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Old 02-21-2014, 05:35 PM   #1
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Battery issue or not

This is concerning the engine batteries in my Coach. There are 2 Powertron Commercial 12v batteries mounted in a storage compartment. They are not on a slide out tray. The date codes were not punched so I do not know the age of the batteries and they came with the coach when I bought it last March. They are working fine no issues with starting the engine or maintaining a charge.

But I was wanting to check the water level and as you can see from the picture that would require that all of the cables be removed.

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Any thoughts

Thanks
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:43 PM   #2
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That is similar to the way mine is set up. It was a real pita to check the electrolyte levels and replenish distilled water. It was the reason why I replaced them with maintenance free AGM batteries.

Another option I looked at was installing a battery tender system that would allow adding water without popping the caps (and disconnecting cables). I wasn't sure how it would work out, and I was sure about the AGM batteries.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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Mine were the same kind of mess after the dealer had to replace the factory batteries shortly after I took delivery.

I just removed all of the cables and rerouted them so I had at least enough clearance to remove the battery caps. I used some heavy ty-wraps to hold the cables in place. I also used some heater hose and rescue tape to cover the battery hold down posts. You really don't want to have your positive battery cable rubbing against one of those things.

Good luck. I hate working with batteries!

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Old 02-21-2014, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacerm View Post
That is similar to the way mine is set up. It was a real pita to check the electrolyte levels and replenish distilled water. It was the reason why I replaced them with maintenance free AGM batteries.

Another option I looked at was installing a battery tender system that would allow adding water without popping the caps (and disconnecting cables). I wasn't sure how it would work out, and I was sure about the AGM batteries.
AGM's are great batteries although I didn't think they were a common choice for starting batteries.

The battery tender system has been on my wish list for some time too. A lot of folks here report that they love them, and I now know a lot of people with golf carts and they swear by them too. I think they're about $300(?) which might turn some folks away.

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Old 02-21-2014, 06:37 PM   #5
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It's not as bad as it looks. Of the 8 nuts that hold the connectors to the batteries, you will notice 4 of them seem shorter that the other 4. Start with the negative and remove the 2 lower, or shorter nuts. The complete harness assembly will lift with all the main connections intact. with those off the connections of the batteries, proceed to remove the 2 lover or shorter nuts on the positive. When you reconnect connect positive first then the negative.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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I doubt if you need to check electrolyte often on the starting batteries - they don't suffer the constant drain & charge cycle like the house batteries. I'm not saying don't check, but it's seldom enough that the extra work should not be a major concern. Mine are 6 years old and have never needed a drop of water.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:01 PM   #7
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Gary, are yours being charged whenever your plugged in?
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. Here is another question on my "House Batteries. I have 2 new less than one year old Interstate 4D-XHD batteries. Interstate Batteries Results Page - Interstate Batteries 4D-XHD replacement battery

These were installed by my local RV shop to replace 2 similar batteries. They have worked fine and hold a charge well and are attached to my Xantrex Freedom 458 inverter/converter. I had someone tell me that these were not actually Deep Cycle batteries but were at best dual use batteries. I am not sure what that means. Any thoughts on the Interstate 4D-XHD used as the house batteries. The good news the caps on these are easy to get to and they are mounted on a slide out tray.

Thanks
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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Agree on the need to check chassis batteries only annually. My coach is on the Freightliner chassis also and [on mine, anyway] the batteries are charged only by the alternator and a little 10w solar panel on the roof. \ken
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adonh View Post
This is concerning the engine batteries in my Coach. There are 2 Powertron Commercial 12v batteries mounted in a storage compartment. They are not on a slide out tray. The date codes were not punched so I do not know the age of the batteries and they came with the coach when I bought it last March. They are working fine no issues with starting the engine or maintaining a charge. But I was wanting to check the water level and as you can see from the picture that would require that all of the cables be removed. Any thoughts Thanks
Just (yesterday) replaced our chassis batteries. Two Interstate 31Ds. $150 each. Talked to the dealer about AGMs but decided against mainly due to cost ($300 each).

The 31s are no maintenance, they are sealed and have no way to check fluid and are rated at 950 cranking amps.
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