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Old 06-15-2014, 11:28 PM   #1
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Battery water

While doing some general maintenance on my Fleetwood Terra I found that the engine and coach batteries were nearly totally out of water.
What can cause this?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:42 PM   #2
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When was the last time they were checked and filled before this?

Has the RV been with power to charge the batteries? Check for over charging?

The chassis/engine battery requires water? I ask because they are usually maintenance free.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iquilt888 View Post
While doing some general maintenance on my Fleetwood Terra I found that the engine and coach batteries were nearly totally out of water.
What can cause this?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
1. Charging voltage too high
2. Maintenance interval too long
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:40 PM   #4
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NOTE: Use distilled water only.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:32 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the replies.
I did not do any maintenance so have now learned my lesson that I should pay more attention to the batteries.
Neither the house or the motor batteries a sealed. All three need water.
Yep, used distilled water. Knew enough to do that right.
Took the motor home for the annual inspection today. While there the technician said that my battery problem may be with the chinese made converter. We'll see.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #6
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When we're hooked up to shore power for a month I check the house batteries (4-6 volts) and I usually have to add some water in each of them.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:18 AM   #7
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Continuous charging will eventually boil the water away - it's natural. Some chargers do it worse than others because they don't regulate the charging very well. Better chargers will cause very little water loss, but there is always some. High ambient temps also cause loss through simple evaporation.

Just check them every month or two for awhile. Once you do it for 3-5 months, you will have an idea how fast the water disappears and can adjust the schedule accordingly. If you need to refill every month or two, consider replacing the converter/charger with a better model.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:08 PM   #8
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What can cause this: Too long between checking is the major cause. Some loss is normal.. NEW the batteries on my coach needed toppign off annually, as they aged it became more and more frequent.. So should your checking of them.

Second: An overly agressive charger (Converter) or one that does not known when to quite (most Magnatek's fall in this last group) but on a modern rig that ****SHOULD***** not be the problem.


Advice: Top off with DISTILLED water, Recharge over night at least (leave RV plugged in) and measure voltage at battery terminals with a DIGITAL voltmeter.. Repeat voltage measurments every day for a week, UNLESS they exceed 15 volts, if they go higher than 15, unplug.

Post results and let us get back with you.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:54 PM   #9
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If above 14 after a couple days it is too high.

13.5 is the happy place.

If possible to check charge current to battery it needs to be about 0.1% C while floating.

C is rated labeled capacity in amp hours so if labeled as 100 amp hour C is 100 and 0.1 C is 0.1 amps.

Floating is trickle charge on a fully charged battery.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:55 PM   #10
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0.1% C is 0.1 amp...
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:59 PM   #11
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my solar mppt controller was set to 14.7 and my house batteries most time were 12.7-13.7v. last time at 2pm in a sunny day when i was in the compartment for regular checking i heard boiling sound like what i hear when i was boiling eggs on a stove. so boiling is a real thing. check/top off water monthly or bi-monthly.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:04 PM   #12
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If you see anything happening in the battery current is flowing.

If it is fully charged it should gave no activity other than maybe a bubble once in a long while...

Charge current less than 1 amp and voltage not over 13.5 for extended times.

Higher voltage is so the battery charges faster but that is for intermittent duty charge cycles such as engine.

Continious duty need to be lower voltage because they are in no hurry so to speak
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:00 PM   #13
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The cost is significantly higher, but replace the batteries with AGM (I used Lifelines) batteries and you can forget the watering and mess problems in the battery compartment. I won't have anything else in my coach again.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:00 AM   #14
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One thing I heard about on iRV2 was to put an ounce or 2 of mineral oil in each cell of your battery. It is an inert oil so it will not affect you lead acid battery in any way but it acts as a barrier film to the atmosphere (the oil floats on top of the acid) so the batteries won't gas off near as much therefore adding distilled water is much less frequent, also stops the terminals from corroding. Haven't done it to my batteries yet but have the mineral oil at the ready for when I pull my batteries out to service them.
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