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Old 10-18-2010, 06:59 PM   #1
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Installing New Batteries

I have the battery filling system on the coach. Are there any tricks to removing the caps when installing new batteries? Do you try to remove the caps without removing the tubes between the caps, or do you just disconnect all the little rubber tubes and reconnect them after replacing the caps on the new battteries?
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:08 PM   #2
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You can turn the whole cap unit maybe 1/16th, then rotate the cap top back to original position while holding the base steady, then repeat several times for each cap, then lift off the whole tube/cap assembly when all are free.

Just a guess but new hose might be a good idea. Then you can make a diagram, cut all the leetle hosers, & twist off caps w/ease. Reinstall will be more work, but at least everything will be clean.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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I have the battery fill system and recently replaced my batteries. I found that most of the hoses needed replacing so it was easier to yank off the hoses and then remove the caps. The hose can be purchased at any auto parts store and cut to size. If you don't replace the hoses they will leak at many of the caps.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:45 AM   #4
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I have the fill system and recently replaced the batteries with Interstate. I resused the old caps but had to replace some hoses because they were too short.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:46 AM   #5
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Hi Jerry,

Mike and Jerry are correct. Let me add that if you're going to replace the clear hose (which I agree you should) you ought to cut the clear hose between caps. That way, when you twist the cap, you're not putting the added stress on the little nipples of the caps. I did this the wrong way and ripped a nipple off a cap and it is just not worth the aggravation.

If you need parts, go to Battery Filling Systems - Watering systems for battery maintenance and they have a great online catalog. But, instead of just taking care of you, they want to refer you to a local distributor. If you find yourself buying any parts, you might want to consider buying the little hydrometer that is made to fit its tiny hose down thru the hole in the battery cap. This way you don't have to take off the cap to check your specific gravity, just flip up the lid and insert the hydrometer tube into the acid.

Tip: Put a label on the battery-fill water jug that says Battery Water Only. I had a mobile oil-change guy fill that reservoir once with windshield washing fluid!!

One other tip: I went to the local battery dealer and told them I wanted 6 Interstate 6 Volt batteries. I did NOT specify the post type and got posts of a slightly different configuration than what I had. I made it work but I had to bend and twist and pry the old battery cables to fit the new post configuration. I have tried to find some industry standard terminology that describes the different post types and have been unsuccessful. Maybe take a photo of what you've got down to the store with you.

Cheers!
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:32 AM   #6
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I had the filling system on our APEX when we purchased it. I used it before taking the coach home, and then manually checked the batteries, good thing, all of them were at or below the plates. Numerous posts on this topic are that you should remove the system and just check the batteries manually. It’s what I did, kept the water tank and I keep it full of distilled water to use when checking the batteries. Water fill system was garbage, many wrong sized parts when WRV installed it. Take it out and do it the old fashioned way.
Some folks install hydro-caps (Do a search) which helps to recombine the gases created by charging and put it back into the cells as water so you don't have to check/fill as often.
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:11 AM   #7
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Our coach has a very small battery compartment with no slide. When we first looked at the coach it was apparent that it would be difficult to add water to the batteries. I had the dealer replace them with AGM batteries before we took delivery. Now I don't have to even look at them. In our case it was worth it to bargain for AGM's and not have any maintenance at all. Something to consider in the future. Happy travels, Joe
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
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I disagree with Old's suggestion to discard the fill system. I have had mine for six years and until I changed batteries this year never had a problem and never had to physically remove the caps to check the water level. I did have to replace the floats shortly after I purchased the coach when WRV sent me new ones as they had installed the wrong size originally.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:50 PM   #9
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You are one of the few and far between. After running my fill system for 30 minutes, I checked the levels manually, every cell was low, and some were below the plates. The thing needed so much tinkering, it was not worth my time to try to get the parts and fix it.

If someone wants it, it's in a bag in the garage, you pay the shipping and it's yours, if I can find it. Same thing with the POC kitchen facuet, lasted less than 1 year, started leaking underneath. HD here we come, 69 dollars and now we have a nice one which has been in the coach for a year, no trouble.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:41 PM   #10
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Smile

Replaced all my batteries with AGM's after five years use. Had problems with low cells after fillings, even after installing replacement floats from WRV. The only problem I have now is dusting them off befor showing them off.
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:26 AM   #11
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I'm sure glad the mfg. had enought thought to put all the batterie's easily accessably under the hood on our motorhome. It is so easy for servicing the batterie's, checking all the fluid levels with no special modifications. My friend in Canada has the battery filler's, as well as tire monotoring system, and he claims it's not worth the hassle or $$$$$$$ cost. JMHO. Good luck, happy trails and travel safe.
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:44 AM   #12
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Yes, Fleetwood is famous for excellent design and accessibility. In fact, here is a picture, recently submitted, of their superior design skills, though I'm not sure how he'll ever replace that pump:
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