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Old 01-30-2020, 07:17 AM   #1
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Acid build up coach batts

Good morning, been a while since I have asked a ? I have an 07 HR Endeavor, I live in Northern AZ. temps get down in the 20's. unfortunately I had to cover it and park outside. it's been parked for about 5-months and plugged in.

The batts are almost 4-years old.

Coach batteries had acid build up on the positive posts. I always maintain the water levels, I clean and use dialectic grease. any ideas why?

When charging should the battery switch near the batts be in the off position cutting power to the coach? will the batts still charge while plugged in with the switch off? or is that what the inside Batt cutoff switch for.

Should I remove the batts in the winter months and keep inside with a trickle charger, PITB? I realize the cold will have some effect on them.

Thanks, Pat
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:38 AM   #2
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If your batteries are fully charged , you can disconnect them and leave them in the coach. Cold will not affect the batteries .
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:47 AM   #3
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These coaches are said to be like snowflakes - no two are the same.

The inside "Coach 12V disconnect" is for turning of the 12V to the inside of coach (interior lights, etc.). That has no affect on charging the batteries.

Batteries last about 4 or 5 years. You are about due for a new set.
As they get older they "off gas" more and don't hold a charge as well. The corrosion you're seeing on the bat terminals is from the gas condensing on the terminals (and other metal parts). It can form from charging at too a high rate, low water (electrolyte), seepage from cracks around battery posts, etc.
Clean with mixture of water and baking soda. Spread the paste on the corrosion and brush clean with old toothbrush or such. Then spray the terminals with battery terminal corrosion spray.

You should remove the batteries if your going to have the coach in storage for 6 months or more. Use a "Battery Tender" rather than a Trickle charger, as the Tender will monitor battery condition and de-sulfate as needed. BTW - batteries can freeze - especially if they they are low on charge.

When it come time to replace the batteries, consider getting AGM type. They don't "off gas" and tolerate heat, vibration, and more discharge cycles than the old technology lead-acid batteries. They cost more upfront but last longer so in the end the cost of ownership is about the same.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:18 AM   #4
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Thanks

Great info thank you, I had a brain Fart regarding the inside batt switch.

Funny you mention the AGM batts, when I purchased the coach it had new "lead" batts, but when I serviced them I noticed they were hot and sounded like they were boiling. I took it to an RV shop and they said the charger was set to high. They figured the AGM batts were changed out prior to me purchasing it and lead batts installed. The charging parameters were not changed. that was SCARY!
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:43 AM   #5
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I have been floating 4 ounces of mineral oil (purchased at a pharmacy) on each cell of my 6v batteries for years. Never have corrosion on my posts and I seldom if ever have to add water to the batteries.

The way it works is that when they are charging the batteries release hydrogen. The hydrogen escapes the electrolyte by bubbling up and in so doing it carries acid mist into the battery compartment.

Adding a layer of oil means the hydrogen escapes the electrolyte into the oil layer, then escapes the oil layer to the atmosphere. Because the oil molecules are very large compared to the electrolyte, there is no oil mist released, just hydrogen.

Much cheaper than AGMs, and you can still test the electrolyte to see how your batteries are doing.
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by distaff View Post
I have been floating 4 ounces of mineral oil (purchased at a pharmacy) on each cell of my 6v batteries for years. Never have corrosion on my posts and I seldom if ever have to add water to the batteries.

The way it works is that when they are charging the batteries release hydrogen. The hydrogen escapes the electrolyte by bubbling up and in so doing it carries acid mist into the battery compartment.

Adding a layer of oil means the hydrogen escapes the electrolyte into the oil layer, then escapes the oil layer to the atmosphere. Because the oil molecules are very large compared to the electrolyte, there is no oil mist released, just hydrogen.

