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Old 11-04-2019, 02:37 PM   #1
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How To Service Batteries?

2004 American Eagle, Spartan chassis. The battery compartment does not roll out that I can see and there has a metal cover over the battery tray making it impossible to service the batteries without disconnecting all the cables and either pulling each battery out to add water or using a mirror to see level and fill. I hope that I missing something and that someone can enlighten me.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:32 PM   #2
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You have a prime candidate for AGM batteries.

Until then, use a turkey baster and a mirror.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:51 PM   #3
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Actually there is an easy fix for this. I added 4 batteries to my rv, but could not get to the caps. First thing I did was make the cables long enough to pull batteries out. But then I discovered Flow-Rite Qwik-Fill. You remove your old caps, put on the new ones with a small hose attached, then you can add water via a siphon type bulb pump. Takes 1 minute to fill them. Shuts of automatically. A lot cheaper than AGM's. Although on my boat I have 11 AGM batteries, which I love. But did not want to spend the money on the RV.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:55 PM   #4
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House batteries or chassis batteries? If house batteries, can you get a watering system that will install on them? I've got one on my Trojan batteries, and all that I have to do to fill them is drop the end of the water tube in the jug of distilled water, connect to the watering system, and pump the hand bulb a few times until pressure is felt. Probably available for chassis batteries as well.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:32 PM   #5
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Thank you all. AGM's will be in my future. As for fill systems I've used one on my golf carts but pulled it off because the valves would occasionally stick and would overfill some cells. It ruined one set of batteries. Instructions say to remove and clean the system periodically so I'd still have pull everything out. For now I'll use a lab squirt bottle and mirror until it is battery time. All the batts are in one compartment/tray. Really bad design.
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:58 PM   #6
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Follow up on my original post. Seems the '04 Eagle originally came with gel batteries which did not require servicing. So, AC designed the bay in such a manner so as to provide a "shelf" over the batteries. The box arrangement can be removed...if you are Gumby and have 5' arms. Anyway, the PO had replaced the original batts with wet cell and discovered that servicing them (if he even knew it was required) was too hard -- so he didn't. 4 very dead house batteries several with exposed plates if not totally dry. Not recoverable. AGM's are going in. I figured battery replacement was due when I bought the coach so the only surprise is total neglect of this fairly important system. "Come on, man!"
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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I had an '04 Tradition for 10 years. It came from the factory with 12v AGMs for the house and sealed starting batteries, so nothing that needed much in the way of service. Just replacement every 5-8 years. However, the shield over the batteries is removable - just a half dozen screws as I recall.


I improved mine by removing the shield and putting in an aluminum & plywood shelf, raised several inches so I could at least see under, check cable tightness, etc. And use the shelf for storing odds and ends.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I had an '04 Tradition for 10 years. It came from the factory with 12v AGMs for the house and sealed starting batteries, so nothing that needed much in the way of service. Just replacement every 5-8 years. However, the shield over the batteries is removable - just a half dozen screws as I recall.


I improved mine by removing the shield and putting in an aluminum & plywood shelf, raised several inches so I could at least see under, check cable tightness, etc. And use the shelf for storing odds and ends.

A most excellent solution, Gary! I'll do this when I swap out the batteries.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:00 PM   #9
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Have you tried removing cover? I have agm’s and changed them out without removing cover.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:12 AM   #10
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I began by removing 2 batteries just to see if I could. Marked the cables first. I can replace without removing the cover but it would be much easier if it were not there. I don’t see much value to it. A roll out tray would have been nicer. New batts coming next week. I’ll make the decision after all the batts are removed and I can crawl around in there without concern.
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