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Old 01-12-2014, 07:00 AM   #1
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Battery Fill System

Does anybody have information on the battery fill system installed on the Alpines? A drawing ,parts list,operation etc. I just bought a 2008 34FDDS and some parts are missing and there was no information with the coach.
I would like to get this back in operation.

Thanks
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:02 PM   #2
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Some people seem to be OK with this system but the majority hate it. My recommendation is throw it all away and replace the batteries with AGM's. You will never have to look at them again.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:55 PM   #3
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Some people seem to be OK with this system but the majority hate it. My recommendation is throw it all away and replace the batteries with AGM's. You will never have to look at them again.
I agree.
These fill systems are gadgets that Garage Sales are made of.
There is another and less expensive option and that is to add 4oz. of Mineral Oil to each cell which will reduce your battery maintenance to almost zero.
AGM's are the ultimate option but are the most expensive also.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:30 PM   #4
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I don't understand the negative remarks on the fill system. I replaced all of the tubing, and the motor (very inexpensive from at a auto parts store) and it really works great.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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One thing to watch out for with the fill system is that in '04 at least WRV used a windshield washer system for the reservoir and pump. Twice after routine maintenance at two different diesel repair shops I found the reservoir filled with blue windshield washer fluid!!!

I also decided to use AGM batteries. Never regretted it.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:56 PM   #6
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One thing to watch out for with the fill system is that in '04 at least WRV used a windshield washer system for the reservoir and pump. Twice after routine maintenance at two different diesel repair shops I found the reservoir filled with blue windshield washer fluid!!!

I also decided to use AGM batteries. Never regretted it.
I agree on the fill system. It's a gadget. Save your money for beer.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:05 PM   #7
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I don't understand the negative remarks on the fill system. I replaced all of the tubing, and the motor (very inexpensive from at a auto parts store) and it really works great.
Like I said previously some people are OK with the fill system. But there are enough systems to maintain on these coaches so why not eliminate one if you can. After 7 years the batteries will probably need replacing so now is a good time to pay that little extra for AGM's.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:34 PM   #8
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Hi Paul,

We've got a 2004 Alpine and I personally love the battery fill system. People have received different instructions on how to use it and using it wrong may lead to poor battery maintenance. The way I use it is to note the water height in the reservoir, then push and hold the actuator button until the water level doesn't get any lower. At that point, I assume that the cells have gotten all the water they need. Others have variations of doing this, including looking to see that the little white 'button' pops up and stays up after completing a refill.

As Jim mentioned, I too have had windshield washing fluid put into the reservoir during service. I made up a label and affixed it to the reservoir and have had no further issues.

The website for the company is bfs ? the battery filling system. A synthesis of technology and design | BFS
They used to be in the USA and I heard that they got bought out and moved to Germany but I'm not sure of those facts. I'm sure that with some Googling you can find replacement parts in the US.

They do make a very small battery hydrometer (part number 09HYCT) that has a tiny hose on it which will fit right thru the BFS caps and down into the cells to measure your specific gravity.

At one point, there was a comment that you must insure that the white 'float' is the proper height for the battery being used. In other words, if I changed my battery from an Interstate to a Sams Club, my floats might be the wrong length (height) and report incorrect fluid level.

All of that being said, I too plan to eliminate all the battery hassle and switch to AGM when I need to replace batteries.

Cheers,
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:00 PM   #9
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My Pro Fill system is easy to install and fun to use because of its simplicity. It tops off all four deep cycle six volt batteries without removing even one battery cap. It also appears that the batteries don't outgas as much, because of the somewhat closed system, although there are vents on each cap. It may well be that because the batteries are filled evenly, the entire house battery system is more efficient (no battery is suffering low electrolite by itself).
I cleaned my batteries back in July 13, sprayed with terminal conditioner, and put on my Pro Fill system. They still look and run great. And it's been so easy!!! JJ
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:30 PM   #10
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I also installed the Pro Fill system on my 6 - house batteries and getting the same benefits as described by JJ. I was really surprised how they've stopped or reduced the gassing affect. Yes, I have to manually add water but the squeeze bulb & tube tool works easily & quickly.

It's such an improvement over trying to fill the batteries the old way that I'll probably stick to wet cell batteries when it comes time to replace the current ones; not to mention the cost difference.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:36 PM   #11
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I also installed the Pro Fill system on my 6 - house batteries and getting the same benefits as described by JJ. I was really surprised how they've stopped or reduced the gassing affect. Yes, I have to manually add water but the squeeze bulb & tube tool works easily & quickly.

It's such an improvement over trying to fill the batteries the old way that I'll probably stick to wet cell batteries when it comes time to replace the current ones; not to mention the cost difference.
+2....works for me.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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How long do your batteries typically last? I have batteries (6 - 6v Costco) that are just under 4 years old and they are showing signs of needing to be replaced. Is that typical life expectancy? I used to leave our coach plugged in when in storage but I was noticing a lot of gassing and corrosion, so now I have changed it to be plugged in on a timer for an hour a day just to keep the batteries charged. I manually water our batteries every couple months and I will definitely be looking at the pro-fill system not only if this will help on watering but also with gassing. After 4 years would it be worth it to see if I have just one or two bad batteries and just replace those or should I just replace all 6? Also does anyone know if the charging system in 2003 should drop the charge voltage once the batteries are fully charged? Mine just seems to stay at 13.8 volts when plugged in, I would imagine this is probably what is causing my gassing issue.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:06 PM   #13
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How long do your batteries typically last? I have batteries (6 - 6v Costco) that are just under 4 years old and they are showing signs of needing to be replaced. Is that typical life expectancy? I used to leave our coach plugged in when in storage but I was noticing a lot of gassing and corrosion, so now I have changed it to be plugged in on a timer for an hour a day just to keep the batteries charged. I manually water our batteries every couple months and I will definitely be looking at the pro-fill system not only if this will help on watering but also with gassing. After 4 years would it be worth it to see if I have just one or two bad batteries and just replace those or should I just replace all 6? Also does anyone know if the charging system in 2003 should drop the charge voltage once the batteries are fully charged? Mine just seems to stay at 13.8 volts when plugged in, I would imagine this is probably what is causing my gassing issue.
If properly maintained a battery should last 7-10 years. I use the pro-fill system and my 6-6v batteries will drink about a quart of distilled water a month. Watering every 2 months seems a bit of a stretch.I keep our coach plugged in 24/7. 13.8 volts is pretty much what I see and yes the inverter/charger should float charge the batts if working correctly.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:15 PM   #14
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When we were cruising we had Trojan T-105 batteries on our boat and they lasted about 2 years as we were cycling them a lot at anchor. You can check the Trojan website for details on the number of cycles they can tolerate. So if you dry camp a lot and cycle those batteries 4 years may be good.
In the motorhome we do very little dry camping and our 7 year old AGM batteries are still going strong.
As far as the charger goes you should look up the spec. but I think you will find it is 3 stage and should have a "float" stage which just provides a trickle charge to maintain a fully charged battery. Gassing during "float" is usually an indication that you have a bad battery. And with 6v batteries connected in a series/parallel configuration you need to change all the batteries, otherwise the old batteries will discharge the new batteries.
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