Much cheaper than AGMs, and you can still test the electrolyte to see how your batteries are doing.
Paul -- I add mineral oil also -- My house batteries are over 7 years old -- I live in Arizona & summer temps are often over 115 -- Bill Willard
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:29 PM   #7
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Paul -- I add mineral oil also -- My house batteries are over 7 years old -- I live in Arizona & summer temps are often over 115 -- Bill Willard
Bill, mine are coming up on 5 years old, and most of that time they were in Calgary AB, or the west coast. In Alberta they got VERY cold. Not a surprise that yours have held up, but worth noting that both extreme heat and extreme cold don't make a difference.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:10 PM   #8
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The primary advantage to pulling the batteries isn't so much that it's better, but it's more likely they'll be maintained becausel they're somewhere you can see them. Sitting outside anything can happen, from critters chewing on wires to a circuit breaker popping and the thing going dead while you're thinking it's fine.

I find that the stock battery caps most flooded batteries come with are not the best. Good enough to keep electrolyte from sloshing out but some don't fit all that well, or deal with the omnipresent acid mist, which will eventually migrate over the top of the batteries and collect on the terminals. The lead post doesn't care but the acid just loves copper and steel.

I use water miser caps on all my storage batteries. I can't say that they actually reduce the amount of water use but they fit well and I never have to clean the tops of my batteries, other than to dust them off. My terminals stay clean as well. So that would be my advice, try the water miser caps and see if that helps to keep your batteries clean.

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Old 01-31-2020, 05:42 AM   #9
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You may want to look into using dielectric grease. I believe that grease is a NON-conductor and is not appropriate for use on your battery terminals. As posted above, spray your terminals with a spray made to protect against terminal corrosion.
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:49 AM   #10
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Here's a grease I use on battery terminals to reduce build-up on the terminals

https://amazon.com/gp/product/B00HSW...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:21 AM   #11
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Good morning everyone, once again members come through, I appreciate the responses! I am going to try the mineral oils. I think I'll get a test kit and see where they stand.

I'm put it up for sale to purchase another, probably for a tag. I have done so much preventative maintenance $$$ I hate to sell it. I carry the extra warranty (which has paid for itself) but its getting to the year where the warranty will end.

Trying to convince the wifey to do some minor upgrades and keep it, she's worried about warranty if the drive train gives out. I'm not worried about that. It's on CL, Prescott area.

Thanks again guys! Pat
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:29 AM   #12
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Drive train is the least of your worries. The coach will be a pile of rotten wood and rusted metal with some fiberglass holding it together long before either a well maintained engine or transmission packs it in.

The rest of the coach will give you fits, but that can happen when they are new. Gets very expensive to take the depreciation every couple of years to keep the warranty.

For the oil, 4 ounces per 6v cell, there are 3 cells per 6v battery. I used a large veterinarian syringe to squirt the oil into the cells. Make sure you have electrolyte up over the top of the plates, but enough room at the bottom of the filler tube.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:06 PM   #13
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I’ve personally never see a quality battery with an excessive degas problem to the point of corrosion issues that the battery wasn't already on its way out …or perhaps doing so from being overcharged.

I’ve seen many folks try to keep scud failing batteries alive..Batteries that are failing and doing so with them not even knowing what the issue was …and they found themselves adding water almost continuously and having to clean acidic corrosion growth quite frequently

One of the first of many signs of a battery taking the deep 6 is their needing water much more frequent rate than when they were new and them also corrosion issues from degassing.

I’ve seen more than one person nurse bad batteries down the road a while and some for as long as 6 months or a year or more by having to add water at a much higher rate and also having to deal with corrosion at a very high rate along the journey….so yes they can be nursed along ….IMO is it worth the effort?

As far as oil in a battery adding service life?


I will say this….my 2001 crew cab dually diesel that is rarely ever used with 35k miles on it, that my OE batteries lasted 12 years …..and the 2nd set of Batteries are currently still alive and doing well and I don’t remember ever adding water to either set of them……..all the time while it is stored it is on a quality battery maintainer.


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Old 02-05-2020, 08:00 PM   #14
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Been using the Water Miser Caps for over a year, they seem to work very well.
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