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Old 12-17-2008, 05:14 PM   #1
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Anyone know how to remove the battery Autofill system so I can remove the house batteries. I tried twisting, prying and contemplating and none of those seemed to work.
After you remove the system do you have open filler holes in the battery?

Thanks again,

Clark
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:14 PM   #2
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Anyone know how to remove the battery Autofill system so I can remove the house batteries. I tried twisting, prying and contemplating and none of those seemed to work.
After you remove the system do you have open filler holes in the battery?

Thanks again,

Clark
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:29 PM   #3
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How long did you contemplate? Probably wasn't long enough
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:08 PM   #4
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If it is the same sys. and mine. I had to replace one when I broke a hose nipple. If I remember right, a quarter turn allows the cap to be lifted out. It is easier with the hose off.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:42 AM   #5
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The caps do indeed turn for removal, sort of a bayonet mount. The hoses make turning difficult. Once removed you will need new caps for replacements. Can probably buy new parallelogram types from Interstate dealer near you, or individual breather type caps like Dale's HydroCaps shown in his 3rd photo here (purchase link here).
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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Mike....

I haven't been real happy with the autofill system and I wonder if those Water Miser caps might be a good replacement. It sounds like you have to replace the autofill caps if they are removed and I'm not even sure where I'd go to find them.

Clark
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:39 PM   #7
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Clark- You can reuse the caps if they are serviceable. However, I can see Dale's point on the HydroCaps as an overall superior system. Assuming the HC's last for at least 2 battery changes (due to the cost @ $216 for 6 batt's, $288 for 8), you eliminate mess, & drop your water checks to once a year. That's pretty nice.
The Miser caps are just caps far as I can tell from the write up. You could seal the ports on the auto-fill caps and reuse them without the auto-fill tubing, as long as they don't leak and that would be fairly comparable & easy to remove (without the tubing in your way & holding the caps from rotating).
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:11 PM   #8
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I have been using a set of HydroCaps since 1998.
I think they work well, checking battery fluid levels only in the spring and fall - - need only add very small amounts of water at those times.

They do require additional head space (vertical space above the battery).

Discussion at http://www.davidmc.org/solar.html
Specific picture at: http://www.davidmc.org/images/BatteryBox2.JPG
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:20 PM   #9
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Thanks Mike and David......

I'll take a closer look at the HydroCaps. I'd certainly would not mind losing all the AutoFill system with its overflow problems.

Clark
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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Clark,

Here is better photo of my Hydro Caps. Compartment, batteries and cables are always this clean and corrosion free.

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Old 12-19-2008, 07:45 PM   #11
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All,
First the auto fill system is in many cases junk, bad floats, wrong sized floats, kinked hoses, etc. I removed mine, with the exception of the distilled water tank which I left in place so I could use it as an emergency reservoir for the radiator or to add a little distilled water to the batteries when I checked them.

Dale used a different type of cap at first, and I cannot remember the name, but I purchased some from one of the members here and I have been very pleased with those caps. They are yellow/green in color.

After I disconnected the worthless 10W solar panel from the roof, my batteries don't overcharge any longer and I have not had to add any water for a long time.

My recommendation is to remove the auto fill system and check the batteries manually about once a month until you are comfortable with going longer using the caps Dale shows above.

I believe my batteries are getting weak because when I purchased the coach in May 08, half of the cells were at or below the plates because the dealer did not physically check them for the two years on the lot.

I am seriously looking at AGM's as the replacement in March 09. This is especially true if I retire in May, and we head up to Alaska for the summer of 09, returning in September. But other things may force me to work longer.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:55 AM   #12
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I have had 2 rv's with this system and got rid of it on both..a cheap way to replace the caps is to contact interstate battery and they will give you caps off of returned batteries free.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:57 AM   #13
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I have no problems with the factory installed autofill. WRV did send me replacement floats shortly after I bought the coach. I installed them and the system has worked fine for 3 years. No leaks and certainly easy to use.

Dale, what has been your experience with the catalyst caps? How often do you add water?

Thanks
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:09 AM   #14
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Ken,

From my previous posts about Hydro caps, they are not for everyone, but I like them.

"I started with 4 batteries in my first coach, went to 6 and now 8. When I started the Hydro caps were not that expensive and I have only had to buy 6 more at a time twice, so I have stayed with them. I did not like the fill system as it would usually overflow one or two cells when I used it. I have always liked the Hydro caps they keep the area corrosion free and require much less filling. My concern with using the AGM batteries is that if one battery goes bad in a bank of parallel connected batteries it is said that you should replace all the batteries to keep the bank in balance. The Golf cart batteries will be much cheaper in this situation."


"Ted,

I don't think one battery going bad will make the others go bad. The problem that I am aware of is that anytime batteries are run in parallel a low one will drain down the others. This is why it is very important that all of the batteries in a group that is in parallel are "matched" All of the same age and rating. I have 8 6 volt batteries, 4 parallel banks of a pair in series. My concern with using AGM batteries is that if one goes bad I can't just replace that one and have a matched set. I don't know an easy solution to this. Even the high, high end coaches that use the large batteries run more than one in parallel, so that if one fails you should replace all in that bank. That is why I just stick with the "golf cart" batteries and use the Hydro caps.


"BryanL,

A weak battery hooked in parallel with an other batteries will drain down the other batteries. What happens is the batterie that are of higher strength will try to charge the weak battery.

http://sierranevadaairstreams..../battery-config.html

I guess that I am more concerned than others due to the fact that most of the battery failures I have had in RV's is one cell going bad, requiring replacement of the whole bank."



"I still like my Hydro Caps. They are costly and do require that you check the water level, but I find that once a year seems to be often enough. They also eliminate all of the corrosion in the battery compartment and on the batteries."


Sorry for all of the misc quotes, but I am lazy about typing, and copy and paste is soo easy.
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