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Old 02-05-2014, 08:57 PM   #1
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Battery Compartment Cleaning & Keeping It Clean

Winter project: I removed all the batteries and inspected the compartment for acid caused corrosion and/or rust. As I'm the second owner, I wanted to know what exactly the condition was. I'd hate to drive down the road and leave the batteries behind. Plus, I'm going to sand and paint where necessary. After removal I found it wasn't too bad, but I decided to take out the bottom tray; and have it sandblasted and repainted.

As you can see from the picture, the batteries are susceptible to dust, road crud, rain, etc. from the right side space by the forward bulkhead and leveler.
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Therefore, I decided to attach (bolt) a piece of fabricated metal to the right vertical battery tray support. It would fill in that open space. It would be painted and rubber "bulb-type" weatherstripping attached to the front, top, and rear edges.

But first: Does anyone see any problems with the possibility of not having adequate ventilation in there? That would leave the 8" x 12" hole in the top: some back area to the engine; and front between the tray edge and compartment door. See below picture for metal piece.
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I'm sure there are all sorts of coaches out there will all sorts of battery compartments, but it doesn't hurt to ask first.

Thanks
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:26 PM   #2
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No problem with the remaining ventilation
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:29 AM   #3
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I was looking at mine the other day and noticed quite a few ventilation holes underneath the tray. Have a look, you may too.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:34 AM   #4
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Think you are treating symptoms rather than attacking the root cause--IMHO. Rather than adding yet more metal components, look at what is causing the rust/corrosion. First, I completely wash [garden hose] the entire bat compartment everytime I wash the coach. I faciliated this by removing the plastic bat cover that came with the coach--this allows me to routinely inspect bat and cables each time I open the compartment. I occasionally treat the area with baking soda and water and I have added mineral oil to each of the cells in my wet cell bats to control evap. Of course, AGM bats fix most of this---$$$$$$. After my last restoration, I used spray-in bed liner to coat the exposed metal parts. I think controlling bat acid is the key issue, not road grime.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
Think you are treating symptoms rather than attacking the root cause--IMHO. Rather than adding yet more metal components, look at what is causing the rust/corrosion. First, I completely wash [garden hose] the entire bat compartment everytime I wash the coach. I faciliated this by removing the plastic bat cover that came with the coach--this allows me to routinely inspect bat and cables each time I open the compartment. I occasionally treat the area with baking soda and water and I have added mineral oil to each of the cells in my wet cell bats to control evap. Of course, AGM bats fix most of this---$$$$$$. After my last restoration, I used spray-in bed liner to coat the exposed metal parts. I think controlling bat acid is the key issue, not road grime.
You will find adding 4oz of mineral oil to each cell will be the biggest help to keep the compartment clean and the cable connections from corroding.
Once you have the cable connections cleaned up by dipping them in Baking Soda and using a wire brush and water, apply a coating of Dielectric Grease to each during reassembly to keep them from corroding further. Remember, install the Positive Cables first followed by the Negatives to avoid a short to ground with the wrench.
Word of Caution.... When using Baking Soda around your Batteries, be Very Careful not to get any near the cells. Baking Soda will render your battery useless.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:07 AM   #6
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Engineer Mike: Thank you very much.

Janet: Got the holes which provide good drainage. Thank you.

Old Scout: (1) You're 100% right on the preventive maintenance and controlling the acid. That's what I do each time I wash the coach (I learned alot about batteries when growing up in my dad's NAPA stores - and losing a some jeans along the way) and periodically check the fluid level. The big question was: What did I inherit from the previous owner two (2) years ago? I've found that he was one of these "out of sight, out of mind" guys unless he could have someone else do it. (2) I didn't get the battery cover when I purchased the coach from the original dealer. I didn't know they existed. (3) And, that's a great idea about the spray-on bed liner after I get the tray cleaned up. I'll do it. Thanks.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
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Finished Battery Compartment

Finished the battery area project. Along with sanding and spray painting the rusty and corroded areas, I had the removed battery tray sandblasted and sprayed with "bed liner" on both sides. Thank you Old Scout for that great suggestion.

With the metal divider installed, it will just be easier to keep the road junk out and cleaner in conjunction with the regular battery maintenance and washing.

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Old 03-21-2014, 01:18 AM   #8
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I know not WRV Battery compartments are the same. The later ones have less ventilation holes and maybe more batteries. Mine has a total of 10 batteries, plus a fuse panel, ABS module and Vansco. The fuse panel is the most exposed for corrosion. On one of the holes on the rear bulkhead, I added switched small 12 volt made for electronics fan to help keep the air moving. The way I look at it when you are parked , there is no air movement, but the batteries are still charging on shore power. I finally did put AGM's in a couple of months ago.
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