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Old 12-08-2017, 11:47 PM   #1
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Fleetwood Discovery - how to keep batteries clean

Doesn't matter soon as I clean the batteries we get a little rain on the way home and the water and dirt behind the rear tires just goes right on top of the batteries..

Has anyone found a cover that works or alternative solution to try to keep them clean and dry?
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:03 AM   #2
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Wondering what year and model is your coach?

Regardless, your house batteries are in an exposed compartment so, yes, they will get dirty, as do mine. I also see you have a lot of corrosion on your battery hold-downs..

I wash my batteries nearly every stop I make or perhaps weekly if we are on the road a lot. Simply put a pressure nozzle on the end of a garden hose and spray it off. In your case, also spray off the corrosion. You may need to use a wire brush to remove all the latter, but probably not.

When clean, spray all terminals with red CRC terminal battery protector. Spray the hold downs too.

If you want to avoid corrosion on the hold-downs all together, you can replace them with stainless steel ones (I did). A fellow Discovery owner manufactures and sells them. He also sells aluminum replacement plungers that don't break for our storage bin latches.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:00 PM   #3
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My caps leak slightly, so when a little acid starts to show around the caps the batteries get a wash job. I like to use a little car wash soap, brush the battery tops and rinse well. I keep a close watch on all of them to prevent acid build up like you have. I wouldn't use water pressure for fear of blasting some acid back on other components in the area, just a easy flow of water.
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Old 12-10-2017, 04:07 PM   #4
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I've washed my 15 Discovery batteries too many times, finally gave up.
The last time I did, I greased all the terminals, got rid of the steel hold downs, put 4oz mineral oil in each cell, and are using cable ties and plastic holddown straps.
They are dirty but finally don't have to work on them weekly.
You can not compartmentalize them off, they need air and you'd block off access the the engine and air cleaner.
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Old 12-10-2017, 04:27 PM   #5
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As far as road grime, not a lot you can do except wash them down with water once in a while but that is not going to change the life or performance of your batteries.
The real concern is the corrosion seen on the connections. You need to deal with this as it Will effect the batteries.
The best way is when the cells require a top up of water, add 4oz of Mineral Oil to each cell and then top off with distilled water to the correct level as required.

Remove & Clean all the connections using a warm water and Baking Soda solution and wire brush. Rinse with water.
Caution, don't allow any soda solution to get into the batteries. That will finish them off.

Once you have everything clean and shiny, reassemble using Battery Post Dielectric Grease to seal the connections from the atmosphere. You can find the grease at almost any Auto Parts Store. I prefer the grease over the other Spray-On types personally but any is better than nothing.

Now, with the Mineral Oil added, you will find that you will not have to add water as often and your connections will stay clean in definetly.

In the attached photo, you can see how mine have faired after years without any attention. My batteries are just over 8 years old with mineral oil added when they were new. I check the water levels every 3-4 months.

https://www.amazon.com/Permatex-Coun...ease+protector
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Old 12-10-2017, 06:20 PM   #6
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Mud flaps?
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Mud flaps?
Not sure I follow your logic. What would mud flaps (which I have ) do for the battery Bay?
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Not sure I follow your logic. What would mud flaps (which I have ) do for the battery Bay?
Just wondering if some kind of a flap somewhere could cut down on the road grime landing on the batteries.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:33 AM   #9
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Do you have a mud flap in front of the tires near the battery box like my Bounder does?

Also, I have never heard of adding mineral oil to the battery acid. Are we sure that is a good idea and if it is why does the mfg not do that at the factory? Do take this wrong, I am just curious.......
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:53 AM   #10
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I did as Dennis45 described. Mineral oil.
So far reduced corrusion at terminals and holddowns.
My batteries get dirty even on dry days. I do have mud flaps behind all tires.
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
Do you have a mud flap in front of the tires near the battery box like my Bounder does?

Also, I have never heard of adding mineral oil to the battery acid. Are we sure that is a good idea and if it is why does the mfg not do that at the factory? Do take this wrong, I am just curious.......
Mineral oil has been used in wet cell batteries for decades to reduce the effects of Off-Gasing during the charging process which is what causes corrosion around the terminals. 4oz per cell for 6V batteries and 2oz per cell for 12V batteries.
Mineral oil can be found at most pharmacies like Wallyworld etc. The leftovers can be used as a laxative.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:42 PM   #12
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it's a 2016 Discovery 40G, I thought about getting a battery box to put each batter in and custom make some wires to connect them all to keep them clean and dry. I assumed the corrosion was because of the dirt and grime on them.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:56 PM   #13
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X2 on mineral oil. Has done a great job of reducing battery maintenance!
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvrhand View Post
I assumed the corrosion was because of the dirt and grime on them.
The normal dirt/grime won't hurt anything. The only reason I wash mine as often as I do is because I have a hose connected to fill a bucket (for washing the windshield after a drive) right there. I just open the compartment and spray. But it is not because it is needed, only because I know it's dirty and I like clean.

Corrosion is never good and should always be addressed. I suppose the mineral oil solution is probably a good option; I've heard of it before. All batteries will gas under some conditions. I like the stainless solution, as well as the dielectric spray or grease. To each their own.
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