizes, much like a pot of water that is near boiling. Even if you have one of those squeeze-bulb fill systems, each cell cap has tiny little vent holes to release the added pressure. This vented acid vapor settles and condensed on everything around your battery area, fostering corrosion.

Proponents claim that by withdrawing a few ounces of battery acid from each cell and replacing with a like amount of mineral oil, you will stop this process at the source. The mineral oil floats on the acid, thus preventing the acid from venting. Any pressure buildup is vented from above the oil, but the acid is held captive below the oil float.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, and folks claim they’ve gone years with dry, clean battery racks. I still get corrosion, so I’m going to try it.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:20 PM   #14
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Help me visualize "a few ounces" of battery acid. Would that be 1/4 cup per cell? 1/2 cup? More?

Do you only do this to the 6v batteries or also to the chassis starting batteries.

Do you use a food grade mineral oil or any special kind?

Thanks!
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