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Old 10-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
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coach batteries completely dry

In the past 2 weeks I noticed my coach batteries not holding a charge for any length of time. Well I pulled them out yesterday and they were completely dry. My question is this, can I fill them all the way up with only distilled water? The batteries are stored in my garage over the winter so freezing isn't an issue. Thanks
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:06 PM   #2
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At this point I think you're looking at "refilling" the batteries with new ones! They don't like being run dry and usually they require replacement.
But it won't hurt to refill and try. Not sure if you need only distilled water or electrolyte. Maybe a battery dealer can flush them out and refill with electrolyte (water/acid mix) and see if they'll work. But I wouldn't expect much out of that.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #3
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That's what I would do. Then you should check ALL the rest of your fluid levels.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #4
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Time for new batteries.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:39 PM   #5
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Step one: Re-fill them with DISTILLED water

Step two: Apply charger, it is best I think if it's a slow charger in this case

Step 2.1 through 9,, PRAY

Step 10,, Test

You might get lucky,, , Depending on how well you do 2.1 through 9.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:45 PM   #6
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Mine went real low, so I refilled with distiller water and went on as normal. They seem to be ok, charge doesn't last long, but they are almost 5 years old.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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The batteries are likely toast! Distilled water is your only choice as a place to start. You might be able to add a bit more life with some sulfuric acid as well but in most cases a dry wet cell is a death keel for the battery bank. If you replace the batteries I suggest that you look into AGM batteries that require no maintenance and give off no harmful gasses. My old wet cells never lasted more than about a year due do their inconvenient location and my basic lack of attention. My AGM have been in place in our coach since Jan 2003 and the only thing I do is periodically wipe them down with a damp cloth in case I have that bay open and someone might ask why they are so dusty!
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:36 PM   #8
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I was wondering about the electrolyte additive. Also...at best my batteries probably do not have much life left. Which leaves me to my next question...anyone know much about Optima batteries? I have a connection from a friend to get optima's but only "yellow" tops. I was told they will work but the "blue tops" are the marine/rv grade. Does anyone have any input on this? I do not want to put the wrong batteries in...no matter what the cost.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacevette View Post
In the past 2 weeks I noticed my coach batteries not holding a charge for any length of time. Well I pulled them out yesterday and they were completely dry. My question is this, can I fill them all the way up with only distilled water? The batteries are stored in my garage over the winter so freezing isn't an issue. Thanks

For what it's worth several weeks ago my chassis battery went dead. In my particular case it was my own fault. When I checked the cells they were all just a little below the top of the plates. I added just over 1 gallon of distilled water and put them on a slow 2 amp charge for two days. This time I was lucky and hey came back to life. But if yours were completely dry there is not much hope.

What have you got to loose try it. After charging, if successful, check them often when in use to watch how fast they drain, recover and hold a charge

Good Luck
Dick
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:43 PM   #10
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Note...the optima website classifies the yellow top as a deep cycle/starting battery...the blue top is designated as a marine/ rv battery. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:54 AM   #11
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I will say this again about OPTIMA.. LOOK AT THEM.. What do you see?

I see a lot of "Wasted space" that is air between the cells, in fact they are 25 percent air, as it turns out 40 percent wasted space.

A Group 27 retangular cell battery is about 100 amp hours.. For a house battery Amp Hours is the single most important rating.... A same size Optima.. sixty.

You go to optima you give up nearly half (40%) of your capacity.. PLUS. they are among the most EXPENSIVE batteries.

If you wish to go AGM. Try Lifeline.. From an RVers viewpoitn they have all the advantages of an optima.. Same chemistry, Same Absorption Glass Mat, but no wasted space thus a G-27 Lifeline AGM is teh same 100 amp hours (NOTE: I'm rounding slightly on the amp hours, but not on the ratio)

Now: Why (then) build the Optima. Well two reasons.. One: If you have an off road vehicle like a 4-runner or wave runner.. That goes slamming over ruts, ditches and waves... The Optima can take a real beating physically and not fail, More so than a "Traditional AGM".. Of course if you drive your RV like this you will need to replace just about everythign EXCEPT the batteries in short order.

The second reaons is because a fool and his money are soon parted and the OPTIMA design, being different, is clearly "Better" right... (NOT) and thus worth more... Unless you check the capacity that is.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:09 AM   #12
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Not mentioned so far is the charger/converter in your rig.....If I were you I'd learn what exactly is charging your batteries and it's characteristics.

Some are better than others. Some are intelligent and don't cook the water off the batteries so easily.

Replaced my basically new Parallax converter/charger with an IOTA smart converter and have had little to no water loss, good battery performance and no issues on this yr old set of basic no frills batteries from Wally world.

FWIW
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:12 AM   #13
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The only reason I am even looking at optima batteries is the fact that my friend works for johnson controls so he can get me one for less than cost. Its my own fault for the batteries to go bad...my last 2 rv's had sealed coach batteries and I just failed to check and see what type of batteries were actually in there. I have not tried to recharge them yet. The coach is a 2008. I figured replacing them is probably the wise choice.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:22 AM   #14
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Update: just talked to optima. They group 31 batteries are rated at 75 amp hours. I am not electronically inclined to calculate all of this. I know there are many people who do not like optima batteries but is the 75 amp hours too low for a coach battery? Should I try to find something bigger?
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